Crossover Day at the Georgia Assembly marks the last chance for bills to be voted out of one side of the legislature for consideration by the other side. But that doesn’t mean that whatever is in a bill that doesn’t pass won’t make a surprise reappearance as an amendment to another bill before the end of the session.
Among top pieces of legislation to watch today are:
- SB 31: This bill would impose a 15-day deadline after a criminal case is decided to file a motion for a hearing “to determine whether the district attorney failed to perform his or her official duties.” If the judge decides against the DA, then the state attorney general can make the DA’s office pick up the AG’s time and travel expenses. Democrats say the bill would be used for partisan reasons; Republicans say they want to hold DAs accountable. Clayton County District Attorney Tasha Mosley testified at a hearing last week; Rep. Yasmin Neal took up for her. Critics say the bill is aimed at Democratic prosecutors, particularly Fulton County DA Fani Willis, who is investigating former President Donald Trump’s interference in the 2020 Presidential election.
- HB 462: This bill would create a committee to consider various factors in raising the age of juvenile offenders to include 17-year-olds. The House passed this bill 145-22.
- HB 17: This bill would require absentee ballot drop boxes to be sealed when not in use and require absentee ballot transport containers to be sealed and a chain of custody form to collect signatures of each person handling those containers. Absentee ballot containers already have seals and chain of custody paperwork, at least in Clayton County. It also would require that absentee ballot drop boxes be “blocked” so as not to be accessible when not in use.
- SB 140 & 141: These bills would prevent medical treatment of minors with gender dysphoria.
- HB 498: This bill, which passed the House 172-0, deals with funeral directors’ lapsed licenses.
- HB 128: Thos bill would drop a requirement that women, minority, and veteran owned businesses would have to be federally certified before applying for state certification through the Department of Administrative Services. Rep. Jasmine Clark pointed out that, although the state has many minority owned businesses, few get state contracts. She added the bill was “great” for women and veterans and that she would vote for it but that the state had much work to do to include more minority contractors. This bill passed the House 160-3.
Rep. Sandra Scott (D-76) told The Clayton Crescent she is worried about low voter turnout in county races.