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Child Welfare/Vulnerable youth
HB 75 (Willard-51st) Exempts from public disclosure (open records) child abuse records that contain information provided by law enforcement or prosecutors related to criminal prosecution of a particular case. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.
HB 86 (Oliver-82nd) Adds acts involving trafficking a person for sexual servitude to the definition of sexual abuse in the code section delineating requirements for mandatory reporting of child abuse. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill will be heard in committee this Monday.
HB 124 (Clark-98th) Moves section of law from the code section related to social services (Title 49) to one related to fraud (Title 16). Defines “Public assistance” as “payment in or by money, medical care, remedial care, goods, or services to or for the benefit of needy persons.” The bill also adds a provision to current law which makes it a misdemeanor to aid anyone who is committing food stamp, Medicaid or public assistance fraud. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
HB 159 (Reeves-34th) Substantially revises general provisions applicable to adoptions, including provisions regarding the following: allowing a nonresident to allow an adoption of his or her child, adoption of foreign-born children, waiver to revoke a surrender of parental rights, the age for individuals to access the Adoption Reunion Registry, and the annulment of an adoption under certain circumstances. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.
HB 266 (Kelley-16th) Increases the threshold value from $15,000 to $25,000 that a natural guardian may oversee for a minor without having to become a legally qualified conservator of the minor. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee.
HB 279 (Ballinger-23rd) Allows a petitioner who alleges to be a victim of family violence, to petition the court to file his or her petition to change his or her name or to change the name of his or her child under seal. If the court determines that the petitioner is a victim of family violence, the court may waive the requirements of publication, and when such petition is to change a child’s name, the court may waive the requirements of parental consent. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.
HB 293 (Silcox-57th) Establishes an effective date for any motion made, hearing or trial relating to the testimony of a child’s description of sexual contact or physical abuse. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.
HB 305 (Beskin-54th) Adds stepparent and former stepparents to the list of third parties who may be awarded custody of a child. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
HB 308 (Beskin-54th) Enacts provisions recommended by the Georgia Child Support Commission relating to child support and the enforcement of child support orders. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.
HB 330 (Abrams-89th) Adds regional DFCS caseworkers or directors of a county or district DFCS as contact names provided in the notice to adult relatives of the alleged dependent child when conducting a diligent search for relatives as part of a dependency proceeding. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
HB 331 (Abrams-89th) Creates a mechanism for a kinship caregiver to give legal consent in the form of an affidavit for a child residing with him/her to receive educational services and medical services directly related to academic enrollment and to participate in curricular or extracurricular activities for which parental consent is usually required. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
HB 341 (Reeves-34th) Among other things, the bill adds patronizing and soliciting to the list of crimes which qualify as human trafficking offenses, revises provisions regarding the model notice for the human trafficking hotline, and clarifies provisions relating to the probation portion of a split sentence imposed for certain sexual offenses. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.
HB 344 (Dempsey-13th) Allows certain parties in a case concerning a child support order to request a genetic paternity test from the Department of Human Services. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.
HB 359 (Fleming-121st) “Supporting and Strengthening Families Act”- Replaces the existing “Power of Attorney for the Care of a Minor Child Act” and would allow a parent to delegate care-giving authority to grandparent, step-grandparent, aunt, uncle, great aunt, great uncle, cousin, sibling, or is approved as an agent by an organization licensed as a child-placing agency or a nonprofit entity that is focused on child or family services for up to one year by executing a power of attorney that conforms to the form set forth in statute, without approval of a court, but registered in probate court. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Awaits assignment to a Senate Committee.
HB 522 (Beverly-143rd) “Domestic Violence Helping Hands Act”-Provides for 5 hours of domestic violence and sexual assault awareness training for barbers and cosmetologists. STATUS: House Judiciary Committee.
