HB 683 Ralston - 7 PASSED House PASSED Senate DV
F2018A Budget. The current year budget being amended to reflect the increase in revenues of $300 million. The top items in the governor's recommendations are:
$10 million in Community Affairs for beach nourishment projects, after recent hurricanes.
27 million in Community Health to reflect increased need in Medicaid
23 million in Community Health to provide a state match for hospital federal funds
102 million in DOEducation for QBE student increases not part of projected enrollment in original budget
15 million in DOEducation to buy 194 local school buses @ $77,000 each with cash, not bonds as in the past.
ncreases to $15.5 million for 200 buses.
enate: Adds $500,000 more for buses.
Bus life is about 12
years - 1300+ school buses in
state are older than this.
3 million in Forestry Commission to combat wildfires.
15 million in Human Services for Out-of-Home Care utilization
5 million in GBI for implementation of the statewide criminal justice e-filing system
2.7 million in Natural Resources to provide additional public access and land
5.2 million in Public Health for GA Trauma Care from Super Speeder fines and
4 million in Public Safety to purchase 93 law enforcement pursuit vehicles
10 million in University System for Augusta University Graduate Medical School to
cover an operating deficit
17 million in Revenue for Forestland Protection grant reimbursements
10.7 million in Student Finance Commission for additional students in dual enrollment
programs, Lottery funds
18 million in Student Finance Commission for public school students for the Zell Miller
scholarship, Lottery funds
25.2 million in DOT to expand 11 runway lengths to handle larger aircraft.
ELECTIONS & ETHICS
SB 107 Millar - 40 PASSED Senate
Additional campaign disclosure reports are to be filed on May 10, but are no longer required on December 31.
SB 31 McKoon - 29 PASSED Senate H.Health & Human Services
The Department of Community Health board shall have two active members of the state health benefit plan, one a member of Employees Retirement System and one from Teachers Retirement System. Of those two, one shall be active and one shall be a retired member. Creates the 12 member State Health Benefit Plan Customer Advisory Council to advise the Commissioner of Community Health. Each must be a member of the state health benefit plan, either active or retired.
SB 370 Wilkinson - 50 PASSED Senate H.Health & Human Services
Medicaid recipients who die shall have the first $25,000 of their estate waived from recapture by Medicaid. Currently, if the estate is valued under $25,000, there is no recapture, but if it is above $25,000, Medicaid takes the first $25,000. Generally, this is the home, as eligibility for Medicaid limits other assets to $2000.
HB 678 Smith - 134 PASSED House S.Health & Human Services
Sets parameters for information to patients and prospective patients as to the insurances each will accept, costs of services to such to patients for both in network and out of network and the providers that be asked to help with a patients and whether each is in network or not (anesthetists, radiologists, pathologists, etc.). Patient has 90 days to pay and collection efforts by providers can only start thereafter. Arbitration is allowed.
RESPONSIBLE TAX POLICY
HR 158 Powell - 171 PASSED House
CA to authorize the General Assembly to dedicate for 10 years or less revenues derived from fees or taxes to the public purpose for which such fees or taxes were imposed. Such funds would not lapse and would not be available for any other purpose except in case of a financial emergency. Such emergency would require a 2/3 vote of each chamber to divert the funds for up to two years, and could only be done twice in 10 years.
HB 749 Blackman - 146 PASSED House S.Finance
Excludable from income taxable net income is any income received by a surviving family member, regardless of age, of a deceased veteran when such income is based on the veteran's service record. GA is just one of 9 states that don't exclude military retirement pay. It's treated much like the Social Security exemption, must be 62 if disabled or 65 to get the exemption.
SB 362 Tippins - 37 PASSED Senate
The State Board of Education (SBE) shall establish an innovative assessment pilot program of 3 to 5 years to examine one or more alternative assessments (tests) and accountability systems aligned with state academic standards. Up to 10 school districts may participate, selected by the SBOE, and each would be excused from using the state testing instruments. SBE will handle any necessary approvals or waivers needed from the US Department of Education . SBE and the US Department of Education will demonstrate comparability between innovative assessments chosen and state-wide assessments. Effective 2018-19 school year. DOE worked closely with author to develop this program as did some school districts.
