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2022 Georgia Legislative PAC Update Report

Police Benevolent Association of Georgia

2022 Georgia Legislative PAC Update Report

As of February 28, 2022, thru Legislative Day 20

 

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 (RAshburn), and Darlene Taylor (R-Thomasville).

Summary: Amends OCGA 16-11-126 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 383-87 to further protect GA lawful gun owners during a declared state of emergency. Senate changes were related to certain religious or business issues during a declared state of emergency.

Status: Passed the Senate by Substitution last year. House agreed to Senate Substitute 02/03/22. Moves to Governor.

Link: Georgia General Assembly – HB 218 (ga.gov)

 

HB 657 – Related tor retirement change for sworn officers with MCCG and Capitol Police

Sponsors: Clint Crowe (R-Jackson), Marcus Wiedower (R-Watkinsville), Bill Hitchens (R-Rincon), Eddie Lumsden (R-Armuchee), and Micah Gravley (R-Douglasville)

Summary: Amends OCGA 47-2-110 and other relative code sections to allow sworn officers of the Motor Carrier Compliance Division and the Capitol Police Division of the Georgia Department of Public Safety to enjoy the same retirement benefits of the other sworn officers in that department.

Status: Favorably passed House Retirement 02/07/22.

Link: Georgia General Assembly – HB 657 (ga.gov)

 

HB 566 – Related to reasonable presumption for tests in accidents with serious injury or fatality

Sponsors: James Burchett (R-Waycross), Bill Hitchens (R-Rincon), Steven Sainz (R-St.Marys), John Corbett (R-Lake Park), Clint Crowe (R-Jackson), and Jasmin Neal (D-Jonesboro).

Summary: Amends OCGA 40-5-55 (a) provides that a law enforcement officer shall have a presumption of reasonable grounds to request test or tests to determine presence of alcohol or drugs in any vehicle accident resulting in serious injury or death or where exigent circumstances exists. If an officer believes otherwise the officer must articulate the lack of reasonable grounds in the report of this incident.

Status: Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil.

Link: Georgia General Assembly – HB 566 (ga.gov)

 

HB 677 – Law enforcement officers involved in school functions.

Sponsors: Stan Gunter (R-Blairsville), Victor Anderson (R-Cornelia), Mitchell Scoggins (R-Cartersville), Tyler Paul Smith (R-Bremen), Clint Crowe (R-Jackson), and Bill Hitchens (R-Rincon).

Summary: This bill amends OCGA 20-2-1833 to expand the definition of law enforcement assignments in and related to school functions. Also amends OCGA 20-8-5 to expand the officers law enforcement powers off school property but related areas of responsibilities and duties.

Status: Assigned to House Public Safety and Homeland Security.

Link: Georgia General Assembly – HB 677 (ga.gov)

 

HB 855 – Post traumatic stress for first Responders and workers compensation coverage

Sponsors: Gregg Kennard (D-Lawrenceville), Bill Hitchens (R-Rincon), Carolyn Hugley (D-Columbus), Todd Jones (R-Cumming), Clint Crow (R-Jackson), and Sam Park (D-Lawrenceville).

Summary: This bill revises OCGA 39-9-1(4) to include post-traumatic stress as a workers compensation injury for first responders.

Status: Assigned to House Industry and Labor. Hearing held 01/26/22 and referred to Workers Comp Advisory Board for review and recommendations.

Link: Georgia General Assembly – HB 855 (ga.gov)

 

HB 903 – Second Amendment Restoration and Protection Act

Sponsors: Joseph Gullett (R-Dallas), Micah Gravley (R-Douglasville), Martin Momtahan (R-Dallas), Mitchell Scoggins (R-Cartersville), and Matthew Gambill (R-Cartersville

Summary: This bill makes multiple changes to OCGA Titles 12, 16, 20, 27, 36, 37, and 40 related to carrying, possession, and transporting firearms.

Status: Assigned to House Public Safety and Homeland Security.

Link: Georgia General Assembly – HB 903 (ga.gov)

 

HB 917 – Lifetime weapons carry permit

Sponsors: Mike Cameron (R-Rossville) and Steve Tarvin (R-Chickamauga)

Summary: This bill amends OCGA 16-11-129 to allow for weapons carry license for the life of the applicant provided individual submits to a background check every five years.

Status: Assigned to House Public Safety and Homeland Security

Link: Georgia General Assembly – HB 917 (ga.gov)

 

HB 968 – Ethics and diversity training.

Sponsors: Sandra Scott (D-Rex), Viola Davis (D-Stone Mountain), Kim Schofield (D-Hapeville), Dexter Sharper (D-Valdosta), and Donna McLeod (D-Lawrenceville)

Summary: This bill creates a new OCGA 35-8-28 to mandate ethics and diversity training beginning in calendar year 2024 for mandate and annual certification requirement.

