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Bills that advanced or failed in Georgia General Assembly

Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta
Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta (Wikimedia Commons)

ATLANTA – Lawmakers in the Georgia General Assembly on Thursday faced a deadline to advance legislation from one chamber to the other. While issues can be resurrected later using legislative rules, the crossover deadline between the House and Senate tends to significantly narrow the issues in play. Here’s a look at some of the issues that remain alive, as well as at some that may be dead:

Still alive this session

FLAT INCOME TAX: House Bill 949 would change Georgia’s personal income tax to a flat rate of 5.375% from the current graduated system.

SPECIAL EDUCATION VOUCHERS: The pool of students with special education needs eligible for state-paid aid to attend private schools would expand under Senate Bill 386.

HIDDEN PREDATOR ACT: House Bill 479 would increase the amount of time that victims of child sexual assault have to file a civil claim and open a one-year window to bring a civil claim for victims whose statute of limitations has run out.

DISABILITY ASSISTANCE: House Bill 1046 would require gas stations to assist disabled customers with pumping gas.

MEDICAID FOR NEW MOMS: Mothers would get six months of Medicaid health insurance under House Bill 1114, up from two months now.

FILM TAX CREDITS: All film projects to undergo audits before claiming tax credits under House Bill 1037.

RIDE-HAILING FEES: A conference report to House Bill 105 would impose a 50-cent-per-ride tax on ride-hailing services, taxis and limousines, instead of having them be subject to regular sales taxes.

HAZING: Senate Bill 423 would raise criminal penalties for members of fraternities, sororities and other college student groups that engage in hazing and require colleges to publicly report on hazing investigations twice a year.

GOVERNOR’S POWERS: The governor’s powers to cut spending would be curtailed by House Bill 1111, while the governor would have to share the power to set the state’s revenue estimate with appointees of the House speaker and lieutenant governor under House Bill 1112.

BURNING TREATED WOOD: Power plants would not be able to burn certain chemically treated wood products under House Bill 857

FAMILY LEAVE: State, college, university and K-12 employees would qualify for three weeks of paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child under House Bill 1094.

ETHYLENE OXIDE: Senate Bill 426 and House Bill 927 would both require that any facility that emits ethylene oxide, used in sterilizing medical instruments, would have to report releases within 24 hours, with state regulators publicly posting reports.

COAL ASH: The state would require 30 years of care and monitoring for coal ash ponds but would not require utilities to excavate and bury the coal ash in lined landfills under House Bill 929, while it would raise dumping fees under House Bill 959 and Senate Bill 123, and require notice of draining of ponds to local governments. VAPING: Senate Bill 375 would raise the age to purchase or possess tobacco or vaping products to 21 and would create penalties for people under 21 who possess vaping products.

SEX OFFENDER ELECTRONIC MONITORING: Sexual offenders who are convicted twice of a felony would be subject to lifetime electronic monitoring under House Bill 720, which seeks to resume the practice after a court overturned it.

SUING THE STATE: Senate Resolution 841 and House Resolution 1023 propose constitutional amendments which, if approved by voters, would allow Georgians to sue state and local governments over illegal acts.

MOTHERS AT WORK: Senate Bill 327 would require certain employers to provide reasonable break time for nursing mothers to pump breast milk.

BLACKWATER RIVERS: Senate Bill 384 would prevent new landfills from being built within 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) of the Satilla River in southeast Georgia.

Dead for the year

GAMBLING: House Resolution 378 would have asked voters whether the state Constitution should be amended to allow “all forms of” gambling and would have created the Georgia Gaming Commission to regulate the industry.

HOME SCHOOL SPORTS: House Bill 1055 would have allowed home-schooled students who meet certain conditions to participate in high school sports and extracurricular activities.

LAWSUIT LIMITS: Senate Bill 415 would have made a series of changes to limit lawsuits and verdict sizes, including barring arguments about the value of pain and suffering, protecting landlords against suits for criminal acts on their property and letting people present court evidence that people weren’t wearing seat belts.

IN-STATE TUITION FOR DREAMERS: House Bill 997 would have granted in-state tuition to people who arrived illegally in the country before age 12.

ADOPTION RULES: Senate Bill 368 would have allowed private adoption agencies to opt out of serving lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people.

CITIZEN VOTING: Senate Resolution 818 proposed an amendment to the state constitution seeking to clarify that only U.S. citizens can vote.