SB 4 (Unterman-45th) Establishes the Georgia Mental Health Treatment Task Force to study the effectiveness of the services and health care programs currently available to individuals with, or at risk for, serious mental illness; and to understand the feasibility of using a Medicaid waiver to improve treatment for those with serious mental illness and, if appropriate, enable the General Assembly to make an informed decision as to whether the state should seek a Section 1115 waiver from the Department of Health and Human Services or apply for Medicaid block grant funding for mental health treatment and services. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to the House Health and Human Services Committee.
SB 104 (James-35th) Adds government buildings to the list of locations required to post the human trafficking hotline notice and requires government entities to have a hyperlink to the human trafficking hotline model notice on their websites. The bill also deletes the sunset provision for posting of the notice in all of the designated locations. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.
SB 130 (Tillery-19th) Clarifies provisions relating to the waiver of the right to counsel for a party to a dependency proceeding who is not a child. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Judiciary Committee.
SB 132 (Tillery-19th) Removes the statutory civil case filing and disposition forms and allows the Judicial Council of Georgia to promulgate such forms. The bill also revises provisions for transmittal of the forms. The bill also cleans up language regarding civil practice, courts, and general provisions for child custody proceedings so that it is aligned with the changes the bill makes. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Awaits assignment to a House Committee.
SB 137 (Kirk-13th) Increases the fee the Department of Human Services can charge for collecting child support payments. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Judiciary Committee.
SB 168 (Miller-49th) Allows access to child abuse records in the Central Child Abuse Registry by the department or a county or other state or local agency investigating allegations of child abuse and to certain child-placing entities conducting foster and adoptive parent background checks. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Juvenile Justice Committee.
SB 170 (Hill-6th) Allows for the certification of volunteers to provide childcare services for foster children and their families with limited immunity. The bill establishes the Georgia SERVES Act Advisory Committee to advise the Department of Human Services on establishing a uniform certification system and guidelines for individuals serving as volunteers for foster children and their families. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Awaits assignment to a House Committee.
SB 250 (Mullis-53rd) Requires registration on the State Sexual Offender Registry when an individual is convicted in another country. The bill also states that the sentencing superior court judge will make the risk assessment classification as part of sentencing for sexual offenders convicted in Georgia, and sets up an appeal process for a sexual offender who is classified by the sentencing superior court judge as a Level II risk assessment classification or as a sexually dangerous predator. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Awaits assignment to a House Committee.
SR 352 (Unterman-45th) Creates the Senate Study Committee on Homelessness. STATUS: Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
Juvenile Justice/Effective School Discipline
HB 5 (Caldwell-20th) Change provisions relating to state compensation of juvenile court judges, including the amounts paid to counties by the state for such. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.
HB 67 (Boddie-62nd) Creates the offense of hijacking a motor vehicle in the second degree when such person obtains a motor vehicle from an individual without his or her consent or from the presence of another individual without his or her consent or attempts or conspires to do so. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Awaits assignment to a Senate Committee.
HB 116 (Reeves-34th) Gives superior court exclusive jurisdiction for cases involving children 13-17 years old charged with aggravated assault involving the use of a firearm against peace officers or correctional officers and aggravated battery against peace officers or correctional officers. The bill gives discretion to the superior court to transfer such cases back to juvenile court. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.
HB 213 (Golick-40th) Adds fentanyl to the list of controlled substances that are illegal to sell, manufacture, deliver, or possess. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.
HB 258 (Powell-32nd) Increases penalties for aggravated assault where a person 17 years old or older discharges a firearm upon a peace officer while the peace officer is engaged in, or on account of the performance of, his or her official duties. The bill also significantly increases penalties for obstructing or resisting public safety officials. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Public Safety Committee.
HB 261 (Werkheiser-157th) Allows certain individuals sentenced to a term of incarceration between March 18, 1968, and October 31, 1982, to petition the superior court in the county in which he or she was convicted for exoneration of guilt and discharge. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.
