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Gold Dome

Feb. 21, 2024

Gold Dome Report – Legislative Day 24

Lawmakers worked long and hard today, moving many proposals out of various committees as the clock ticks closer to Crossover Day on February 29. The chambers’ floors were no different. It proved to be Veterans Day in the Senate as all bills taken up on the Senate Floor were initiatives related to veterans’ concerns. On the House Floor, they worked swiftly through two calendars, pushing 15 pieces of legislation forward to the Senate. More in this #GoldDomeReport.

Also, a new senator was sworn into office just in time for the mad dash. After the departure of former Majority Leader Mike Dugan (R-Carrollton), a special election was held, with former Representative Tim Bearden (R-Carrollton) winning the seat. Newly elected Bearden was sworn in by a former member of the House, Judge Dustin (“Dusty”) Hightower.

In this Report:

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

Floor Notes

The House took up the following measures on Legislative Day 24:

  • HB 472 - Employees' Retirement System of Georgia; allow certain sworn law enforcement officers to be eligible for retirement benefits at age 55; provisions — PASSED 168-0
  • HB 896 - Domestic relations; process by which individuals may change their married surname to previous surname following divorce; provide — PASSED 167-0
  • HB 904 - Professions and businesses; contractors; change certain provisions — PASSED 168-1
  • HB 907 - Motor vehicles; responsibilities for encountering funeral procession on two-lane highway; revise — PASSED 169-1
  • HB 994 - Torts; negligent operations of a vessel; revise liability — PASSED 163-1
  • HB 1001 - Motor vehicles; presentation of a driver's license in a certain electronic format satisfies the requirement to possess a driver's license while operating a motor vehicle; provide — PASSED 168-1
  • HB 1041 - Savannah-Georgia Convention Center Authority; maximum amount of bonded indebtedness of the authority; increase — PASSED 161-1
  • HB 1054 - Motor vehicles; issuance of refusal to sign citation; provide — PASSED 156-10
  • HB 1069 - Ad valorem tax; assessment of standing timber; authorize disclosure of records to State Forestry Commission — PASSED 167-1
  • HB 1072 - Health; drug repository program; revise definitions; provide for pharmacist to pharmacy technician ratios — PASSED 165-1
  • HB 1077 - Georgia Board of Health Care Workforce; grant program to provide funding to eligible institutions for additional behavioral health workforce training positions; create — PASSED 165-2
  • HB 1150 - Motor vehicles; fingerprints shall not be obtained for offenses relating to window tinting; provide — PASSED 168-0
  • HB 1183 - Education; local school systems to provide certain information to parents and guardians of students in grades six through 12 on Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes; require — PASSED 167-1
  • HB 1193 - Motor vehicles; require operation of flashing or revolving amber lights upon certain vehicles — PASSED 161-1
  • HB 1235 - Motor vehicles; vehicle registration of special mobile equipment that are self-propelled cranes in order to authorize operation of such upon public highways; provide — PASSED 166-0

The Senate took up the following measures on Legislative Day 23:

  • SB 375 - Behavioral Health Coordinating Council; add commissioner of veterans service — PASSED 53-0
  • SB 385 - Georgia Military College; legislative intent language regarding certain postsecondary study beyond the second year level; revise — PASSED 49-1
  • SB 398 - Georgia Joint Defense Commission; commission's operations; revise — PASSED 51-2
  • SR 527 - Resolution creating the Senate Study Committee on Veterans' Mental Health and Housing — PASSED 53-0

Committee Reports

House Insurance Committee

Chairman Eddie Lumsden (R-Armuchee) and the House Insurance Committee took up three bills in an early Wednesday morning meeting:

