This past week was crossover week at the Capitol. The following bills were passed out of the Senate:
Senate Bill 132 - expands and modifies Georgia’s dual enrollment program, in which high school students are given the opportunity to take post-secondary classes for high school course credit. SB 132 will transfer oversight of the program to the Georgia Student Finance Commission and requires the Finance Commission to develop guidelines for the dual enrollment program. Senate Bill 132 passed with a vote of 53 to 0.
Senate Bill 134 - which requires all speeding fines amounts be calculated to determine whether a law enforcement agency is using speed detection devices to raise revenue. SB 134 passed with a vote of 52 to 2.
Senate Bill 168 - will designate the Old Governor’s Mansion as the official state historic house. The Department of Economic Development and other tourism agencies will work together to advertise and educate Georgia citizens and tourists about the Old Governor’s Mansion. SB 168 passed with a vote of 50 to 1.
Senate Bill 175 - will make it illegal to import horses, poultry, livestock or birds into Georgia without an official certificate of veterinary inspection. Furthermore, SB 175 will give the Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture the authority to determine if other animals pose a significant risk of carrying a disease. SB 175 passed unanimously.
Senate Bill 111 - expands the type of services that continuing care providers and facilities may perform. This bill will allow providers to cover continuing care at home services, including nursing care, assisted living care or personal care home services. Senate Bill 111 passed in a vote of 51 to 2.
Senate Bill 63 - expands limited exceptions to the state’s current three-tier distribution system for alcohol. The legislation allows patrons to consume up to 36 ounces of beer per visitor on-site at licensed brewpubs, as well as take home up to 64 ounces of beer in a single container such as a growler. I believe that we should allow a six pack to be purchased. SB 63 passed in a vote of 51 to 5.
Senate Bill 138 - creates a Division of Family and Children Services state advisory board, regional advisory boards and county advisory boards. These boards will create one common protocol for all Division of Family and Children Services agencies to follow including how they share data. There are significant reforms within this bill in order to serve our children better. I served on the Governor’s Child Welfare Reform Council where the legislation was conceived. SB 138 passed with a vote of 41 to 3.
Senate Bill 36 - requires the Board of Natural Resources to adopt rules and regulations to protect and preserve the Floridian aquifer by July 1, 2016. This bill was supported by the Garden Club of Georgia.
SB 36 passed with a vote 48 to 3.
I will cover medical marijuana when the final bill is done in conference committee.
Senator Fran Millar