At the Capitol: Week of February 12

The Georgia legislature passed the halfway point of the 2024 session this week as lawmakers continue their work before Crossover Day. Here are your updates from the past week:

  • Rep. Butch Parrish, R-Swainsboro, was named the new chairman of the House Rules committee by Speaker Jon Burns on Thursday. The chair’s vacancy came after the passing of Rep. Richard Smith two weeks ago.
  • The House voted on Monday to expand the number of Georgia elections and primaries subject to what the legislature calls “risk-limiting audits.” HB 977 aims to improve transparency and accuracy in elections, according to its sponsor, Rep. John LaHood, R-Valdosta.
  • A bill exempting firearm safes and safety devices from sales taxes passed the Senate on Monday. SB 340 was sponsored by Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick, R-Marietta.
  • On Tuesday, the Senate Education and Youth Committee discussed several bills including:
  • SB 440, authored by Senator Matt Brass, R-Newnan, which amends Georgia’s dual enrollment programs by consolidating high-demand careers with relevant and aligned courses. The measure cleared the committee. 
  • SB 147, authored by Senator Shawn Still, R-Norcross, which seeks to create the “Boundless Opportunities For Georgia Students Act.” This would allow public school students to take virtual courses in a different school system. No action was taken on this measure.
  • On the healthcare front, the House passed a bill that would prohibit certain healthcare providers from discriminating against potential organ transplant recipients due to their vaccine status. HB 576 was sponsored by Rep. Joseph Gullet, R-Dallas, and passed the House 98-71.
  • A bill providing an effective 3% annual cap on property tax assessments passed the Senate on Thursday, SB 349 is sponsored by Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome.
  • Also on Thursday, the House passed SB 362 out of committee, legislation that would require companies that receive taxpayer incentives to hold secret ballot elections for union representation. The Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s government affairs manager, Kennedy Atkins, testified in support of the bill. SB 362 is sponsored by Sen. Mike Hodges, R-Brunswick.
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