On March 13, we reached day 30 of the 2015 legislative session. This date, which is also known as “crossover day,” is the final chance for bills to pass the legislative chamber from which they originated. Listed below is a brief description of several bills that passed the House and are moving forward.
HB 17, the “Hidden Predator Act,” extends the statute of limitations for civil actions for childhood sexual abuse under certain circumstances. The bill provides a two-year retroactive window to allow revival of civil cases that have been time-barred by Georgia’s current five-year statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases. Such actions may only be filed against the individual alleged to have committed the abuse; no claim may be brought under the revival window against an entity. A revival action may not be brought if any claim has already been litigated to finality on its merits or if a written settlement agreement has been entered into between the plaintiff and defendant.
HB 152 pertains to employees working within the vicinity of alcohol as a primary source of business. The act includes disciplinary measures and general employment specifications.
Regarding disciplinary action, the commissioner of the Department of Revenue provides policies each county and municipality should implement and may fine them $750 per time the policy is not in compliance.
Regarding employment, persons under 18 are restricted from working at establishments, like bars, where alcohol consumption equals 75 percent or more of total revenues. Persons under 21 cannot serve as a bouncer for a bar unless they are a component of the U.S. armed forces.
House Bill 370 provides for waivers of fines and fees incurred by candidates for local elected office. Upon written request of a candidate or in a response by the candidate to any notification from the State Elections Commission alleging noncompliance with filings required between Jan. 1, 2010 and Jan. 10, 2014, the commission shall be authorized to waive late fees, fines, and civil penalties incurred by candidates for public office. It provides that after Jan. 1, 2016, a person seeking qualification to run for public office shall not do so until all outstanding fines due the Elections Commission have been paid.
HB 409 - Some burn treatment regiments utilize cadaver or non-human, xenographic-derived skin tissue. This bill requires Georgia insurance policies that cover burn treatments will cover these types of treatments.
HB 416, the “Consumer Information and Awareness Act,” requires health care practitioners to wear an identifier that includes his or her name and the type of license the practitioner holds.
HB 475, the bill establishes that a wildlife control permit may be issued to authorize the hunting or trapping of feral hogs from within or while on a motor vehicle by a Georgia resident without a hunting or trapping license, if such hunting occurs on premises owned or leased by his or her immediate family and is used primarily for raising or harvesting crops other than timber or for containing livestock or poultry, and, except during deer season, at night with a light.
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