2018 State Legislative Update
During the 2018 state legislative session, in collaboration with our partners and with YOU, we are working to advance the economic empowerment, and improve the health and safety, of all women and girls in our state. To receive real time alerts so that you can take action on important issues join our email list and select “Action Alerts”.
The 2018 State Legislative Session will end March 29th. The following proactive legislation, which would improve the health, safety, economic empowerment and education of women and girls, is still viable for passage this year:
Legislation to Support
- HB 834 (Rep. Ballinger, 23rd) – a priority focus of the Georgia Women’s Policy Institute – would allow family violence victims to terminate a lease early without financial penalty and move themselves and their children to safety. The bill passed unanimously in the House and is before the Senate for a vote.
- Language from House Bill 660 (Rep. Hanson, 80th) was attached to Senate Bill 373, to create enhanced punishments for crimes when the victim was targeted due to race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender. SB 373 passed out of the House Judiciary Civil Committee and is now before the House Rules Committee.
- HB 513 (Rep. Dickerson, 113th) would provide for signs to be posted at medical facilities to indicate the locations where a newborn child may be left without the mother facing criminal prosecution. The bill passed the House and Senate and goes before the Governor for signature.
- HB 605 (Rep. Spencer, 180th), the Hidden Predator Act, would allow an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse to bring a civil action for damages suffered as a result of the abuse and allow civil action against an institution that intentionally concealed evidence of the abuse. The bill is now before the Senate Rules Committee.
- HB 655 (Rep. Williams, 145th) would require every public school to post the toll-free child abuse reporting hotline in a clearly visible, public location. In addition, the bill requires that students in grades K-9 receive age-appropriate sexual abuse and assault prevention education. The bill is now before the Senate Rules Committee.
- HB 732 (Rep. Silcox, 52nd) would expand the offense of trafficking of persons for sexual servitude to include “patronizing an individual to perform sexually explicit conduct” in order to target buyers. The bill passed the House and Senate and goes before the Governor for signature.
- HB 740 (Rep. Nix, 69th) would prohibit the expulsion or suspension of a child in preschool through third grade without that child first receiving a multi-tiered system of support services. The bill passed the House and Senate and goes before the Governor for signature.
- HB 909 (Rep. Silcox, 52nd) would allow the State Department of Public Health to define and designate Perinatal Facilities – hospitals, clinics, or birthing centers that provide maternal or neonatal healthcare services – in order to encourage better maternal health outcomes. The bill passed the House and Senate and goes before the Governor for signature.
- HB 999 (Rep. Coomer, 14th) would end the current process of automatically purging after 5 years the names of individuals who have been involuntarily hospitalized for mental health reasons from the Georgia Crime Information Center, for the purposes of improving criminal background checks for firearm purchases. The bill is before the Senate Rules Committee.
- SB 405 (Sen. Millar, 40th) would create need-based grants for students who do not have HOPE scholarships, are enrolled in a public institution, have received a Pell scholarship, have achieved certain academic criteria, and are employed at least 15 hours per week during the semester. The bill is now before the House Higher Education Committee.
- SB 407 (Sen. Strickland, 17th), including the latest recommendations from the Governor’s Criminal Justice Reform Council, would provide discretion for judges to take ability to pay into account when setting bail for misdemeanors. The bill passed out of the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee and is now before the House Rules Committee.