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Gold Dome Report - Legislative Day 25 (2024)
Thursday, February 22, 2024

The Georgia State Capitol hallways and hoppers continued to overflow on Thursday. Law Enforcement Day at the Capitol converged with an onslaught of hundreds of charter school students to fill the People’s House with Georgians big and small. But lawmakers were not just forced to wade through the masses of people — the pool of legislation to swim through continues to grow deeper, even as Crossover Day looms a week away. With plenty of propositions already on the table, lawmakers, and lobbyists are unified in their desire to make it stop.

The House and Senate each approved a number of measures on their floors after finding their way through the crowds. It was “Child Welfare Day” in the Senate, where several bills and resolutions affecting children were advanced. Meanwhile, the dance on the Amended FY24 Budget has begun, with each chamber appointing conferees that will work through the weekend to reach a compromise. A full recap of floor action and ensuing committee madness in this #GoldDomeReport.

In this Report:

  • Floor Notes
  • Committee Reports
  • New Legislation
  • What’s Next

Floor Notes

The House took up the following measures on Legislative Day 25:

  • HR 918 - Golden Isle Greenway; official corridor in Georgia; designate — PASSED 168-0
  • HB 579 - Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Act; revise prior school year requirement — PASSED 169-0
  • HB 843 - Alcoholic beverages; Sunday sales for consumption on the premises in locally designated special entertainment districts; provide — PASSED 151-13
  • HB 934 - Self-service storage facilities; enforcement of unsigned rental agreements under certain circumstances; provide — PASSED 161-3
  • HB 986 - Elections; election interference with a deep fake; establish criminal offense — PASSED 148-22
  • HB 993 - Crimes and offenses; grooming a minor for indecent purposes; provide for offense — PASSED 174-0
  • HB 1049 - Insurance Business Transfer Act; enact — PASSED 168-0
  • HB 1073 - Local government; zoning; repeal additional hearing and notice provisions regarding halfway houses, drug rehabilitation centers, or other facilities for treatment of drug dependency — PASSED 161-5
  • HB 1114 - Data Analysis for Tort Reform Act; enact — PASSED 132-32
  • HB 1124 - Education; needs based financial aid program; provide for a definition — PASSED 165-1
  • HB 1170 - Public Health, Department of; require certain state government buildings, courthouses, and university buildings maintain and make accessible opioid antagonists — PASSED 166-1
  • HB 1199 - State government; auditor produce certain monthly and annual reports ; replace requirement — PASSED 166-0
  • HB 1203 - Dispossessory proceedings; authorize landlords to use certain off-duty sheriffs, constables, or marshals to execute writs of possession; provisions — PASSED 168-1
  • HB 1207 - Elections; proofing of ballots by local superintendents in certain races; provide — PASSED 168-0

The Senate took up the following measures on Legislative Day 25:

  • SB 376 - Juvenile Code; improve timely permanent placement of a child removed from their home; clarify requirements  PASSED 49-0
  • SB 387 - Identification Cards; certain applicants who are either homeless or in the legal custody of the Division of Family and Children Services do not require signatures; provide  PASSED 51-0
  • SB 401 - Senate Foster Care and Adoption Study Committee; implement recommendations  PASSED 52-0
  • SB 427 - Commerce and Trade; disclosure requirements for advertisements for legal services and for drugs; provide  PASSED 43-8
  • SB 483 - Minors; enter into the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children; definitions; provisions; provide  PASSED 51-0
  • SR 471 - Senate Study Committee on Access to Affordable Child Care; create  PASSED 51-3
  • SR 474 - Office of the Child Advocate for the Protection of Children; quality legal representation for parents, children and youth, and child welfare agencies at all stages of child welfare proceedings; urge partnership  PASSED 50-0
  • HB 915 - Supplemental appropriations; State Fiscal Year July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024  PASSED 54-1

Committee Reports

Senate Regulated Industries Committee

Chairman Bill Cowsert (R-Athens) called the Regulated Industries Committee to order Thursday afternoon to discuss several measures:

