2019 legislative session adjourns
Published 4:24 pm Tuesday, April 9, 2019
On Tuesday, April 2, we returned to Capitol Hill one last time for Legislative Day 40 before we adjourned Sine Die for the 2019 legislative session. Under the Gold Dome, Legislative Day 40 is our longest day of the year and is often referred to as “Sine Die,” which is a Latin term meaning “without assigning a day for further meeting.” We reconvened Tuesday morning and passed many pieces of legislation that will now go to Governor Brian Kemp’s desk for final approval. I have highlighted a few of them below.
Throughout this legislative session, the House has supported various initiatives to improve safety in Georgia public schools.
We passed SB 15 last week which would create the “Keeping Georgia’s Schools Safe Act.” SB 15 to improve school safety. SB 15 requires:
Public schools to conduct, evaluate and implement a safety plan for a school to effectively respond to threats of violence, mass casualty incidents and other acts of terrorism, natural disasters and hazardous materials or radiological accidents before January 1, 2021
Reevaluate their school safety plan every five years
Submit safety plan to the Department of Education (DOE) after their local law enforcement agency has approved the plan
DOE’s website would keep an updated list of schools that have submitted school safety plans, as well as a list of schools that have not met this requirement
Designate a single individual, typically the school’s principal, as a school safety coordinator
Designate an agent with the Georgia Information Sharing and Analysis Center to track and share information that could help our schools develop strategies to combat threats of violence
Require schools to use and promote a statewide mobile application, the “See Something Send Something” app, to anonymously report suspicious activity or potential threats
House Bill 282. HB 282 would require law enforcement agencies to maintain physical identity-related evidence, such as DNA evidence, of the perpetrator of an alleged sexual assault until the case is solved. This evidence from a perpetrator would be preserved 30 years from the arrest date, or seven years from completion of their sentence, whichever occurs last, and if there are no arrests, this crucial evidence would be preserved for 50 years. Currently in Georgia, sexual assault evidence is only stored up to ten years from the date of an alleged sexual assault. This measure would further improve standards to preserve vital evidence and protect victims of sexual assault.
Georgia is proud to call itself a military-friendly state, and we approved a measure that would honor veterans living in Georgia. Senate Bill 103 would require airports owned or operated by a county, city, or other government entity to establish at least two priority parking spaces for veterans.
Since the 2019 legislative has come to an end, Gov. Kemp will begin reviewing legislation that received final passage in the House and Senate chambers. Gov. Kemp will now have the opportunity to sign or veto legislation over the next 40 days, and any legislation that has not been signed or vetoed will automatically become law.
Now that the Georgia General Assembly has adjourned Sine Die for the 2019 legislative session, I will be spending more time back home in our district, where I look forward to continuing to serve you and your family.
I remain dedicated to serving your interests as your State Senator.
Please feel free to contact me with your thoughts or concerns on pending issues, or whenever I can be of service. My legislative offices are:
301-A Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg.
Atlanta, GA 30334
Phone: (404) 656-0040
1906 Legette Drive
Bainbridge, GA 39819
Phone: (229) 243-6267