How will you take a stand for women and girls in our state?
As the final days of Georgia’s state legislative session approach, several bills impacting women and girls are currently being reviewed. Each of these bills survived “Crossover Day” and has a chance to become law this year.
The 2016 session is scheduled to end on March 24th, so contact your state legislators TODAY to let them know that these issues are important to you!
If a bill is before the Senate or is in a Senate Committee, be sure to reach out to your State Senator. If a bill is before the House or is in a House Committee, be sure to contact your State Representative.
Proposed Legislation to SUPPORT
HB 827 (Rep. Holcomb, 81st) would create clear protocol and transparency for the handling of sexual assault kits, to improve public safety and provide justice to survivors of sexual assault. Currently an unknown number of these kits remain untested in storage across our state.
Fighting Human Trafficking
HB 770 (Rep. Efstration, 104th), would make it a crime to traffic an individual who has a developmental disability and ensures that individuals charged with trafficking of a minor cannot use the involvement of an undercover officer in their investigation as a defense.
STATUS: Passed the House and the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and is now before the Senate Rules Committee.
Supporting Kinship Caregivers
HB 962 (Rep. Abrams, 89th) would create the position of kinship care enforcement administrator within the Department of Human Services to facilitate the provision of programs, subsidies and benefits to kinship caregivers. This bill, packaged with a number of other related bills, would support the family members – often women – who assume responsibility for raising a child when the child’s parents cannot.
STATUS: Passed in the House and the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and is now before the Senate Rules Committee.
SB 193 (Sen. Bethel, 54th) would ensure that a second family violence battery conviction against any household member would be punished as a felony.
STATUS: Passed in the Senate and the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee and is now before the House.
HB 649 (Rep. Cooper, 43rd) would require state licensure for lactation consultants to increase access to clinically trained, credentialed and licensed consultants for women who want support in breastfeeding.
STATUS: Passed in the House and the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and is now before the Senate.
HB 801 (Rep. Jones, 47th) would provide additional weight for grades in college courses in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), in order to help students taking these challenging courses maintain the GPA required for the HOPE scholarship. This bill can help support female college students and students of color, who currently are underrepresented in STEM-related fields.
STATUS: Passed in the House unanimously and is before the Senate Rules Committee.
SB 367 (Sen. Kennedy, 18th) would enact the Governor’s Council on Criminal Justice Reform recommendations. Among other things, the bill seeks to close the school-to-prison pipeline by requiring training of school officials about fairness in school disciplinary proceedings, and by supporting educational approaches for the handling of disciplinary problems in school instead of making referrals to juvenile court. This bill is important to girls’ education, because girls of color experience racial disparities in school discipline in our state.
STATUS: Passed unanimously in the Senate and is before the House Rules Committee.
SB 328 (Sen. Jones, 10th) would allow students under 16 years old who are assigned to an alternative education program to request a hearing for the purpose of returning to a regular classroom after two semesters.
STATUS: Passed in the Senate and is before the House Education Committee.
Police Shootings Proceedings
HB 941 (Golick, 40th) would bring our state’s procedures more in line with national standards regarding the review of a police officer’s use of deadly force. Georgia is the only state that allows an accused law enforcement officer to sit in on grand jury testimony and address that jury without cross-examination. This bill is important to women, because women of color – not just men – experience racial profiling.
STATUS: Passed unanimously in the House and is before the Senate Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.
REMEMBER: Only 5 days remain in the 2016 Georgia General Assembly Session, but it is not too late to make your voice heard. Contact your State Senator or State Representative TODAY to stand up for women and girls in our state!
Last Updated: March 15, 2016