2018 State Legislative Wrap Up
During the 2018 state legislative session, in collaboration with our partners and with YOU, we worked to advance the economic empowerment, and improve the health and safety, of all women and girls in our state. For quarterly updates join our email list and select “Advocacy News”.
The 2018 State Legislative Session ended on March 29th, and we have a lot to celebrate! The following proactive legislation passed and is now before the Governor for signature. (Also, attempts to pass harmful anti-reproductive rights, anti-LGBT and anti-immigrant bills failed this year.)
-Thank your own State Representative and Senator for all of their hard work this session. See who represents you by entering your home address here.
-Thank the sponsors of the following proactive bills (click on the bill number and see the names under ‘sponsored by’ at the top of the page.)
–Contact the Governor’s office to encourage him to sign the following proactive bills into law:
Legislation to Support
- HB 834 (Rep. Ballinger, 23rd) would allow family violence victims to terminate a lease early without financial penalty, providing an important tool for survivors to move themselves and their children to safety.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. Due to discriminatory discipline, girls of color are more likely to be expelled from school (NWLC).
- HB 762 (Rep. Cantrell, 22nd) would require age-appropriate sexual abuse and assault education for students in Kindergarten through 9th grades. One in four girls will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old. The bill was attached to SB 401 which passed.
- 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.
- SB 405 (Sen. Millar, 40th) would create need-based grants (subject to future appropriations) 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. Read more about why Georgia should offer need-based aid in this GBPI blog post. The bill was attached to HB 787 which passed.
- 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, in order to avoid the criminalization of being poor.
State Budget Wins:
- To improve maternal health outcomes in our state, the Governor and legislature included $2 million to implement Georgia Maternal Mortality Review Committee recommendations, as well as $500,000 for Centering Pregnancy Programs.
- The Governor and state legislature fully funded the state’s K-12 public schools per the Quality Basic Education formula for the first time in many years.