  • SB 505, authored by Senator Blake Tillery (R-Vidalia), amends Title 31 to provide for uniform reporting requirements for hospitals. The measure is a hospital transparency bill, which requires hospitals to maintain links and post financial documents (which are already defined in the code). The measure requires the Department to create templates and criteria for reporting by December 31, 2024 and requires hospitals to use these templates by July 1, 2025. Noncompliance would suspend the hospitals' ability to receive state funds with a 30-day letter from the department. The measure adds to the Department a Uniform Resource Locator, which the hospital must send the link for where these documents are posted.

Senator Frank Ginn (R-Danielsville) asks about the process for returning to compliance. Loss of funds is not permanent. Senator Gloria Butler (D-Stone Mountain) asked about the permissibility of holding back state funds. Tillery felt having a ‘stick’ is important. Senator Greg Dolezal (R-Cumming) asked what the impetus for this bill was. Compliance seems to be sporadic. This measure seeks to find out where the issue of compliance is.

LC 33 9619 received a DO PASS recommendation.

  • SB 457, authored by Senator Chuck Hufstetler (R-Rome), amends Title 46 to reestablish the Consumer Utility Counsel. This counsel office was abolished during the 2008 economic downturn due to budget cuts. The advocate would have legal standing and is subject to appropriation. The measure received a DO PASS recommendation.
  • SB 437, authored by Senator Randy Robertson (R-Catuala), amends Title 2 relating to hemp. The measure adds consumable hemp products to the Title. The substitute has many changes, which include on line 56 keeping the maximum permissible level at 0.3% or less. It gives the Commissioner of Agriculture authority for sales. The measure prohibited consumable hemp products from being sold to those under 21. The substitute “adds teeth” by creating a misdemeanor offense for those who sell products without having them tested by an independent lab and without labeling. On lines 57-60, the substitutes cleans up accreditation of out of state laboratories to ensure they are certified by a nationally known body and creates criteria for laboratories in Georgia.

The measure received a DO PASS recommendation.

  • SB 422, authored by Senator Clint Dixon (R-Gwinnett), amends Title 46 to modify the percent limitations an EMC may make and maintain its gas affiliate. The measure increases the percentage from 15% to 30%. There are four natural gas marketers owned by EMCs in the state. The substitute reduced it to 25%. The measure received a DO PASS recommendation, with one in opposition.
  • SB 420, authored by Senator Jason Anavitarte (R-Dallas), amends Title 2 to prevent foreign adversaries from owning agricultural land or land within 25 miles of military property. The measure exempts agricultural land used for research. The federal government defines foreign adversaries. It also requires timely reporting of this ownership. Lines 80-82 were added to clarify if these were preempted and exempt transactions that conflicted with federal law. The measure also allows nonresident aliens to divest themselves of this prohibited land two years after purchasing the property.

The substitute receives a DO PASS recommendation.

  • SB 336, authored by Senator Kay Kirkpatrick (R-Marietta), amends Titles 37, 39, and 49. This measure allows designees to be assigned to the Behavioral Health Coordinating Council. It also repeals two reports from DBHDD. The measure authorizes the Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage & Family Therapists the ability to waive experience requirements for those coming from states with similar experience requirements. An amendment to include a designee for the Commissioner of Veteran Services was approved.

Roland Behn expressed support for the measure. The measure received a DO PASS recommendation as amended.

  • SB 444, also authored by Senator Anavitarte, amends Title 3 to allow authorized retailers the ability to provide discounts on alcoholic beverages purchased with the intent to be consumed off premises. LC 36 5754S focuses on coupons. The substitute passed 6-3.
  • SB 502, also authored by Senator Dixon, amends Title 50 to prevent agencies and departments from marketing with or contracting for advertising with certain companies. The measure seeks to ensure state agencies hire certified companies to promote information equally to Georgians and to prevent an advertising agency from using a blacklist.

