This Week in the Senate — March 29-31 2021

April 12, 2021

On Thursday, March 31, the Senate officially adjourned Sine Die, bringing an end to the 2021 legislative session. While a long and, in many ways, unprecedented session, the General Assembly still addressed many of the issues of most concern to our constituents and took further steps to promote health, safety and economic development as we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Every year, the General Assembly is tasked with only one constitutionally required duty: pass a balanced bud- get. Early in the session, we fulfilled one-half of this obligation by sending the Amended Budget for the 2021 fiscal year to the Governor. During our final legislative day, however, the House and Senate officially agreed to the 2022 General Budget. The FY22 budget is based on a revenue estimate of $27.2 billion, contributing to a 5% in- crease over the original FY21 budget. The original FY21 budget passed in June 2020 and in the height of the pandemic required some substantial budget reductions. This budget, however, restores the majority of those cuts, with 90% of the restorations going towards education and healthcare. We would not be in the position to add funding to the budget if it were not for the countless small businesses across the state who worked throughout the pandemic to keep the economic engine of our state turning. This budget is a reflection of your hard work and resilience and we are eternally grateful for your contributions to your communities and to our state.

Over our last few days, I had the opportunity to carry a few more House Bills. House Bill 231 would expand the pool of those eligible to file for a temporary protective order to include those participating in a dating relationship. This will add extra security and peace of mind to partners who are subjected to violence or abuse over the course of their relationship and more inclusively cover all victims. House Bill 635 addresses an issue that arose during the pandemic and would allow judges to perform lawful judicial acts remotely. House Bill 562 would make a revision in how certain arrest warrants may be issued and clarifies that an arrest warrant for a DFCS case manager may only be issued by a superior court judge. Each of these bills successfully passed through both the House and Senate and have been sent to the Governor for consideration.

Also of note, Senate Bill 107, which I sponsored in the Senate, received final passage in the House and has now been sent to the Governor. SB 107 would require institutions in the Technical College System of Georgia to waive tuition and fees for foster or adopted students. This bill would grant additional opportunities for Georgia’s foster and adopt- ed children to help them achieve their educational goals. Another bill important to our district was House Bill 534. Our community, like so many others across Georgia, has witnessed a recent increase in the amount of drag racing on our roadways. HB 534 addresses this by making adding additional criminal penalties for promoting, organizing or participating in drag racing.

I look forward to both of these bills becoming law soon. The Governor now has 30 days to either approve or veto the bills that were sent to his desk by the General Assembly. In Georgia, a bill can still become law without the Governor’s signature, so long as it is not vetoed. Even though the session may be over, we are here to represent you year-round. If there are any bills that you have any remaining questions or concerns about, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office. I want to thank District 17 for your constant support and for trusting me with representing you here at the Capitol.

Senator Brian Strickland

District 17, Georgia Senate

MONDAY, MARCH 29

Creating Senate Study Committee on Violence Against Health Care Workers

Sen. Butch Miller (R – Gainesville) sponsored Senate Resolution 281, which would create the Senate Study Committee on Violence Against Health Care Workers to address a rise in aggressive en- counters, especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. SR 281 passed with a vote of 49 to 0. – SR 281

Establishing a Teacher Retention and Recruitment Program

House Bill 32, carried by Sen. Burt Jones (R – Jackson) would establish a teacher recruitment and retention program within the State Board of Education for qualifying schools. Within the pro- gram, teachers would be offered a $3,000 refundable tax income credit to teach in rural and low performing schools in high-need subject areas. HB 32 passed with a vote of 50 to 0. – HB 32

Revising Vehicle Registration Applications

Sen. Bruce Thompson (R – White) carried House Bill 43, which would provide a space on vehicle registration applications for applicants to indicate that they have a physical, mental or neurological condition which impacts their ability to communicate. HB 43 passed with a vote of 49 to 4. – HB 43

