Senators continued illegal immigration discussions Thursday by introducing Senate Bill 40, which would require public employers to use a federal work authorization program, such as e-Verify, to check immigration status. Any employers who violate the new law could be fired, fined $5,000 to $10,000 and barred from state funding. Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, was one of several senators to sign the bill in support.
In the House, Rep. David Lucas, D-Macon, introduced House Bill 159, which would put an income cap on eligibility for the HOPE scholarship. The federal adjusted gross income of the student, student's parents and student's spouse for the previous year cannot exceed $66,000 for grants awarded in 2012. The bill also allows the Georgia Student Finance Commission, which oversees HOPE, to adjust the income limit in the future.
Both chambers will not meet Tuesday and Friday next week.
Senate Bill 39: Create mental health court divisions and staff, fund and assign mental health court division programs.
House Bill 148: Hold a dog owner or caretaker liable if a dog causes injury to people on their own property. If the dog bites, attacks or attempts to bite or attack someone and is unprovoked, the owner may be required to pay for the injury.
HB 149: A magistrate court judge can be fired if the chief magistrate petitions the superior court's chief judge. A majority of superior court judges must agree to the chief magistrate's request.
HB 150: Under excise taxes, an "innkeeper" means any person who furnishes rooms, lodgings or accommodations.
HB 151: Under motor fuel and road taxes, "aviation gasoline" means gasoline that is designed and sold solely for aviation purposes in aircraft engines.
HB 152: Under cigar and cigarette taxes, a "cigar" means any roll of tobacco made for smoking, with the cover of the roll also made of tobacco.
HB 153: Enact the Water Conservation Act of 2011, which would regulate how much water is returned to bodies of water. The act would require documentation and regulate some parts of sewage management systems.
HB 154: Only allow Public Service Commission members to be elected by their respective districts.
HB 155: Allow courts to hold a "show cause hearing" if a person's conduct creates imminent danger of injury to a person, damage to property or disturbance of the peace.
HB 156: Include state highway employees in compensation payments for death or disability.
HB 157: Allow people to file a claim to the Georgia Crime Victims Emergency Fund when a cold case is reopened or when a convicted offender seeks post-conviction relief.
HB 158: Change the dates for nonpartisan elections and qualifying days.
HB 160: Allow improperly filed appeals to be dismissed from court.
HB 161: Allow a motorcycle driver to drive through a red light that is controlled by a vehicle detection device after yielding to other vehicles and waiting one minute for the detection device to respond. If an accident occurs with another vehicle that had right of way, the motorcycle driver is held responsible.
HB 162: Require people registered on the state sexual offender registry to get permission from parents before photographing a minor.
HB 163: For redistricting plans, include prisoners who were residents of the state before incarceration but exclude prisoners who were not residents.
HB 164: Allow the state revenue commissioner to charge administration fees for coin-operated amusement machines.
HB 165: Give counties and municipalities the power to allow alcohol beverage sales near local housing authorities. The current law prohibits alcohol sales within 100 yards of any housing authority property.
HB 166: Change the requirements for certified professional engineers, engineers-in-training, land surveyors and land surveyors-in-training. The bill requires higher education credits and a written exam for certification.
House Resolution 112: Allow the General Assembly to create trust funds for hazardous waste management and solid waste management, which will not be lapsing funds.
HR113: Create House School Bus Safety Study Committee, which focus on using lap belts or safety belts in school buses.
Both chambers also passed various resolutions to recognize special days and people.