HB 497 (Efstration-104th) Automatically extends the period for filing a petition for delinquency when informal adjustment or other non-adjudicatory procedures are being used, until such informal adjustment or procedures have failed. The bill also provides for joint child custody arrangements between a parent and a de facto custodian of a child. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Awaits assignment to a Senate Committee.
SB 149 (Jones-10th) Requires School Resource Officers (SROs) to complete 40 hours of training approved by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council. Subjects include the role of a peace officer assigned to an elementary or secondary school, search and seizure in elementary and secondary schools, criminal offenses, gang awareness, drug awareness, interviews and interrogations, emergency preparedness, and interpersonal interactions with adolescents, including the encountering of mental health issues. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Awaits assignment to a House Committee.
SB 152 (Jones-10th) Requires that students cannot be suspended or expelled without assignment to an alternative education program and that students who are subject to compulsory attendance shall not be assigned to an alternative education program for more than 2 semesters except for those who have committed certain serious offenses such as physical assault or battery of school personnel or other students, bullying, and unlawful use or possession of illegal drugs or alcohol. Those who are assigned to alternative education programs for longer than 2 semesters may request a hearing to return to a regular classroom after 2 semesters have passed. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Education Committee.
SB 154 (Kirk-13th) Increases penalties for the offenses of aggravated assault and aggravated battery on a public safety officer engaged in his or her official duties, to jail time and a fine of $5,000.00. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.
SB 160 (Harper-7th) Grants the superior court exclusive original jurisdiction over the trial of any child aged 13-17 who is accused of aggravated assault or aggravated battery with a firearm on a peace officer engaged in his or her official duties. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.
SB 174 (Kennedy-18th) Enacts reforms recommended by the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform. Highlights are as follows: Adds Division of Family and Children Services employee to the list of participants who are required in a planning group for family treatment court; clarifies and improves protocols involving family treatment courts; revises provisions concerning non-violent felonies, probation and validation of the Department of Corrections’ Risk Needs Assessment. The bill emphasizes the use of evidence-based programs and permits the Board of the Department of Community Supervision (DCS), either acting alone or in cooperation with the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia or other educational organizations and agencies, to provide educational programs for probationers to encourage gainful employment and discourage return to criminal activity. The board may also enter into agreements to attain program certification for its vocational and technical education programs. The DCS board will develop a Program and Treatment Completion Certificate that may be issued to probationers to symbolize a probationer’s achievements toward successful reentry into society. The bill clarifies and revises provisions regarding probation, parole, conditional release, and fees. Provisions involving supervision are revised taking into account consideration of behaviorof an offender while under supervision. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.
SB 175 (Kennedy-18th) In any proceeding involving a child in need of services or a delinquent child or a child involved in a risk reduction program, a juvenile court may issue an order restraining or otherwise controlling the conduct of a child’s parent, guardian, or legal custodian in order to promote treatment, rehabilitation, and welfare of the child. In doing so, the court must consider the best interests of the child, the risk to public safety the delinquent child poses, evidence of a repeated pattern of behavior by the child, and the extent to which enhanced involvement and supervision of the child may ameliorate public safety concerns. If a child is detained in a secure residential facility or non-secure residential facility and the court determines that such child is incompetent to proceed, within five days of such determination the court shall issue an order to release the child to a parent or guardian, or detain the child in the least restrictive setting, if the child is alleged to have committed a delinquent act and the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the child’s detention or care is required in order to reduce the likelihood that he or she may inflict serious bodily harm to others, or because he or she has a demonstrated a pattern of theft or destruction of property, or that detention is required to protect the property of others, or that detention is necessary to secure his or her presence in court to protect the jurisdiction and processes of the court. If a child is unrestorably incompetent to proceed, he or she shall not be detained in a secure residential facility or non-secure residential facility after a comprehensive services plan has been adopted. A child found incompetent but remediable cannot be detained longer than the disposition for the alleged delinquent or designated felony offense. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Juvenile Justice Committee.
