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Gold Dome

Feb. 22, 2021

Gold Dome Report — Legislative Day 20

Monday marked the nominal halfway point of the 2021 Legislative Session, but there is a keen awareness among lawmakers and lobbyists that more than half of the legislature’s work for the year lies in the legislative days to come. The House took a substantial bite out of its General Calendar today, considering 12 propositions, including several related to health in the Peach State. Representatives signed off on the Georgia Telehealth Act (HB 307), the Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact Act (HB 268), and a self-funded healthcare plan opt-in to last year’s Surprise Billing Consumer Protection Act (HB 234). Meanwhile, the Senate occupied its time with a pair of propositions urging Congress to call constitutional conventions to enact term limits (SR 28) and a federal balanced budget amendment (SR 29). We’ll let you know if Congress writes back.

The General Assembly returns on Tuesday for Legislative Day 21. Prepare by catching up with today’s #GoldDomeReport.

In today’s Report:

  • House Floor Notes
  • Committee Reports
  • New Legislation
  • Rules Calendars for Legislative Day 21

House Floor Notes

Before tackling the House Rules Calendar, Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge), took the well for a morning order to honor the passing of Bobby Lee Cook, a famous Georgia lawyer who Speaker Ralston described as “a lion, a giant” and having a credibility which set him above all the rest. Mr. Cook, from Summerville, previously served in the General Assembly in both the House and Senate. Ralston also noted that Georgia juries trusted Mr. Cook and he was a fierce competitor in the courtroom.

The following bills were passed by the House this morning:

  • HB 98, authored by Representative Eddie Lumsden (R-Armuchee), addresses conditions by which meetings and public hearings may be held by teleconference in emergency conditions.
     
  • HB 150, authored by Representative Bruce Williamson (R-Monroe), is known as the “energy choice” legislation and prohibits local governments from adopting any policy that prohibits the connection or reconnection of any utility service based upon type or source of energy or fuel.
     
  • HB 156, authored by Representative Don Parsons (R-Marietta), addresses sharing of information and reporting of cyber attacks to the military.
     
  • HB 234, authored by Representative Lee Hawkins (R-Gainesville), is a clean up proposal to Georgia’s Surprise Billing Consumer Protection Act.
     
  • HB 245, authored by Representative John LaHood (R-Valdosta), amends current law regarding licensure provisions for podiatrists' fingerprint and criminal background checks.
     
  • HB 268, authored by Representative Bill Werkheiser (R-Glennville), proposes enactment of the Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact Act.
     
  • HB 307, authored by Representative Sharon Cooper (R-Marietta), is the Georgia Telehealth Act and permits telehealth privileges allowed in Georgia during the pandemic to extend beyond the pandemic. This permission will be especially helpful to individuals needing mental health services as there is a shortage of mental health service providers particularly in rural areas.
     
  • HB 362, authored by Representative Trey Rhodes (R-Greensboro), addresses the Environmental Protection Division standards, rules and regulations’ effective date.

The House postponed action to the next legislative day on these bills: HB 210, HB 245, HB 342, and HB 354.

Committee Reports

House Judiciary Committee - Gunter Subcommittee
Chairman Chuck Efstration (R-Dacula) sat in today for Chairman Stan Gunter (R-Blairsville) to hear the following propositions:

  • HB 488, authored by Representative Mitchell Scoggins (R-Cartersville), seeks to amend Title 15 to address salaries of magistrate court judges who do not have salaries set by local jurisdictions in an effort to provide fairness to judicial salaries. Chief Bartow County Magistrate Court Judge Brandon Bryson spoke to the legislation, noting that this increase in magistrate court salaries was the first such increase in 14 years and it would be a five percent increase in addition to the cost of living adjustment. These judges, according to Judge Bryson, are on call 24/7. There are roughly 70-80 counties which do not have locally set salaries. The Council of Magistrate Court Judges supports this legislation. Debra Nesbit, with the ACCG, opposed the bill as it is an unfunded mandate for counties. The legislation received a DO PASS recommendation, moving the bill to the full Committee for review.
     