John Simpson, Newsmax, expressed support for the measure. Butler made a DO NOT PASS motion, which failed 4-5. Dolezal made the DO PASS recommendation with an amendment which passed 5-4.

  • SB 529, authored by Senator Kim Jackson (D-Stone Mountain), amends Title 43 regarding medical practice. This came from the Senate’s Rural Health Study Committee's recommendations to improve Georgia’s physician workforce. If someone is a foreign-trained doctor and can be certified by the Medical Composition Board, they can apply and receive a limited provisional license. After two years, you can apply for a restricted license to work in an underserved part of Georgia. Tennessee did this, and within the first month, it had over 200 applicants.

Dolezal asked about varying standards of a degree in other countries. The measure requires the physician to pass certain boards before receiving these licenses.

This was the first hearing on the measure, so no action was taken. Cowsert commented there might be other measures that this could be added to.

Senate Economic Development Committee

Senator Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta) and the Economic Development Committee met late this afternoon on these measures:

  • SB 489, authored by Senator Russ Goodman (R-Cogdell), designates at O.C.G.A. 50-3-92 the blueberry as the official state berry. Five of the ten largest blueberry-producing counties are in his area of the state. It is a $1 billion industry in his part of Georgia. The legislation received a DO PASS recommendation.
  • SB 496, authored by Senator Max Burns (R-Sylvania), relates to ad valorem taxation of property and extends preferential assessment periods for certain historic properties. It requires local government approval. These changes are made at O.C.G.A. 48-5-7.2 and 48-5-7.3. It freezes the property at a pre-development amount and can extend from 9 to 20 years. This does not apply to residential property. The legislation received a DO PASS recommendation with a vote of 8-2.
  • SB 503, authored by Senator Matt Brass (R-Newnan), relates to Residential and General Contractors and the licensure of general contractors in Chapter 41 of Title 43, which are named commercial general contractor license. Brass presented the clean up offered by the Association of General Contractors and Home Builders Association. In 2006, there was a grandfather clause for general contractors, but that time has passed. It also revises the law so only a qualifying agent can get building permits. Austin Hackney with the Home Builders Association of Georgia supported the changes, noting it was a long time coming. Mark Woodall with the Georgia Association of General Contractors also supported the legislation. The legislation received a unanimous DO PASS recommendation.
  • SB 518, authored by Senator Rick Williams (R-Milledgeville), seeks to change a portion of Georgia’s State Symbols at O.C.G.A. 50-3-53 to name the Sweetbay Magnolia as the state floral emblem. LC 44 2614 was discussed. The current flower is the Cherokee rose (an import from China). It is a way to recognize native plants. The legislation received a DO PASS recommendation.
  • SB 543, authored by Senator Matt Brass (R-Newnan), relates to Bingo and changes some provisions regarding bingo games operated by nonprofits. Mike Griffin, with Georgia Baptist Mission Board, spoke in opposition to the proposal. Committee members inquired if churches host bingo games. The legislation received a DO PASS recommendation.
  • SR 538, authored by Senator Carden Summers (R-Cordele), is a constitutional amendment to allow Sports Betting and casino gambling in Georgia by July 2, 2025. Summers asked the committee to put this issue to bed and allow voters to decide whether sports betting and casino gambling are legitimate. Sports betting and casino gambling should not be under the Lottery. In the new Committee Substitute, line 45 is changed from 9 to 5 casinos. Another change is at lines 106-130, so 50 percent of revenue is to capital highway infrastructure projects, 20% for rural health, 20% to mental health, and 10% to historic black colleges. Summers indicated that this initiative is a start. Senator Derek Mallow (D-Savannah) indicated he could not support the creation of a freight and logistics fund; he could support education and literacy and would leave pre-K kids in the Lottery. Mallow offered he would make an amendment to provide for childcare and education as that is what is needed. Senator Billy Hickman (R-Statesboro) believes that the public needs to decide. He also agreed to a split to go towards education. He asked for clarification so that mental health and gambling addiction are both addressed. Several spoke to the proposal:

