Georgia legislation bills pass; head to Governor’s desk

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The 2019 legislative session for the state of Georgia has ended. The House and Senate approving only some of the last-minute bills in what is known as Sine Die. 

The following bills passed and are now headed to Governor Brian Kemp’s desk for his signature.

The Medical Marijuana bill: It would allow certain patients to possess the drug but provides them no legal avenue to obtain it.

The “Heartbeat” Bill, which bans abortions in Georgia once a fetal heartbeat is detected, approximately six weeks into a pregnancy. 

The $27.5 billion budget includes a $3,000 teacher pay raise for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

A new $150 million electronic voting system. Voters will cast their ballot on a touch screen machine, and a paper ballot will also print out.

School Safety: Public schools would need to receive a threat assessment every four years, and conduct regular violence and terrorism response drills.

Child Marriages: The bill raises Georgia’s minimum marriage from age 16 to 17.  The child would also have to be legally emancipated from their parents by a judge, and undergo pre-marriage counseling. 

Rape Kits: The bill raises the requirement for the preservation of rape kits from 10 years, to 30 years after the arrest date, or seven years from the completion of a prison sentence, whichever occurs later. If there are no arrests, the kit must be stored for 50 years.

Legislation giving airlines a jet fuel tax break, creating new rural transit options and allowing the state to take over Atlanta’s airport will have to wait until lawmakers return to session in January.

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