Howdy. Saddle up, because it is just about this time of year – right around Crossover Day – that life at the statehouse comes to resemble the archetypal country song….

(sung to the tune of Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys)

                   Lobbyists ain’t easy to love and they’re harder to scold.

                   They’d rather give you a lunch or amendment to hold.

                   Polished black loafers, red high heels and badges,

                   House Rules begins a new day.

                   Modified Open. Is it “Structured” or not?

                   Lord, get my bill out today!

                  Momma don’t let your babies grow up to be lobbyists.

                  Don’t let ‘em check hoppers, first readers and such;

                  Let ‘em be cowboys or florists or Dutch.

                 Momma don’t let your babies go wander the statehouse.

                ‘Cause they’ll never get home, be stuck on the phone,

                 Never with someone they love.

                 Lobbyists like smokey old lawyers and clear-headed admins,

                 Short budget hearings and gossip and getting all the words right.

                 Them that don’t know us don’t like us,

                 And them that do sometimes don’t know how to take us.

                 We ain’t bad, we’re just different but our issues won’t end ‘til my bill passes
Senate tonight.

Momma don’t let your babies grow up to be lobbyists.

                 Don’t let ‘em check hoppers, first readers and such;

                 Let ‘em be cowboys or florists or Dutch.

                 Momma don’t let your babies go wander the statehouse.

                ‘Cause they’ll never get home, be stuck on the phone,

                 Never with someone they love.

                 Momma don’t let your babies grow up to be lobbyists……….

You get the idea.  Anyway, as you read this, Crossover Day has begun. It is the last day when a bill can pass out of its originating chamber and still be viable for passage (with the exception of becoming an amendment).  Needless to say, it is a busy kind of thing, so keep your eye out today for action alerts as we are monitoring all-things-kids and responding appropriately.

In other news, the House passed its version of the FY2022 budget on Friday, which is slated to be vetted this week (and probably longer) by the Senate Appropriations subcommittees.  Check out our action alert below for ways that you can say thanks to House members and ask for kid-friendly appropriations by the Senate.

And with that, I leave you so that I am not late for my online course on how to become a cow-ranglin’ tulip-arranger in Amsterdam.

Faretheewell (imagine me tipping my Stetson) —

Polly McKinney
Advocacy Director
Voices for Georgia’s Children
pmckinney@georgiavoices.org

House Changes to the Governor’s Budget Recommendations for Fiscal Year 2022
(Yellow Highlight indicates changes made by the House)

Judicial Council

  • $175,000 Added for grants for legal services for domestic violence

  • $100,000 Added for grants for legal services for Kinship Care Families

  • $243,945 Added for the operation of the Juvenile Data Exchange Program

  • $236,113 Added for the operation of the Weighted Caseload project

  • $21,600 Added for one-time matching funds for the Child Support Collaborative Grant.

Juvenile Courts

  • $122,600 Eliminated for a Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative Statewide Coordinator position. These were funds the governor had requested in his recommendation

Dept. of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities

  • $7 Million Added to annualize funds for a behavioral health crisis center for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (Adult Developmental Disabilities Services)

  • $12.34 Million Added for a 5% rate increase for intellectual and developmental disability providers (with approval by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) (Adult Developmental Disabilities Services)

  • $4.7 Million Restored for non-waiver services in family support (Adult Developmental Disabilities Services)

  • Budget Direction:  Reflect the department’s intent to provide a time-limited rate increase for providers serving the intellectual and developmental disability population, including adult day centers and residential services. (Pending final approval by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) (Adult Developmental Disabilities Services)

  • Budget Direction: Reflect the intent to continue to serve the estimated 188 individuals who are currently receiving community living supports services who may be impacted by the COMP waiver renewal with alternate service(s). By December 1, 2021, provide a report to the chairs of the House Appropriations Human Resources Subcommittee and the Senate Appropriations Human Development and Public Health Subcommittee on how this population will continue to receive services based on their assessed need following the extended transition period. (Pending final approval by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (Adult Developmental Disabilities Services)

  • $114,039 Added to support the 988 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline pursuant to the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2020′ (Adult Mental Health Services)

  • $177,748 Added for suicide prevention related to the COVID-19 pandemic ($70,000) and one suicide epidemiologist ($107,748) (Adult Mental Health Services)

  • $6.49 Million Added for core services to promote equity among providers (Adult Mental Health Services)

  • $2 Million Added to accelerate the expansion of the Georgia Apex Program

  • $102,502 Added for mental health and suicide prevention training in schools ($12,900) and a youth suicide prevention specialist ($89,602)

  • Budget Direction: Utilize existing funds to expand the housing supports pilot program for the Georgia Housing Voucher Program (Adult Mental Health Services)

  • $67,157 Added to replace one-time other funds with state funds for the Inclusive Post-Secondary Education (IPSE) program (Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities)

 

Dept. of Community Affairs

  • $40 Million Added to establish a Rural Innovation Fund to assist rural communities developing targeted solutions for economic, medical, technological, or infrastructure challenges within their regions (OneGeorgia Authority)

  • $10 Million Added to establish a broadband infrastructure grant program to enable rural communities to leverage existing federal, local, and private resources to quickly

  • Target high-need broadband expansion within their areas (OneGeorgia Authority)

  • $150,000 Added to hire a grant administrator and perform mapping maintenance to enable rural communities to leverage existing federal, local, and private resources to quickly target high-need broadband expansion within their areas

Dept. of Community Health

  • $2.63 Million Added to begin the implementation of the Patients First Act (2019 Session)

  • $750,000 Subtracted for planning and implementation of an All-Payer Claims Database

  • $556,456 Added for two senior leadership positions to support the department’s increasing workload

  • $500,000 Added for two federally qualified health center start-up grants in Jeff-Davis County and Marion County

  • $72.1 Million Subtracted for growth in Aged Blind and Disabled Medicaid based on projected need

  • $65.46 Million Added to begin the implementation of the Patients First Act (2019 Session) (Medicaid- Low-Income Medicaid)

  • $132.23 Million Added for growth in Low Income Medicaid based on projected need

  • $7.1 Million Added to increase 18 select primary care and OB/GYN codes to 2020 Medicare levels. This increases total funds (state dollars plus federal dollars) to $21,442,954 (Medicaid- Low-Income Medicaid)

  • $4.01 Million Added for growth in Peachcare based on projected need

  • $2.58 Million Added for 188 new residency slots in primary care medicine

  • $180,000 Added for the initial planning work for the establishment of a graduate medical education program at Southeast Georgia Health System

  • $5.33 Million Added for the second year of the seven-year plan for Mercer School of Medicine’s medical school campus in Columbus

  • $250,000 Added for a medical examiner/forensic pathologist at Mercer School of Medicine

 

Dept. of Corrections

  • Budget Direction: Utilize existing funds to implement a 10 % increase for correctional officers in state prison facilities

 

Dept. of Early Care and Learning

  • $3.5 Million Added for the Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS) program to provide assistance to low-income families for the cost of childcare (an estimated 625 slots)

  • $1.45 Million Added to increase formula funds for training and experience for Pre-K teachers

  • $1.75 Million Added to increase funds for Pre-K classroom operations by 2.5%

  • $81,149 Added for one Pre-K Specialist position that was eliminated in FY 2021

 

Dept. of Education

Note: As did the Amended FY21 budget recently signed by the governor, the FY22 budget restores 60% of the reductions made to K-12 education funding formulas in the original FY 2021 budget.

  • $589,272 Added to offset the austerity reduction for the Area Teacher Program, Extended Day/Year, Young Farmers, and Youth Camps. The Governor requested $505,727 and the House increased the amount. (Agricultural Education)

  • $1 Million Added to increase funds for charter school facility grants pursuant to HB 430 (2017 session)

  • $85,686 Added to offset the austerity reduction to Communities in Schools local affiliates

  • $323,000 Transferred from the Technology/Career Education program to the Curriculum Development program for the Rural Teacher Training Initiative

  • $3.67 Million Added to offset the austerity reduction for the GNETS grants (Georgia Network for Educational and Therapeutic Support (GNETS))

  • $3.39 Million Subtracted for enrollment and training and experience decline in Georgia Network for Educational and Therapeutic Support (GNETS)

  • $75,000 Added to provide funds for a pilot program to provide access to STEM and AP STEM virtual courses to students in rural Georgia without district courses

  • $950,000 Added to offset the austerity reduction to feminine hygiene grants with the House’s Budget Direction: Increase funds for feminine hygiene grants and prioritize grants to school systems that have low property tax wealth and high percentage of economically disadvantaged students.

  • $268,221 Replaced by federal CARES funds for Residential Treatment Facilities based on attendance. The Governor recommended a reduction of $846,116. The House lessened the reduction to $268,221 and then used CARES dollars to negate that reduction

  • $125,000 Added for a Residential Treatment Facilities’ budget analyst/grant manager

  • $249,472 Reduced formula funds for Sparsity Grants based on enrollment decline. The Governor’s recommendation was a reduction of $44,046, and the House reduced further

  • $5 Million Added to increase funds for school nutrition

  • $4.94 Million Reduced formula funds based on enrollment decline (Preschool Disabilities Services). The Governor recommended a reduction of $4,887,959, but the House had more recent data and reduced further

  • $2.52 Million Added to offset the austerity reduction for grants in Preschool Disabilities Services

  • $179,152 Added for pupil transportation grants based on formula growth

  • $71.92 Million Increase formula funds for QBE Equalization grants

  • $111.86 Million Reduced formula funds for the QBE Local Five Mill Share

  • $52.4 Million Reduced for QBE formula earnings for the 2021-2022 school year due to declining enrollment. The Governor recommended a reduction of $166.1 Million, but the House lessened the reduction with this Budget Direction: Adjust funds for enrollment decline ($110,561,954) and an increase in training and experience and health insurance ($58,166,829)

  • $22,323 Added in formula funds for the charter system QBE grant

  • $35.68 Million Added in formula funds for the State Commission Charter School supplement (Quality Basic Education Program)

  • Budget Direction: Maintain current funding and hold harmless for formula reduction for school nurse funding ($1,067,491)

  • $863,849 Reduced formula funds for differentiated pay for newly certified math and science teachers (Quality Basic Education Program)

  • $567.55 Million Added to offset the austerity reduction in QBE for K-12 education

  • $162,941 Reduced formula funds for Regional Education Service Agencies (RESAs) based on enrollment decline. The governor recommended a reduction of $337,465, but the House lessened that reduction

  • $889,508 Added to offset the austerity reduction for grants to RESAs

  • $211,362 Added for training and experience for teachers in State Schools

  • $300,000 Added to offset the austerity reduction in State Schools

  • $840,924 Added to offset the austerity reduction for Extended Day/Year, Vocational Supervisors, Industry Certification, and Youth Apprenticeship programs. The governor recommended an addition of $674,030, but the House increased the add (Technology/Career Education)

  • $5.32 Million Transferred to the Testing Program to reflect real estate rental savings due to the transition to a remote workforce model

  • $250,000 Added to provide funds for a pilot program for Computer Science Principles AP exams with a focus on schools and systems with no AP coursework

  • $93,117 Added to offset the austerity reduction for Tuition for Multiple Disability Students

 

Dept. of Human Services

  • $4.52 Million Added for caseload growth in adoptions

  • Budget Direction: Recognize $1,135,678 in marriage and divorce fee collections for the Children’s Trust Fund for child abuse and neglect prevention

  • $7.25 Million Added to begin the implementation of the Patients First Act (2019 Session)

  • $943,603 Added to begin the implementation of the Patients First Act (2019 Session)

  • $14.37 Million Subtracted to reflect savings from a reduction in Out-of-Home Care utilization due to a decline in average monthly out-of-home placement

  • $6.58 Million Added to reflect the loss of Title IV-E funds associated with the October 1, 2021 implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act and the statewide transition to increased family-based placement settings

  • $351,005 Added to the Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund Commission

  • $951,700 Restored to funds for contracts for educational services with the Multi-Agency Alliance for Children which were reduced last year

 

GA Professional Standards Commission

  • $140,720 Added for personal services to meet program needs in the Ethics Division and Educator Preparation Division

  • $197,002 Added for Troops to Teachers

 

Governor’s Office of Student Achievement

  • Budget Direction: Reflect funds for Governor’s School Leadership Academy ($1,700,000); Governor’s Honors Program ($1,600,000); Growing Readers ($1,500,000); GA Awards ($1,803,000); research and academic audits ($900,175); and personal services and operating expenses ($1,274,262). (This item is an Agency-specific Common Budget Change that will occur in multiple programs and sub-programs within this agency)