HB 739 Williams - 168 PASSED House S.Education & Youth
Renames the law section that permits expedited certification for military spouses the Tracey Rainey Act. She is the wife of a military general and has publicized far and wide the GA program for military spouses.
HB 740 Nix - 69 PASSED House S.Education & Youth
Before K-3 students are to be given out of school suspension for the fifth or subsequent day in the school year, the student shall be enrolled in the RTI, Response to Intervention, process to determine if there are any physical reasons for the misbehavior, such as vision, hearing, or speech-language issues. Does not apply for infractions of possession of a weapon, drugs or other dangerous instruments or if the student's behavior endangered others. Requires parental permission. Special education students or those under Section 504 shall have a meeting convened to review appropriate supports for the student. Statewide, 2600 students in this age group receive suspensions exceeding 4 days at a time when the schools are trying to lay the foundations for literacy. RTI is a process defined at the federal level for students who have disciplinary issues and a cause, if any, needs to be determined.
HB 763 Nix - 69 PASSED House S.Education & Youth
Improvement in school climate shall become a focus of the student attendance committee for each school system. Student discipline data is to be included in the annual report to the state board of education.
HR 898 Coleman - 97 PASSED House S.Education & Youth
Creates the 15 member Joint Study Committee on the Establishment of a State Accreditation Process. Members include 3 legislators from each chamber, the state school superintendent, the state board of education chair, the state Charter School Commission chair, the Office of Student Achievement director, the chancellor of the University System, and five appointees of the governor to include a local board of education member, a local school superintendent, a principal, a teacher, and a parent. The group is to study the resources and structure needed, any impediments, the interaction with existing private accreditation agencies, aligning accreditation reviews with charter or contract renewals for charter systems and strategic waiver systems, establishment of a state process for annual review of system charters and contracts including student achievement, local board of education governance and financial management, possible consequences of losing state accreditation and the possibility of establishing a school board review commission. Report due 12-1-18. Called for in legislation passed last year. Current accreditation looks at local school governance but not academics.
SB 348 Harper - 7 PASSED Senate H.Higher Education
Gives arrest powers to POST certified Technical College System of GA campus police in the manner that USG campus police have it.
HB 654 Beskin - 54 PASSED House S.Judiciary
Reintroduction of the recommendations of the Georgia Child Support Commission which were developed over three years. A similar bill passed in 2018 and is on the governor's desk for signature. It has elements in it that were not in the recommendations. This is a Plan B.
HB 668 Price - 48 PASSED House S.Judiciary
Outlines how an adult guardian can be appointed for a ward who is 17 and still a minor. Guardianship will not be effective until the ward has turned 18.
COURTS AND CRIMES
SB 315 Thompson - 14 PASSED Senate H.Judiciary Non-Civil
Unauthorized computer access is defined as a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. GA is one of three states which has no violation for unauthorized access. A hack of Kennesaw University data was the genesis of this bill.
HB 657 Petrea - 166 PASSED House
Knowingly and intentionally providing a gun to a person on probation or as a felony first offender is a felony. Sellers are not required to check if the person receiving the gun is a felon.
CAPITOL AND GROUNDS
SB 378 Albers - 56 PASSED Senate H.Ways & Means
Legislative proposals and amendments thereto having a fiscal impact shall require an economic analysis issued by the state auditor prior to consideration and shall state the fiscal impact for 10 years. This has been needed for a very long time.
SB 17 Unterman - 45 PASSED Senate H.Regulated Industries
The Brunch or Mimosa Bill. Sunday alcohol sales may begin at 11 a.m. in private establishments and wineries if the local governing authority adopts a resolution or ordinance. Government owned facilities such as GA World Congress Center already have this privilege. Currently, private establishments may not serve alcohol until 12:30 on Sunday. There are about 4000 such establishments in the state.
