Georgia session in the books

Published 7:27 pm Tuesday, April 9, 2019

The 2019 legislative session adjourned near midnight on Tuesday, April 2, and it was very productive as we passed over 80 pieces of legislation. Those bills have now been sent to Gov. Kemp, and he has 40 days to decide whether to sign them into law, veto them, or allow them to become law without his signature.  For this article, I’ll focus on legislation that passed in the final hours as the clock clicked down to “Sine Die,” which is a Latin term meaning “without assigning a day for further meeting.”

Throughout this legislative session, the House has supported various initiatives to improve safety in Georgia public schools. This week, we continued our efforts to protect our schools and students with the final passage of Senate Bill 15, which would create the “Keeping Georgia’s Schools Safe Act.” SB 15 would improve school safety by requiring public schools to conduct site threat assessments, or safety plans, using a certified private individual or company or a government agency.

These site threat assessments would conduct, evaluate and implement a safety plan for a school to effectively respond to threats of violence or mass casualty incidents.  Every public school must conduct a site threat assessment before Jan. 1, 2021, and then reevaluate their school safety plan every five years.

Every public school would be required to submit their school safety plan to the Department of Education (DOE) after their local law enforcement agency has approved the plan, and the DOE’s website would keep an updated list of schools that have submitted school safety plans, as well as a list of schools that have not met this requirement.

This bill would provide a framework that will tremendously help our schools become safer environments for our students and more prepared to prevent and handle these terrible situations.

Several bills passed relating to healthcare.

House Bill 186 revises Certificate of Need (CON) provisions, extends the Rural Hospital Tax Credit and creates the Office of Health Strategy and Coordination.

HB 321 includes provisions relating to hospital transparency, requiring a nonprofit hospital, hospital-owned or operated authority, or the authority’s nonprofit corporation to increase transparency by prominently posting online the most recent versions of certain federal and state documents, including audited financial statements for the hospital and its affiliates.

You can reach me throughout the year at my capitol office at (404) 656-5146, or by email at

As always, thank you for allowing me to serve as your representative.