Gold Dome Report - March 22, 2017
Lawmakers convened this morning for Day 37 of the Legislative Session. Rumors swirled that Sine Die may take place earlier than originally projected. Some believe that it may be possible for lawmakers to conclude the 2017 Session on Friday, March 24. The biggest news since Tuesday was the Conferees on HB 44, the State's FY 2018 Budget, have signed off on the Conference Committee Report. Thus, this marks an agreement on the proposed Budget which goes into effect on July 1. All that is left to be done, regarding HB 44, is for the House and Senate to adopt this Conference Committee Report.
Governor Deal announced yesterday the appointment of a new judge for Liberty County State Court. He has appointed Jeffrey N. Osteen to that position. See the press release attached:
Governor Deal also unveiled the seventh piece in the "Real Teachers Real Voices" campaign yesterday. His announcement is here: http://gov.georgia.gov/press-releases/2017-03-21/watch-deal-unveils-%E2%80%9Cbe-there%E2%80%9D
We have included some updates on meetings which took place on March 21 in this Report as well.
The House Rules Calendar was short this morning, although there were a number of motions to agree to legislation which have been vetted by the Senate. House members agreed to the Senate's changes to HB 1, HB 83, HB 265, and HB 534. The House also adopted the Conference Committee Report on HB 44, the Fiscal Year 2018 State Budget, which resulted in passage of the bill.
On the Rules Calendar, SB 52 was called first. This bill repeals the sunset provision relating to the authorization for a licensed professional counselor to deliver persons who are mentally ill or dependent on alcohol or drugs to the nearest available emergency receiving facility in the county where such patient is found. It received no amendments and passed 140-23.
SB 201, by Rep. Butch Miller (R-Gainesville), provides that employers with at least 25 employees must allow employees to use sick leave for the purpose of caring for an immediate family members. Such employers must already provide sick leave and this bill does not mandate that any company offer sick leave. The law would be set to expire on July 1, 2020. An amendment was offered on the Floor by Rep. Christian Coomer (R-Cartersville) (AM 40 0282) that inserted an automatic repeal of this measure on July 1, 2020 unless the General Assembly reauthorized it. SB 201 passed, as amended, by a vote of 114-51.
SR 95 was the last measure before the House today. It is a Constitutional Amendment that allows county school districts or independent school districts to call for a referendum vote to create a special education sales and use tax. The funds gathered from the tax would either be split between the districts if the districts reach an agreement or based on a ratio of enrollment. There was an amendment to the resolution (AM 28 1573) that struck lines 37 and 38 of the legislation and inserted the following language in their place:
"districts in the county or upon such other formula for distribution as may be authorized by local law. For purposes of this subparagraph, student enrollment shall be based on the…"
Senators today recognized a number of groups for their service. Sen. Fran Millar (R-Atlanta) presented a resolution recognizing the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education for its 25 years of service in the State of Georgia. Georgia Teen Republicans were also recognized this morning and some were present in the chamber. After making it through points of personal privilege, the Senate voted on HB 44, the FY 18 Budget, which was presented by Sen. Jack Hill (R-Reidsville). The chamber moved to adopt the Conference Committee Report to HB 44 by a unanimous vote.
Moving into the Rules Calendar, Majority Leader Bill Cowsert (R-Athens) made a motion to engross HB 199, HB 238, and HB 375. The motion to engross was approved.
HB 199, by Rep. Trey Rhodes (R-Greensboro) was engrossed, so no changes were allowed. It creates a new tax credit for postproduction companies in the entertainment industry. It also removes the sunset provision for current tax credits provided to these companies. It passed by a vote of 46-4.
HB 238, by Rep. Matt Hatchett (R-Dublin), was called and presented by Sen. Tyler Harper (R-Ocilla). It adds solar generation of energy and farm labor housing to the list of permissible activities for land that is held in a covenant under the Conservation Use Valuation Program. HB 238 was engrossed, so no changes were allowed. It passed by a vote of 42-9.
HB 245 was presented by Sen. Mike Dugan (R-Carrollton) and authored by Rep. Al Williams (D-Midway). It seeks to allow military spouses to qualify for a temporary educator certification whenever they transfer to a military base or military housing in the State of Georgia. It quickly passed unanimously, 50-0.
