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Gold Dome

February 11, 2019

Gold Dome Report - February 11, 2019

As legislators convened for Legislative Day 12 today, the General Assembly shifted into low gear, digging into a five-day week of legislation grinding through committee. Indeed, after relatively quiet mornings on the House and Senate floors, legislators and lobbyists alike ran from meeting to meeting as committee chairs fought to get the wheels of the legislative process turning and bills moving. But as legislation begins to progress through committees, none will be heard in either chamber tomorrow with the House and Senate Rules Committees each taking a pass on setting a Rules Calendar for Legislative Day 13. But, rest assured, there will be much happening under the Gold Dome tomorrow, and we will be here to report on the action. In the meantime, catch up with today’s happenings in the #GoldDomeReport.

In this Report:

  • House Passes Dense Breast Tissue Disclosure, Rural Broadband Bills
  • Committee Updates
  • New Legislation

House Passes Dense Breast Tissue Disclosure, Rural Broadband Bills

The House took up two propositions today. Rep. Sharon Cooper (R-Marietta) presented HB 62, known as “Margie’s Law.” The bill amends Title 31 to require that a health care facility conducting mammograms notify women with dense breast tissue that such tissue may make it difficult to detect cancer through a mammogram and that such women should discuss with their physician whether supplemental tests are warranted. Chairman Cooper noted that dense breast tissue in women is found to create breast cancer in women, and about 40-50 percent women may have such tissue. She also emphasized that men can also be at risk for breast cancer.  Rep. Matt Gurtler (R-Tiger), spoke to the bill, arguing that this was a mandate on doctors. Chairman Cooper gave an impassioned plea to pass the legislation, and the House passed the measure by Committee Substitute with a vote of 166-1.

The House also took up HB 23, Rep. Penny Houston’s (R-Nashville) rural broadband bill. The bill amends Title 46 to permit electric membership corporations (EMCs) and their affiliates to deliver broadband services. The House’s consideration of HB 23 today marks the first of this session’s rural-focused legislative initiatives to make it to the floor. The House passed the bill by a 169-0 vote. 

Committee Updates

Senate Education Committee

The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Sen. P.K. Martin IV (R-Lawrenceville), met to consider two propositions today:

  • SB 21, authored by Sen. Donzella James (D-Atlanta), amends Title 20 to require each local board of education to institute mandatory cybersecurity education for students in every year from K-12. The bill also provides for required elements of such cybersecurity education and calls for implementation by July 1, 2020. Members of the Committee had questions about the costs of implementation of such instruction. The Committee HELD the bill pending receipt of additional information regarding costs.
     
  • SB 68, authored by Sen. Freddie Powell Sims (D-Dawson), amends Title 20 to strengthen provisions for the training of local boards of education members and local school superintendents in financial management of school districts. Angela Palm of the Georgia School Board Association spoke to the bill, thanking Sen. Sims for authoring the bill and noted that local boards of education are already required to participate in various training and additional training may be incorporated rather than being additional or duplicative. The Committee considered the bill as hearing only and will take action at a later date.

Senate Public Safety Committee

The Senate Public Safety Committee, chaired by Sen. John Albers (R-Roswell), met today to consider SB 8 which creates an Atlanta United specialty license plate. Sen. P.K. Martin (R-Lawrenceville) spoke for the bill. He explained that Atlanta United is the only major Georgia sports team that does not currently have a license plate. Sen Mike Dugan (R-Carrollton) moved the bill DO PASS. The bill passed unanimously.

Next the committee held a HEARING ONLY on SB 15 which amends Title 20 to create a comprehensive school safety plan for Georgia schools. The bill requires all Georgia schools (both public and private) to perform a biennial threat assessment. SB 15 increases the scope of school threat assessments and safety plans to include functions during non-instructional time along with the transportation of students to and from school facilities and functions. SB 15 also calls for improved information sharing between schools and homeland security entities, permitting these entities to curate individualized profiles of students. The bill provides for certain benefits for individuals designated as a “school safety coach” including homestead exemptions from all ad valorem taxes for school purposes. Chairman Albers noted that this bill is being worked on in real time, requiring the cooperation of a variety of departments. He also noted that the new committee substitute no longer contains language regarding public schools. The sub also increases the time between required threat assessments. Chairman Albers briefly touched on other aspects of the bill, including the school safety coach. He noted that new changes in the bill will be finalized in time for a hearing on Wednesday. The committee next heard from multiple agencies about the bill.