SB 189 (Tillery-19th) Bill regarding the Georgia Public Defender Council (GPDC), which, among other things, changes provisions relating to the legal defense of indigents, clarifies the authority and responsibilities of the GPDC and its director, creates more divisions within the council, and clarifies the obligation of the council and circuit public defender offices in representing individuals and providing services. As far as juveniles are concerned, the bill clarifies that the GPDC is statutorily required to provide representation only in delinquency cases. (Note, however, that GPDC offices can still provide representation in CHINS or dependency actions, but only through a contract with the county or juvenile court). STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill now rests in Senate Rules Committee. It did not cross over.
Child Health & Safety
HB 65 (Peake-141st) Increases the list of conditions that are eligible for treatment with medical cannabis. The new conditions are: tourette’s syndrome; autism spectrum disorder; epidermolysis bullosa; alzheimer’s disease; HIV; AIDS; and peripheral neuropathy. Patients in a hospice program are also eligible. In addition, the bill allows for reciprocity regarding medical cannabis registration cards of other states, so long as the medical cannabis in such a person’s possession comports with the laws of Georgia. Also, the reporting requirement for doctors has been reduced from quarterly to annually. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
HB 154 (Cooper-43rd) and SB 12 (Unterman-45th) Allows licensed dental hygienists in certain school settings to apply topical fluoride and perform the application of sealants and oral prophylaxis under general supervision, with written permission of the student’s parent or guardian. They may also, without prior written permission of the student’s parent or guardian, provide oral hygiene instruction and counseling. School settings shall include only schools that are Title I schools under the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, schools in which at least 65 % of the student population is eligible for free orreduced price lunch under federal guidelines, Head Start programs, and Georgia’s Pre-K Program. Licensed dental hygienists may also perform in other specified safety net setting such as nursing homes and hospitals. (FYI, ‘General supervision’ means that a licensed dentist has authorized appropriate duties of a licensed dental hygienist but does not require that a licensed dentist be present when such duties are performed.) A licensed dentist may only authorize up to four licensed dental hygienists to provide dental hygiene services in such settings. A hygienist cannot perform any dental hygiene services on a patient that has dental pain or clearly visible evidence of widespread dental disease. In such cases, the hygienist must immediately refer the patient to the authorizing licensed dentist for clinical examination and treatment. The licensed dental hygienist shall notate such patient’s file and the patient shall not be eligible to receive dental hygiene services until a licensed dentist provides written authorization for such. STATUS: HB 154 -PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Education and Youth Committee. STATUS: SB 12 – PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Health and Human Services Committee.
HB 198 (Dempsey-13th) Requires local school systems to provide information to parents and guardians of students in grades 6-12 on influenza and its vaccine whenever other health information is provided. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
HB 241 (Hawkins-27th) Adds Krabbe disease to the list of metabolic and genetic conditions for which a newborn may be screened at the request of the parents. Parents would pay for the screening. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
HB 246 (Cantrell-22nd) Eliminates the sunset provision for Georgia SHAPE (which is an annual fitness assessment program administered by public schools). STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Education and Youth Committee.
HB 273 (Douglas-78th) Requires each local board of education to schedule a daily, 30-minute recess for students in kindergarten and grades one through five. The recess must include supervised, unstructured activity time, preferably outdoors. Local boards of education must establish policies to ensure that recess is a safe experience and that recess is scheduled so that it provides a break during academic learning. The bill also stipulates that recess is not to be used as a punishment. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Awaits assignment to a Senate Committee.
HB 360 (Cooper-43rd) Allows prescribing or dispensing antibiotic drugs to the sexual partner or partners of a patient clinically diagnosed with chlamydia or gonorrhea without physical examination of the partner or partners. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
HB 458 (Powell-32nd) Allows the use of automated traffic enforcement safety devices (cameras) in school zones. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Awaits assignment to a Senate Committee.
HB 513 (Dickerson-113th) Requires the Department of Community Health to develop a sign to be posted at any medical facility stating that such facility is an authorized location to leave a newborn child. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee.