Extending Non-lapsing Revenue Automatic Repeals

Sen. Bill Cowsert (R – Athens) carried House Bill 67, which would extend automatic repeals of provisions related to write-offs of small amounts due to the state and non-lapsing revenue for the University System of Georgia and Technical College System of Georgia. HB 67 would also implement a reporting system for these university systems for the purpose of outlining the non-lapsing revenue from the preceding fiscal year, expressing plans for this revenue, reporting actual expenses paid and reporting the cumulative balance of the non-lapsed revenue. HB 67 passed with a vote of 47 to 6. – HB 67

Revising Penalty for Stolen Mail

House Bill 94, carried by Sen. John Kennedy (R – Macon) would make stealing mail and porch piracy a felony punish- able by imprisonment for one to five years. HB 94 passed with a vote of 38 to 14. – HB 94

Defining a Cremation Device

House Bill 124, carried by Sen. Jason Anavitarte (R – Dallas), would define a “cremation device” as a retort, vat, or container that is used to cremate dead human bodies. HB 124 would insert “cremation device” into applicable codes. HB 124 passed with a vote of 48 to 3. – HB 124

Enacting Gracie’s Law

House Bill 128, carried by Sen. Clint Dixon (R – Gwinnett) would prohibit entities from denying organ transplants to disabled individuals due to their disability. It would also prohibit health insurers from denying coverage for these operations due to a person’s disability. HB 128 passed with a vote of 52 to 0. – HB 128

Limiting Public Meetings Relating to Cybersecurity

Sen. Bo Hatchett (R – Cornelia) carried House Bill 134, which would allow discussions on cybersecurity measures to take place in executive sessions of agency governing bodies. It also exempts cybersecurity-related documents from disclosure as public records. HB 134 passed with a vote of 51 to 0. – HB 134

Revising Provisions Related to Schools on Military Bases

House Bill 152, carried by Sen. Chuck Payne (R – Dalton), would revise provisions relating to nonpublic postsecondary educational institutions operating on military bases.This bill would provide for an alternative review of renewal applications, provide for filing of a surety bond in the event of a change in ownership and provides for the remittal of surety bonds. HB 152 passed with a vote of 53 to 0. – HB 152

Adding a Provision to the Fair Business Practices Act of 1975

Sen. Larry Walker (R – Perry) carried House Bill 153, which would require written solicitations for corporate filings services notating that it is a solicitation and not a bill, official government document or has been sent by the Secretary of State’s Office. HB 153 passed with a vote of 50 to 1. – HB 153

Allowing Mounted Electronic Devices on Windshields

Sen. Randy Robertson (R – Cataula) carried House Bill 165, which would allow people to drive with a mounted electronic device on their windshield. HB 165 passed with a vote of 50 to 0. – HB 165

Adopting Federal Vehicle Regulations

House Bill 174, carried by Sen. Burt Jones (R – Jackson) would adopt federal regulations relating to the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles and carriers. HB 174 passed with a vote of 52 to 0. – HB 174

Redesigning Special License Plates

Sen. Sheila McNeill (R – Brunswick) carried House Bill 179, which would create special license plates supporting members of the United States military and the fight against cancer. Proceeds raised from the plates would be disbursed to Support our Troops, Inc. and the Georgia Center for Oncology Research and Education, Inc.. HB 179 would also redesign the Breast Cancer Awareness license plate. HB 179 passed with a vote of 45 to 0. – HB 179

Revising Provisions Related to Firearms

Sen. Bo Hatchett (R – Cornelia) carried House Bill 218, which would allow any person licensed to carry in another state to carry in Georgia, expand the ban on creating multi-jurisdictional database of weapons carry licenses, impose penalties when a government fails to auction unclaimed firearms and prohibit the imposition of certain restrictions on firearms during a state of emergency. HB 218 passed with a vote of 34 to 18. – HB 218

Revising Dating Violence Orders

House Bill 231, carried by Sen. Brian Strickland (R – McDonough), would provide issuance of certain protective orders regarding dat- ing violence and updates definitions and orders relating to dating violence. HB 231 passed with a vote of 53 to 0. – HB 231

Amending the Law Regarding the Duties of Adjusters

House Bill 254, carried by Sen. Randy Robertson (R – Cataula), would implement certain duties and restrictions for public adjusters. Under this bill, public adjusters must provide proof of financial responsibility in order to obtain a license. HB 254 passed with a vote of 48 to 1. – HB 254