HB 190 Hanson - 80 PASSED House S.Judiciary
Updates and clarifies ante nuptial agreements, prenups. Must be signed by both parties with two witnesses, one of which is a notary. Currently, GA doesn't require that these contracts be written and witnessed.
Seay - 34 NNS PASSED
The Senate recognized Senator Nan Orrock for her induction into the National Center for Civil and Human Rights Museum Walk of Fame. Nan Orrock represents part of Atlanta and the Tri Cities area south of Atlanta.
HR 943 Morris - 2 PASSED House S.Rules
Creates the 6 member Joint Georgia-North Carolina and Georgia-Tennessee Boundary Line Commission, 3 legislators from each chamber. The boundary is to lie at the 35th parallel, north of the southernmost bank of the Tennessee River. A flawed survey of 1818 marked the 35th parallel south of its actual location and the survey was never accepted by Georgia. Several attempts have been made to adjust the borders to the true location of the 35th parallel but none have been successful. Georgia wants the 35th parallel accurately defined so it can access water from the Tennessee River.
COUNTIES AND CITIES
SB 366 Gooch - 51 PASSED Senate
Wage and compensation studies are to be done by every county and city for employees of the sheriff and law enforcement agencies. The studies are to be repeated every 5 years and submitted to the Department of Community Affairs. A grant program is created to provide to local governments funds, if appropriated, to increase the wages of such law enforcement employees.
HB 381 Corbett - 174 PASSED House
Vacant mobile homes can be classified as derelict or intact for purposes of disposal or creation of liens by the local authority governing the land on which it is located. The owner of the land can have the vacant mobile home removed if derelict, or the owner of the mobile home will have a lien imposed for costs to make the home habitable.
HB 757 Powell - 32 PASSED House S.Regulated Industries & Utilities
County and city governments may continue to require a certificate of public necessity and convenience for taxi cabs. Any Department of Public Safety regulation or requirement shall be additional. If a certificate or medallion is required by local government to operate, it is also a requirement of state law. Operators must display their ID card for customers to see. It must be no older than 1 year. A metering device may be an app on a smart phone and a local government cannot ban such 'soft' taximeters. Age of vehicles shall be 8 years or less and local governments cannot require any newer vehicles.
TRANSPORTATION & DRIVING
HB 79 Pezold - 133 PASSED House S.Public Safety
Data captured by an automated license plate recognition system or any other source must be destroyed after 30 months and can only be accessed for law enforcement and judicial purposes. Data is not available for freedom of information.
HB 161 Price - 48 DO PASS in H.Health & Human Services
Exempts persons employed by or are agents of a harm reduction organization from laws prohibiting distribution of hypodermic syringes or needles. A harm reduction organization works to reduce the spread of HIV and other infectious diseases among intravenous drug users. Pharmacists and their interns and externs are already exempted. There are 38 states that have some sort of needle exchange service. It slows down the transmission of diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C, both of which can be costly to treat.
HR 888 Spencer - 180 DO PASS in H.Defense & Veterans Affairs
Creates a Joint Committee on Converting Closed Hospitals to Veterans Homes.
SB 235 James - 35 DO PASS in S.Education & Youth
Youth football players are urged to wear a helmet with at least a four star rating on the Virginia Tech Helmet Rating scale.
HB 273 Douglas - 78 PASSED House DO PASS in S.Education & Youth DV
There shall be an average of 30 minutes daily of physical activity for students in K-5, both structured and unstructured. Physical Education will be counted in this time. Senate: Removes mandate. Adds: Not on inclement or special programming days.
HR 354 Kendrick
- 93 DO PASS in H.Education
Urges Department of Education and Department of Behavioral Health and mental health experts to develop and provide to local school systems a list of training materials for awareness of mental health issues and behavioral and learning disabilities. One in ten children has serious mental health issues, and 44% of those drop out of school.
