At the Capitol: Week of March 6

After Crossover Day on Monday, lawmakers have until Sine Die on March 29 to move legislation from the other chamber and reconcile any differences. Here is our look at what’s still alive and here is our recap of the ninth week of the 2023 legislative session in Georgia.

– Lawmakers are continuing to work on the state budget. Earlier in the week, both chambers agreed on the amended $32.6 billion budget for 2023 and sent it to the governor. Their focus is now on the FY2024 budget, which, among other items, includes a $2,000 cost of living adjustments for state employees and public school teachers and a boost of $4,000 for public safety employees.

– Earlier in the session, the House advanced House Bill 162, sponsored by Rep. Lauren McDonald, R-Cumming, which would send $250-$500 rebates to Georgia taxpayers. It’s awaiting action in the Senate.

House Bill 155, sponsored by Rep. Chuck Martin, R-Alpharetta, would recognize occupational licenses obtained in other states when an individual moves to Georgia. To date, 20 states have adopted universal recognition. It passed the House 168-0 and advanced out of the Senate Regulated Industries Committee on Wednesday. It’s now headed to the Senate floor.

House Bill 203, sponsored by Rep. Mark Newton, R-Augusta, would amend telemedicine laws to include eye examinations. After passing the House without a dissenting vote, it was approved by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday. It’s now headed to the Senate floor.

House Bill 147, the Safe Schools Act, sponsored by Rep. Will Wade, R-Dawsonville, would create a school safety and anti-gang program for certified school personnel. After being adopted by the House, it was approved by the Senate Education and Youth Committee and is now headed to the Senate floor. This is a priority for Gov. Brian Kemp.

House Bill 231, sponsored by Rep. Joseph Gullett, R-Dallas, would create an oversight board for the state’s district attorneys and solicitors general. After passing the House on Crossover Day, it’s awaiting action in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Senate Bill 55, sponsored by Sen. Elena Parent, D-Atlanta, known as the “Lemonade Stand Act” passed the Senate 52-2 last week. It would prohibit local governments from regulating youth businesses, such as lemonade stands. It’s now in the House Small Business Development Committee.

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