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2021 Georgia Legislative PAC Update Report

Police Benevolent Association of Georgia

2021 Georgia Legislative PAC Update Report

As of February 26, 2021 (24th Legislative Day)

 

New or changed legislation since 02/11/21 are highlighted in red

 

 

House Bills of Interest

 

HB 2 – Related to lawful and unlawful weapons carriers, also known as Constitutional Carry.

Sponsors: Emory Dunahoo (R-Gillsville), Stave Tarvin (R-Chickamauga), Timothy Barr (R-Lawrenceville), Wes Cantrell (R-Woodstock), Heath Clark (R-Warner Robins), and Philip Singletary (R-Sharpsburg).

Summary: This bill amends numerous sections of the OCGA to eliminate weapons permit carriers and similar language; changes it to either “you are a lawful weapons carrier” or you are not.

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

Link: Georgia General Assembly - HB 2 (ga.gov)

 

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 (D- Atlanta), 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 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 House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

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

 

HB 17 – Related to prohibiting racial profiling, tracking reports, and civil liability.

Sponsors: Sandra Scott (D-Rex), Calvin Smyre (D-Columbus), Carolyn Hugley (D-Columbus), Erica Thomas (D-Austell), and Dar’Shun Kendrick (D-Lithonia).

Summary: This bill wound amend OCGA Title 35 by creating a new Chapter 11 to be known as “End Racial Profiling Act.” It prohibits racial profiling, mandates training and policies, requires tracking certain data, and requires Georgia Attorney General to generate an annual report. Establishes certain liabilities for agencies, supervisors, and officers for disparate treatment.

Status: Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - HB 17 (ga.gov)

 

HB 18 – Related to numerous new detailed requirements thought to hold police more accountable.

Sponsors: Sandra Scott (D-Rex), Erica Thomas (D-Austell), and Donna McLeod (D-Lawrenceville).

Summary: This bill is identified as the Police Accountability Act. It amends OCGA Title 35 by creating a new Chapter 1A. It mandates numerous requirements for officers, agencies, and POST with civil, administrative, and criminal consequences.

Status: Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - HB 18 (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 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 House Judiciary Committee.

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

 

HB 35 – Related to citizen review boards and tracking police misconduct.

Sponsors: Sandra Scott (D-Rex), Donna McLeod (D-Lawrenceville), James Beverly (D-Macon), Kim Schofield (D-Atlanta), Viola Davis (D-Stone Mountain), and Carla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates).

Summary: This bill amends Title 35 by creating a new Chapter 11. It requires all LEO to maintain ethical policing standards; establishes state law allowing broad powers for citizen review boards; mandates each LEO to carry a minimum of $500,000 professional liability insurance; every agency would have to have an early warning tracking system; eliminates qualified and other immunities; and to many more.

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

Link: Georgia General Assembly - HB 35 (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 (D- Lawrenceville), 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 House Judiciary Committee.

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

 

HB 218 – Related to reciprocity to carry concealed in Georgia and other states.

Sponsors: Mandi Ballinger (R-Canton), Alan Powell (R-Hartwell), Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper), Clay Pirkle (R- Ashburn), and Darlene Taylor (R-Thomasville).

Summary: Amends OCGA 16-11-126 (e) to allow the GA Attorney General to enter into agreements with additional States lawful gun carriers that will recognize GA lawful gun carriers. It also amends OCGA 38- 3-87 to further protect GA lawful gun owners during a declared state of emergency.

Status: Passed by House on 02/25/21.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - HB 218 (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 286 – Relate to county and municipal law enforcement agency budgets.

Sponsors: Houston Gaines (R-Athens), Trey Kelley (R-Cedartown), Katie Dempsey (R-Rome), Marcus Wiedower (R-Watkinsville), J. Collins (R-Villa Rica), and Joseph Gullett (R-Dallas).

Summary: This bill amends OCGA 36-8-8 and 36-60-28 to limit annual budget reductions to 5% or less for county and municipal law enforcement agencies except under certain limited budgetary issues.

Status: Assigned to Senate Government Oversight Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - HB 286 (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 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 Brady Law Regulations to OCGA Title 16 on Georgia Gun Shows.

Status: Assigned to 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 (D- Lawrenceville), 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 House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

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

 

HB 378 – Related to 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 House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

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

 

HB 438 – Related to emergency suspension of LEO certification.

