Criminal Case Data Exchange Board (SB 441)
Sen. Bo Hatchett (R-Clarkesville)
Adopted by the Senate on Mar-8
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.
Secondary Metals Recyclers (SB 591)
Sen. Bo Hatchett, R-Cornelia
Favorably reported from the Senate Natural Resources and Environment Cmte on Mar-8
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 is considering related legislation (HB 1528) that only pertains to catalytic converters.
Reducing Street Homelessness Act (SB 535)
Sen. Carden Summers, R-Cordele
Favorably reported from the Senate Government Oversight Cmte on Mar-8
SB 535 allows municipalities to create sanctioned encampment areas for homeless persons, subject to approval by the Department of Community Affairs. It allows the Attorney General to bring an action against municipalities that do not address unauthorized homeless encampments and denies state grant funding. Opponents say the measure criminalizes homelessness. The author has also introduced SR 659 to create a study committee to further investigate homelessness.
Childhood Lead Exposure Control Act (HB 1355)
Rep. Katie Dempsey, R-Rome
Pending in the Senate Health and Human Services Cmte
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 reportedly 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.
Exempt Evictions from Tolling Provisions (HB 1393)
Rep. Josh Bonner, R-Peachtree City
Pending in a House Judiciary Subcmte
HB 1393 exempts dispossessory proceedings from tolling provisions in the event of a judicial emergency. There would be no tolling of appeal times or other deadlines. During the Feb-28 hearing, members questioned why evictions should be the only matter exempt from judicial emergencies.