  • HB 109, authored by Representative Heath Clark (R-Warner Robins), is the Child Victim Protection Act proposed in Title 9, and it was back before the Subcommittee in the form of a new Committee Substitute. In part the new Substitute addresses the age range for cases after July 1, 1975, extending it until the time of the victim is 52 years of age. This time is consistent with evidence when victims come forward to disclose child sexual abuse. It also deletes the prior waiver language. It also addresses the “look back” which was previously set the date at 1988 and moves that date to July 1, 1973. Representative Bert Reeves (R-Marietta), who previously worked on the current version in the law, asked questions about who was being left on the other side of the July 1, 1973 date. Reeves also asked about the definition of “entity” and “public or private” and what that included; he asked if he could bring back some language for the full Committee to consider on these areas. Cary Silverman, with the American Tort Reform Association, spoke to his association’s concern around time-barred claims; this proposal adds back 115 years or nearly 5 decades of time. The legislation received a DO PASS recommendation on the committee substitute, moving the version of the legislation to the full Committee.
     
  • HB 334, authored by Representative Joseph Gullett (R-Dallas), presented a committee substitute, LC 41 2981S. The legislation proposes to permit remote online notaries public and remote online notary authorizations (“RONs”). Nicole Booth, with Notarize, spoke to the substitute and the permission to allow for on-line notarization and when and how to use an electronic seal by individuals who are to receive an appointment after completing a course and passing an examination. Joe Powell, with the Fidelity National Title Group spoke to the proposal which he deemed as “well intentioned” but had some concerns around “covered risks” under title insurance. Joe O’Kelley, a real estate closing attorney, also spoke about his concerns that this legislation would move forward “e-closings” of real estate transactions. There are, per O’Kelley, already large players who wish to see vertical transactions.There were also concerns raised about the Gordon cases where there was not an unofficial witness and no notarial seal and documents were forwarded to the clerk of court for recording. There were also concerns raised about the “savings clause” in the bill. The Georgia Chamber of Commerce supports the legislation while the Georgia Real Estate Attorneys are neutral on the bill. No action was taken at today’s Subcommittee meeting so that the author could continue to work with the parties.

House Governmental Affairs Committee - Local Government Subcommittee
Chairman Rick Williams (R-Milledgeville) and the Local Government Subcommittee took up three proposals:

  • HB459, authored by Representative Chuck Martin (R-Alpharetta), addresses in O.C.G.A. 36-36-70 a situation in Fulton County so that Charlie Brown Airport may not be annexed by a city unless the governing authority of the county operating the airport adopts a resolution allowing such. The legislation received a DO PASS recommendation and now moves to the full Committee for review.
     
  • HB 244, authored by Representative Don Hogan (R-St. Simons Island), seeks to allow in O.C.G.A. 33-8-8.3 that county commissioners may use the proceeds of county ad valorem taxes or the county corporation taxes upon gross direct insurance premiums be used also for flood reduction efforts. This legislation, if passed, would apply to any unincorporated area in the state. The bill, per Representative Hogan, was introduced in 2020 but was caught in the bifurcated session. These funds can already be allowed for use for police, fire protection, and curbside garbage pickup. The legislation received a DO PASS recommendation and now moves to the full Committee.
     
  • HR 130, authored by Representative Lauren McDonald III (R-Cumming), seeks to move Forsyth County to the Atlanta Regional Commission (“ARC”). It is supported by the Department of Community Affairs as well as the Forsyth County Delegation and county commissioners. The Resolution received a DO PASS recommendation and now moves to the full Committee.

Senate Education & Youth Committee
The Senate Education & Youth Committee, chaired by Senator Chuck Payne (R-Dalton), met to consider several measures today:

  • SB 47, authored by Senator Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega), amends Title 20 to expand eligibility for the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship. Specifically, the bill replaces the 11 existing qualifying conditions with 21 classes of conditions that must be established by a "formal diagnosis from a licensed physician or psychologist or a Section 504 Plan" relating to the qualifying condition(s). A student's scholarship amount would be the lesser of an allocation "equivalent to the costs of the educational program that would have been provided for the student in the resident school system" or actual tuition and fees, which may include assessments, uniforms, therapies, athletics, before or after school care, books and school supplies, food, tutoring, summer school, and field trips. The legislation requires the State Board of Education to adopt rules regarding "student eligibility, transparency, and awareness of the impact of the program" that include collection of information and reporting on parental satisfaction and estimated scholarship amounts.

