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New laws on the states books
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Every July 1, many new or altered laws go into effect and everybody for the first time realizes how the legislature can alter their day-to-day life.

July 1, 2013 is no different. Here’s a list of new laws and a short explanation.  See the Web site at the bottom of the column to research for a more complete view of any new law.

HB 99 — Allows home-brew production to increase from 100 gallons a year per person in the household to 200 gallons per person. Federal law tops out at 200 gallons as well.

SB 136 — The new boating under the influence legislation actually went into effect on June 15 and lowers the blood alcohol content for impaired operation from .010 to .08, the same as for autos for adults 21 and over. Flotation devices are also required for children under 13 in moving boats. Young people ages 12-15 must have a safety course to operate a jet ski unaccompanied.

SB 70 — Requires high schools to include CPR training and automated external defibrillator (AED) instruction as part of existing health or physical education courses.

SB 211 — Local school systems will no longer owe excise taxes on motor fuel purchased for school buses. The exemption is good for two years.

HB 287 — Transfers the state archives from the Secretary of State to the Board of Regents.

HB 372 — Lowers the eligibility requirements for the HOPE Grant (technical schools) from 3.0 to 2.0, which is seen as an encouragement for enrollment in many of the trades programs.

HB 154 — Revises Georgia’s Workers Compensation Laws—caps medical benefits for non-catastrophic injuries at 400 weeks where there presently is no cap. Shortens mileage reimbursement time. Reduces interest rate to 5 percent on lump sum present-day payments and clarifies workday for 15-day return to work period. Increases weekly benefit on temporary partial disability from $334 to $350 and on temporary total disability from $500 to $525.

HB 382 — Gives a public school sovereign immunity when operating under a joint-use agreement with private recreation or arts activities with proper liability insurance.

HB 126 — New code section that prohibits anyone from knowingly obstructing or hindering a park ranger in his or her official duties. Also allows authorized hunting with a registered sound suppressor.

HB 207 — Allows an additional weekend for turkey hunting for children 16 and under and mobility-impaired persons.

HB 226 — Requires EPD-issued decals for used tire and scrap tire carriers and revises the number of tires that may be stored by one person.

HB 274 — State taking over regulation and licensing of falconry hunting from federal government. Requires applicant’s facilities and equipment be inspected.

SB 121 — Establishes new military-related special license plates qualifying all honorably discharged veterans for the plates. Creates AID Atlanta plate and Appalachian Trail Conservancy plate.

HB 407 — Increases the length of time from six months to one year an ignition interlock device must be in use as part of the penalty for a second DUI conviction.

HB 482 — Retiring Department of Corrections employees who carry department-issued weapons may now retain those weapons upon honorable retirement with over 20 years of service.

SB 61 — Shortens the time a storage building operator has before they can attach a lien on property from 10 days to seven days in arrears and allows for contacting the renter by last known email or postal mail.

HB188 — May already be in effect, but provides for a process for returning veterans to become licensed in professional trades after receiving training in the military.

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

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