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2021 Georgia Legislative PAC Update Report

Police Benevolent Association of Georgia

2021 Georgia Legislative PAC Update Report 

As of February 11, 2021 (16th Legislative Day)

 

New or changes in legislation since 02/04/21 are highlighted in red

 

 

Bills Pending in the House

 

HB 15 – Related to mandatory de-escalation training for law enforcement officers.

Sponsors: Sandra Scott (D-Rex), Park Cannon (D-Atlanta), Erica Thomas (D-Austell), Kim Schofield (DAtlanta), Shelly Hutchinson (D-Snellville), and Karen Bennett (D-Stone Mountain).

Summary: This bill is cited as “Preventing Tragedies Between Police and Communities Act.” It amends Title 35 of the OCGA by adding a new code section 35-8-28 for basic classes to include de-escalation training each calendar year beginning in 2022 to include at least six required methods as outlined. 

Status: Assigned to the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - HB 15 (ga.gov)

 

HB 16 – Related to prohibiting certain military equipment from being accepted by GA LE Agencies.

Sponsors: Sandra Scott (D-Rex), Viola Davis (D-Stone Mountain), Kim Schofield (D-Atlanta), Dar’Shun Kendrick (D-Lithonia), Shelly Hutchinson (D-Snellville), and Park Cannon (D-Atlanta).

Summary: This bill is cited as “Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act.” It amends Title 35 of the OCGA by adding a new code section 35-1-23 prohibiting law enforcement from accepting certain listed items from the U. S. Department of Defense.

Status: Assigned to the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - HB 16 (ga.gov)

 

HB 19 – Related to changes to standard of evidence in civil forfeiture cases.

Sponsors: Sandra Scott (D-Rex), Erica Thomas (D-Austell), Kim Schofield (D-Atlanta), Viola Davis (D-Stone Mountain), and Shelly Hutchinson (D-Snellville).

Summary: This bill is cited as “Due Process in Civil Forfeiture Act.” It amends the Georgia Uniform Civil Forfeiture Act by changing OCGA 9-16-17 from a preponderance of the evidence to clear and convincing evidence. It also amends 17-12-23 by creating a sub-section (5) requiring the circuit public defender to provide representation in these matters.

Status: Assigned to the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - HB 19 (ga.gov)

 

HB 20 – Related to civil liabilities and loss of immunities for coroners and medical examiners.

Sponsors: Sandra Scott (D-Rex), Viola Davis (D-Stone Mountain), Kim Schofield (D-Atlanta), Erica Thomas (D-Austell), Dar’Shun Kendrick (D-Lithonia), and Park Cannon (D-Atlanta).

Summary: This bill amends Title 45 of the OCGA by adding 45-16-12 to allow the heirs of a person killed by a peace officer to have a right of action against any coroner or medical examiner for negligence and the defense of sovereign immunity is waived.

Status: Assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - HB 20 (ga.gov)

 

HB 69 – Related to elimination of immunities due to actions taken or failures to act.

Sponsors: Dar’Shun Kendrick (D-Lithonia), William Bodie (D-East Point), Dewey McLaurin (DLawrenceville), Shelly Hutchinson (D-Snellville), and Kim Schofield (D-Atlanta).

Summary: Part II of this bill amends Title 36 by adding a new Chapter 92A. OCGA 36-92A-1 would eliminate all statutory immunities or immunities by law including qualified immunities applicable for law enforcement officers due to actions taken or failures to act on or after July 1, 2021.

Status: Assigned to House Judiciary Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - HB 69 (ga.gov)

 

HB 145 – Related to use of force restrictions and eliminating chokehold. 

Sponsors: William Bodie (D-East Point), Mandisha Thomas (D-Atlanta), Shelly Hutchinson (D-Snellville), Jasmine Clark (D-Lilburn), David Dreyer (D-Atlanta), and Regina Lewis-Ward (D- McDonough).

Summary: This bill amends OCGA 17-4-20 subsection (b) and (c) for law enforcement officers: mandates when physical force and deadly force is used or not used. Also prohibits the use of chokeholds.

Status: Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - HB 145 (ga.gov)

 

HB 175 – Related to elimination and criminalization of choke holds.                      

Sponsors: William Bodie (D-East Point), Derrick Jackson (D-Tyrone), Josh McLarin (D-Sandy Springs), Kim Schofield (D-Atlanta), Karen Bennett (D-Stone Mountain), and El-Mahdi Holly (D-Stockbridge).

