Gold Dome Report - February 2019 #11

by Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP
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Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

Legislators took advantage of a cold and rainy day in Atlanta to stay indoors and warm themselves with vigorous debate of bills and resolutions on the House and Senate floors and in a myriad of committee meetings. Indeed, the full chambers took up weighty legislation dealing with dedication of state funds to the purposes for which they were collected and dyslexia screening for children in grades K-3. House and Senate members then fled to meeting rooms throughout the State Capitol and Coverdell Legislative Office Building to chop more wood to stoke fires in their respective Rules Committees and, ultimately, their entire chambers. Catch up on those we tracked in today’s  #GoldDomeReport.

In this Report:

  • House Moves to Allow Dedication of Fee and Tax Collections
  • Senate Approves Dyslexia Bill
  • House Retirement Committee Unveils Substitute TRS Bill
  • Committee Updates
  • New Legislation
  • Rules Calendars for Legislative Day 19

House Moves to Allow Dedication of Fee and Tax Collections

The House voted today to allow Georgia voters to decide whether legislators should be able to require that fees and taxes collected by the State for a specific purpose be allocated only for that purpose. HR 164, authored by Rep. Jay Powell (R-Camilla), proposes a Constitutional Amendment that would allow the General Assembly to do just that, granting a power that many do not realize the legislature lacks. In his presentation to the House, Rep. Powell noted a number of fees being collected now which are not going fully towards their purpose, like the Hazardous Waste Trust Fund and Solid Waste Trust Fund. Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur) inquired if it would reinstate the Children’s Trust Fund and its fees (former Governor Perdue eliminated the Children’s Trust Fund (which received fees from sales of marriage licenses), but Rep. Powell said no. Rep. Andy Welch (R-McDonough) rose to support Rep. Powell indicating that the Amendment to the Constitution was necessary to get the fees to their intended purpose. The House adopted the proposal 169-1, and it moves on to the Senate for further consideration.

Senate Approves Dyslexia Bill

The Senate voted today to create a pilot program for dyslexia testing in public elementary schools. SB 48, authored by Sen. P.K. Martin fulfilled the recommendations from the Senate Study Committee on Dyslexia chaired by former Senator Fran Millar, who watched the vote from the floor of the Senate chamber today. Sen. Martin explained that during the committee process it was decided to limit the scope of the bill to a pilot program rather than statewide implementation. Multiple Senators expressed their support for the legislation, stating the positive effect it would have on the state’s youth and telling personal stories of their experiences with dyslexia. Sen. Bill Heath (R-Bremen) proposed a non-friendly amendment to limit the scope of testing to dyslexia and three other related conditions. The amendment failed by a vote of 48-6. The bill received final passage in the Senate by a vote of 55-0. It now moves to the House for further consideration.

House Retirement Committee Unveils Substitute TRS Bill

Yesterday afternoon, the House Retirement Committee, chaired by Rep. Tommy Benton (R-Jefferson), met to hold its second hearing on the Chairman’s bill adjusting the Teacher Retirement System pension program. HB 109 makes several amendments to TRS for new members that join the pension program on or after July 1, 2019. In its original form, the bill limited earnable compensation for purposes of TRS to $200,000 per year, redefined “average final compensation” from an average of a member’s highest two years of compensation to the average of a members highest five years of compensation (and created a limit of two raises in such calculation during that period), and amended the allowable employee contribution floor and ceiling from 5-6% to 6-10%. The bill also instituted a minimum retirement age of 60 and removes the ability to use unused sick leave for creditable service.

Chairman Benton unveiled a substitute to his bill that makes several changes to the original proposal. Specifically, the substitute changes the allowable employee contribution floor and ceiling from 6-10% in the original bill to 5-9%, and instead of a minimum retirement age of 60, the substitute uses the “rule of 85” that allows retirement once a member’s age and years of service equals or exceeds 85. The substitute maintains the other provisions of the original bill. The Committee only heard testimony in this second meeting, reserving a vote for a later date.

Committee Updates

House Appropriations Committee -- Education Subcommittee

The Education Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, chaired by Rep. Robert Dickey (R-Musella), met this morning to hear public testimony on the FY 2020 Budget. Speakers included:

