Legislative day 40, was long and cumbersome.  Both chambers seemed to slow the pace down as the night lingered on and the legislative process was became very bumpy.  No more evident than with HB 322 a Georgia procurement registry bill dealing with the bid process that the House and Senate seemed to become very confused about how to agree, disagree, insist, or recede (all legislative terms to move a bill).  It was tough to watch and wait as both chambers struggled with the procedural back and forth.  The bill did finally pass. But it all ended up to be a pretty positive session for K-12 education.

The Good

SB 68 the audits bill, teacher evaluation appeal bill, CTO bill did not move form the Senate.  I would have liked to have seen the CTO bill move but it got caught in the web of this Christmas tree political strategy.

HB 68 A student scholarship bill mainly written to clarify what organizations can accept money and become scholarship organizations is where the ESA/voucher language was attached then removed. The bill moved without the voucher language.

Both budgets were passed. HB 30 and HB 31. The supplemental 2019 and FY 20 budgets.

The Governor’s office and GOSA was open to feedback from GSSA and  that made this session very good for state of education. GSSA definitely appreciates the opportunity the Gov.’s office gave us to weigh -in on many of the policy issues that could have possibly impacted K-12 education in the state.

Some of the bills that passed on day 40

HB 69 regarding the special needs voucher.

HB 59 active military parents able to enroll children in new school district upon receipt of official orders.

HB 558 was added to to HB 59 allowing teleconference governing board meetings for charter schools with statewide attendance zones. This impacts the Open Meetings law.

SB 15 the school safety bill which added an amendment that would require the designated school safety coordinator report a reasonable suspicion of a violent criminal activity to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Adding in would also allow other criminal activity to be reported in the same manner.

SB 83 allows the teaching of Old and New testament eras through literature, art, history…..HB 562 placing REACH into the Georgia code.

HB 315 any consultants to local governments disclose conflict of interest on bids or proposals.

Other study committee bills and urging resolutions also made it across the 40 day timeline.

I will provide a review of the legislation that made it through at Spring Bootstrap April 17-18, 2019, in Savannah.  The room blocks at the host hotel are gone. Homewood Suites reported their conference block rooms to be closed out in the next day or two.  So, if you can attend, please register and enjoy some networking with your colleagues.  We have some great activities and opportunities for you to enjoy!

Overall a very good legislative session for our education industry.  I want to say thank you to all of you who did take the time to reach out to your local Senators and Representatives. It truly made the difference this session.



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