HB 249, also known as the 'Jeffrey Dallas Gay, Jr. Act,' had been authored by Rep. Kevin Tanner (R-Dawsonville) and was presented by Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford). There was no discussion on this initiative which in part places in statute Governor Deal's executive order allowing the State's public health officer to issue a standing order for Naloxone in an effort to address Georgia's growing opioid crisis and help prevent deaths due to overdose. It passed by a vote of 50-0.
HB 262, authored by Rep. Eddie Lumsden (R-Armuchee), was presented by Sen. Bruce Thompson (R-White). It clarifies that standalone dental plans are exempted from the requirement of having printed directories in O.C.G.A. § 33-20C-5.
HB 319, by Rep. Bill Werkheiser (R-Glennville), was presented by Sen. Blake Tillery (R-Vidalia). It increases the maximum reimbursement amount that counties can receive to cover certain habeas corpus costs. It passed 50-0.
HB 375, by Rep. Brad Raffensperger (R-Johns Creek), was presented by Sen. John Albers (R-Alpharetta) and it revises the definition of a 'new owner' of property subject to a tax execution. Like other tax-related measures on the Calendar, it also was engrossed. It passed with a vote of 50-0.
HB 463, by Rep. Katie Dempsey (R-Rome), was presented by Sen. John Wilkinson (R-Toccoa) in the Senate. It authorizes the Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) to establish a nonprofit corporation to qualify as a public foundation. It passed by a vote of 49-0.
SR 481, by Sen. Jesse Stone (R-Waynesboro), would create the Senate Study Committee on Senate Bill 86, which addresses the foreclosure confirmation statute requiring judicial confirmation of nonjudicial foreclosure sales.
SR 484, by Sen. Ed Harbison (D-Columbus), would create the Senate Study Committee on Creating a Lottery Game to Benefit Veterans.
SR 489, by Sen. William Ligon Jr. (R-Brunswick), would create the Senate Study Committee on Prescribing Patterns for Antidepressants and Other Psychotropic Medications.
Committee News from March 21:
House Health and Human Services Committee
Chairman Sharon Cooper (R-Marietta) and her Committee met Tuesday afternoon and took up these proposals:
- SB 4, the legislation by Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford), was passed in the form of a new Committee Substitute. It establishes the "Enhancing Mental Health Treatment in Georgia Act" in Chapter 4 of Title 49. Specifically, it creates the Georgia Mental Health Treatment Task Force which will be composed of three members from the House of Representatives as appointed by the Speaker; three members from the State's Senate appointed by the President of the Senate; and three members appointed by the Governor who may appoint three members from the advisory council members to the task force or any other individual(s) the Governor deems to be qualified to be a member of this task force. The task force will be staffed by the Department of Community Health. Also, there is a 21-member Mental Health Treatment Advisory Council who are non-voting members (Commissioners/or designees from Departments of Community Health, Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, Public Health, Human Services, Community Affairs, Corrections, Community Supervision, and Public Safety; a board licensed psychiatrist in private practice; board licensed psychiatrist practicing in an acute care hospital that maintains in-patient psychiatric beds; one board licensed psychiatrist practicing in a private free-standing psychiatric institution; two representatives each from two separate boards representing the State's Community Service Boards; one licensed psychologist; one licensed social worker; one licensed professional counselor; two active post-certified members of law enforcement; one consumer who has a mental illness diagnosis; one family member of a consumer who has a mental illness diagnosis; and one licensed emergency medical technician or paramedic). The task force is tasked with performing an examination of the current landscape in the State in serving individuals with mental illness – they are to make findings by December 31, 2017. In part, they will look at the impact on the State's jails, hospitals, emergency rooms, and other related institutions and services. They will also look at what changes should be made to the State's Medicaid program that would increase the ability to provide effective care and services for these individuals with mental illness and substance abuse disorders – looking at the costs and benefits of such changes. They are also to develop a plan for appropriate distribution of funding for mental health and substance abuse services – including the development of an application for a Section 1115 Medicaid waiver targeted at mental illness and substance abuse disorders that would be substantially ready for submission to the Department of Health and Human Services upon the General Assembly's authorization to submit such waiver in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 49-4-142.1 and O.C.G.A. § 49-4-142.2. The task force would also be required to develop and complete a Medicaid block grant funding for these services to be ready for submission to the Department of Health and Human Services. The task force is to stand abolished on January 1, 2018.