Sexual Assault Reform Act of 2021

House Bill 255, carried by Sen. John Albers (R – Roswell), would update code around reporting sexual assault and establish a statewide sexual assault kit tracking system. HB 255 passed with a vote of 49 to 0. – HB 255

Revising Sale of Distilled Spirits

House Bill 273, carried by Sen. Matt Brass (R – Newnan), would review Georgia law pertaining to the sale of distilled spirits. HB 273 would allow distilleries to sell distilled spirits on their licensed premises to patrons for personal use. It would additionally allow brewers licensed under common ownership to sell alcoholic beverages produced at other locations and raise the maximum amount a brewer can sell from 3,000 barrels to 6,000 barrels annually. HB 273 passed with a vote of 48 to 4. – HB 273

Revising Taxation of Qualified Timberland Property House Bill 282, carried by Sen.Chuck Hufstetler (R – Rome), would define contiguous for the purpose of qualifying as certified timber property, as well as require the qualified timberland appraisal manual to use a certain valuation formula regarding the fair market value. HB 282 would also revise requirements within the certification process for qualified timberland property. HB 282 passed with a vote of 50 to 0. – HB 282

Requiring Education Concerning Tobacco and Vapor Products

House Bill 287, carried by Sen.Kay Kirkpatrick (R – Marietta), would require the State Board of Education to provide mandatory instruction discouraging the use of tobacco and vapor products, in addition to a course on awareness of human trafficking for grades six through 12. HB 287 passed with a vote of 50 to 0. – HB 287

Enacting the Patient and Resident Representation Act

House Bill 290, carried by Sen. Blake Tillery (R – Vidalia), would require hospitals to allow visitors to visit patients and residents. These policies must not be more restrictive than federal CMS standard minimums. HB 290 passed with a vote of 49 to 2. – HB 290

Revising Required Instructional Time for County Board of Equalization

Sen. Chuck Payne (R – Dalton) carried House Bill 292, which would revise certain instruction requirements for members of Boards of Equalization, including the requirement that members complete 20 hours of instruction in appraisal and equalization after his or her first term. Under the bill, members are still required to receive at least 40 hours of instruction during their first year, but would complete at least eight hours of continuing education every year after. HB 292 passed with a vote of 52 to 0. – HB 292

Updating Telehealth Service Codes

House Bill 307, carried by Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick (R – Marietta), would allow health care providers to provide Telehealth care from their homes, allow patients to participate in Telehealth appointments when not in the state of Georgia, outline the appropriate circumstances to utilize audio-only Telehealth services and more. HB 307 passed with a vote of 52 to 0. – HB 307

Adjusting Requirements for Veteran’s Driver’s Licenses

House Bill 338, carried by Sen. Sheila McNeill (R – Brunswick), would expand the qualifications for acquiring a veteran’s driver’s li- cense in Georgia. HB 338 passed with a vote of 51 to 0. – HB 338

Creating Sustainable Technical Committee

House Bill 355, carried by Sen. Tyler Harper (R – Ocilla), would create the Sustainable Building Material Carbon Sequestration Technical Advisory Committee. The committee is reponsible for support regarding incorporation of construction products that sequester carbon dioxide into the Georgia Carbon Sequestration Registry. HB 355 passed with a vote of 52 to 0. – HB 355

Offering Exemptions for Georgia Peace Officers

House Bill 364, carried by Sen. Randy Roberston (R – Cataula), would allow any person who has completed Georgia Peace Officer standards and training to serve as a licensed guard, watchman or patrolman. HB 364 passed with a vote of 51 to 1. – HB 364

Exempting Certain Utility Providers From Sales Taxes

Sen. Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega) carried House Bill 374, which would exempt sales to entities that provide public water or sewer services from sales and use taxes. HB 374 passed with a vote of 52 to 0. – HB 374