  • Yalanda Bell of the Georgia Association for Career & Technical Education requested an increase in the statewide bond funding for vocational equipment from $5M provided in Governor’s budget proposal to $14.4M to cover the actual need. Ms. Bell noted that these funds will go to equip new and renovated CTAE labs across the state, including  14 construction labs, 19 AV labs, 18 IT labs, and 18 STEM labs, all of which are high-demand areas. Chairman Dicket noted that CTAE is a “very important program to him” and asked for clarification on the equipment procurement process, which Ms. Bell noted was handled on the local level using local procurement processes. Rep. Todd Jones (R-South Forsyth) asked whether CTAE courses are being offered virtually in addition to in physical labs, to which Ms. Bell responded affirmatively.
  • Gail Smith, of the Georgia School Counselor Association, spoke to request that school counselors be included in the statewide teacher pay raise. Ms. Smith emphasized school counselors’ role in providing educational and mental health supports to students and improving overall school climate. She also requested that the legislature fully fund the statutory counselor ratio of 1 to 450 students. The ratio was added to statute in 2013, but counselors have not been funded for gifted and special education FTE segments. Funding would result in 270 additional counselors. Rep. Wes Cantrell (R-Woodstock) asked the cost of fully funding the ratio. Rep. Kevin Tanner (R-Dawsonville) asked Ms. Smith’s personal thoughts on teacher raises versus increasing the counselor ratio, to which Ms. Smith noted that equity in the teacher pay raise is “top of mind” but addressing the ratio is an important long-term goal. Rep. Randy Nix (R-LaGrange) inquired about the turnover rate for counselors, to which Ms. Smith stated that with her experience in Cobb County, they lost about 30 counselors per year due to a variety of reasons. Chairman Dickey expressed interest in counselors being educated about local industry so that graduating students are workforce-ready.
  • Laura Dilly, a representative of the Georgia Psychological Association, spoke to request that school psychologists and other mental health providers be included in the statewide teacher pay raise. Dr. Dilly focused on the important role that these individuals play in helping address student behavioral health needs that can often go untreated. Rep. Valencia Stovall (D-Forest Park) asked about the efficacy of telepsychology in schools and recommendations for grappling with the shortage of psychologists. Ms. Dilly noted that telepsychology can be useful but does not replace face-to-face care in schools, and there needs to be more integration between school practitioners and those in the outside world. Rep. Nix asked for an idea of the difference in pay between a school psychologist and a non-school psychologist, to which Ms. Dilly noted it is about $15,000.
  • Ursula Harris, Patrick Hartigan, and Don Wessels spoke on behalf of the School Social Workers Association of Georgia.  They requested that school social workers and other mental health providers be included in the statewide teacher pay raise. Dr. Harris noted that school social workers work to remove barriers to student success on a ratio of 1 to 1,475 students. Rep. Stovall asked for the division of labor between school social workers and other support professionals in serving students, to which Mr. Hartigan noted social workers make home visits and serve as a jacks-of-all-trades and first responders for mental health crises. Mr. Wessels noted that school social workers do work in concert with counselors and psychologists. Rep. Jones asked if more state resources are being directed to most high-need areas, to which the speakers said no, and that districts choose how to hire and deploy social workers. There is no mandated ratio for school social workers.
  • Ellen Reynolds, of the Georgia Child Care Association, thanked Governor Kemp for including Pre-K teachers in the teacher pay raise and requested that if the legislature needs to reduce raises to include all certified professionals.  However, the group is appreciative of working towards getting these folks the $3,000 raises as well as two percent merit adjustments.  Ms. Reynolds noted that there are 7,600 teachers in these facilities (both lead and half assistant lead teachers).
  • Emily Acker, CEO of Hillside, and Dr. Christina Kennedy, the school principal of Hillside and representing Together Georgia and the Georgia Alliance of Therapeutic Services requested maintenance of Non-QBE Formula Grant funding for residential treatment centers and the statewide teacher raise for their teachers.  Ms. Acker raised the concern about the proposed $503,000 included in the FY 2020 Budget may not be enough to capture all the certificated personnel.  Dr. Kennedy also spoke to the teacher recruitment challenges for RTCs since their educators cannot participate in TRS or the State Health Benefit Plan.  Chairman Dickey indicated that he had been made aware of the TRS situation.
  • Margaret Ciccarelli, with the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, expressed appreciation for inclusion of the statewide teacher raise in the FY 2020 Budget proposal and requested that legislators ensure that all certified professionals, many of which play vital school safety roles, are included in a raise. She noted that PAGE is standing ready to work with legislators to help find a solution that helps all certified professionals and prevents the creation of two salary schedules.
  • Jacqueline Browning, a private citizen and school psychologist, spoke of a “growing crisis” in Georgia for school psychologists and requested that school psychologists be included in the statewide teacher pay raise. She noted that there are many open and unfillable positions across the state due to high ratios and low salaries. She noted that they presently have a funded ratio of 1:2,400 but it is recommended for there to be one psychologist for every 1,000 students.  In her area, she is one psychologist serving 3,500 students.  She stressed that something must be done to make the profession more appealing and that school psychologists are very much a part of the education team for the child.  Further, she told the Subcommittee that as of February 15, 2019 on teach.org, there were 23 open school psychologist positions in the State.

House Education Committee — Academic Innovation Subcommittee

The Academic Innovation Subcommittee of the House Education Committee, chaired by Rep. Dave Belton (R-Buckhead), met to hear two bills today:

  • HB 68, authored by Rep. John Carson (R-Marietta), amends Title 20 to prohibit certain entities from being student scholarship organizations. Specifically, the bill bars affiliates of entities that provide accreditation of elementary or secondary schools from operating as a student scholarship organization. Bob Jason of the Georgia Student Scholarship Organization spoke in favor of the bill, and the Department of Education expressed support for the bill. The Subcommittee recommended the bill DO PASS and be sent to the full Education Committee.
  • HB 169, authored by Rep. Carolyn Hugley (D-Columbus), amends Title 20 to require the Board of Education to create a course of study in financial education for grades K-12.  In her presentation, Rep. Hugley noted that people who lack basic financial skills pay more for things throughout life and age-appropriate education on financial literacy is important from a young age. Rep. Wes Cantrell (R-Woodstock) asked if there is anything prohibiting local school districts from implementing financial education, to which Rep. Hugley responded in the negative but noted that a uniform curriculum and requirement is better and that 20 states already do something similar. Rep. Brenda Lopez Romero (D-Norcross) cited Junior Achievement’s model of age-appropriate financial training and life skill instruction. Rep. Doreen Carter (D-Lithonia),who owns a financial education company, called on the Subcommittee to figure out how to deliver this content. Chairman Belton noted he was taught financial literacy and asked how much time should be used on this in the classroom, to which Rep. Hugley suggested that DOE should be consulted to determine how to interweave the content into existing curriculum. Dr. Garry McGiboney of the Department of Education noted that the Department is interested in embedding self help skills in the K-12 curriculum and that personal financial literacy is now incorporated in the K-8 social studies curriculum and there are a number of classes and clusters in high school focused on financial literacy. Chairman Belton asked why we still have issues if standards and curriculum already exist, to which McGiboney stated that the Department develops curriculum but districts must deliver it. The Subcommittee took no action on the bill today.

