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Welcome to the Voices for Georgia’s Children Legislative Update.  Each week of the legislative session, our Update will arrive in your inbox with brief summaries of select legislation and session activity.  For those of you who would like to get more involved, our blast will provide an opportunity for action, complete with message and contact information of key policy makers who need to hear from you.

We hope that this will be a useful resource.  Please feel free to forward this blast to others who are interested (or might be interested) in child policy.  They can simply click here to receive these emails.

Thanks for making children a priority!



Polly McKinney

Advocacy Director

Voices for Georgia’s Children 



Also, if you are looking for a quirky way to spend a couple of minutes and wondering if real people actually work on this legislative policy stuff, please tune into Polly’s Two Minute-ish Takes.  Each week this session, we will deliver a short video, loaded with candor, odd locations and a good dose of super raw, super unpolished stand-up legislative commentary from yours truly (and anyone else I can bribe to stand next to me).  Please watch, but please don’t hold it against us!

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I don’t know about you guys, but I somehow manage to get the flu at all the wrong times – this week being one such moment.  So this update is going to be on the short-ish side, and as a result of some pretty entertaining cold meds, my introduction will take the form of a story. Enjoy:

(For best effect, play this as you read)


What seems like a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, after a period of wars between Chambers, a gavel fell, bringing with it Sine Die and the closing of a session. But now, a new year dawns. Rumblings can be heard amidst the spheres as House and Senate, Governor and Lieutenant Governor, collect in their designated ships, frozen hide-outs, and spinning planets to assess, plan and debate all things policy. Strategies will be laid, gold will be fought over and spent, and with any luck, the various warlords, droids, advocates and rebels will find a way to unite to defeat the evil, intergalactic empires of child poverty, want, illness and injustice…And then, once that’s done, I’ll get to meet Luke, Leia and Han at some hologram reception at the Blue Room and we will have a good laugh about the craziness of it all…


OK – So enough of my Tie-Fighter Fantasy.

What, you may ask, does a person really need to know about this week? The answer is this:

  1. The 2018 Legislative Session started this morning (1/8). It was a short day because of the UGA Game, and because the first day is always short.
  2. The Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s annual Eggs and Issues breakfast happens Wednesday morning and happens WAY too early for people like me, but I go anyway. Here, the General Assembly leadership and the Governor usually wax poetic about how much they are going to achieve this year. Sometimes I take notes on it, but usually, I just drink lots of coffee.
  3. The Governor makes his State of the State (SOTS) Address Thursday at 11 a.m. in the House Chamber. In this speech, he lays out the priorities of the administration for the year. 
  4. Shortly after the SOTS, the Governor’s Budget requests for amending FY 2017 and the full FY 2018 are released. 
  5. Following the release of the budgets, I put on my cozy slippers and start reading them so that you don’t have to. Again, I drink lots of coffee.
  6. Following my reading the budgets, my teenagers complain about eating Cuban take-out one more time, and we all live happily ever after.

So that is how it works. Now enjoy these summaries of the few bills filed before the start of session, and know that once Monday comes, I’ll be hitting you up with lots more summaries and budget-y stuff. 

In the meantime, please call our federal delegation about the reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program!!! It expired about 100 days ago and it fully funds Peachcare for Kids in Georgia, so it is a super important piece of the puzzle! Details are at the end of this update for how you can take a minute and make a big difference for kids.

Stay warm and see you next week!

— Polly

vulnerable youth

HB 654 (Beskin-54th) Adjusts provisions involving calculations of child support payments, so that in certain circumstances the court may allow for the use of separate worksheets to show the final child support amount to be paid for all such children and the adjusted amount of support to be paid as each child becomes ineligible to receive support STATUS: Prefiled.

HB 655 (Williams-145th) Requires every public school to post a sign containing the toll-free telephone number operated by the Division of Family and Children Services of the Department of Human Services to receive reports of child abuse or neglect STATUS: Prefiled.

juvenile justice

HB 657 (Petrea-166th) Creates a felony charge and mandatory minimum of 1-5 years for anyone who knowingly and intentionally provides a firearm to someone who is on probation as a felony first offender or to any person who has been convicted of a felony in any state STATUS: Prefiled.

HB 653 (Spencer-180th) Provides that certain professional licensing boards are authorized but not required to suspend the license of a person upon notice of nonpayment or default on a federal educational loan or service conditional scholarship. This pertains particularly to those licenses issued by the authority of Georgia Composite Medical Board STATUS: Prefiled.

HB 656 (Bazemore-63rd) Requires instruction on the best practices for, and risks associated with, the use of tampons in the course of study in sex education in the state core curriculum STATUS: Prefiled.

HB 659 (Alexander-66th) Allows for the execution of a physician’s certificate for emergency examination of a person for involuntary evaluation and treatment for mental illness or alcohol or drug abuse based on consultation with an emergency medical technician or paramedic who has personally observed the person STATUS: Prefiled.

None yet!

None yet!

None yet!