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Local delegation chalks up winners, losers this session
by Noreen Cochran
March 25, 2014 04:11 PM | 2368 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Henry County delegation to the Georgia Legislature wrapped up the 2014 session’s changes in existing laws and new additions to the Georgia code during a two-month stretch that ended last Thursday.

District 76 State Rep. Sandra Scott, D-Rex, sponsored legislation including House Bill 1044, the Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth Act, and HB 1153, a repeal of the Stand Your Ground Act.

Neither came to the floor for a vote.

District 73 State Rep. John Yates, R-Griffin, co-sponsored HB 869 to give motorcyclists an equal chance to get through red lights despite their inability to trigger detection mechanisms designed for heavier vehicles.

It got a favorable report from the House public safety committee but did not proceed to the floor for a vote.

Yates and other delegation members hit a home run with HB 1043, allowing a judge to remove a county elections supervisor for cause and limiting the supervisor to a two-year term. The House vote was 158-1 and the Senate approved it 50-2.

The bill was co-sponsored by fellow delegation members District 109 State Rep. Dale Rutledge, District 110 State Rep. Andy Welch and District 111 State Rep. Brian Strickland, all R-McDonough.

Welch’s HB 494 mandating utility line safety markers at private airstrips, HB 794 calling for a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution and HB 776 regarding state and county jury lists passed both houses.

Other bills he filed regarding education taxes, notary laws, subpoena power and code revisions stalled in committees or in the Senate.

Strickland and Rutledge were co-sponsors of HB 845, a law to keep mug shots off Internet sites which charge to have them removed.

The bill received rare unanimous approval in both houses.

Strickland’s bills passed by both houses include HB 135, sponsored with Welch, regarding cities named in civil suits; the fish and game anti-poaching bill HB 783; and a banking law, HB 883, co-sponsored with District 78 State Rep. Demetrius Douglas, D-Stockbridge.

Rutledge was a sponsor of the successful Georgia 911 Medical Amnesty Act, HB 965, which removes the threat of prosecution if a drug user calls 911 to get emergency help during a companion’s overdose.

Douglas won passage of a pair of banking bills, HB 750 and the aforementioned HB 883, promoting home ownership and regulating credit card transactions, respectively.

In the Senate, District 10 State Sen. Emanuel Jones, D-Decatur, co-sponsored Senate Bill 23, the Stacey Nicole English Act, adding medically incapacitated to the existing Mattie’s Call missing person protocol.

It was unanimously approved by both houses.

His SB 320, establishing veterans’ courts, was approved unanimously in the Senate and 168-2 in the House.

District 17 State Sen. Rick Jeffares, R-Locust Grove, sponsored SB 117, to prevent utility service interruption from blasting or excavation, which sailed through both houses unanimously. Jeffares introduced Senate Resolution 847, which was adopted unanimously by both houses, to create a historical and cultural preservation lab and public overnight accommodations at Panola Mountain State Park.

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