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2022 Session: Week 11 Update

We’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel in Atlanta! We completed Crossover Day last Tuesday, and with this milestone behind us, The House of Representatives went back to work in our committees to examine Senate bills. As a result, the House Rules Committee scheduled several Senate bills for a vote on the House floor last week. We expect many more this week. Meanwhile, our Senate counterparts gave final passage to some House bills that are now eligible to be signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp.

The governor signed House Bill 304 at the end of last week to immediately suspend the state’s gas tax through the end of May 2022. Gas prices have increased over the past year and even more during the Russia-Ukraine conflict, but this bill offers some financial relief and saves Georgians a few more dollars when they visit the pump. Governor Kemp also signed House Bill 1302 this week to create a one-time tax credit for Georgians using $1.6 billion in undesignated surplus funds from the 2022 budget. This is your money that is being returned to you! These two bills reflect the House’s goal to keep Georgia an affordable place to call home.

Some of the bills passed by the Georgia House this week include: Senate Bill 226, which would require local boards of education to create a complaint resolution policy for local schools by January 1, 2023, to allow parents or guardians to submit complaints to the school about inappropriate content that is harmful to minors and available to the students at the school. It requires a decision in a timely manner; SB 226 also includes requirements for an appeals process, and it would make any material deemed harmful to minors available online for parents to review; following the bill’s passage, a motion was filed to reconsider this action, and the House will vote on SB 226 again on the next legislative day; Senate Bill 340, which would update provisions related to medical education accreditation by replacing the “American Medical Association” with “Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education” as the accrediting body and remove the 50-resident program requirement; Senate Bill 346, which would require a company that submits a bid or a contract proposal with the state to certify that the company is not owned, operated, or affiliated with the Chinese government; this prohibition would not affect state contracts with Taiwan; Senate Bill 514, the Unmask Georgia Students Act, which would prohibit public and charter schools from requiring students to wear face masks at school, unless the rule would allow parents to exempt their child without disclosing their reason for opting out; SB 514 would also prohibit schools from disciplining students whose parents have elected to exempt their child from the mask policy; following the bill’s passage, a motion was filed to reconsider this action, and the House will vote on SB 514 again this week; Senate Bill 543, which would clarify Georgia’s slayer statute by prohibiting an individual who kills, conspires to kill, or arranges the killing of an individual, including their own child, from subsequently claiming a right to recover from the victim’s estate; Senate Bill 581, which would designate the Georgia State Plane Coordinate System as the system for defining and stating geographic positions for property surveying within the state; continued use of the old system’s legal descriptions would remain valid in the new system designation.

There are only five days left in the 2022 session. The House and Senate will be busier than ever during these final days to pass sensible policies for all Georgians. As we continue to work with the Senate to secure the final passage of legislation this year, please contact me with any thoughts you have about bills being considered. Your input will help guide my decisions, and I always appreciate your feedback. My Capitol email address is [email protected] I appreciate you all, and I thank you for allowing me to serve as your Representative in Atlanta.

By Leesa Hagan R-Vidalia (District 156, Georgia House of Representatives)

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