  • SB 389, authored by Senator Chuck Payne (R-Dalton), is a bill adding a new Code section at O.C.G.A. 38-2-285 to align Georgia’s law with federal law permitting coverage for National Guard families access to immediate benefits upon the death of a covered member. It provides for the adjutant general to be the official sponsor of the state-sponsored life insurance program for the Georgia National Guard. The face amount of the policies is $25,000. The legislation received a DO PASS recommendation.
  • SB 334, authored by Senator John Albers (R-Roswell), amends O.C.G.A. 25-3-23 and revises the qualifications for insurance coverage for firefighters diagnosed with cancer. The underlying law requires cities and counties to provide insurance benefits for firefighters to pay claims for cancer. This bill cleans up current law so that firefighters who change jobs do not have to restart the 12-month clock for coverage. The legislation received a DO PASS recommendation.
  • HB 451, authored by Representative Devan Seabaugh (R-Marietta), seeks to address post-traumatic stress disorders that occur due to exposure to various traumas by sheriffs, firefighters, police, and EMS personnel. The bill originally cleared out of the House Public Safety Committee but was recruited to the House Insurance Committee by the House Rules Committee. This morning a new substitute was before the committee for review, LC 52 0496. The new version addresses a definition for diagnostician (eliminating APRN and Physician’s Assistant); a decreased benefit (lowering the amount from $10,000 to $3,000 lifetime benefit after diagnosis); and a requirement that the Department of Insurance to provide an annual report on the benefit activity so that changes may be made in the future. The legislation is supported by ACCG, GMA, Sheriffs Association, Firefighters, and Chiefs of Police. Seabaugh indicated it was a solution to keep these individuals in a profession and prevent incidents of suicide by these first responders. Carolyn Hugley (D-Columbus) inquired about the cap of $3,000 for the benefit and placed that in Code — Seabaugh indicated that this was a minimum for local governments to provide.  There were other questions around how this benefit would differ from short-term disability coverage. Representative Matthew Gambill (R-Cartersville) asked if the state employees would be covered by the State Health Benefit Plan; that plan does have a disability provision, more than likely. The legislation received a DO PASS recommendation.

House Higher Education Committee

On Wednesday, Chairman Chuck Martin (R-Alpharetta) and the Higher Education Committee took up the following proposals:

  • HB 1274, authored by Representative David Huddleston (R-Roopville), amends Chapter 3 of Title 20 relating to veterinary education, so as to provide for limits on the student loan forgiveness program. The program allows for loan purchases for a total of up to $75,000 when they work in rural areas (counties of less than 50,000). Vets can only apply once in 10 years for this program. The plan will be administered by the Georgia Student Finance Commission. A person cannot have defaulted on another loan to be eligible. The Georgia Agribusiness Council testified in support of the legislation as the need is great — particularly for large animal vets. There was no quorum to take action, but the Committee will meet Thursday at 2:00 PM or on Adjournment.
  • HB 56, authored by Representative Jesse Petrea (R-Savannah), came in the form of a Substitute, LC 39 4260S. The legislation addresses in Chapter 3 of Title 20 the Public Safety Memorial Grant, which is available to children of prison guards, firefighters, and law enforcement and expanded to spouses in addition to children when individuals are killed in the line of duty.  The Grant presently has $3.8 million in reserves, and annual awards are around $500,000 (30-40 children are educated annually). The maximum award is $18,000. “Line of duty” is a defined term in the legislation.  Representative Rhonda Burnough (D-Riverdale) inquired about whether they could access the HOPE Scholarship; it does not. She also asked if children of Goldstar Fathers could be added. The funds can be used at any facility in Georgia or eligible private institution. According to Petrea (8 semesters or 12 quarter awards), the funds can be used for undergraduate studies only. The limit of four years for the spouse is a concern for Burnough, but the award is limited to the time frame (Chairman Martin said it is something that could be worked on to address a part-time student). Representative Imani Barnes (D-Tucker) inquired about spouses’ attendance at graduate school; again, there will be clarification, according to Petrea.

No action was taken today.

