Follow Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Listen to WTCQ
Listen to WVOP
Listen to WYUM
About This App
About This App
About This App
© Southeast Georgia Today. - All Rights Reserved | Developed & Design: Web Wizad Workshop
Get the latest weather forecast!

gregmorris2015By State Representative Greg Morris of Vidalia

March 17-- Crossover Day at the Capitol (the last day a bill can pass from one chamber to another) has come and gone, revealing the bills that passed and may yet become law. These are the major ones generating interest.

H.B.481 . Better known as the “Heartbeat Bill” this measure would effectively ban abortions in Georgia when a heartbeat is detected in an unborn child. If H.B.481 becomes law it will be the strictest anti-abortion law in the nation. It hangs by a thin thread though passing the House 93-73 , a paper thin margin since 91 votes are required to pass a bill in the House. I proudly voted for this legislation.

H.B.316/Voting Machines. This bill has passed the House and Senate and will become law with Gov. Kemp's signature. The current voting machines will be replaced with new ones that produce a verifiable paper confirmation for the voter. The new machines will be touch screens like the current ones. Like H.B.481, this bill was controversial with legislators voting largely along party lines. The Democrats advocated for straight paper ballots but the Republican majority rejected that notion as to susceptible to voter fraud.

H.B.324./Medical Cannabis. This measure would allow the cultivation of marijuana for the purpose of producing cannabis oil . Ten companies will get a license to produce the product. There will be up to 60 dispensaries statewide. I voted no on this measure . In my judgment we are on the path to legalization and this was just the next step. I may be wrong about this vote. Only time will tell.

H.B. 426./Hate Crimes. This measure would increase penalties for crimes motivated “by the victim’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, mental or physical disability.” The increased penalty starts at three extra months imprisonment, and a fine of up to $5,000.00. For felonies, a hate crime gets two years or more extra time on a sentence. Another close vote, this bill passed 96-64. I voted no on H.B. 426.

There are still ways that measures that did not make Crossover Day to pass. They can be attached to other bills of the same subject matter that did pass. Among these bills are casino gambling, gun control, private school vouchers, and taxes on streaming services. Watch for words like Committee, House or Senate substitute, to be alert to changes in current bills. That will be my job over the last 8 legislative days left.

For staff use only.