  • $100,000 Added for the Growing Readers program

  • $150,000 Added to the Governor’s School Leadership Academy

 

GA Bureau of Investigations

  • $270,320 Added for three positions to support the Legal Division and the GBI Gang Task Force

  • Budget Direction: Maintain responsibility for managing and administering accountability court grants

  • $30 Million Transferred for accountability court grants to the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council: Council of Accountability Court Judges program

  • $700,000 Added for grants to local domestic violence shelters and sexual assault centers

  • $238,317 Added for a 2% increase to domestic violence shelters

  • $150,000 Added to fully fund two domestic violence shelters partially funded in FY 2020

  • $1.6 Million Added for the recruitment and retention of medical examiners

Dept. of Juvenile Justice

  • $94,531 Added for teacher training and experience in YDCs

  • $132,579 Added for teacher training and experience in RYDCs

  • Budget Direction: Utilize existing funds to implement a 10 % increase for juvenile correctional officers in secure facilities

Dept. of Labor 

  • $99,458 Added to fund a Chief Labor Officer, to be appointed (subject to appropriate legislation), to oversee all unemployment insurance matters and respond to financial audit requests

Public Defender Council

  • $470,500 Added for five juvenile assistant public defenders

Dept. of Public Health 

  • $240,000 Added for the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia

  • $200,000 Added for feminine hygiene products

  • $857,986 Added for a chief medical officer, a deputy commissioner of public health, a chief data officer to support the agency with COVID-19 pandemic response as well as provide ongoing public health leadership

  • $1.5 Million Added for the ongoing maintenance and operations of the new vaccine management system

  • $506,000 Added to support Grady Memorial Hospital’s efforts to continue the coordination of emergency room use in the 13-county metro Atlanta area

University System of GA

  • $500,000 Added for an eminent scholar for sickle cell research

  • $345,800 Added for the Public Libraries formula based on an increase in the state population

  • $559,757 Added to increase funds for Public Libraries’ materials grants by five cents from $0.35 to $0.40 per capita

  • $7.78 Million Added for year two of a three-year phase-in for increased medical education funding

Dept. of Revenue

  • $25,000,000 Added for Forestland Protection Act grant reimbursements to provide reimbursement for forestland conservation use property and qualified timberland property to counties, municipalities, and school districts

  • $963,938 Added for six tax examiners, three auditors, four criminal investigators, and three call center contractors to provide regulation of the distribution and sale of vaping products (HB 375, 2020 Session) (the Governor recommended $210,775 for one advanced auditor and associated expenses, and three contractors, but the House altered the amount and purpose)

  • $161,912 Added for one attorney and one legal secretary to regulate the distribution and sale of vaping products (HB 375, 2020 Session)

Secretary of State

  • $150,000 Added for the Georgia Board of Nursing to issue temporary permits to practice nursing to administer the COVID-19 vaccine and monitor patients for any adverse reactions

Student Finance System of GA 

  • $7.04 Million Subtracted for updated Dual Enrollment projections

  • $192,500 Added to meet projected need for the Engineer Scholarship

  • $5.43 Million Added to meet the projected need for HOPE Grants (the governor recommended $7,259,713 but the House reduced that amount)

  • $444,864 Added to meet the projected need for the HOPE Scholarships – Private Schools

  • $166,809 Added to meet the projected need for HOPE Zell Miller Scholarship students attending private postsecondary institutions

  • $2.33 Million Added to meet the projected need for the HOPE Scholarships – Public Schools

  • $5.56 Million Added to meet the projected need for HOPE Zell Miller Scholarship students attending public postsecondary institutions

Dept. of Transportation

  • Budget Direction: Utilize existing funds ($10,000,000) for broadband and rural development initiatives to enhance broadband access in underserved areas and promote safety and innovation on rural roadways

HB 12 (Scott-76th) Raises the legal limit of marijuana possession from one ounce to two ounces and reduces the penalty from $1,000 to $300. The bill also eliminates the requirement for obtaining fingerprints and other identifying data on persons arrested or taken into custody for misdemeanor marijuana possession. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee

HB 13 (Scott-76th) Changes provisions regarding criminal record restrictions such that criminal history record information for convictions shall be eligible for restriction after a conviction-free period of time following the completion of a sentence, based upon the original offense, to two years if the offense is a misdemeanor or four years if the offense is a felony. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee

HB 15 (Scott-76th) Requires training on de-escalation techniques for peace officers, including nonlethal and communication tactics, the use of the lowest level of force first and re-evaluation as threat progresses, mental health and substance abuse awareness, and crisis intervention strategies. STATUS: House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee

HB 16 (Scott-76th) Disallows law enforcement agencies from accepting and possessing certain combat equipment from the US Department of Defense, such as controlled firearms, grenades, explosives, controlled vehicles, unmanned aircraft that are armored or weaponized, controlled aircraft that are combat configured, silencers, or long-range acoustic devices. STATUS: House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee

HB 21 (Scott-76th) Revises the offense of unlawful conduct during 9-1-1 call to include bias motivations in calling or otherwise contacting 9-1-1. The bill also provides for a cause of action against persons who knowingly causes a peace officer to arrive at a location, owing to false reporting or bias purposes. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee

HB 47 (Gilliard-162nd) Creates the Legislative Gang Prevention and Intervention Commission. The commission would submit an annual report recommending a gang prevention plan for strategic, coordinated, and collaborative efforts between educational institutions and community and social services organizations provide informational resources, strategic guidance, research, and best practices to social services and community organizations in the implementation of programs and initiatives designed to prevent and intervene in criminal gang participation by youth. STATUS: House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee

HB 69 (Kendrick-93rd) Provides that certain state officers or employees shall be liable when causing the deprivation of certain rights. STATUS: House Judiciary Committee

HB 94 (Rich-97th) Provides for penalties and definitions of the crimes of theft by possession of stolen mail and porch piracy. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee

HB 127 (Williams-145th) Requires wireless service suppliers to make location information of subscribers available to law enforcement agencies upon request. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee

HB 133 (Mainor-56th) Amends the Victims’ Bill of Rights to ensure that a judge conducting a judicial proceeding in which a notification to the victim is required asks the prosecuting attorney at the start of the proceeding whether the victim has been notified of the proceeding. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee

HB 145 (Boddie-62nd) Changes the law regarding law enforcement officers’ use of deadly force. Requires that an officer use nondeadly force before resorting to lethal force. Specifies certain instances in which deadly force is allowed (such as to make an arrest, only when all other means of apprehension are unreasonable and other certain circumstances apply). Orders officers to give a clear verbal warning prior to use of deadly force. Prohibits the use of chokeholds by officers. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee

HB 168 (Petrea-166th) Declassifies confidential information in inmate Department of Correction files pertaining to sentencing for a serious violent felony or a dangerous sexual offense against a person less than 18 years of age when requested by the district attorney for purposes of responding to proposed actions of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Public Safety Committee

HB 175 (Boddie-62nd) Creates the crime of aggravated strangulation by a peace officer. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee

HB 190 (Holcomb-81st) Prevents any private corporation from operating a detention facility. STATUS: House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee

HB 232 (Jackson-64th) Repeals the procedure for indictment or special presentment of a peace officer for a crime committed in the performance of his or her duties and the right to testify before a grand jury. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee

HB 233 (Beverly-143rd) Prohibits use of no-knock search warrants. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee

HB 247 (Carson-46th) Strengthens Georgia’s distracted driving law by enforcing the maximum fine and removing the ability of a person to be found not guilty if proof of purchase of a no-hands cell phone holder is shown. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee. The bill will be on the House floor for a vote by the full House today (MONDAY)

HB 272 (Ballinger-23rd) Raises the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to include 17-year-olds. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Juvenile Justice Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee

HB 274 (Ballinger-23rd) Provides a $6,000 salary supplement for juvenile court judges in counties that also have an accountability court and meet other criteria. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Juvenile Justice Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee

HB 288 (Belton-112th) Allows that certain persons (who are not convicted of serious violent felonies or considered repeat offenders) who are sentenced to 21 to 75+ years in prison be eligible for consideration for parole after serving certain lengths of time (based on the length of their sentence). STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee

HB 300 (Kennard-102nd) Defines “Law enforcement officer” and reduces the criteria for certain misdemeanor and felony criminal record restriction. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee

HB 308 (Wilson-80th) Authorizes counties to adopt ordinances governing and punishing the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana in the unincorporated areas of a county. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee

HB 313 (Park-101st) Creates a Georgia State Law Enforcement Citizen Review Council within Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Center. STATUS: House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee

HB 327 (Momtahan-17th) Increases vendor reporting requirements and penalties for theft regarding the sale and purchase of store valued cards (e.g. gift cards). The bill creates the definition of “organized retail theft”. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee

HB 335 (Kennard-102nd) Prohibits court from imposing a period of probation that exceeds 24 months. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee

HB 349 (McLeod-105th) Incorporates “putative (someone considered or reputed to be) father or caregiver” into Title 15 of the Official Code of Georgia, also referred to as the juvenile code. The bill also adjusts other provisions of law affecting the placement of children upon and following removal from the home, including with whom the child can. be placed as well as lay guardian ad litem representation for a child in certain circumstances. STATUS: House Juvenile Justice Committee

HB 371 (Gunter-8th) Permits for court appearance via video conference for prisoners and certain witnesses. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee

HB 378 (Shannon-84th) Requires law enforcement agencies to require its officers to report in writing every use of force against any subject and to make those reports publicly available on a database. STATUS: House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee

HB 404 (Kennard-102nd) Revises the handling of arrest-only criminal history record information requiring automatic restriction of an individual’s criminal history record information upon arrest and allowing such criminal history record information be made publicly available only upon the issuance of an indictment, accusation, or other charging instrument. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee

HB 479 (Reeves-34th) Repeals Georgia’s “Citizen’s Arrest” law. Note that the bill would still allow employees at businesses, security officers, private investigators and inspectors at truck scales to detain someone they believe has committed a crime. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Judiciary Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee

HB 485 (Moore-95th) Repeals the imposition of the death penalty in Georgia. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee

HB 502 (Smith-18th) Adjusts the requirements for early termination of one’s probation, specifying that certain conditions must be met; namely, that the individual has paid all restitution owed, not had his or her probation revoked in the immediately preceding 24 months, and not been arrested for anything other than a nonserious traffic offense. States that this law should be applied retroactively. STATUS: House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee

HB 505 (Nguyen-89th) Amends current law relating to an individual having no duty to retreat prior to use of force in self-defense, adding that a full investigation shall be conducted into a death resulting from use of force in defense of one’s habitation, and that an arrest should be conducted if probable cause exists to arrest the person claiming self-defense. Requires that GBI publish an annual report on the number of cases involving all use of force claims where a law enforcement agency declined to file charges, the number of cases where GBI conducted further investigation, and the number of cases referred to the Attorney General for prosecution. Replaces current law relating to use of force in defense of property other than one’s habitation, stating that one may use nondeadly force, and that one may only threaten or use deadly force when one reasonably believes such force will prevent imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury or prevent a forcible felony. One may not threaten or use deadly force when, among other circumstances, one can safely remove themselves from the situation without such use. Repeals and reserves OCGA 16-3-21 on use of force in self-defense and 16-3-22, relating to immunity from criminal liability of persons rendering assistance to law enforcement officers. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee

HB 526 (Neal-74th) Amends current law to specify that: use of force is lawful when it is reasonably necessary to make an arrest in accordance with this law; use of deadly force is lawful when it is to prevent the commission of a forcible felony (and not a property crime) or to prevent death or “great bodily injury” to others. States that the individual being arrested has the right to resist an unauthorized arrest. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee

HB 534 (Bonner-72nd) Increases the charges and penalties for anyone who knowingly promotes or organizes an exhibition of illegal drag racing or of laying drags. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee

HB 565 (Kennard-102nd) Prevents courts from imposing a period of probation that exceeds 24 months and restricts access to criminal history records until the alleged offender is indicted. The bill also provides other criteria regarding the making of criminal history records accessible. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee

HB 677 (Gunter-8th) Requires a MOU between local board of education and law enforcement officers and gives the officers the same powers they have regularly have on school property (e.g. the power to arrest, etc.) when assigned or employed by local BOEs to be on school vehicles, at designated  school bus stops, at school related functions or activities, or when providing protective  public safety services while accompanying students or school personnel in transit to or  from school related functions or activities. STATUS: House Public Safety and Homeland Security