  • HB 1231, authored by Representative Scott Holcomb (D-Atlanta), addresses a gap in HOPE.  It amends O.C.G.A. 20-3-519.2 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to eligibility requirements for a HOPE scholarship and award amount, to allow academically successful students who are concurrently seeking a baccalaureate degree and a first professional degree to use the full number of hours of HOPE scholarship eligibility; and to allow academically successful students who commence a graduate program at an eligible postsecondary institution within 18 months of earning a baccalaureate degree to use the full number of hours of HOPE scholarship eligibility.  It is to allow students who have been motivated to get help with a master’s degree. Chairman Martin is concerned about students who have already used 127 hours (such as dual enrollment, etc.). Representative Burnough inquired about the course of study pursued by Holcomb’s constituent, which gave rise to this legislation; her concern is that a master’s degree is required for some courses of study for individuals to obtain jobs (such as social work). No action was taken.
  • HB 1224, authored by Representative Tim Fleming (R-Covington), amends Article 7 of Chapter 3 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to tuition equalization grants at private colleges and universities, so as to revise the definition of "approved school"; to provide increased grant amounts for eligible students enrolled in certain programs that are directly related to high-demand jobs or career fields, as designated by the Georgia Student Finance Authority. High-demand career fields are addressed. The legislation came to the committee in the form of a new substitute and is based on the work of a study committee, which looked at the issues over last summer as well as questions previously raised by the committee. A tuition equalization grant is outlined for proprietary and non-proprietary school students, and the schools are required to be accredited by a nationally recognized entity. Representative Jasmine Clark (D-Lilburn) asked for clarification about nonproprietary schools and approved proprietary schools and their ownership. Burnough inquired about the accreditation issue and not requiring SACSCOC accreditation. The legislation received a DO PASS recommendation (there was one no vote).
  • HB 853, authored by Representative Eric Bell (D-Jonesboro), was presented as a new substitute. It repeals, in Title 20, the "Drug-free Postsecondary Education Act of 1990.” More than 35,000 Georgians are convicted of drug charges annually.  In July 2023, the federal government made changes so that certain offenses do not prohibit students from accessing FAFSA. This allows individuals to access a second chance and aligns Georgia law with federal law.

Christopher Bruce, with the ACLU, supported the legislation. Georgia has the highest number of individuals in correctional control; it will help with recidivism. According to Burnough, the legislation will help build up Georgia’s workforce. Cindy Battles felt this is common sense legislation and aligns with FAFSA regulations and supports the legislation. Ella Hector also spoke to the proposal as a student, noting the benefits of the legislation.

House Health Committee

Chairman Lee Hawkins (R-Gainesville) called the House Health Committee Wednesday afternoon for a hearing only on one measure.

  • HB 1339, authored by Representative Butch Parrish (R-Swainsboro), amends Title 31 relating to the State’s Certificate of Need Law. Parrish noted this bill was driven by the House CON study committee report findings. Parrish outlined the changes proposed in the bill:
    • Eliminates the capital and equipment expenditure thresholds
    • DCH shall update the state health plan at least every five years, streamlines the application process
    • Increases the length of time that a closed facility can be purchased and reopened as a micro-hospital from 12 months to 24 months
    • Expands the CON exemption to allow existing hospitals to increase bed capacity by greater than ten beds or 20% every three years if the facility has maintained at least a 60% occupancy rate for the previous 12 months
    • Revises the existing CON exemptions for single-specialty and joint venture ASCs to remove the capital expenditure cap
    • Expands the CON exemption to allow healthcare facilities in urban counties to relocate within five miles of the existing facility
    • Creates four new CON exemptions: OBGYN services, acute care facilities in rural settings (provided meeting certain metrics), and behavioral health/psychiatric services
    • Increases the cap for the Rural Hospital Tax Credit from $75 million to $100 million and extends the sunset of the program to 2029
    • Creates the Comprehensive Health Coverage Commission, which must submit a report by December 2024 and is set to be abolished by December 2026

Representative James Beverly (D-Macon) asked questions pertaining to sustainability for Medicaid providers, accountability and oversight, and the Comprehensive Health Coverage Commission, created by this bill, appointments.

Representative Mark Newton (R-Savannah) asked about the changes in obstetrics care. He asked about agreements between hospitals and obstetrics facilities. He also discussed acute care rural requirements.

Representative Patty Marie Stinson (D-Butler) asked for clarification of acute care facilities agreeing to be trauma centers.  Parrish said it wasn’t a large lift because there are different levels of trauma centers.

The committee heard public testimony from several interested groups. Anna Adams, GHA, spoke in support of the bill and would like to gain further clarification in a few areas, including four exemptions for OBGYN services, acute care facilities in rural settings, and behavioral health/psychiatric services. Beverly asked her to go on record regarding her concerns. Adams explained with OBGYN services, there were questions about what types of facilities this applies to. There are questions about what is included in a comprehensive service for acute care in rural areas. For psychiatric beds, there are concerns over what expanded exempted beds are a part of Medicaid or a basic inventory of beds.