    The bill was previously heard by the Committee, and Senator Gooch presented the bill as a Substitute that made two deletions relating to the timing of funding of scholarships. Senator Elena Parent (D-Atlanta) pressed Senator Gooch on the language in the bill that would allow a student to qualify with a Section 504 or a “formal diagnosis”, to which Senator Gooch said that is a question but that the legislature and Department of Education can monitor it for abuse. Senator Lester Jackson (D-Savannah) asked if there is a fiscal note, to which Senator Gooch said yes and that is in the Committee members’ folders. The fiscal note did not appear to be publicly available at the time of the meeting.

    John Zauner of the Georgia School Superintendents’ Association spoke in opposition to the bill, calling on the Committee to treat State dollars sent to private schools the same way those funds are treated when sent to public schools (not allowing it to be used for athletics, uniforms, etc. and having strong financial accountability). Michael O’Sullivan of GeorgiaCAN spoke in favor of the bill. A representative of the Southern Education Foundation spoke in opposition to the bill. Virginia Galloway of the Faith and Freedom Coalition spoke in favor of the bill before testimony was suspended by the Chair and a vote taken. The Committee recommended the bill DO PASS by a vote of 6-5 and be sent to the Rules Committee.
     
  • SB 66, authored by Senator Jason Anavitarte (R-Dallas) amends Titles 20 and 48 to authorize a nonprofit corporation incorporated by the Georgia Foundation for Public Education to receive private donations to be used for grants to public schools. The bill also provides for the expiration of the Public Education Innovation Fund Foundation's authority to promote public-private partnerships and to receive private donations to be used for grants to public schools.

Senator Anavitarte presented the bill to the Committee, and the Committee recommended the bill DO PASS and be sent to the Rules Committee.

  • SB 159, authored by Senator Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega), amends Title 20 to require local boards of education to provide transportation with vehicles with a capacity of eight person or less. These vehicles are not allowed to be part of a ride share network. The bill also authorizes school districts to use vehicles other than school buses for student transportation.

    Senator Gooch presented the bill to the Committee, and John Franklin of Atlanta Public Schools spoke in favor of the bill. Chairman Payne also noted that Gwinnett County Public Schools also support the bill. The Committee recommended the bill DO PASS and be sent to the Rules Committee.

The Committee was scheduled to hear SB 153, authored by Senator Greg Dolezal (R-Cumming), which proposes to permit partnerships to establish GOAL academies as charter schools. However, the Committee ran out of time, so no action was taken on the legislation. It is likely that the bill will be added to the Wednesday meeting agenda.

House Economic Development and Tourism Committee
The House Economic Development and Tourism Committee, chaired by Representative Ron Stepehsn (R-Savannah), met today to consider one bill.

  • HB 86, authored by Representative Ron Stephens, provides a regulatory framework for the Georgia Lottery Corporation to administrate mobile sports betting through the issuance of licenses to qualified applicants. Chairman Stephens explained that this new version contains three main changes. 1) the tax rate was increased from 14% to 20% to bring the bill in line with Tennessee's law. 2) The problem gambling program language was reverted to line up with the Lottery Corporation’s current program. 3) The definition of fantasy sports was clarified. In response to a question from Representative Betsy Evans (D-Atlanta) about her proposed amendment, Chairman Stephens explained that in his belief, changing the HOPE Scholarship to needs based might require an alteration of the constitution and he would prefer to not go down that road. Chairman Stephens also noted that the bill’s minority participation aspect was contained in language already applicable to the Lottery Corporation. Representative Winefred Dukes (D-Albany) noted his desire to have more modern minority participation language as the existing statute was passed in 1992. Ultimately, the bill received a motion DO PASS and moves to the House Rules Committee.

Senate Judiciary Committee
The Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Senator Brian Strickland (R-McDonough), met to consider several propositions today:

  • SB 78, authored by Senator Harold Jones (D-Augusta), amends Title 16 to expand the scope of the criminal statute preventing the electronic transmission of sexually explicit content without the consent of the depicted person. The bill expands prohibited transmission to include posting the content on a website or other sharing source.

