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Under the Gold Dome: Day 12

Full coverage of the 2011 legislative session

POSTED: February 9, 2011 10:40 p.m.

Highlights

House representatives tabled House Bill 72, which would require the driver's license exam be given in English for permanent residents of the state.

Instead, they voted 88-78 to adopt an amendment that requires the state to update its sign test to include the most common English words used on digital signs. The driving exam will continue to be given in 14 languages.

Rep. James Mills, R-Chestnut Mountain, introduced House Bill 72 on Jan. 25, calling it a public safety measure as more signs move to digital format.

"Georgians need to call their state representatives and tell them they want permanent residents in Georgia to take the driver's license test in English since all of our road signs are in English," Mills said Wednesday evening. "I find today's vote very troubling if we cannot pass such a common sense conservative idea."

The bill faced more than an hour of debate on the House floor as representatives voiced concerns that it would hurt economic development efforts to attract foreign business and investors.

The House voted 115-50 Wednesday to table the legislation after accepting the amendment from freshman Rep. B.J. Pak, R-Lilburn, who said the legislature should take a more "nuanced" approach.

"The bill can be pulled off the table at any given moment and passed, and I am working toward that goal," Mills said.

Several representatives also introduced House Resolution 186, which would allow wagering on horse races in Georgia.

Senate

Senate Bill 55: Create the Georgia Student Extracurricular Partnership Act, which would allow public school students living in an attendance zone of a school to participate in its extracurricular activities.
SB 56: Change membership of the Americus-Sumter County Airport Authority to include six residents from Americus and Sumter County.
SB 57: Prohibit people who have been convicted of a crime against a minor from driving commercial vehicles that transport 16 or more people.
SB 58: Enact the Spencer Pass Hero Memorial Act, which gives compensation to family for the death or disability of a state highway employee.
SB 59: Require a sworn statement by an applicant for a license tag renewal that he or she has a valid driver's license.
SB 60: Change the way drivers are notified in cases involving traffic-control signal monitoring devices.
SB 61: Stop federal regulation of incandescent light bulbs that aren't exported from the state.
SB 62: Prevent private property from being alienated to another state, which would result in an extinguishment or diminution of state sovereignty.
SB 63: Enact the Georgia Medical Assistance Fraud Prevention Program to address Medicaid fraud, waste and abuse. Start a pilot program in Glynn, Ware, Pierce, Wayne, Camden and Brantley counties with smart cards and fingerprint scanners.
SB 64: Change the amount of fees for the application to reinstate corporations, nonprofit organizations and limited liability companies from $100 to $250.
Senate Resolution 122: Create the Senate 10th Amendment Enforcement Study Committee to study the balance of powers between the state and federal governments.

House

House Bill 190: Under estate taxes, "federal filing date" means the date that federal estate tax returns must be filed as required by the Internal Revenue Code.
HB 191: Under tax levies and executions, a county officer can use the last known address listed in tax commissioner records to execute ad valorem taxes.
HB 192: Establish the State Education Finance Study Commission to evaluate Quality Basic Education formula funding for public schools.
HB 193: Create chief magistrate elections for Union County.
HB 194: Create probate court judge elections for Union County.
HB 195: Allow the city of Dunwoody to use the Redevelopment Powers Law to carry out community redevelopment, create tax allocation districts and issue tax allocation bonds.
HB 196: Allow additional video to be used for search warrants by video conference.
HB 197: Limit inmate emergency medical care service charges in jails to the Georgia Medicaid rate.
HB 198: Extend sunset dates for real estate or personal property filing fees, the statewide uniform automated information system and the collection and remittance of real estate or personal property filing to July 1, 2016.
HB 199: Add five new Schedule I substances to the controlled substances list, including amphetamines named mephedrone and methylone.
HB 200: Change human trafficking convictions to include 10-20 years of prison and a fine up to $100,000.
HB 201: Create a misdemeanor charge for driving in unsafe snow and ice conditions, especially when a vehicle has snow or ice on it that obstructs the driver's view or the snow or ice falls off the vehicle and endangers someone else.
HB 202: Enact the Traffic Operations and School Safety Act of 2011, which would allow the use of educational funds for roadway improvements.
HB 203: Require the Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training Council to notify law enforcement agencies when peace officers are investigated.
HB 204: Enact the Protecting Georgia Homeowners Act of 2011, which would give homeowner relief from unfair practices related to foreclosure and foreclosure rescue schemes.
HB 205: Under the Georgia Lemon Law, a "consumer" includes any state agency, board or commission that uses a new vehicle for official use.
HB 206: Change how public officers and employees report fraud, waste, abuse or law violations to reduce retaliation from co-workers and superiors.
HB 207: Give a new charter to the city of Grayson.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

 



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