- SB 40, also by Sen. Unterman (R-Buford), passed out in the form of a new Committee Substitute. This legislation addresses the examination, hospitalization and treatment of involuntary patients and is an attempt to help individuals to get to treatment sooner. It permits the authorization of emergency medical services personnel and peace officers to transport persons to an emergency receiving facility in O.C.G.A. § 37-3-42. The legislation was brought to the attention of Sen. Unterman during last year's Study Committee on Mental Illness (Opioid and Heroin Addiction). She gave an example of an individual who attempted to jump on I-85 from an overpass. The legislation is not about 1013s. It is an attempt to get individuals off the streets. Many times the individuals have not committed crimes; they just need help. Under current law, police can only take the individuals if they either commit a crime or voluntarily consent to go for treatment. In the last three years, there have been 111,000 calls from individuals who were thought to need 1013s and were in crisis; the system was evaluated and only 15,000 needed a response and of those only 4,000 needed 1013s. There have been questions on the impact to the State's hospitals and emergency rooms but Sen. Unterman countered that the legislation is attempting to help the system and her Task Force (passed earlier above) will look at those issues (e.g., more ACT teams are needed). This legislation also contains a sunset provision, December 31, 2019. The legislation was supported by Cobb County EMS Services and others. Rep. Cooper will carry the legislation in the House.
- SB 106, by Sen. Greg Kirk (R-Americus), also passed in the form of a new Committee Substitute. It amends O.C.G.A. § 43-34-283(g) to revise provisions regarding pain management clinics clarifying that this subsection does not apply to a certified registered nurse anesthetist practicing pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 43-26-11.1 so long as "(1) the patient has previously been examined by a physician and such physician has issued a written order for such patient to receive medical treatment or services, and (2) the pain management clinic has obtained written consent of the patient prior to any medical treatment or services being provided by the certified registered nurse anesthetist regarding the medical treatment or services to be performed, the risks of the medical treatment, or services to be performed, and that a physician may or may not be on-site." The current law states that no pain management clinic is to provide medical treatment/services unless a physician, a physician assistant authorized to prescribe controlled substances under an approved job description, or an advanced practice registered nurse authorized to prescribe controlled substances pursuant to a physician protocol is on site at the clinic. This legislation is a compromise between various parties. Rep. Betty Price, MD (R-Roswell) asked if the physicians supported this and whether there were discussions with the anesthesiologists. She was told that the Georgia Society of Interventional Pain Physicians and Georgia Society of Anesthesiologists support the proposal. The legislation now moves to the House Rules Committee; Rep. Cooper will also carry this bill.
- HR 446, by Rep. William Boddie (D-East Point), was held in Committee so that members could come up with a broader approach to look at all youth sports. The underlying Resolution proposed to create a House Study Committee on Heatstroke. Rep. Boddie brought the proposal forward because of a youth who died in his district last year from heatstroke. The Committee asked a number of questions including what the Georgia High School Association had to say on this – apparently its guidelines need to be tighter, according to Rep. Boddie's explanation. Rep. Mark Newton (R-Augusta) who is also an emergency room physician expressed that the State should also look at basketball deaths and sports in general, including cheerleading injuries. While this proposal was discussed, the legislators also brought up the previously enacted law, the "Return to Play Act," which was enacted to help keep youth safe. During the back and forth on the proposal, it became clear that the Committee was divided - mostly along party lines. Rep. Mickey Stephens (D-Savannah) asked that partisan politics be put aside and the Committee pass the bill to help youth. Thus, after having a Committee recess, Rep. Boddie and the Chairman indicated that the initiative would be worked on and discussed again Thursday.
- HR 464, by Rep. Betty Price, MD (R-Roswell), was the last Resolution discussed and it also passed in the form of a new Committee Substitute. Originally, it was intended to create a House Study Committee on Infectious Disease Preparedness with a focus on the Zika virus. It has been broadened to look at other issues and how the State can react to such public health crises.
House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee
Yesterday, the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee, chaired by Rep. Rich Golick (R-Smyrna), heard four propositions:
- HB 32, authored by Rep. Joyce Chandler (R-Dacula), relates to sexual assaults committed by school employees and criminalizes such conduct on a student for any person employed by the school with supervisory or disciplinary authority over the student. There was significant discussion among Committee members of how broadly the net should be thrown to cover employees/agents of a school. Rep. Robert Trammell (D-Luthersville) offered an amendment to strike "agent" from the bill because of the uncertainty of the term's scope. The Committee adopted the amendment and recommended the bill DO PASS by committee substitute and be sent to the Rules Committee.