HB 735 (Paris-142nd) Requires provision or coordination of wraparound services in the multi-tiered system of supports prior to expelling or assigning a student in preschool through 8th grade to out-of-school suspension for more than five consecutive or cumulative days during a school year. STATUS: House Hopper

HR 120 (Corbett-174th) Creates the House Study Committee on Motor Vehicle Crimes. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee

HR 281 (Clark-98th) Constitutional Amendment – Permits persons 21 years of age or older to purchase marijuana for personal use and dedicates fees and taxes from the production, sale, or personal use of marijuana to substance abuse recovery and prevention, mental illness treatment, and for use bylaw enforcement agencies in combating and responding to cases of illegal drug use and addictions. The bill also vacates previous marijuana convictions. STATUS: House Rules Committee

SB 10 (Jones-10th) Makes various aspects of participating in drag racing or laying drag an offense and lays out fines and other punishments. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill will be on the Senate floor for a vote by the full Senate today (MONDAY)

SB 28 (Hatchett-50th) Basically expands the resources available to juvenile courts to respond to the safety needs of children and ensures all reliable information is made available to the court in order to make decisions in a child’s best interests, including requiring an annual minimum 2 hours of training for juvenile court intake officers; to provide for the consideration of evidence, including hearsay evidence, in certain juvenile proceedings; to revising provisions pertaining to the reporting of child abuse. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Juvenile Justice Committee

SB 42 (Mullis-53rd) Excludes discipline data from any school climate rating; each local school system must publish the school’s discipline data on its website. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Education Committee

SB 77 (Jones II-22nd) Increases the amount of marijuana possession considered a misdemeanor from 1 ounce to 2 ounces. Creates a lower-level punishment of a $300 fine for possession of one-half ounce or less. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee

SB 78 (Jones II-22nd) Increases the penalties for electronically transmitting or posting nude or sexually explicit photographs or videos for purposes of harassing the depicted person to a web page that is accessible to the general public. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Awaits committee assignment by the House

SB 85 (Albers-56th) Increases penalties for hazing resulting in serious physical or mental injury or death and establishes an obligation to render assistance. The bill also requires schools to report hazing incidents. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee

SB 92 (Robertson-29th) Prohibits the sale to and by minors of drug products containing dextromethorphan (a substance used to relieve coughing. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Awaits committee assignment by the House

SB 101 (Parent-42nd) Allows a person to petition the court for relief regarding their involuntary hospitalization following the hospitalization. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee

SB 105 (Strickland-17th) Revise the conditions and procedures under which probation may be terminated early. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee

SB 106 (Davenport-44th) Requires provision of or referral to wraparound services in the multi-tiered system of supports prior to expelling or assigning a student in preschool through 8th grade to out-of-school suspension for more than five consecutive or cumulative days during a school year. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Education and Youth Committee. The bill will be on the Senate floor for a vote by the full Senate today (MONDAY)

SB 115 (Robertson-29th) Requires the Department of Driver Services and the Department of Public Safety to offer an instructional course or presentation educating drivers and the public on the best practices to implement when interacting with law enforcement officers, including what to do during traffic stops, the consequences of continuous citations and habitual violations, and understanding officer discretion and legal precedents as they relate to officers’ actions (e.g., requesting ID, use of force, detainment, pursuits, and legal warnings). STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Motor Vehicles Committee

SB 127 (Butler-55th) Adds post-traumatic stress disorder to the training topics for basic and in-service law enforcement officer training. STATUS: Senate Public Safety Committee

SB 128 (Merritt-9th) Creates the Georgia Law Enforcement Citizen Review Council. STATUS: Senate Public Safety Committee

SB 132 (Butler-55th) Prohibits law enforcement officers from use of force maneuvers that restrict blood or oxygen flow to the brain. STATUS: Senate Public Safety Committee

SB 133 (Davenport-44th) Prohibits use of no-knock search warrants. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee

SB 134 (Rahman-5th) Prohibits law enforcement officers from using race or ethnicity in determining whether to stop a motor vehicle and requires annual training of law enforcement officers on such policies. The bill also requires officers to document the race, ethnicity, and gender of drivers and passengers under certain circumstances. STATUS: Senate Public Safety Committee

SB 136 (Butler-55th) Repeals “citizen’s arrest” law. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee

SB 151 (Albers-56th) Increases vendor reporting requirements and penalties for theft regarding the sale and purchase of store valued cards (e.g. gift cards). The bill creates the definition of “organized retail theft”. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee

SB 171 (Robertson-29th) Increases the punishment for simple battery if committed during an act of unlawful assembly to “a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature”. Expands definition of unlawful assembly and makes certain offenses a felony (e.g., defilement of public property, obstruction of a highway, gathering with 7 or more people and committing violence against someone’s person or property). Requires local governments to establish permitting processes for public gatherings. Holds local governments civilly liable for any damages if they interfere with law enforcement response during a “riot” or unlawful assembly. Mandates that the state and local government provide a deduction to law enforcement officers for the purpose of purchasing insurance that provides legal representation. Waives the defense of sovereign immunity for anyone seeking relief, monetary damages, etc. related to an act of unlawful assembly. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee

SB 248 (Anderson-43rd) Imposes a maximum of 60 months for probation starting July 1, 2021. Allows those sentenced to probation prior to this date to petition the court for a probation period consistent with this law. Eliminates probation for life for persons convicted of certain serious violent felonies. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee

SB 254 (Anderson-43rd) Repeals stand your ground self defense laws and requires investigation and reporting of cases involving defense of habitation. Requires a full investigation shall be conducted into a death resulting from use of force in defense of one’s habitation, and that an arrest should be conducted if probable cause exists to arrest the person claiming self-defense. Requires that GBI publish an annual report on the number of cases involving all use of force claims where a law enforcement agency declined to file charges, the number of cases where GBI conducted further investigation, and the number of cases referred to the Attorney General for prosecution. Replaces current law relating to use of force in defense of property other than one’s habitation, stating that one may use nondeadly force, and that one may only threaten or use deadly force when one reasonably believes such force will prevent imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury or prevent a forcible felony. One may not threaten or use deadly force when, among other circumstances, one can safely remove themselves from the situation without such use. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee

SB 257 (Anderson-43rd) Expands GCIC criminal history record restrictions for individuals who have been pardoned and have no pending charged offenses. Allows an individual who has been cited for a criminal offense but was not arrested and the charged offense was subsequently dismissed or reduced to a violation of a local ordinance to petition the court to have their record sealed. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee

SB 263 (Rahman-5th) Allows the retail sale of marijuana. STATUS: Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee

SR 150 (Harbison-15th) Creates the Senate Crime and Youth Study Committee. STATUS: Senate Rules Committee

SR 165 (Rahman-5th) Constitutional Amendment – Legalizes and regulates marijuana and allows persons 21 years of age or older to purchase marijuana for personal use. The amendment would also direct fees and tax proceeds from the sale of marijuana to be dedicated equally between education and transportation infrastructure purposes. The amendment would also create a procedure to vacate previous misdemeanor marijuana convictions. STATUS: Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee

HB 91 (Jackson-64th) Defines “cash assistance” for temporary assistance for needy families (TANF), basing it on a standard of need that is equal to 50% of the federal poverty level for the applicable family size and which equates to a maximum monthly amount equal to 75% of such amount for each such family size. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee

HB 96 (Clark-108th) States that in all cases in which the custody of any child is at issue between the parents, there shall be a presumption, rebuttable by clear and convincing evidence to the contrary, that a child’s interests are best served by equal or approximately equal parenting time with each parent. Alternative forms of custody may be considered by the judge at either a temporary or permanent hearing in the event that there is a finding that clear and convincing evidence exists that either parent is not fit, willing, or able to participate in such an arrangement. STATUS: House Juvenile Justice Committee

HB 109 (Clark-147th) Extends the statute of limitations to bring a civil suit for recovery of damages suffered as a result of childhood sexual abuse and provides for retroactive claims for childhood sexual abuse under certain circumstances. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Judiciary Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee

HB 114 (Reeves-34th) Changes the adoption tax credit from $2,000.00 to $6,000.00 per qualified foster child per taxable year (commencing with the year in which the adoption becomes final) for five taxable years and $2,000.00 per taxable year thereafter until the child turns 18. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Health and Human Services Committee. The bill will be on the House floor for a vote by the full House today (MONDAY)

HB 125 (Williams-145th) Directs the GBI to create and maintain a missing persons DNA database so law enforcement officers have the ability to identify or to link unidentified human remains or missing person cases. The bill also requires every law enforcement agency to notify the GBI of any missing person case and requires the GBI director to establish rules and regulations to ask the missing person’s family member(s) to submit personal articles belonging to the missing person or to submit the DNA of one or more family members for use in determining a DNA profile of the missing person. STATUS: House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee

HB 126 (Williams-145th) Establishes a timeframe and criteria for collecting DNA specimens for the missing persons DNA database outlined in HB 125. STATUS: House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee

HB 131 (Mainor-56th) Clarifies that stalking and aggravated stalking can be committed both directly and indirectly, provides that each violation of stalking and aggravated stalking constitutes a separate offense and shall not merge with any other offense; and requires more detail and oversight of police reporting of incidents of family violence. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee

HB 154 (Reeves-34th) Lowers the age at which an individual may petition the court to adopt a child from age 25 to 21 (making it easier for close relatives to adopt children out of foster care). The bill also streamlines procedures to improve efficiency with changes to venue, authorization for virtual appearances in uncontested hearings, clarification of service and notice requirements, and imposition of timelines on court-appointed investigators and increases protections for prospective adoptive parents and biological parents by prohibiting conduct that intentionally misrepresents or exploits parties to an adoption. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee

HB 177 (Bonner-72nd) Creates a civil cause of action to recover damages (and attorney’s fees as a way to help finance the cases) for victims of human trafficking against their traffickers and those who profited from their trafficking. It also gives the Attorney General the ability to pursue a cause of action on behalf of the state. If a victim was trafficked as a minor, that person is permitted 10 years from their 18th birthday to bring a case. STATUS: House Judiciary Committee

HB 178 (Bonner-72nd) Allows victims of human trafficking to petition for name change under seal. STATUS: House Judiciary Committee

HB 192 (Sainz-180th) Changes the name of the of the Sexual Offender Registration Review Board to the Sexual Offender Risk Review Board and revises electronic monitoring conditions. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee

HB 194 (Sainz-180th) States that a minimum of a one-year term of probation shall follow imprisonment for persons convicted of a sexual offense; that for certain felonies probation shall be for life; that probation for sexual offenses requires such persons to wear a location tracking device; that a person who is on probation for life can submit a petition to terminate probation after ten years of meeting certain requirements and that the court shall take whatever action is in the best interest of “justice and the welfare of society”. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee

HB 200 (Powell-32nd) Requires the issuance of a Class C driver’s license to operators of three-wheeled motor vehicles with seatbelts and a frame to partially or fully enclose the operator and exempts operators of such vehicles from headgear and eye-protective device requirements. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Public Safety Committee

HB 202 (Hitchens-161st) Increases the penalty for violation of traffic laws or ordinances under “Joshua’s Law” from 1.5% of the original fine to 5% and removes the sunset provision. STATUS: House Motor Vehicles Committee

HB 216 (Efstration-104th) Equitable Caregiver Act by improving the form so that it reflects the substantive findings and standards and makes the status less permanent by allowing a court to remove custody from the equitable caregiver upon a showing that the predicate harm no longer exists. STATUS: House Juvenile Justice Committee

HB 231 (Gaines-117th) Expands the applicability of protective orders involving victims of stalking by revising the definition of family violence to include certain acts between persons through whom a past or present pregnancy has developed or persons in a past or present dating relationship. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee

HB 236 (Neal-74th) Provides for 60 days of additional monitoring of the victim (if the victim so chooses) by local law enforcement after the granting of a temporary protective order. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee

HB 258 (Sainz-180th) Provides that consent of the victim shall not be a defense to a prosecution for sodomy, aggravated sodomy, child molestation, aggravated child molestation, sexual battery, and aggravated sexual battery when a victim is under the age of 16. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee

HB 322 (Wiedower-119th) Revises the definition of “sexual exploitation” within the Juvenile Code to conform with last year’s bill to decriminalize prostitution as it relates to minors. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee

