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April 02, 2021 2:44 PM | Anonymous

The end of the 2021 legislative session was marked by Sine Die on March 31, the final date for a bill to be passed by both chambers before being sent to the Governor’s desk. The Governor has 40 days to act upon receipt of a bill. The Governor can either sign the bill into law, veto the bill, or do nothing, which would allow the bill to automatically become law at the end of the 40 days.

Photo Attribution: Ken Lund 2011, Flickr

 Below are bills that ICM tracked and are now before the Governor.

  • Senate Bill 33 -provides a cause of action against perpetrators for victims of human trafficking.
  • Senate Bill 34 -provides that victims of human trafficking may petition for name change under seal.
  • Senate Bill 42-revised bill strikes out much of the original language removing consideration of data regarding student discipline in public schools from school climate determinations and incorporates provisions for disclosure of discipline data.
  • Senate Bill 107- waives tuition and all fees for qualifying foster and adopted students by units of the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia.
  • House Bill 163-Express Lane Eligibility Bill, allows the state to use data from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to identify and enroll uninsured children who are already eligible for Medicaid.
  • House Bill 307-Georgia Telehealth Act, expands existing law to make it easier for health care providers to offer telemedicine services from home including by telephone and to allow patients to receive care at their home, workplace, or school. Insurers could not require that specific platforms to be used to deliver care or set separate deductibles for telemedicine services.

The legislative session is also a reminder that advocacy is a constant and demands fortitude and commitment on behalf of children. This is illustrated by bills ICM tracked, but they did not cross over or failed to get a vote on the floor. However, these bills could be considered in 2022.

  • House Resolution 52, creates the Joint Study Committee on Childhood Lead Exposure and would make recommendations for early intervention and prevention strategies for childhood lead exposure.
  • House Bill 72-New Mothers Medicaid Expansion Act, extends pregnancy Medicaid for women up one year postpartum.
  • House Bill 120- Georgia Resident In-State Tuition Act, allows DACA students to qualify for in-state tuition for the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia.
  • House Bill 272-Raise the Age Bill, expands Juvenile Court jurisdiction to include 17-year-olds who have not committed serious crimes.

We must stay the course and continue the work on behalf of children on these and other issues impacting their well-being. Specifically, ICM has a long-standing history of advocating for Juvenile Justice and has supported efforts to Raise the Age over the years. Although House Bill 272 failed to reach the Senate floor for a vote, its movement through the legislature this year is by far the most progress it has made to date and the closest to becoming law.

ICM extends gratitude and appreciation to all partners, supporters, and advocates for supporting children this legislative session. However, our work endures, and we will continue to rally to make sure voices ROAR on behalf of all children in Georgia.

What can you do?

  • Stay engaged.
  • Learn about issues impacting the well-being of children.
  • Share information throughout your networks.
  • Get to know your legislators now in preparation for the 2022 legislative session.
  • Stay connected with ICM and participate in training opportunities and advocacy forums.

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For over 20 Years, ICM has supported public policies that open windows and doors of opportunity so Georgia’s children achieve their full potential.

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