2023 Legislative Session Calendar
The Georgia General Assembly convened Monday, January 9 and will run for 40 days (non-consecutive).
Meetings of the 2023 regular session of the General Assembly during the period of Monday, January 9, 2022, through Monday, March 29, 2023, shall be held in accordance with the schedule as outlined in Senate Resolution 6.
DATES OF PARTICULAR IMPORTANCE:
DAY 28: CROSSOVER DAY
Monday, March 6
Crossover Day is the last day for bills to move from one chamber to the other in order to be considered for passage and becoming law during the legislative session.
DAY 40: SINE DIE - LAST DAY OF 2023 LEGISLATIVE SESSION
Wednesday, March 29
Advocacy Days at the Capitol - 2023
JRP Justice Day 2023
March 8, 9:00 a.m.
STPP Day 2023
March 1, 11:00 a.m.
2023 Legislative Session: A Recap
Greetings EMI Georgia Network,
Thank you for your hard work this legislative session! Our focus this session was to elevate youth justice. In a time of heightened "tough on crime" political campaigns and narratives of youth gangs terrorizing sleepy, bucolic communities across the state, EMI Georgia Network continued to raise the call for restorative and transformative justice for our children. And while we saw legislation being passed that will afflict our youth for years to come, we must stay vigilant in our advocacy and raise the profile of practices, policies and programs that actually create better outcomes for children and their families.
Gang bills like SB 44 and HB 147 were passed by both the House and the Senate and sent to the Governor's office for his signature. The Governor has 40 days to sign into law or veto legislation passed by the legislature. Legislation can also become law through the passage of time--as long as the Governor does not veto it within the 40-day period.
But, be encouraged! The statuesque lady has not sung. The General Assembly's legislative sessions operate in two-year cycles. What does this mean? It means we get another chance to push forward the bills that we supported this year. Therefore, we have to start advocating now for what we want to see happen in 2024. In the words of the character Lupus in the movie, The Bad News Bears, "...just wait 'til next year!"
Georgia General Assembly 2023 Legislation Recap
Bills passed (opposed)
- SB 44 Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act (with mandatory minimum penalties for violations) - Passed the Senate; Passed the House; sent to Governor's office
- HB 147 Safe Schools Act (training educators and other school personnel to be gang identifiers within public schools) - Passed the House; Passed the Senate; sent to Governor's office
Bills not passed (supported)
- SB 169 Student Tribunal Extension (provides limits on the extension of hearing dates for student tribunals and requires that local schools provide instructional materials to suspended students) - Passed the Senate; Did not receive a hearing by House Education Committee
- HB 356 Corporal Punishment (disallow corporal punishment within public schools) – Did not receive a hearing by House Education Committee
- HB 462 Raise the Age (raises the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to 18, to include 17-year-olds; introduced a gang clause as a category of children who automatically would be sent to superior court) - Passed the House; Did not receive a hearing by Senate Judiciary Committee -- NOTE: While we do not agree with the addition of the gang clause, we continue to support raising the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to include 17-year-olds.
- HB 520 Mental Health Parity ("expands student loan forgiveness for mental health care providers; creates crisis stabilization centers around the state, and expands the provisions for court-ordered outpatient treatment") - Passed in the House; received a "hearing only" (which means no vote) by Senate Health and Human Services Committee
Certain Legislation as Member of Justice Reform Partnership Reentry
Occupational Licensing & Expungement Reform (supported - did not pass)
- SB 157 (inclusive of HB 334) - (bill removes barriers to occupational licensing and increases access to expungement) - Passed in the Senate; did not receive a vote on the House floor
Bail Reform - Expanding Cash Bail (opposed - did not pass)
- SB 63 Cash Bail (criminalizes poverty by expanding mandatory cash bail for additional offenses, many of them misdemeanors) - Passed in the Senate; did not pass on the House floor (after Senate disagreed with House substitute bill, conference committee with members from both chambers was created)
Review of Legislation that passed prior to or on Crossover Day
HB 462 Raise the Age (Raise the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to include 17-year-olds) - https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/64535; passed the House and is currently assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee awaiting a hearing by the committee.
Not Support - HB 147 The Safe Schools Act (shall create a school safety and anti-gang endorsement for eligible certificated professional personnel, as determined pursuant to rules and regulations of the Professional Standards Commission, who elect to complete a training program, approved by the Professional Standards Commission, in multidisciplinary best practices for promoting and preserving safe schools and for identifying and deterring youth gangs) - https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/63797; passed the House (2/27/23); passed the Senate (3/13/2023).
Not Support - SB 44 Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act (implementation of mandatory minimums) - https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/63781; passed the Senate (2/13/23); passed the House (3/20/23).
Support - SB 169 Student Tribunals (Provides limits on the extension of hearing dates for student tribunals and requires that local schools provide instructional materials to suspended students) - https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/64338; passed by the Senate; bill is currently assigned to House Education subcommittee and a “hearing only” was held (3/13/2023).
Legislation that did not pass prior to or on Crossover Day
Support - HB 356 Corporal Punishment (prohibit the use of) - https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/64267; No movement.
Support - SB 241 Compulsory Attendance (lowers the mandatory age for school attendance from six years old to five years old) - https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/64772; No movement.
Issues of Concern
Support Access for Juvenile Voting Rights
The right to vote is one of the fundamental rights of being an American citizen. In Georgia, persons who are 17 years and 6 months of age can register to vote (GA. CODE ANN. Section 21-2-217(c)). In Georgia, persons who are 18 years of age can legally vote. Our youth, regardless of condition or station in life, are entitled to that right.
End Mass Incarceration Georgia Network is calling upon county election officials to ensure that the youth of Georgia, who are under the supervision of a Department of Juvenile Justice facility and who are of eligible age, be afforded all opportunities to:
(1) register to vote; and
(2) cast their ballots in all applicable elections held in the state of Georgia.
End Juvenile Life without Parole – JLWOP
The United States stands alone as the only nation that sentences people to life without parole for crimes committed before turning 18. (The Sentencing Project)