Tony West, Americans for Prosperity, provided his testimony regarding their support for a full repeal. Natalie Crawford from Georgia First, Leah Chapman from the GA Budget & Policy Institute, Laura Culbert from Georgians for a Healthy Future, and  Laura Brace from the American Heart Association discussed their support to close the coverage gap in the state. Monty Veazy, GA Alliance of Community Hospitals, said they support HB 1339 but would like some technical changes to be made.  He commented that they are working with GHA on proposed technical changes.

Senate Health and Human Services Committee

Chairman Ben Watson (R-Savannah) called the Senate Committee to order Wednesday afternoon to discuss several measures:

  • SB 419, authored by Senator Larry Walker (R-Perry), amends Title 43 to expand a nurse anesthetist's scope of practice. The measure seeks to allow certified nurse anesthetists to administer anesthesia under certain conditions. A DO PASS motion was made but failed. The measure remains in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
  • SB 455, authored by Senator Brian Strickland (R-McDonough), amends Code Section 49-4-148. The measure would prohibit third-party payers from refusing payment solely based on care items or services that did not receive prior authorization. It also requires third-party payers respond to state inquiries regarding a health care claim within 90 days. The measure had two amendments and received a DO PASS recommendation.
  • SB 456, also authored by Senator Strickland, amends Title 31. The measure seeks to add disabled persons to the Central Caregiver Registry. On line 25, an amendment with “or disabled” passed. The measure received a DO PASS recommendation.
  • SB 460, authored by Senator Clint Dixon (R-Gwinnett), amends Title 43. The measure seeks to address nurse ratio flexibility per doctor. Tim Davis, Georgia Nurses Association, expressed support for the measure. The measure received a DO PASS recommendation.
  • SB 480, authored by Senator Mike Hodges (R-St. Simons), amends Title 49 regarding the Georgia Board of Health Care Workforce. The measure seeks to direct mental health workers to needed areas and loan repayment for mental health and substance use professionals. The Board will create the rules and regulations. The cap per grantee is the maximum amount of debt. The measure is contingent on appropriations.  The legislation received a DO PASS recommendation.
  • SB 481, also authored by Senator Hodges, amends Title 49. The agency bill establishes the Georgia Health Care Professionals Data System. It allows de-identified data in our state to be shared. It would be obtained from the various licensing boards. The Board can seek funding and grants to maintain the list. The measure received a DO PASS recommendation.
  • SB 491, authored by Senator Matt Brass (R-Newnan), amends Code Section 26-4-82 regarding closed-door pharmacies. This measure authorizes the Board of Pharmacy to increase the maximum ratio of pharmacists to pharmacy technicians in closed-door pharmacies that provide central prescription filling services to retail pharmacies. The measure received a DO PASS recommendation.
  • SB 495, authored by Senator Sam Watson, amends Code Section 31-2A-18, which allows for THC cards to be mailed to the patients and creates a term of validity for the cards. Josh Mackey, True Leaf, and Edward Lindsey expressed support for the measure. An amendment on line 27 by replacing US Postal Services with certified mail was approved. The measure received a DO PASS recommendation.
  • SB 515, authored by Senator Bo Hatchett (R-Cornelia), amends Title 31 to address the workforce shortage of EMS. The measure creates a pilot program with ambulances stationed in two regions for facility-to-facility transport and transfers of patients from a rural area to a metropolitan area. They would also help as ground support when air ambulances are grounded due to inclement weather. There is a fiscal note coming in at over $4 million. Josh Mackey with the Georgia EMS Association expressed support for the measure. The measure receives a DO PASS recommendation.
  • SB 524, authored by Senator Jason Anavitarte (R-Dallas), amends Title 31, creating the community health worker certification and the oversight body, the Georgia Community Health Worker Certification Committee. This will fall under the purview of the Department of Public Health. This will standardize the requirements to become one. Anavitarte explained community health workers have existing bonds of trust in their areas and can promote better outcomes. Julie Windom, Atrium Health, expressed support for the measure. The measure received a DO PASS recommendation.