- HR 340, authored by Rep. Heath Clark (R-Warner Robins), is a resolution urging Congress to allow states to set their own policies regarding marijuana and hemp. The resolution has been narrowed since being heard before the subcommittee to focus on medicinal uses of marijuana and marijuana products. Rep. Ed Setzler (R-Acworth) offered an amendment to clarify that the resolution would urge Congress to re-classify marijuana under the Controlled Substance Act rather than simply reduce regulation. The Committee adopted the amendment and recommended the bill DO PASS by committee substitute and be sent to the Rules Committee.
- SB 1, authored by Sen. Bill Cowsert (R-Athens), is the "Protect Act - Protecting Georgians Against Terrorism" and expands Georgia law as it relates to domestic terrorism. Current Georgia law provides penalty enhancements for terroristic acts; this proposition repeals those provisions and creates new criminal acts for domestic terrorism. There was significant concern among Committee members and public witnesses as to the implication of this legislation on free speech and the participation in protests. The Committee HELD the bill pending resolution of concerns and will take it up at tomorrow's regular Committee meeting.
- SB 104, authored by Sen. Donzella James (D-Atlanta), requires that government buildings with public access and government websites display the model notice with human trafficking hotline information that is currently required to be displayed in certain other public places. The Committee recommended the bill DO PASS and be sent to the Rules Committee.
House Judiciary Committee
On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. Wendell Willard (R-Sandy Springs), heard two bills:
- SB 130, authored by Sen. Blake Tillery (R-Vidalia), amends the right to counsel provisions of the Juvenile Code to include language that any waiver of right to counsel must be made knowingly, voluntarily, and on the record. This requirement is already clear in case law (with the exception of the "on the record" requirement), and the State Bar has requested it be included in code. Sen. Tillery requested that the bill be amended to include the content from SB 131, also authored by him, which provides that adoption proceedings be stayed while the determination of parental rights is still pending. SB 131 was passed by Senate Judiciary but was not considered on the Senate floor. The Committee adopted the amendment and recommended the bill DO PASS by committee substitute and be sent to the Rules Committee.
- SB 222, authored by Sen. John Kennedy (R-Macon), modernizes Georgia's 9-1-1 call center planning and financing structures. The effort is being led by the Association County Commissioners of Georgia. The legislation establishes a statewide Local Government 9-1-1 Authority responsible for administering, collecting, auditing, and remitting 9-1-1 revenues for the benefit of local government and will serve as a coordinating unit for statewide 9-1-1 development. Rep. Andy Welch (R-McDonough) offered a substitute that, rather than creating a new authority, repurposes an existing committee structure under the current 9-1-1 law, and puts the fee collection and disbursal authority with the Department of Revenue. The Committee could not reach a conclusion on this proposed amendment, and it HELD the bill for further consideration.
Senate Judiciary Committee – Ligon Subcommittee
Late yesterday, Sen. William Ligon, Jr. (R-Brunswick) and his Subcommittee held a meeting. It passed out a new Committee Substitute on HB 9, the "upskirting" proposal by Rep. Shaw Blackmon (R-Bonaire). It adds a new Code Section at O.C.G.A. § 16-11-61.1, addressing an Appeals court matter. There is a likely a Committee Amendment when the legislation is presented. It makes it a crime to surreptitiously videotape or otherwise take images of a person for the purpose of viewing intimate parts of the body or of the undergarments worn by such person under circumstances when the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy. This legislation stems from a man who videotaped a woman by looking up her skirt in a grocery store.
The Subcommittee also held a lengthy hearing on Rep. Earl Ehrhart's legislation, HB 51. It has taken many different forms since its introduction but it is to create in Chapter 3 of Title 20 the "Georgia Safe Campus Act" looking at how crimes are reported on our college campuses. There were many individuals who spoke out against the proposal as they feared that the legislation would have a chilling effect on the reporting of crimes. Further, many had issues with the mandatory reporting language in the new Committee Substitute. No action was taken on HB 51 at this meeting.