Status: Assigned to House Public Safety and Homeland Security.

Link: Georgia General Assembly – HB 968 (ga.gov)

 

HB 993 – Attempted murder of a law enforcement officer by a firearm

Sponsors: Rick Williams (R-Milledgeville), Bill Hitchens (R-Rincon), Heath Clark (R-Warner Robins), Alan Powell (R-Hartwell), and Stan Gunter (R-Blairsville).

Summary: This bill amends OCGA 16-10-32(a) by adding a subsection (4) attempted murder of a law enforcement officer with a firearm and causing a physical injury to prevent the performance of their official duties.

Status: Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil.

Link: Georgia General Assembly – HB 993 (ga.gov)

 

HB 1046 – Implicit bias training for law enforcement officers

Sponsors: Sandra Scott (D-Rex), Viola Davis (D-Stone Mountain), Kim Schofield (D-Hapeville), Shelly Hutchinson (D-Snellville), and Rebecca Mitchell (D-Snellville).

Summary: This bill amends OCGA 35-8-8 (a) by inserting a revised (7) to require successful completion of implicit bias training.

Status: Assigned to House Public Safety and Homeland Security.

Link: Georgia General Assembly – HB 1046 (ga.gov)

 

HB 1047 – Solitary confinement and restraints limitation act.

Sponsors: Sandra Scott (D-Rex), Viola Davis (D-Stone Mountain), Kim Schofield (D-Hapeville), Rebecca Mitchell (D-Snellville), Donna McLeod (D-Lawrenceville), and Shelly Hutchinson (D-Snellville)

Summary: This bill creates a new code section OCGA 40-4-32.1 that makes a wide range of conditions, restrictions, and requirements for correctional facilities in the use of restraints, seclusion, solitary confinement, and lockdowns. Mandates development and implementation of safety guidelines for inmates to include 24-hour access to mental health professionals and electronic monitors to ensure accurate and timely cell checks. Mandatory monthly detailed reports.

Status: Assigned to House Public Safety and Homeland Security.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - HB 1047 (ga.gov)

 

HB 1145 – State Indemnification Fund Changes

Sponsors: Joseph Gullett (R-Dallas), Micah Gravley (R-Douglasville), Debbie Buckner (D-Junction City), Mesha Mainor (D-Atlanta), Matthew Gambill (R-Cartersville), and J. Collins (R-Villa Rica)

Summary: This bill makes several changes to OCGA 45-9-85 concerning line of duty deaths and disabilities related to COVID-19 (between 03/01/20 and 12/31/21), heart attack, stroke, and vascular rupture.

Status: Passed House Public Safety and Homeland Security as amended on 02/23/22.

Link: Georgia General Assembly – HB 1145 (ga.gov)

 

HB 1216 – Enhanced penalty for fleeing and attempting to elude a police officer

Sponsors: Lauren McDonald (R-Cumming), J. Collins (R-Villa Rica), Alan Powell (R-Hartwell), Bill Hitchens (R-Rincon), Jon Burns (R-Newington), and Eddie Lumsden (R-Armuchee)

Summary: This bill amends OCGA 40-6-395 enhancing the penalties to high aggravated misdemeanor with increasing fines and sentences for first 3 offenses. Fourth offense will be a felony.

Status: Passed House Public Safety and Homeland Security by Substitute 02/23/22.

Link: Georgia General Assembly – HB 1216 (ga.gov)

 

HB 1358 – Known as Chairman John Meadows Act (Constitutional Carry similar to SB 319)

Sponsors: Mandi Ballinger (R-Canton), Alan Powell (R-Hartwell), Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper), Josh Bonner (RFayetteville), Martin Momtahan (R-Dallas), and Bruce Williamson (R-Monroe)

Summary: This bill amends numerous code sections related to possession of firearms in certain places and creates the term lawful weapons carrier instead of weapons carrier license holder. Particular areas of change are in OCGA 12-3-10, 16-11-125.1, 16-11-126, 16-11-127, 16-11-127.1, 16-11-127, 16-11-129, 16-11-130, 16-11-135, 16-11-137, 16-12-123, 16-12-127, 27-2-1.1, 27-3-6, 27-4-11.1, and 40-6-228.

Status: Assigned to House Public Safety and Homeland Security

Link: Georgia General Assembly - HB 1358 (ga.gov)

 

HB 1378 – Eliminates requirement of church approval to carry and other weapons carry issues.