House Governmental Affairs Committee

Chairman John LaHood (R-Valdosta) and the House Governmental Affairs Committee met and took up the following measures:

  • HB 17, authored by Representative Alan Powell (R-Hartwell), is an election bill in Chapter 2 of Title 21, which addresses the chain of custody of ballots. It was heard last year, passing out but not completing the process.  Section 1 is clean-up language; Section 2 deals with drop boxes (if not in use, they are sealed) and chain of custody on who picks the ballots up; and Section 3 addresses absentee ballots (return absentees, for instance) and challenge ballots (placed in locked box). Powell indicated that this language would likely be folded into another bill if passed.  The boxes are to be waterproof and locked with a chain of custody form prescribed by the Secretary of State. Burnough said that it cannot be any type of box; it needs to be uniform across the state. She also asked why drop boxes are included in this legislation. Powell said it is the same bill that was passed last year. Burnough also asked who would pay for the boxes; Powell indicated it could be the counties or the Secretary of State. Representative Steven Sainz (R-St. Mary’s) asked if the zip lock bags for evidence were prescribed and whether those affected the ability to secure the evidence. The legislation received a DO PASS recommendation, with Burnough voting no.
  • HB 1113, authored by Representative Matt Reeves (R-Duluth), is the “Personal Privacy Protection Act” in Chapter 18 of Title 50, and it came to the Committee in the form of a new Substitute.  Part of the revisions were at the request of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities. Donors to nonprofits are protected by the legislation.  It prohibits state agencies from disclosing certain information but does not interfere with law enforcement or political disclosures.  Representative Steven Sainz (R-St. Mary’s) appreciated the clarity and alignment with court decisions. The legislation received a DO PASS recommendation despite no votes.
  • HB 1149, authored by Representative Mesha Mainor (R-Atlanta), was presented as a Substitute in Chapter 81 of Title 36 and addresses discretionary funds of constitutional officers (sheriffs, probate judges, clerks). These funds are not currently required to be reported to the county.  No one has access to knowledge of the discretionary dollars. It does not change how the funds are used; it just states that they are to inform the county if they collect revenue. Burnough expressed concern yesterday about the legislation, and her county does not have the issue - her issue is if there is a particular county where this is an issue.  ACCG can report that a majority of counties do not report (e.g. passport fees, telephone fees (at jails), and vending machines). Some clerks make upwards of $500,000.  There is a passport fee disclosure bill that is also moving.  Representative J. Collins (R-Villa Rica) asked about the tax commissioner’s collection of fees for a city.  Not all fees are “discretionary,” per Mainor.  Clint Mueller, with ACCG, indicated that the discretionary funds do not flow through the county audit process.  Despite some no votes, the initiative received a DO PASS recommendation.
  • HB 1253, authored by Representative Victor Anderson (R-Cornelia), amends O.C.G.A. 50-8-34 to revise the composition of the governing councils of the regional commissions.  Section 1 is legislation from Representative Lynn Smith (R-Newnan). LC 47 2923 S is the Substitute used this afternoon. It creates “special rural districts” for contiguous small counties and allows them to offer services. Section 2 of the legislation is another legacy portion and final bill that had been drafted by former Representative Jay Powell (R-Camilla) on the regional commissions. Municipal commission members’ membership has been changed so that designees are permitted (but must be elected individuals).  The training section has also been altered and requires that the Department of Community Affairs provides assistance as necessary for the training on duties, tasks, and responsibilities.  This language emerged from the House Rural Development Council.  The legislation received a DO PASS recommendation.
  • HB 1266, authored by Representative Dale Washburn (R-Macon), amends Titles 12, 32, and 50 to create the “Community Housing Options Increase Cost Efficiency Act.” Washburn presented his legislation along with Representative Spencer Frye (D-Athens). The bill was heard in Subcommittee yesterday. LC 55 0230 was used. A housing crisis exists in the state, particularly for entry-level housing. It is a path to financial stability as it involves the ownership of a home, per Washburn.  At the end of the 2023 Session, a task force (GMA, Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Homebuilders, ACCG, Realtors Association, Habitat for Humanity, and others) held meetings around the state. The “Choice Act” was the idea of Frye. It incentivizes local governments to obtain grants. Frye outlined the legislation, an idea from Montana that created a state zoning code.  He outlined a list of things that are not health and safety issues but which add costs to a home. Thus, areas were encouraged to look at their zoning codes and asked that they look at a minimum of 10 zoning issues. If they do, they can access grants; if more than 15, then a higher qualification and more grants; and at 20, the area gets the maximum benefits (including GEFA grants). Enforcement will be easy; it can be simple, like an affidavit from the city or county attorney. Some considered this a step in the right direction for affordability.

