New laws taking effect July 1, 2011

Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson introduces Georgia Senate Democrats during the annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner on Saturday, June 25.
Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson introduces Georgia Senate Democrats during the annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner on Saturday, June 25.

A number of new laws approved by the Georgia General Assembly during the 2011 legislative session and signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal will take effect Friday, July 1. They include:

  • HB 24, which overhauls the rules of evidence used in Georgia’s courts, the first major revision to the code since 1863.
  • HB 40, a poison prevention law requiring engine coolant or antifreeze sold in Georgia and containing more than 10 percent ethylene glycol to include denatonium benzoate as a bitter tasting agent to make it unpalatable.
  • HB 47, which authorizes insurers to sell health insurance policies in Georgia that have been approved in other states.
  • HB 78, the $18.3 billion state budget plan was approved for fiscal year 2012.
  • HB 87, whichrequires all businesses with at least 10 employees to use the federal government’s E-Verify system to determine the work eligibility of all new hires and increases the penalty for using fake identification to get a job to 15 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines. Other provisions, which would empower local and state police to detain people while their immigration status is checked and subject people who, while committing another offense, knowingly transport, harbor or encourage illegal immigrants to come to Georgia to up to 12 months in prison and a $1,000 fine, were placed on hold by a U.S. District Court judge’s ruling on a constitutional challenge of the new law.
  • HB 179, which allows the removal of trees adjacent to billboards on state rights-of-way along Georgia roads.
  • HB 200, which increases criminal penalties for those guilty of trafficking young women for sex.
  • HB 234, which renews a sales tax exemption on the purchase of aircraft parts for Savannah-based Gulfstream Aerospace and Columbus-based Pratt & Whitney and allows developers of amusement parks, resorts and other tourism destinations to recoup 25 percent of construction costs out of the sales taxes generated by the tourist attraction.
  • HB 238, which changes the makeup of the Public Defenders Standards Council.
  • HB 240, which establishes a procedure for local governments to modify projects approved in special purpose local option sales tax referendums that become infeasible to complete.
  • HB 277, which changes Georgia’s hunting laws and removes the prohibition against feeding or baiting when hunting deer or feral hogs.
  • HB 303, which authorizes physician assistants to sign off on certain documents relating to health care currently requiring a physician’s signature, except for death certificates and assigning the percentage of disability ratings for workers’ compensation.
  • HB 322, which extends for two years a sales tax exemption on the purchase of jet fuel for Atlanta-based Delta Airlines.
  • HB 326, which reduces HOPE recipients’ to 90 percent of their tuition costs, with that percentage increasing or decreasing in future years based on the rise or fall of Lottery proceeds; allows students who come out of high school with a 3.7 grade point average (GPA) and at least a 1,200 Scholastic Aptitude Test score and are able to maintain a 3.3 GPA in college to retain a full HOPE Scholarship for tuition; creates a low-interest loan program for students who need more financial aid; reduces sales commissions for Lottery retailers; limits salary bonuses for Lottery employees; and extends full HOPE Scholarships for the top two graduates from each high school in the state.
  • HB 415, which creates a statewide, computer-based juror list to replace lists compiled and kept by individual counties.
  • SB 10, which authorizes the Sunday package sale of alcoholic beverages in communities where voters approve such sales in a referendum.
  • SB 30, which requires that all future Municipal Court judges to be attorneys.
  • SB 36, which establishes an electronic database to monitor the dispensing of prescription pain killers containing controlled substances.
  • SB 79, which gives the Governor power to remove and replace members of the Atlanta Board of Education if city schools lose their accreditation later this year.
  • SB 88, which requires the use of a child booster seat up to age 8, with an exemption for children who are taller than 4 feet, 9 inches.
  • SB 122, which allows private developers to build reservoirs and other water infrastructure projects for local governments and water utilities.


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