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Tuesday, February 27, 2024 - Day 27
Prior Legislative Updates for this Year

Senate passes bill on transfers between public school
districts; House Committee passes bus stop bill

Thursday is Crossover Day, the day that legislation must have passed the chamber of its introduction before it is eligible for consideration by the other chamber.

The General Assembly was in session today.  Wednesday there are no formal sessions of the House or Senate but a number of committees will be working to get legislation out in order to meet the Crossover Day deadline.

The Senate Education and Youth Committee meeting scheduled for the today was cancelled.  There will be no more meetings of either the House or Senate Education committees until after Crossover.  A House Retirement Committee planned for today was also postponed.

The House Motor Vehicles Committee met at 8 a.m. today to consider a bill concerning the placement of school bus stopsHB 1284, by Rep. Lauren Daniel, R-Locust Grove, states: "In establishing routes for school buses, a public school system shall consider routes that do not have stops requiring a student entering the school bus to cross a roadway with a speed limit of 40 miles per hour or greater."  HB 1284 passed out of committee.

The Senate passed SB 147 today, 38 to 14, which pertains to students transferring from one public school district to another.

The House Higher Education Committee has cancelled a meeting previously scheduled for Wednesday at 1 p.m. 

Yesterday, the House Government Affairs Committee passed legislation, HB 1370, that would reduce the number of voting booths in each Election Day precinct.
Georgia Library Media Association
issues call to action to contact Senators

The Georgia Library Media Association (GLMA) is asking educators and others to email their individual Senator opposing four bills that would negatively affect students' access to materials.  Click here to register your concerns with your Senator.

The four bills are:

SB 154 allows possible criminal charges against school librarians, media specialists, teachers, and teacher assistants" of "Offenses Against Public Health and Morals" and "Obscenity and Related Offenses" for furnishing students with certain material.  The bill passed the Senate Education Committee on February 22 and could be on the floor of the state Senate this week.  For a long list of all the different media and materials covered, see Georgia Code 16-12-103.

SB 365 would require schools to notify parents and legal guardians of the right to receive an email notification each time their child obtains school library materials.

The bill also requires "any written or electronic materials made available to students in a public school, including classroom materials, school library materials, or any materials made available to a public school student as part of an extracurricular activity offered or supervised by the public school" be included in the school system's compliant resolution policy for material that is "harmful to minors."  This legislation could be on the floor of the Senate this week,

SB 390 pertains to Georgia libraries and the America Library Association.  The findings of the bill include:

"(1) The present state requirement that only certified librarians may work as librarians public libraries has not benefitted the residents of this state;

(2) The bureaucracy that has developed around the certification of librarians has become heavily intertwined with and influenced by the American Library Association;

(3) The president of the American Library Association has declared herself to be a Marxist; 

(4) The American Library Association has used the librarian certification process to promote its ideology;  

(5) The vast majority of residents of this state do not want their tax dollars to directly or indirectly support such an ideology;  

(6) The Georgia Library Association is an affiliate of the American Library Association;

(7) The Georgia Library Association should no longer be an affiliate of the American Library Association ... [and]

(10) This state should no longer require the certification of librarians working at public libraries or allow public moneys to be used to support the American Library Association."

SB 390 states: "Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, dues or fees for membership in the American Library Association shall not be paid from such funds or any other public moneys."  The bill passed out of the committee and could be on the floor of the Senate next week.

SB 394 is tied to the state statutory or legal definition of "harmful to minors."  It also pertains to "instructional material," which is defined in Georgia law, and "sexual material" and "obscenity."  SB 394 also creates the Orwellian "Georgia Council of Library Material Standards," a board to be populated by unelected members who will rate and review books in school libraries.

The phrase "harmful to minors" is defined in Georgia law as: " ... that quality of description or representation, in whatever form, of nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or sadomasochistic abuse, when it:

(1) Taken as a whole, predominantly appeals to the prurient, shameful, or morbid interest of minors;

(2) Is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community as a whole with respect to what is suitable material for minors; and

(3) Is, when taken as a whole, lacking in serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors.

This bill, which the sponsor calls the "Clean Libraries Act"," was also passed out of Senate Education on February 22 and could be on the floor of the Senate this week.

Qualifying for legislative seats is March 4-8

GAE and NEA offer a program, See Educators Run, for educators who are considering running for elected office as a school board candidate or the Georgia General Assembly.  See Educators Run is designed to help and support educators run for office ... and win!  Training in fundraising, interacting with the media, and public speaking is available.

Upcoming election dates to note

Early, in-person voting has begun for the presidential primaries in Georgia.
Voting day for the Presidential Primaries is March 12.
March 1 is the deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail.

The deadline to register to vote for congressional and legislative primaries is April 22.
The primaries for these races are May 21.

Next Legislative Update will be Friday, March 1
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