Mary Margaret Oliver
Email Newsletter
May 20 , 2017
Time for summer fun!


Dear Friends,


Thank you for all of your votes and comments and advice to me during the 2017 General Assembly session!  All of the vote results on the specific questions I asked in my newsletters are available for your review in my previous newsletters that you can find on my website,  Your opinions always matter, and I am grateful for your participation on the issues of the day before us in the House.


Governor's Final Actions--Campus Carry and Final Passage of HB 86 and HB 575


The time for Governor Deal to sign or veto bills passed by the General Assembly in the 2017 Session ended last week.  I participated in two formal "signing" ceremonies along with advocates in the Governor's office. These are always fun times, that represent successful work by many. The Governor signed both HB 86 related to sex trafficking of minors and HB 575 creating funding for the Brookhaven Parkway Greenspace sponsored by me.  Progress, and thank you to all who worked on these bills!


The bad news is that Governor Deal signed and did not veto HB 280--Campus Carry.  I have said this week on Bill Nigut's Political Rewind WABE radio program that I do not believe HB 280 can be implemented---the where and when guns may be carried onto campuses is too confusing, too much uncertainty, and litigation is predictable, almost guaranteed to enjoin implementation in my view.  See the link to Greg Bluestein's AJC article here and WABE program here.  I theorize, not based on any direct information, that the Governor did not veto campus carry, as he did last year, because he believed the Regents would seek court intervention.  Guesswork on my part, but  I am hopeful.  A veto would have been the right decision.  Mush on.   


Survey Results  
In our last newsletter we asked:

 "Should UBER be taxed in the same manner as taxis and limousines?"

You answered:

YES     71%
NO     29% 

Thoughts on the 2017 Session
Every Session is different.  For 2017, I was surprised at how little was accomplished, and the variety of issues that received serious attention, but did not pass.  High profile issues relating to the "Fair Tax", improving car tax and Uber issues, private school scholarships, coal ash deposits, 911 management and oversight, mandatory E-filing of court documents, among others, did not pass.  All these bills had sophisticated advocates, hard working legislators and committee attention and progressed very close to Sine Die, but then failed. 
 My biggest disappointment was in the 12:45 am, Day 41(?) failure of the Adoption Code reform to pass, HB 159.  There was very bad behavior by the Senate that derailed three years of work by adoption law experts in a feckless effort to amend HB 159 to include "religious freedom protections".  The Senate sacrificed high quality work of pro bono advocates to assist new parents and children languishing in foster care create new families.  Very bad, very disappointing, but not over.   HB 159 will be back with more advocates and more positive attention in 2018. 
Work Plans for the Summer and Fall--Preparing for the 2018 Session
I have been appointed by the Governor to the Court Reform Commission, chaired by Attorney General Chris Carr, and we begin meeting May 23 in the Banc Room of the 47 Trinity building.   I have also been asked  by Speaker Ralston to serve on  HB 848 House Commission on Transit Governance and Funding--a major issue.

 I will periodically report on these activities, and other work, and as always invite your opinions and participation. All commission and committee meetings are open to the public. Meeting schedules can be found on the House website.

Bills that I sponsored in 2017 that did not pass this Session are automatically held over until 2018, and  I will focus much of my time on HB 53, raising the age for Juvenile Court jurisdiction for criminal offenses from 17 to 18.  Georgia is one of six remaining states that criminally prosecutes 17 year olds as adults.

I also look forward to visiting with you in your neighborhoods over the summer and fall.  Please invite me to any of your gatherings--pot lucks, parades, swim meets! Have a good summer, and thank you for the privilege of serving you. 





Please contact me anytime with your questions or comments and visit our website at the link below and  follow me on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the links below. I look forward to working with you during the  2018 Georgia General Assembly, and I need your help and your support!!  In the meantime, I will continue to report on issues that may interest you, and welcome your suggestions on how this newsletter may better serve you.

Mary Margaret
Law Office (404) 377-0485
Legislative Office (404) 656-0265
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