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Under the Gold Dome: Day 22
Full coverage of the 2011 legislative session
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Highlights

House lawmakers passed a bill Wednesday that will make it easier to go after those who prostitute children.
House Bill 200 would include penalties for physical force, financial harm and drug use as means of coercion. Blood relatives also cannot sell their children.

The bill would increase the penalties for the crime of human trafficking and sexual servitude, matching those for drug trafficking. Offenders would face up to 20 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines for victims between ages 16 and 18 and up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $100,000 for children under 16.
It

passed the House, 168-1, with the sole opponent Rep. Bobby Franklin, R-Marietta, asking questions about how many features the bill contained. He did not oppose the bill's goals.
In

the Senate, a group of Democrats released an alternative plan to rescue the HOPE scholarship.

It would give a full tuition scholarship to families who earn up to $140,000 a year, which would reach 94 percent of Georgia families. The plan also expands the proposed Zell Miller Scholarship to cover tuition, books and fees for students who graduate in the top 3 percent of their high schools.

The proposal comes a day after the House approved House Bill 326, which is Gov. Nathan Deal's plan to change the state's popular scholarship program. The bill moved to the Senate for review.

Senate

Senate Bill 179: Require licensing of radiographers, radiation therapists and nuclear medicine technologists to regulate medical imaging and radiation therapy procedures on humans.
SB 180: Allow pharmacists to dispense prescriptions through a remote automated medication system.
SB 181: Prohibit the attorney general from granting contingent compensation and private counsel for certain crimes and offenses.
SB 182: Clarify the authority of counties and municipal corporations to enter into guaranteed energy savings performance contracts.
SB 183: Allow school health nurse programs to include consultation with off-site health care professionals through appropriate protocols and contracts.
SB 184: Prevent local boards of education from adopting a policy that would use only length of service when cutting positions. Any staff cuts should use teacher effectiveness in advancing student achievement as the primary factor.
SB 185: Allow emergency closure of an early care and education program when a minor dies.
SB 186: Consolidate the state's fire protection and safety services by establishing a Department of Fire Safety and creating a fire safety commissioner.
SB 187: Enact the Georgia Registered Professional Nurse Practice Act, which would license a registered nurse who entered a nontraditional nursing education program and has at least one year of clinical experience in a health care facility.
SB 188: Provide for regulation of alternative livestock farming and allow private harvest-hunt preserves for deer farming.

House

House Bill 416: Prohibit collective bargaining by public employees on behalf of labor organizations.
HB 417: Require identification of election campaign communications, advertising and literature.
HB 418: Allow appointment of a county surveyor for Oglethorpe County.
HB 419: Give a 90-day notice to owners at the initiation of foreclosure proceedings.
HB 420: Allow counties to redistrict themselves by ordinance or resolution following each decennial census.
HB 421: Change how a plea of mental incompetency goes to trial by using consistent terminology and requiring a maximum commitment to the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities.
HB 422: Change how spousal privilege can be used in criminal proceedings. It cannot be used if the crime occurred between the spouses, the spouses acted jointly in the commission of the crime or the crime occurred before the marriage.
HB 423: Define certain acts by residential contractors on insurance claims as violations of unfair trade practice.
HB 424: Provide a death benefit for active and retired members under the Superior Court Clerks' Retirement Fund.
HB 425: Require all public schools to have an annual educational program on the U.S. Constitution.
HB 426: Revise a definition under the Georgia Registered Professional Nurse Practice Act to include four-year nonprofit postsecondary institutions as approved nursing education programs.
HB 427: Require an ignition interlock device for a first-time conviction of driving under the influence.
HB 428: Allow municipalities to annex unincorporated contiguous areas within four miles of the corporate limits.
HB 429: Enact the Local Government Infrastructure Financing Authority Act, which would allow comprehensive regulation of local government infrastructure financing.
HB 430: Enact the Fair and Orderly Administration of Capital Punishment Act, which would define time frames to file petitions against court cases involved with a death sentence.
HB 431: Prohibit the manufacture of sale of food containers or products with bisphenol-A.
HB 432: Allow employees to use sick leave for immediate family care.
HB 433: Require the State Financing and Investment Commission construction division to give preference to in-state contractors, builders, architects and laborers if it doesn't impair quality and cost considerations.
HB 434: Revise a definition of "diagnosis" for licensure of social workers.
HB 435: Require an ignition interlock device for all convictions of driving under the influence.
HB 436: Provide a new charter for the city of Menlo.
HB 437: Create a real-time tracking system for sales of products containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine and phenylpropanolamine.
House Resolution 458: Encourage the Georgia Department of Community Health to collect data relating to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Georgia.
HR 459: Support the Georgia Professional Standards Commission's rule change to require advanced degrees for an upgraded certificate.

Both chambers also passed various resolutions to recognize special days and people.

Carolyn Crist

 

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