Top Legislation Being Watched (Updated 2/25/22)

(Bills Reintroduced) Opposition: The Expansion of Gambling

There are approximately nine bills leftover from the 2021 session that are available to be passed expanding gambling on Sports, Horse Racing and Casinos.

Status: (4) Senate Horse Racing bills (by Sen Brandon Beach and Sen. Jeff Mullis) from 2021 were heard the week before in the Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee. It was a hearing only. No other hearing has been held yet.

Support: “Saving Girls Sports Act”

We support SB 435 (Sen. Marty Harbin), which would ban any biological males from participating in biological female sports.

Status: The Senate voted in favor of the bill this week, and it has been sent to the House for possible committee hearing.

Support: Appeals Process for School Library Obscenity

SB 226 (Sen. Jason Anavitarte) makes sure our children are protected from sexually explicit material. Georgia Baptists support legislation that allows a proper appeal process when parents see material that is obscene.

Status: Voted out of subcommittee to the full committee for a vote.

Support: “The Women’s Health and Safety Act” (Ban on Mailing Abortion Pills)

  1. Support: “The Women’s Health and Safety Act” (Ban on Mailing Abortion Pills)

SB 466, (Sen. Bruce Thompson): We fully support this legislation, which would reinstate the Obama/Trump era restrictions of delivering the abortion pill via telemedicine and direct mail in Georgia. 

Status: The Senate has passed the bill out of committee and is available to be placed on the floor for a vote from the Rules Committee.

Support: The “Parents Bill of Rights” for Public Schools

SB 449 (Sen. Clint Dixon)/HB 1178 (Rep. Josh Bonner): These bills codify parental rights when it comes to their child’s education into law, including the right to access instructional material. The bills affirm a parent’s ability to request information from a principal or superintendent and requires that they provide the requested information within three working days.

Status: SB 449 received a hearing in the Senate is awaiting approval to go the Rules Committee. HB 1178 was approved by the House Education Committee and is now in the Rules Committee to be considered for a floor vote.

Support: Ban on Teaching Critical Race Theory in Public Schools

SB 377 by Sen. Bo Hatchett; HB 1084 by Rep. Will Wade: It is important our children know that they are all “image bearers,” and they should not be made to feel ashamed of who they are and be distrustful of their neighbor. Children do not need to feel as though they are inherently oppressed or inherently oppressors based on their race.

Status: Both bills received hearings in the last two weeks. SB 377 is still in committee. HB 1084 has been voted out the House Education Committee. The bill is now in the Rules Committee to be considered for a floor vote.

Support: “Student Technology Protection Act”

HB 1217 (Chris Erwin) requires specifications for technology to filter obscenity from students in public schools.

Status: It was voted out of a subcommittee and has moved on to the full committee for a vote. The full committee voted in favor of the bill this week. It now goes to the Rules Committee for consideration and a possible floor vote.

Support: The “Forum Act” (Forming Open and Robust University Minds)

HB 1 was introduced by Representative Josh Bonner, and it protects students on our college campuses regarding their freedom of speech and freedom of association.

Status: The bill was voted out of the full committee and is now in the Rules committee for consideration to go to the floor for a vote.

Opposition: Exception to the 3-Tier System for Craft Breweries

SB 420, introduced by Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, allows an exemption to the 3-Tier system on the sale of alcohol. Georgia Baptists categorically opposes any loosening of restrictions on the sale of alcoholic beverages. The 3-Tier system since prohibition has maintained standards of public health and safety in the sale of alcohol.

Status: A 2nd hearing was held this week with no vote taken.

Support: Ban on Animal Fighting

SB 512, introduced by Sen. Chuck Payne, seeks to update the statute to include all animals, not just dogs. It was submitted to address the cock-fighting issue. It also makes it illegal to take a minor child to an animal fight. Animal fights are never just about the act of watching an animal fight to the death. They are always associated with other unsavory or illegal activities such as illegal gambling, drug trafficking, and other illicit crimes.

Status: The bill was heard in the Senate Agriculture Committee and no vote was taken.

Opposition: Recreational Marijuana Bills

The first week of February there were (3) bills considered in the Senate Regulated Industries Committee to expand marijuana legalization. In 2015, the Georgia Baptist Convention unanimously passed a resolution entitled, “The Dangers of Marijuana.” The resolution stated our opposition to the sale and use of recreational marijuana in Georgia.

Status: The bills received a hearing, but no vote was taken.

Published February 28, 2022