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Legislative Update: Wednesday, June 24

In one of the final days of the 2020 legislative session, the political games were almost too much to keep up with. We are so grateful for all of the pressure Georgia lawmakers felt because of your calls, emails and social media posts. Despite all our best efforts, though, both bills moved closer to becoming law and, if passed, will enhance penalties for “hate crimes” against cops (HB 838) and force people to stay in jail if they can’t pay bail (SB 402).   

House Bill 838 was amended to remove the protections for police officers under investigation, but it passed both chambers with the hate crimes language for cops and other first offenders. The vote in the Senate was 33 – 20, and the House of Representatives agreed to the new hate crime language by a vote of 94 – 72. The next step is for the governor to sign the bill into law.

Senate Bill 402 eliminates signature bonds for every offense, and (after a last minute committee reassignment) was passed by the House Judiciary committee. The next step for SB 402 will be for it to be considered by the House Rules Committee.

The next action items are going to be:

1)      Contact Gov. Kemp and demand he veto HB 838.

2)      Contact the chairman of the House Rules committee, Rep. Richard Smith, and demand that SB 402 not be called to the floor for a vote. Contact information: [email protected]; (404) 656-5141.