HB 541 (Strickland-111th) Prohibits persons convicted of misdemeanor crimes of family violence or subject to family violence protective orders from receiving, possessing, or transporting a firearm. STATUS: House Hopper.
HB 542 (Dunahoo-30th) Establishes a social host’s criminal responsibility and civil liability when people under 21 receive or consume alcoholic beverages at the host’s function. STATUS: House Hopper.
SB 16 (Watson-1st) Changes the definition of “low THC oil” from 5% to 3% by weight of tetrahydrocannabinol, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, or a combination of tetrahydrocannabinol and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid. Also adds Autism Spectrum Disorder to the list of conditions which may be treated with low THCoil. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.
SB 29 (Fort-39th) Require testing of drinking water in childcare learning centers and schools for lead contamination and for notice and reporting of test results and remediation plans. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Awaits assignment to a House Committee.
SB 40 (Unterman-45th) Allows Emergency medical services personnel, such as emergency medical technicians, cardiac technicians, paramedics, or first responders, to transport any person within the county directly to an emergency receiving facility if they have responded to an emergency and believe that it is in the best interest of the person and the public to do such. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Health and Human Services Committee.
SB 81 (Unterman-45th) “Jeffrey Dallas Gay, Jr., Act”- Limits the amount ofbenzodiazepines, opiates, opioids, opioid analgesics, or opioid derivatives that may be prescribed to no more than a five-day supply for an adult patient being seen for the first time. Also requires prescribers of certain Schedule II, III, IV, or V substances to register with a new electronic database to track patient information in an attempt to cut down on efforts by individuals to get medication from multiple doctors. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Health and Human Services Committee.
SB 88 (Mullis-53rd) Licenses and regulates narcotic treatment centers. It would create 49 regions across the state and only allow four centers in each region unless Department of Community Health (DCH) issues a waiver. If DCH receives more than four applications, it would use a scoring system to decide who gets licenses. DCH would set rules for safety, staff competency, and procedural guidelines, create an annual or biennial open enrollment period for narcotic treatment centers to apply for a license and create an applications review committee made up of DCH and Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) employees. The committee would review the qualifications of the proposed center and the availability of existing centers within 75 miles, the patient populations, whether or not the applicant has sought community input, and whether the applicant had had been cited for violations at other facilities. The center would have to register with all law enforcement within 25 miles and all drug courts within 75 miles. Centers would be subject to on siteinspection every three years. Licenses would not be transferable for changes in ownership or location. Programs licensed prior to June 1, 2016 would not be covered. Programs licensed before June 30, 2017 would not be subject to the regional maximum, but any region with four programs would be considered full. People with criminal records would not be able to own treatment centers, and applicants must submit to a background check. It would prohibit centers from offering discounts or referral incentives. Centers would have to maintain records of all patients that DCH could access with identifying information removed. They would have to participate in the DBHDD opioid registry to prevent multiple enrollments. Centers would be required to have priority treatment for pregnant women. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Health and Human Services Committee.
SB 121 (Miller-49th) The state health officer may issue a standing order permitting certain persons and entities, to obtain opioid antagonists under such conditions as the state health officer may impose. Such an order shall have statewide effect. Every pharmacy must keep a record of every opioid antagonist dispensed as a result of the standing order and maintain the record for two years, but pharmacists are not required to submit this information to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.
SB 141 (Thompson-14th) Requires the owner of a carnival ride to submit an engineering evaluation with a carnival ride permit application the first time the owner applies. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Regulated Industries Committee.
SB 166 (Unterman-45th) Allows Georgia to join the interstate Nurse Licensure Compact, allowing licensed nurses to operate in states belonging to the compact. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Health and Human Services Committee.
