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Thursday, March 7, 2024 - Day 31
Prior Legislative Updates for this Year

4 bills heard in House Education Committee

The House Education Committee's Policy Committee debated two bills this afternoon.

SB 32 would require each public school district to implement a mobile panic alert system capable of connecting emergency services in real-time between schools and local and state law enforcement and first responders."  No vote was taken on the measure.

SB 351, the "Protecting Georgia's Children on Social Media Act of 2024," modifies "character curriculum" to include "methods of promoting responsible digital citizenship and the safe and appropriate use of technology, the internet, and social media."

The bill also requires schools to "prohibit students from accessing social media platforms through the use of computer equipment, communications services, or internet access that is operated, owned, leased, and made available to students by the local governing body, the school system, or a public school."

SB 351 would further amend state laws on "bullying" to include "cyberbullying."  Cyberbullying is defined to mean "bullying that involves the use of electronic communication, including, but not limited to, communication devices and services, including ... cellular telephones, cameras, computers, social media platforms, text messages, chat platforms, and internet sites."  The bill passed the subcommittee.

The House Education Committee's Curriculum Committee met immediately following the previous subcommittee to discuss two additional bills.

SB 169, which provides for the extension of hearing dates for student discipline tribunals, passed subcommittee.

SB 395, a bill to require opioid antagonists, such as naloxone, in public schools to block the effects of other overdoses such as heroin, morphine, and oxycodone.
  The legislation was given a "do pass" recommendation by the subcommittee.
A House Retirement Committee scheduled for yesterday was cancelled.
Yesterday, a bill to limit fines for speeding in a school zone or illegally passing a school bus (HB 301) was gutted in the Senate Public Safety Committee.  The new version of the bill pertains only to immigration and so-called "sanctuary cities."
A paid, parental leave bill, which doubles the time off for educators and state employees from three weeks to six weeks, cleared the Senate Children and Families Committee today.  The bill is HB 1010.
The House today approved the proposed 2024-2025 state budget.  The budget includes a $2,500 permanent salary step increase for teachers.  It also includes more than $6 million to cover the costs of breakfast and lunch for students eligible for meals for a reduced cost.

The budget increases funding for school transportation by $204 million.  $104 million in grants would go to schools for security upgrades.

Next Legislative Update will be Monday, March 11 for Day 33
There are just seven days left in this session.

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