Representative Joseph Gullett (R-Dallas) indicated that his area is a housing community for Atlanta, and this legislation generates other problems. He is concerned about the negative impact this bill might have on his community, which provides workforce housing. Frye indicated he could look at this language to see what might be able to be done. Representative Shea Roberts (D-Atlanta) inquired about the county's ability to increase housing supply and whether rezoning was necessary. However, she saw that the bill could reduce pressure for those who wish to grow - she indicated she appreciated the legislation. LaHood asked what the will of the committee was — but the legislation passed with a DO PASS recommendation with dissent.

New Legislation

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

H.B.1314

Health; designate emergency medical services, including ambulance service, as an essential service

Rep. Ruwa Romman (D-097)

https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67187

H.B.1317

Crimes and offenses; fornication and adultery; repeal provisions

Rep. Scott Holcomb (D-081)

https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67190

H.B.1322

Georgia Hemp Farming Act; regulate consumable hemp products

Rep. Chas Cannon (R-172)

https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67195

H.B.1326

Crimes and offenses; Schedule I, Schedule III, and Schedule IV controlled substances; provide certain provisions

Rep. Ron Stephens (R-164)

https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67200

H.B.1328

Quality Basic Education Act; table of instructional programs; add program for students living in poverty

Rep. Lydia Glaize (D-067)

https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67204

H.B.1331

Criminal procedure; district attorney's office to post certain information concerning cases to the office's website if such a website exists; require

Rep. Mesha Mainor (R-056)

https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67210

H.B.1333

Law enforcement officers and agencies; county and municipal agencies to employ civilian personnel to investigate traffic accidents involving property damage; authorize

Rep. Becky Evans (D-089)

https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67215

H.B.1334

Crimes and offenses; immunity from prosecution and exception; provide for exemptions

Rep. Devan Seabaugh (R-034)

https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67216

H.B.1336

Insurance; plan sponsor of health benefit plan to consent on behalf of a covered person to the electronic transmittal or electronic posting of such plan; allow

Rep. Tyler Smith (R-018)

https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67218

H.B.1339

Health; certificate of need; revise

Rep. Butch Parrish (R-158)

https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67221

H.B.1341

State symbols; white shrimp as official state crustacean; designate

Rep. Steven Sainz (R-180)

https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67228

H.R.1194

Adoptive and Foster Parent Association of Georgia; commend

Rep. Sharon Cooper (R-045)

https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67258

H.R.1198

Peer Support and the Associated Certified Peer Specialists Workforce; 25th anniversary; recognize

Rep. Katie Dempsey (R-013)

https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67262

 

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

S.B.529

Physicians; certain licensure for qualifying foreign medical graduates; provide

Sen. Kim Jackson (D-041)

https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67178

S.B.532

Education; sex education for public school students in this state before fifth grade; prohibit

Sen. Clint Dixon (R-045)

https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67231

S.B.536

"Dietitian Licensure Compact"; enter into an interstate compact

Sen. Sonya Halpern (D-039)

https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67283

S.B.537

Taxes on Tobacco and Vaping Products; rate of the tax on consumable vapor products; increase

Sen. Nikki Merritt (D-009)

https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67285

S.B.539

Taxes on Tobacco and Vaping Products; the rate of the tax on each pack of cigarettes; increase

Sen. Nikki Merritt (D-009)

https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67287

What’s Next

The General Assembly will reconvene for Legislative Day 25 on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, at 9 a.m.

The House is expected to take up the following measures on Legislative Day 25:

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

The Senate is expected to take 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
  • SB 401 - Senate Foster Care and Adoption Study Committee; implement recommendations
  • SB 483 - Minors; enter into the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children; definitions; provisions; provide
  • SR 471 - Senate Study Committee on Access to Affordable Child Care; create
  • 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
  • HB 915 - Supplemental appropriations; State Fiscal Year July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024