Gerald Mitchell, with the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, supported the resolution with housing, healthcare, and education and viewed this as an economic development opportunity. There were discussions with the Mayor and Council, and the Mayor does support the Resolution. Carlotta Harrell, Henry County Board of Commissioners Chair, supported SR 538. Henry County is one of the fastest counties in the state, and it is home to the Atlanta Motor Speedway. $328.6 billion and 1.8 million jobs with all casinos across the country. It will provide a financial infusion to the state without raising taxes on citizens. Harrell asked that the voters be given the chance to decide. Justin Frazier, a county commissioner from Liberty County, supported the proposal. Casinos can serve as catalysts for economic growth, increasing tourism and providing other benefits.

Mike Griffin, the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, also rose to speak but opposed the Resolution. It is too dangerous. He urged the Committee to look at the detriments of gambling.

The committee was still debating this proposal as this report went to print.

  • SR 602, authored by Senator Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta), is a constitutional amendment to restrict, regulate, or prohibit the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia from approving any tuition increase. It caps the increase in tuition at no more than 3 percent per year. An amendment would make it 3 percent or CPI, whichever is lower. Chancellor Perdue submitted a letter to the Committee and raised his concern about the 3 percent increase. Chairman Beach indicated this was about costs rising and not about the Chancellor. According to Chairman Beach, tuition should be raised at more than 3 percent per year. After struggling to get an amendment, the Chairman offered his amendment. The amendment failed. The legislation then failed with only 1 vote in favor.
  • SR 623, authored by Senator Sheikh Rahman (D-Lawrenceville), addresses the Departments of Natural Resources, Economic Development, and Community Affairs to cooperate in crafting strategies to promote outdoor recreation. The legislation received a DO PASS recommendation.

House Ways and Means Committee

Chairman Shaw Blackmon (R-Bonaire) and the Ways and Means Committee met this afternoon and took up the following measures:

  • HB 98, authored by Representative David Knight (R-Griffin), amends O.C.G.A. 48-5-2(1), regarding ad valorem taxation on property. It was described as permissive to allow local governments to pass an exemption for senior citizens 65 and older to volunteer to work in county or city schools at $10.00 per hour to offset property taxes up to $500.00. The legislation received a DO PASS recommendation without discussion.
  • HB 1052, authored by Representative Chas Cannon (R-Moultrie), allows in O.C.G.A. 48-5-7.4 flexibility for family farms under COUVA and maintains the existing COUVA provisions. ACCG, Tax Assessors, and others are supportive of the initiative. The legislation received a DO PASS recommendation.
  • HB 1197, authored by Representative Penny Houston (R-Nashville), addresses in O.C.G.A. 48-7-40.32 historical residences and tax credits for downtown development areas. This bill interests the House Rural Development Council and will help revitalize downtown areas, particularly in small towns. There are larger credits when there is renovation of the building. The date is also to be extended for the credits, moving it to 2032. Representative Prince asked about line 51 and the property's age; it must be over 50 years of age. Tom Gehl, on behalf of the City of Hartwell, pointed to line 53 (owners or investors of historic structures) at least 50 years old and providing at least one residential unit for lease (an encouragement of workforce housing - to contemplate live, work, play in downtown areas). The legislation received a DO PASS recommendation.