State School Superintendent Richard Woods spoke about the importance of student safety. Specifically he noted that this issue is very important to Governor Kemp. He expressed the Department of Education’s support for new language regarding the student data privacy protections in regards to the new information sharing system prescribed in the bill.

Mark Soborsky, The chief of police for the Fulton County Board of Education, noted that he believes the problem does not require a one-size-fits-all solution.

Sen. Valencia Seay (D-Riverdale) asked where the school safety coach fits in with school resource officers. Mr. Soborsky responded that it is still a matter under debate, whether each school will have a separate coach. Additionally he noted that this matter will be different depending on the school district. Chairman Albers explained that the specific details of the coach will vary based on the school system.

Sheriff Ron Freeman, the Sheriff of Forsyth County spoke about his county’s needs in regards to school safety. He noted that most school shootings occur because authorities miss warning signs, he noted the school crisis counselor pilot program in Forsyth County has shown success and increased popularity. Additionally he noted issues in the current juvenile justice system in his past dealings with school safety related incidents and arrests. He expressed his hope that the committee would address these concerns in its process.

Jane Robbins, representing Concerned Women for America (CWA), spoke about concerns with balancing safety with student privacy and rights. Her concerns specifically focused on language revolving around using data points about student records to produce an algorithm to find potential threats. She is concerned with the lack of a definition for “threat” in the current language. She further expressed concerns with the government flagging children as threats to physical safety for innocuous disciplinary incidents. She noted that the legislation cites the Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FRPA) protections in regards to records, which she believes is not an effective measure to protect privacy. Sen. Tonya Anderson (D-Lithonia) inquired about ensuring that students are not profiled based on race, ethnicity, or religion in the algorithm. Mrs. Robbins stated that the algorithm should be limited to records of students whose behavior has already raised some concerns with the school.

Polly McKinney, advocacy director at VOICES for Georgia Children spoke about the mental health aspect of the issue. She noted that the lack of definition for “potential threat” is a concern of VOICES. She also expressed that VOICES hope that services will be provided for troubled children. On the topic of the school safety coach, she wishes that they be required to receive training on childhood development if they are to interact with school children on a daily basis.

Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick (R-Marietta) spoke to SB 6, which prevents unmanned aircraft (drones) from being used to deliver contraband in prisons or photograph the prison. She noted the FAA has no problems with this bill. Sen. Tyler Harper (R-Ocilla) clarified that the bill only applies to those that intentionally pilot drones over prisons, which Sen. Kirkpatrick confirmed. He also asked if she would be open to an amendment that would apply the language to the jail system in addition to the prison system. Sen. Kirkpatrick explained that the current language in the bill covers the jail system as well. Sen. Lee Anderson (R-Grovetown) asked if the bill should be applied to courthouses. Chairman Albers expressed concerns with this notion because of the proximity of courthouses to downtown areas. The Georgia Department of Corrections spoke in favor of the bill. The committee moved that SB 6 DO PASS.

Senate Health and Human Services Committee

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee, chaired by Sen. Ben Watson (R-Savannah), met today to hear an annual report from the Dennis Ashley from the Georgia Trauma System. Mr. Ashley gave a brief overview about trauma generally, including the role the Georgia Trauma System. He praised the Senate for its passage of SB 60 in 2007, which he says is the best trauma related legislation across the country. He also noted the Stop the Bleed program’s effective implementation in Georgia school systems.

Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick (R-Marietta) asked for more detail on the specific hospitals that have trauma centers. She also asked about the status of the trauma funds. Mr. Ashley explained that the trauma funds come from super speeder fines and usually receive a budgetary line item of around $15,000,000. Sen. Bill Cowsert (R-Athens) asked for a refresher on the different levels of trauma centers. Level 1 must perform research on trauma along with education and training of professionals and community members.

Chairman Watson indicated that the committee will be voting on bills in their next meeting.

Senate Appropriations Committee -- Human Development Subcommittee

The Human Development Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, chaired by Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford), to hear from the five agencies under its jurisdiction about Amended FY 2019 budget changes. DPH, DCH, DHS and DFCS, Veterans Affairs and the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency spoke.

DPH presented its $72,000 increase for Georgia CORE and got no questions. The House cut $366,000 in state personnel to fund a new marketing program for the elderly about state services at the level of $350,000. Several senators asked Commissioner O’Neal whether he would like to have those the funds cut restored.