HB 323 (Wiedower-119th) Adds the following to the list of forms of parental abandonment of a child, which means DFCS would not make reunification efforts for the parent and child: prenatal abuse (“other than which has been medically prescribed to the birthing parent”) and a history of chronic substance abuse and “reasonable grounds” that the substance abuse will continue. Defines chronic abuse. States that the court should presume that DFCS should not make reunification efforts if the court finds that the parent has committed certain acts, such as abandonment, murder, felony assault, child molestation, and others. STATUS: House Juvenile Justice Committee

HB 324 (Wiedower-119th) Allows interested parties (includes physicians, counselors, psychologists, teachers, court appointed special advocates, a child’s attorney, and caregivers, including, but not limited to, relatives of a child and foster parents of a child) to intervene and participate in dependency proceedings under certain circumstances by filing a motion for order to show cause. STATUS: House Juvenile Justice Committee

HB 347 (Gullett-19th) Increases the requirements for removal from the state’s sexual offender registry. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee

HB 368 (Ballinger-23rd) Gives the Georgia Bureau of Investigation jurisdiction to identify and investigate the death of any person under the age of 18 years or when such persons are victims of homicide. STATUS: House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee

HB 403 (Wiedower-119th) “Georgia Child Advocate for the Protection of Children Act” – Revises the duties of the Child Advocate for the Protection of Children and the Office of the Child Advocate for the Protection of Children in regard to legal representation in dependency proceedings by requiring certain training and reporting. STATUS: House Juvenile Justice Committee

HB 464 (Scoggins-14th) Allows a petition for the appointment of a temporary guardian of a minor filed in the probate court to be transferred to the juvenile court. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Juvenile Justice Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee

HB 489 (Moore-95th) Provides for a protective order for victims against persons who have committed acts of sexual assault. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee

HB 548 (Dempsey-13th) Allows the Administrative Office of the Courts reasonable access to records concerning reports of child abuse and for data-sharing agreements with the Division of Family and Children Services to ensure confidentiality. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee

HB 562 (Carpenter-4th) Adds DFCS case managers to the people for whom arrest warrants may be issued only by a judge of a superior court, a judge of a state court, or a judge of a probate court. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee

HB 564 (Smith-41st) Prohibits clinging wheelchairs to other wheelchairs or vehicles, as well as clinging personal assistive mobility devices, mopeds to vehicles or other wheeled devices and prohibits passengers riding in such clinged devices. STATUS: House Motor Vehicles Committee

HB 633 (Bazemore-63rd) Establishes the “Georgia Human Trafficking and Sex Crimes Directory Act”, which states that advocates shall not disclose any confidential trafficking victim communications or personally identifying information without the prior informed, written, and time-limited consent of the victim except in certain circumstances (e.g., when withholding such information is likely to result in imminent serious bodily harm or death). STATUS: House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee

HB 689 (Gaines-117th) Allows persons who are victims of an offense of trafficking to petition the clerk of court to seal certain criminal history record information and to allow restricted criminal history record information to be available to criminal justice agencies. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee

HB 694 (Smyre-135th) Requires the licensing, permitting, and approving authorities of personal care homes, child-caring institutions, and foster care homes, respectively, to notify local law enforcement agencies, fire departments, licensing departments, and planning and zoning departments of any such license, permittance, or approval. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee

HB 706 (Camp-131st) Allows the Division of Family and Children Services to file a petition for the appointment of a guardian for the minor when that minor reaches 18 years of age. STATUS: House Juvenile Justice Committee

HB 713 (Dempsey-13th) Redirects state funds for short-term housing or shelters to address homelessness instead toward safe parking areas, structured camping facilities, and individual unit shelters. Redirects Continuum of Care funds for permanent supportive housing toward a survey of individuals who are homeless and the number of days they have been unsheltered or unhoused, spent in a correctional facility, or been hospitalized. States that this data should be used to allocate funds to the non-profits serving those individuals who have spent the most time in these three scenarios. Prohibits the use of state property for long-term homeless shelters, except in the aforementioned structured camping facilities. STATUS: House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee

HR 146 (Park-101st) Creates the House Study Committee on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) to Improve the Health of Women and Children. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee

SB 20 (Payne-54th) Adds one current or former foster parent (appointed by the Governor), one former foster child who turned 18 or graduated from high school while still in the Georgia foster care system (appointed by the Lieutenant Governor), and one individual who has served for at least three years as a court appointed special advocate (CASA) (appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives) to the Child Advocate Advisory Committee in the Office of the Child Advocate. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to the House Juvenile Justice Committee

SB 33 (Dixon-45th) Provides a cause of action against perpetrators for victims of human trafficking and a cause of action against certain perpetrators of human trafficking by the Attorney General on behalf of the state. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Judiciary Committee

SB 34 (Dixon-45th) Allows victims of human trafficking to petition for name change under seal. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Judiciary Committee

SB 54 (Harbison-15th) Allows judicial discretion in determining the right of a surviving parent to custody of a child when the surviving parent is criminally charged with the murder or voluntary manslaughter of the other parent. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee

SB 55 (Butler-55th) Creates the Family Medical Leave Fund program to compensate in part for the wage loss sustained by any individual who is unable to work due to such individual’s own sickness or injury, the sickness or injury of a family member, or the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a new child. STATUS: Senate Insurance and Labor Committee

SB 75 (Jackson-41st) Allows a documented victim of stalking to terminate his or her residential rental or lease agreement for real estate effective 30 days after providing the landlord with a written notice. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Awaits committee assignment by the House

SB 117 (Miller-49th) Revise the offenses of improper sexual contact by employee or agent in the first and second degrees by adding a definition for a “person of trust” and stating that a person commits the offense of improper sexual contact by person in a position of trust in the first degree when he or she is a person in a position of trust and engages in sexually explicit conduct with such minor. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee

SB 146 (Parent-42nd) Makes making a firearm accessible to a child a criminal offense.. STATUS: Senate Public Safety Committee

SB 155 (Gooch-51st) Allows failure to wear a safety belt or safety restraints for children as admissible evidence in civil actions and allows it to be used as a basis for cancellation of insurance coverage. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee

SB 159 (Gooch-51st) Authorizes local boards of education to use vehicles other than school buses for the transport of students to and from school related activities. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Education Committee

SB 196 (Jackson-2nd) Among other things, the bill defines “Person in a position of trust” as any person holding a position whereby a parent, guardian, or other person having immediate charge or custody of a minor has entrusted such person with the duty or responsibility for the health, education, or supervision of such minor, and establishes the crime of improper sexual contact is committed when a person in a position of trust engages in sexually explicit conduct with a minor in their care. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee

SB 243 (Jordan-6th) Revises the offense of improper sexual contact by employee, agent, or foster parent by adding sole proprietors to the definition of “employee”; prohibits improper sexual contact within programs and facilities used by individuals as a condition of their probation or parole. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee

SB 244 (Jordan-6th) Prohibits persons convicted of misdemeanor crimes of family violence from receiving, possessing, or transporting a firearm and to prohibit persons subject to family violence protective orders from receiving, possessing, or transporting a firearm. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee

SR 42 (Butler-55th) Constitutional Amendment – authorizes the Family Medical Leave Fund program (SB 55 is the enabling legislation for this CA). STATUS: Senate Insurance and Labor Committee

HB 99 (Stephens-164th) Requires that retail establishments allow access to typically employee-only restroom facilities if an individual presents a written statement from a healthcare provider specifying a certain condition (e.g., Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome), provided that the action would not give an individual access to pharmaceuticals or HIPAA-protected information. Makes violation of this law a misdemeanor. STATUS: House Judiciary Committee.

HB 115 (Wilensky-79th) Prohibits health insurers and insurers of life or long-term care insurance from using information derived from genetic testing for any nontherapeutic purpose in the absence of a diagnosis of a condition related to such information. STATUS: House Insurance Committee.

HB 128 (Williams-145th) Prohibits providers from discriminating against potential organ transplant recipients due solely to the physical or mental disability of the potential recipient. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee

HB 163 (Cooper-43rd) Requires the state to request a state plan amendment from the federal government to allow the state to implement Express Lane Eligibility (ELE), which enables Georgia to use data from other federal or state programs (e.g., Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)) to identify and enroll eligible children in Medicaid. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The bill now rests in Senate Rules Committee

HB 164 (Douglas-78th) require all health insurers to pass along no less than 80 percent of all prescription drug rebates to enrollees that such insurer receives from third parties with regard to such enrollee’s prescription drugs. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Special Committee on Access to the Quality Health Care. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee

HB 209 (McLeod-105th) Expands Medicaid coverage for eligible persons up to 150% FPL and to those eligible to buy coverage on the individual/small group marketplace. Provides subsidies to eligible persons who make 151-500% FPL to obtain coverage through Medicaid or via the individual/small group marketplace. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee

HB 212 (Carpenter-4th) Changes law so that when a minor child is a candidate for non-resuscitation, an order not to resuscitate may be issued only with the oral or written consent of the minor’s parent (defined as a parent who has custody of a minor, or is the parent of person with  legal authority to act on behalf of a minor, or is the parent of an adult without  decision-making capacity), except in certain circumstances. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee

HB 213 (Robichaux-48th) Provides full practice authority for advanced practice registered nurses. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee

HB 214 (Robichaux-48th) Establishes the Medicaid Buy-In Program, which allows individuals to buy-in to Medicaid coverage. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee

HB 215 (Robichaux-48th) Requires the Department of Community Health to take measures to receive federal approval to make telehealth service flexibilities that were granted during the pandemic permanent. Requires DCH to implement a system of certification, recertification, and training of providers via telehealth options in lieu of in-person observation models. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee

HB 217 (Robichaux-48th) Requires DCH to provide an annual report on quality measures for each health care plan or program administered by or through the department and make the report publicly available and include, at a minimum, quality measures and payment levels across key medical billing codes for each health care plan or program. The bill also requires that plans include comprehensive dental and vision coverage for adults at no additional premium, and that the reimbursement rates for primary care services provided to recipients of medical assistance shall be equal to the applicable Medicare rates. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee

HB 234 (Hawkins-27th) Lays out requirements and allowances for self-funded healthcare plans to opt in to Georgia’s Surprise Billing Consumer Protection Act. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee

HB 239 (Hutchinson-107th) Requires the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities to conduct or coordinate all audits of behavioral health providers. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee

HB 268 (Werkheiser-157th) Allows Georgia to enter the interstate compact known as the “Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact”, which creates a process for occupational therapists to work in other states that are also compact members. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee

HB 307 (Cooper-43rd) Authorizes health care providers to provide telemedicine services from home and patients to receive telemedicine services from their home, workplace, or school. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee

HB 320 (Neal-74th) Requires each health care insurer offering a health benefit plan in this state to also offer a group health benefit plan to the Department of Administrative Services and all local governments for the provision of health care services to inmates and other persons in police custody. STATUS: House Insurance Committee

HB 321 (Neal-74th) Requires each health care insurer offering a health benefit plan in this state to also make available to hospitals for purchase a group health benefit plan for the provision of health care services to all eligible persons requesting such coverage at the hospital. The insured person or policyholder will be the hospital and all premiums for the plan shall be paid by the hospital. STATUS: House Insurance Committee

HB 339 (Drenner-85th) Creates the Environmental Justice Commission and provides that as a prerequisite for obtaining certain permits in neighborhoods consisting of persons of color or from low-income families, applicants shall take certain actions to mitigate health hazards and that governmental agencies shall consider the disproportionate effect of environmental hazards on people of color or people from low-income families in implementing certain environmental policies. The bill also provides that no person in Georgia shall be excluded from any state funded program or activity because of race, color, or national origin. STATUS: House Natural Resources and Environment Committee

HB 346 (LaRiccia-169th) “Jarom’s Act”- Allows emergency medical services personnel, to administer hydrocortisone sodium succinate to patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Health and Human Services Committee. The bill will be on the House floor for a vote by the full House today (MONDAY)

HB 369 (Powell-32nd) Allows advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) and physician assistants (PA) to be authorized to issue prescription drug orders for Schedule II controlled substances in emergency situations. STATUS: House Regulated Industries Committee. The bill will be heard in committee this MONDAY

HB 394 (Stephens-164th) Increases the tax on tobacco and vaping products. STATUS: House Ways and Means Committee

HB 395 (Belton-112th) Allows Georgia to enter into the interstate compact known as the “Professional Counselors Licensure Compact”, which would allow Professional Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage and Family Therapists form other compact states to practice in Georgia and Georgia practitioners to practice in other compact states. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee

HB 401 (Ehrhart-36th) Makes it a felony for a healthcare professional to cause or engage in any practices performed for the purpose of attempting to affirm a minor’s perception of such minor’s sex, if that perception is inconsistent with such minor’s sex, including surgery and medications. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee

HB 412 (Dempsey-13th) Provides for the licensure of individuals in the practice of applied behavior analysis and creates the Georgia Behavior Analyst Licensing Board. STATUS: House Regulated Industries Committee.