Summary: This bill amends Title 16 relating to aggravated assault by adding a new code OCGA 16-5-21 in cases where a peace officer causes serious injury or death when the use of deadly force is not justified and when strangulation is likely or results, then the officer shall be guilty of aggravated strangulation by a peace officer. Punishment upon conviction shall be 1-20 years.

Status: Assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - HB 175 (ga.gov)

 

HB 232 – Related to elimination of grand jury rights of law enforcement officers.      

Sponsors: Derrick Jackson (D-Tyrone), Stacey Evans (D-Atlanta), Matthew Wilson-Brookhaven), Renitta Shannon (D-Decatur), Rhonda Taylor (D-Conyers), and Billy Mitchell (D-Stone Mountain).

Summary: This bill amends Title 17 by repealing OCGA 17-7-52 related to procedure for indictment or special presentment of peace officers for crime in performance of duties.

Status: Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. 

Link: Georgia General Assembly - HB 232 (ga.gov)

 

HB 233 – Related to no-knock warrants. 

Sponsors: James Beverly (D-Macon), William Bodie (D-East Point), Calvin Smyre (D-Columbus), Kim Schofield (D-Atlanta), Mesha Mainor (D-Atlanta), and Derrick Jackson (D-Tyrone).

Summary: This bill amends OCGA 17-5-21 by adding (e) (1) and (2) to prohibit no-knock warrants.

Status: Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - HB 233 (ga.gov)

 

HB 309 – Related to seizures of guns through protection orders. 

Sponsors: Matthew Wilson (D-Brookhaven), Angelika Kausche (D-Johns Creek), Mesha Mainor (D-

Atlanta), Spenser Frye (D-Athens), Shelly Hutchinson (D-Snellville), and Josh McLaurin (D-Sandy Springs).

Summary: This bill would add a new Part 3A in Article 4 of Chapter 11 of Title 16 beginning with OCGA 16-11-140 citing multiple refinements to protective orders and gun seizures. This bill is captioned as the Georgia Red Flag Protective Order Act.

Status: Assigned to the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - HB 309 (ga.gov)

 

HB 310 – Related to applying Brady Laws to Georgia laws on gun shows   

Sponsors: Matthew Wilson (D-Brookhaven), Scott Holcomb (D-Atlanta), Shelly Hutchinson (D-Snellville), Josh McLaurin (D-Sandy Springs), Shea Roberts (D-Atlanta), and Spencer Frye (D-Athens).

Summary: This bill proposes to add three Brady Law Regulations to OCGA Title 16 relative to Georgia Gun Shows.

Status: Assigned to the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - HB 310 (ga.gov)

 

HB 313 – Related to creating State Law Enforcement Citizens Review Board 

Sponsors: Sam Park (D-Lawrenceville), Karen Bennett (D-Stone Mountain), Donna McLeod (DLawrenceville), Viola Davis (D-Stone Mountain), Gregg Kennard (D-Lawrenceville), and one other.

Summary: This bill creates a Georgia State Law Enforcement Citizens Review Council by adding a new code section OCGA 35-1-23. The purpose of the Council is to take citizen complaints and investigate misconduct of sworn officers of the Georgia State Patrol, Motor Carrier Compliance, and Capitol Police.

Status: Assigned to the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - HB 313 (ga.gov)

 

HB 378 – Related reporting and tracking use of force. 

Sponsors: Rinnita Shannon (D-Decatur), Derrick Jackson (D-Tyrone), William Boddie (D-East Point), Sandra Scott (D-Rex), and Park Cannon (D-Atlanta).

Summary: This bill creates a new code section OCGA 35-1-23 to require all law enforcement officers to submit a written report on any use of force. Each employing agency must submit these reports and any resulting discipline to a centralized data repository which would be available for public access.

Status: Assigned to the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - HB 378 (ga.gov)

 

 

Bills Pending in the Senate

 

SB 32 – Related to disclosure exemptions for public employees.

Sponsors: Matt Brass (R-Newnan), Randy Robertson (R-Cataula), Dean Burke (R-Bainbridge), John Albers (R-Roswell), Steve Gooch (R-Dalonega), Max Burns (R-Sylvania), Ben Watson (R-Savannah), and 4 others.

Summary: This bill amends OCGA 50-18-72 (21) of subsection (a) by adding personal mobile or wireless telephone number of all public employees in Georgia, including federal employees to exemptions from disclosure to the public.

Status: Passed by the Senate unanimously by substitute and forwarded to the House for consideration.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - SB 32 (ga.gov)

 

SB 60 – Related to benefit changes to State Indemnification Funds. 

