Georgia lawmakers are on the sidelines as the deadline for crossover day and key bills approaches

The clock is ticking for Georgia lawmakers as they face Crossover Day – the crucial deadline by which bills must be passed in either the House or Senate or risk being shelved for the current legislative session. At stake are high-profile policies on immigration, religious freedom and education, as well as a controversial bill over the future of the state's film tax credits.

One of the most contentious issues is the fate of House Bill 1105, which would force closer cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities. This bill comes at a time of heightened tensions over immigration policy, exacerbated by the recent murder of Laken Riley and the subsequent arrest of Jose Ibarra. According to FOX5 Atlanta, Gov. Brian Kemp has shown his support for improving immigration laws amid discussions with district attorneys about law enforcement.

Religious freedom is also at stake with Senate Bill 180, as supporters argue that it prevents government interference in religious practices, while critics counter that it could lead to discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community. AP News reports that this bill is among those that continue to polarize opinion as midnight approaches.

Another bill making waves is House Bill 1180, which aims to reform the film tax credit system by pushing for increased use of Georgia talent and setting caps on the sale of credits. As the film industry has become an integral part of Georgia's economy, any changes in policy have far-reaching implications. In a twist of legislative maneuvering, an education bill, Senate Bill 532, could redefine sex education in the state, requiring parental consent and a complete ban on such education for fifth grade and below, says FOX5 Atlanta.

A number of bills related to the state's finances, social issues and legal procedures have already been introduced, providing some relief to some lawmakers. Notably, Georgians could vote on legalizing sports betting in November, and a proposed tax cut could result in the state's income tax rate being retroactively reduced to a flat 5.39% from the start of the year. Meanwhile, the state is grappling with explosive issues from anti-Semitism to gun tax breaks, with some proposals making it through while others teeter on the precipice of political purgatory.