From laws increasing penalties against gang activity to new restrictions on gender-affirming care, there are several new laws that will go into effect on July 1. Here is a breakdown of what will change on Saturday:
House Bill 147: The Safe Schools Act modernizes school safety protocols by equipping teachers with skills to protect students. It also establishes a voluntary School Safety and Anti-gang Endorsement for teachers to help them spot and prevent gang activity and recruitment in classrooms.
House Bill 188: Mariam’s Law toughens requirements for sexual offenders upon their release from prison, and mandates electronic monitoring as a condition of probation for repeat sexual offenders. The law is named in honor of murder victim Mariam Abdulrab. A legal loophole allowed a repeat sex offender to kidnap and kill Abdulrab on her way home from work.
House Bill 189: allows trucks carrying logging and farming commodities to weigh more than the current limit of 84,000 pounds. The previous limit on state roads is 80,000 pounds, but trucks are allowed a variance of up to 84,000 pounds. The greater weight would be allowed only on local roads and state highways, not interstates. The heavier trucks could only travel within a 150-mile radius of their point of origin and wouldn't be allowed in 13 core metro Atlanta counties.
Senate Bill 62: requires localities to enforce bans on homeless people camping in public and says governments and hospitals can’t dump homeless people in other counties without permission.
Crimes against infrastructure:
House Bill 227: makes it a crime to use electronic or physical means to attack systems providing electricity, water, sewer, internet, public transportation, emergency services and health care.
Welfare for pregnant moms
House Bill 129: allows poor pregnant women to seek cash assistance under the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Before, Georgians could only qualify for the welfare service if a child was already born and lived in a home with either one parent or two with one incapacitated.
House Bill 383: The Safer Hospitals Act provides stronger protections to ensure the safety of emergency health care workers and health care workers in a hospital setting. It allows hospitals to establish a hospital campus police department similar to those of colleges. It also makes sure that hospital employees outside of the emergency room have the same protections from attacks that hospital emergency room employees, teachers, transit drivers, paramedics, and law enforcement have.
House Bill 529: This law lowers the minimum amount of insurance coverage ride-sharing and taxi companies must provide for anyone injured in an accident to $300,000.
Senate Bill 11: The Georgia Fights Terrorism Act allows the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to work concurrently with district attorneys on investigations involving all forms of terrorism.
Senate Bill 44: The Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act requires judges to impose prison sentences of at least five years on those convicted of recruiting gang members. It also mandates tougher penalties for recruiting to a gang anyone under age 17 or with a disability, requiring at least a 10-year sentence.
Senate Bill 46: Requires physicians and healthcare providers to test all pregnant women for HIV and syphilis at the first prenatal visit, at 28–32 weeks’ gestation, and at delivery.
Senate Bill 47: Makes vaping in restricted areas a misdemeanor punishable by fine.
Senate Bill 68: Allows people caught engaging in dogfighting rings to be charged with racketeering. Adding dogfighting to the activities that lead to a racketeering conviction could result in a sentence of no less than five and up to 20 years in prison on a first offense.
Senate Bill 92: Creates the Prosecuting Attorneys Oversight Commission, an eight-member board that will investigate complaints lodged against prosecutors and hold hearings. The panel will have the power to discipline or remove prosecutors on a variety of grounds including mental or physical incapacity, willful misconduct or failure to perform the duties of the office, conviction of a crime of moral turpitude, or conduct that brings the office into disrepute.
Senate Bill 106: The Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Act establishes a three-year pilot program administered through the Georgia Department of Community Health to provide remote patient monitoring for pregnant women under Medicaid.
Senate Bill 129: Expands on an existing law that guarantees two hours of unpaid voting time for workers on election day. Under the bill, workers would also have the option of taking time to vote during three weeks of early voting. Workers seeking time off would have to notify their employer in advance, and then the employer could decide on a time when workers could be absent, according to the bill.
Senate Bill 140: Bars licensed medical professionals in Georgia from providing patients under the age of 18 with hormone therapy or surgery related to gender transition. Violations of the legislation could lead to the revocation of a health practitioner’s license.
Senate Bill 211 & House Bill 538: SB 211 establishes the Georgia Council on Literacy that will work to ensure improved literacy outcomes for students. They will conduct comprehensive reviews of birth to postsecondary literacy programs to ensure their effectiveness. The council will also research and provide recommendations on how to improve literacy rates for students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities as well as students from low-income households. The council itself is only temporary. The bill states the council will be abolished and the bill establishing it will be repealed on December 31, 2026.
Senate Bill 93: bans TikTok and some other applications from state-owned computing devices.
Outside election funding
Senate Bill 222: makes it a felony for local governments to accept money to fund elections from outside groups, except from the state or federal government. The measure tightens a provision from a 2021 Georgia law that made it illegal for elections officials themselves to accept outside money after Republicans grew alarmed that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg donated more than $400 million to election officials nationwide.
Income tax refund
House Bill 162: grants a second straight year of state income tax refunds between $250 and $500 for most taxpayers.
Tax on downloads
Senate Bill 56: imposes sales tax on books, music, movies, pictures, games and other digital goods bought online, although it would not affect rental or subscription items.
Electric vehicles taxation
Senate Bill 146: allows electric vehicle owners to purchase electricity to charge vehicles by the amount of power used instead of the amount of time spent charging, but with new taxes included.
Before, the state used taxes levied on gasoline to pay for transportation infrastructure, but drivers of electric vehicles do not pay gas taxes.
Senate Bill 133: would require juvenile court judges to take additional steps before they could order some children into foster care.
Representative Angela Moore represents the citizens of District 91, which includes portions of DeKalb, Henry and Rockdale counties. She was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2021 and currently serves on the Code Revision, Creative Arts & Entertainment and Higher Education committees.