Sponsors: Bruce Thompson (R-White), John Albers (R-Roswell), Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga), Randy Robertson (R-Cataula), Chuck Payne (R-Dalton), Carden Summers (R-Cordele), and seven others.

Summary: This bill makes several revisions to OCGA 45-9-85 to allow disability and death benefits for heart attacks, strokes, and vascular ruptures for public safety officers under the State Indemnification Fund when performing work related activity and up to 24 hours of that activity.

Status: Assigned to House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - SB 60 (ga.gov)   

 

SB 76 – Related to implementing and funding Next Generation 911 systems.

Sponsors: John Albers (R-Roswell), Randy Robertson (R-Cataula), Kay Kirkpatrick (R-Marietta), John Kennedy (R-Macon), Russ Goodman (R-Homerville), Jason Anavitarte (R-Dallas), and six others.

Summary: This bill makes multiple amendments to OCGA Titles 35, 36, 38, and 46 to establish and fund Next Generation 911 (NG911) systems. Part of the funds generated by this act is eligible upon approval by the State Legislature to fund payments to the Peace Officers Annuity and Benefit Fund if needed for any initial annuity expenses for dispatchers.

Status: Assigned to Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - SB 76 (ga.gov)

 

SB 84 – Related to membership into POAB for certain communications officers

Sponsors: John Albers (R-Roswell), Tyler Harper (R-Ocilla), and Randy Robertson (R-Cataula).

Summary: The bill amends OCGA 47-17-1 by adding subsection (M) to allow communication officers as defined by GA POST Council regulations to be eligible for membership in the Peace Officers Annuity and Benefit Fund. (Note: Retirement bills with financial impact must be introduced in odd numbered years in order to be submitted for an actuarial report and voted on the following even numbered year).

Status: Assigned to Senate Retirement Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - SB 84 (ga.gov)

 

SB 121 – Related to perjury by law enforcement officers

Sponsors: Gloria Butler (D-Stone Mountain), Elena Parent (D-Atlanta), Lester Jackson (D-Savannah), Sally Harrell (D-Atlanta), Kim Jackson (D-Pine Lake), Tonya Anderson (D-Lithonia), and two others.

Summary: This bill amends OCGA 16-10-70 (b) making it perjury for any peace officer to file false information knowingly and intentionally in any report related to crime.

Status: Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - SB 121 (ga.gov)

 

SB 124 – Related to use of force prohibitions.

Sponsors: Gloria Butler (D-Stone Mountain), Gail Davenport (D-Jonesboro), Kim Jackson (D-Pine Lake), Elena Parent (D-Atlanta), Harold Jones II (D-Augusta), Tonya Anderson (D-Lithonia), and one other.

Summary: The bill amends OCGA 17-4-20 (d) by eliminating the words prohibiting any law enforcement agency from writing a policy or regulation that prohibits an officer from using the degree of force allowed by statutory or case law in this state. It substitutes language creating a duty for any officer to intervene and stop another officer who is using excessive force. 

Status: Assigned to the Senate Public Safety Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - SB 124 (ga.gov)

 

SB 125 – Related to use of force prohibitions.

Sponsors: Gloria Butler (D-Stone Mountain), Elena Parent (D-Atlanta), Emanuel Jones (D-Decatur), Gail Davenport (D-Jonesboro), Sally Harrell (D-Atlanta), Harold Jones II (D-Augusta), and four others.

Summary: The bill amends OCGA 17-4-20 (d) by eliminating the words prohibiting any law enforcement agency from writing a policy or regulation that prohibits an officer from using the degree of force allowed by statutory or case law in this state. It substitutes language prohibiting officers from discharging kinetic impact projectiles. 

Status: Assigned to the Senate Public Safety Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - SB 125 (ga.gov)

 

SB 126 – Related to elimination of lawsuit and liability immunities for law enforcement officers.

Sponsors: Gloria Butler (D-Stone Mountain), Gail Davenport (D-Jonesboro), Elena Parent (D-Atlanta), Kim Jackson (D-Pine Lake), Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta), Freddie Sims (D-Dawson), and three others.

Summary: This bill amends OCGA 50-21-24 (7) eliminating the exceptions to state liability for assault, battery, false imprisonment, false arrest, malicious prosecution, abuse of process, libel, slander, or interference with contractual rights. Amends OCGA 50-21-25 (a) by adding language eliminating immunity for law enforcement officers from lawsuit or liability when it is alleged an officer committed misconduct or violated the law even while acting within the scope of his or her official duties. Adds a new code section creating a duty for any officer to come to the aid of any person being deprived of their rights and being liable to the injured party for legal, equitable relief; no immunities even qualified immunity shall be a defense; and sovereign immunity shall not be a defense.