Creating the Judicial Legal Defense Fund

House Bill 409, carried by Sen. Bo Hatchett (R – Cornelia), would create the Judicial Legal Defense Fund and the Judicial Legal Defense Fund Commission, which would provide state-funded legal representation to certain defendant judges. HB 409 passed with a vote of 48 to 3. – HB 409

Revising the Georgia Utility Facility Protection Act

House Bill 449, carried by Sen. Lindsey Tippins (R – Marietta), would provide many revisions to the Georgia Utility Facility Protection Act, including requiring excavators to alert 911 if they strike or damage a utility facility that carries a hazardous material. HB 449 passed with a vote of 50 to 3. – HB 449

Requiring Sexual Misconduct Training in the Medical Field

House Bill 458, carried by Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick (R – Marietta), would require the Georgia Composite Medical Board to develop education and training for physicians and dentists on sexual misconduct and boundary issues. Medical schools would also be required to include this training in their curriculum. HB 458 passed with a vote of 53 to 0. – HB 458

Expanding Driver Training Course Code

House Bill 466, carried by Sen. Randy Robertson (R – Cataula), would revise many provisions relating to driver training courses. HB 466 would allow driver training courses to occur remotely, enable military services members at least 17 years old to obtain a Class C license and allow instructors of driver training schools to serve as a driver’s license examiner in certain circumstances. HB 466 passed with a vote of 53 to 0. – HB 466

Repealing Citizens Arrest Laws

House Bill 479, carried by Sen. Bill Cowsert (R – Athens), would repeal Georgia’s citizen’s arrest law and enable a law enforcement officer to make an arrest outside of his or her jurisdiction without a warrant under certain circumstances. Such provisions include when an offense occurs in the officer’s presence or when an officer is as- sisting a law enforcement officer in another jurisdiction. HB 479 passed with a vote of 52 to 1. – HB 479

Increasing Pay for Magistrate Judges and Clerks

Sen. Chuck Payne (R – Dalton) carried House Bill 488, which would increase the annual salary for Magistrate Judges and Magistrate Clerks. HB 488 passed with a vote of 51 to 1. – HB 488

Assessing Risk of Sexual Offenders

House Bill 495, carried by Sen. Randy Robertson (R – Cataula), would authorize the Sexual Offender Registration Review Board to collect and maintain information, including criminal records, to determine the risk assessments of sexual offenders. Responsibility will be transferred from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), but the GBI is still required to maintain at least one position to supervise the information. HB 495 passed with a vote of 50 to 1. – HB 495

Prohibiting Reduced Health Coverage Due to Preexisting Medical Conditions

House Bill 509, carried by Sen. Brian Strickland (R – McDonough ), would require insurers to provide at minimum one reasonably priced comprehensive major medical health insurance policy that does not reduce coverage in any way due to a preexisting medical condition. HB 509 passed with a vote of 51 to 1. – HB 509

Updating the GDOL Service Address

House Bill 532, carried by Sen. Marty Harbin (R – Tyrone), would require legal documents served on the Labor Com- missioner or the Department of Labor (DOL) be served directly to the DOL’s Legal Section address. HB 532 passed with a vote of 50 to 0. – HB 532

Raising Penalties Regarding Drag Racing

House Bill 534, carried by Sen. Emanuel Jones (D – Decatur), would make it a misdemeanor for someone to knowingly promote or organize an exhibition of illegal drag racing in Georgia. HB 534 passed with a vote of 46 to 3. – HB 534

Providing Separate Damages Trials in Medical Malpractice

House Bill 539, carried by Sen. Dean Burke (R – Bainbridge), would call for separate trials on the issue of liability and on the issue of damages in medical malpractice cases. HB 539 failed to pass with a vote of 17 to 33. – HB 539

Allowing the Sale of Patrick’s Fishing Paradise

House Bill 619, carried by Sen. Tyler Harper (R – Ocilla), would allow the Department of Natural Resources to sell or lease the Patrick’s Fishing Paradise property as long as it remains in a conservation trust. HB 619 passed with a vote of 49 to 0. – HB 619

