ATLANTA (AP) – Georgian lawmakers face an important deadline and much remains to be done. Monday is crossover day in the General Assembly, on which bills and other measures must pass through the House or Senate and pass into the other chamber. Some key proposals, like restrictive voting and electoral laws, have already moved forward, although lawmakers could consider additional proposals on Monday, and there are ways to revive failed measures by changing them into other bills. Measures that have failed include efforts to impose new criminal sanctions on some protesters and a plan to strip the State Labor Commissioner of some powers. As it is the first year of a two-year term in office, measures that do not advance this year could still be adopted next year. Here’s a look at the status of some key issues:
CITIZEN FORTIFICATION: House Bill 479 would abolish Georgian law that allows private individuals to arrest someone, while security guards and shop clerks can continue to detain people they accuse of a crime until the police arrive.
LAWMAKER PAY RAISE: The pay of 180 House members and 56 Senators in Georgia would nearly double under House Bill 675. Most nationally elected officials would also receive significant pay increases. Proponents say lawmaker pay hasn’t changed since 1999.
PATIENT VISIT: Hospitals and nursing homes would have to give visitors access to House Bill 290 after many visitors had blocked access to visitors due to the coronavirus pandemic.
SCHOOL COUPONS: The house is still considering House Bill 60, which will be used to create a new education savings accounts program to provide coupons for private schools and home schooling. The Senate has already passed Senate Draft 47, which would expand eligibility for a program that pays children with special educational needs to attend private schools.
TRANSGENDER SPORTS: Senate Bill 266 would prohibit transgender girls from playing on girls’ sports teams in high schools. Proponents say those who were not born women could have an unfair advantage, but opponents say it is illegal and cruel under federal law to do so.
EMERGENCY FORCES: House Bill 358 would require lawmakers to renew Governor Brian Kemp’s emergency powers every 30 days and every 90 days thereafter to limit the powers Kemp has exercised over the Georgian health emergency for nearly a year.
IN-STATE TEACHING: House Bill 120 allows some people without legal immigration status to apply for tuition at most universities and colleges in Georgia.
ADULT CRIME AGE: The age at which most people are charged with adult crimes would increase from 17 to 18 in Georgia under House Bill 272.
LIMITS: Georgia voters could limit state lawmakers to 12 years per chamber and extend senators’ tenure to four years under Senate Resolution 37, a constitutional amendment. The measure would also limit the lieutenant governor’s office to two terms.
STREET RACING: House Bill 534 and Senate Bill 10 would increase penalties for illegal street races and stunt drives.
PULLED DRIVING: Drivers in Georgia couldn’t avoid penalties by telling judges that they bought hands-free kits for their cell phones under House Bill 247.
STONE MOUNTAIN: Senate Bill 158 would require that a civil, electoral and human rights memorial “Let Freedom Ring” be erected on Stone Mountain, which is home to a giant carving of Confederate leaders.
INCOME TAX CUT: Georgia would increase the amount of money someone could make before paying House Bill 593 income taxes and cut total taxes by $ 140 million.
SPORTS BETTING: With Senate Resolution 135 and Senate Law 142, Georgian voters could decide whether to allow sports betting. Lawmakers would divide the proceeds into college scholarships for low-income students, expanded high-speed internet access, and rural health services.
HOME-SCHOOLED ATHLETES: Public schools would require home-schooled students to participate in track and field and after-school activities as long as they take at least one online course through the local school under Senate Bill 51.
LAWSUIT LIABILITY: House Bill 112 is extended to July 2022. Georgian law protects companies and others from legal action if someone accuses them of contracting COVID-19.
HUMAN TRAFFICKING: Senate Bill 33 would allow victims or state officials to bring civil actions against traffickers, while Senate Bill 34 would make it easier for people who have been trafficked to change their names.
PAID PARENTAL LEAVE: House Bill 146 would offer nearly 250,000 state, public university, and public school employees three weeks of paid parental leave at any time after the birth, adoption, or care of a child.
TIME CHANGE: House Bill 44 calls on Georgia to permanently switch to daylight saving time if the US Congress approves it. Senate Bill 100 calls on Georgia to adhere to Standard Time year-round unless Congress allows states to permanently switch to daylight saving time.
DEFUND THE POLICE: House Bill 286 states that cities and counties cannot cut spending on their police services by more than 5% per year.
PORCH PIRACY: It would be a mandatory prison crime for people stealing packages from someone else’s porch under House Bill 94.
HAZING: Senate Bill 85 would increase penalties for bullying and make it a crime to force people to participate in bullying when someone is seriously injured, including from alcohol poisoning.
TEACHER INCENTIVES: House Bill 32 would give a US $ 3,000 per year state tax credit to some Georgian teachers who agree to work in certain rural or underperforming schools.
LABOR COMMISSIONER: The Senators on Friday abandoned Senate Draft 156, which would have created a chief labor officer to oversee unemployment benefits. The move would have undermined the authority of Labor Commissioner Mark Butler as lawmakers say his department poorly handled a flood of jobless claims.
PROTEST RESTRICTIONS: Senate Bill 171 would have made blocking a freeway during a protest a crime, imposed penalties for other forms of protest, and expanded the state’s definition of illegal gathering. It never left the committee.
CASINO GAMBLING: None of the various actions that casinos would authorize have left the committee.
HORSE RACING: None of the various measures that would authorize betting on horse races have been removed from the committee.
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