Senator Jones presented the bill to the Committee, noting that the bill makes posting of sexually explicit content to a pornography website a felony on the first offense. Under current law, first offenses of electronic transmission are misdemeanors. Senator Jones noted that the law originally envisioned transmission on Facebook and other non-pornographic mediums, but posting on pornographic websites is likely more malicious and warrants more serious punishment. Taylor Hawkins of the Family Policy Alliance spoke in favor of the legislation. The Committee recommended the bill DO PASS by Committee Substitute and be sent to the Rules Committee.

  • SB 85, authored by Senator John Albers (R-Alpharetta), is the "Max Gruver Act" and amends Titles 16 and 20 to combat hazing in postsecondary institutions.

Senator Albers presented the bill to the Committee, which would apply to public and private colleges and universities but not NCAA athletics or ROTC programs. The legislation is named for Max Gruver, who died 3.5 years ago at LSU, and Mr. Gruver’s family testified in support of the legislation. Senator Elena Parent (D-Atlanta) expressed appreciation and support for the bill. Senator Kay Kirkpatrick (R-Marietta) highlighted the safe harbor in the legislation to protect individuals who seek help for victims of hazing. Jill Travis of the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers expressed concern with the definition of “force” and urged caution about felony treatment of this conduct. The Committee recommended the bill DO PASS by Committee Substitute and be sent to the Rules Committee.

  • SB 143, authored by Senator Lindsey Tippins (R-Marietta), amends Title 44 to conform a reference within a statutory form regarding waiver of lien and labor or material bond rights. After a short presentation, the Committee recommended the bill DO PASS and be sent to the Rules Committee.
     
  • SB 163, authored by Senator Brian Strickland (R-McDonough), amends Title 38 to allow a chief judge of a Georgia superior court judicial circuit of a chief judge of a Georgia state court to suspend or modify statutory speedy trial requirements following a judicial emergency. These actions are permissible under specific situations where speedy trial requirements are impractical due to a specific list of factors in the bill including case volume, low case clearance rate, ongoing space limitations, and limited number of judges. The Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court may reinstate speedy trial requirements in any jurisdiction at his or her discretion.

Senator Strickland presented the bill, noting that if the legislature does not take action this session, there will be some cases that have to go unprosecuted due to the pandemic. He also emphasized that the bill only affects statutory (and not constitutional) speedy trial provisions. Senator Bill Cowsert (R-Athens) asked if there is any provision for individuals to be able to access bond if they are denied a speedy trial, to which Senator Strickland noted it is a good question for the judges promoting the legislation.

Judge Brasher of the Atlanta Judicial Circuit spoke in favor of the bill, explaining that without the bill, there will be some 3 month old cases that get tried before three year old cases, and that it only provides relief in the wake of a judicial emergency. Judge Amero of the Flint Judicial Circuit also spoke in favor of the legislation, emphasizing that superior court judges are doing “everything they can” to get people out of jail unless they pose a “clear threat” to the safety of the community. Pete Skandalakis expressed the support of the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council and the District Attorneys’ Association for the legislation. Jill Travis of the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers expressed concerns about the bill and enumerated a number of issues with the legislation. She provided the Committee with a list of recommendations for the legislation. Judge Wesley Tailor of the State Court of Fulton County also spoke in favor of the legislation from a misdemeanor perspective.

The Committee will continue consideration of the bill at its next meeting. No action was taken on the bill today.

The Committee was scheduled to also hear SB 92, SB 168, SB 185, and SB 196, but time expired before those measures could be considered.

New Legislation

The House read and referred the following legislation to committee today:

  • HB 534, authored by Representative Josh Bonner (R-Fayetteville), amends Titles 16 and Title 40 to create new criminal offenses for illegal drag racing which include the suspension of driver's licenses with scaling length and severity for subsequent violations. This bill was referred to the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.
     