House Public Health Committee

Chairman Sharon Cooper (R-Marietta) and the House Public Health Committee took up these measures this afternoon:

  • HB 1344, authored by Representative Katie Dempsey (R-Rome), seeks to change the representatives on the Behavioral Health Coordinating Council by allowing officials on the Council to be represented by a delegate or agent. It contains changes in Titles 37, 43, and 49. Part of this includes ideas from HB 520. It addresses the ability of the BHCC to achieve a quorum when they meet (HB 1013 expanded the Council’s membership). The bill also repeals the intellectual and developmental disability state plan requirement but allows stakeholder input, which will be open to the public. It also addresses licensure to streamline these individuals to address the workforce crisis. The bill addresses the licensure process for LPCs, LCSWs, and MFTs, and the legislation grants their composite board the right to issue licenses without mandatory examinations. It also repeals the annual report for residential treatment facilities by the Commissioner of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (in and out of state placements - the Department is not the holder of the data). The repeal leads to duplicative efforts - like MATCH. An amendment is to add at line 38, adding Commissioner of Veterans Services, which was adopted. No public testimony was provided. The legislation received a DO PASS as amended (substitute).
  • HB 1335, authored by Representative John LaHood (R-Valdosta), seeks to address staffing requirements of personal care homes, assisted living communities, and memory care centers in Chapter 7 of Title 31. LaHood, along with the Georgia Senior Living Association, the Department of Community Health, and others, worked on this bill. The legislation will hopefully provide assistance to providers and help individuals who live in these facilities. Optional medical alert devices (dictated by the Department of Community Health in their rules) will be used to alert staff of a need or emergency and allow staff to float; it also allows credentialed staff to float in and out of the memory care portion of the unit as long as two staff remain in the memory care unit at all times. Chairman Cooper indicated her passion for this issue. There is no change to staffing ratios per LaHood. Currently, the devices in these facilities are not in law or rule and not surveyed by the Department of Community Health. Amendment at line 92 after at “all times” to insert, “which may include one registered professional nurse, licensed practical nurse, or certified medication aide, if they remain on site in the memory care center.” This specifies that two people are to be on site. Nancy Petrea, with the Georgia Alzheimer’s Association, spoke in favor of the changes and the changes to staffing. Tom Bauer, with Leading Age Georgia, also spoke in favor of the changes. The Committee adopted the amendment, and the legislation as amended received a DO PASS recommendation (will travel as a substitute).
  • HB 1176, authored by Representative Trey Kelley (R-Cedartown), addresses in Titles 31, 33, 45, and 49 insurance coverage of infant formula when a woman is medically unable to breastfeed. No action was taken on this proposal.
  • HB 565, authored by Representative Tyler Paul Smith (R-Bremen), addresses temporary assistance for needy families in Chapter 4 of Title 49 and proposes to increase access to benefits. The author indicated he wanted to amend the bill to increase the benefit to 30 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. This is needed because of inflation and rising costs of food. Smith noted that some individuals have to sell their cars to buy diapers for children and that indicates that the program is broken. Representative Shelly Hutchinson (D-Snellville) supported the proposal and is familiar with the TANF program, which has not changed since 1993. Representative Teddy Reese (D-Columbus) thanked the author for the legislation and appreciated him thinking about everyday people. This bill moves a maximum of 48 months to 60 months. Other changes include resources the applicant can have, which may not exceed $5,000 and excludes the value of the car ($4650). The amendment offered would increase the monthly benefit to 30 percent of the federal poverty guidelines at line 13. Callan Wells with GEEARS supported the initiative. The amendment was adopted, and the legislation received a DO PASS as amended (substitute).
  • HB 844, authored by Representative Ginny Ehrhart (R-Marietta), seeks to repeal and reenact in Chapter 11A of Title 43 of the “Practice of Nutrition and Dietetics Act.” Ehrhart presented the initiative (it has not been updated in 20 years). There is confusion presently, and the bill brings the language and scope current. Georgia Academy of Nutrition and National Academy of Nutrition worked on this legislation which provides clear language for dieticians and nutritionists. Medical nutrition therapy is the highest level of care. Two years ago, a member of the House attempted a bill on this same subject, but the language was “clunky.” This addresses licensure around medical settings. What is a licensed dietetics/nutritionist. What is a dietician, and scope of practice is outlined. A licensed nutritionist is licensed to practice nutrition (line 121-148). Dieticians and nutritionists function similarly but have different educational training to get there. There was no public comment. The legislation received a DO PASS recommendation (substitute).