SB 193 (Unterman-45th) Alters and clarifies provisions regarding the Positive Alternatives for Pregnancy and Parenting Grant Program, removing references to indigent women and stating that an agency using the grant shall not refer, encourage, or affirmatively counsel a person to have an abortion unless the person’s attending physician diagnoses a condition which makes such abortion necessary to prevent a woman’s death. The bill also states that the language of the article does not prohibit any direct client service provider from promoting orexpending non-grant funds for a political or religious purpose. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Awaits assignment to a House Committee.
SB 201 (Miller-49th) “Family Care Act”- Requires an employer of ten or more individuals that provides sick leave to allow an employee to use such sick leave for the care of an immediate family member. An employer is not required to allow such leave for an immediate family member for more than five days of earned sick leave. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Industry and Labor Committee.
SB 206 (Martin-9th) “Hearing Aid Coverage for Children Act.”-Requires private health insurance plans to cover the costs for hearing aids for children under 19 years old. The cost cannot exceed $3,000.00 per hearing aid. The plans must also cover replacement hearing aids every 48 months or sooner if the aid fails to work for certain reasons. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Awaits assignment to a House Committee.
HR 468 (Bennett-94th) Creates the House Study Committee on Health in Georgia. STATUS: House Special Rules Committee.
Early Care and Learning
HB 250 (Ballinger-23rd) Allows an employee of an early care and education program who has received a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination within the previous 24 months to be exempt from submitting applications for an additional background check for purposes of providing care to children placed in a foster home. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Special Judiciary Committee.
HB 391 (Clark-98th) Expands the locations where a newborn child can be left to include fire stations and police stations. The bill also allows the mother to decline to provide her name and address when a child is left in the physical custody of a medical facility, fire station, or police station. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Special Judiciary Committee.
HB 463 (Dempsey-13th) Authorizes the Department of Early Care and Learning to establish a nonprofit corporation to qualify as a public foundation. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Awaits assignment to a Senate Committee.
HB 37 (Ehrhart-36th) Prohibits private postsecondary institution in Georgia from enacting, adopting, implementing, or enforcing any sanctuary policy. Failure to obey results in the withholding of state funding or state-administered federal funding (other than funds to provide services specified in subsection (d) of Code Section 50-36-1). This includes funds provided to the private postsecondary institution directly as well as funding for scholarships, loans, and grants for students. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Higher Education Committee.
HB 51 (Ehrhart-36th) Requires employees of post-secondary institutions to report felony crimes committed on campus by or to students to law enforcement or the local district attorney. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.
HB 114 (Dickey-140th) Prohibits local school systems from excluding eligible “Move On When Ready” high school students taking one or more dual credit (post-secondary) courses from being eligible for valedictorian and salutatorian of their class. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Education and Youth Committee.
HB 139 (Belton-112th) Requires local boards of education and state charter schools to make readily accessible to the public a great deal of school site budget and expenditure information for each school unless specifically made confidential by law, including data on the types of students served. Local school districts are directed to provide financial info to state Department of Education which will disseminate the information. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Education and Youth Committee.
HB 148 (Glanton-75th) Provides for unique identifiers for students who are children of military personnel. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Education and Youth Committee.
HB 217 (Carson-46th) Increases the amount of the aggregate cap on contributions to school scholarship organizations in order to receive income tax credits from $58 million to $100 Million by the end of 2021. The bill also limits the total amount of tax credits approved for C corporations, trusts, or other similar entities that qualify for the credit to 25% of total tax credits. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Finance Committee.
HB 222 (Blackmon-146th) Allows members of the Georgia National Guard or the armed forces of the United States located in Georgia to be classified as legal residents of Georgia for the purposes of eligibility for the HOPE scholarship or grant. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Higher Education Committee.
HB 224 (Belton-112th) Allows the parent of a military student to enroll the child in a public school located where the student resides in military base or off-base military housing. The parent is responsible for and cost of transportation of the student to and from the school. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Education and Youth Committee.
HB 237 (Coleman-97th) Allows authorize the Public Education Innovation Fund Foundation to receive private donations (tax deductible) to be used for grants to public schools. The bill caps the aggregate amount of tax credits allowed at $15 million per tax year. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Finance Committee.