House Appropriations Committee

Chairman Terry England (R-Auburn) and his Committee took up one proposal in a late afternoon meeting, HB 321. This legislation is from the Governor’s office and was presented by Floor Leader Jodi Lott (R-Evans). This bill is an extension of time for the State’s hospital Medicaid financing program in O.C.G.A. 31-8-179.6, which is overseen by the Department of Community Health. Presently, the program stands to be repealed on June 30, 2020 and this change extends the program to June 30, 2025. Further, it gives the Department of Community Health the authority for its oversight. Leader Lott explained that the financing program is critical to Medicaid as it generates $311 million and an additional $657 million is drawn down in federal funding.  Thus, if Georgia did not renew this law, it could be a potential $1 billion hole in the State’s budget which would cause a detrimental effect on Medicaid beneficiaries and providers who serve them.  The Committee had no questions and gave HB 321 a DO PASS recommendation, moving the bill to the House Rules Committee.

House Insurance Committee

The House Insurance Committee, chaired by Rep. Richard Smith (R-Columbus), met to consider three bills today. The Committee passed HB 310, a proposition by Rep. Greg Morris (R-Vidalia) relating to autism, and HB 99, Chairman Smith’s Insurance Code cleanup bill. After intense questioning and a Committee interest in changing the arbitration provisions to mediation provisions, the Chair agreed to hold his HB 84 until next week so the arbitration provisions can be properly amended. This bill concerns surprise billing issues and provides for public disclosures of facts relating to out of network providers’ involvement in elective procedures in hospitals and surgery centers and estimates of the cost of services to patients. The Medical Association of Georgia did pitch its position that disputes about balanced billing in emergency situations should have a default price based on the Fair Health database.

House Higher Education Committee

Following through on his promise for an expedited meeting, Chairman Chuck Martin (R-Alpharetta) briefly addressed the committee, explaining that the committee would take action on HB 42, which amends multiple Titles to prevent professional licensing boards from refusing to issue a license or suspending or revoking a license of a person who is in default of an educational loan issued through the Georgia Higher Education Assistance Corporation or through a federal agency. With no discussion from the committee members, and no public comment, the bill received a unanimous DO PASS recommendation. 

House Budget and Fiscal Affairs Committee

The House Budget and Fiscal Affairs Committee, chaired by Rep. Lee Hawkins (R-Gainesville) met to take up one bill today. HB 197, authored by Rep. Katie Dempsey (R-Rome), relates to a Strategic Integrated Data System. A new version of the legislation was presented in which the name of this system is changed to the “Georgia Data Analytics Center.”  With Rep. Dempsey today was DFCS Director Tom Rawlings who also spoke in favor of the proposal. This legislation is an attempt to break down silos in state government and provide real time data and information. Rep. Dempsey explained that such information is important for the Governor as well as the General Assembly, in addition to agencies. It will allow cross-agency and program information and have a repository for data reported. The oversight for this new Center will be housed in the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget. The bill contains definitions, project description, oversight, authorization to allow the AG to review, a reporting mechanism, and options for funding to make the Center viable. The legislation is the culmination of a number of discussions with the Office of Planning and Budget with input from the AG. The information can outline performance and cost metrics so as to inform the Governor and lawmakers about the success of a program or agency’s (e.g. loss or gain). Director Rawlings pointed that the legislation could help determine data and how it could be integrated to triage complaints that DFCS receives (they get 140,000 annually on child abuse) and better ways to respond in a more sophisticated way. He also described that the Center would allow a mechanism to look at costs to serve individuals across agencies (for instance looking at Departments of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities and Department of Education (such as a child’s IEP) and to correlate the data to get the right services to fill the needs of a child. In the long run, he feels that this new system will allow agencies in Georgia to serve Georgians better and save funds.  There were some inquiries such as around “control” of the data;” protections of privacy; other states’ efforts around similar measures (which Rawlings indicated would permit Georgia to align its work between agencies and that’s been done elsewhere); tracking of certain problems (such as HIV cases); discretion over use of the data. The bill (LC 37 7770S) received a DO PASS recommendation and moves to the House Rules Committee.