Allowing Judges to Perform Lawful Judicial Acts Despite Location

House Bill 635, carried by Sen. Brian Strickland (R – McDonough), would allow Georgia Judges to perform lawful judicial acts regardless of where the judge is physically located. HB 635 woud also allow counties to request a different court location when facilities are not practical. HB 635 passed with a vote of 51 to 0. – HB 635

Creating the Legislative Advisory Committee on Farmers’ Markets

House Bill 676, carried by Sen. Larry Walker (R – Perry), would create a legislative advisory committee on farmers’ markets and detail the composition of the leadership, as well as outline tasks. The advisory committee will be made up of five members from the Senate and five members from the House. HB 676 passed with a vote of 49 to 3. – HB 676

Amending the Georgia Civil Practices Act

House Bill 714, carried by Sen. John Kennedy (R – Macon), would require medical records and insurance coverage to be provided prior to an answer being filed in a civil case resulting in injury or death involving a motor vehicle. HB 714 passed with a vote of 52 to 1. – HB 714

Transferring Forsyth County Commission

House Resolution 130, carried by Sen. Greg Dolezal (R – Cum- ming), would transfer Forsyth County from the Georgia Mountains Regional Commission to the Atlanta Regional Commission. HR 130 passed with a vote of 53 to 0. – HR 130

Authorizing Leasing of State-Owned Property

House Resolution 142, carried by Sen. Matt Brass (R – Newnan), would authorize the lease or conveyance of state-owned real property in Baldwin, Columbia, Decatur, Fulton and Hall Counties. HR 142 passed with a vote of 51 to 0. – HR 142

Allowing Easements on State-Owned Property

House Resolution 143, carried by Sen. Matt Brass (R – Newnan), would authorize the grant of non-exclusive easements on state-owned property in various counties. HR 143 passed with a vote of 51 to 0. – HR 143

SPECIAL ORDERS

Senate Agreements

The Senate agreed to the House Substitute on the following:

SB 28 (46-0)

SB 43 (49-0)

SB 47 (30-18)

SB 80 (52-0)

SB 153 (39-11)

SB 163 (50-2)

SB 238 (51-0)

The Senate agreed to the House Substitute as Amended on the following: SB 59 (40-11)

Conference Committees were appointed for the following bills: SB 6 - Sen. John Albers, Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, Sen. Ben Watson


THURSDAY, MARCH 31

Forming the Senate University Fees Study Committee

Senate Resolution 300, carried by Sen. Sally Harrell (D – Atlanta), would create the Senate University Fees Study Committee to assess the rising costs of tuition and fees at Georgia’s colleges and universities. SR 300 passed with a vote of 50 to 0. – SR 300

Requiring a Second Oath of Office for the Chief Clerk of the Probate Court

House Bill 97, carried by Sen. Bo Hatchett (R – Cornelia), would require the chief clerk of the probate court to take a second oath of office, in addition to the oath of office currently required of all civil officers. HB 97 passed with a vote of 46 to 0. – HB 97

Conducting Security Checks for People with Protective Orders

House Bill 236, carried by Sen. Randy Robertson (R – Cataula), would allow citizens with a granted temporary protective order to request for law enforcement officials to conduct periodic security checks at his or her residence. The petitioner must provide a copy of the protective order when requesting security checks. HB 236 passed with a vote of 51 to 0. – HB 236

Expanding Motor Vehicle Insurance Coverage

Sen. Randy Robertson (R – Cataula) carried House Bill 241, which would change property insurance of motor vehicles to include all wheels, keys, key fobs, replacement or maintenance, and wear and tear after a lease has lapsed. HB 241 passed with a vote of 50 to 0. – HB 241

Allowing Insurance Company Tax Dollars for Flood Risk Protection

House Bill 244, carried by Sen. Sheila McNeill (R – Brunswick), would allow counties to use taxes from insurance companies for flood risk protection. Current law already allows counties to use such tax dollars for police and fire protection; garbage and solid waste collection; curbs, sidewalks and street lights; and other utility services. HB 244 passed with a vote of 51 to 0. – HB 244

