Georgia Legislature

Last Week in the Georgia Legislature – March 7-11, 2022

House Votes 

HB 1013 — Rep. David Ralston Comprehensive Mental Health Reform 
Read about the details, which include allowing social workers to respond to calls with law enforcement officers.
Passed 159-3

HB 1043 – Rep. Lee Hawkins
The ‘Georgia Caregivers Act’ allows inpatients to designate at least one caregiver to be involved in the patient’s discharge planning process – including notification. 
Passed 164-0

HB 1279 – Rep. Matthew Gambill
This bill allows people with a chronic disease/age 65+ to carry medications prescribed by a licensed physician in a compartmentalized medication container. Can have capacity up to a 21-day supply. Persons must provide the names of medication to law enforcement if requested.
Passed 164-0

HB 1371- Rep. Rick Jasperse

Creates the Rural Health Advancement Commission to collaborate w/ educational institutions and healthcare facilities to “develop private-sector solutions to short-term and long-term care workforce shortages, with an emphasis on rural areas.”

13 members/chaired by the dean of a Georgia medical college/must meet every 2 months or more. Report to lawmakers . 

Passed 156-4


HB 304 – Rep. Jodi Lott
Suspends the state motor fuel tax through May 31, 2022
This was a vehicle bill where a previous version addressed pharmaceutical and medical equipment tax credits
Passed 150-0

HB 934 – Rep. Rob Leverett
Amends code section for (TSPLOST) by allowing, in the case where an intergovernmental agreement has been entered into, the tax to continue until the approved timeframe has expired regardless as to whether the amount of tax collected has surpassed the originally estimated amount.
Passed 150-8

HB 1039 – Rep. Mack Jackson
Extends the tax credit for Class III railroads with regard to when the credits can be earned and when the credits can be transferred. 
Passed 164-4


FY 2022 Budget
This is the amended budget for FY 2022, which accounts for increased spending through the year. FY 2022 ends June 30, 2022. Total is $2.6 billion more than lawmakers budgeted. 
House agreed to Senate substitute

FY 2023 Budget 
This is the budget for FY 2023, which begins July 1, 2022. The budget totals $30.2 billion, approximately $3 billion more than what was budgeted in FY 2022. (Read via HB 911) Passed 155-3

  • includes a pay raise for all lawmakers and elected officials in the amount of $5,000 per year.
  • continue $2,000 raises for teachers and $5,000 raises for state employee
  • the first COLA in 14 years for retired state employees 
  • $230 million more for the University System of Georgia agreeing to remove certain fees that students previously paid (so, basically, instead of students paying their fees, we are) 
  • $100 million for mental health, which would fund things like: a new crisis center, a new 18-bed psychiatric unit, and mental health workers who will accompany police officers on calls and create a form of involuntary outpatient treatment. What could possibly go wrong?
  • funds to hire troopers for a statewide SWAT team, more pay for troopers working in Atlanta (on the specialized task force), funding to hire 10 more troopers for the Nighthawks DUI task force in Macon and Columbus.

HB 274 – Rep. Mandi Ballinger
Provides a salary supplement for juvenile court judges if a circuit has implemented a drug court division, mental health court division, family  treatment court division, veterans court division, or other alternative accountability court  division, by way of an annual accountability court salary supplement in the amount of $6,000.00.
Passed 137-0 (23 state reps were present but did not cast a vote)

HB 1042 – Rep. Rick Jasperse 
Requires the OneGeorgia Authority to create a grant program (up to $200k) for development authorities if they seek to establish “primary care medical facilities” in health professional shortage areas. (Majority is primary care, dental, or mental health) “Primary care medical facility” is defined as any facility where the majority of the services provided are primary care, dental, or mental health services. 
Passed 162-0

HB 1234 – Rep. Mandi Ballinger
Requires the court to appoint an attorney under O.C.G.A. 15-11-103 for any child receiving extended care youth services from the Division of Family and Children Services. 
Passed 151-0

HB 1319 – Rep Bill Werkheiser 
Creates the Georgia Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) Service Cancelable Loan to provide a $2,000 per year loan for eligible Georgia peace officers to pursue an associate/bachelor’s degree in criminal justice/related social science field. Must be employed as LEO. Cap at $8,000 and may have the loan forgiven at a rate of one year of service for each year of study for which a loan was made.