DHS and DFCS described the funding of the efforts to prepare for the Family First Act with existing funds rather than new funds proposed by the Governor. DFCS Director Tom Rawlings described the need to help residential providers prepare and also specified the difficulty of stepping down kids with serious mental health issues from the psychiatric residential treatment facilities to less intense residential programs. Some of this difficulty results in hoteling kids who cannot find placements promptly.

Deputy Commissioner Jeff Minor of DBHDD presented the increases for substituting state dollars for federal Medicaid funds to the state hospitals, new funding of APEX mental health services in schools, and continued funding of the ASO. The questioning was extensive but primarily requests for explanations of the programming. The Subcommittee is very interested in APEX and asked how many schools have been funded so far (421) and whether the additional $8.4 mm in the amended budget could be spent before July 1. Minor explained that the funds in amended budget could be spent over two years. The hospital substitution funds result from the ending of some upper payment limit Medicaid dollars for which the state mental hospitals no longer qualified. Minor also described positively the ASO functions of the crisis line, prior approvals, some claims payment and quality supervision and monitoring of core providers and crisis stabilization units. While he got many questions, the Senators appears to support the increases funding for all three programs.

Veterans Affairs and GVRA have no proposed increases other than the across-the-board raise for state employees. The committee members asked no questions of Veterans Affairs and only asked GVRA about funding veterans at out of state colleges with its scholarship funds. 

House Education Committee -- Academic Support Subcommittee

The Academic Support Subcommittee of the House Education Committee, chaired by Rep. Wes Cantrell (R-Woodstock), met to consider two bills today:

  • HB 130, authored by Rep. Randy Nix (R-LaGrange), amends Title 20 to authorize the Georgia Foundation for Public Education to apply for recognition as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. The Foundation has been contacted by potential donors who are unable to give without such designation. Paige Pushkin, Executive Director of the Foundation, and Ann Cramer, Chair of the Foundation’s Board, introduced legislators to the Foundation and spoke on the bill. Ms. Pushkin noted that the Foundation has distributed about $200,000 per year to date, which is raised by education tag sales and other sources, but 501(c)(3) status would allow for “exponential increases” in fundraising and grants. Donors may direct gifts or give to a general fund, and the Foundation will have to an annual report of donors if the bill passes. Rep. Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper) offered an amendment to require that the annual report be submitted to the chairs of the House and Senate Education Committees, which was accepted by the Subcommittee. The Subcommittee recommended the bill DO PASS and be sent to the full Education Committee.
     
  • HB 69, authored by Rep. Scot Turner (R-Holly Springs), amends Title 20 to revise the prior school year requirement for the Special Needs Scholarship Program. Specifically, the bill removes the prior year attendance requirement if the applicant has previously qualified for the scholarship. Michael O’Sullivan of GeorgiaCAN voiced support for the bill. The Subcommittee recommended the bill DO PASS and be sent to the full Education Committee.

House Judiciary-Non Civil Committee - Reeves Subcommittee

Chairman Bert Reeves (R-Marietta) hosted a Subcommittee meeting this afternoon to take up Rep. Ed Setzler’s (R-Acworth) bill, HB 43. HB 43 amends Title 16 relating to sexual assault by persons with supervisory or disciplinary authority over persons, including elementary or secondary students, correctional inmates, and probationers, and certain persons who provide healthcare or psychotherapy services. Specifically, the bill creates two degrees of such sexual assault committed by such persons (Georgia law currently only provides for one degree). Under the bill, a person would commit second degree sexual assault when he or she engages in "sexual contact" with a subordinate, while the person would commit the offense in the first degree when he or she engages in "sexually explicit conduct" with a subordinate, as defined in the bill. The legislation also provides for sentencing guidelines for first degree sexual assault which are escalated from that currently provided in law for such sexual assault (which the bill converts to second degree). Rep. Setzler described for the Subcommittee an instance in Cherokee County where this touching occurred with students who were 16 and 17 years of age.  There were a number of questions raised about the use of the “agent” and “agency” in the legislation, and Rep. Setzler indicated that “agency” is fairly well addressed in the Code and case law. This legislation is a third-year attempt to address the issue and follows former Rep. Joyce Chandler’s (R-Grayson) attempt to pass such law. There was no vote taken at today’s hearing. 