House Juvenile Justice Committee

Chairman Mandi Ballinger (R-Canton) and her Committee discussed two proposals:

  • HB 228, by Rep. Andy Welch (R-McDonough), came before the Committee with some changes after the hearing was held last week. The most substantive change addressed seemed to be one in which the type of evidence which could be considered in the language contained in the proposal addressing a hearing on emancipation and what the court may consider in O.C.G.A. 15-11-725. The legislation changes the minimum age of marriage from 16 to 17 years of age. The new Substitute, LC 41 1848S received a DO PASS recommendation; the bill moves to House Rules Committee.
  • The second proposal addressed was HB 234, again a new Substitute was before the Committee addressing changes in Titles 9, 15, 16, 17 and 41.  This initiative by Rep. Chuck Efstration (R-Dacula) is the “Anti-Human Trafficking Protective Response Act” and its new Substitute, LC 34 5516 ERS received a DO PASS recommendation with an amendment offered by the Bill’s author addressing prima facia evidence that would be considered.  The amendment was an agreement between the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, Prosecuting Attorneys Council, and advocates against human trafficking. The Committee cleared the proposal with reading of the change which began at lines 127 through 158, starting with the definition of “sexually related charges.”  It does address the repeal of the offense of “pandering by compulsion” so as to address a rule of lenity so that an individual cannot receive a charge to a lesser offense where he or she otherwise would be convicted of human trafficking.

Senate Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee

Chairman John Albers (R-Roswell) presented a new version to SB 15, the “Keeping Georgia’s Schools Safe Act.” The proposal was yet another version of the legislation. This legislation is a part of a package on school safety and security measures and the result of discussions from a Senate Study Committee which met over the summer and fall of 2018. The legislation has a number of components, including:

  • A process for threat assessments to be conducted every three years by a third-party with input from local law enforcement;
  • A plan to review these assessments annually and the submission of those to the Department of Education;
  • Language to deal with busing and transportation efforts;
  • Training and designating by a school principal as the school safety coordinator or his/her designee  (who will work with agencies and conduct tests to make sure the assessments are reviewed and drills are conducted annually);
  • Information sharing with the Department of Education about threats and best practices and coordinate with the GBI and its entities;
  • Creation of a school safety coach program (language is permissive and not a mandate) to help with emergencies (these coaches are former law enforcement, EMS, and/or former military service members and GEMA will help with the training of these coaches);
  • Use of the See Something, Say Something app (and other like technology as it may evolve);
  • Allowing GBI to monitor and conduct investigations when a threat is received; and
  • Permitting investigations by AG, DAs and other agencies to verify such threats.

There were several who testified about the “unintended consequences” that the legislation potentially creates. Those who talked included representatives from a parent. SB 15 received a DO PASS recommendation and moves to the Senate Rules Committee.

Senate Education and Youth Committee

Chairman P.K.Martin (R-Lawrenceville) began by calling on Sen. Freddie Powell Sims to introduce SB 68 which amends Title 20 to strengthen provisions for the training of local boards of education members and local school superintendents in financial management of school districts. She made sure to note that the legislation’s intention is not to punish any entity but rather to ensure that funds are spent correctly, especially in high-risk districts. Because the committee had previously heard the bill, Chairman Martin entertained a motion DO PASS from Sen. Lindsey Tippins (R-Marietta) which passed unanimously.

Sen. Steve Henson (D-Stone Mountain) presented SB 85 that amends Title 20 to establish an early child care scholarship program. The bill outlines that the scholarship should be in the amount of monthly payments that exceed seven percent of the family's income. The bill gives authority to the Department of Early Care and Learning to establish the maximum amount for eligible monthly payments. Sen. Henson walked the Committee through the bill and gave insight into specific provisions including the qualifications for the scholarship. He noted that he is not seeking a vote and is currently in the early stages of developing the policy. He indicated the key provision of the bill comes from the funding mechanism which must go through the legislative appropriations process before the Department of Education can begin paying out scholarship awards. The estimated cost of the fully funded program is around $350 million according to the budget office.

Sen. Jesse Stone (R-Waynesboro) had a series of questions. First he inquired if the scholarship would be limited to child care with an educational component. Sen. Henson indicated that DECAL would have the ability to create their own guidelines. Sen. Stone then asked why the qualifications required a two-month average of childcare costs. Sen. Henson explained this provision is to ensure the recipient has shown sufficient need. Sen. Stone then asked about the economic benefit of a parent staying home to care for their child as opposed to entering the workforce. Sen. Henson responded that there is currently an economic loss from this phenomenon and the bill attempts to address this issue. Sen. Lindsey Tippins asked if Sen. Henson has consulted DECAL about the bill. Sen. Henson indicated that he has not had an extended dialogue with the department. The Committee took no action on the bill, at the author’s request.

Mandy Binderman, Executive Director of GEEARS, gave testimony urging the Senate to help raise awareness for the CAPS program to further increase the number of families that can afford childcare.

Zach Fields, from the Construction Education Foundation of GA, gave the committee an update on the results of SB 3 from the previous session. The bill incentivized CTAE workforce best practices. These programs are industry credential driven. Mr. Fields highlighted specific instance of successful program implementation at high schools across Georgia including Jordan H.S. in Columbus and North Cobb H.S.

Senate Judiciary Committee

The Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Sen. Jesse Stone (R-Waynesboro), met to consider two bills today:

  • SB 104, authored by Sen. Chuck Payne (R-Dalton), amends Title 31 to clarify the law relating to parental consent to an order not to resuscitate their child. Current law states that a parent “may consent” to a DNR order for their minor child, and the bill removes that language to provide that a DNR order may not be issued unless a parent gives oral or written consent. Chairman Stone inquired as to whether the provision needed to be expanded to allow for consent of a guardian or kinship caregiver, to which Sen. Payne suggested that subsection (e) of the code section addressed those situations. Sen. Payne reiterated that he did not intend to change the law but merely to clarify it as in statute. The Family Policy Alliance of Georgia spoke in favor of the legislation. There was some question among Committee members whether “parent” is defined in the statute, and the Committee held action on the bill until that question could be addressed.
  • SB 9, authored by Sen. Harold Jones (D-Augusta), amends Title 16 to provide penalties for coercing an individual over the age of 18 to perform a variety of sexually explicit acts. Sen. Jones proposed a number of changes to his legislation, and given the magnitude of the changes, the Chair held the bill without action.

