The Fulton County Dems are hosting a Day of Action at the Capitol on Tuesday, March 10.
Here are some bills that have surfaced either in committee or in the House or Senate. You may wish to discuss one or more of these bills with your legislator:
SB434 – Plastic Bag Ban
Prohibits plastic bags and food service disposable containers made from Styrofoam. For more information: https://www.facebook.com/sallyharrellga/videos/835725570237094/
SB409 – Vote by Mail
Would allow Georgians to always vote by mail without having to request every single election. For more information: https://www.ajc.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/bill-would-allow-georgians-always-vote-mail/t1vglJzzazXvs15fNf4PNI/?fbclid=IwAR0JCtnsB7zHs3DeX38ntE2r7lejTFJJzYjNZg8oTccw7JPq-ny0IVX2KpU
HB994 – “Anti-Gang” Bill
Has undergone multiple revisions but still:
– Allows prosecutors to move juvenile cases related to gang activity to the adult system with permission from a juvenile judge
– Defines “criminal street gangs” as any group – of people of three or more who are suspected of coordinating criminal activity
– Lengthens prison sentences and extends the reach of law enforcement agencies across county lines
– Expands the powers of campus police and school security officers so they can have arrest powers 880 yards beyond school boundaries
Our legislators need to be focusing on the societal barriers that lead young people to gang involvement and invest in the resources necessary to ensure that children and their families can thrive. This bill is extremist and if unchecked, will incarcerate young people at a disturbing rate, undoing the bi-partisan work that has grounded Georgia’s criminal justice reform. There appears to be no mention of Alt-Right Militias being considered a ‘gang’. This bill defines behaviors that can be attributed to urban culture as potential crimes
SB357 – Guns in Private Schools and Churches
Will allow people to bring guns into private schools and places of worship
HB440 – Raise the Age for Juveniles
Will raise the age of minors prosecuted in the juvenile justice system to 18. The majority of offenses committed by 17 year-olds are misdemeanors. Raising the age for jurisdiction of the juvenile court system to include children who are under the age of 18 will result in better outcomes for young people who are at an age where they may act impulsively but who have great capacity for rehabilitation.
The Raise the Age Bill is in the House Juvenile Justice Committee. At the Feb 18th Talk Justice Tuesday, a 19 year-old named Dylan bravely shared his story of how when he was 17 he and his 16 year old friend were arrested for breaking and entering. Dylan’s friend was processed through the juvenile system while Dylan went through the adult system. The outcomes for the two were completely different. Dylan’s case took 2 ½ years to be resolved, he dropped out of school to get a job to pay his fines, will serve a five year probation sentence and have to deal with the stigma of a criminal record for the rest of his life. His friend has already finished his probation, he got his high school diploma and his record will be sealed.
HB1060 – Anti-Trans Bill
Preventing doctors from providing life saving treatment to trans minors. For more information: https://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20192020/HB/1060
SR654 – Tax Dollars for Public Transit (sponsored by Sen. Sally Harrell D)
Constitutional amendment to allow motor fuel tax money to be used for transit and not just roads and bridges.
SB386 – Money away from public schools
This bill is a secret school voucher bill, expanding access to special needs scholarship funds to all students with 504s. It takes money away from public schools.
HB756 and 297 – Coal Ash Pollution
Would require polluters to store coal ash in lined pits.
HB995 – Discrimination on College Campuses
Allows discrimination on college campuses it would roll out the red carpet to permit “religious”, “political”, or “ideological” student orgs to discriminate in membership, leadership.
SB334 – Community Midwifery Bill
Licenses for midwives in Georgia. For more information: https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/en-US/Display/20192020/SB/334
HB528 – Record Restriction (sponsored by Rep. Mandi Ballinger R)
Allows for the restriction (expungement) of most misdemeanor conviction records after four years.
HB714 – Solitary Confinement (sponsored by Rep. Bee Nguyen D)
Defines solitary confinement and prohibits the practice for people with mental illness, children and elderly.
SB463 – “Anti-Voting” Bill
Will slash the number of machines in precincts, and make it easier to reject absentee ballots. For more information: https://indivisiblegeorgiacoalition.org/2020/03/04/voting-rights-theyre-coming-for-your-absentee-ballot/
HB117 – Vote Anywhere in Your County
This bill would allow Election Day voting to be anywhere withing your county of residence, instead of at your assigned voting precinct.
HB487 – Re-Criminalize Hemp
Possession of small amounts of hemp is a misdemeanor. More information: https://hightimes.com/news/georgia-lawmakers-pushing-bill-essentially-re-criminalize-hemp/