Thursday was Crossover Day at the Georgia Capitol and legislators scrambled to debate as many bills as they could before the end of business.
If a bill has a chance to become law this year, it must clear the chamber where it originated by the end of 28th day of the session, which was Thursday. Once a bill has passed in one chamber it crosses over to the over, thus “Crossover Day”. Legislators unable to get their bills to the floor, must now look for bills already passed that they can amend to keep their legislation alive.
HB 444, renames the “Move on When Ready Act” to the “Dual Enrollment Act.” It will permit an eligible high school student in 11th or 12th grade the ability to take a maximum of 30 hours of covered dual credit courses (delivered on-site or on-line) at a University System of Georgia Institution. It permits a student to take
non-covered dual credit courses (those after 30 hours at their own expense or using lottery funds). The bill also, requires academic advising prior to entering into the dual enrollment program, after taking 15 credit hours, and when the student reaches 30 credit hours. The bill passed the House by a vote of 99-72 and now crosses over to the Senate.
Teachers Retirement System of Georgia
HB 109, proposes changes to the Teacher Retirement System of Georgia. The changes would impact new teachers hired on or after July 1, 2019, not current TRS members or retirees. This bill would modify conditions of the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia for members by changing the earnable compensation, modifying the contribution rate and modifying the normal retirement age. The bill was not called upon for a vote.
Military Affairs & Veterans Legislation
HB 33, allows a grace period of up to six months for the renewal of a weapons carry license for any service member whose license expires while they are on active duty. Once home, the service member may carry within the limits of the permit until they renew their license as long as they have with them their military orders or a written verification signed by the commanding officer. The bill passed the House by a vote of 148-20 and has been assigned to the Senate Veterans, Military and Homeland Security Committee.
HB 218, would extend the time that students have to use the HOPE Scholarship from seven to ten years after high school. If the student serves in the military during that 10-year period, their active duty service will not count towards the 10 years. The bill passed the House by a vote of 164-0 and has been assigned to the Senate Higher Education Committee.
SB 161, would allow for weighted scores for AP, Dual Enrollment, and International Baccalaureate courses adjusting the GPA for HOPE Scholarship and Zell Miller Scholarship eligibility. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 53-1 and has been assigned to the House Higher Education Committee.
Living Infants Fairness and Equality Act
HB 481, sponsored by Rep. Ed Setzler (R-Acworth), would prohibit an abortion once a fetal heartbeat has been determined by a doctor, which is typically detected at about 6 weeks. Current law allows abortions up to 20 weeks. The bill passed the House by a vote of 93-73 and now crosses over to the Senate.
Georgia Major Airport Authority Act
SB 131, sponsored by Sen. Burt Jones (R-Jackson), would create the Georgia Major Airport Authority Act intended to control the operations of the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. This would take control away from the City of Atlanta and give it to the State. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 34-22 and now crosses over to the House.
Georgia’s Hope Act
HB 324, “Georgia’s Hope Act”, creates the Office of Low THC Oil Control within the Department of Public Health which is to have the authority to issue licenses for the production, growing, manufacturing, and dispensing of low THC oil. The bill passed the House by a vote of 123-40 and has been assigned to the Senate Regulated Industries & Utilities Committee.
HB 234, sponsored by Rep. Chuck Efstration (R-Dacula), the “Anti-Human Trafficking Protective Response Act”, is the House version of SB 158 that passed last week, will provide additional safeguards and protections against human trafficking, authorize DFCS to provide care and supervision to children who are victims of human trafficking and expand prohibitions against trafficking of persons for labor or sexual servitude. The bill passed the House by a vote of 167-0 and has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
K-12, School Safety & Security Legislation
HB 12, requires the posting of signs which contain the toll-free number to report incidents of child abuse in a visible, public area of a school. The bill passed the House by a vote of 166-0 and has been assigned to the Senate Education and Youth Committee.
SB 60, requires high schools to post information on the warning signs of sudden cardiac arrest, hold an informational meeting for parents, and obtain informed consent before participation interscholastic athletic activities. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 54-0 and has been assigned to the House Education Committee.
HB 83, would require elementary schools to schedule recess for children in grades K-5. The bill passed the House by a vote of 160-11 and now crosses over to the Senate.
Motorized Mobility Devices
HB 454, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Tanner (R-Dawsonville), would create definitions for motorized mobility devices (electric scooters), provide rules of the road, maintain local authority to create jurisdiction appropriate regulations, set incident reporting requirements and limit liability. The bill passed the House by a vote of 133-28 and is now crosses over to the Senate.
HR 327, proposes an amendment to the Constitution to allow the local authorization for a limited number of licensed destination gambling resorts. The bill was not called upon for a vote.
SB 2, would permit electric membership corporations (EMCs) and their affiliates to deliver broadband services throughout Georgia. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 53-1 and now crosses over to the House.
HB 499, sponsored by Rep. Trey Kelley (R-Cedartown), would allow an electric membership corporation (EMC) with an existing electric easement to use that same easement for the purposes of deploying broadband services. The bill passed the House by a vote of 166-0 and has been assigned to the Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee.
Intern Spotlight: Lucas Perez
Lucas Perez is a junior political science major from Suwanee. He decided to become an intern with the Georgia Legislative Internship Program (GLIP) because he wanted to discover the latest happenings and practices of the legislative process.
“I want to absorb all the knowledge and expertise given by elected officials,” says Mr. Perez. Furthermore, Lucas feels being personable and forming lasting relationships in the legislature is very important if you want to succeed in the political world.
Mr. Perez is assigned to the House Rules Committee where his duties include setting up for committee meetings, handling constituent issues, tracking legislation, providing research and summarizing bills.
Lucas is motivated by his three truths: It is what it is. It doesn’t really matter. Disregard everything above. His favorite book is the Bible.
Intern Spotlight: Samantha Wicker
GSU professors Dr. Nancy Mansfield and Dr. Sarah Gershon both expressed how the Georgia Legislative Internship Program (GLIP) would be an incredible opportunity, says junior criminal justice major Samantha Wicker. “I wanted to see policy at work from the inside, in the moment, while it was happening so that I could see and feel what it is like.”
Assigned to the Office of Legislative Counsel, Samantha’s many duties include research, handling constituent issues, and assisting legislators and staff with various assignments.
Outside of GLIP, Samantha enjoys the outdoors, going to the gym, taking short trips and spending time with friends. After she graduates from GSU, Samantha plans to attend law school and thereafter, strive to become a prosecutor, district attorney and eventually a judge.
Samantha’s favorite quote is “what is life, without a little risk?” by Sirius Black, Harry Potter. She loves reading classic books like The Odyssey, as well as the Harry Potter series.
Information on legislative activities including bills and resolutions as well as a webcast of daily sessions in both Chambers and committee meetings are available via the General Assembly website at ** www.legis.ga.gov (http://www.legis.ga.gov)
Day 30: The House will convene at 10:00 am and the Senate at 1:00 pm on Monday, March 11.
GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS TEAM
Tom Lewis, Senior Advisor to the President
Julie Kerlin, Senior Director of Government & Community Affairs
Michael Parkerson, Director of Government & Community Affairs
Jason Thomas, Assistant Director for State Relations
Clelia Keen, Assistant Director for Community Affairs
Debbie Jones, Associate to the Director
Georgia State University
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Atlanta, Georgia 30302
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Visit Georgia State University’s Office of Government and Community Affairs:
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