Monday was Crossover Day for the Georgia legislature.
Each bill had to pass out of its legislative chamber of origin by the end of the day, or it is dead for the year. There are technical maneuvers available, so while no legislation is ever truly “dead,” here is a recap of what crossed over to the opposite chamber.
Everything that advanced now heads to the opposite chamber where action needs to be taken by the final day of the session, March 29.
Here’s what is still alive:
Senate Bill 233: This would create education scholarship accounts that families could use to pay for tuition, tutoring, curriculum and other approved educational expenses. After passing out of committee, the Senate modified the bill so it will now only apply to students who are in schools in the bottom 25% of state assessments. It passed the Senate 33-23. You can read more about the national momentum for school choice, and why parents deserve these options, here.
House Bill 101: A provision added to this bill would increase the cap of the tax credit scholarship to $130 million from $120 million, making the program available to thousands of additional students. It passed the House 102-73.
Senate Bill 99: This would remove Certificate of Need (CON) requirements for rural acute care hospitals. It passed the Senate 42-13. The debate over Georgia’s CON laws has raged since the 1980s, and we have seen movement on the issue this year. Here is our background on the issue.
House Bill 557: This would expand prescription authority for physician assistants (PAs) and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) while also expediting the process to enter into an agreement with a supervising physician. It passed the House 136-38.
House Bill 203: This would amend telemedicine laws to include eye examinations. It passed the House 171-0.
House Bill 514: This would reduce bans on local zoning moratoriums to no more than 180 days. It passed the House 127-43. Earlier this year, we released our second study on how government regulations increase housing costs.
House Bill 155: This would require licensing boards to recognize occupational licenses obtained in other states when an individual moves to Georgia. To date, 20 states have adopted universal recognition, but Mississippi is currently the only Southern state to do so. It passed the House 168-0. While Georgia is regularly touted for its business-friendly environment, we still see a number of barriers to work for many entrepreneurs. We talked about that earlier this year, and lawmakers are working on some of these issues.
Senate Bill 157: This would clarify the standards for licensure eligibility for a person with a criminal record. Specifically, it removes vague “moral turpitude” licensing criteria, while allowing licensure denial only if there is a direct relationship between a criminal record and the licensed occupation. It passed the Senate 55-0.
Here’s what didn’t cross over:
Senate Bill 162: This would replace the state’s CON requirement for new health facilities and services with a special healthcare services license. It advanced out of the Senate Regulated Industries Committee but was not considered by the full Senate.
House Bill 517: This would prohibit local governments from implementing or enforcing aesthetic design standards. It would also prohibit local governments from enacting lot and home size minimums below certain thresholds. The House Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on State and Local Government held a hearing on this bil, but it never advanced beyond that.
House Bill 445 and Senate Bill 102: These bills would have allowed certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) to work pursuant to an order from a physician, rather than under the direct supervision of a physician. Under current law, surgeons often fulfill the requirement and provide onsite supervision despite a lack of anesthesiology training. Each failed in their respective committees.
House Bill 212: This would allow individuals who only provide niche beauty services including blow-dry styling, braiding, threading or makeup application to do so without being licensed by the state. It passed the House Regulated Industries Committee but was tabled by the full House.
Senate Bill 163: This would remove some of the current regulations on craft brewers in Georgia. The Senate Regulated Industries Committee did not take action on it.