House Education Committee

The House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Chris Erwin (R-Homer), met on Thursday to consider the following measures:

  • HB 822, authored by Representative Kasey Carpenter (R-Dalton), amends Title 20 to provide that the prescribed course of study in sex education and HIV prevention instruction is age-appropriate and medically accurate. It also requires that such courses include instruction on consent.

Carpenter presented the bill to the committee, which recommended the bill DO PASS and be sent to the Rules Committee.

  • HB 846, authored by Representative Rob Leverett (R-Elberton), in its original form amends Title 20 to require local school systems to annually notify employees whether social security taxes will be withheld from their pay and whether they are eligible to be included in certain benefits, pension, or retirement plans.

Leverett presented the bill to the Committee as a Substitute passed in subcommittee that requires notice upon hiring, separation, and at least every five years (rather than all employees annually). The Committee recommended the bill DO PASS and be sent to the Rules Committee.

  • HB 1027, authored by Representative Ballard, amends Title 20 to provide that beginning in the 2026-2027 school year at least a half-credit computer science course shall be a high school graduation requirement. This half-credit can replace a math, science, or elective requirement — it does not add to the total number of credits required for graduation. The bill allows for virtual instruction in districts that do not have sufficient teacher resources.

Ballard presented the bill to the committee, and Representative Scott Hilton (R-Peachtree Corners) offered an amendment to delete the provisions of the bill making the half-credit a graduation requirement (essentially amending the bill to require schools to offer computer science rather than require it for graduation). Ballard indicated that the amendment was unfriendly, noting that it was not offered as described to her earlier and schools must already offer computer science. After vigorous debate, the amendment failed unanimously. Representative David Wilkerson (D-Powder Springs) offered a second amendment to clarify the effective year on line 64, and the amendment was adopted.

The committee recommended the bill DO PASS as amended and be sent to the Rules Committee.

  • HB 1122, authored by Representative Scott Hilton (R-Peachtree Corners), amends Title 20 relating to charter schools. Specifically, the bill provides for additional funding for charter school superintendents and principals, allows for children of part-time charter school employees to attend the charter school, and addresses a conflict of interest to allow non-executive LEA employees to serve on the state charter school governing board.

Hilton presented the bill to the committee, which recommended the bill DO PASS and be sent to the Rules Committee.

  • HB 1186, authored by Hilton, amends Title 20 to clarify that school and school systems ratings shall be a single numerical score between 0 and 100 based on indicators of quality of learning for each public school and school system in the state.The bill also requires posting these ratings online on the Department of Education and school district websites.

Hilton presented the bill to the committee, which recommended the bill DO PASS and be sent to the Rules Committee.

  • HB 1221, authored by Representative Tyler Paul Smith (R-Bremen), in its original form amends Title 20 to require the State Board of Education to provide for procedures for student transfers between local school systems. The bill also provides that only the receiving local school system shall have the authority to grant or refuse permission for such transfers and establishes caps on tuition that can be charged to a student by an enrolling local unit of administration.

The bill we presented to the committee as a substitute (LC 49 1849S) by Representative Brent Cox (R-Dawsonville). The substitute, among other things, allows inter-district transfers and establishes an enrollment period between April 15 and June 15 each year, requires a standard method for calculating available capacity, authorizes local districts to decline to provide transportation to transferring students, ensures no discrimination in admissions, and limits tuition that may be charged (including no tuition for students eligible for free lunch). The substitute also removes the “penalty” requiring lower-performing resident school districts to contribute to the tuition of a transferring student in the receiving district from the original bill.

The committee recommended the bill DO PASS by Substitute and be sent to the Rules Committee.

