With only five legislative days and two weeks left in the 2018 Legislative Session, the Senate focused on committee meetings and debating 22 pieces of legislation. We also held “green door” meetings to address the Fiscal Year 2019 budget – House Bill 684 – which passed the House last week.
Although passing a balanced budget is our only constitutional duty before we adjourn, we are taking the time to complete a thorough analysis of the budget to ensure taxpayer dollars are appropriated in a fiscally conservative manner.
You can read all about legislation passed last week in my “Week in Review”.
I hope you will take the opportunity to review my weekly updates to stay informed on legislative matters that affect our district and state.
I am always eager to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me at any time.
Week in Review
License Plate Data Collection
House Bill 79 would require law enforcement to destroy license plate data collected by automated license plate reading systems 30 months after collection, unless related to an active case or investigation. HB 79 passed with a vote of 48-0.
Establishing the Georgia Veterans Service Foundation, Inc.
House Bill 422 would authorize the Veterans Service Board to establish the Georgia Veterans Service Foundation, Inc. as a nonprofit foundation. The bill also outlines the foundation’s duties, governance and funding. HB 422 passed with a vote of 52-0.
Amending Interstate Juvenile Supervision Appointments
House Bill 670 would amend appointment procedure to the Georgia State Council for Interstate Juvenile Supervision by increasing the number of legislative branch representatives from one to two. Under HB 670, both the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate would appoint one legislative representative. HB 670 passed with a vote of 51-1.
Screening Department of Revenue Employees
House Bill 816 which would permit the Department of Revenue (DOR) to fingerprint and require criminal background checks as a condition of employment for all employees and prospective employees after January 1, 2019, who have not been previously screened in the last 10 years. Under HB 816, DOR contractors and subcontractors with access to confidential information are also subject to such provisions. HB 816 passed with a vote of 52-0.
Newborn Placement Signs
House Bill 513 would require signs to be placed at certain medical facilities, fire and police stations to indicate where a mother can leave a newborn child. HB 513 passed with a vote of 48-0.
Specialty License Plates
House Bill 695 would establish specialty license plates honoring and supporting the Georgia Forestry Foundation effective July 1, 2019. Under HB 695, a specialty license plate would also be created to support the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia, Inc. HB 695 passed with a vote of 50-0.
Designating Perinatal Facilities
House Bill 909 would allow the Department of Public Health to develop a voluntary system to designate hospitals with suitable maternal and neonatal care as perinatal facilities. Hospitals would be able to apply for designations beginning in 2019. HB 909 passed with a vote of 51-0.
Law Enforcement Appreciation Day at the State Capitol
Senate Resolution 808 recognized March 14, 2018, as Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. Law Enforcement Appreciation Day began in 2015 at the state Capitol, recognizing officers that serve in multiple agencies throughout the state.
The Employment First Act
House Bill 831 would create the Employment First Georgia Council to adopt a competitive integrated employment policy for individuals with disabilities. HB 831 would also work to provide awareness and education of the Employment First Policy. HB 831 passed with a vote of 51-1.
Revising the Georgia Commission on Hearing Impaired and Deaf Persons
House Bill 844 would rename the Georgia Commission on Hearing Impaired and Deaf Persons to the Georgia Commission for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing. HB 844 would also create a task force to make recommendations for improvements in literacy for adolescent deaf individuals and would require the Georgia Technology Authority to establish a data-sharing process to be used to provide early educational intervention for deaf children. HB 844 passed with a vote of 49-0.