HB 413 (Camp-131st) Prohibits state or local governments from requiring individuals to submit to vaccinations as a condition to certain actions if the vaccine does not meet certain conditions. The bill also states that “no person who objects in writing thereto on grounds that the receipt of vaccines used to prevent SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 conflicts with his or her philosophical beliefs shall be required to receive any such vaccine”. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee

HB 430 (Powell-32nd) Changes the licensure requirements for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to include a fingerprint criminal background check. Allows home health services to be provided to individuals under a written plan of care by an APRN or physician assistant, or, as was already law, a physician. Authorizes the collection of nurse workforce data. STATUS: House Regulated Industries Committee.

HB 447 (Knight-130th) Requires that all contracts for health care coverage or services under the state health benefit plan contain provisions relating to disclosure of cost related data. STATUS: House Special Committee on Access to the Quality Health Care

HB 448 (Knight-130th) Requires that all contracts for health care coverage or services under Medicaid and the PeachCare for Kids Program contain provisions relating to disclosure of cost related data. STATUS: House Special Committee on Access to the Quality Health Care

HB 474 (Cooper-43rd) Provides for concurrent prescribing of an opioid antagonist with opioids if the amount of opioid being prescribed is greater than or equal to 50 morphine milligram equivalents (MME). STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee. The bill will be heard in committee this TUESDAY

HB 509 (Gaines-117th) Require every insurer issuing, delivering, or issuing for delivery comprehensive individual major medical health insurance policies to make at least one reasonably priced comprehensive major medical health insurance policy available to residents in this state without limitation or exclusion based on preexisting conditions, if certain parts of Obamacare is/are repealed or judicially invalidated. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Insurance and Labor Committee

HB 523 (Lim-99th) Requires health care providers to provide (in timely fashion) good faith estimates of costs and fees available to consumers upon request. STATUS: House Special Committee on Access to the Quality Health Care

HB 567 (Cooper-43rd) Creates the Newborn Screening and Genetics Advisory Committee to review and make recommendations to the DPH when a new disorder is added to the federal Recommended Uniform Screening Panel and once added to the Panel, allows DPH to submit requests for appropriations to cover new disorders. Requires that DPH begin screening newborns for such new disorders not more than 18 months after the appropriation becomes effective. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Health and Human Services Committee. The bill will be on the House floor for a vote by the full House today (MONDAY)

HB 569 (Wilson-80th) Prohibits the practice of conversion therapy by professional counselors, physicians, or psychologists. STATUS: House Regulated Industries Committee

HB 570 (Neal-74th) Establishes training requirements for “”mental health operatives”” through the Georgia Public Safety Training Center. STATUS: House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee

HB 571 (Neal-74th) Defines and provides training requirements for mental health operatives. STATUS: House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee

HB 590 (Hogan-179th) Creates a three-year assisted outpatient treatment grant program (subject to appropriations) to address challenges with outpatient civil commitment for individuals with mental illness. This program is intended to assist the subset of individuals with mental illness who struggle to  maintain voluntary engagement with the treatment they require to live safely in the  community. lt will serve as a first step toward full integration of assisted outpatient treatment into the routine activities of community service boards and probate courts across the state. Outlines processes for DBHDD to issue and community service boards to apply for a funding opportunity to implement the program. Establishes an assisted outpatient treatment advisory council. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee

HB 591 (Hogan-179th) Authorizes marriage and family therapists to perform certain acts which physicians, psychologists, and others are authorized to perform regarding emergency examinations of persons for involuntary evaluation and treatment for mental illness or alcohol or drug abuse. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Awaits Committee assignment by the Senate

HB 627 (LaHood-175th) Requires athletic training students to be under the direct supervision of a physician or licensed athletic trainer and revises and updates certification requirements for athletic trainers. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee

HB 630 (Beverly-143rd) Fully expands Medicaid to serve eligible adults. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee

HB 648 (Schofield-60th) Creates the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee

HB 670 (Beverly-143rd) Increases tax rates on tobacco and vaping products. STATUS: House Ways and Means Committee

HR 52 (Dempsey-13th) Creates the Joint Study Committee on Childhood Lead Exposure. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Health and Human Services Committee. This now rests in House Rules Committee

HR 131 (Bennett-94th) Creates the House Study Committee on Health in Georgia. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee

HR 186 (Buckner-186th) Creates the Joint Medicaid Sustainability Study Committee. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee

HR 236 (Lott-122nd) Creates the House Study Committee on the Safe Staffing of Nurses in Georgia. STATUS: House Human Relations and Aging Committee

SB 1 (Burke-11th) Requires entities that receive certain tax credits and that provide self-funded, employer sponsored health insurance plans to submit data to the Georgia All-Payer Claims Database. STATUS: Senate Finance Committee.

SB 4 (Kirkpatrick-32nd) Prohibits patient brokering by drug abuse treatment and education programs and also considers excessive, fraudulent, or high-tech drug testing of certain individuals (the elderly, the disabled, or any individual affected by pain, substance abuse, addiction, or any related disorder, to or by an insurer, broker, or any agent thereof, or directly or indirectly to an insured or uninsured patient) a fraudulent insurance act. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Recommended Do Pass by the House Insurance Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee

SB 5 (Kirkpatrick-32nd) Provides patient protection measures for patients undergoing sedation in dental settings and for dental procedures in medispas and in physician offices and medispas. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Recommended Do Pass by the House Health and Human Services Committee. The bill has been recommitted but the Rules Committee back to the House Health and Human Services Committee

SB 46 (Burke-11th) Allows EMTs and certified cardiac technicians to administer vaccines in public health emergencies. Allows for the creation of the Georgia Registry of Immunization Transactions and Services, a vaccination registry to be created by DPH in which all people are automatically enrolled, using individually identifiable information provided by a local health department, hospital, physician, or other provider of medical services. Requires that informed consent be obtained in order for an individual to receive a live vaccine. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Health and Human Services Committee

SB 50 (Rhett-33rd) Creates a premium assistance program for eligible individuals with incomes up to 138% FPL, requiring that the individual pay a “personal responsibility premium” of no more than 5% of their annual income. Creates a “compliance pool” wherein the DCH withholds 0.25% of payments to health plan providers and distributes the pool funds according to plan providers’ success collecting personal responsibility premiums. Requires that DCH develop a pilot model to test medical/health savings accounts. Creates a Legislative Oversight Committee for Health Care Premium Assistance to oversee the program. STATUS: Senate Health and Human Services Committee

SB 80 (Kirkpatrick-32nd) Provides additional standards for utilization review processes as they relate to healthcare insurance. Requires entities conducting prior authorizations, including those entering into contracts with the Department of Community Health or care management organizations, to make public (and keep updated) the requirements and restrictions for prior authorizations for healthcare services and to make data regarding prior authorization denials and approvals public. This includes categories for physician specialty, medication or diagnostic procedures, indication offered, reason for denial, whether appealed and outcome of appeal, and length of time between submission and response. The bill also requires that the entity issuing a denial of a prior authorization first contact the physician, and that the physician have an opportunity to discuss medical necessity of the service under review, and that the determination be made within a two-day period (or 24 hours in the case of urgent services). The bill prohibits such entities from requiring a prior authorization for emergency services. The physician making the determination must be currently licensed and of the same specialty that the service would require, and not have any financial interest in the outcome of the appeal. Noncompliance with this law by a utilization review entity shall result in the automatic authorization of healthcare services under review by such utilization review entity if such noncompliance is related to such services. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Insurance Committee

SB 82 (Harrell-40th) Clarifies that the prudent layperson standard is not affected by the final diagnosis given with regards to emergency medical services. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Insurance Committee

SB 83 (Harrell-40th) Creates a Medicaid public option program (“PeachCare Public Option Program”) to provide premium-based healthcare coverage to individuals not eligible for Medicare, Medicaid, or the PeachCare for Kids Program. STATUS: Senate Appropriations Committee

SB 91 (James-35th) Requires local boards of education to provide feminine hygiene products to students at no charge to the students. STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee

SB 172 (Butler-55th) Expands Medicaid. STATUS: Senate Appropriations Committee

SB 181 (Jordan-6th) Requires insurers to limit the total cost sharing amount that a covered person is required to pay for a covered prescription insulin drug to an amount not to exceed $50.00 per 30 day supply of insulin. STATUS: Senate Health and Human Services Committee

SB 256 (Burke-11th) Allows the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health to select a district health director for each health district and requires a district health director to serve as the chief executive officer for that county board of health. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The bill will be on the Senate floor for a vote by the full Senate today (MONDAY)

SR 151 (Harbison-15th) Creates the Senate Sickle Cell Anemia Study Committee. STATUS: Senate Rules Committee

SR 153 (Harrell-40th) Creates the Joint PeachCare Public Option Study Committee. STATUS: Senate Health and Human Services Committee

HB 11 (Scott-76th) Limits the number of patients that may be assigned to a registered professional nurse in specified situations in hospitals and states, though nothing shall preclude a hospital from assigning fewer patients to a registered professional nurse than the established limits (i.e., a limit of 1 patient in an operating room; 2 patients in critical care units and postanasthesia care; 1-3 in emergency department, pending circumstances; etc.) The bill also requires the adoption of written policies and procedures for the training and orientation of nursing staff by hospitals and imposes a penalty for not complying with the above. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee

HB 49 (Hutchinson-107th) Requires that insurer treatment of claims concerning mental and substance use disorders are treated in parity with other health insurance claims. STATUS: House Insurance Committee

HB 9 (Scott-76th) Requires the Department of Education, in consultation with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities and others, to develop guidelines for the use of telehealth services in public schools to provide mental health and behavioral health services to students at school or during any school related function. The bill also defines the term “telehealth”. STATUS: House Education Committee

HB 34 (Belton-112th) Allows Georgia to enter into the “Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact”, which would allow qualified audiologists and speech-language pathologists to practice across state lines with other compact members. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee

HB 54 (Bazemore-63rd) Provides for instruction on the best practices for and risks associated with the use of tampons in sex education and AIDS prevention instruction. The bill also encourages physicians and nurses providing a tampon for use by any female patient under his or her care to recite and provide certain written information regarding the best practices for and risks associated with the use of tampons. STATUS: House Education Committee

HB 57 (Scott-76th)  Requires the Georgia Department of Public Health and penal institutions to provide (free of charge) access to, breast pumps such that lactating women can express breast milk postpartum. Requires that women who are incarcerated receive prenatal and postpartum medical care. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee

HB 72 (Hugley-136th) Allows the state to request from the federal government permission to extend Pregnant Woman’s Medicaid from six months postpartum to twelve months postpartum. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee

HB 73 (Hugley-136th) Limits the total cost-sharing amount that an insured (public or private) person is required to pay for covered prescription insulin to $50.00 per 30-day supply of insulin, regardless of the amount or type of insulin needed to fill the covered person’s prescription. STATUS: House Insurance Committee.

