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Day 35 – Loooooong Friday

It was a long crazy day around the Capitol with all eyes on the Senate which took until 6:30pm to complete its business, while the House quickly finished their work and wrapped up before lunch.

In the major news of the day, SB 212, introduced by Chairman P.K. Martin and carried in the House by Chairman Alan Powell was passed the House by a vote of 165-0. As you may recall, this legislation would allow online driver training courses to administer the drivers license test as long as the program is licensed by the State, and that 6 in-car hours of instruction are completed. 

And that was all the major legislation considered by either chamber today. Yep… nothing else happened. 

(Checks notes)

Oh, right.

The Senate spent most of their day debating HB 481, the widely discussed, and widely protested, bill on abortion. I’m sure all of you have seen the coverage in the news, and it will continue to be an issue over the next week plus as we head toward the end of session.

If the protesters were not enough excitement for the chamber, rapper/actor/record producer/songwriter/entrepreneur/author (so says his Wikipedia) Clifford Harris Jr. was recognized by Senator Donzella James for his “musical talent and philanthropic contributions”. Harris, better knows by his stage name “T.I.” rolled up to the Capitol in an all black Rolls-Royce, catching the attention of all who walked in.

Next Week

Both chambers will be in session on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday of next week, the final full week of the session. Wednesday will be a committee work day.

Monday – House Academic Support Subcommittee of Education will meet at 1 to hear Senator Albers’ SB 15, the Keeping Georgia’s Schools Safe Act.  Immediately following, the House Academic Achievement Subcommittee of Education will consider SB 108, requires computer science courses in middle and high school by a certain deadline. As noted in yesterday’s Capitol Watch, the Senate budget includes funding for professional development in these fields. 

Tuesday – In what appears to be the final House Education subcommittee meeting of the session, the Academic Innovation Subcommittee will hold a hearing only on Senator Bruce Thompson’s SB 163, better known as the Tim Tebow Bill, at 1pm.  At 2pm, the Senate Education committee will meet. If you’re a fan of the 4×800 relay race in track and field, this is the meeting for you, as the committee will take up SR 64, a non-binding resolution that urges the Georgia High School Association to add the 4×800 relay to the state track and field meet. Also on the agenda is HB 12, which requires schools to post the toll-free number to report child abuse and neglect, and SR 195, a non-binding resolution which urges local districts to have an EMT on hand during all full-contact sporting events.

And not to bury the lede, there is still a chance that HB 68, the voucher bill, will make an appearance in the Senate next week. Angela sent out an alert earlier this week with information about the new bill. This report, as well as all past reports, can be found online at GSBA.com or on the GSBA Hub app. Please keep a look out for any future information about the movement of HB 68. 

Lastly, thanks to all who listened to the latest episode of the GSBA podcast, we hope this adds a little something extra to the written reports you receive daily. Look for a new episode next week