Dual Enrollment Moves Forward
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 core courses as defined by the HOPE criteria, which includes math, english, science, social studies and foreign language.
The bill has exemptions for students currently in the program. If a currently enrolled Dual Enrollment student has 18 or fewer hours, they will be capped at 30 total hours. If a currently enrolled Dual Enrollment student has 19 or more hours, they will be allowed an additional 12 hours. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 34-18 and now goes back to the House to agree or disagree with the Senate changes.
SB 282, sponsored by Sen. Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta), would require that designated research universities offer at least 90 percent of early action admissions to Georgia resident students. Assigned to the Senate Higher Education Committee.
SR 588, sponsored by Sen. John Albers (R- Alpharetta), urges the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia to lower in-state tuition rates and associated fees by four percent in 2020 and by six percent in 2021. Assigned to the Senate Higher Education Committee.
Compensation for College Athletes
HB 743, sponsored by Rep. Billy Mitchell (D-Stone Mountain), would provide that student athletes participating in intercollegiate athletics at postsecondary educational institutions may receive compensation for the use of the student athlete’s name, image, or likeness. The bill does not require or allow any postsecondary educational institution to compensate a student athlete, but it does preclude such institutions and athletic associations from penalizing a student athlete who receives compensation for use of his or her name, image, or likeness. The bill also allows for student athletes to secure representation. Assigned to the House Higher Education Committee.
Loan Forgiveness Legislation
HB 736, would establish a loan forgiveness program for teachers who agree to teach in a turnaround school in a high-demand subject area. The bill was heard before the House Higher Education Committee, but no vote was taken.
Teachers Retirement System
HB 292, repeals the requirement for an accrued liability to be paid to the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia on behalf of participating Regent’s Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) members and the normal contribution rate resulting from employees who cease to be members of TRS. The bill passed the House Retirement Committee and is now eligible for consideration in the House Rules Committee.
Military Affairs & Veterans Legislation
HB 819, sponsored by Rep. Sam Park (D-Lawrenceville), would authorize the issuance of veterans’ licenses to any person who is a United States citizen and resident of this state who served in the military for an ally of the United States during a time of war or other conflict. Assigned to the House Motor Vehicles Committee.
Pari-Mutuel Betting on Horse Racing
SB 45, sponsored by Sen. Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta), would create the Georgia Horse Racing Commission and allow for pari-mutuel horse racing in the state at a limited number of licensed equestrian centers. SR 84, sponsored by Sen. Beach, proposes an amendment to the Constitution so as to authorize the General Assembly to provide by law for pari-mutuel betting on horse racing. The bills was heard before Senate Economic Development and Tourism Committee, but no vote was taken.
Tobacco and Vaping Legislation
SB 298, raises the minimum purchasing age for all tobacco and vaping products from 18 to 21. The bill creates a tiered punishment system for individuals who distribute vapor devices and/or vapor cartridges to minors. The first offense results in a misdemeanor, the second: a high and aggravated misdemeanor, and the third: a felony. The bill also requires local boards of education prescribe mandatory instruction concerning vaping, smoking, and alcohol and other drug use to every grade level k-12. The bill was heard before the Senate Regulated Industries Committee this week, but no vote was taken.
HB 809, by Rep. Angelika Kausche (D-Johns Creek), would prohibit the sale of tobacco products and tobacco-related objects to persons under 21 years of age. The bill also requires that any sale must occur in a face-to-face exchange unless the sale occurs through an approved vending machine. Assigned to the House Regulated Industries Committee.
HB 843, sponsored by Rep. Demetrius Douglas (D-Stockbridge), would require elementary schools to schedule recess for children in grades K-5. This bill encourages each elementary school to include an average of 30 minutes per day of supervised unstructured activity time, preferably outdoors. Local boards of education would be required to establish written policies to ensure that the recess is a safe experience for students, that it provides a break during academic learning and that it is not withheld for disciplinary or academic reasons. Assigned to the House Education Committee.
HB 845, sponsored by Rep Mike Glanton (D-Jonesboro), would provide for additional compensation for teachers with a special education certification from the Professional Standards Commission. This additional compensation would remain in place until there is no longer an insufficient supply of teachers to be determined by the State Board of Education. Assigned to the House Education Committee.
Intern Spotlight: Samaria Henry
Political Science major Samaria Henry is excited about the Georgia Legislative Internship Program (GLIP). “We get to meet important actors and decision-makers for our state every day, which is an opportunity that most people don’t get,” says Ms. Henry. She’s looking forward to learning how laws are created, as well as gaining a better understanding of the responsibilities of elected officials.
Samaria is assigned to the Senate Research Office where her many duties include answering the phones and delivering important documents to the Senate floor.
Ms. Henry is a resident assistant with Georgia State University Housing, and the Vice President and member of the Georgia State University Ultimate Frisbee Team. After graduating from GSU, Samaria plans to attend law school and later become a civil rights and immigration attorney.
Samaria’s most liked quote is “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful,” by Albert Schweitzer.
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 10: The House and Senate will convene at 10:00 am on Monday, February 3.
GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS TEAM
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
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