HB 146 (Gaines-117th) Provides for paid parental leave for eligible state employees and eligible local board of education employees for qualifying life events after six continuous months of employment with the employing entity. The maximum amount of paid parental leave during any rolling 365-day period is 120 hours, regardless of the number of qualifying life events that occur within such period. Such leave may be used as needed. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Insurance and Labor Committee

HB 170 (Park-101st) Establishes a graduated tax credit based on taxpayer income for qualified child and dependent care expenses. STATUS: House Ways and Means Committee

HB 257 (Setzler-35th) Allows registration of maternity supportive housing residences to provide housing for six pregnant women aged 18 years or older and their children (per residence) at any one time during the woman’s pregnancy and up to 18 months after childbirth. No services other than housing shall be provided. No county, municipality, or consolidated government shall, by rule or ordinance, constrain the establishment or operation of maternity supportive housing residences or place occupancy requirements on such residences that would not apply to a single family living in the residence. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee

HB 377 (Schofield-60th) Requires that every woman arrested who is not released on bond within 72 hours of arrest shall submit to pregnancy testing protocols of the facility. The bill also allows judicial discretion regarding deferral for pregnancy and establishes procedures for such women upon early termination of pregnancy while under the supervision of the court. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Health and Human Services Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee

HB 381 (Shannon-84th) Allows the state to request from the federal government permission to extend Pregnant Woman’s Medicaid from six months postpartum to twelve months postpartum. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee

HB 382 (Shannon-84th) Repeals the Positive Alternatives for Pregnancy and Parenting Grant Program, stating that the program “purports to improve the health of pregnant women, but directs public health funds to only a small range of organizations”. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee

HB 650 (Cannon-58th) “Working for Two Act” – Requires certain accommodations in the workplace for pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions. STATUS: House Industry and Labor Committee

HB 698 (Frye-118th) Requires all employers of one or more employees (excluding executive, legislative, and judicial branches of state government and local boards of education) to provide 120 hours of paid parental leave if the employee has met certain requirements pertaining to length and scope of employment. STATUS: House Industry and Labor Committee

HB 722 (Cannon-58th) “Georgia Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Act” – Requires perinatal facilities in this state to implement evidence based implicit bias programs for its health care professionals and lays out required subject areas for the programs. The bill also requires DPH to compile and track data on severe maternal morbidity and pregnancy related deaths. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee

HB 727 (Cannon-58th) Require the Department of Community Health to submit a state plan amendment to the federal government for Medicaid coverage of antepartum, intrapartum, and postpartum doula services, and provides that doulas are considered providers of medical assistance. STATUS: House Hopper

SB 111 (Jackson-2nd) The Georgia Community Midwife Act allows for the licensure and regulation of community midwives. Creates a State Board of Community Midwifery whose members are appointed by the Governor. Requires that community midwives obtain informed consent from those who seek their services. Amends the “Georgia Registered Professional Nurse Practice Act,” so as to provide for an exception relating to the practice of midwifery. STATUS: Senate Health and Human Services Committee

SB 116 (Robertson-29th) Allows registration of maternity supportive housing residences to provide housing for six pregnant women aged 18 years or older and their children (per residence) at any one time during the woman’s pregnancy and up to 18 months after childbirth. No services other than housing shall be provided. No county, municipality, or consolidated government shall, by rule or ordinance, constrain the establishment or operation of maternity supportive housing residences or place occupancy requirements on such residences that would not apply to a single family living in the residence. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Health and Human Services Committee

SB 170 (Jackson-2nd) Requires health benefit policies to provide coverage for expenses incurred in home childbirth. STATUS: Senate Insurance and Labor Committee

SB 173 (Davenport-44th) Allows the state to request from the federal government permission to extend Pregnant Woman’s Medicaid from six months postpartum to twelve months postpartum. STATUS: Senate Appropriations Committee

SB 216 (Halpern-39th) Establishes an early child care scholarship program for any dependent child of any qualified applicant. The scholarship shall be in the amount of monthly payments that exceed 7 percent of the family income and paid directly to the provider. STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee

SB 270 (Davenport-44th) Creates a pilot program to fund rural birthing centers associated with hospitals with emergency departments. STATUS: Senate Health and Human Services Committee

HB 1 (Bonner-72nd) Forming Open and Robust University Minds (FORUM) Act – Prevents the creation of “free speech zones” at public institutions of higher education. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Higher Education Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee

HB 4 (Scott-76th) Prohibits a local school system from leasing or selling a public school to a private entity unless the public school has been in existence for at least 15 years. STATUS: House Education Committee

HB 7 (Scott-76th) Provides for in-state tuition at units of the University System of Georgia and branches of the Technical College System of Georgia for youth who are from foster care or homeless situations and excludes foster care assistance from consideration as income for purposes of calculating financial aid. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Higher Education Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee

HB 23 (Oliver-82nd) Allows affected local schools systems to participate in the annexation dispute resolution process. STATUS: House Governmental Affairs Committee

HB 26 (Kendrick-93rd) Revises an income tax credit to include historically Black colleges and universities in the list of qualified businesses in which an investment is eligible for a credit of 35 percent of the amount invested against the tax imposed. STATUS: House Ways and Means Committee

HB 27 (Kendrick-93rd) Revises an income tax credit so that only investments in historically Black colleges and universities are eligible for the credit, which is 35 percent of the amount invested against the tax imposed. STATUS: House Ways and Means Committee

HB 32 (Belton)-112th Establishes a teacher recruitment and retention program for a refundable income tax credit for teachers who agree to teach in certain rural schools or certain low-performing schools. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Finance Committee

HB 60 (Cantrell-22nd) Creates a voucher program for public school students to attend private schools with a cap on the amount of students from individual districts. Eligible students would be those whose local public schools did not offer face-to-face instruction in the prior school year, live in low-income households (under 200% FPL), children in military families, have been adopted from foster care, or have certain special education needs (an IEP, a formal diagnosis, or a 504 plan relating to a condition to be identified by the State Board). An audit every 5 years is required and the program would be overseen by the Student Finance Commission. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Education Committee. The bill has been recommitted to House Rules Committee

HB 66 (Oliver-82nd) Allows local school systems to become parties to bond validation hearings. STATUS: House Governmental Affairs Committee.

HB 67 (Martin-49th) Extends from June 30, 2021 to July 1, 2026 automatic repeals of certain provisions regarding nonlapsing revenue of institutions in the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Higher Education Committee

HB 71 (McLeod-105th) Creates a pilot program to implement the funding recommendations of the 2015 Education Reform Commission and to mandate pre-kindergarten and kindergarten for all children prior to entering first grade and to include pre-kindergarten programs in the student based allocation of state funds. STATUS: House Education Committee

HB 87 (Evans-57th) Makes students at the Technical College System of Georgia who are taking remedial and developmental courses for a degree eligible to receive HOPE grants. STATUS: House Higher Education Committee

HB 88 (Evans-57th) Requires HOPE grants to equal the student’s undergraduate tuition amount for the current academic standard year. STATUS: House Higher Education Committee

HB 89 (Evans-57th) Allows students who do not qualify as freshmen but who meet other certain grade point average criteria to be eligible for the Zell Miller Scholarship. STATUS: House Higher Education Committee

HB 100 (Gilliard-162nd) Creates a tax exemption on motor fuel and compressed natural gas for public mass transit vehicles owned by public transportation systems, certain vehicles owned by public campus transportation systems, and school buses operated by public school systems. STATUS: House Ways and Means Committee

HB 118 (Burnough-77th) Changes the name of the QBE sparsity grant to “FAIR Georgia Grant”. STATUS: House Education Committee

HB 120 (Carpenter-4th) Allows students who are considered DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) to qualify for in-state tuition for the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Higher Education Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee

HB 152 (Wiedower-119th) Adjusts criteria for oversight of private postsecondary educational institutions. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Higher Education Committee

HB 155 (Thomas-39th) Raises the age of mandatory education for children from 16 to 17. STATUS: House Education Committee

HB 195 (Clark-108th) Requires the public education course of study in sex education and HIV/AIDS prevention instruction is medically accurate. STATUS: House Education Committee

HB 198 (Singleton-71st) Provides that deductions previously taken by a taxpayer for contributions to the Georgia Higher Education Savings Plan shall not be recaptured if a withdrawal from the savings trust account is made by an account owner in connection with the beneficiary successfully enlisting for active duty in any branch of the armed forces. STATUS: House Ways and Means Committee

HB 201 (Evans-57th) Creates a certification program for whole child model schools. STATUS: House Education Committee

HB 256 (Burnough-77th) Establishes the HOPE tuition-free grant for students enrolled in a program of study leading to a certificate or diploma in a field designated by the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia to be in high demand in Georgia. STATUS: PASSED SENATE.

HB 259 (Burnough-77th) Creates a need-based component of the HOPE scholarship and grant such that a HOPE “need recipient” could receive up to the amount of the cost of tuition at the public or private institution. STATUS: House Higher Education Committee

HB 262 (Kennard-102nd) Requires mandatory pre-kindergarten and kindergarten for all children prior to entering into first grade and lowers the age of compulsory school attendance from six years old to four years old. STATUS: House Education Committee

HB 276 (Singleton-71st) Makes it unlawful for public or private schools whose students compete against a public school to operate athletic programs that permit a person whose gender is male to participate in an athletic program that is designated for females. STATUS: House Education Committee

HB 283 (Wilkerson-38th) Removes the SAT and ACT score requirements for “Zell Miller Scholarship Scholar” for students who graduate from eligible high schools. STATUS: House Higher Education Committee

HB 287 (Rich-97th) Requires information about tobacco and vapor products to be included in the course on alcohol and drugs required each year for all students in grades kindergarten through 12. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Education and Youth Committee

HB 291 (Dempsey-13th) Expands the definition of “approved school” regarding tuition equalization grants at private colleges and universities. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Higher Education Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee

HB 319 (Martin-49th) Forbids high schools which receive QBE funding from participating in or sponsoring interscholastic sports events conducted by any athletic association that prohibits student athletes from participation in a sport at a school to which he or she transferred under certain conditions. STATUS: House Education Committee

HB 329 (Lewis-Ward-109th) Suspends school and school system ratings and report cards for the 2020-2021 school year. STATUS: House Education Committee

HB 372 (Jasperse-11th) Defines gender as a person’s biological sex, based on a person’s reproductive organs at birth. Requires that athletic associations allow only males (using this definition of gender) to participate in events for males and only females in events for females. Allows for a private cause of action for individuals who experience direct or indirect harm as a result of these provisions, but physicians involved are generally not liable in such situations. STATUS: House Education Committee

HB 390 (Shannon-84th) Requires the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia to determine the amount of funds needed to provide for adult technical education programs for agriculture and to include agribusiness and food and agricultural sciences in the industry services training program. STATUS: House Higher Education Committee

HB 455 (Barr-103rd) Authorizes local boards of education to use vehicles other than school buses for the transport of students to and from school related activities. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Education and Youth Committee

HB 457 (Jackson-64th) Requires child support and alimony to provide for financial support for a child beyond the age of majority for postsecondary education. STATUS: House Judiciary Committee

HB 516 (Mathiak-73rd) Prohibits the sale or distribution of harmful materials to minors in school libraries. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee

HB 517 (Carson-46th) Increases the allowable education tax credit issues for donations to school scholarship organizations (SSO), requires inclusion of interest earned on deposits and investments of scholarship funds or tuition grants, in SSO calculations of obligated funds; requires SSOs to submit 990 forms; and to be  solely responsible for verifying the eligibility of students for participation in the program. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Education Committee. The bill will be on the House floor for a vote by the full House today (MONDAY)

HB 518 (Mitchell-106th) Makes limitations on waiver and variance requests by local school systems and charter schools by prohibiting the State Board of Education from approving any variances from federal, state, or local regulations on health and physical education requirements, expenditure controls, class size, salary schedule, categorical allotment, certification, duty-free lunch, and suspension, termination, and other actions against school personnel. STATUS: House Education Committee

HB 519 (Mitchell-106th) Prevents local school systems from turning the operation of a nonperforming school over to a for-profit entity. STATUS: House Education Committee

HB 545 (Carson-46th) Authorizes home study students in grades six through 12 to participate in extracurricular and interscholastic activities in the student’s resident public school system and requires home study students to complete one qualifying online course in a core academic subject facilitated by the resident school system for each semester of the regular school year during any part of which the home study student participates in an extracurricular or interscholastic activity. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Education Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee

HB 547 (Henderson-113th) Allows for prescribed, Christian student-led prayer during the time period dedicated each day for students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. STATUS: House Education Committee

HB 551 (Wilkerson-38th) Provides that an end-of-course assessment can count for no more than 5 percent of a student’s final grade in a core subject course. STATUS: House Education Committee

HB 589 (Gambill-15th) Creates the Georgia Commission on Civics Education, which will promote and enhance  the education of students on the importance of civic involvement in a constitutional  republic, the study of state and local government among the state’s citizenry, the  importance of civic engagement and public service, and communication and collaboration  among organizations in the state that conduct civics education. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Education Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee

HB 606 (Nix-69th) Adds the Georgia Independent School Association to the list of agencies qualified to accredit schools regarding HOPE scholarships and grants. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Awaits Committee assignment by the Senate

HB 617 (Martin-49th) Provides that student athletes participating in intercollegiate athletic programs at postsecondary educational institutions may receive compensation for the use of the student athlete’s name, image, or likeness, and allows for professional representation of such student athletes participating in intercollegiate athletics. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Higher Education Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee

HB 626 (Glanton-75th) Creates a pilot program to plan, implement, and improve sustainable community schools, including but not limited to schools with whole child model school plans. STATUS: House Education Committee