Also creates loan forgiveness for GBI medical examiners. The bill authorizes the Georgia Student Finance Authority to provide for the repayment of loans of medical examiners employed full time by the GBI in the amount of $20,000 per year of service, not to exceed $120,000.
Passed 172-1

HB 1391 – Rep. Stan Gunter
Sets the salary of the circuit public defenders to the same salary as district attorneys. The maximum salary for an assistant public defender IV is raised to 95 percent of the circuit public defender salary.
Passed 156-0


HB 1381 – Rep. Ron Stephens 
Requires members of local water/sewer authorities to complete training courses on water, sewer, or environmental quality programs. Otherwise, no money for the authority  
Passed 155-0

HB 1385 – Rep. Victor Anderson 
Requires municipalities to notify the Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Office of the General Assembly when annexing property, enlarging municipal corporation limits, & annexing unincorporated islands.
Passed 158-0

HB 1438 – Rep. Brad Thomas
Among other things, this allows the call of a caucus for a DOT board election to be sent via email rather than by mail. The bill also adds the DOT to the Code section relating to when public disclosure is not required by a state agency.
Passed 157-2


HB 839 – Rep. Erica Thomas
Authorizes a local referendum for the creation of the city of Mableton. 
Passed 134-2

HB 1396 – Rep. Bill Yearta
Creates the Georgia Municipal Court Clerks’ Council to improve municipal courts, assist municipal court staff, and assist in training municipal court staff. Will be a state agency and is composed of the municipal court staff of all municipal courts in the state. 

HB 1455 — Rep. Bill Hitchens 
Expands arrest authority for the officers of the Georgia Ports Authority. Can investigate motor vehicle accidents that occurred on any property under jurisdiction of the authority and on public or private property within one mile thereof. The same one-mile radius is given to the arrest authority of an officer who is arresting for state law violations.
Passed 159-0


HB 594 – Rep. Lynn Smith
Allows a local government to grant temporary tax relief to properties within its jurisdiction which are severely damaged/destroyed as a result of a disaster and which are located within a nationally declared disaster area
Passed 150-0

HB 725 – Rep. Marvin Lim
Changes the membership of the Council on American Indian Concerns to have at least one member representing each of the American Indian tribes identified in Georgia
Passed 156-0

HB 849 – Rep. Michael Smith 
This bill adds human resources personnel to the list of persons who are required to report child abuse under O.C.G.A. 19-7-5. “Human resources personnel” is defined as businesses with 5+employees & which employs minors.
Passed 160-0

HR 920 – Rep. David Ralston 
This is a resolution which condemns the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation. Calls on Russia to end unprovoked aggression.
Passed 166-0

HB 1358 -Rep. Mandi Ballinger
Constitutional Carry/Chairman John Meadows Act
Passed 94-57

HB 1384 – Rep. David Jenkins
Requires the Department of Community Affairs to change state minimum standard codes to allow for the use of ungraded lumber for uninhabited structures on property zoned for either residential or agricultural use.

HB 1388 – Rep. James Burchett
This addresses official legal organs/ legal notices. If no otherwise-qualified publication has a paid circulation of at least 100 copies per issue in the county, the probate court judge, sheriff, superior court clerk, or a majority of those officers may designate a newspaper as an interim legal organ. That designation will terminate once another newspaper meets the qualifications and is designated as the county’s legal organ pursuant to the Code section.
Passed 156-0

HB 1441 – Rep. J. Collins
Removes the requirement that licensees for operators of private detective and security businesses be certified by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) and must also obtain a license to serve as a guard, watchman, or patrolman.
Passed 156-0

HB 1452 – Rep. Houston Gaines
Changes dating relationship protective orders so that the definition of “dating violence” includes those who were in a relationship within the last 12 months rather than the current six-month timeframe.
Passed 156-0

Jessica Szilagyi

Jessica Szilagyi is Publisher of TGV News She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as issues in law enforcement and corrections She has a background in Political Science with a focus in local government and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. Jessica is a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta and a commentator on the 'Let Me Tell You Why You're Wrong Podcast.' Sign up for her weekly newsletter:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign Up For Our  Newsletter
Get the latest headlines and stories - and even exclusive content!- sent right to your inbox.
Stay Updated
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.
Sign Up For Our  Newsletter
Get the latest headlines and stories - and even exclusive content!- sent right to your inbox.
Stay Updated
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.
Sign Up For Our  Newsletter
Get the latest headlines and stories - and even exclusive content!- sent right to your inbox.
Stay Updated
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.

The Latest News Straight to Your Inbox

Get the latest headlines and stories - and even exclusive content!- sent right to your inbox.
Click Me