  • HB 536, authored by Representative Dominic LaRiccia (R-Douglas), amends Title 38 to expressly prohibit the Governor from enacting any emergency order that restricts the practice of any religion. This bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
     
  • HB 538, authored by Representative Ron Stephens (R-Savannah), amends Title 50 to provide for pari-mutuel horse racing and create a licensing framework for the issuance of licenses to equestrian centers. The bill also creates the Georgia Horse Racing Commission to administrate all aspects of horse racing in the state. The bill also enters the state into the Interstate Compact on Licensure of Participants in Live Racing with Pari-mutuel Wagering. This bill was referred to the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee.
     
  • HB 539, authored by Representative Sharon Cooper (R-Marietta), amends Title 43 to allow DCH licensed hospitals, medical schools, teaching hospitals, and clinics that provide care to predominantly Medicaid, indigent, and underserved populations to apply for a DEA registration number to write prescriptions to be filled outside the institution. This bill was referred to the House Health and Human Services Committee.
     
  • HB 541, authored by Representative Roger Bruce (D-Atlanta), amends Title 50 to create the Georgia Equity and Fairness Commission to study the impact of slavery on descendants of slaves and prescribe remedies. This bill was referred to the House Governmental Affairs Committee.
     
  • HB 542, authored by Representative Roger Bruce (D-Atlanta), amends Title 38 to authorize the National Guard to utilize vacant and unused state property to house homeless individuals during a declared public health emergency. This bill was referred to the House State Properties Committee.
     
  • HB 544, authored by Representative Alan Powell (R-Hartwell), amends Title 50 to make changes to the state's COAM laws. The bill adds an eight member to the Georgia Lottery Commission Board of Directors to include the chairperson of the Bona Fide Coin Operated Amusement Machine Operator Advisory Board. The bill also includes a mandated $50 maximum on noncash awards for COAM on a per play basis for Class A machines. There is also a new hearing review process for license denials. The bill also excludes COAMs from civil forfeiture proceedings unless the machines are directly associated with the alleged criminal actions of a location or license owner. This bill was referred to the House Regulated Industries Committee.
     
  • HB 545, authored by Representative John Carson (R-Marietta), amends Title 20 to allow home school students to participate in extracurricular activities in their resident school district. This bill was referred to the House Education Committee.
     
  • HB 547, authored by Representative Sharon Henderson (D-Covington), allows schools to permit a student lead prayer at the beginning of the school day. This bill was referred to the House Education Committee.
     
  • HB 548, authored by Representative Katie Dempsey (R-Rome), requires the Administrative Office of the Courts to facilitate data sharing with DFCS regarding children that were subject to dependency hearings and actions to terminate parental rights. This bill was referred to the House Juvenile Justice Committee.
     
  • HB 549, authored by Representative Bee Nguyen (D-Atlanta), amends Title 34 to enact the Georgia Safe Workplaces Act. The bill creates a right of action for employees that are the subject of workplace harassment by a supervisor or employer. There are also specific factors used in the determination of the claim. This bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
     
  • HB 551, authored by Representative David Wilkerson (D-Powder Springs), amends Title 20 to stipulate that an end-of-course assessment can count for no more than 5 percent of a student's total grade in core subject courses. This bill was referred to the House Education Committee.
     
  • HB 552, authored by Representative Sharon Cooper (R-Marietta), amends Title 33 to change the definition of health care sharing ministries to "health sharing organizations" and expand their scope past faith based organizations to any nonprofit that shares common ethical beliefs. The bill also requires plans to provide results of independent audits upon request. This bill was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.
     
  • HB 553, authored by Representative Stan Gunter (R-Blairsville), amends Title 50 to allow for remote hearings and/or remote participation of witnesses in hearings for administrative courts. The bill also allows the Office of State Administrative Hearings to require online document filing. This bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
     
  • HB 554, authored by Representative Stan Gunter (R-Blairsville), amends Title 44 to provide procedures by which a court may issue a lis pendens as to real property. This bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
     
  • HB 555, authored by Representative Stan Gunter (R-Blairsville), amends Title 17 to allow defendants in criminal proceedings to request a trial of the sitting court without a jury. The court retains the ability to order a trial by jury. This bill was referred to the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.
     