Sponsors: Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper), Alan Powell (R-Hartwell), Mandi Ballinger (R-Canton), Jason Ridley (RChatsworth), Steve Tarvin (R-Chickamauga), and Matt Barton (R-Calhoun).

Summary: Makes changes to OCGA 16-11-127 by eliminating a place of worship as a place a person may carry a firearm unless approved by the governing body of that place of worship. Amends 16-11-129 (a) to allow probate court to establish processes for application and renewal of weapons carry licenses online or by first class mail and (k) allows civil remedy against any official that creates or joins a multijurisdictional data base of weapons carry licenses.

Status: Assigned to House Public Safety and Homeland Security

Link: Georgia General Assembly - HB 1378 (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. The Senate Retirement Committee changed the funding source to 75% (about $1.5 million) of the 1% the Georgia Department of Revenue receives to handle receipt and distribution of the E-911 fees for land lines and cell phones. If it passes the effective date will be July 1, 2022.

Status: Passed the Senate 02/14/22 and assigned to the House Public Safety and Homeland Security.

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 (RDalton), 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 the Senate by substitution 02/26/21. Passed by the House by Substitution 03/25/21. Failed in the Senate after two votes on 03/31/21.

Link: Georgia General Assembly – SB 115 (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 (RChickamauga), 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: Recommitted to Public Safety.

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

 

SB 259 – Revisions on certain issues related to firearms.

Sponsors: Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga), Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega), Butch Miller (R-Gainesville) and Tyler Harper (R-Ocilla).

Summary: This bill adds civil liability for anyone who violates the prohibition of multijurisdictional data bases of information on individuals issued or applying for a conceal carry license. It preempts and prohibits a municipality or county to prevent the discharge of any firearms on any 10 acre or greater parcel of land in any manner when given permission by the owner. Establishes civil consequences for municipalities that fail to dispose of unclaimed firearms in accordance with the law.

Status: Scheduled for vote in Senate on 02/28/22.

Link: Georgia General Assembly – SB 259 (ga.gov)

 

SB 268 – The Second Amendment Preservation Act.

Sponsors: Carden Summers (R-Cordele), Marty Harbin (R-Tyrone), Billy Hickman (R-Statesboro), Jason Anavitarte (R-Dallas), and Lee Anderson (R-Grovetown).

Summary: This bill creates a new Part 6 of OCGA Title 16, Chapter 11, Article 4 to lay out a legal basis of the U.S Constitution and the inability of the federal government to enforce any federal laws (past, present, and future) that violate that Constitution, particularly the Second Amendment. Such attempts by the federal government to interfere in any way with the lawful purchase, sales, ownership or possession of firearms, firearm parts, firearm ammunition, and firearms accessories shall be null, void, and of no effect in this state.

Status: Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly – SB 268 (ga.gov)

 

SB 278 – Protection for employees who report criminal activity by employer or employees.

Sponsors: Nikki Merritt (D-Grayson), Harold Jones II (D-Augusta), Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta), Jennifer Jordan (D-Atlanta), Sheikh Rahman (D-Lawrenceville), Michael “Doc” Rhett (D-Marietta), Michelle Au (DJohns Creek), and Elena Parent (D-Atlanta).

Summary: This bill amends OCGA Chapter 8 of Title 34 by creating a new Article 12 to establish protection for employees of any employer (including government employers) who report criminal activity by the employer or other employees. Any employee who is retaliated against with any adverse action is entitled to civil remedy.

Status: Assigned to Senate Insurance and Labor Committee.

Link: Georgia General Assembly – SB 278 (ga.gov)

 

SB 319 – Georgia Constitutional Carry Act

Sponsors: Jason Anavitarte (R-Dallas), Chuck Payne (R-Dalton), Bruce Thompson (R-White), Randy Robertson (R-Cataula), Billy Hickman (R-Statesboro), Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega), Marty Harbin (RTyrone), Carden Summers (R-Cordele), Lee Anderson (R-Grovetown), and 19 more.

Summary: This bill makes multiple changes to OCGA Titles 12, 16, 20, 27, 36, 37, and 40 related to carrying, possession, and transporting firearms. Allows for “Lawful weapons carriers” (those not prohibited by law may possess).

Status: Scheduled for vote in Senate on 02/28/22

Link: Georgia General Assembly – SB 319 (ga.gov)

 

SB 403 – Georgia Behavioral Health and Law Enforcement Co-Responder Act

Sponsors: Ben Watson (R-Savannah), John Albers (R-Roswell), Bill Cowsert (R-Athens), Randy Robertson (R-Cataula), Kay Kirkpatrick (R-Marietta), Brian Strickland (R-McDonough), Larry Walker (R-Perry), John Kennedy (R-Macon), Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga), Blake Tillery (R-Vidalia), Valencia Seay (D-Riverdale) and 31 more.