Committee news from March 22:
House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee
The House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee, chaired by Rep. Rich Golick (R-Smyrna), heard two propositions today:
- SB 1, authored by Sen. Bill Cowsert (R-Athens), is the "Protect Act - Protecting Georgians Against Terrorism" and expands Georgia law as it relates to domestic terrorism. Current Georgia law provides penalty enhancements for terroristic acts; this proposition repeals those provisions and creates new criminal acts for domestic terrorism. The Committee heard the bill yesterday, and it was presented again today with changes to address concerns relating to the seriousness of crimes necessary to invoke the provisions, the impact on "ideological" motivations, and the use of the term "lawful speech." Rep. Bert Reeves (R-Marietta) offered an amendment expanding the range of mandatory sentences from 10-25 years to 5-35 years, and the amendment was adopted. Rep. Deborah Silcox (R-Sandy Springs) also offered an amendment to retain judicial discretion that was adopted. Rep. Ed Setzler (R-Acworth) and Rep. Robert Trammell (D-Luthersville) also offered amendments that were adopted. The Committee recommended the bill DO PASS by committee substitute and be sent to the Rules Committee.
- SB 125, authored by Sen. Rick Jeffares (R-McDonough), allows physician assistants and nurse practitioners to prescribe a limited supply of hydrocodone compound products subject to certain restrictions. The Committee recommended the bill DO PASS and be sent to the Rules Committee.
Senate Judiciary – Subcommittee B
Subcommittee B, chaired by Sen. Josh McKoon (R-Columbus), heard eight bills today:
- HB 5, authored by Rep. Johnnie Caldwell, Jr. (R-Thomaston), raises the State funding for juvenile court judges from $85,000 per circuit to $100,000 per circuit. The funding for this increase is included in the FY 2018 Budget. Sen. John Kennedy (R-Macon) offered an amendment to increase from 30 to 40 the number of days a non-metro Court of Appeals or Supreme Court judge may claim a per diem for travel to Atlanta per term of court. There are three terms per year and there are presently about eight judges who live 50 miles outside of Atlanta. Sen. Bill Cowsert (R-Athens) asked that Sen. Kennedy's amendment be amended, moving the 50-mile limitation to 45-miles. Sen. Kennedy agreed to Sen. Cowsert's suggestion. Chairman McKoon indicated that by his math that this per diem change would be a cost to the State, if all eight judges requested this per diem, in the amount of $13,840 (based on $173 per day). The amendment was adopted, and the Subcommittee recommended the bill DO PASS by committee substitute and be sent to the full Judiciary Committee.
- HB 137, authored by Rep. Scot Turner (R-Holly Springs), eliminates a workaround related to compensation of special assistant district attorneys and attorneys general who are retained to prosecute civil asset forfeiture proceedings. The legislation bars de facto contingency fee arrangements and requires that contracts with attorneys retained to handle forfeiture proceedings be in writing and filed with the Clerk of Court. Rep. Turner indicated that the State needed a policy for payments for these ADAs and ways to end a "perverse profit motive" for these contractors to go after as much as possible. There were no questions. The Subcommittee recommended the bill DO PASS and be sent to the full Judiciary Committee.
- HB 197, authored by Rep. Sam Teasley (R-Marietta), adds a provision to Georgia's Fair Business Practices Act to require that solicitations for services to obtain copies of deeds or other property conveyance documents carry a conspicuous marking that it is a solicitation and not a government document. The Georgia Realtors Association supports this proposal. The Subcommittee recommended the bill DO PASS and be sent to the full Judiciary Committee.
- HB 203, authored by Rep. Brian Strickland (R-McDonough), allows homeowners' associations to petition a court for ownership of common areas retained by defunct developers in subdivisions and planned developments. This issue came to his attention due to a Henry County problem. The changes will apply to condominium associations, property owner associations and planned subdivisions. There is also language concerning the statute of limitations for violations, including when there are continuing violations. There were no questions. The Subcommittee recommended the bill DO PASS and be sent to the full Judiciary Committee.
- HB 293, authored by Rep. Deborah Silcox (R-Sandy Springs), provides an effective date for the evidence statute adopted in 2013 relating to the admissibility of hearsay from a child who is a victim of physical or sexual abuse. Rep. Silcox indicated that she was carrying this proposal at Rep. Rich Golick's (R-Smyrna) request. It will address when testimony is "hearsay" – at the time of trial and not time of offense. Again, there were no questions on this bill. The Subcommittee recommended the bill DO PASS and be sent to the full Judiciary Committee.
