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Here's what happened and what didn't happen on the final day of Georgia's legislative session

Here's what happened and what didn't happen on the final day of Georgia's legislative session

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) – Georgia lawmakers wrapped up their 2024 session early Friday morning, agreeing to tougher immigration enforcement but again rejecting a measure that would allow voters to decide whether to allow sports betting in the State wish.

Motivated in large part by the shocking death of Laken Riley, whose body was found on the University of Georgia campus earlier this year, lawmakers passed House Bill 1105, which would require local law enforcement to assist federal agents in enforcing immigration law support.

Jose Ibarra was charged in connection with the death of Riley, a Venezuelan citizen who entered the country illegally. Already a hot topic in a politically fraught presidential election year, the issue of illegal immigration has become a bitter point of contention between Republicans and Democrats.

But on Thursday, lawmakers rejected two bills — Senate Bill 386 and Senate Resolution 579 — that would have legalized online sports betting if voters were ever given the opportunity to vote on a constitutional amendment.

Gov. Brian Kemp has 40 days after the end of the session to sign, veto or allow legislation to become law without his signature, and many lawmakers will be focused on re-election as all 56 Senate seats and 180 seats are up for a vote in the House of Representatives this year.

Senate Bill 189 passed, which would allow more mass voter challenges and could disqualify more voters. The ACLU of Georgia said if Gov. Kemp signs the bill, they would sue.

“Access to the ballot is at the heart of our democracy. This election “Frankenbill” violates the National Voter Registration Act. We are committed to protecting voters in Georgia. If the governor signs this bill, we will see it in court.” – Andrea Young, Executive Director, ACLU of Georgia.


Here's an Associated Press look at the major measures passed and failed this legislative session:


PROPERTY TAXES: Future increases in the taxable value of a home could be limited by House Bill 581, while House Resolution 1022 is a companion constitutional amendment.

ELECTIONS: Senate Bill 189 would create new rules for challenging voter qualifications, potentially allow more candidates to qualify for Georgia's presidential election and ban the use of QR codes to count ballots after 2026. House Bill 1207 allows for a reduced number of voting machines.

INCOME TAXES: A previously planned state income tax cut would be accelerated under House Bill 1015, giving the state a flat 5.39% income tax rate retroactive to Jan. 1.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Senate Bill 351 would require social media companies to obtain parental permission before allowing children under 16 to create accounts. It will also ban the use of social media via school computers and the internet and introduce new anti-bullying rules.

CASH BAIL: Senate Bill 63 would require cash bail for 30 additional crimes, including some misdemeanors, and establish new rules for nonprofit bail funds.

UNION ORGANIZATION: Companies receiving federal economic incentives would be prohibited from recognizing unions without a secret ballot under Senate Bill 362.

HEALTH CARE APPROVAL: Some expansions of health care facilities would be permitted without state approvals under House Bill 1339.

FOREIGN FARMLAND: Senate Bill 420 would ban agents of China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Russia from owning farmland in Georgia or any country within 10 miles of a military base.

WATER RIGHTS: House Bill 1172 would amend the law governing the use of Georgia's waterways for boating, fishing and hunting. Proponents say it strikes a balance between public use and private property rights.

LIMITS TO SUIT: Senate Bill 426 would limit the ability to sue an insurance company immediately after a truck accident.


MEDICAID: The House and Senate debated expanding Medicaid health insurance to lower-income adults, but Republicans want to address the issue instead.

SCHOOL POLICY House Bill 1104 would have banned transgender girls from playing high school sports with other girls, banned sex education in fifth grade and below and required a system to notify parents of any item a child receives in a school library .

JUDGES' COMPENSATION: Senate Bill 479 would have established guidelines to increase and standardize judges' salaries.

LIBRARIES: Senate Bill 390 would have prohibited the use of public funds for contributions or programs related to the American Library Association.

OKEFENOKEE MINING: Georgia would have suspended future permits for a mine expansion near the Okefenokee Swamp for three years under Senate Bill 132.

Film Tax Credit: House Bill 1180 would have required greater use of Georgia-based employees and contractors to receive the top 30% income tax credit for film production.

FALSE CONVICTIONS: Senate Bill 429 would have created a commission that could recommend that people who are incarcerated and later cleared of wrongdoing receive at least $60,000 for each year they are incarcerated.

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: Supporters said Senate Bill 180 would have protected religious freedom, while opponents said it was a license to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people in the name of religion.


ANTISEMITISM: Kemp signed House Bill 30 in January, which defines anti-Semitism for use in hate crimes and anti-discrimination cases. Opponents warn that it is being used to censor free speech and equate criticism of Israel with hatred of the Jewish people.

PROSECUTOR DISCIPLINE: Senate Bill 332 revived a commission with the authority to discipline and fire prosecutors. Democrats warn that the move is aimed at Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis' prosecution of former President Donald Trump. Kemp signed the bill into law earlier this month.

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