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Nonpartisan News from the Georgia Capitol
 Published by the Education Fund of the
League of Women Voters of Georgia 
  Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.  
Under the Gold Dome will be distributed to League members each week that the Georgia General Assembly is in session. It is a product of our Education Fund, meaning we report the facts and goings-on at the State Capitol. 
The UTGD Team is comprised of LWVGA staff and volunteers, who will be tracking and reporting on legislation and committee hearings throughout the legislative session.  
Legislative Calendar
The 2019 Legislative Session began this past Monday, January 14.  The session is limited to 40 Legislative Days by the Georgia Constitution.  A Legislative Day is any day in which the House and Senate are called to a floor session.  The first eleven days of the calendar have been set for 2019, with the first four completed this week.  While there are no Legislative Days next week, the Appropriations Committees will meet jointly to review the budget.  All legislators will return for Legislative Day 5 on Monday, January 28.

Crossover Day will be on Legislative Day 28. For a measure to be considered by the other chamber, the legislation must have been approved by the originating chamber on or before that day.  Legislative Day 40 is Sine Die, when the legislature adjourns "without a day to return."

Committee Meeting Schedules are set by each Chamber, and can be scheduled for any day after during the session.  You can find the up-to-date schedules for each below: 

2019 G eneral Session
Issue 1
January 18, 2019

UTGD Team 
Legislation Reporting Sally Fitzgerald 
LWVAF member 

 Marla Bexley-Lovell LWVGA staff

Other Contributors  
Tracy Adkison
 LWVGA President
 Edna Kopetz
 LWVGA Member
Elizabeth Poythress LWVGA Board
Quick Link s

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  On January 14th a new Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State were inaugurated. A new legislative session has begun. A year from now, the census will begin. For Georgia, this is a critical moment when we as constituents of so many newly elected officials have a chance to demand reform of our redistricting process. 

Look for news of legislation, backed by the League of Women Voters of Georgia and other coalition partners, that will call for an independent redistricting commission, enforceable standards for drawing legislative districts and complete transparency for the process. Register your support online by signing our  Redistricting Petition today!  It is high time that voters pick their representatives and to stop incumbents from picking their own voters.  
Report from the Capitol, Week 1
Submitted by Sally Fitzgerald, Capitol Reporter

Session Cheat Sheet
HB = House Bill                                         SB = Senate Bill 
HR= House Resolution                              SR = Senate Resolution
NNS = Needs No Signature                      TGFS = To Governor for Signature
DV = Differing Versions                             DOE = Department of Education
CA = Constitutional Amendment*              BOLD Bill Number = final passage * Requires a 2/3s vote in each chamber and a majority      