HB 743 Clark - 98 DO PASS in H.Education
Students participating in interscholastic sports in grades 9-12 are to be informed about the nature and warning signs of sudden cardiac arrest. The Department of Education shall develop and post on its website guidelines and other materials to inform students about sudden cardiac arrest. Students and parents will sign annually that such materials have been reviewed. Does not seem to apply to intramural sports.
HB 762 Cantrell - 22 DO PASS in H.Education
Adds age-appropriate sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention education for K-9 students to the existing sex education requirement. Thirty-one states have implemented this curriculum. There is a curriculum for sex education available with federal funding.
HB 787 Hilton - 95 DO PASS in H.Education
State charter schools may be members of RESAs, Regional Education Service Agencies, and utilize any services provided to membership. Changes the state charter school funding formula to be based on a state-wide average, currently an average of the 5 lowest wealthy school systems. A fiscal note indicates the cost of changing the funding basis will cost $17 million in the first year. State charter schools will get forward funding for expected enrollment, but traditional schools must wait until the midterm budget to get paid for the number of students who have enrolled over the previous year. There are 90,000 students enrolled in state charter schools; traditional schools have 1.7 million.
HB 852 Smith - 41 DO PASS in H.Education
Allows school systems to permit a student to finish a school year at the school enrolled if more than half the school year has elapsed even if the student's residence changes, as long as student is still living within the school system. Parent will be responsible for transportation of the student. Students with chronic disciplinary problems are excluded from this privilege. Currently, many school systems allow similar options, such as being allowed to finish the semester.
HB 853 Dempsey - 13 DO PASS in H.Education
No student placed in a psychiatric residential treatment facility by the parent pursuant to a physician's order can be charged tuition.
HR 1017 Corbett - 104 NNS DO PASS in H.Education
Encourages all schools and local and state education agencies to recognize that dyslexia must be addressed because it has a profound effect on education of the person who has it.
HB 664 Teasley - 37 DO PASS in H.Ways & Means
Increases the amount deposited in a 529 account for postsecondary use by a student that may be deducted from income to $4000, from $2000. If a joint return is filed, the deduction may be up to $8000.
SB 319 Albers - 56 DO PASS in S.Public Safety
Creates the Department of Public Safety with a commissioner of fire safety and a 17 member Fire Safety Board. It assumes the responsibilities for much of the State Fire Marshall, the Georgia Fire Academy, GA Firefighter Standards and Training Council. Effective 7-1-19. This 177 page bill reassigns responsibilities but doesn't change any requirements. All current rules and regulations continue in effect until they expire or are explicitly revoked or amended.
HB 719 Scott - 76 DO PASS in H.Defense & Veterans Affairs
Requires housing authorities to give preference to homeless veterans.
HB 767 Werkheiser - 157 PASSED House DO PASS in S.Industry & Labor
An applicant for unemployment insurance benefits filing electronically must prove that each is a citizen of the U.S. Those filing in person already have to prove citizenship.
COUNTIES AND CITIES
HB 419 Silcox - 52 PASSED House DO PASS in S.Public Safety DV
Counties and cities can further regulate fireworks between 10 a.m. and midnight for noise. Currently, local governments may not subject anyone to noise ordinances until 9 p.m.
GOVERNMENT - TRANSPORTATION & DRIVING
HB 717 Kelley -
16 DO PASS in H.Transportation
Consumer protection laws for motor vehicles shall also apply to autonomous motor vehicles.
PREK - 12
HB 903 Maxwell - 17 H.Retirement
TRS members who became members after July 1, 1993 will receive no post-retirement COLA benefit unless the employer contribution for the previous fiscal year was under $150 million and the employee contribution rate is 6%. Currently, the employer rate is about 20% and has grown annually in recent years. The smallest school systems which are most likely to have lower teacher salaries may fall beneath the $150 million exception. All teachers currently contribute 6%. Sponsor states that the cost to the state, which pays the employer portion, is growing continuously, and it is necessary to slow down this growth. Post- retirement COLA benefits are almost unheard of in non- governmental pensions, when pensions exist.