Sponsors: Dar’Shun Kendrick (D-Lithonia), James Beverly (D-Macon), Yasmin Neal (D-Jonesboro), Josh McLarin (D-Sandy Springs), William Boddie (D-East Point), and Gregg Kennard (D-Lawrenceville).

Summary: This bill amends OCGA 35-8-7.1 (d) by clarifying the meaning of emergency suspension status of LEO’s certification following an arrest or indictment for any felony by citing numerous OCGA code sections related to various other LEO duties. This bill may actually allow departments the option to keep a few worthy officers working in a non-law enforcement position while their cases get resolved.

Status: Assigned to House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee. Sub-Committee Hearing held on 02/24/21.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - HB 438 (ga.gov)

 

HB 479 – Related to arrests by private persons and law enforcement officers.

Sponsors: Bert Reeves (R-Marietta), Don Hogan (R-St. Simons), Carl Gilliard (D-Garden City), Gloria Frazier (D-Hephzibah), Buddy DeLoach (R-Townsend), and William Boddie (D-East Point).

Summary: This bill amends OCGA 17-4-20 to allow law enforcement officers to make an arrest outside their jurisdiction under certain circumstances. It revises Title 17 to create a new Article 5 OCGA 17-4-80 which explains circumstances under which private persons may make an arrest.

Status: Assigned to House Judiciary Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - HB 479 (ga.gov)

 

HB 505 – Related to revisions of the justification and use of force.

Sponsors: Bee Nguyen (D-Atlanta), James Beverly (D-Macon), Carl Gilliard (D-Garden City), William Boddie (D-East Point), Derrick Jackson (D-Tyrone), and Renitta Shannon (D-Decatur).

Summary: The bill eliminates OCGA 16-3-21 (use of force in defensive of self or others in reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm). Revises OCGA 16-3-23

Status: Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - HB 505 (ga.gov)

 

HB 526 – Related to arrests by a private citizen.

Sponsors: Yasmin Neal (D-Jonesboro), Carl Gilliard (D-Garden City), Mike Wilensky (D-Dunwoody), Spencer Frye (D-Athens), and Rhonda Taylor (D-Conyers).

Summary: The bill revises OCGA 17-4-60 (a simple two sentence statement of grounds for arrest) into a complex explanation of grounds of arrest, use of deadly force in making an arrest and use of deadly force in resisting an unauthorized arrest.

Status: Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - HB 526 (ga.gov)

 

HB 528 – Related to failure of an officer to act and/or report excessive use of force by another officer.

Sponsors: Yasmin Neal (D-Jonesboro), Carl Gilliard (D-Garden City), Spencer Frye (D-Athens), William Boddie (D-East Point), and Rhonda Taylor (D-Conyers).

Summary: This bill amends OCGA Chapter 51 by creating a new code section 51-1-30.5 detailing what an officer should do if another officer is believed to be using excessive force. It would make an officer’s failure to act a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.

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

Link: Georgia General Assembly - HB 528 (ga.gov)

 

HB 597 – Related to Second Amendment protection.

Sponsors: Philip Singleton (R-Sharpsburg), Will Wade (R-Dawsonville), and Sheri Gilligan (R-Cumming).

Summary: Expresses what the federal Constitution granted and how certain federal actions cannot supersede it and establishes what cannot be done to infringe on that right under federal state law.

Status: Assigned to House Judiciary Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - HB 597 (ga.gov)

 

HB 612 – Related to allowing additional officers in DPS to retire at age 55.

Sponsors: Shawn Blackmon (R-Bonaire), Heath Clark (R-Warner Robins), Danny Mathis (R-Cochran), Noel Williams (R-Cochran), and J. Collins (R-Villa Rica).

Summary: This bill would add sworn law enforcement officers of the Motor Carrier Compliance Division and Capitol Police Division of the Department of Public Safety.

Status: Assigned to House Retirement Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - HB 612 (ga.gov)

 

 

Senate Bills of Interest

 

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-Dahlonega), Max Burns (R-Sylvania), Ben Watson (R-Savannah), & 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: Assigned to House Judiciary Committee.

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: Passed by House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee on 02/17/21 and pending in House Rules 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 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 115 – Related to driver education on interaction with law enforcement.