The Georgia General Assembly is back in town.  Hold tight to both your wallet and your spouse, for efforts will be made to take both from you.
This first week of a new session saw all constitutional officers installed.  The House has reelected David Ralston as its Speaker.  The Senate has formed its committees and named its chairs, while the House has completed neither task.  Only the House Rules Committee Chair has been named to replace John Meadows, who passed away just days after being reelected.  That is Jay Powell, former chair of Ways & Means; yet another vacancy to be filled.  The Senate Committee chairs and members may be found at
The calendar has been set for the first 11 days.  There will be no legislative days next week, but the Appropriations Committees will meet jointly to look over the budget.  Typically, they start with the budget for the current year, the amended budget.  All legislators will return for Legislative Day 5 on Monday, January 28.
CA = constitutional amendment.   Requires a 2/3s vote in each chamber and a majority vote in the next general election scheduled for November 2020.
For a compete list of Pre-filed Legislation, and more details on what is summarized below, review the complete lists of House Legislation and Senate Legislation
HB 1  Petrea - 166     H.Education
Renames the GA Special Needs Scholarship to the Senator Eric Johnson Scholarship.  Eric Johnson is a former President Pro Tem of the GA Senate, currently a lobbyist, and a strong proponent of school choice at taxpayer expense.
HB 10  Bazemore - 63     H.Health & Human Services
The sex education curriculum may include for female students the best practices for and risks associated with the use of tampons.  Encourages all doctors and nurses providing tampons to provide information to the patient on best practices for and risks associated with the use of tampons and avoidance of toxic shock syndrome.
SR 12  Albers - 56     S.Finance
CA to allow educational SPLOST proceeds to be used for school security projects.  Currently, SPLOST funds may be used for capital projects but not annual expenses.  This proposal would allow hiring of personnel to provide building and campus security or mental health services.
SB 15  Albers - 56     S.Public Safety
Keeping Georgia's Schools Safe Act.  Every public and private school, K-12, shall conduct a threat assessment, an evaluation to effectively respond, prevent or reduce, the threat of violence, mass casualty incidents, and other acts of violence, natural disasters, and hazardous materials or radiological accidents.  The first shall be done by August 1, 2019, prior to the opening of school for students, and every 2 years thereafter.  Additional Inclusions are safety issues:   in school safety zones, for school functions in non-instructional hours, and in school transportation of students.  GEMA shall train school safety coaches for schools who shall be current or former members of the armed forces, law enforcement, or fire departments.  Coaches shall be granted a homestead exemption for property taxes for schools for the full value of the property if approved in a statewide referendum in November 2019.  Currently, private schools 'may' conduct an assessment.  The public schools are already required. 
SB 21  James - 35     S.Education & Youth
Requires a course in cybersecurity for every grade, K-12.  Effective 7-1-20.
SB 25  Health - 31     S.Government Oversight
Clarifies when a motor vehicle must stop for a school bus approaching from the opposite  direction.
HR 2  Turner - 21     H.Judiciary
Ratifies the U.S. Constitutional  Amendment to prohibit the use of a poll tax.  GA has not ratified this amendment.  Doing so will make no change in federal law, but will have a record of GA's ratification.
SR 18  Lucas - 26     S.Government Oversight
CA to require the office of Secretary of State to be declared vacant when the holder qualifies for any other elected office.  The Secretary of State is the chief election officer.  Some feel that person should not oversee an election in which that person is a candidate.
SB 22  James - 35     S.Ethics
Absentee ballots will not require any identifying information from the voter on the outside of the mailing envelope but instead on another envelope enclosed therein.
HB 24  Jones - 91     S.Government Affairs
All members of state and local boards, authorities, commissions, & similar entities shall be appointed by an elected official or officials of the state or a political subdivision.  This language seems to ignore the fact that some boards, commissions, etc., are elected.
HB 27  Belton - 112     S.Government Affairs
Cities with population of 2,500 or less may shorten the advanced voting period for elections if approved in a local referendum.  The advanced voting period would be two weeks.  Staff would be one manager, and one assistant manager, and any other poll workers the city may direct.  The absentee ballot clerk may serve as the manager or assistant manager.
SB 2  Gooch - 51     S.Regulated Industries & Utilities
HB 23  Houston - 170     H.Economic Development & Tourism
Authorizes electric membership corporations to offer broadband services.  Prohibits cross-subsidization between the corporation's broadband and natural gas services or electric services.
SB 17  Gooch - 51     S.Regulated Industries & Utilities
HB 22  Houston - 170     H.Economic Development & Tourism
Authorizes telephone cooperatives and their broadband affiliates to provide broadband services.
HB 25  Belton - 112     H.Judiciary
A military service member with orders to relocate for 90 days or more may cancel services for television, video, audio programming, internet access, or membership in a health spa without penalties.
HR 1   Ralston - 7      H.State Properties
Names the new judicial building being constructed on Capitol Avenue the Nathan Deal Judicial Center.   This building is being built on the site of the former Archives building.
HB 5  Cannon - 58     H.Industry & Labor
GA Prospective Employer Act.  Bans an employer from relying upon salary history information when hiring.  Internal transfers or promotions with the applicant's current employer can continue to use salary history information for evaluation.
HR - 4  Turner - 21     H.Judiciary
Ratifies the U.S. Constitutional 18th Amendment repealing prohibition.   Federal law is not changed but the ratification will be recorded.
HR 16  Mitchell - 88     H.Judiciary
Ratifies the U.S. Constitutional Amendment establishing Equal Rights for All (ERA).  Georgia's constitution declares equal rights for all, but the state never approved the federal constitutional amendment.
HR 17   Turner - 21       H.Judiciary
Ratifies the U.S. Constitutional 25th Amendment regarding presidential succession and disability.  Georgia has never ratified this amendment.  If this proposal  passes, the records will be updated to indicate GA has acted on it.
HB 20   Bazemore - 63      H.Public Safety & Homeland Security
A person convicted of family violence cannot possess or carry a firearm.
SB 3   Rhett - 33      S.Health & Human Services
To provide for a program of premium assistance to enable eligible individuals to obtain health care coverage.   Eligibility means a US citizen or legal resident, ages 19-65 with incomes at 138% of the federal poverty level or less but not eligible for Medicaid.   The insured must contribute up to 5% of annual income to premiums.  Creates an eight-member Legislative Oversight Committee for Health Care Premium Assistance.
HB 9   Mathiak - 73      H.Judiciary
Chiropractic doctors may impose a lien on proceeds from a third party to pay for health care costs of a person for   injuries arising from an accident.   Currently hospitals and nursing homes may do this now.
SB 12   Rhett - 33      S.Health & Human Services
Health clubs with 3,000 or more clients must have an automated external defibrillator on site at all times by 7-1-19.
SB 16   Kirkpatrick - 32      S.Health & Human Services
The Georgia Composite Medical Board shall administer the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Act which permits granting an expedited license to those licensed in other states which are members of the compact.   This proposal contains terms of the compact.
SB 18   Kirkpatrick - 32      S.Health & Human Services
Direct primary care agreements between a physician and patient are not insurance.
HB 7   Petrea - 166       H.Ways & Means
Military retirement benefits including survivor benefits will not be subject to state income taxes for years 2020 through 2030.
HB 8   Buckner - 137      H.Ways & Means
A sales tax exemption for certain menstrual products.
Sally FitzGerald, Capitol Observer
League of Women Voters - Atlanta/Fulton
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