Secondary Metals Recyclers (SB 591)
Sen. Bo Hatchett, R-Cornelia
Adopted by the Senate on Mar-15, assigned to the House Judiciary Non-Civil Cmte
A decade ago, Georgia passed legislation that significantly curtailed metal theft by prohibiting cash payouts. This year’s effort makes it illegal to purchase, possess, obtain, or sell a used detached catalytic converter, utility wire, or communication copper. While the bill allows for small cash payouts for other recyclable materials, these specific items remain on the no-cash list. The House also adopted related legislation (HB 1528) that only pertains to catalytic converters.
Childhood Lead Exposure Control Act (HB 1355)
Rep. Katie Dempsey, R-Rome
Given a hearing in the Senate Health and Human Services Cmte on Mar-16
Based on recommendations made by a 2021 House Study Committee, HB 1355 addresses lead exposure and remediation, particularly in children. It updates the state’s definition of “confirmed lead poisoning” to comport with nationally recognized guidelines; this lower threshold is likely to result in more properties requiring lead hazard abatement. The House is providing additional funding to the Department of Public Health in anticipation of increased utilization as a result of the legislation.
Further, it expends the property owner’s responsibility to outdoor areas. It increases, from 14 to 30 days, the time an owner or managing agent must submit an abatement plan. In lieu of abatement, it allows the owner to attest that the property will be not used as a dwelling in the future. The National Apartment Association has reviewed the bill for concerns, indicating that this version is largely consistent with federal law. However, Senate Committee members have expressed concern that the regulatory authority provided in the bill may be too broad.
Eviction Diversion Program (HR 1041)
Rep. Karen Bennett, D-Stone Mountain
Assigned to the House Judiciary Cmte on Mar-18
HR 1041 urges the Georgia Supreme Court to establish rules and best practices for the creation of eviction diversion programs to be implemented by courts throughout the state. The resolution finds that “rapidly rising housing costs have exacerbated the precarious housing status of renter with low or moderate incomes” and that “eviction diversion programs have proven successful and benefit” tenants, landlords, court systems, and the community. Because the legislation is limited to the House, it is exempt from Crossover Day restrictions.
Unsheltered Homelessness (SR 659)
Sen. Carden Summers, R-Cordele
Pending in the Senate Rules Committee
After his initial legislation (SB 535) relating to encampment areas for homeless persons drew fierce criticism, the author will pursue SR 659 to create a study committee on the issue. Because the study committee is limited to the Senate, it is exempt from Crossover Day restrictions.
Criminal Case Data Exchange Board (SB 441)
Sen. Bo Hatchett (R-Clarkesville)
Pending in the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee
SB 441 reestablishes the Criminal Case Data Exchange Board, acknowledging that the state’s current system for sharing criminal case data is inadequate in providing interested parties – including housing providers – with criminal case data. It has been co-signed by all 56 members of the Senate.
Other active crime-related legislation includes SB 257, which allows for criminal history record information restrictions for persons cited with or convicted of certain criminal offenses, and HB 1134, which provides the attorney general with concurrent jurisdiction with prosecutors for certain criminal gang-related crimes across the state.
DeKalb Country Eviction Fees. Members of the DeKalb County delegation may pursue legislation that allows the State Court clerk to collect a fee for the removal of personal property and other unremunerated costs incurred by DeKalb County after an eviction. Specifically, they are seeking to charge up to $150 for the removal of personal property left for at least five business days after the execution of a writ of possession. Local legislation is exempt from Crossover Day restrictions.