House Public Safety & Homeland Security -- Lumsden Subcommittee

The Lumsden Subcommittee of the House Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee, chaired by Rep. Eddie Lumsden (R-Armuchee), met to consider three propositions today:

  • SB 25, authored by Sen. Bill Heath (R-Bremen), amends Title 40 to clarify the circumstances in which a driver need not stop for a school bus. This bill provides that drivers only need not stop for a school bus on divided highways separated by a grass or other prohibitive barrier. Current Georgia law is unclear and appears to exempt drivers on multi-lane roadways separated by a turn lane median from stopping. The Senate passed the proposition on Thursday, February 7, sending it to the House, where it will be carried by Rep. Ginny Ehrhart (R-Powder Springs). Rep. Jodie Lott (R-Augusta) thanked the author for bringing the bill. Chairman Lumsden noted that SB 25 deals with the same subject matter as HB 75. Gary Jackson of the Atlanta Municipal Court spoke to the Subcommittee on the bill in an attempt to get “legislative intent” of the lawmakers in his adjudication of cases under the law. He asked for definition of “raised median” to clarify whether the legislature means a wall or curb and called for revenues from tickets for school bus offenses to be dedicated to protecting kids (like adding seat belts to school buses). Rebecca Grist of the Georgia Association of Solicitors General spoke in favor of the legislation in its current state. The Subcommittee recommended the bill DO PASS and be sent to the full Committee for consideration.
     
  • HB 113, authored by Rep. John Carson (R-Marietta), amends Title 40 to prohibit teen drivers (under the age of 18) and those holding instructional permits from using a cell phone at all while operating a motor vehicle. According to the author, this returns Georgia law to what it was before last year’s bill allowing only hands-free use of telecommunications devices while driving. Rep. Carson noted that insurance claims are down and insurance rates are on the way down since passage last year’s bill. The Subcommittee recommended the bill DO PASS and be sent to the full Committee for consideration.
     
  • HB 55, authored by Rep. Roger Bruce (D-Atlanta), amends Title 16 to prohibit firearms created by 3-D printing. Rep. Heath Clark (R-Warner Robins) asked why this law was necessary if federal law already prohibits possession of an undetectable firearm, to which Rep. Bruce noted sometimes federal laws need “backing up.” Rep. Micah Gravley (R-Douglasville) asked if there was any evidence that a 3-D printed firearm has been used in a crime, to which Rep. Bruce noted he was not aware of a crime committed but that the legislature need not wait until a crime is committed to ban the weapons. Rep. Gloria Fraizer (D-Hephzibah) thanked Rep. Bruce for bringing the legislation. Rep. Allan Powell (R-Hartwell) expressed concerns about “abridging people’s rights” when persons are already banned from carrying the weapons through airport security and concealing them. Rep. Gravley questioned whether the legislation was a solution searching for a problem given the lack of success (including exploding upon use) and great expense in producing firearms with 3-D printers. Rep. Bruce noted that the fact that the weapons can explode may be another reason to prohibit them. John Sanders of Douglas County spoke in favor of the bill. Rep. Powell moved to table the bill, and the Subcommittee TABLED the bill.

Senate Public Safety Committee

The Senate Public Safety Committee, chaired by Sen. John Albers (R-Roswell), met today to consider SB 8 which creates an Atlanta United specialty license plate. Sen. P.K. Martin (R-Lawrenceville) spoke for the bill. He explained that Atlanta United is the only major Georgia sports team that does not currently have a license plate. Sen Mike Dugan (R-Carrollton) moved the bill DO PASS. The bill passed unanimously.

Next the committee held a HEARING ONLY on SB 15 which amends Title 20 to create a comprehensive school safety plan for Georgia schools. The bill requires all Georgia schools (both public and private) to perform a biennial threat assessment. SB 15 increases the scope of school threat assessments and safety plans to include functions during non-instructional time along with the transportation of students to and from school facilities and functions. SB 15 also calls for improved information sharing between schools and homeland security entities, permitting these entities to curate individualized profiles of students. The bill provides for certain benefits for individuals designated as a “school safety coach” including homestead exemptions from all ad valorem taxes for school purposes. Chairman Albers noted that this bill is being worked on in real time, requiring the cooperation of a variety of departments. He also noted that the new committee substitute no longer contains language regarding public schools. The sub also increases the time between required threat assessments. Chairman Albers briefly touched on other aspects of the bill, including the school safety coach. He noted that new changes in the bill will be finalized in time for a hearing on Wednesday. The committee next heard from multiple agencies about the bill.

State School Superintendent Richard Woods spoke about the importance of student safety. Specifically he noted that this issue is very important to Governor Kemp. He expressed the Department of Education’s support for new language regarding the student data privacy protections in regards to the new information sharing system prescribed in the bill.