  • HB 556, authored by Representative Stan Gunter (R-Blairsville), amends Title 17 to revise authority for trial upon accusations. This bill was referred to the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.
     
  • HB 558, authored by Representative Derrick Jackson (D-Savannah), amends Title 36 to prevent the chairperson or CEO of a development authority from also serving as the director. The bill also prohibits development authorities from undertaking projects, granting tax abatements, or accepting a title to real personal property without approval from the local boards of education or governing authority. This bill was referred to the House Governmental Affairs Committee.
     
  • HB 562, authored by Representative Kasey Carpenter (R-Dalton), amends Title 17 to provide that arrest warrants for DFCS officers for an offense alleged to have been committed in their official duties can only be issued by a superior court. This bill was referred to the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.
     
  • HB 565, authored by Representative Gregg Kennard (D-Lawrenceville), amends Title 17 to make changes to the state's probation system. Specifically the bill prevents a court from imposing a period of probation longer than 24 months. The bill also calls for record restriction for all offenses unless requested by a prosecuting attorney. This bill was referred to the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.
     
  • HB 566, authored by Representative James Burchett (R-Waycross), amends Title 40 to stipulate that it should be assumed that law enforcement officers have at least reasonable grounds to request chemical tests to detect alcohol of a driver if the driver causes an accident. This bill was referred to the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.
     
  • HB 567, authored by Representative Sharon Cooper (R-Marietta), amends Title 31 to make changes to the state's newborn screening practices. The bill creates a Newborn Screening and Genetics Advisory Committee to make recommendations for the addition of new disorders for screening. This bill was referred to the House Health and Human Services Committee.
     
  • HB 569, authored by Representative Matthew Wilson (D-Brookhaven), amends Title 43 to outlaw the practice of conversion therapy by professional counselors, physicians, or psychologists. This bill was referred to the House Regulated Industries Committee.
     
  • HB 570, authored by Representative Yasmin Neal (D-Jonesboro), amends Title 35 to require the Georgia Public Safety Training Center to include mental health operatives in its training requirements. This bill was referred to the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.
     
  • HB 571, authored by Representative Yasmin Neal (D-Jonesboro), amends Title 35 to require police officers to obtain training in mental health operatives. This bill was referred to the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.
     
  • HB 572, authored by Representative Josh McLaurin (D-Atlanta), amends Title 17 to address treatment of exceptions to rulings or order, claims of error, and plain errors in criminal proceedings. This bill was referred to the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.
     
  • HR 184, authored by Representative Ron Stephens (R-Savannah), calls for a constitutional amendment to legalize pari-mutuel betting on horse racing. This resolution was referred to the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee.
     
  • HR 185, authored by Representative David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge), reauthorizes the House Rural Development Council. This resolution was referred to the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee.
     
  • HR 186, authored by Representative Debbie Buckner (D-Junction City), creates the Joint Medicaid Sustainability Study Committee. This resolution was referred to the House Health and Human Services Committee.
     
  • HR 187, authored by Representative James Beverly (D-Macon), urges for the expansion of Medicaid. This resolution was referred to the House Health and Human Services Committee.
     
  • HR 188, authored by Representative Kim Schofield (D-Atlanta), supports the creation of a State Workgroup to Increase Chronic Disease Information and Screenings in Communities of Color. This resolution was referred to the House Health and Human Services Committee.
     
  • HR 201, authored by Representative Yasmin Neal (D-Jonesboro), promotes and encourages local law enforcement agencies to incorporate Mental Health Operatives into their agencies. This resolution was referred to the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

The Senate read and referred the follow legislation to committee today:

  • SB 204, authored by Senator Lindsey Tippins (R-Marietta), amends Title 20 to create a pilot program within the Technical College System of Georgia to allow students over the age of 16 to obtain a high school diploma in conjunction with the completion of their other post-secondary requirements. This bill was referred to the Senate Higher Education Committee.
     
  • SB 208, authored by Senator Sally Harrell (D-Atlanta), amends Title 37 to require DBHDD to fully fund all services for individuals on NOW and COMP waivers, subject to appropriations from the General Assembly. This bill was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
     
  • SB 209, authored by Senator Emmanuel Jones (D-Decatur), creates districts for the DeKalb County Board of Education. This bill was referred to the Senate State and Local Governmental Operations Committee.
     