Sponsors: Randy Robertson (R-Cataula), John Albers (R-Roswell), Tyler Harper (R-Ocilla), Chuck Payne (R- Dalton), and Bill Cowsert (R-Athens).

Summary: Amends Title 40 by adding a new code section OCGA 40-5-10 to provide mandated drivers training on what to do and how to interact with law enforcement during traffic stops. To include but not limited to consequences of continuous traffic citations and habitual violations, understanding legal grounds and officer discretion, providing identification, use of force, detainment, pursuits, and warnings.

Status: Passed by Senate 02/26/21.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - SB 115 (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 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 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 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 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 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 (D- Pine 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 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 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 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 Senate Public Safety 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 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; 16-11- 138 – 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 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 Committee.

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 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 (D- Pine 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 Senate Public Safety Committee.

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

 

SB 179 – Related to universal background checks in all firearms purchases or transfers.

Sponsors: Michelle Au (D-Johns Creek), Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta), Gail Davenport (D-Jonesboro), Kim Jackson (D-Pine Lake), Sally Harrell (D-Atlanta), Sheikh Rahman (D-Lawrenceville), and five others.

Summary: This bill revises OCGA 16-11-171 and adds a new code section OCGA 16-11-174 as it relates to firearm sales and transfers, background checks, and punishment for violations.

Status: Assigned to Senate Public Safety Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - SB 179 (ga.gov)

 

SB 198 – Related to benefits of GSP employees and issuance of firearm and badge upon retirement.

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

Summary: Creates a new code section OCGA 35-2-16 to allow the commissioner to provide per diem and subsistence allowance; to provide additional pay in form of firearm and badge upon retirement; and to grant additional pay to sworn and communications officers who obtain certain degrees.

Status: Passed by Senate 02/26/21.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - SB 198 (ga.gov)

 

SB 214 – Related to Second Amendment during state of emergencies.

Sponsors: Tyler Harper (R-Ocilla), Bo Hatchett (R-Cornelia), John Albers (R-Roswell), Jeff Mullis (R- Chickamauga), Randy Robertson (R-Cataula), Russ Goodman (R-Cogdell), and nine others<

Summary: This bill adds a new code section OCGA 38-3-51.1 to prohibit any government or agency from restricting, seizing, prohibiting etc. of any lawful possession of firearms, ammunition, or personal weapons other than firearms during any emergency,

Status: Passed by Senate Public Safety Committee 02/25/21.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - SB 214 (ga.gov)

 

SB 229 – Related to eliminating campus carry law.

Sponsors: Sally Harrell (D-Atlanta), Michelle Au (D-Johns Creek), Jennifer Jordan (D-Atlanta), Elena Parent (D-Atlanta), Nikki Merritt (D-Grayson), Nan Orrock (D-Orrock), and five others.

Summary: Revises OCGA 16-11-127.1 to eliminate previously legislation allowing carrying weapons in certain public postsecondary education buildings and real property.

Status: Assigned to Senate Public Safety Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - SB 229 (ga.gov)

 

SB 235 – Related to wearing a mask, hood, or device to conceal the identity of the wearer.

Sponsors: Ben Watson (R-Savannah), Bill Cowsert (R-Athens), Ed Harbison (D-Columbus), John Kennedy (R-Macon), and Russ Goodman (R-Cogdell).

Summary: This bill amends OCGA 16-11-38 to add language to define what constitutes a crime and what does not violate this code section such as wearing a mask to prevent spread of infectious disease.

Status: Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - SB 235 (ga.gov)

 

SB 254 – Revisions to the use of force.

Sponsors: Tonya Anderson (D-Lithonia), Harold Jones II (D-Augusta), Kim Jackson (D-Stone Mountain), Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta), David Lucas (D-Macon), Elena Parent (D-Atlanta), and three others.

Summary: The bill makes numerous changes in Title 16 related to the use of force, investigation of use of force, annual reporting, and others.

Status: Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - SB 254 (ga.gov)

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2021 Georgia Legislative PAC Update Report

February 26, 2021

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2021 Georgia Legislative PAC Update Report

February 11, 2021

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2021 Georgia Legislative Update

February 4, 2021

The Georgia Police Benevolent Association is committed to keeping you informed of legislation that may affect your work-life, pay and benefits.

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