On Wednesday, March 29, 2023, the Georgia General Assembly adjourned Sine Die. Lt. Governor Burt Jones today announced an update on his priorities for the 2023 Legislative Session:
“I am proud to announce that ten of my legislative priorities for this session received approval by the Senate and the House,” said Lt. Governor Burt Jones. “I want to thank each of the sponsors for their dedication and all of the members who voted in favor of these initiatives. I will continue to prioritize efforts to increase Georgia’s workforce, safety for our communities, and resources for all of Georgia’s children. I look forward to these bills receiving final approval with the Governor’s signature.”
Create a Stable Workforce
- The “Reducing Barriers to State Employment Act of 2023,” Senate Bill 3, instructs state agencies to examine qualifications for state government jobs and to not require a college degree unless truly necessary.
- Senate Bill 86 allows eligible students participating in the Dual Enrollment program to access HOPE Grant funds for certain Career Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) courses.
Increase Public Safety
- Senate Bill 44 addresses gang violence by creating a new offense for recruiting minors to gangs and establishes a mandatory minimum sentencing scheme for all gang offenses.
- Under Senate Bill 68, the commission of more than one dogfighting offense (or a conspiracy to do so) constitutes “a pattern of racketeering activity” that would subject the participants to liability under the RICO statute and allow them to be punished as an organized criminal enterprise.
- Senate Bill 92 creates an oversight commission for Georgia’s district attorneys.
Put Children and Families First
- Creation of the Senate Children and Families Committee
- Senate Bill 131 aligns notice requirements for permanent guardianship with termination of parental rights (TPR) proceedings.
- Senate Bill 133 establishes a uniform process for the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) to address custody of children for delinquency disposition orders and Child in Need of Services (CHINS) hearings.
- Senate Bill 134 streamlines proceedings addressing parental rights by expediting the use of medical narratives and makes it easier for children to testify in proceedings.
- Under Senate Bill 135, standards for admissibility and authenticity of genetic testing are established.
- Senate Bill 216 allows for up to 72 hours of respite care for foster parents. ‘Respite care’ is defined as occasional or short-term relief for a caregiver by a person or entity.
- Senate Bill 222 ensures that all costs and expenses relating to election administration are paid for with lawfully appropriate public funds and prohibits certain local governments and individuals from soliciting or accepting donations or other things of value to support election administration.
2023 Priority Study Committees
- Senate Resolution 85: The Senate Occupational Licensing Study Committee addresses Georgia’s current occupational licensing laws and requirements.
- Senate Resolution 275: The Senate Study Committee on Expanding Georgia’s Workforce will examine current practices, pilot programs, private-public partnerships, and initiatives by industries across Georgia to increase workforce opportunities.
- Senate Resolution 279: The Senate Study Committee on Certificate of Need (CON) Reform will address CON reform policies that will preserve the ability of hospitals to continue to provide open access to all patients in a community.
- Senate Resolution 282: The Senate Study Committee on Foster Care and Adoption will review current guidelines and processes related to foster care and adoption.
Appointments to all of the study committees will be announced in the next several weeks.
For additional information on legislation or study committees, please follow this link: https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/all