Summary: This bill creates a new Chapter 11 of Title 37 that establishes a co-responder team made up of law enforcement officers and behavioral health professionals through a community service board. Permits personal or video response of behavioral health personnel. Considerable details are outlined in this bill

Status: Passed out of Health and Human Services by substitution 02/10/22. Tabled 02/15/22.

Link: Georgia General Assembly – SB 403 (ga.gov)

 

SB 459 – Colleges and Universities may create united police force agreements

Sponsors: Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta), Gail Davenport (D-Jonesboro), Gloria Butler (D-Stone Mountain), Ed Harbison (D-Columbus), Sonya Halpern (D- Atlanta), Tonya Anderson (D-Lithonia), Valencia Seay (DRiverdale), Donzella James (D-Atlanta), Horacena Tate (D-Atlanta), and Nikki Merritt (D-Grayson)

Summary: This bill amends OCGA 20-3-72, 20-4-39, and 20-8-1&2 to allow colleges and universities enter into agreements to form united police forces.

Status: Assigned to Senate Public Safety.

Link: Georgia General Assembly – SB 459 (ga.gov)

 

SB 468 – Georgia State Indemnification Fund

Sponsors: Kim Jackson (D-Stone Mountain), John Albers (R-Roswell), Randy Robertson (R-Cataula), Chuck Payne (R-Dalton), Howard Jones (D-Augusta), Valencia Seay (D-Riverdale), Michael Rhett (DMarietta), and Carden Summers (R-Cordele)

Summary: This bill amends OCGA 45-9-85 by refining definitions and qualifications for public safety officers line of duty related issues with partial permanent disabilities, total permanent disability, organic brain damage, death, heart attack, stroke, vascular rupture, and suicide.

Status: Assigned to Insurance and Labor.

Link: Georgia General Assembly – SB 468 (ga.gov)

 

SB 478 – Lawful carry without a license

Sponsors: Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga), Bo Hatchett (R-Cornelia), Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega), Butch Miller (R-Gainesville), Matt Brass (R-Newnan), Jason Anavitarte (R-Dallas), Chuck Payne (R-Dalton), Russ Goodman (R-Cogdell), Carden Summers (R-Cordele), John Albers (R-Roswell), and 18 more.

Summary: Makes many changes in various titles of OCGA (primarily Title 16) related to legally carrying a firearm without a license and where it may or may not be carried.

Status: Assigned to Senate Judiciary.

Link: Georgia General Assembly – SB 478 (ga.gov)

 

SB 479 – Possession of firearm by a convicted felon or felony first offender probationer.

Sponsors: Bo Hatchett (R-Cornelia), Butch Miller (R-Gainesville), Mike Dugan (R-Carrollton), Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega), Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga), Randy Robertson (R-Cataula), Max Burns (R-Sylvania), Frank Ginn (R-Danielsville), Clint Dixon (R-Buford), Marty Harbin (R-Tyrone), and two others.

Summary: Amends OCGA 16-11-131 by adding subsection (g) that spells out that any violation of this code section involving multiple firearms and weapons that each firearm or weapon shall count as a separate offense.

Status: Scheduled for vote in Senate on 02/28/22.

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

 

SB 515 – Emergency transport and treatment of on-duty injured police dog

Sponsors: Nikki Merritt (D-Grayson), John Albers (R-Roswell), Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga), Randy Robertson (R-Cataula), Lee Anderson (R-Grovetown), Kim Jackson (D-Stone Mountain), Ed Harbison (DColumbus), Valencia Seay (D-Riverdale), Harold Jones (D-Augusta), and 13 more.

Summary: Creates a new code section OCGA 31-11-13 establishing guidelines and immunities for medical transport and emergency treatment of injured on-duty police dog to a veterinary hospital or similar facility.

Status: Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - SB 515 (ga.gov)

 

SB 532 – Back the Blue Fund

Sponsors: Burt Jones (R-Jackson), Randy Robertson (R-Cataula), Greg Dolezal (R-Cumming), Jason Anavitarte (R-Dallas), Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga), Mike Dugan (R-Carrollton), John Albers (R-Roswell), and Bo Hatchett (R-Cornelia).

Summary: Creates a new code section OCGA 33.1.17.1 to allow vehicle insurance companies doing business in Georgia to collect a voluntary contribution of .5% of premium from their policy holders to be turned over to the Georgia Insurance Commissioner annually. These funds will be distributed equally to the 159 sheriffs to be used to enhance pay and benefits for law enforcement officers

Status: Assigned to Senate Insurance and Labor.

Link: Georgia General Assembly - SB 532 (ga.gov)

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