Protecting Underage Victims of Sexual Battery

House Bill 258, carried by Sen. Sheila McNeill (R – Brunswick), would make it unlawful to use consent as a defense in a sexual battery or aggravated sexual battery case if the alleged victim is under the age of 16. The age of consent in Georgia is 16 years old. HB 258 passed with a vote of 47 to 0. – HB 258

Allowing Nonprofits to Hold Meetings Remotely

Sen. Bo Hatchett (R – Cornelia) carried House Bill 306, which would allow annual shareholder meetings and members of non- profit corporations to hold meetings either wholly or partially by remote communication. HB 306 passed with a vote of 52 to 0. – HB 306

The Jaida Act

House Bill 303, carried by Sen. Ed Harbison (D – Columbus), would allow vehicle insurance companies to offer reduced premiums to qualified active duty military service members. HB 303 passed with a vote of 51 to 0. – HB 303

Revising Innkeeper Definition

Sen. Ben Watson (R – Savannah) carried House Bill 317, which would revise the definition of an innkeeper and define “market- place innkeeper” in order to include marketplace facilitators. HB 317 would also provide certain taxation requirements for market- place innkeepers and would adjust some of the authority of counties and municipalities. HB 317 passed with a vote of 31 to 5. – HB 317

Organized Retail Crime Prevention Act

House Bill 327, carried by Sen. John Albers (R – Roswell), would define organized retail crime, establish organized retail crime as an offense and require stores to maintain a record keeping system for gift cards. HB 327 passed with a vote of 43 to 3. – HB 327

Creating Standards for Remote Online Notarization

Sen. Blake Tillery (R – Vidalia) carried House Bill 334, which would allow certain documents, such as business licenses, to be notarized online. HB 334 passed with a vote of 50 to 0. – HB 334

Protecting Trade Relationships With Israel

House Bill 383, carried by Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick (R – Marietta), would disallow the state of Georgia from entering into contracts with individuals or companies unless the individual or company provides a written agreement that they are not and will not boycott trade with Israel. HB 383 passed with a vote of 47 to 2. – HB 383

Revising Alcohol Consumption Provisions Near Schools

House Bill 392, carried by Sen. Jeff Mullis (R – Chickamauga), would allow for the retail sale of wine and malt beverages for consumption off the premises so long as they are a determined distance from school grounds, determined by individual counties and municipalities. HB 392 passed with a vote of 39 to 8. – HB 392

Enacting the Georgia Structured Settlement Protection Act

Sen. Billy Hickman (R – Statesboro) carried House Bill 443, which would repeal certain code relating to the transfer of structured settlement payment rights and would replace it with the Georgia Structured Settlement Protection Act. HB 443 passed with a vote of 51 to 0. – HB 443

Changing Boundaries of the City of South Fulton

Sen. John Albers (R – Roswell) carried House Bill 445, which would change the corporate boundaries of the City of South Fulton. HB 445 passed with a vote of 52 to 0. – HB 445

Providing In-Network Rates for Dropped Providers for 180 Days

House Bill 454, carried by Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick (R – Marietta), would require insurance companies to continue to offer in-network rates for providers that are dropped from the network for 180 days. HB 454 would also restrict insurers from dropping a provider from their network for 150 days during a public health emergency. HB 454 passed with a vote of 49 to 0. – HB 454

Revising Condominium Use Code

Sen. Matt Brass (R – Newnan) carried House Bill 470, which would amend code to say that condominium units that are not being used as residential dwellings are not required to submit plans for that unit. HB 470 passed with a vote of 52 to 0. – HB 470

Extending Sunset on Qualified Property Conservation Tax Credits

House Bill 477, carried by Sen. Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega), would extend the deadline for the Department of Natural Re- sources to award tax credits to those who make qualified donations of property for conservation purposes to the end of the year 2026. It would also revise the aggregate cap amount on these tax credits. HB 477 passed with a vote of 47 to 0. – HB 477

Allowing Liens for Interior Designers

Sen. Lee Anderson (R – Grovetown) carried House Bill 480, which would allow for the creation and priority of liens for interior designers’ labor, services or materials. HB 480 passed with a vote of 48 to 2. – HB 480