New Legislation

The following new legislation of interest has been introduced in the House:

H.B.1324 Motor vehicles; ride share network services; liability for actions of drivers; provisions Rep. Rob Leverett (R-123) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67198
H.B.1329 State government; regulation and taxation of fantasy contests; authorize and provide Rep. Ron Stephens (R-164) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67205
H.B.1332 No Patient Left Alone Act; enact Rep. Mesha Mainor (R-056) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67211
H.B.1335 Health; personal care homes, assisted living communities, and memory care centers; revise staffing requirements Rep. John LaHood (R-175) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67217
H.B.1340 Professions and businesses; credentialing of qualified behavior analysts and qualified autism services practitioner-supervisors; provide Rep. Scott Hilton (R-048) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67222
H.B.1343 Public assistance; provide Medicaid coverage for tobacco cessation treatments Rep. Marvin Lim (D-098) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67230
H.B.1344 Behavioral Health Coordinating Council; allow for certain officials on to be represented by a delegate or agent Rep. Katie Dempsey (R-013) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67232
H.B.1349 Attorney General; authorize and direct appointment of special prosecutor subject to certain criteria Rep. Darlene Taylor (R-173) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67307
H.B.1350 Education; students shall not be counted absent from school due to performing in certain productions; provisions Rep. Tremaine "Teddy" Reese (D-140) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67308
H.B.1351 Quality Basic Education Act; support for students living in poverty; provisions Rep. Lydia Glaize (D-067) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67309
H.B.1352 Pharmacists; prescribers provide certain information to patients or their representatives on Schedule II controlled substances or opioids Rep. Lydia Glaize (D-067) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67310
H.B.1356 Dietitian Licensure Compact Act; enact Rep. Sharon Cooper (R-045) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67322
H.B.1357 Strategic Industrial Development Enhancement (SIDE) Tax Credit Act; enact Rep. Rick Jasperse (R-011) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67323
H.B.1360 Controlled substances; possession of four grams or more of fentanyl; provisions Rep. Terry Cummings (D-039) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67326
H.B.1361 Crimes and offenses; distribution of computer generated obscene material depicting a child; prohibit Rep. Brad Thomas (R-021) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67327
H.B.1362 Education; local five mill share funds; provide new deduction to be included in calculations Rep. Josh Bonner (R-073) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67328
H.B.1363 State employees' health insurance plan; drugs dispensed for self-administration; provisions Rep. Karen Mathiak (R-074) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67329
H.B.1365 Protecting Children's Mental Health of 2024; enact Rep. Mitchell Horner (R-003) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67331
H.B.1367 Criminal procedure; expand definition of forensic medical examination to include evidence of strangulation Rep. Karen Lupton (D-083) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67333
H.B.1371 Torts; clarify liability regarding third-party criminal activity; provisions Rep. James Burchett (R-176) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67356
H.R.1164 Honorable Richard H. Smith Memorial Interchange; Muscogee County; dedicate Rep. Carolyn Hugley (D-141) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67182
H.R.1165 General Assembly; local school superintendents be elected by voters; provide - CA Rep. Tyler Smith (R-018) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67183
H.R.1169 House Study Committee on the Economic Advantages of Marijuana Legalization; create Rep. Shelly Hutchinson (D-106) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67225
H.R.1199 Georgia special education teachers; commend Rep. Mesha Mainor (R-056) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67263
H.R.1214 House Study Committee on the Affordability and Accessibility of Georgia's Legitimation Process; create Rep. Tremaine "Teddy" Reese (D-140) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67301
H.R.1215 Speaker David E. Ralston Interstate Connector; Fannin County; dedicate Rep. Rick Jasperse (R-011) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67315

The following new legislation of interest has been introduced in the Senate:

