ATLANTA — Lawmakers in the Georgia General Assembly on Thursday, March 12, faced a deadline to advance legislation from one chamber to the other. While issues can be resurrected later using legislative rules, the crossover deadline between the House and Senate tends to significantly narrow the issues in play. Here's a look at issues that remain alive, as well as at some that may be dead:
FLAT INCOME TAX: House Bill 949 would change Georgia’s personal income tax to a flat rate of 5.375% from the current graduated system.
SPECIAL EDUCATION VOUCHERS: The pool of students with special education needs eligible for state-paid aid to attend private schools would expand under Senate Bill 386.
MEDICAID FOR NEW MOMS: Mothers would get six months of Medicaid health insurance under House Bill 1114, up from two months now.
RIDE-HAILING FEES: A conference report to House Bill 105 would impose a 50-cent-per-ride tax on ride-hailing services, taxis and limousines, instead of having them be subject to regular sales taxes.
HAZING: Senate Bill 423 would raise criminal penalties for members of fraternities, sororities and other college student groups that engage in hazing and require colleges to publicly report on hazing investigations twice a year.
GOVERNOR’S POWERS: The governor's powers to cut spending would be curtailed by House Bill 1111, while the governor would have to share the power to set the state's revenue estimate with appointees of the House speaker and lieutenant governor under House Bill 1112.
BURNING TREATED WOOD: Power plants would not be able to burn certain chemically treated wood products under House Bill 857
FAMILY LEAVE: State, college, university and K-12 employees would qualify for three weeks of paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child under House Bill 1094.
ETHYLENE OXIDE: Senate Bill 426 and House Bill 927 would both require that any facility that emits ethylene oxide, used in sterilizing medical instruments, would have to report releases within 24 hours, with state regulators publicly posting reports.
COAL ASH: The state would require 30 years of care and monitoring for coal ash ponds but would not require utilities to excavate and bury the coal ash in lined landfills under House Bill 929, while it would raise dumping fees under House Bill 959 and Senate Bill 123, and require notice of draining of ponds to local governments. VAPING: Senate Bill 375 would raise the age to purchase or possess tobacco or vaping products to 21 and would create penalties for people under 21 who possess vaping products.
SEX OFFENDER ELECTRONIC MONITORING: Sexual offenders who are convicted twice of a felony would be subject to lifetime electronic monitoring under House Bill 720, which seeks to resume the practice after a court overturned it.
LAWSUIT LIMITS: Senate Bill 415 would have made a series of changes to limit lawsuits and verdict sizes, including barring arguments about the value of pain and suffering, protecting landlords against suits for criminal acts on their property and letting people present court evidence that people weren't wearing seatbelts.
IN-STATE TUITION FOR DREAMERS: House Bill 997 would have granted in-state tuition to people who arrived illegally in the country before age 12.
ADOPTION RULES: Senate Bill 368 would have allowed private adoption agencies to opt out of serving lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people.