By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Furious finish awaits
Placeholder Image

As the three-fourths point of the Legislative session approaches, a number of issues are slowly working towards completion.

House action on the FY2012 budget will be complete in a few days and the Senate will produce its version. Both the House and Senate have versions of an immigration bill and a conference committee will ultimately write a final edition.

Also, the governor’s HOPE and Pre-K initiative is moving and changing as public input is received. So with all of this in mind, it looks as if 2011’s session will be no exception to the Legislature’s history of frenetic finishes.

Senate action last week

Senate bills passed
SB 19: Adds medical identity fraud to code section relating to fraud
SB 21: Establishes a three year statute of limitations on audits of sales and use tax returns by the State Department of Revenue, with some exceptions.
SB 33: Re-introduction of zero-based budgeting for state agencies and departments. 
SB 34: Allows students enrolled in a system charter school or virtual school to participate in extracurricular activities at the public school for their district.
SB 58: Makes state highway workers eligible for death and disability indemnification payments currently available to peace officers and emergency personnel.
SB 67: Allows only licensed nurses to use the title “nurse.”
SB 88: Raises mandatory car booster seat age from 6 to 8.
SB 92: Limits advance voting to the time between the third Saturday before an election and the Friday before the election (21 days) and allows Saturday voting.
SB 94: Clarifies definitions of handguns and long guns.
SB 95: Allows law enforcement agencies to request information related to prior employment of prospective peace officers.
SB 122: Allows public-private partnerships for constructing and maintaining water supply infrastructure.

Passed House – Now in Senate
HB 87: Revises state law regarding illegal immigration by requiring employers to use E-Verify, allowing law enforcement officers to check immigration status, establishing penalties for helping illegal immigrants enter the state, requires aliens present within the state to present proof of legal status if asked by a law enforcement officer, and provides for grants to fund local enforcement of immigration law.
HB 123: Establishes penalties for attempting to take a stun gun or taser away from a law enforcement officer.
HB 200: Revises Georgia’s human trafficking laws by increasing penalties and increasing protection for victims.
HB 264: Transfers Georgia Council for the Arts from the Governor’s Office to the Department of Economic Development.
HB 326: Revises the HOPE scholarship by requiring a 3.7 high school GPA and 1,200 SAT score to receive full award, called the Zell Miller Scholarship. Students receiving this scholarship must maintain at least a 3.3 GPA in college. HOPE would also pay for 90 percent of 2010-2011 tuition for students with at least 3.0 high school GPA. The percentage awarded is based on lottery revenues, not tuition. In addition, HOPE Technical College Grant recipients must maintain at least 3.0 GPA. There are several additional changes as well.

Bills introduced
SB 155: Allows death or disability indemnification payments to be made to surviving parents or siblings of peace officers and emergency workers.
SB 157: Removes reporting requirement for local governments’ solid waste management plan.
SB 167: Recipients of public retirement benefits collecting unemployment compensation would have any state retirement subtracted from the payment.
SB 174: Requires jails to participate in the Federal Secure Communities program, which deports illegal alien lawbreakers.
SB 197: Commissions a review of every position within the three branches of state government to evaluate efficiency and eliminate duplication.

If you would like additional information regarding a specific piece of legislation, you may access the Georgia General Assembly Web site at
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