Mark Soborsky, The chief of police for the Fulton County Board of Education, noted that he believes the problem does not require a one-size-fits-all solution.

Sen. Valencia Seay (D-Riverdale) asked where the school safety coach fits in with school resource officers. Mr. Soborsky responded that it is still a matter under debate, whether each school will have a separate coach. Additionally he noted that this matter will be different depending on the school district. Chairman Albers explained that the specific details of the coach will vary based on the school system.

Sheriff Ron Freeman, the Sheriff of Forsyth County spoke about his county’s needs in regards to school safety. He noted that most school shootings occur because authorities miss warning signs, he noted the school crisis counselor pilot program in Forsyth County has shown success and increased popularity. Additionally he noted issues in the current juvenile justice system in his past dealings with school safety related incidents and arrests. He expressed his hope that the committee would address these concerns in its process.

Jane Robbins, representing Concerned Women for America (CWA), spoke about concerns with balancing safety with student privacy and rights. Her concerns specifically focused on language revolving around using data points about student records to produce an algorithm to find potential threats. She is concerned with the lack of a definition for “threat” in the current language. She further expressed concerns with the government flagging children as threats to physical safety for innocuous disciplinary incidents. She noted that the legislation cites the Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FRPA) protections in regards to records, which she believes is not an effective measure to protect privacy. Sen. Tonya Anderson (D-Lithonia) inquired about ensuring that students are not profiled based on race, ethnicity, or religion in the algorithm. Mrs. Robbins stated that the algorithm should be limited to records of students whose behavior has already raised some concerns with the school.

Polly McKinney, advocacy director at VOICES for Georgia Children spoke about the mental health aspect of the issue. She noted that the lack of definition for “potential threat” is a concern of VOICES. She also expressed that VOICES hope that services will be provided for troubled children. On the topic of the school safety coach, she wishes that they be required to receive training on childhood development if they are to interact with school children on a daily basis.

Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick (R-Marietta) spoke to SB 6, which prevents unmanned aircraft (drones) from being used to deliver contraband in prisons or photograph the prison. She noted the FAA has no problems with this bill. Sen. Tyler Harper (R-Ocilla) clarified that the bill only applies to those that intentionally pilot drones over prisons, which Sen. Kirkpatrick confirmed. He also asked if she would be open to an amendment that would apply the language to the jail system in addition to the prison system. Sen. Kirkpatrick explained that the current language in the bill covers the jail system as well. Sen. Lee Anderson (R-Grovetown) asked if the bill should be applied to courthouses. Chairman Albers expressed concerns with this notion because of the proximity of courthouses to downtown areas. The Georgia Department of Corrections spoke in favor of the bill. The committee moved that SB 6 DO PASS.

Senate Health and Human Services Committee

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee, chaired by Sen. Ben Watson (R-Savannah), met today to hear an annual report from the Dennis Ashley from the Georgia Trauma System. Mr. Ashley gave a brief overview about trauma generally, including the role the Georgia Trauma System. He praised the Senate for its passage of SB 60 in 2007, which he says is the best trauma related legislation across the country. He also noted the Stop the Bleed program’s effective implementation in Georgia school systems.

Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick (R-Marietta) asked for more detail on the specific hospitals that have trauma centers. She also asked about the status of the trauma funds. Mr. Ashley explained that the trauma funds come from super speeder fines and usually receive a budgetary line item of around $15,000,000. Sen. Bill Cowsert (R-Athens) asked for a refresher on the different levels of trauma centers. Level 1 must perform research on trauma along with education and training of professionals and community members.

Chairman Watson indicated that the committee will be voting on bills in their next meeting.

New Legislation

The following legislation of interest was introduced in the House today:

  • HB 209, authored by Rep. Matthew Gambill (R-Cartersville), amends Title 40 to create a special license plate to benefit the Georgia Alliance of the Boys & Girls Club, Inc. This bill was referred to the House Motor Vehicles Committee
     
  • HB 212, authored by Rep. Clay Pirkle (R-Ashburn), amends Title 7 to exempt retailers, retails brokers of manufactured homes or mobile homes, and residential contractors from the requirement to obtain a license as a mortgage loan originator, mortgage broker, or mortgage lender under certain conditions. This bill was referred to the House Banks and Banking Committee.
     
