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Bills pile up for Crossover Day
Hill Jack
Sen. Jack Hill

Senate or House bills not passed by one of the bodies by Day 30, February 29, are considered dead for the 2016 session as a freestanding bill. Both bodies will be considering the other’s legislation for the remainder of the session.

Legislation passed by the Senate last week

• SB 258-Assessed value of property during an appeal cannot be increased beyond the initial assessment value established by the board of tax assessors. (51-0)

• SB 302-Requires health care and insurance providers to maintain accurate and up to date provider directories. (50-0)

• SB 312-Establishes minimum HOPE award amounts at $2,000.00 per semester or less than $134 per credit hour at entrance colleges, including East Georgia College. (51-4)

• SB 316-Removes the daily prize limitation for bingo while preserving the weekly prize limitation. Raises the weekly limit from $1,500.00 to $3,000.00. (39-14)

• SB 331-Make the crime of rape grounds for terminating parental rights. (49-0)

• SB 337-Provides that dependents of active military service members retain eligibility for medical assistance and developmental disability services even if they are absent from the state due to the member’s military service. (52-0)

• SB 348-Requires that charter schools, charter systems, and strategic waivers school system contracts establishing a college and career academy, must have a governing board reflective of the school community, as well as the partnership with decision-making authority. Requires that governing board members complete initial and annual governance training. (52-0)

• SR 558-Proposes a constitutional amendment dedicating the proceeds of excise taxes on the sale of fireworks to the funding of trauma care, fire services, burn treatment, and local public safety purposes. (52-2)

• SB 350-Enabling legislation that dedicates all funds collected from the excise tax on the sale of consumer fireworks to trauma care, fire services, and local public safety purposes. 55 percent of funds will be provided to the Georgia Trauma Care Network Commission, while 40 percent will go to the Georgia Firefighter Standards and Training Council. The remaining 5 percent will go to local governments to be used for public safety. (52-2)

• SB 365-Establishes a special license plate with proceeds going to the Georgia Pet Foundation. (46-1)

• SB 367-A broad criminal justice reform package including youth diversion programs, community supervision, and increased eligibility for parole for certain drug offenders. (53-0)

Legislation passed by the House and sent to the Senate

• HB 93-Would prohibit law enforcement from retaining license plate data obtained from traffic cameras for over a year. (Passed House 152-2)

• HB 579-Would allow farmers, as well as their family members and employees, to drive farm vehicles on any road in order to transport livestock or farm equipment, as long as the municipality or county do not deem this to be dangerous. (Passed House 163-0)

• HB 763-Would extend the exemption from state sales taxes on food and ingredients going to a qualified food bank until June 30, 2021. (Passed House 168-0)

• HB 768-Would establish an ABLE program in this state to enable the contribution of funds to tax-exempt accounts to pay for the expenses of individuals with disabilities. (Passed House 161-0)

• HB 777-Would allow school bus drivers to use cell phones in a similar manner as a two-way radio. (Passed House 166-0)

• HB 792-Would allow the carrying of electroshock weapons, or tasers, on college campuses. (Passed House 117-46)

• HB 831-Would require that private employers reemploy members of the National Guard of another state who have been discharged or suspended from employment by his or her employer due to being called into active state service. (Passed House 165-0)

• HB 859-Would allow the concealed carry of handguns on college campuses by adult permit holders, excluding sporting events and student housing. (Passed House 113-59)

• HB 941-Would require a grand jury to conduct a review of any incident in which a peace officer’s use of deadly force resulted in death or serious bodily injury to another, when deemed necessary by 12 members of the grand jury or requested by the district attorney. (Passed House 161-0)

Full transcripts of bills may be found at . Simply type the bill number into the box at the top left-hand corner of the screen and specify if it is in the House or the Senate. As always, I welcome any questions you may have.

I may be reached at

234 State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334

(404) 656-5038 (phone)

(404) 657-7094 (fax)

E-mail at

Or call toll-free at

1-800-367-3334 day or night

Reidsville office: (912) 557-3811