Adjusting Tax Exemptions for Boat Sales and Family-Owned Farms

House Bill 498, carried by Sen. Larry Walker (R – Perry), would provide a sales tax exemption to out-of-state purchasers looking to buy boats in Georgia. HB 498 would also revise definitions of family owned farm entities and qualified farm products to allow two family-owned farms in a partnership to be exempt from ad valorem property taxes. HB 498 passed with a vote of 48 to 0. – HB 498

Mandating Student Scholarship Organizations to Include Earned Interest

Sen. Chuck Payne (R – Dalton) carried House Bill 517, which would require student scholarship organizations to include interest that is earned on deposits or investments in their calculations of minimum obligations. The bill would also revise public reporting requirements and limits for tax credit. HB 517 passed with a vote of 30 to 18. – HB 517

Giving the Administrative Office of the Courts Access to Records of Child Abuse

House Bill 548, carried by Sen. Bo Hatchett (R – Cornelia), would authorize the Administrative Office of the Courts to have access to records of reports of child abuse for the purpose of data sharing to assess the safety outcomes of the involved children. HB 548 passed with a vote of 48 to 0. – HB 548

Revising Arrest Warrant Issuers

Sen. Brian Strickland (R – McDonough) carried House Bill 562, which would require warrants to arrest a Division of Family and Children Services manager to only be issued by a judge of superior court. HB 562 passed with a vote of 50 to 0. – HB 562

Creating the Local Government Companion Animal Trust Fund

House Bill 574, carried by Sen. Burt Jones (R – Jackson), would establish the Local Government Companion Animal Trust Fund under the Department of Agriculture. Local governments impounding more than 29 dogs or cats may apply for the fund for reimbursement of annual licensing fees. HB 574 passed with a vote of 51 to 0. – HB 574

Adjusting the Allowed County and Municipal Sales and Use Tax

Sen. John Kennedy (R – Macon) carried House Bill 575, which would allow for either the increase in authorized amount of joint county and municipal sales and use taxes to 2%, the decrease back to 1%, or the renewal of the 2% tax. This would follow a referendum. HB 575 passed with a vote of 29 to 23. – HB 575

Amending Transportation Codes

House Bill 577, carried by Sen. Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega), is an annual transportation cleanup bill that would make statutory changes to the State Road and Tollway Authority, streamline the rule-making process at the Environmental Protection Division and outline new procurement methods. HB 577 passed with a vote of 47 to 1. – HB 577

The Public Safety and Judicial Facilities Act

Sen. Emanuel Jones (R – Decatur) carried House Bill 579, which would repeal the requirement that a county initiate a referendum when a public safety and judicial facility authority wishes to issue bonds. HB 579 also renames the War on Terrorism Local Assistance Act to the Public Safety and Judicial Facilities Act. HB 579 passed with a vote of 50 to 0. – HB 579

Revising Transportation Code

House Bill 588, carried by Sen. Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega), would make various changes to Georgia’s transportation code, including revising the Georgia Department of Transportation’s ability to use public-private partnerships, revising the highway impact fee and revising dedicated funds collected from the hotel-motel fee. HB 588 passed with a vote of 49 to 0. – HB 588

Extending Abilities of Marriage and Family Therapists

Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick (R – Marietta) carried House Bill 591, which would extend the rights of marriage and family therapists to perform certain acts relating to mental health emergencies when treating a person who appears to be mentally ill and requires involuntary treatment or when treating a person who appears to be an alcohol or drug abuser that requires involuntary treatment. HB 591 passed with a vote of 35 to 14. – HB 591

Requiring Electronic Monitoring of Long-Term Care Residents

House Bill 605, carried by Sen. John Kennedy (R – Macon), would provide a framework for long-term care facilities to implement electronic monitoring of their residents. This would require consent by residents and their roommates to install electronic monitoring devices in their rooms. HB 605 passed with a vote of 49 to 3. – HB 605

Giving the Georgia Independent School Association Accrediting Powers

House Bill 606, carried by Sen. Matt Brass (R – Newnan), would allow the Georgia Independent School Association to accredit high schools as eligible to receive HOPE scholarships and grants. HB 606 passed with a vote of 50 to 0. – HB 606