HB 644 (Dreyer-59th) Creates a special institutional fee waiver for students who work 20 or more hours per week as graduate assistants at units of the University System of Georgia. STATUS: House Higher Education Committee

HB 646 (Glanton-75th) Establishes a P-TECH Dual Enrollment Program is promote and increase access to postsecondary academic and technical education and training opportunities for Georgia high school students while increasing high school and technical college  graduation rates, preparing a skilled and diverse workforce, and promoting a pathway for  students, particularly underserved students, into information technology and other  science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers while earning a high  school diploma and an associate degree from a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia. STATUS: House Higher Education Committee

HB 665 https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/60142 (Beverly-143rd) Provides that verification of lawful presence in the United States shall not be required for determinations of eligibility for admission, for in-state tuition rates, and for scholarships, loans, and grants for higher education institutions.   STATUS: House Higher Education Committee

HB 669 (Beverly-143rd) Discontinues loans made under the Student Access Loan program established by the Georgia Student Finance Authority and creates a Student Access Grant program. STATUS: House Higher Education Committee

HB 681 (Yearta-152nd) Requires a course of study in financial literacy for students to be completed during high school. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Education Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee

HB 710 (Kennard-102nd) Provides for Halal dietary selections as part of school breakfast and lunch programs when a written request has been made by a student’s parent or guardian and for excused absences for certain Islamic holidays based upon sincerely held religious beliefs. STATUS: House Education Committee

HB 729 (Cheokas-138th) Establish the Complete College Georgia Grant Program within the Georgia Student Finance Authority to help eligible students achieve their first postsecondary degree or certificate. STATUS: House Hopper

HR 162 (Metze-55th) Creates the House Study Committee on the History of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. STATUS: House Higher Education Committee

HR 280 (Dukes-154th) Creates the House Study Committee on HOPE for the Future (to study the HOPE Scholarships and grants programs). STATUS: House Higher Education Committee

SB 3 (Jackson-2nd) Raises the age of mandatory education from 16 to 17. STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee.

SB 7 (Beach-21st) Requires designated research universities to ensure that at least 90% of early action admissions are offered to Georgia resident students. STATUS: Senate Higher Education Committee

SB 15 (Anderson-43rd) Creates a new category of coursework dealing with the history of Black people and their contributions to American society. This course may be taken by students between ninth and twelfth grade and may be required by the local education authority for high school graduation. STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee

SB 17 (Jones-10th) Creates a certification program for whole child model schools. STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee

SB 47 (Gooch-51st) Expands the Special Need Scholarship to include students with a 504 plan or a specific, qualifying diagnosis relating to one or more conditions to be identified by the State Board (including at least 2 diagnoses identified in the bill), as well as students who received preschool special education services under IDEA in the previous year, who are in active military families, or who have been adopted or placed into permanent guardianship from foster care within the previous year. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Education Committee

SB 51 Thompson-51st Authorizes home study students in grades 6-12 to participate in extracurricular and interscholastic activities in the student’s resident public school system; to provide that home study students shall complete one qualifying course during any semester the student participates in an extracurricular or interscholastic activity in the student’s resident public school system. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Education Committee

SB 59 (Albers-56th) Provides that local charter schools to get an additional 3% of the base amount per FTE in QBE funding with a $3.5 million cap per school and requires the local school system to provide space for a local charter school or provide a stipend for facilities (Thanks to Sally Fitzgerald for this summary!). STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Education Committee

SB 66 (Anavitarte-31st) Authorize a nonprofit corporation incorporated by the Georgia Foundation for Public Education to receive private donations to be used for grants to public schools and dissolves the Public Education Innovation Fund Foundations. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Education Committee

SB 81 (Mullis-53rd) Changes the name of the Office of College and Career Transitions to the Office of College and Career Academies and requires the Technical College System of Georgia to collaborate with the Workforce Development Board and the Department of Economic Development to support the efforts of College and Career Academies and local economic development partners to assist in the recruitment of new industries and to expand existing industries by demonstrating the preparation of technically skilled high school graduates to be ready to work within existing industries or industries being recruited to the state. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Higher Education Committee

SB 88 (Goodman-8th) Invites the Georgia Teacher of the Year to serve as an advisor ex officio to the State Board of Education. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Education Committee

SB 97 (Jackson-2nd) Allows each institution of Georgia’s university system to award out-of-state tuition differential waivers and assess in-state tuition to persons who are unable to be classified as in-state for tuition purposes. Albany State University, Fort Valley State University, and Savannah State University are permitted to award out-of-state tuition differential waivers to up to 10 percent of the equivalent full-time students enrolled. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Higher Education Committee. The bill will be on the Senate floor for a vote by the full Senate today (MONDAY)

SB 107 (Strickland-17th) Waives tuition and all fees, including mandatory rooming and board fees, for qualifying foster and adopted students by units of the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Higher Education Committee

SB 110 (Harrell-40th) Prohibits the assignment of graded homework for students in grades kindergarten through two. STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee

SB 122 (Harrell-40th) Requires scheduled 30 minutes of recess each school day for students in kindergarten through grade eight. The bill also states that recess periods shall be considered instructional time to avoid lengthening the school day and that recess periods shall not be withheld from students for disciplinary purposes. STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee

SB 123 (Harrell-40th) Requires the State Board of Education to establish facility requirements for temporary classrooms and to provide for plans for converting temporary classroom space to permanent classroom space within five years. STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee

SB 153 (Dolezal-27th) The Graduation Opportunities and Advanced Learning (GOAL) Act outlines processes for funding and designating GOAL Academies, which are charter schools designed to increase graduation opportunities for traditional high school students, decrease dropout rates in local districts, and provide high school credit recovery opportunities. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Awaits committee assignment by the House

SB 187 (Tippins-37th) Establishes a procedure for students with a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act to apply for a waiver from certain HOPE scholarship and grant eligibility requirements. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Higher Education Committee

SB 204 (Tippins-37th) Permits the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia to award high school diplomas, creates a pilot program to allow students who are 16 years of age or older, who have completed certain secondary school coursework requirements, and who have withdrawn from secondary school, to enroll in the Dual Achieve Program at a technical college and achieve a high school diploma in conjunction with successful completion of the program. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Higher Education Committee

SB 220 (Payne-54th) Creates the Georgia Commission on Civics Education, which will promote and enhance  the education of students on the importance of civic involvement in a constitutional  republic, the study of state and local government among the state’s citizenry, the  importance of civic engagement and public service, and communication and collaboration  among organizations in the state that conduct civics education. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Awaits committee assignment by the House

SB 226 (Anavitarte-31st) Requires local boards of education to adopt a complaint resolution policy and process to address complaints submitted by parents/guardians alleging that material is harmful to minors has been provided to their student. Requires GaDOE to establish a model complaint resolution process policy. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill will be on the Senate floor for a vote by the full Senate today (MONDAY)

SB 231 (Anavitarte-31st) Creates a pilot program to allow for certain adults to enroll in charter schools that provide instruction only for individuals between ages 21 and 35 residing in this state who have not attained a high school diploma. STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee

SB 239 (Harrell-40th) Requires that tuition and mandatory student fees for students enrolled in a unit of the University System of Georgia or the Technical College System of Georgia shall be calculated and assessed on a per credit hour basis, subject to certain conditions, and provides for caps on assessed tuition and mandatory student fees based on the number of credit hours students are enrolled. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Higher Education Committee. The bill now rests in Senate Rules Committee

SB 240 (Harrell-40th) Requires for high school graduation that students in grades eleven and twelve to complete an instructional program covering the critical role elections play in the democratic way of life for people in Georgia and the United States. The program will cover processes in general and include demonstrations of Georgia’s current voting processes and may include support registering to vote. The Secretary of State in collaboration with GaDOE, local boards of education, and local election officials shall pilot a program in the 2021-2022 school year in two school systems selected by the SOS, one in an urban area and one in a rural area. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Education and Youth Committee. The bill will be on the Senate floor for a vote by the full Senate today (MONDAY)

SB 246 (Brass-28th) Called The Learning Pod Protection Act, ensures that parents who choose to voluntarily associate to advance the primary education of their children shall not be subject to additional restrictions or regulations, be required to register, or be discriminated against. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Awaits assignment by the House

SB 266 (Harbin-16th) Makes it unlawful for public or private schools whose students compete against a public school to operate athletic programs that permit a person whose gender is male to participate in an athletic program that is designated for females, where “gender” is defined as a person’s biological sex and is based solely on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth. Allows a student or student’s parent private right of action through injunctive or declaratory relief to enforce this provision. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Education and Youth Committee. The bill now rests in Senate Rules Committee

SR 105 (Jordan-6th) Constitutional Amendment – revising the Georgia Constitution by replacing the word “adequate” with “quality” as follows: The provision of an adequate [a quality] public education for the citizens shall be a primary obligation of the State of Georgia. STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee

SR 136 (Anavitarte-31st) A resolution encouraging the Technical College System of Georgia, the Department of Education, the Department of Corrections, and the Department of Juvenile Justice to collaborate and develop programs to expand technical education, technical training, and workforce development training programs in order to address the growing economic and social needs created by individuals age 16 and older who have withdrawn from high school without completing course requirements for a high school diploma. STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee

SR 154 (Orrock-36th) Creates the Joint Study Committee for Strengthening Georgia’s Future Workforce. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Higher Education Committee. The bill will be on the Senate floor for a vote by the full Senate today (MONDAY)

SR 192 (Payne-54th) Creates the Senate Age of Mandatory Education Study Committee. STATUS: Senate Rules Committee

HB 5 Scott-76th Requires the Georgia Lottery Corporation to offer one or more games to benefit homeless military veterans. STATUS: House Higher Education Committee

HB 70 (Kendrick-93rd) Requires the composition of each statutorily created board and commission reflect the general population. STATUS: House Governmental Affairs Committee

HB 79 (Allen-40th) Gives regulation of the dates and times for the lawful use or ignition of consumer fireworks exclusively to counties and municipal corporations. STATUS: House Regulated Industries Committee

HB 95 (Lim-99th) Creates a refundable earned income tax credit equal to 10% of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) that such taxpayer is allowed. STATUS: House Ways and Means Committee

HB 110 (Clark-147th) Allows anyone who is eligible for a weapons carry license to lawfully carry a weapon without such a license. STATUS: House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee

HB 112 (Kelley-16th) Extends certain immunities from liability claims regarding COVID-19 by one year to July 14, 2022. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee

HB 116 (McClain-100th) Increases the state minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $15.00 per hour. (Federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.). STATUS: House Industry and Labor Committee

HB 142 (Carpenter-4th) Allows qualified education tax credits to be used by certain insurance companies against certain tax liability. STATUS: House Ways and Means Committee

HB 180 (Lim-99th) Requires the state to maintain databases of sources of funding available to members of the public. STATUS: House Governmental Affairs Committee.

