2018 Legislative Session Week Four
During our fourth week of the 2018 legislative session, we persisted in our discussion of bill proposals and subsequent passing of meaningful legislation. The following bills were passed this session:
- House Bill 159 – One of our most substantial accomplishments this week was the unanimous passage of House Bill 159, the piece of legislation on current Georgian adoption laws that I described previously as it was being reviewed by the Senate. After thorough examination by my House colleagues, the Senate, and the governor’s office, HB 159’s amendments were approved and reviewed with additional changes, which means this bill will be sent to Gov. Deal’s desk for final approval after being passed by the Senate. These changes include:
- An update on the revocation period for Georgia birth mothers from 10 days to 4 days
- Access to reasonable living expenses for all birth mothers, refining the current law that only birth mothers in agency adoptions are allowed reasonable living expenses
- Safeguards on temporary powers of attorney
- House Bill 661 – HB 661 also passed unanimously, and it seeks to update the process for filing and removing tax liens against real estate. This update keeps the efficiencies of the original legislation, removes the current provision on statewide liens, and reverts back to county specific liens.
- House Bill 694 – Also passed unanimously, House Bill 694 would provide an updated method of submitting monthly motor fuel tax reports for motor fuel distributors and wholesalers. Distributors are currently required to only submit reports electronically if the submission is $500 or more, and this bill would require monthly reports to be submitted electronically regardless of the amount.
- House Bill 135 – Also this week, the House passed a measure to provide more law enforcement officers with important state retirement benefits. House Bill 135 seeks to provide state retirement benefits to an expanded group of law enforcement officers by including the Department of Driver Services (DDS) investigators. An additional five years of creditable service would become available to them in the state’s Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) for prior law enforcement services.
The Official State Insect
- House Bill 671 – Our official state insect, the honey bee, is an essential factor in our state’s ecosystem and economy. As the third largest producer of bees and the tenth largest producer of honey in the nation, Georgia remains a leader in the beekeeping industry. This bill will promote the conservation and protection of the honey bee by creating a specialty license plate with the phrase “Save the Honey Bee” and making this plate available for purchase.
My colleagues and I remain engrossed in our legislative duties as prepare ourselves for the following weeks of session, including legislative Day 28, “Crossover Day.” I encourage you to visit me at my Capitol office, and please do not hesitate to call or email me if you have any questions or concerns regarding any current or upcoming legislation. My Capitol office is located at 220 State Capitol Atlanta, GA 30334, my office phone number is 404-656-5912, and I can be reached via email at email@example.com. Thank you for allowing me to serve as your representative.