Compensating Student Athletes for Use of Likeness

Sen. Bill Cowsert (R – Athens) carried House Bill 617, which would allow student athletes at public and private Georgia colleges and universities to be compensated for the commercial use of their name, image and likeness. HB 617 passed with a vote of 50 to 2. – HB 617

Amending the Georgia Pharmacy Practice Act

Sen. Chuck Hufstetler (R – Rome) carried House Bill 653, which would allow pharmacy care to include ordering and administering home tests approved by the FDA and interpreting their results. This includes viral and serology COVID-19 tests anytime until 12 months after the public health emergency is declared to be over by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. HB 653 passed with a vote of 48 to 0. – HB 653

Dedicating Georgia Roads and Bridges

House Resolution 144, carried by Sen. Clint Dixon (R – Gwinnett), would dedicate 21 roads and bridges in Georgia to prominent Georgia citizens. HR 144 passed with a vote of 49 to 0. – HR 144

Recognizing the Savannah Logistics Technology Innovation Corridor Official

House Resolution 248, carried by Sen. Ben Watson (R – Savannah), would designate the Savannah Logistics Technology Innovation Corridor as an official technology innovation corridor in Georgia. HR 248 passed with a vote of 49 to 0. – HR 248

SPECIAL ORDERS

Senate Agreements

The Senate agreed to the House Substitute on the following:

SR 39 (45-0)

SB 42 (35-18)

SB 46 (38-11)

SB 78 (47-0)

SB 81 (50-0)

SR 84 (51-0)

SB 85 (51-0)

SB 100 (45-6)

SR 102 (45-0)

SB 107 (53-0)

SB 117 (51-0)

SB 144 (33-14)

SB 156 (29-20)

SB 165 (51-0)

SB 174 (36-14)

SB 201 (47-0)

SB 204 (48-0)

SB 215 (49-0)

SB 218 failed to carry (24-25)

SB 220 (51-1)

SB 225 (49-0)

SB 235 (48-2)

SB 246 (43-8)

SB 255 (50-1)

SB 260 (32-19)

SB 292 (50-0)

SB 305 (47-0)

The Senate agreed to the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment on the following:

HB 32 (50-0)

HB 488 (48-0)

HB 617 (43-8)

Senate Disagreements

The Senate disagreed to the House Substitute on the following:

SB 115

SB 164

SB 195

Conference Committees were appointed for the following bills:

SB 195 - Sen. Ben Watson, Sen. Lester Jackson, Sen. Matt Brass

HB 409 - Sen. Bo Hatchett, Sen. Brian Strickland, Sen. John Kennedy

The Senate insisted the House agree to the Senate Substitute on the following:

HB 409

HB 449

Senate adopts the Conference Committee Report to the following bills:

HB 81

SB 6

SB 195

This Week in the Senate — March 29-31 2021
Read Post
This Week in the Senate — March 22-25 2021
Read Post
This Week in the Senate — March 15-19 2021
Read Post

Georgia State Senate District 17 encompasses parts of Newton, Henry, and Rockdale counties with nearly 150,000 registered voters. Brian Strickland entered his second full term in the Georgia Senate in 2020. Brian, his wife Lindsay, and their two children reside in McDonough, GA. Through Brian’s leadership position at the capitol where he fights for District 17, and all of Georgia, he has impacted Georgia for the better through various executed actions.  Not only did Brian support the First Responder bill which aids police, firefighter, and EMS personnel but he was a key player in the passing of the Georgia Criminal Justice reform bills and Georgia Surprise Medical bills. Above and beyond that, Brian labored to bring funding to Southern Crescent Technical College making it one of the top technical schools in Georgia and is constantly raising the bar in the fight against human trafficking.

CONTACT US
Headquarters | 1160 Monticello Street SW| Covington | GA| 30014 | 678.583.4865
Mailing Address | P.O.Box 1803| McDonough | GA| 30253
Newsletter
|
Volunteer
|
Contribute
|
Get your Absentee Ballot
Paid for by Strickland for Georgia, Inc. © 2020