Senate Special Judiciary Committee

Late yesterday, the Senate Special Judiciary Committee under the new leadership of Sen, Jen Jordan (D-Atlanta) met for its first meeting to take up SB 32 and SB 69, both pieces of legislation dealing with animal cruelty.  The Committee adopted Committee Rules and proceeded to hear both measures.  Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick (R-Marietta) presented her bill which addresses Title 51 liability issues of an individual rendering emergency care to animals in distress.   She further explained that similar laws on this issue had been adopted in 14 other states.  This is an extension of Georgia’s Good Samaritan laws.  It requires the rescuer of the animal to contact 911 emergency services for first responders to help.  Sen. Elena Parent (D-Atlanta) and Sen. Zahra Karinshak, both attorneys, had the most questions.  Sen. Parent wanted clarification around the requirement of the individual to wait until 911 arrive before rendering aid in order to get the protection from liability.  There were public comments of support including from the Georgia Canine Coalition, Claudine Wilkins, a former Cobb County Assistant District Attorney and expert on animal laws in Georgia; and Humane Society.  Also, Cobb County Assistant District Attorney Chuck Boring spoke on behalf of the bill noting it addresses common situations which occur more frequently than are reported in the news,  This legislation’s immunity is only dealing with civil damages.  Legislative Counsel was asked to help craft an amendment to SB 32 to clarify about needing first responders to be present before any assistance of the animal be provided.  The Committee adopted an amendment offered in subsection (c) and passed the legislation by a new Committee Substitute.  SB 69, by Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson (D-Tucker), presented a substitute to his Title 4 proposal which seeks to clarify situations where there are repeat offenders to Georgia’s animal cruelty laws.  His legislation offers judicial discretion to address those individuals, permitting the court for instance to prohibit an offender from owning or possessing an animal if he or she is convicted of such charges.  Committee members inquired about penalties for violators - if they should come into possession of an animal after the court had prohibited such.  After much discussion, the Committee opted to hold the bill and take it up again next Tuesday after some additional language could be drawn to provide some remedies to violations.  It was noted that Florida had adopted language similar to this bill in 2018.

Senate Economic Development Committee

Chairman Frank Ginn (R-Danielsville) began the committee by hearing Sen. Brandon Beach’s (R-Alpharetta) bill, SB 45, which establishes a horse racing commission in Georgia along with outlining provisions for the construction and regulation of horse racing facilities in Georgia. Sen. Beach walked the committee through the changes in proposed amendments which included allowing tracks to reduce the required 60 days of racing to 45 along with striking language about tobacco to fall in line with concerns from local municipalities. Sen. Beach reiterated that the state would not be offering any financial assistance in the construction or operation of the facilities. He also explained that the economic windfall for the state would be considerable. He received brief questions from members of the committee, mostly clarifying the language of the new amendments. SB 45 received a recommendation DO PASS as committee substitute.

Sen. David Lucas’s (D-Macon) SB 80 also passed through the committee. This bill deletes out-of-date language about the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and allows the legislature to use funds allocated for the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame to increase its exposure.

Senate Retirement Committee

Chairman Ellis Black (R-Valdosta) began by calling on Sen. Michael Rhett (D-Marietta) to present SB 47 which allows members who work for the state to buy into the State Retirement System for up to five years for credible military service. Chairman Black explained that this bill would not cost the state any money.

New Legislation

The following legislation of interest was introduced in the House today:

  • HB 351, authored by Rep. El-Mahdi Holly (D-Stockbridge), amends Title 40 to outline fines for failure to stop for a school bus. The first offensive results in a fine of no more than $250 and the second offense within five years results in a fine between $500-$1000. This bill was referred to the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.
  • HB 354, authored by Rep. Pedro Marin (D-Duluth), amends Title 40 to stipulate that parking permits for individuals with disabilities must include a recent photograph of the individual. This bill was referred to the House Motor Vehicles Committee.
  • HB 359, authored by Rep. Scott Holcomb (D-Atlanta), amends Title 17 to revise procedures for investigations and arrests related to family violence. The bill adds language to prevent officers from threatening to arrested all involved parties. This bill was referred to the House Juvenile Justice Committee.
  • HB 364, authored by Rep. William Boddie (D-East Point), amends Title 17 to authorize second chances for those convicted of controlled substance violations so long as they were between the ages of 17 and 25 when convicted and have no been convicted of a crime for five years after the completion of their sentence. This bill was referred to the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.
  • HB 366, authored by Rep. Gloria Frazier (D-Hephzibah), amends Title 40 to create a license plate benefiting the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia, Inc. This bill was referred to the House Motor Vehicles Committee.
  • HB 369, authored by Rep. David Wilkerson (D-Powder Springs), amends Title 20 to require the development of an educational fact sheet concerning the use and misuse of opioid drugs in the event that a student-athlete or cheerleader is prescribed a opioid for a sports-related injury. This bill was referred to the House Education Committee.
  • HB 370, authored by Rep. Sharon Cooper (R-Marietta), amends Title 43, to provide that advanced practice registered nurses may order up to a 14 day supply of non-narcotic drugs as necessary in an emergency situation. This bill was referred to the House Health and Human Services Committee.
  • HB 374, authored by Rep. John LaHood (R-Valdosta), amends Title 31 to provide that qualified medication aides in hospice care may administer medications according to the instruction of a licensed physician. This bill was referred to the House Human Relations and Aging Committee.
  • HB 376, authored by Rep. Sheri Gilligan (R-Cumming), amends Title 1 to provide that September 1 of each year shall be Childhood Cancer Awareness Day in the State of Georgia. This bill was referred to the House Special Rules Committee.
  • HR 261, authored by Rep. Mark Newton (R-Augusta), creates the Joint Study Committee on Evaluating and Simplifying Physician Oversight of Midlevel Providers. This resolution was referred to the House Health and Human Services Committee. 