HB 197 (Lewis-Ward-109th) Lowers the employee threshold applying to the flexible use of existing sick leave from businesses employing 25 or more to 18 or more and extends the sunset of this Act (Family Care Act) from 2023 to 2025. STATUS: House Industry and Labor Committee

HB 204 (Scott-76th) Creates a comprehensive civil rights law that protects individuals from discrimination in housing, public accommodations, and employment on the basis of race, disability, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or national origin. Amends existing laws to include certain missing protections (e.g., fair housing law amended to include protections for sexual orientation, gender identity, and age). STATUS: House Judiciary Committee

HB 218 (Ballinger-23rd) Expands weapons carry license reciprocity so that persons who are not residents of this state are authorized to carry a weapon in Georgia if licensed to carry in any other state. Prohibits the government from, during a state of emergency, prohibiting the sale or transfer of firearms, suspending or revoking weapons carry licenses except as authorized by the law, denying state weapons carry license applications, and limiting operation hours of businesses selling firearms and shooting ranges. Allows civil action to be brought for violation of this code. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Public Safety Committee

HB 230 (Schofield-60th) Prohibits discrimination based on hairstyles associated with race, color, or national origin in housing, education, employment. STATUS: House Judiciary Committee

HB 289 (Belton-112th) Makes any person 17 years of age or older who meets the qualifications for issuance of a Class C license and has proof of military enlistment eligible to receive a Class C license; and removes the requirement for the alcohol and drug course for any person under 18 years of age who becomes a resident of Georgia and who has a valid license issued by another state or country. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Public Safety Committee

HB 297 (Marin-96th) Requires reasonable access to public services for non-English speakers, including translation, oral language services, and the like. STATUS: House Government Affairs Committee

HB 399 (Clark-147th) Provides that deductions previously taken by a taxpayer for contributions to the Georgia Higher Education Savings Plan shall not be recaptured if a withdrawal from the savings trust account is made by an account owner upon or after the beneficiary’s successful completion of two years of active duty service in any branch of the armed forces of the United States. STATUS: House Ways and Means Committee

HB 408 (Cooper-43rd) Revises dispossessory procedures to require a written notice be provided to the tenant stating the amount past due or other basis for demand for possession of the property, and requires that the tenant be provided an opportunity to cure, or resolve the issue causing the initiation of the dispossessory (e.g., non-payment), within seven days of receipt of the notice. STATUS: House Judiciary Committee

HB 432 (Drenner-85th) Creates the Environmental Justice Commission and provides that as a prerequisite for obtaining certain permits in neighborhoods consisting of persons of color or from low-income families, applicants shall take certain actions to mitigate health hazards and that governmental agencies shall consider the disproportionate effect of environmental hazards on people of color or people from low-income families in implementing certain environmental policies. The bill also provides that no person in Georgia shall be excluded from any state funded program or activity because of race, color, or national origin. STATUS: House Natural Resources and Environment Committee

HB 442 (Collins-62nd) Includes the management of social media in parenting plans. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee

HB 510 (Gaines-117th) Creates a refundable earned income tax credit equal to 10% of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) that such taxpayer is allowed. STATUS: House Ways and Means Committee

HB 538 (Stephens-164th) “Harry Geisinger Rural Georgia Jobs and Growth Act” – Allows Pari-mutuel horse racing with proceeds used to fund  education, health care needs, and rural development, as well as areas which support the breeding, care and racing of horses. The bill also creates The Georgia Horse Racing Commission and engages Georgia in The Interstate Compact on Licensure of Participants in Live Racing with Pari-mutuel Wagering. STATUS: House Economic Development and Tourism Committee

HB 541 (Bruce-61st) Creates the Georgia Equity and Fairness Commission, which would examine the extent to which the State of Georgia supported the institution of slavery and its ongoing ramifications. The Commission would also recommend appropriate remedies in consideration of the commission’s findings. STATUS: House Governmental Affairs Committee

HB 608 (Wiedower-119th) Grants certain powers, duties, and responsibilities of the OneGeorgia Authority and the Department of Community Affairs relative to funding and contractual awards for the deployment of broadband services to unserved areas and unserved locations within such areas. STATUS: House Governmental Affairs Committee

HB 620 (Leverett-33rd) Clarifies and revises procedures and requirements for the payment of certain settlements involving claims of minors and when the natural guardian or next friend of a minor may receive the personal property of a minor for certain purposes. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Awaits Committee assignment by the Senate

HB 652 (Ballinger-23rd) Requires juvenile court judges be elected by electors of the judicial circuit in which the judge is to serve. STATUS: House Juvenile Justice Committee

HB 663 (Beverly-143rd) Requires net proceeds of Georgia Lottery Corporation to equal at least 35 percent of the lottery proceeds each fiscal year. STATUS: House Higher Education Committee

HB 671 (Beverly-143rd) Increases the value of the state tax credit based on the federal tax credit for child and dependent care expenses to 100 percent of such federal tax credit. STATUS: House Ways and Means Committee

HB 672 (Beverly-143rd) Provide for a state refundable earned income tax credit. STATUS: House Ways and Means Committee

HB 695 (Hugley-136th) Requires the Department of Community Health to notify the applicable local law enforcement agencies, fire departments, licensing departments, and planning and zoning departments upon issuance of a license to operate a drug abuse treatment and education program that is a residential care center. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee

HB 717 (Cooper-43rd) Adds transport of a patient to a physician or facility to the list of actions for which certain individuals employed by a hospital are immune from civil or criminal liability. Allows peace officers to take a person to a physician within the county or adjoining county for emergency examination if the individual presents a substantial risk of imminent harm or is unable to care for his or her own physical health and safety as to create a life-endangering crisis, and if the personal has refused voluntary examination. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee

HB 723 (Davis-87th) Requires any person providing broadband internet access service to publicly disclose, via a publicly available, easily accessible website, accurate information regarding the network management practices, performance characteristics, and commercial terms of its broadband internet access service. The bill also prohibits the blocking of lawful content, applications, services, or nonharmful devices, the impairment or degradation of lawful internet traffic on the basis of internet content, application, or service, or use of a nonharmful device or engaging in paid prioritization. STATUS: House Hopper

HR 1 (Scott-76th) Constitutional Amendment – Requires the Georgia Lottery Corporation to offer one or more games to benefit homeless military veterans. (HB 5 is the enabling legislation for this constitutional amendment). STATUS: House Higher Education Committee

HR 4 (Cantrell-22nd) Constitutional Amendment which, starting in 2024, limits House members of six consecutive terms; increases the Senate term to four years with a limit of three consecutive terms, and limits the Lt. Governor to two consecutive terms. STATUS: House Governmental Affairs Committee

HR 30 (Stephens-164th) Constitutional Amendment – Permits the operation and regulation of limited casino gaming in this state at licensed destination resort facilities with proceeds supporting the HOPE Scholarship and others. STATUS: House Regulated Industries Committee

HR 128 (Holly-111th) Allows persons who are 17 years of age and older to register to vote and vote in elections. STATUS: House Special Committee on Election Integrity

HR 129 (Neal-74th) Constitutional Amendment – Authorizes the General Assembly to provide for the net proceeds of one or more lottery games to support economic development purposes and programs to provide for direct loans to small businesses located in Georgia. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee

HR 184 (Stephens-164th) Constitutional Amendment- Authorizing pari-mutuel betting on horse racing. Enabling legislation is HB 538. STATUS: Recommended Do Not Pass by the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee

HR 185 (Ralston-7th) Reauthorizes the House Rural Development Council. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE

HR 316 (Davis-87th) Constitutional Amendment – Waives the state’s defense of sovereign immunity regarding actions of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and provides that such board shall be subject to an oversight panel. STATUS: House Higher Education Committee

SB 16 (Anderson-43rd) Creates the Georgia Commission on Black Women and Girls. The commission would be administratively attached to the Georgia Department of Public Health. STATUS: Senate Government Oversight Committee

SB 18 (Jones II-22nd) Eliminates the statute of limitations on the offenses of rape, aggravated sodomy, and aggravated sexual battery; to provide that a prosecution for the offenses of rape, aggravated sodomy, and aggravated sexual battery. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee

SB 24 (Butler-55th) Raises the state minimum wage to $15 per hour from $5.15 per hour. (Federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.) Orders the Georgia Department of Labor to calculate the cost of living annually (starting in 2022) and to reevaluate the minimum wage accordingly on an annual basis (starting in 2023). STATUS: Senate Insurance and Labor Committee

SB 25 (Butler-55th) Increases the value of the state tax credit for child and dependent care expenses (based on the federal tax credit) to 100 percent of the federal tax credit. STATUS: Senate Finance Committee

SB 30 (Beach-21st) Allows pari-mutuel horse racing in this state at a limited number of licensed equestrian centers; to create the Georgia Horse Racing Commission. Some proceeds would be used to fund education, health care needs, and rural development in this state, as well as the treatment of problem pari-mutuel wagering issues. STATUS: Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee

SB 58 (Parent-42nd) Establishes a state-level, refundable earned income tax credit for individuals earning below a certain income threshold. STATUS: Senate Finance Committee

SB 61 (Anderson-43rd) Prohibits discrimination based on hairstyles associated with race, color, or national origin in housing, education, employment. STATUS: Senate Insurance and Labor Committee

SB 65 (Gooch-51st) Changes certain provisions relating to the Universal Access Fund so as to modernize such Act and to provide for a certain portion of such fund to be used for the deployment of broadband services in unserved areas and provides powers and duties of the Public Service Commission so as to fund contributions and distributions. STATUS: Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee

SB 108 (Davenport-44th) Creates the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Government Oversight Committee. The bill now rests in Senate Rules Committee

SB 142 (Mullis-53rd) Adds sports wagering as an allowable lottery game, regulated and overseen by the Georgia Lottery Corporation. Proceeds from the games shall be used for educational purposes, including costs associated with Pre-K, K-12, the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia. Orders the DBHDD to provide treatment for individuals with a gambling problem and to produce an annual report outlining such activities. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Awaits committee assignment by the House

SB 206 (Merritt-9th) Prohibits refusal of a rental or lease agreement solely based upon a potential tenant’s previous eviction during the COVID-19 public health emergency. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee

SB 212 (Mullis-53rd) “Harry Geisinger Rural Georgia Jobs and Growth Act” – Allows Pari-mutuel horse racing with proceeds used to fund  education, health care needs, and rural development, as well as areas which support the breeding, care and racing of horses. The bill also creates The Georgia Horse Racing Commission and engages Georgia in The Interstate Compact on Licensure of Participants in Live Racing with Pari-mutuel Wagering. STATUS: Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee

SB 229 (Harrell-40th) Repeals the authorization for the carrying and possession of handguns in certain manners by weapons carry license holders in certain buildings or on real property owned by or leased to public institutions of postsecondary education. STATUS: Senate Public Safety Committee

SB 272 (James-35th) Creates the Racial Equity and Reconciliation Commission of Georgia within the GA Department of Community Affairs in order to Undertake a study of the conditions, needs, issues, and problems related to fostering  racial equity and racial reconciliation in this state and to initiate research, execute initiatives, and recommend policies and proposed  legislation for furthering racial equity and promote reconciliation throughout the state of  Georgia. STATUS: Senate Government Oversight Committee

SR 53 (Beach-21st) Amends the state Constitution to allow for pari-mutuel betting on horseracing and provides that revenue from taxation or regulation be directed toward education, rural healthcare, and health insurance coverage. The enabling legislation for this amendment is SB 30. STATUS: Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee

SR 107 (Jordan-6th) Creates the Senate Comprehensive Approach to Family Leave Policies within the State Government Study Committee. STATUS: Senate Rules Committee

SR 131 (Mullis-53rd) Constitutional Amendment- Authorizing pari-mutuel betting on horse racing. The enabling legislation is SB 212. STATUS: Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee

Welcome to the
FY 22 Budget Ask – “2 Parter”

The “Ask”:

  1. Call House Appropriations Committee members and thank them for including monies for any of the following in the FY22 budget

  2. Call Senate Appropriations Members and ask them to preserve any of the following:

Children’s Mental Health:

  • $2 Million to accelerate the expansion of the Georgia Apex Program

  • $102,502 for mental health and suicide prevention training in schools and a youth suicide prevention specialist

Childcare and Afterschool

  • $3.5 Million for 625 slots in the Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS) program which provides assistance to low-income families for the cost of childcare

  • $1.75 Million for Pre-K classroom operations- in increase of 2.5%

Education

  • $951,700 Restored for educational services with the Multi-Agency Alliance for Children’s LEADS program, which provides educational wraparound services children in Grades 9-12 who are in foster care in Fulton and DeKalb Counties

  • $100,000 Added for the Growing Readers program

  • $345,800 for the Public Libraries and $559,757 Public Libraries’ materials grants

Juvenile Justice

  • $470,500 Added for five juvenile assistant public defenders

Child Health

  • $240,000 for the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia (DPH) and $500,000 for an eminent scholar for sickle cell research in the University System of Georgia

  • $1.5 Million Added for the ongoing maintenance and operations of the new vaccine management system in DPH

Maternal Health

  • $7.1 Million to increase 18 primary care and OB/GYN Medicaid reimbursement codes to 2020 Medicare levels


The Details: 

The Fiscal Year 2022 budget has now passed the House and is being vetted by the Senate. It helps to continue to advocate for things that were added by the House so that they remain in the Senate version and also in any version following that may be vetted by a conference committee of both chambers. FYI, the “Big Budget” (FY22) is usually ultimately resolved in conference committee following the Senate’s passage of their version.


The Message:

  1. Dear Representative __________-,  Thank you for making sure that [BUDGET ITEM FROM ABOVE] passed in your version of the FY22. Budget. I appreciate your efforts to prioritize children in this way on the FY22 budget. Thank you for your service and for all you do for Georgia’s children.

Click Here to contact House Appropriations Members 

  1. Dear Senator __________-,  Please preserve [BUDGET ITEM FROM ABOVE] in your version of the FY22. Budget. These dollars will help make sure that children are able to thrive in our state. Thank you for your service and for all you do for Georgia’s children.

Click Here to contact Senate Appropriations Members