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PBA of Georgia 2013 State Legislative Report (February)

The Georgia Legislature convened on January 14, 2013. It is in session for a maximum of 40 legislative days and usually adjourns in late March or early April. The primary focus is, of course, the budget. While the proposed FY-14 budget is some $500+ million more than last year, the state departmental budgets face another year of across-the-board reduction of 3%.
 
For state law enforcement departments, budget reductions of staff over the last few years have brought safety to a critical level. Unfortunately, this seems to have fallen on deaf ears at the Capitol. Other than, “maybe next year,” there has been no talk about any COLAs or pay increases by our elected officials.  The budget issues at the state will continue to negatively impact city and county budgets.
 
There appears to be more interest in ethics reform this year, but we will have to wait to see if it is real or just more smoke and mirrors. As always gun bills are popular, but the majority party leadership appears not to be particularly interested in passing any new gun legislation this year.
 
The bills below are currently in the system at the state capitol. If you want to know more about any of these bills, go to: http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/Search.aspx  and enter the appropriate chamber and bill number.
 
 
Alcohol/DUI
HB 43
by Chuck Sims                     
This bill creates a new code section OCGA 35-1-18 to allow an entrapment defense if a law enforcement officer approaches an individual leaving any establishment selling alcohol beverages for consumption on the premises and uses that to establish probable cause for the DUI. Assigned to the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee
 
HB 58                      
by Chuck Sims                     
This bill creates a new code section OCGA 3-1-6 to require any establishment selling alcoholic beverages for consumption to provide an alcohol sensor device to estimate an individual’s blood alcohol level. Assigned to the House Regulated Industries Committee
 
HB 113                   
by Rusty Kidd & Others
This bill amends OCGA 35-3-37 to allow juvenile DUI convictions to be expunged after five years when certain criteria are met. Assigned to the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee
 
SB 15                       
by Donzella James
This bill adds a new code section OCGA 40-6-391.4 that requires an ignition interlock devise upon the first DUI conviction. Assigned to the Senate Public Safety Committee
 
SB 58                       
by Donzella James
This bill amends OCGA 40-6-391 to change the endangering a child age limit to 16 when the driver is DUI and increases the penalty. Assigned to the Senate Public Safety Committee
 
 
Corrections/Jail
HB 150                   
by Roger Bruce & Others
This bill creates several new code sections including OCGA 35-1-9 which would require agencies to copyright any photographs of a person in custody prior to posting on a website or other public media. Assigned to House Judiciary Committee
 
 
Employment/Labor
HB 117                   
by Sandra Scott & Others
This bill adds a new code section OCGA 34-1-8 to prohibit employers from compelling an employee to open their social media sites in the employer’s presence except in the investigation of employee misconduct or criminal activity. Assigned to the House Industry & Labor Committee
 
HB 144                   
by Tom Kirby & Others
This bill creates a new code section OCGA 34-6-9 that declares that Georgia is a “free-to-work” state and no person shall be required to belong to a union to obtain or maintain employment. Assigned to the House Industry and Labor Committee
 
HB 149                   
by Dar’shun Kendrick & Others
This bill adds a new code section OCGA 34-1-8 that prohibits employers from requiring employees to disclose their social media usernames and passwords except in the course of criminal or administrative investigations. Assigned to the House Industry & Labor Committee
 
HB 172                                     
by Chuck Martin & Others
This bill would change Fulton County’s charter so that all county employees hired or promoted after the effective date of this bill will be unclassified employees. They will become at -will and may be dismissed without notice or reason. They will have no right of appeal. Assigned to the House Intergovernmental Coordination Committee
 
 
Guns/Gun Control
HB 26                      
by Charles Gregory & Others
This bill amends OCGA 16-11-125.1 and others related to expanding carrying and possessing firearms laws for law abiding citizens by eliminating many current restrictions in Georgia law and for other purposes. Assigned to the House Judiciary Committee
 
HB 28                      
by Charles Gregory & Others
This bill amends OCGA 16-11-127 to remove a place of worship as a location in which a firearm may not be carried.  Assigned to the House Public Safety Committee
 
HB 29                      
by Charles Gregory & Others
This bill amends OCGA 16-11-127 to allow carrying a firearm at any college, technical campus, or similar institutions of postsecondary education. Assigned the House Public Safety Committee
 
HB 35                      
by Paul Battles & Others
This bill amends OCGA 16-11-127 and creates a new code section 16-11-127.3 to allow school boards to designate one or more administrators to carry a firearm within a school zone. Assigned to the House Public Safety Committee
 
