2017 State Legislative Session Wrap-Up:
This year’s legislative session included some key wins for women and girls in our state!
The following harmful bill was stopped on the last day of the session:
- House Bill 51 would have limited the ability of college campuses to effectively address sexual assault. After passing in the House, the bill was stopped for the year by the Senate. Read more here.
The following legislation of importance to women and girls passed during the 2017 state legislative session:
- SB 201 (Sen. Miller, 49th) the Family Care Act, enabling working women, who often serve as primary caregivers, to use their already-earned sick days to care for their sick children, spouses, or elderly parents without the risk of losing their jobs. Read more here.
- HB 341 (Rep. Reeves, 34th), and SB 104 (Sen. James, 35th), renewing requirements that certain businesses post a notice with information about how victims can contact a human trafficking hotline. SB 104 also includes a provision making “upskirting”, or secretly videotaping up a woman’s skirt in public, a crime in Georgia.
- HB 154 (Rep. Cooper, 43rd), maximizing access to preventive dental services for women in safety-net settings, including domestic violence shelters and non-profit clinics, by allowing dental hygienists to work under the supervision of a dentist but without a dentist physically present in the facility.
- HB 279 (Rep. Ballinger, 23rd), providing a safer process for victims of family violence to request a name change for themselves or their children, for example by waiving the requirements that they publish notice of the name change.
- HB 86 (Rep. Oliver, 82nd), adding the trafficking of a minor to the definition of sexual abuse for reporting of child abuse.
- HB 391 (Rep. Clark, 98th), expanding locations where a newborn infant can be left to include fire stations and police stations, along with the current permissible medical facilities. The bill also adds language to allow the mother to decline to provide her name and address when an infant is left.
- SB 108 (Sen. Walker, 20th), creating a state Women Veterans’ office to conduct outreach to women veterans, assess their specific needs, and review programs, research projects, and initiatives to meet those needs.
- The state budget included enhanced funding for child care assistance for low-income parents
- The 2017 budget also included new funding for GBI testing of the backlog of sexual assault kits