Campus Free Speech
HB 1, sponsored by Rep. Josh Bonner (R-Fayetteville), would prevent the creation of “free speech zones” at public institutions of higher education. It would also prohibit public institutions of higher education from denying benefits to, or otherwise discriminating against, a student organization on the basis of the student organization’s religious, political, or ideological positions. The bill was heard virtually this week before the House Higher Education Committee, but no vote was taken.
Critical Race Theory
SB 377, sponsored by Sen. Bo Hatchett
(R-Clarkesville), seeks to prohibit the teaching of “divisive concepts” within the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia, local boards of education and local school systems.
Any postsecondary institution found in violation shall be subject to the withholding of state funding or state administered federal funding. This may also include funding for scholarships, loans and grants. Assigned to the Senate Education and Youth Committee.
Non-Citizen Tuition Legislation
HB 932, sponsored by Rep. Wes Cantrell
(R- Woodstock), would revise current statutes to allow non-citizen students with certain status under federal law to be classified as in-state students for tuition purposes. This bill seeks to be more inclusive in its definition of non-citizens who are eligible candidates for in-state tuition. It also, would include refugees, special immigrants, and Afghan citizens/nationals and others on humanitarian parole. Assigned to the House Higher Education Committee.
Georgia Lottery Games
HR 581, sponsored by Rep. Yasmin Neal
(D-Atlanta), proposing an amendment to the Constitution so as to authorize the General Assembly to provide for the net proceeds of one or more lottery games to support economic development by providing for loans to support small businesses located in Georgia which are independently owned and operated by Georgia residents. Assigned to the House Regulated Industries Committee.
City of East Cobb
HB 841, sponsored by Rep. Matt Dollar
(R-Marietta), authorizes a local referendum for the creation of the city of East Cobb. The referendum, by call of the Cobb County election superintendent, will be on the ballot in a special election on the date of the 2022 General Primary. The bill passed the House by a vote of 98-43. There has been a motion to reconsider that will be taken up next week.
Georgia Data Analytic Center
SB 374, sponsored by Sen. Blake Tillery
(R-Vidallia), would establish the Georgia Data Analytic Center as an agent of all executive state agencies. Assigned to the Senate Science and Technology Committee.
Mental Health Parity Act
HB 1013, sponsored by Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge), increases patient access to care, ensures mental health parity for patients and providers, expands transparency and accountability for consumers, and invests in health care workforce development. Assigned to the House Health and Human Services Committee.
Teachers Retirement System of GA
HB 385, sponsored by Rep. Shaw Blackmon
(R-Bonaire), will allow teachers who have retired after 30 years of credible service to return to teaching in a full-time capacity, pre-k through grade 12, in an “area of highest need” following a one-year waiting period. The bill passed the House Retirement Committee and is now eligible for consideration in the House Rules Committee.
Military and Veterans Affairs
SB 339, sponsored by Rep. Kay Kirkpatrick
(R-Marietta), provides for a green alert program to notify the public when a veteran or military service member known to have a physical or mental health condition related to his or her service, or who is at imminent risk of self-harm, is missing. Assigned to the Senate Veterans, Military and Homeland Security Committee.
SB 357, sponsored by Rep. Kay Kirkpatrick
(R-Marietta), would allow children of military families to go to any school within 50 miles of districts adjacent to the military base they live on. Assigned to the Senate Education and Youth Committee.
SR 383, sponsored by Rep. Kay Kirkpatrick
(R-Marietta), creating the Senate Study Committee on the Restoration of Veterans Nursing Facilities. Assigned to the Senate Rules Committee.
Calendar Set Thru Sine Die
The House and Senate adopted an adjournment resolution this week that will take them all the way to Sine Die. Day 28 also referred to as Crossover Day is set for March 15. Crossover Day is the last day a bill can cross over from one chamber of the General Assembly to the other in bill form. Sine Die or the last day of session is scheduled for April 4.
Information on legislative activities including bills and resolutions as well as webcast of daily sessions in both Chambers and committee meeting are available via the General Assembly website at www.legis.ga.gov (http://www.legis.ga.gov)
Day 9: The House and Senate will convene on Tuesday, February 1, 2022 at 10:00am
GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS TEAM
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Jason Thomas, Assistant Director for State Relations
Debbie Jones, Associate to the Director
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