HB 269 (Evans-42nd) Allows members of the Georgia National Guard and reservists to be eligible as Zell Miller Grant Scholars. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Higher Education Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee.
HB 280 (Ballinger-23rd) Authorizes the carrying and possession of handguns by weapons carry license holders on property owned by or leased to any public technical school, vocational school, college, or university, or other public institution of postsecondary education. Handguns may not be carried in certain locations on these properties, including buildings or property used for athletic sporting events or student housing, and preschool space. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.
HB 338 (Tanner-9th) Education bill to address struggling schools. Measures include selection of a Chief Turnaround Officer (CTO), turnaround coaches to assist schools identified as in the greatest need of help with ongoing assistance and input. For an excellent summary of the bill by the Georgia School Board Association, click here. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Education and Youth Committee.
HB 425 (Chandler-105th) Encourages local school systems to allow the administration of standardized assessments in a paper-and-pencil format for any student whose parent or guardian requests it and to any student 18 years of age or older who requests it. The bill also discourages punitive actions for students refusing to participate in federal, state, or locally mandated standardized assessments. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Awaits assignment to a Senate Committee.
HB 430 (Brockway-102nd) Implements recommendations from the Governor’s Education Reform Commission with respect to charter schools. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Awaits assignment to a Senate Committee.
HB 432 (Dubnik-29th) Allows an institution that lacks accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to be approved for tuition equalization purposes, if previously deemed an approved school. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Awaits assignment to a Senate Committee.
HB 437 (Dickey-140th) Recreates the former Agricultural Education Advisory Commission, which had been abolished by law on December 31, 2016. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Education and Youth Committee.
HB 448 (Williams-119th) Gives the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission (NPEC) the authority it needs to require information on a periodic basis to confirm that an exempt institution is maintaining the qualifications for an exemption. The bill also proposes to reduce NPEC’s board from 15 members to 11 members by removing the congressional district qualification. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Higher Education Committee.
HB 524 (Teasley-37th) Creates a digital learning tax credit available for donations to eligible nonprofit organizations to be used to provide improved technology to county, municipal, and independent school districts, facilitating Internet access for student learning initiatives. STATUS: House Ways and Means Committee.
SB 3 (Tippins-37th) Enacts the “Creating Opportunities Needed Now to Expand Credentialed Training (CONNECT) Act” which would provide for industry credentialing for students grades 6 through 12 who complete certain focused programs of study in work based learning programs such as internships, apprenticeships, cooperative education, service learning, or employability skill development. The Georgia Department of Education would work with the Technical College System of Georgia and industry to develop such credentialing. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Education Committee.
SB 5 (Cowsert-46th) Requires the lottery to return 26% of gross sales to the state in fiscal year 2018, 28% in 2019, and 30% in 2020. If ticket sales in any year drop by 5% or more, the percent return would be frozen and no further increase would be required. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Appropriations Committee.
SB 30 (Fort-39th) Creates the “Unlocking the Promise Community Schools Act.” If appropriations are available, the Department of Education shall make grants available to plan, implement, and improve sustainable community schools. Monies would be available for schools which struggle with such factors as poverty or low graduation rates. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Awaits assignment to a House Committee.
SB 113 (McKoon-29th) Allows automatic eligibility for a HOPE scholarship to the children of law enforcement officers, firefighters, or prison guards who have been killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. STATUS: Senate Higher Education Committee. The bill will be heard in committee this Monday.
SB 139 (Hill-6th) Adds Leadership to the list of the GA Department of Education’s ” focused programs of study.” STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Education Committee.
SB 186 (Tippins-37th) Clarifies language relating to the effect of dual credit courses on HOPE scholarship stating that students who earned a high school diploma through certain dual credit coursework are eligible for a HOPE grant toward an associate degree. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Higher Education Committee.
