Georgia General Assembly Week in Review: Feb.24-Feb.28

February 28, 2014

Pardon Our Dust

We recently launched this new site and are still in the process of updating some of our archived content. Some details of this article may be incomplete, links may be broken, and other elements may not display properly yet. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

 With Crossover Day (Legislative Day 30) right around the corner, lobbyists and legislators alike are scrambling to get bills passed out of their respective chambers. If a bill does not pass out of either the House or Senate and “cross” over to the other Chamber, it essentially dies.  This Crossover day makes history as being the earliest on record.  The Legislature is currently scheduled to adjourn on March 20th.

Other Georgia News:
Representative Sam Moore introduced a bill that caused the House to come to a quick halt, a bill that would loosen sex offender restrictions in Georgia.  Moore argued that the intent of the bill was to “eliminate vague anti-loitering laws”, however his bill was met with much opposition and hostility.  House Majority Leader Larry O’Neal called the bill introduced “one of the most egregious” pieces of legislation.  About a dozen lawmakers took to the well to publicly condemn their colleague’s bill, making it very clear this bill did not have the backing of the Republican Party.
A bill that would legalize access to a cannabis-derived medicine in Georgia passed with a unanimous voice vote in the House Health and Human Services Committee.  The “heart and intent” of the bill is to provide a safe, doctor-supervised seizure treatment option to Georgia’s families, Representative Allen Peake said.  Under the bill, the only five Georgia universities that could apply to grow and synthesize high-CBD liquid medical cannabis are Georgia Regents and the University of Georgia, plus Emory, Morehouse and Mercer universities. Both Morehouse and Mercer have already expressed interest if it becomes legal under state law.
House Bill 459, sponsored by Representative Bill Hitchens, would create a misdemeanor charge for Drivers who refuse to pull out of the left lane for a faster car; even one that is speeding.  Penalties could be as much as a $1,000 fine and 12 months in prison, but Hitchens said it would be hard to enforce.  He argues his reason for the bill is more for “educational purposes” as a way to reduce the number of angry drivers that cause accidents by trying to get around slow drivers
Gov. Deal asked President Obama Wednesday for federal disaster aid to help repair an estimated $43 million in damages suffered in this month’s winter storm.  Much of the aid would be allocated to metro Atlanta and North Georgia and extend east to Augusta and southeast as far as Bulloch and Screven counties.