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The second half of 2024 has begun and that means there are new laws that came into effect on July 1. State Representative Leesa Hagan breaks down a few of the laws that will affect some of her constituents in the 156th District.

Taxes is always a prime interest to most, and income tax reduction for private citizens brought good news from the 2024 Georgia General Assembly. In the final agreement, the income tax rate was lowered from 5.59 percent to 5.39 percent and Gov. Kemp vowed earlier this year to continue to chisel away and drop it even further.

Public safety is also in the forefront of changes that began this month and there are new laws that protect children, the elderly, and citizens in between those stages of life.

House Bill 500 created the offense of arson to a law enforcement vehicle and puts a stiff punishment for anyone found guilty of the crime. Any person convicted faces a fine of up to $100,000 or imprisonment for a minimum of five years with a maximum of 20 years or both a fine AND imprisonment.

Contraband in prisons has come to be a major issue, and SB 159 enhanced penalties for a person who brings prohibited items across a guard line and that includes both employees, contractors, and visitors of the Department of Corrections. If found guilty of bringing contraband for an inmate inside the facility, the perpetrator could face up to a 10-year prison sentence themselves.

These are just a few of the changes that took place on July 1, and there are several more that pertain to residents of rural South Georgia. To read Rep. Hagan’s full report, log onto her website at leesahagan.com/2024 and click on her report.

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