By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
The days dwindle down to a precious few
Hill Jack
Sen. Jack Hill

Final passes — and on to the governor

• HB 73-Allows cities and counties to request local legislation establishing residency requirements of up to 12 months for district seat candidates. (52-1)

• HB 765-Allows retirees to fill specified positions on a county’s Board of Family and Children Services. (52-0)

• HB 831-Sets up a process requiring private employers to reemploy members of the National Guard who have been discharged or suspended from employment due to being called into active state service in another state. (53-0)

• HB 1037-Expands the certified nurse aide registry to nurse aides who provide services in private residences, and provides a process for inquiries and complaints about such nurses. (51-0)

Legislation passed by the Senate last week — still in play

• HB 219-Exempts private pools, including those in apartment complexes, condominiums and time shares, from mandatory inspection and licensing requirements. (47-6)

• HB 579-Permits the operation of all terrain vehicles on any public road or highway when being used for agricultural purposes, such as to transport livestock. (55-1)

• HB 649-Requires licensure of lactation consultants. (46-4)

• HB 736-Provides for the creation of special license plates for women veterans, marine habitat conservation, Georgia Pet Foundation, the Law Enforcement Division of the Department of Natural Resources and Omega Psi Phi fraternity. (50-2)

• HB 775-Requires a prescription from a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist to purchase prescription glasses or contact lenses. (47-3)

• HB 779-Creates the Georgia Unmanned Vehicle Systems Commission for state regulation of unmanned aircrafts systems (UASs), or drones. Drones may not be weaponized by private individuals or used to invade the privacy of others. (51-3)

• HB 801-Revises HOPE scholarship requirements to include computer science courses and give greater GPA weight for college and other advanced courses in math and science. (54-0)

• HB 951-Establishes back to school sales tax holidays on July 30-31 and September 30 through October 2, as well as creating a ticket sales tax exemption for Atlanta’s Super Bowl proposal. (38-14)

• HB 962-Allows parents to temporarily transfer caregiving authority over their child to another family member. Also establishes the Kinship Care Enforcement Administrator within the DHS to ensure that the children are being treated properly. (54-0)

• HB 965-Insured cancer patients cannot be required to undergo all available treatment options for stage four advanced, metastatic cancer before being approved for advanced drugs prescribed by his or her physician. This will allow more cancer patients access to the potentially lifesaving drugs such as those that were administered to former President Jimmy Carter. (53-1)

• HB 979-Increases the punishments to 5 to 20 years for aggravated assault and aggravated battery when committed on hospital emergency department personnel and emergency medical services personnel. (51-2)

• HB 1036-Enacts a temporary moratorium on the use of eminent domain for construction of petroleum pipelines so that a commission of elected officials and field experts can conduct a detailed study. Also prohibits EPD from issuing new pipeline permits during moratorium. (53-1)

Visitors from the 4th

Metter’s FFA chapter visited the Capitol and had a photo with Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. Isiah Royal, Effingham County High School, was recognized by the Senate for winning his third consecutive AAAAA state wrestling championship. Dr. Ricky Lane, DDS from Statesboro, visited the Capitol on Wednesday.

Legislature passes HB 757, or the “Free Exercise Protection Act”

HB 757 protects pastors, faith based organizations and persons who want to freely express their faith, balancing this with the equal rights of all. Under this legislation, pastors cannot be compelled to perform services which they consider to violate their faith, such as certain marriages. Similarly, faith-based organizations cannot be penalized for refusing service which is in violation of their stated beliefs. According to the House authors, this is not a license to discriminate, but rather a protection of constitutional rights.

Full transcripts of bills may be found at Simply type the bill number into the box at the top left-hand corner of the screen and specify if it is in the House or the Senate. As always, I welcome any questions you may have.

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