The following legislation of interest was introduced in the Senate today:

  • SB 129, authored by Sen. Chuck Hufstetler (R-Rome), amends Title 47 to allow a person that made an irrevocable decision to decline membership in the Teacher Retirement System and participate in the Regents Retirement System to nevertheless revoke that decision and participate in the TRS. This bill was referred to the Senate Retirement Committee.
  • SB 132, authored by Sen. Marty Harbin (R-Tyrone), amends Title 33 to provide modernization updates to the insurance code. This bill was referred to the Senate Insurance Committee.
  • SB 202, authored by Sen. Chuck Hufstetler (R-Rome), creates the Joint Study Committee on Evaluating and Simplifying Physician Oversight of Midlevel Providers. This resolution was referred to the Senate Rules Committee.

Rules Calendars for Legislative Day 19

The House is expected to consider the following measures tomorrow for Legislative Day 19:

  • HB 59 -- Education; military students enroll in public school based on official military orders prior to physically establishing residency; allow (Ed-Belton-112th)
  • HB 85 -- Sales and use tax; organ procurement organizations; exempt sales (W&M-Houston-170th)
  • HB 130 -- State Board of Education; authorize the Georgia Foundation for Public Education to establish a nonprofit corporation to qualify as a public foundation; authorize (Substitute)(Ed-Nix-69th)
  • HB 160 -- Community Health, Department of; pilot program to provide coverage for bariatric surgical procedures; reinstate (H&HS-Dempsey-13th)
  • HB 186 -- Health; sale or lease of a hospital by a hospital authority; revise provisions (Substitute)(GAff-Stephens-164th)
  • HB 183 -- Ad valorem tax; right to appeal for any taxpayer that fails to file a property tax return or whose property tax return was deemed returned; provide (W&M-Harrell-106th)
  • HR 37 -- Georgia Commission on Freight and Logistics; create (Substitute) (Trans-Tanner-9th)

The Senate is expected to consider the following measures tomorrow for Legislative Day 19:

  • HB 30 -- Supplemental appropriations; State Fiscal Year July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2019 (Substitute) (APPROP-4th) Ralston-7th
  • SB 1 -- "C.J.'s Law"; penalty for hit and run accidents that result in serious injury; provide (Substitute) (JUDY-42nd)
  • SB 72 -- Game and Fish; hunting on wildlife management areas; prohibition; remove (NR&E-7th)
    SB 76 -- Veterinarians and Veterinary Technicians; veterinary technicians as veterinary nurses; redesignate (Substitute) (AG&CA-8th)

 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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This Privacy Policy describes how JD Supra, LLC ("JD Supra" or "we," "us," or "our") collects, uses and shares personal data collected from visitors to our website (located at www.jdsupra.com) (our "Website") who view only publicly-available content as well as subscribers to our services (such as our email digests or author tools)(our "Services"). By using our Website and registering for one of our Services, you are agreeing to the terms of this Privacy Policy.

Please note that if you subscribe to one of our Services, you can make choices about how we collect, use and share your information through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard (available if you are logged into your JD Supra account).

Collection of Information

Registration Information. When you register with JD Supra for our Website and Services, either as an author or as a subscriber, you will be asked to provide identifying information to create your JD Supra account ("Registration Data"), such as your:

  • Email
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Company Name
  • Company Industry
  • Title
  • Country

Other Information: We also collect other information you may voluntarily provide. This may include content you provide for publication. We may also receive your communications with others through our Website and Services (such as contacting an author through our Website) or communications directly with us (such as through email, feedback or other forms or social media). If you are a subscribed user, we will also collect your user preferences, such as the types of articles you would like to read.

Information from third parties (such as, from your employer or LinkedIn): We may also receive information about you from third party sources. For example, your employer may provide your information to us, such as in connection with an article submitted by your employer for publication. If you choose to use LinkedIn to subscribe to our Website and Services, we also collect information related to your LinkedIn account and profile.

Your interactions with our Website and Services: As is true of most websites, we gather certain information automatically. This information includes IP addresses, browser type, Internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, operating system, date/time stamp and clickstream data. We use this information to analyze trends, to administer the Website and our Services, to improve the content and performance of our Website and Services, and to track users' movements around the site. We may also link this automatically-collected data to personal information, for example, to inform authors about who has read their articles. Some of this data is collected through information sent by your web browser. We also use cookies and other tracking technologies to collect this information. To learn more about cookies and other tracking technologies that JD Supra may use on our Website and Services please see our "Cookies Guide" page.