Status: Assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - SB 126 (ga.gov)

 

SB 127 – Related to GA POST creating Post Traumatic Stress training for basic and in-service classes.

Sponsors: Gloria Butler (D-Stone Mountain), Jennifer Jordan (D-Atlanta), Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta), Elena Parent (D-Atlanta), Harold Jones II (D-Augusta), Kim Jackson (D-Pine Lake), and seven others.

Summary: This bill amends OCGA 35-8-7 paragraph (20) by adding requirement that POST Council developed and implement basic and in-service training for certified officers in Post-Traumatic Stress.

Status: Assigned to the Senate Public Safety Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - SB 127 (ga.gov)

 

SB 128 – Related to creating a State Law Enforcement Citizens Review Council.

Sponsors: Nikki Merritt (D-Grayson), Gloria Butler (D-Stone Mountain), Sonya Halpern (D-Atlanta), Kim Jackson (D-Pine Lake), Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta), Emanuel Jones (D-Decatur), and seven others.

Summary: This bill amends OCGA Chapter 35 by establishing a State Law Enforcement Citizens Review Council to investigate any officer fired for cause, officer involved shootings, and citizen complaints of excessive use of force. The purpose of these investigations is to report at least every two years on the conditions, needs, issues, and problems related to the use of excessive force by officers.

Status: Assigned to the Senate Public Safety Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - SB 128 (ga.gov)

 

SB 129 – Related to mandatory person attached video and audio equipment for all law enforcement.

Sponsors: Harold Jones II (D-Augusta), Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta), Sally Harrell (D-Atlanta), Kim Jackson (DPine Lake), Gail Davenport (D-Jonesboro), Gloria Butler (D-Stone Mountain), and eight others.

Summary: This bill requires all state, county, and local law enforcement agencies to provide a body worn camera (audio and video) for each officer who handles traffic enforcement or responds to emergency calls as their primary duty on or before January 1, 2022. 

Status: Assigned to the Senate Public Safety Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - SB 129 (ga.gov)

 

SB 130 – Related to prohibiting law enforcement agencies from accepting certain DOD equipment.

Sponsors: Sally Harrell (D-Atlanta), Gloria Butler (D-Stone Mountain), Harold Jones II (D-Augusta), Kim Jackson (D-Pine Lake), Nikki Merritt (D-Grayson), Emanuel Jones (D-Decatur), and two others.

Summary: This bill creates a new section OCGA 35-1-24 that prohibits Georgia law enforcement agencies from accepting certain specific equipment from the U. S. Department of Defense.

Status: Assigned to the Senate Public Safety Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - SB 130 (ga.gov)

 

SB 131 – Related to appointing a special prosecutor in certain legal issues involving a LEO.

Sponsors: Harold Jones II (D-Augusta), Nikki Merritt (D-Grayson), Sonja Halpern (D-Atlanta), Kim Jackson (D-Pine Lake), Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta), Gloria Butler (D-Stone Mountain), and seven others.

Summary: This bill amends OCGA 15-18-5 (a) by adding when the person being prosecuted is a law enforcement officer from an agency within the same judicial circuit as the DA, then a special prosecutor will be requested from the Attorney General in all felony and family violence cases. 

Status: Assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - SB 131 (ga.gov)

 

SB 132 – Related to prohibiting choke holds and similar tactics.

Sponsors: Gloria Butler (D-Stone Mountain), Nikki Merritt (D-Grayson), Kim Jackson (D-Pine Lake), Sheikh Rahman (D-Lawrenceville), Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta), Sonja Halpern (D-Atlanta), and 10 others.

Summary: This bill amends OCGA 17-4-20 (d) by eliminating the prohibition of any law enforcement agency to create a policy that prevents LEO from using the degree of force necessary to apprehend a suspected felon as allowed by statutory or case law in this state and substitutes to require that no law enforcement officer shall use any force that restricts the blood or oxygen flow to the brain to include, but not limited to choke holds, strangleholds, neck holds, or carotid artery restraints. 

Status: Assigned to the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - SB 132 (ga.gov)

 

SB 133 – Related to prohibiting no knock warrants.

Sponsors: Gail Davenport (D-Jonesboro), Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta), Jennifer Jordan (D-Atlanta), Harold Jones II (D-Augusta), Elena Parent (D-Atlanta), Nikki Merritt (D-Grayson), and 10 others.