  • HB 213, authored by Rep. John Corbett (R-Lake Park), amends Title 2 to enact the “Georgia Hemp Farming Act” which authorizes colleges and universities in the University System of Georgia to conduct research on the cultivation and uses of hemp grown in Georgia. The bill also outlines the process to receive a hemp growers license. This bill was referred to the House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee.
     
  • HB 214, authored by Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Savannah), amends Title 43 to remove requirements that a pharmacist be located in or contiguous to the county of a physician prescribing a vaccine for a group of patients via a vaccine order contained in a vaccine protocol agreement. This bill was referred to the House Health and Human Services Committee.
     
  • HB 216, authored by Rep. Teri Anulewitz (D-Smyrna), amends Title 40 to create a license plate to benefit the Georgia Tennis Foundation. This bill was referred to the House Motor Vehicles Committee.
     
  • HB 217, authored by Rep. Houston Gaines (R-Athens), amends Title 16 to provide that employees of syringe service programs are not subject to offenses related to the possession, distribution, or exchange of hypodermic needles or syringes. This bill was referred to the House Health and Human Services Committee.
     
  • HB 218, authored by Rep. Rick Williams (R-Milledgeville), amends Title 20 to make changes to HOPE scholarship eligibility. This bill was referred to the House Higher Education Committee.
     
  • HB 227, authored by Rep. Spencer Frye (D-Athens), amends Title 33 to provide that an insurer cannot refuse to an insure a person based on his or her status as a victim of family violence or sexual assault. This bill was referred to the House Insurance Committee.
     
  • HB 228, authored by Rep. Andy Welch (R-McDonough), amends Title 19 to change the minimum age for marriage from 16 to 17. This bill was referred to the House Juvenile Justice Committee.
     
  • HB 229, authored by Rep. Debbie Buckner (D-Junction City), amends Title 35.  It removes the Georgia Crime Information Center’s current requirement to purge a patient’s records, who have been involuntary hospitalized, five years from the completion of that individual’s hospitalization. This bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
     
  • HB 230, authored by Rep. Scott Holcomb (D-Atlanta), amends Title 14 to add provisions relating to the establishment of “Benefit Corporations”. This bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
     
  • HB 232, authored by Rep. Heath Clark (R-Warner Robins), amends Title 20 to provide that dependent children of active duty military members shall be classified as in-state for tuition and fees purposes by the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia. This bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
     
  • HB 233, authored by Rep. David Knight (R-Griffin), amends Title 26 to create the “Pharmacy Anti-Steering and Transparency Act”. The bill prohibits nonresident pharmacies from sharing patient and prescriber data with affiliates for commercial purposes, presenting a claim for a service provided based on referral from an affiliate, or mailing a prescription to a patient when the prescriber calls for an in-person consultation. It also requires such pharmacies to file an annual disclosure statement of its affiliates. This bill was referred to the House Health and Human Services Committee.
     
  • HB 234, authored by Rep. Chuck Efstration (R-Dacula), amends Titles 9, 15,16,17, and 41 to authorize the Department of Family and Children Services “DFCS” to provide care and supervision to children who are victims of human trafficking. This bill was referred to the House Juvenile Justice Committee. 

The following legislation of interest was introduced in the Senate today:

  • SB 81, authored by Sen. Valencia Seay (D-Riverdale), amends Title 45 to change the compensation of the members of the General Assembly. This bill calls for members to receive an annual salary equivalent to the median annual household income in the State of Georgia. This bill was referred to Senate Government Oversight Committee.
     
  • SB 82, authored by Sen. Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta), amends Title 32 to provide for the appointment of a chief innovation officer to the Department of Transportation to coordinate and develop technology based improvements and solutions to transportation needs. This bill was referred to the Senate Science and Technology Committee.
     
  • SB 83, authored by Sen. Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga), amends Title 20 to provide for the creation of elective courses in Georgia public high schools related to the study of the Old and New Testament. This bill was referred to the Senate Education and Youth Committee.
     
  • SR 124, authored by Sen. Ed Harbison (D-Columbus), recognizes March 5, 2019 as Columbus Day at the state capitol.
     
  • SR 128, authored by Sen. Freddie Powell Sims (D-Dawson), commends Georgia’s Community Service Boards and recognizes February 13, 2019 as Community Service Boards Day at the state capitol.
     
  • SR 133, authored by Sen. Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta), urges the Atlanta-region Transit Link “ATL” authority to prioritize and encourage the use of technological innovation and the development of intelligent transportation systems.