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Crossover Day activity
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Friday, March 26, marked the 30th legislative day of the 2010 Session, otherwise known as “Crossover Day.”

Crossover is the last legislative day in which a bill can successfully pass through its original house of origin and still be considered by the other Chamber. Of course, legislation can still be amended to other legislation if it deals with the same subject area. Still to be accomplished in the 10 legislative days remaining are the conference and final passage of the FY2010 amended budget and House and Senate versions of the FY2011 budget.       

Clarifies where weapons can be carried
SB 308 provides that driveways and roads near weapons free zones are not automatically prohibited. Allows the Board of Regents and colleges to make rules prohibiting weapons. Provides that a person is guilty of a misdemeanor for carrying a weapon in an unauthorized location if he/she carries a weapon in a: government building; courthouse; jail or prison; any elementary or secondary school (If the school is in a place of worship, these restrictions will apply only during school hours or during school events); any athletic facility during an event for which the Board of Regents of the University System has prohibited carrying weapons; place of worship unless all or designated licensees are permitted by presiding official; state mental health facility; bar, unless permitted by the owner; on the premises of a nuclear power facility; or within 150 feet of any polling place.          

Senate action last week
The following legislation has passed the Senate:  
•SB 373: Requires an employer to disclose employment related information to an investigating law enforcement agency when an investigation is conducted for the purpose of hiring, certifying or continuing the certification of a peace officer.  
• SB 380: Current law grants the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority’s Water Supply Division (WSD) certain powers with respect to the development of reservoirs in the state. This legislation allows WSD to make loans and grants to local governments to pay for expanding and increasing the capacity of existing reservoirs.
• SB 385: Under a Homeland Security program, counties who identify prisoners who are illegal aliens qualify for federal funds for housing. SB 385 would qualify these counties for an enhanced state housing rate of 110 percent. Subject to appropriations.  
• SB 414: Provides that in the case of death or organic brain damage suffered in the line of duty by law enforcement officers, who are not married, parents or siblings are eligible for indemnification benefits.       
• SB 418: Requires the State Board of Pharmacy to establish an electronic database of information on controlled substance prescriptions dispensed in this state.
• SB 419: Allows members of the armed services and veterans who have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder to request to have a notation of such diagnosis placed on his or her driver’s license.
• SB 421: Increases the ceiling on the revenue shortfall reserve from 10 percent to 15 percent of the previous year’s net revenue. Will build a larger reserve fund.
• SB 423: Creates a new statute defining the offense of smash and grab burglary, the intentional and without authority entering of a retail establishment with the intent to commit theft. Would become a felony punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison and/or a $100,000 fine.
• SB 447: Requires that state contracts give preference to Georgia businesses when purchasing materials or choosing contractors and builders, when such preference does not impair on quality and cost considerations.
• SB 454: Allows veterans organizations to sell pull tab games with winnings that are limited to $500 per person per 24 hour time period.
• SB 458: Expands the seatbelt law to include pickup trucks while excluding farm vehicles.
• SB 478: Requires the state accounting officer to contract for an audit of inadvertent overpayments by state agencies to vendors due to pricing errors, neglected rebates and discounts, miscalculated freight charges, unclaimed refunds, and erroneously paid excise taxes.
• SB 480: Creates the State Council of Economic Advisors composed of five members. The governor would appoint three members, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate one member each. The group would produce the revenue estimate that is the basis for the governor’s budget recommendations.  
• SB 496: Establishes the HOPE College Opportunity Grant. Students must meet residency requirements, must be Pell Grant recipients, must meet enrollment standards and maintain satisfactory academic progress to be eligible for this grant. Would be a small grant focused on the most needy students. Funded subject to appropriation.
• SB 505: Limits membership on the State Transportation Board to one five-year term.   
• SB 512: Authorizes the State Revenue Commissioner to provide for the collection of uncollected sales and use taxes that businesses may otherwise not be obligated to collect and remit. Authorizes the Department of Revenue to offer an incentive of higher commission to out of state Internet retailers in order for them to begin collecting use taxes.

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