Summary: This bill makes several changes to OCGA 17-5-21, but the primary change is by adding a new subsection (e) that clearly defines the intent of a no-knock. It also provides a no-knock warrant will not be issued unless an affidavit or testimony establishes probable cause that knocking and announcing would pose a significant and imminent danger to human life or of evidence being destroyed.

Status: Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - SB 133 (ga.gov)

 

SB 134 – Related to using race or ethnicity as a basis for making a vehicle stop.

Sponsors: Sheikh Rahman (D-Lawrenceville), Gail Davenport (D-Jonesboro), Kim Jackson (D-Pine Lake), Nikki Merritt (D-Grayson), Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta), Gloria Butler (D-Stone Mountain), and seven others.

Summary: OCGA Title 40 is amended so that law enforcement officers may not use race or ethnicity to form probable cause or reasonable suspicion to stop a motor vehicle except to confirm a previous description of a suspect. It also requires annual training and detailed records keeping.

Status: Assigned to the Senate Public Safety Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - SB 134 (ga.gov)

 

SB 135 – Related to removal of absolute immunities from the law.

Sponsors: Gloria Butler (D-Stone Mountain), Kim Jackson (D-Pine Lake), Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta), Elena Parent (D-Atlanta), Nikki Merritt (D-Grayson), Valencia Seay (D-Riverdale), and 10 others.

Summary: This bill will remove several use of force immunities: 16-2-23.1 – No duty to retreat; 16-11138 – Defense of self and others; 16-12-29 – Defense of self and others; and in 16-3-24.2 and 16-3-23.1 are removed as immunities from prosecution.

Status: Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - SB 135 (ga.gov)

 

SB 136 – Related to arrests by a private citizen.

Sponsors: Gloria Butler (D-Stone Mountain), Michelle Au (D-Duluth), Harold Jones II (D-Augusta), Jennifer Jordan (D-Atlanta), Elena Parent (D-Atlanta), Nikki Merritt (D-Grayson), and 10 others.

Summary: This bill amends OCGA Title 17 Chapter 4 by eliminating Article 4 in its entirety as it relates to arrests by private citizens. OCGA 17-4-60, 17-4-61, 17-4-62 and related code sections are eliminated.

Status: Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - SB 136 (ga.gov)

 

SB 137 – Related to eliminating private prisons contracts.

Sponsors: Harold Jones II (D-Augusta), Elena Parent (D-Atlanta), Jennifer Jordan (D-Atlanta), Nikki Merritt (D-Grayson), Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta), Gail Davenport (D-Jonesboro), and nine others.

Summary: Prohibits private detention facilities in Georgia. Contractual agreements in effect January 1, 2021 will not be impacted before the expiration date or upon first renewal.

Status: Assigned to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - SB 137 (ga.gov)   

 

SB 138 – Related to all Georgia law enforcement agencies vehicular pursuits by law and policy

Sponsors: Gail Davenport (D-Jonesboro), Gloria Butler (D-Stone Mountain), Harold Jones II (D-Augusta), Freddie Sims (D-Dawson), Lester Jackson (D-Savannah), Elena Parent (D-Atlanta), and six others.

Summary: Amends OCGA 35-1-14 by requiring all state, county, and local law enforcement agencies to develop vehicle pursuit policies consistent with OCGA 40-6-6 and revised 35-1-14 primarily (b).

Status: Assigned to Senate Public Safety.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - SB 138 (ga.gov)

 

SB 139 – Related to civil forfeiture only in case of a criminal conviction.

Sponsors: Gloria Butler (D-Stone Mountain), Elena Parent (D-Atlanta), Harold Jones II (D-Augusta), Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta), Gail Davenport (D-Jonesboro), Harold Jones II (D-Augusta), and 17 others.

Summary: The bill amends OCGA 9-16-6, 9-16-14 and 9-16-15 to require a court ordered seizure of property is subject to an affidavit attesting to a conviction by a criminal proceeding has occurred.

Status: Assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - SB 139 (ga.gov)

 

SB 146 – Related to a crime of accessibility to firearms by a child under the age of 17.

Sponsors: Elena Parent (D-Atlanta), Harold Jones II (D-Augusta), Sally Harrell (D-Atlanta), Kim Jackson (DPine Lake), Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta), Gloria Butler (D-Stone Mountain), and one other.

Summary: Creates a new code section OCGA 16-11-132.1 establishing the crime of making a firearm accessible to a child (under the age of 17) by failing to secure a dischargeable firearm in a place to which the child would not have reasonable access.

Status: Assigned to the Senate Public Safety Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - SB 146 (ga.gov)

 

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