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Thursday, February 1, 2024 - Day 14
Prior Legislative Updates for this Year
School librarians counter protested a group called "Georgians for Responsible Libraries" at the state Capitol today.  Members of Georgians for Responsible Libraries carried signs that read: "Your Tax Dollars Fund Porn."

GAFRL claims to be a newly formed organization which purpose is "to protect children from the onslaught of sexually explicit, obscene, and age-inappropriate books and material in K-12 libraries and classrooms."

Hearing on second PSERS bill postponed

The Senate Retirement Committee was to hear a bill today that would require school systems to participate in the Social Security system for all school employees whose retirement is covered by the Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS).  PSERS is a state-funded pension plan comprised of school custodians, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, and maintenance personnnel.  The bill, SB 206, will likely be heard next week.

House Ed Committee recommends two bill

The House Education Committee passed two bills this afternoon:

HB 941, which, if passed, would allow pre-kindergarten programs, voluntarily offered by public schools, to be eligible for state funding for capital outlays, such as classroom construction, equipment acquisition, maintenance, renovation, and repair.

HB 987, which would revise the definition of the statutory term "qualified local school system school" by reducing the minimum required millage rate or equivalent millage rate from 14 mills to 10 mills.

Each bill passed unanimously.

Senate approves bill to allow
sports betting in Georgia

Senators passed a bill, SB 386, that would legalize betting on sporting events in Georgia.  The vote was 35-15.  An amendment to the bill on the floor now requires a passage of a Constitution amendment for the bill to be enacted, raising significantly the threshold needed to pass the bill. Proceeds from sports wagering would benefit the State Lottery, and, consequently, HOPE Scholarship and pre-K programs.  The bill now moves to the House.

Newly filed legislation

Rep. Mesha Mainor has introduced HB 1082, regarding prayer in schools, which states in part: "No local board of education or other public school governing body, public school administrator, or other public school personnel shall, while acting in an official capacity, prohibit any public school student from voluntarily praying at any time before, during, or after the school day or otherwise engaging in privately initiated religious speech."

The legislation also states: "While on duty, public school personnel shall be permitted to engage in privately initiated religious speech and activities ... to the same extent that such personnel may engage in other comparable private conversations."

Sen. Sally Harrell has filed a bill requires 30 minutes of recess every day for students in K-5.  The bill has language that would prevent school systems from waiving the requirement.  Sen. Clint Dixon is the other sponsor of SB 432.

Join your colleagues and fellow GAE members at our 2024 Day at the Capitol

Last year, GAE set a record for attendance at a Day at the Capitol event.  Let's set a new record this year.  Click on the graphic below to register.
The next Legislative Update will be Tuesday, February 6
The House and Senate are in recess tomorrow.  They were originally
to be in session Monday but Monday's session has been
cancelled due to the funeral of House Rules Committee
chair, Rep. Richard Smith of Columbus, Georgia.
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