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2010 PBA of Georgia State Legislative Summary

The Second Session of the 2009-10 Term of the Georgia State Legislature began January 11, 2010 and ended April 29, 2010. The following bills of interest passed both the House and the Senate and are pending in the Governor’s Office. The Governor has 40 days to sign or veto any legislation or it becomes law automatically. To find any legislation go to: http://www.legis.ga.gov/legis/2009_10/ and key in the bill number.


HB 23 by Representative Matt Ramsey amends OCGA 40-5-57 and 40-6-271 and creates a new code section OCGA 40-6-271.1 to prohibit and set punishment for those under the age of 18 who use any wireless communication devise while operating a motor vehicle. This bill is effective July 1, 2010.


HB 172 by Representative Howard Maxwell amends OCGA 47-2-125 to change state employee disability benefit calculations to include any workers compensation payments, including any lump sum payments. The medical exam requirement is changed for state employees retiring on disability on or after September 1, 2010. This bill will be effective upon the approval of the Governor or upon becoming law without such approval.


HB 571 by Representative David Ralston amends OCGA 16-6-5.1 to clarify and expand the definitions of sexual assault of a person in custody or under supervisory or disciplinary control. The bill also addresses several other code sections related to sexual offenses, classifications of sexual offenders, registration, residences, etc. This bill will be effective upon the approval of the Governor or upon becoming law without such approval.


HB 974 by Representative Howard Maxwell amends OCGA 47-17-41 to clarify membership payment issues in the Peace Officers Annuity and Benefit Fund following a period of unemployment. Also amends OCGA 47-17-80 changing vesting to 15 years for those joining the POAB after July 1, 2010.


HB 1231 by Representative Bobby Reese amends OCGA 40-6-120 attempting to clarify what constitutes a proper left turn at an intersection. It also amends OCGA 40-6-391 and 395 as to what constitutes felony fleeing, eluding, or impersonating a police officer. This bill is effective on July 1, 2010.


SB 291 by Senator David Shafer amends OCGA 16-11-127 so firearms may be carried in certain areas of the airport not prohibited by federal law. It also amends various aspects of OCGA 16-11-129 dealing with the application process and section (h) now allows for a distinctive license by color or design for former law enforcement officers. In addition OCGA 16-11-136 is amended to prohibit seizure or restrictions on possession of firearms by any person otherwise lawfully entitled to do so. This bill will be effective upon the approval of the Governor or upon becoming law without such approval.

SB 308 by Senator Mitch Seabaugh amends OCGA 16-11-126 and other code sections to enhance, expand, and clarify various aspects a citizen may lawfully carry a firearm. This bill will be effective upon the approval of the Governor or upon becoming law without such approval.

SB 313 by Senator Ed Harbison amends OCGA 15-12-68 so “all” witnesses take an oath prior to addressing a grand jury. The language we found problematic in the original bill was graciously removed by Senator Harbison. This bill will be effective upon the approval of the Governor or upon becoming law without such approval.  


SB 324 by Senator Johnny Grant amends OCGA 35-8-7 to legally allow POST Council to charge administrative fees for services provided. This bill will be effective upon the approval of the Governor or upon becoming law without such approval.


SB 360 by Senator Jack Murphy amends OCGA 40-5-57 and 40-6-241 and creates a new code section OCGA 40-6-241.1 to prohibit and set punishment for those 18 years of age or older who operate a motor vehicle while texting on or after July 1, 2010.


SB 373 by Senator Johnny Grant amends OCGA 35-8-8 to provide immunity to previous employers who submit complete and accurate employment information in good faith to law enforcement agencies during pre-employment background investigations. The law enforcement agency shall notify the employee candidate of any unfavorable information provided by a previous employer prior to any final employment decision. The employee candidate shall be allowed to inspect the unfavorable report within 10 business days of notification. If a written response is desired, it must be submitted within 3 business days of the inspection. This bill will be effective upon the approval of the Governor or upon becoming law without such approval.


SB 397 by Senator Jeff Mullis creates OCGA 35-3-191 establishing a “Blue Alert” system. The GBI is authorized to activate an alert for a suspect in the death or serious injury of a law enforcement officer. Also when a law enforcement officer is missing while in the line of duty and circumstances raise concern for the officer’s safety. This bill will be effective on July 1, 2010.  


SB 414 by Senator Jeff Mullis amends OCGA 45-9-85 to add parents and siblings to list of eligible beneficiaries under the state indemnification fund. This bill shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval and shall apply to all claims filed or pending on and after such date.


SB 458 by Senator Don Thomas amends OCGA 40-8-76.1 to require seat belt usage in most pick up trucks. Exemption still in place for off-road vehicles or pickup trucks being used by an owner, driver, or occupant 18 years of age or older in connection with agricultural pursuits that are usual and normal to the user's farming operation. This bill will be effective upon the approval of the Governor or upon becoming law without such approval.

Georgia News
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