Georgia PTA Legislative Update 2015-10-2
by Tyler Barr on 2/10/2015

The 13th legislative day of the 2015 regular session of the General Assembly will convene on Tuesday, February 10th. HR 19

In addition to several committee meetings yesterday, the 12th legislative day, the House general calendar included HB 52, this bill requires each parent to prepare a parenting plan or the parties may jointly submit a parenting plan to the court in all child custody cases. The 13th legislative day House general calendar include bills such as HB 62, this bill would qualify special needs students for scholarships if the student's parents currently reside in Georgia and resident for one-year but the one-year requirement shall not apply if the student's parent is an active duty military service member stationed in Georgia within the previous year; HB 65, this bill require local boards of education and certain charter schools to hold at least two public meetings on the proposed annual operating budgetHB 91, this bill eliminates the Georgia High School Graduation Test as a requirement for purposes of graduation and former students who did not pass one or more portions of the Georgia High School Graduation Test to petition to obtain a high school diploma. 

Meanwhile, the Senate proposed legislation SB 3 for immediate consideration on 13th legislative day calendar. This substitute bill "Supporting and strengthening Families Act" provides for the creation, authorization, procedure, revocation, and termination of a power of attorney from a parent to another person for the temporary delegation of certain power and authority for the care of a minor child. Also, the senate will consider for first read SB 92, this bill eestablishes an education savings account program for elementary and secondary students. 

Other hot Senate issues, SB 8 "Safe Harbor Act" which increases penalties for sex traffickers and excessive fines to apply money for use of rehabilitation programs for young victims. This bill received major revisions including the removal of language protecting teens from prosecution, which means teens will not receive immunity from prostitution.  

Another major topic this week under Georgia PTA's radar will be Governor Deal's education plan and state takeover of failing schools proposals. Some of the questions asked by PTA members across the state are what is considered a failing school, how are failing schools decided, how long the schools will be under state control, and how will this be paid for? We should expect to see a revised plan by next Monday addressing these questions and more, available in my upcoming legislative update. 

New Bills Introduced

  • HB 177provide that certain school personnel who are required to report child abuse shall be notified upon receipt of such report and upon completion of its investigation 
  • HB 186change provisions relating to carrying weapons within certain school safety zones and at school functions 
  • HB 244limitations of actions, payment and disposition of fines and forfeitures, sexual offenses, the State Sexual Offender Registry, and children and youth services 
  • SB 89require instructional materials and content to be in digital or electronic format after a certain date; to require local boards of education to provide wireless electronic devices for students to access instructional materials and content.
  • SB 91regulation of alcoholic beverages generally, so as to provide for local control of distance requirements for grocery stores as to the retail sale of wine and malt beverages for consumption off the premises only such that grocery stores shall be allowed to open in locations near school buildings and school grounds if so permitted by the local governing authority 

House and Senate Committee Meetings (2/9-12/15)

  • 2/9/15 - House Academic Achievement Subcommittee, 1:00 PM - 415 CLOB - See Agenda
  • 2/9/15 - Senate Education & Youth Committee, 1:00 PM - 307 CLOB - See Agenda
  • 2/9/15 - House Juvenile Justice, 2:00 PM - 506 CLOB - See Agenda
  • 2/9/15 - Senate Judicial Non-Civil, 4:00 PM - 307 CLOB
  • 2/10/15 - Senate Science & Technology Committee, 1:00 PM - 310 CLOB 
  • 2/10/15 - House Appropriations Education Subcommittee, 2:00 PM - 515 CLOB
  • 2/10/15 - Senate Higher Education, 2:00 PM - 307 CLOB
  • 2/10/15 - House Academic Support Subcommittee, 4:00 PM - 415 CLOB See Agenda
  • 2/11/15 - Joint Education - Recovery Districts Hearing, 1:00 PM - 506 CLOB See Agenda
  • 2/11/15 - Senate Education & Youth Committee, 1:00 PM - 307 CLOB 
  • 2/12/15 - Senate Science & Technology, 1:00 PM - 310 CLOB 
  • 2/12/15 - House Appropriations Education Subcommittee, 2:00 PM - 341 CAP See Agenda
  • 2/12/15 - Senate Higher Education, 3:00 PM - 310 CLOB 

General Calendar

  • Senate will convene Tuesday, February 10-12, 2015 at 10:00 AM 
  • House will convene Tuesday, February 10-12, 2015 at 10:00 AM 
  • No session Friday, February 13, 2015 
  • Live broadcasts of both chambers. Watch Live