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Budget sent to the state Senate
Hill Jack
Sen. Jack Hill

The House passed the fiscal year 2016 budget and the Senate has begun holding subcommittee hearings.

Passed the Senate and sent to the House
SB 34 - Removes liability for individuals entering a locked car in order to remove a child under duress from the vehicle. Known as the “hot car” bill. Passed 50-2.

SB 88 - Outlines requirements of employers paying employees by debit cards, including: written notice of fees prior to issuance, ability of employee to opt out of card payment, request a check or authorize electronic transfers. Passed 43-2.

SB 94 - Requires law enforcement agency conducting live lineups, photo lineups, or showups to adopt written policies. Passed 53-0.

SB 95 - Provides real estate brokers with flexibility in depositing trust money into interest-bearing accounts. Passed 51-0.

SB 139 - Places regulation of plastic grocery bags with the state, trumping local ordinances. Passed 32-19.

Legislation introduced in the Senate last week
SB 143 - Requires insurer providing services under state health benefit plan to include Level 1 trauma centers in provider network.

SB 147 - All contracts of local boards of education for professional services exceeding $50,000 over a 12-month period must be awarded by competitive sealed bidding.

SB 148 - Transfers powers and responsibilities of Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs to the attorney general’s office.

SB 149 - State Employees Retirement System members with two years of service can purchase up to five years for military service.

SB 151 - Prevents rules subcommittee chair from reviewing personal pay vouchers. Provides for sanctions for members filing incorrect payment vouchers.

SB 152 - Proposes to combine Employees Retirement System and Teacher Retirement System for new teachers. Converts the Teacher Retirement System to a 401(k)-type plan. Since retirement bills take two years to consider, House and Senate Retirement committees will take up this summer.

SB 154 - Allows law enforcement officials to record (audio and video) during execution of a search warrant.

SB 155 - Requires the Georgia Lottery Corporation to offer one or more games where proceeds would benefit veterans.

SB 157 - Establishes privacy limitations and requirements regarding K-12 student data.

SB 159 - The bill defines a “no-knock warrant” and sets up several conditions that must be satisfied before one can be issued. Under the bill, in order for a judge to issue a no-knock warrant to an officer, the warrant request would have to have been reviewed by that officer’s supervising officer, who then must accompany the first officer in the warrant’s execution. Any law enforcement agency that uses no-knock warrants must develop written policies for their use that can be examined by the general public. The bill also requires each judge who issues any type of search warrant to produce a monthly report detailing the number of warrants issued and the number of no-knock warrants requested and executed.

SB 173 - Requires animal owners to pay the cost of care of an impounded animal.

Passed House, now in Senate
HB 1 - Legalizes the use of cannabis oil (medical marijuana) to treat seizure disorders and eight other disorders.

HB 49 - Gives a taxpayer the option of receiving tax bills or subsequent delinquent notices via electronic transmission in lieu of receiving a paper bill via first-class mail.

HB 199 - Timber harvesters must give notice no later than 24 hours after entering onto a property and must give notice of cessation of cutting within 24 hours after the job is completed.

Legislation, meeting schedules and legislative actions may be accessed at:

I may be reached at
234 State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334
(404) 656-5038 (phone)
(404) 657-7092 (fax)
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Reidsville office: (912) 557-3811