SB 211 (Tippins-37th) Addresses assessments at various levels of K-12. It requires consideration of local reading programs when establishing a research-based formative assessment with a summative component for grades one and two; a review and recommended solution for ongoing assessments in kindergarten through grade five in reading and mathematics and for the assessments in grades three through eight, and a comparability study to determine and establish the concordance of nationally recognized academic assessments with content standards and assessments in grades nine through 12. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Awaits assignment to a House Committee.
SB 260 (Mullis-53rd) Adds educators and parents that are not residents of Georgia to the list of people/entities that may request and investigation by the Professional Standards Commission of alleged violations by educators. STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee.
SB 268 (Harbin-16th) Revises HOPE eligibility requirements and creates a match for wages earned by the student while attending college. STATUS: Senate Hopper.
SR 192 (Wilkinson-50th) A constitutional amendment authorizing the election of local school superintendents by voters and election of members of local boards of education by grand juries (as an alternative to appointment of local school superintendents by local boards of education and election of local school board members by voters). STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Awaits assignment to a House Committee.
SR 95 (Black-8th) Constitutional Amendment to allow an agreement between a county school system and one or more independent school systems within the county to decide how net proceeds of the sales tax for educational purposes can be distributed. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Ways & Means Committee.
HB 9 (Blackmon-146th) Prohibits any individual to, knowingly and without the consent of the person (16 years or older) observed, use or install a device for the purpose of videotaping, filming, photographing, or video recording under or through such person’s clothing, for the purpose of viewing the body of or the undergarments worn by such person, under circumstances in which such person has a reasonable expectation of privacy. Dissemination of such material is also unlawful. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.
HB 136 (Carter-175th) Alters certain law regarding drivers licenses and permits. The bill, among other things, allows any person who applies for a driver’s license, instruction permit, or limited driving permit shall indicate on the application whether he or she is in possession of any other valid driver’s license or permit including one from any other jurisdiction. Additionally, the Department of Driver Services shall issue a receipt to a person eligible to be issued a driver’s license, instruction permit, or limited driving permit which satisfy the requirements regarding proof of eligibility to operate a motor vehicle until the person has received his or her permanent driver’s license, instruction permit, or limited driving permit. Any person who willfully fails to surrender any valid driver’s license, instruction permit, or limited driving permit shall be considered to have committed an act of fraud. The bill also removes the requirement that a visually impaired parent or legal guardian must have previously held a valid driver’s license in order for his or her minor child to operate a motor vehicle. The bill requires that any temporary license, permit, or special identification card issued to a noncitizen to include, in a prominent location on the document, the term ‘noncitizen’. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Public Safety Committee.
HB 509 and HR 432 (Rakestraw-19th) A Constitutional Amendment and enabling legislation which prevents a retailer from selling or leasing a product that makes pornographic content accessible on the Internet unless the product contains an active digital blocking capability that renders obscene material inaccessible. Such material includes child pornography, revenge pornography, and websites known to facilitate prostitution and the trafficking of persons for sexual servitude. The bill also creates the Georgia Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Trust Fund which is funded by fees charged for the deactivation of digital blocking capability. STATUS: House Judiciary Committee.
HB 329 (Powell-171st) Replaces Georgia’s graduated structure with a flat tax rate of 5.4%; Creates a nonrefundable Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) set at a 10% match of the federal credit, and fixes a tax break that allows some taxpayers to deduct the value of their state income taxes twice. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Finance Committee.
SB 45 (Walker-20th) Prohibits any individual to, knowingly and without the consent of the person (16 years or older) observed, use or install a device for the purpose of videotaping, filming, photographing, or video recording under or through such person’s clothing, for the purpose of viewing the body of or the undergarments worn by such person, under circumstances in which such person has a reasonable expectation of privacy. Dissemination of such material is also unlawful. First violation is a misdemeanor, and second violation is a felony, punishable by a sentence of 1-5 years, $100,000 fine or both. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.