How do we use this information?

We use the information and data we collect principally in order to provide our Website and Services. More specifically, we may use your personal information to:

  • Operate our Website and Services and publish content;
  • Distribute content to you in accordance with your preferences as well as to provide other notifications to you (for example, updates about our policies and terms);
  • Measure readership and usage of the Website and Services;
  • Communicate with you regarding your questions and requests;
  • Authenticate users and to provide for the safety and security of our Website and Services;
  • Conduct research and similar activities to improve our Website and Services; and
  • Comply with our legal and regulatory responsibilities and to enforce our rights.

How is your information shared?

  • Content and other public information (such as an author profile) is shared on our Website and Services, including via email digests and social media feeds, and is accessible to the general public.
  • If you choose to use our Website and Services to communicate directly with a company or individual, such communication may be shared accordingly.
  • Readership information is provided to publishing law firms and authors of content to give them insight into their readership and to help them to improve their content.
  • Our Website may offer you the opportunity to share information through our Website, such as through Facebook's "Like" or Twitter's "Tweet" button. We offer this functionality to help generate interest in our Website and content and to permit you to recommend content to your contacts. You should be aware that sharing through such functionality may result in information being collected by the applicable social media network and possibly being made publicly available (for example, through a search engine). Any such information collection would be subject to such third party social media network's privacy policy.
  • Your information may also be shared to parties who support our business, such as professional advisors as well as web-hosting providers, analytics providers and other information technology providers.
  • Any court, governmental authority, law enforcement agency or other third party where we believe disclosure is necessary to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation, or otherwise to protect our rights, the rights of any third party or individuals' personal safety, or to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or safety issues.
  • To our affiliated entities and in connection with the sale, assignment or other transfer of our company or our business.

How We Protect Your Information

JD Supra takes reasonable and appropriate precautions to insure that user information is protected from loss, misuse and unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration and destruction. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. You should keep in mind that no Internet transmission is ever 100% secure or error-free. Where you use log-in credentials (usernames, passwords) on our Website, please remember that it is your responsibility to safeguard them. If you believe that your log-in credentials have been compromised, please contact us at privacy@jdsupra.com.

Children's Information

Our Website and Services are not directed at children under the age of 16 and we do not knowingly collect personal information from children under the age of 16 through our Website and/or Services. If you have reason to believe that a child under the age of 16 has provided personal information to us, please contact us, and we will endeavor to delete that information from our databases.

Links to Other Websites

Our Website and Services may contain links to other websites. The operators of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using our Website or Services and click a link to another site, you will leave our Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We are not responsible for the data collection and use practices of such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of our Website and Services and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Information for EU and Swiss Residents

JD Supra's principal place of business is in the United States. By subscribing to our website, you expressly consent to your information being processed in the United States.

  • Our Legal Basis for Processing: Generally, we rely on our legitimate interests in order to process your personal information. For example, we rely on this legal ground if we use your personal information to manage your Registration Data and administer our relationship with you; to deliver our Website and Services; understand and improve our Website and Services; report reader analytics to our authors; to personalize your experience on our Website and Services; and where necessary to protect or defend our or another's rights or property, or to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security, safety or privacy issues. Please see Article 6(1)(f) of the E.U. General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR") In addition, there may be other situations where other grounds for processing may exist, such as where processing is a result of legal requirements (GDPR Article 6(1)(c)) or for reasons of public interest (GDPR Article 6(1)(e)). Please see the "Your Rights" section of this Privacy Policy immediately below for more information about how you may request that we limit or refrain from processing your personal information.
  • Your Rights
    • Right of Access/Portability: You can ask to review details about the information we hold about you and how that information has been used and disclosed. Note that we may request to verify your identification before fulfilling your request. You can also request that your personal information is provided to you in a commonly used electronic format so that you can share it with other organizations.
    • Right to Correct Information: You may ask that we make corrections to any information we hold, if you believe such correction to be necessary.
    • Right to Restrict Our Processing or Erasure of Information: You also have the right in certain circumstances to ask us to restrict processing of your personal information or to erase your personal information. Where you have consented to our use of your personal information, you can withdraw your consent at any time.

You can make a request to exercise any of these rights by emailing us at privacy@jdsupra.com or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

You can also manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard.

We will make all practical efforts to respect your wishes. There may be times, however, where we are not able to fulfill your request, for example, if applicable law prohibits our compliance. Please note that JD Supra does not use "automatic decision making" or "profiling" as those terms are defined in the GDPR.

  • Timeframe for retaining your personal information: We will retain your personal information in a form that identifies you only for as long as it serves the purpose(s) for which it was initially collected as stated in this Privacy Policy, or subsequently authorized. We may continue processing your personal information for longer periods, but only for the time and to the extent such processing reasonably serves the purposes of archiving in the public interest, journalism, literature and art, scientific or historical research and statistical analysis, and subject to the protection of this Privacy Policy. For example, if you are an author, your personal information may continue to be published in connection with your article indefinitely. When we have no ongoing legitimate business need to process your personal information, we will either delete or anonymize it, or, if this is not possible (for example, because your personal information has been stored in backup archives), then we will securely store your personal information and isolate it from any further processing until deletion is possible.
  • Onward Transfer to Third Parties: As noted in the "How We Share Your Data" Section above, JD Supra may share your information with third parties. When JD Supra discloses your personal information to third parties, we have ensured that such third parties have either certified under the EU-U.S. or Swiss Privacy Shield Framework and will process all personal data received from EU member states/Switzerland in reliance on the applicable Privacy Shield Framework or that they have been subjected to strict contractual provisions in their contract with us to guarantee an adequate level of data protection for your data.