S.B.530 "Quality Basic Education Act"; the placement of certificated professional personnel on the state minimum salary schedule; provide Sen. Jason Anavitarte (R-031) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67209
S.B.533 Proceedings; jail-based competency restoration programs; provide Sen. Brian Strickland (R-017) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67278
S.B.541 Department of Banking and Finance; financial Institutions; separate bidding for certain ad valorem tax foreclosure sales; provide Sen. Nikki Merritt (D-009) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67290
S.B.543 Bingo; certain provisions relating to bingo games operated by nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations; change Sen. Matt Brass (R-028) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67292
S.B.544 "Georgia Women's CARE (Child Care Alternatives, Resources, and Education) Act"; enact Sen. Ed Harbison (D-015) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67298
S.B.545 Child Custody Proceedings; judicial discretion in determining the right of a surviving parent to custody of a child; provide Sen. Ed Harbison (D-015) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67299
S.B.546 Health; the practice of midwifery; repeal provisions Sen. Donzella James (D-035) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67300
S.B.550 Early Care and Education Programs; a minimum salary schedule for Georgia's Pre-K Program lead teachers, subject to appropriations; provide Sen. Derek Mallow (D-002) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67348
S.R.651 Georgia Academy of Audiology; recognize Sen. Matt Brass (R-028) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67284
S.R.657 Peer Support and the Associated Certified Peer Specialists Workforce; recognize Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick (R-032) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67297

What’s Next

The General Assembly is in adjournment on Friday and will reconvene for Legislative Day 26 on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024, at 10 a.m.

The House is expected to take up the following measures on Legislative Day 26:

  • HB 825 - Judicial Retirement System; require certain counties to supplement retirement benefits paid to the circuit's superior court judges and district attorneys; require
  • HB 1165 - Criminal Justice Coordinating Council; replace chairperson of the Governor's Office of Children and Families with the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities
  • HB 1172 - Water rights; public trust doctrine; remove references
  • HB 1240 - Uniform Commercial Code Modernization Act of 2024; enact

The Senate is expected to take up the following measures on Legislative Day 26:

  • SB 10 - Offenses Against Public Order And Motor Vehicles and Traffic; knowingly attending and facilitating an illegal drag race or a laying drags exhibition; punishment; provide
  • SB 147 - "Boundless Opportunities for Georgia Students Act"; enact
  • SB 171 - Development Authorities; the length of a director's hold-over period following expiration of term of office; limit
  • SB 235 - "HBCU Innovation and Economic Prosperity Planning Districts Act"; enact
  • SB 324 - State Printing and Documents; a victim centered address confidentiality program; provide
  • SB 351 - "Protecting Georgia's Children on Social Media Act of 2024"; enact
  • SB 368 - Government Transparency and Campaign Finance; foreign nationals from contributing to candidates or campaign committees; prohibit
  • SB 384 - Public Officers and Employees; development and administration of the State of Georgia as a Model Employer (GAME) Program; provide
  • SB 399 - Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia; to enter into and amend existing agreements with the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia; encourage and state expectations
  • SB 402 - Instruction Permits; restrictions upon the operation of Class C motor vehicles by Class D license holders with certain passengers in the vehicle; revise
  • SB 429 - "Small Business Protection Act of 2024"; enact
  • SB 433 - Nonprofit Corporations; enact "Donor Intent Protection Act"; provide definitions; charitable organizations from violating the terms of charitable contributions; prohibit
  • SB 440 - 'Accelerated Career Diploma Program'; ACE Grants pilot program; establish and provide
  • SB 450 - Courts; property, and wills, trusts, and administration of estates; neither superior court nor a state court shall have appellate jurisdiction pursuant to Chapter 3 of Title 5; clarify
  • SB 473 - "Georgia Consumer Privacy Protection Act"; consumer personal data in this state; protect the privacy
  • SR 570 - Senate Supporting Safety and Welfare of All Individuals in Department of Corrections Facilities Study Committee; create
  • SR 583 - Dr. Robert F. Sullivan Memorial Highway; Franklin County; dedicate
  • SR 609 - Princess Trahlyta; dedicate a roundabout in her memory

See our coverage of Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6Day 7Day 8Day 9Day 10Day 11Day 12Day 13Day 14Day 15Day 16Day 17Day 18, Day 19, Day 20, Day 21, Day 22, Day 23, and Day 24

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