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A look at the new laws
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This week completes a review of legislation passed in the 2009 General Assembly.

Department of Corrections legislation

HB 464 — Provides for deductions from an inmates account for medical care and pharmaceuticals. Exempts severe mental health designation. Also limits reimbursements to hospitals for emergency care to the Medicaid rate if the hospital and DOC have no contract.  Was effective when governor signed.


SB 177 — All new state employees hired after July 1 are not eligible for group term life insurance

HB 452 — Removes the liability for post retirement benefits for any new state employees hired after July 1.
Special judiciary

SB 151 — Allows judges to permit testimony by victims through recorded videotape or other devices in the sentencing phase. Effective July 1.

SB 199 — Suspends the requirement for training of probate and magistrate yearly training for two years. Effective upon signature of governor.

SB 207 — Allows general public at juvenile court deprivation hearings (foster care hearings). Effective Jan. 1, 2010.

HB 71 — Prohibits the manufacture and sale of false or “novelty” identification documents. Effective Oct. 1, 2009

HB 549 — Requires clerk of courts to provide information to secretary of state of individuals who identify themselves as being non-citizens during qualification as a juror. Effective Jan. 1, 2010.

State institutions and property

SB 64 — Requires Department of Corrections to test inmates for HIV within 60 days of release from prison providing funds are appropriated. Effective July 1.


SB 85 — Creates the Georgia Aviation Authority to take ownership and management of all state aviation assets. Effective July 1.

SB 200 — Reorganizes transportation planning in the state under a planning director. Up to 20 percent of certain transportation projects would be approved by the legislature. Effective upon signature of the governor.

Regulated industries

SB 31 — Allows Georgia Power to charge customers for the interest costs associated with expanding the nuclear power plant at Waynesboro while construction is going on.  Construction costs recovery will be allowed by the Public Service Commission when the plant begins power production. While this is controversial, other owners of the plant, rural electrics and municipal electric companies already, have the authority to charge customers for construction costs and internet before operation of plant.

SB 82 — Adds record-keeping requirements and other security measures to metal recyclers. This bill seeks to tighten up the secondary market for metals in response to a growing problem of metal theft.

SB 104 — Tightens the education and training requirements for licenses for assistant laser practitioners and recognizes reciprocity with other states.

HB 473 — Provides for clean energy grants from federal funds through Dec. 31, 2012.  Allows for income tax credits for commercial properties placed into service between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2012 and applies to solar or clean energy applications.
Next week, we will review the legislation going into effect July 1.

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