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Georgia Legislature

Yesterday in the Georgia Legislature – Jan. 24-26, 2022

This is an informal rundown on what happened in the Georgia legislature.

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January 24, 2022

House Floor Votes

The Georgia House voted on a number of redistricting maps for county commission seats and Board of Education districts, including those from: Barrow, Bryan, Troup, and Walton counties. Also on the local calendar was HB 878 to set a salary and salary cap for a Solicitor General of Clayton County and HB 879 to exclude additional individuals from joining the Clayton County civil service system. Each of these bills passed 153-0.

A measure to establish new districts in Athens-Clarke county was removed from the calendar and sent back to committee.

No other bills were voted on.

Committee Actions

The House Governmental Affairs Committee approved House Bill 841, by State Rep. Matt Dollar, which authorizes a local referendum for the creation of the city of East Cobb. The referendum would be voted on, by call of the Cobb County election superintendent, in a special election on the date of the 2022 general primary. The House is expected to vote on the measure on January 26, 2022.

New Bills Filed
  • HB 919 to require state agencies to provide an entrepreneurship impact statement for each rule to be adopted, amended, or repealed; to provide for a definition
  • HB 920 to revise an income tax credit for certain investments to be limited to investments in entrepreneurship programs, centers, and initiatives
  • HB 923 to cap the per diem allowance available to directors of certain development authorities
  • HB 924 to allow local governments financially impacted by financial incentives offered or granted in connection with an annexation to participate in the annexation dispute resolution process
  • HB 925 to remove the prohibition of granting postretirement benefit adjustments to any individual who became a member on or after July 1, 2009 for the Georgia Judicial Retirement System
  • HB 926 pertaining to labor and industrial relations, so as to require employers to contemporaneously provide a pay stub or other documentation communicating certain information when compensating employees
  • HB 927 relating to offenses involving illegal aliens, searches and seizures, general provisions regarding law enforcement officers and agencies, and jails
  • HB 928 to prohibit the display of monuments, memorials, plaques, markers, or memorabilia related to the Confederate States of America, slave owners, or persons advocating for slavery on public property
  • HB 929 to limit the use of solitary confinement in correctional facilities
  • HB 930 revising protection of government statues, monuments, plaques, banners, and other commemorative symbols
  • HB 930 addressing the contents of certificates of title, certificates as evidence, and certificates not subject to garnishment or other process and the alternative ad valorem tax on motor vehicles while simultaneously exempting from state and local title ad valorem tax fees charged on private passenger motor vehicles purchased or leased by individuals with certain disabilities or their immediate family member
  • HB 932to provide that noncitizen students with certain refugee, special immigrant, or humanitarian parole status under federal law are classified as in-state for tuition purposes subject to certain conditions
  • HB 933 to address when ballots are kept under seal and how long ballots must be preserved.

January 25, 2022

House Floor Votes

No bills were voted on by the full House chamber.

Committee Actions

Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications Committee

HB 159 – Rep. Don Parsons was passed out of committee. It establishes the State Cybersecurity Review Board, a 6-member board that will review the cybersecurity of all agencies, establish and oversee cybersecurity training for all agencies, and provide an annual report of the state of cybersecurity in Georgia. The board, in conjunction with the Georgia Technology Authority, will establish cybersecurity training for all agencies, which shall be required on at least a semiannual basis. Any employee who fails to complete the training per the board’s schedule may be subject to formal disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Health & Human Services Committee

HB 752 – Psychiatric Advance Directive Act by Rep. Sharon Cooper – Passed out of committee. The measure would provide for a psychiatric advance directive for competent adults to set their mental health preferences. The bill allows patients to establish their wishes related to treatment, medications, and establish an agent to make decisions on their behalf if they are unable to do so.

Judiciary Committee

HB 56 by Rep. Wes Cantrell increases the number of judges for superior courts in the Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit from three to four.

HB 624 by Rep. Darlene Taylor increases the number of judges for superior courts in the South Georgia Judicial Circuit from two to three.

