Georgia General Assembly convened Monday, January 11, and will run for 40 days (non-consecutive)

2021 Legislative Session Calendar

HR 264:  Meetings of the 2021 regular session of the General Assembly during the period of Tuesday, March 2, 2021, through Wednesday, March 31, 2021, shall be held in accordance with the following schedule:

(Remaining days)
Monday, March 15. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . convene for legislative day 32
Tuesday, March 16 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . convene for legislative day 33
Wednesday, March 17 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  convene for legislative day 34
Thursday, March 18 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .convene for legislative day 35
Monday, March 22. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . convene for legislative day 36
Tuesday, March 23 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .convene for legislative day 37
Wednesday, March 24 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .committee work day
Thursday, March 25 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .convene for legislative day 38
Friday, March 26 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . committee work day
Monday, March 29 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . convene for legislative day 39
Tuesday, March 30 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . committee work day
Wednesday, March 31 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . convene for legislative day 40 (SINE DIE) 

HR 264

Advocacy Information & Opportunities - 2021

How a bill becomes a law in Georgia:
Document
Video

Find you state legislators:
How to find your state legislators

Advocacy Days at the Capitol 

STPP Advocacy Day
January 28, 10:00 a.m.

JRP Justice Day 2021
February 25, 9:30 a.m.

2021 Legislative Session Update
What Happened? What's Next?

THANK YOU for your advocacy efforts during the 2021 legislative session. March 31st, the 40th day of the session, also known as SINE DIE, was a marathon of legislative wheeling and dealing into the late night. Here's what happened with the bills that garnered our primary focus:

I. SB 105 - Probation Reform
PASSED both the Senate and the House; the Governor is expected to sign this legislation.

What does it do? Provides for:
- Uniform eligibility criteria: Individuals should be eligible if they have no arrests (other than minor traffic offenses), no probation revocations in the last 24 months, and no outstanding restitution.
- Uniform processes: Standardizes and automates the early termination process to make it more efficient and effective; and
- Uniform court standards: Individuals should be released from probation if it is in the best interest of justice and the welfare of the community.

15 minutes after the legislative session action: Follow up with your State Representative and your State Senator and let them know that you appreciate their support for probation reform and passing SB 105.

II. HB 272 - Raise the Age of juvenile jurisdiction to include 17-year-olds
Stalled Out
in the Senate. After passing the House 113 (Y) to 51 (N), HB 272 met strong opposition from the Georgia Sheriff's Association and the Department of Juvenile Justice.

The bill was amended by the Senate Judiciary Committee to meet both groups' concerns funding for transportation, housing and rehabilitation. One of the changes delayed the effective date of actual implementation of raising the age to January 1, 2023, which would allow for another legislative budget cycle prior to implementation to address funding concerns. Even though the Senate Judiciary Committee favorably passed HB 272 out of committee, opposition continued, and the bill was never called up by the Senate Rules Committee. Therefore, HB 272 never reached the Senate floor for a vote by the full Senate.

As you may recall, Georgia's legislative sessions are called biennials, which means that we have another opportunity to move HB 272 across the finish line in 2022. So, keep the faith! We know who the loudest voice is...and every county has an elected sheriff. Who's your sheriff? Where does he/she stand on "Raise the Age?"

15 minutes after the legislative session action:  
More than 13,000 17-year-old Georgians were placed in adult jails in 2020--of which, approximately 10,700 were charged with misdemeanors. We continue to use mass incarceration as our answer for youthful offenses.

Follow up with your State Representative and let her/him/them know that you appreciate her/his/their vote for HB 272. If your Representative did not vote for HB 272, express your appreciation for her/his/their consideration.

Follow up with your State Senator and let her/him/them know that you support HB 272 and that you are looking forward to her/his/their support in 2022.

III. SB 42 - Do not include discipline data in School Climate Rating
PASSED both the Senate and the House; on its way to the Governor's desk. (SB 42 was merged with a home schooling bill.)

The bottom line on SB 42:
-  Even though the text in the Title (preamble) of SB 42 underwent significant revision, the Title still includes the language of the original "intent" to not include discipline data in the school climate rating.

-  However, the language in Section 3 of SB 42 was revised.  The language that explicitly removed discipline data from the school climate rating was struck by the House Education Committee. The amended bill that passed reflects the discretionary language of current law in regards to the type of data that may be included in the state's school climate STAR rating (at the discretion of the Department of Education and the Education Coordinating Council).  BACKGROUND NOTE: The language in current law does not include the words "discipline data" as a factor for inclusion. The GA DOE's inclusion of discipline data in the school climate rating was a direct result of the advocacy of parents and community members. Therefore, advocacy will be needed to ensure that discipline data remains a factor in the school climate rating.

-  SB 42 requires the posting of discipline data on each school's website and that discipline data should be provided to parents and other requesters in printed form at no charge in an understandable format.

15 minutes after the legislative session action:
Stay tuned for updates on further advocacy actions.

Certain Legislation

Preschool to Prison Pipeline -- OPPOSE SB 42
Raise the Age - SUPPORT HB 272
Probation/Parole/Policing Reform - SUPPORT SB 105

EMI GEORGIA NETWORK is a member of the JUSTICE REFORM PARTNERSHIP
For a more comprehensive list of bills that we support and oppose, please click on the links below:
(1) Bills we support

(2) Bills we oppose


ISSUES OF CONCERN
End Juvenile Life without Parole – JLWOP

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 to (2) cast their ballots in all applicable elections held in the state of Georgia.

Education bill that can disenfranchise students of color and students living in and with poverty -- HB 60 Wes Cantrell - Provide for the establishment of educational scholarship accounts (school voucher bill)

GBPI - Lawmakers have filed HB 60, a bill that would enact a voucher program to take hundreds of millions of dollars of state money away from public schools and send them to private schools. This year’s bill also targets public schools that have not completely restarted their in-person instruction due to COVID-19 and prevents taxpayers from discovering which private schools receive their tax dollars.