  • SB 212, authored by Senator Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga), amends Title 50 to provide for pari-mutuel horse racing and create a licensing framework for the issuance of licenses to equestrian centers. The bill also creates the Georgia Horse Racing Commission to administrate all aspects of horse racing in the state. The bill also enters the state into the Interstate Compact on Licensure of Participants in Live Racing with Pari-mutuel Wagering. This bill was referred to the Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee.
     
  • SB 213, authored by Senator Tyler Harper (R-Ocilla), amends Title 20 to allow school systems to use local option sales tax revenue to pay for energy savings contracts. The bill also allows improvement projects that are not causally connected to energy savings contracts up to 50% of the total contract cost. This bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee.
     
  • SB 215, authored by Senator Larry Walker (R-Perry), amends Title 31 to allow medication aides to administer certain medicines in nursing home settings including insulin, epinephrine, and B12. This bill was referred to the House Health and Human Services Committee.
     
  • SB 216, authored by Senator Sonya Halpern (D-Atlanta), amends Title 20 to establish a child care scholarship program. Eligibility of the scholarship would extend to individuals who make monthly childcare payments that exceed 7% of the families income. This bill was referred to the House Education and Youth Committee.
     
  • SB 217, authored by Senator John Kennedy (R-Macon), amends Title 50 to make changes to the state's COAM laws. The bill adds an eight member to the Georgia Lottery Commission Board of Directors to include the chairperson of the Bona Fide Coin Operated Amusement Machine Operator Advisory Board. The bill also includes a mandated $50 maximum on noncash awards for COAM on a per play basis for Class A machines. There is also a new hearing review process for license denials. The bill also excludes COAMs from civil forfeiture proceedings unless the machines are directly associated with the alleged criminal actions of a location or license owner. This bill was referred to the Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee.
     
  • SB 218, authored by Senator Larry Walker (R-Perry), amends Title 45 to suspend compensation for public officers who are suspended because of indictment for a felony. This bill was referred to the Senate Government Oversight Committee.
     
  • SR 131, authored by Senator Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga), calls for a constitutional amendment to legalize pari-mutuel betting on horse racing. This resolution was referred to the Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee.
     
  • SR 134, authored by Senator Larry Walker (R-Perry), calls for a constitutional amendment to suspend compensation for public officers who are suspended because of indictment for a felony. This resolution was referred to the Senate Government Oversight Committee.
     
  • SR 135, authored by Senator Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga), calls for a constitutional amendment to legalize sports betting. This resolution was referred to the Senate Regulated Industries Committee.

Rules Calendars for Legislative Day 21

The House is expected to consider the following measures on Tuesday for Legislative Day 21:

  • HB 68 - Professions and businesses; certain military certifications; extend time to qualify
  • HB 119 - Professions and businesses; chiropractors may own professional corporations with physicians; provide
  • HB 149 - Income tax; certain elections to be made by Subchapter "S" corporations and partnerships for the filing of tax returns and imposition of taxes; allow
  • HB 161 - Local government; downtown development authorities; remove provision providing perpetual existence to such authorities
  • HB 241 - Insurance; revise meaning of property insurance; change parameters under which certain contracts or agreements may be canceled
  • HB 286 - Local government; restrict ability of county governing authorities to reduce funding for county police departments
  • HB 305 - Professions and businesses; massage therapy; revise a definition
  • HB 367 - Controlled substances; Schedules I, II, III, IV, and V; change certain provisions
  • HB 374 - Sales and use tax; local authorities providing public water or sewer service; exempt

The Senate is expected to consider the following measures on Tuesday for Legislative Day 21:

  • SB 67 - Elections and Primaries; submission of identification in connection with absentee ballot applications; provide
  • SB 188 - Elections and Primaries; election results reporting system to be established and maintained by the Secretary of State; provide
  • SB 40 - Elections and Primaries; the time and method for opening and tabulating absentee ballots; revise
  • SB 184 - Elections and Primaries; inputting credit for voting data; revise the time