California Privacy Rights

Pursuant to Section 1798.83 of the California Civil Code, our customers who are California residents have the right to request certain information regarding our disclosure of personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes.

You can make a request for this information by emailing us at privacy@jdsupra.com or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

Some browsers have incorporated a Do Not Track (DNT) feature. These features, when turned on, send a signal that you prefer that the website you are visiting not collect and use data regarding your online searching and browsing activities. As there is not yet a common understanding on how to interpret the DNT signal, we currently do not respond to DNT signals on our site.

Access/Correct/Update/Delete Personal Information

For non-EU/Swiss residents, if you would like to know what personal information we have about you, you can send an e-mail to privacy@jdsupra.com. We will be in contact with you (by mail or otherwise) to verify your identity and provide you the information you request. We will respond within 30 days to your request for access to your personal information. In some cases, we may not be able to remove your personal information, in which case we will let you know if we are unable to do so and why. If you would like to correct or update your personal information, you can manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard. If you would like to delete your account or remove your information from our Website and Services, send an e-mail to privacy@jdsupra.com.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our Privacy Policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use our Website and Services following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, the practices of this site, your dealings with our Website or Services, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: privacy@jdsupra.com.

JD Supra Cookie Guide

As with many websites, JD Supra's website (located at www.jdsupra.com) (our "Website") and our services (such as our email article digests)(our "Services") use a standard technology called a "cookie" and other similar technologies (such as, pixels and web beacons), which are small data files that are transferred to your computer when you use our Website and Services. These technologies automatically identify your browser whenever you interact with our Website and Services.

How We Use Cookies and Other Tracking Technologies

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to:

  1. Improve the user experience on our Website and Services;
  2. Store the authorization token that users receive when they login to the private areas of our Website. This token is specific to a user's login session and requires a valid username and password to obtain. It is required to access the user's profile information, subscriptions, and analytics;
  3. Track anonymous site usage; and
  4. Permit connectivity with social media networks to permit content sharing.

There are different types of cookies and other technologies used our Website, notably:

  • "Session cookies" - These cookies only last as long as your online session, and disappear from your computer or device when you close your browser (like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Safari).
  • "Persistent cookies" - These cookies stay on your computer or device after your browser has been closed and last for a time specified in the cookie. We use persistent cookies when we need to know who you are for more than one browsing session. For example, we use them to remember your preferences for the next time you visit.
  • "Web Beacons/Pixels" - Some of our web pages and emails may also contain small electronic images known as web beacons, clear GIFs or single-pixel GIFs. These images are placed on a web page or email and typically work in conjunction with cookies to collect data. We use these images to identify our users and user behavior, such as counting the number of users who have visited a web page or acted upon one of our email digests.

JD Supra Cookies. We place our own cookies on your computer to track certain information about you while you are using our Website and Services. For example, we place a session cookie on your computer each time you visit our Website. We use these cookies to allow you to log-in to your subscriber account. In addition, through these cookies we are able to collect information about how you use the Website, including what browser you may be using, your IP address, and the URL address you came from upon visiting our Website and the URL you next visit (even if those URLs are not on our Website). We also utilize email web beacons to monitor whether our emails are being delivered and read. We also use these tools to help deliver reader analytics to our authors to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

Analytics/Performance Cookies. JD Supra also uses the following analytic tools to help us analyze the performance of our Website and Services as well as how visitors use our Website and Services:

  • HubSpot - For more information about HubSpot cookies, please visit legal.hubspot.com/privacy-policy.
  • New Relic - For more information on New Relic cookies, please visit www.newrelic.com/privacy.
  • Google Analytics - For more information on Google Analytics cookies, visit www.google.com/policies. To opt-out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout. This will allow you to download and install a Google Analytics cookie-free web browser.

Facebook, Twitter and other Social Network Cookies. Our content pages allow you to share content appearing on our Website and Services to your social media accounts through the "Like," "Tweet," or similar buttons displayed on such pages. To accomplish this Service, we embed code that such third party social networks provide and that we do not control. These buttons know that you are logged in to your social network account and therefore such social networks could also know that you are viewing the JD Supra Website.

Controlling and Deleting Cookies

If you would like to change how a browser uses cookies, including blocking or deleting cookies from the JD Supra Website and Services you can do so by changing the settings in your web browser. To control cookies, most browsers allow you to either accept or reject all cookies, only accept certain types of cookies, or prompt you every time a site wishes to save a cookie. It's also easy to delete cookies that are already saved on your device by a browser.

The processes for controlling and deleting cookies vary depending on which browser you use. To find out how to do so with a particular browser, you can use your browser's "Help" function or alternatively, you can visit http://www.aboutcookies.org which explains, step-by-step, how to control and delete cookies in most browsers.

Updates to This Policy

We may update this cookie policy and our Privacy Policy from time-to-time, particularly as technology changes. You can always check this page for the latest version. We may also notify you of changes to our privacy policy by email.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about how we use cookies and other tracking technologies, please contact us at: privacy@jdsupra.com.

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