HB 89                      
by Tommy Benton & Others        
This bill creates new code sections OCGA 16-11-190 through 16-11-194 asserting that certain firearms and ammunition produced and sold exclusively in Georgia are exempt from federal law and regulation. Assigned to the House Public Safety Committee
 
HB 90                      
by Stephen Allison & Others
This bill creates a new code section OCGA 16-11-114 that attempts to prevent enforcement of most federal firearms laws in Georgia. Assigned to the House Judiciary Committee
 
HB 100                   
by Delvis Sutton & Others
The bill creates a new code section OCGA 38-3-37 that would prohibit the temporary or permanent seizure of firearms or ammunition during a declared emergency. Assigned to the House Judiciary Committee
 
HB 120                   
by Pete Marin & Others
This bill amends OCGA 16-11-129 to require applicants for a carry permit to have a firearms safety course (with certain exemptions). Assigned to the House Public Safety Committee
 
SB 33                       
by Donzella James
This bill amends OCGA 16-11-121 to define and add certain automatic and semi-automatic firearms to the dangerous weapons list and prohibit oversize (10+ rounds) magazines. It also adds a new code section OCGA 16-11-122.1 which makes the possession of two or more dangerous weapons and/or oversize magazines as possession with the intent to sell. Assigned to the Senate Judiciary Non-Civil Committee
 
SB 34                       
by Donzella James
This bill adds a new code section OCGA 16-11-101.2 that identifies certain addicted and mentally incompetent individuals who may not possess or have under their control a handgun. This includes anyone ever convicted of DUI or who has voluntarily or involuntarily been admitted for addiction recovery. Assigned to the Senate Judiciary Non-Civil Committee
 
SB 74                       
by Barry Loudermilk & Others
This bill amends OCGA 16-11-136 and 43-38-10 to allow basic military training graduates between the ages of 18 and 21 to obtain a carry permit. Assigned to the Senate Public Safety Committee
 
SB 88                       
by Bill Heath & Others
This bill creates a new code section OCGA 16-11-114 that attempts to prevent enforcement of federal firearms laws in Georgia. Assigned to the Senate Judiciary Non-Civil Committee
 
 
Law Enforcement Benefits
HB 111                   
by Keisha Waites             
This bill amends OCGA 20-3-452 to provide an annual tuition grant of $2000.00 for up to four years or age 25 for a child of any law enforcement officer (and certain others) killed in the line of duty if they attend a college within the University System of Georgia and maintains a 2.5 minimum GPA. Assigned to the House Higher Education Committee
 
SB 52                      
by Buddy Carter                
This bill amends OCGA 47-17-1 (H) to allow POST certified, full-time peace officers solely employed by a public owned airport to be eligible for membership in the POAB Fund. It also amends OCGA 47-17-72 to allow those officers or employers to buy back all eligible years of service. This appears to be a bill for Savannah Airport PD officers, but may benefit a few others.   Assigned to the Senate Retirement Committee
 
 
Motor Vehicles/Traffic
HB 31                      
by Rahn Mayo & Others
This bill amends OCGA 40-6-241 to prohibit the use of a hand held mobile phone while operating a motor vehicle on any Georgia roadway. Assigned to the House Motor Vehicle Committee
 
HB 93                      
by Coach Williams & Others
This bill amends OCGA 40-6-241.1 to prohibit a driver operating a motor vehicle on any Georgia roadway from using certain wireless communication devises unless they are hands-free. Assigned to the House Motor Vehicle Committee
 
HB 98                      
by Tyrone Brooks & Others
This bill adds a new code section OCGA 40-1-9 to prohibit race and ethnicity in traffic stops and requires department policies, training, data collection, and reports to document it. Assigned to the House Judiciary Committee
 
HB 121                                     
by Pete Marin & Others
This bill adds a new code section OCGA 40-1-9 to prohibit race and ethnicity in traffic stops and requires department policies, training, data collection, and reports to document it. Assigned to the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee
 
 
Warrants/Other Legal Process
HB 1                         
by Wendell Willard & Others
This bill makes major revisions to OCGA Title 9, 16, and others as related to civil forfeiture process. Assigned to the House Judiciary Committee
 
HB 55                      
by Rich Golick & Others
This bill amends OCGA 16-11-64 to allow wiretapping and surveillance warrants to have statewide application. Assigned to the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee
 
HB 146                                     
by Tom Welton & Others
This bill amends OCGA 17-4-40 and 17-5-21 to allow arrest and search warrants to be issued by video conferencing under most conditions. Assigned to the House Judiciary Committee

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