- HB 308, authored by Rep. Beth Beskin (R-Atlanta), revises portions of Georgia's child support law. In addition to language cleanup, the statute makes two substantive changes by allowing for separate child support worksheets when multiple children are involved and removing work-related child care expenses from the worksheet. These changes are intended to eliminate the need for parents to return to court for revised child support orders when children age out of certain types of support. Sen. Jesse Stone (R-Waynesboro) and Sen. Greg Kirk (R-Americus) asked some clarifying questions around the use of the worksheet, including if such would be used in mediations. The Subcommittee recommended the bill DO PASS and be sent to the full Judiciary Committee.
- HB 344, authored by Rep. Katie Dempsey (R-Rome), is paternity testing clean-up legislation from the law passed in 2015 (HB 568). It changes the term "movant" in the law to "party" to allow the Department of Human Services to implement the full intent of the legislation. There no questions on this proposal. The Subcommittee recommended the bill DO PASS and be sent to the full Judiciary Committee.
- HB 497, authored by Rep. Chuck Efstration (R-Dacula), revises the Juvenile Code to provide for the consideration of de facto custodians in child custody proceedings. The legislation also provides for delay to juvenile delinquency proceedings when the child is participating in a diversionary program. There was a great deal of discussion on this legislation. Judge Steven Teske (Clayton County) spoke in favor of the proposal, outlining some of his experience with cases. He argued that the legislation was needed and would help prevent children from being placed into the care of the Division of Family and Children's Services unnecessarily when there was someone who has a relationship with a child. There are three tests which are required for the de facto custodian as outlined in O.C.G.A. § 19-9-6: has the person lived with the child under the age of three for six months or more; has the person lived with the child over the age of three for a period of one year or more; and does the person have a bonded relationship with the child which has been supported by either parent of the child. Rep. Regina Quick (R-Athens), a family lawyer, stated that parts of the legislation were a "hot mess," and thus, spoke against the bill during public comments with concerns about internal inconsistencies in the legislation and concerns it could interfere with the parental rights of biological parents. There were other members of the Bar's Family Law Section present who also opposed the legislation. On the other side, there were attorneys who thought the legislation was a step in the right direction and would permit the court to place the interests of the child in the forefront when making determinations. While there are lingering questions concerning HB 497, the Subcommittee recommended the bill DO PASS and be sent to the full Judiciary Committee where it may be fully vetted.
Senate Education & Youth Committee
Chairman Lindsey Tippins (R-Marietta) called the final meeting of the Senate Education and Youth Committee to order. He thanked the Committee's staff and legislative council for their hard work over the course of the session. The Committee only considered two pieces of legislation today, which passed out easily.
- HB 430 was offered by Rep. Buzz Brockway (R-Lawrenceville), which applies some of the recommendations that came out of the Governor's Education Reform Commission. It requires the State Board of Education and the State Charter Schools Commission to establish principles for charter school authorization to guide local boards of education. It had previously received some pushback from local systems regarding a provision that defines "unused educational facilities" and allows charter schools to receive an annual facilities grant. Dr. Gary McGiboney, with the Department of Education, indicated the department is fine with the legislation. It received a DO PASS from the Committee and moves on to Rules.
- The Committee also considered HB 273, by Rep. Demetrius Douglas (D-Stockbridge) which has received many changes over the course of the session. It had previously mandated that schools provide at least 30 minutes of recess each day. It had been amended during previous meetings to specify that such recess time can be structured or unstructured, which ensured that it would not conflict with previously-scheduled recess or P.E. courses. A substitute was presented, although Rep. Douglas had apparently not seen the newest substitute prior to the meeting. The new version removes the mandate, now requiring 30 minutes of recess time, but it has no enforcement mechanism. While he was skeptical of the changes made in the substitute, Rep. Douglas agreed to the changes. HB 273 received a DO PASS with the support of the Committee. It now moves to Rules.
Chairman Tippins thanked everybody again for their work over the session, then adjourned the meeting.
Our 2017 Georgia Capitol team consists of Stan Jones, Helen Sloat, Chuck Clay, George Ray, and Logan Fletcher. We will also try our hand at tweeting this year – so follow us! @GDR_Live
The articles published in this newsletter are intended only to provide general information on the subjects covered. The contents should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Readers should consult with legal counsel to obtain specific legal advice based on particular situations.