HB 961 by Rep. Chuck Efstration, which authorizes apportionment of damages in single-defendant lawsuits rather than solely in multi-defendant lawsuits. In lawsuits against one or more defendants, following a reduction of damages attributed to any non-party, the damages shall be apportioned to the liable person or persons according to each person’s percentage of fault.

Retirement Committee

HB 385 by Rep. Shaw Blackmon would allow retired members of the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia, who have obtained 30 years of creditable service, to return to work full-time, providing instruction as a certified teacher of pre kindergarten through grade 12, while receiving their full post-retirement benefit. Retired members can return to work in an “area of highest need,” as designated by the Department of Education in consultation with the Professional Standards Commission and this would only be allowed through 2026.

Small Business Development Committee

HR 579 by Rep. Don Parsons creates the Georgia Commission on Sustainability and
Economic Opportunity. The commission would operate through 2026.

New Bills Filed

There is a lengthy list, available for perusal here.

January 26, 2022

House Floor Votes

House Bill 841, by State Rep. Matt Dollar, which authorizes a local referendum for the creation of the city of East Cobb. The referendum would be voted on, by call of the Cobb County election superintendent, in a special election on the date of the 2022 general primary. The House postponed this matter until 1/27/22

HR 579 by Rep. Don Parsons creates the Georgia Commission on Sustainability and
Economic Opportunity. The commission would operate through 2026.

New Bills Filed
  • HB 984 to create a Women’s Veterans Day in Georgia
  • HB 992 to exempt sworn peace officers from state income taxation [article]
  • HB 993 addressing punishment for shooting or attempting to shoot a law enforcement officer by creating a new code section, amends code section on attempting to or murdering a witness in an official proceeding
  • HB 994 to increase penalties in instances where elevators and other similar devices are not inspected
  • HB 995 to require employers to provide at least five days of sick leave for an employee that can be used for the care of immediate family members
  • HB 996 to provide for additional exceptions to the “Dietetics Practice Act,” to allow individuals credentialed in the field of nutrition to provide advice, counseling, or evaluations in matters of food, diet, or nutrition under certain circumstances
  • HB 997 to create a state-wide exemption from all ad valorem taxes for timber equipment and timber products held by timber producers
  • HB 998 to place certain conditions on the sale of nontransferable tickets to athletic contests, concerts, theatre performances, amusements, exhibitions, or other entertainment events to which the public is admitted
  • HB 999 for the establishment of promise scholarship accounts to be funded by the state in the amount of $6,000.00 per school year for each participating student
  • HB 1000 to provide an exception for inoculation of canines and felines against rabies for animals for which such vaccine would compromise the animal’s health or if it is medically unnecessary
  • HB 1001 which addresses prepaid legal services plans regulated under insurance
  • HB 1002 to designate the opossum as the official state marsupial
  • HB 1003 addressing health insurance plans for public school teachers
  • HB 1004 addressing campus law enforcement
  • HB 1008 relating to the higher education savings plan and Georgia Achieving A Better Life Experience (ABLE), respectively, so as to provide for the governance of the Georgia ABLE program
  • HB 1009 to authorize the use of personal delivery devices to transport cargo within this state
  • HB 1010 to create the Georgia Classic Center Authority under the Georgia Department of Economic Development and then provide that the Georgia Attorney General is the official legal representative of said entity.
  • HR 662 to recognize February 8, 2022, as Dyslexia Day at the state capitol and urging schools, local educational agencies, and the state educational agency to address the profound educational impact of dyslexia; and for other purposes
Jessica Szilagyi
Written By

Jessica Szilagyi is Publisher of The Georgia Virtue. She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as issues in law enforcement. 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, a commentator on the 'Let Me Tell You Why You're Wrong Podcast,' and she has two blogs of her own: The Perspicacious Conservative and "Hair Blowers to Lawn Mowers." Sign up for her weekly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/gzYAZT

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