As we complete our third week of session, below are the items we covered:
Chief Justice Hugh P. Thompson delivered the State of the Judiciary Address to the General Assembly on February 4th, focusing on the achievements and challenges currently facing Georgia’s judicial system. He highlighted Georgia’s Specialty Courts and Veterans’ Courts and their role as an alternative to prison for the state’s non-violent offenders. Justice Thompson also celebrated Georgia’s first Hispanic and Asian Superior Court Judges in the State’s history.
The Senate Appropriations committee also held sub-committee meetings this past week on the FY 15 Amended Budget with floor action due Feb. 11.
Passed the Senate and sent to the House:
SB 2- Allows local school boards to award high school diplomas to students who dual enroll in certain postsecondary institutions. Local school boards are permitted to award diplomas to students who: are enrolled in dual credit courses; complete rigorous coursework at an eligible postsecondary institution; are at least 16 years old; complete state required ninth and tenth grade core courses; receive an acceptable score on the readiness assessment required by the postsecondary institution; and complete either an associate degree program or at least two technical college certificate of credit programs in one specific career pathway. It passed Senate 56-0.
Legislation introduced in the Senate this week:
SB 5- Expands the powers of Georgia Ports Authority for acceptance of loans/grants from the Federal Government.
SB 66- Create Governor’s Task Force on Blind and Visually Impaired Persons.
SB 69- Removes restrictions regarding the rights of public officers and employees to be absent for service on the State Defense Force and provides for reemployment rights of persons after service on the State Defense Force.
SB 70- Requires fingerprint-based criminal history records checksfrom the GBI and FBI prior to the licensing of armed employees.
SB 72- Crimes committed against police dogs in performance of their official duties is equivalent to that of crimes committed against human police officers.
SB 74- Establishes Charity Care Organizations to provide health care services to the uninsured in this state.
SB 76- Motorcycles may treat inactive light as a stop sign due to light not changing.
SB 77-Analysis and collection of DNA for individuals arrested for a felony offense after there has been finding of probable cause for his or her arrest.
SB 78-Litigation costs and attorney’s fees may be assessed for frivolous actions and defenses.
SB 79- Expands the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council’s powers and duties for claims for victim compensation to increase the amount payable for funeral expenses.
SB 81- Provides for the election of local school superintendents by the voters and election of local school board members by grand juries.
SR 135- Allows a public vote on amending the state constitution to allow pari-mutuel betting on horse racing in Georgia
Senator Fran Millar
770-490-0213 - Senatorfranmillar@gmail.com