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These new Georgia laws to go into effect today

Governor Brian Kemp has signed and approved new laws that will go into effect for Georgians very soon.

ATLANTA — On April 15, 2019, Governor Brian Kemp signed 21 bills into law that would take effect on July 1. These laws cover issues from human trafficking to flag displays. Out of the original laws sent to Governor Kemp this year, only a few will affect life for most people in the state. 

New laws can be confusing and difficult to understand so, 11Alive has compacted the information about the laws. 

HB 25:

This law will provide military service members civil relief concerning certain contractual obligations. This has been legalized by the Service Members Civil Relief Act. 

For example, if a service member is away and cannot get their things out of a storage locker due to deployment, they do not have to be legally fined, and cannot be sued for leaving their things. 

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SB 158:

This law was made to provide additional safeguards and protections against human trafficking. It authorizes DFCS to provide care and supervision to children who are victims of human trafficking, and expands prohibitions against trafficking of persons for labor or sexual servitude. 

Atlanta, Georgia is one of the nations hubs for human trafficking due to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Georgia is trying to significantly reduce the number of human trafficking victims and create a safer environment for them. 

HB 287:

This income tax law will remove the income tax deduction for certain physicians serving as community-based faculty physicians. The law will create a new income credit for taxpayers who are licensed physicians, advanced practice registered nurses, or physician assistants who provide uncompensated training to medical students, advanced practice registered nurse students, or physician assistant students for certain periods of time. 

HB 613:

The municipal court of Flovilla, Georgia is being dissolved. If you get mail from them after July 1, 2019 it is probably a scam. 

All matters which are pending in the municipal court of the City of Flovilla on July 1, 2019, will be transferred to the Magistrate Court of Butts County on that date.

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SB 170:

The state will now require buildings that display state and national flags to also display the Honor and Remember Flag as the state's emblem of the service and sacrifice of the members of the armed forces. The flag will only be up on designated days. 

HB 218:

This new law will extend the amount of time a student can receive the HOPE scholarship after graduating from high school. The new rules state that students can be eligible for the HOPE scholarship up to 10 years from their graduation date from high school or the equivalent thereof as determined by the Georgia Student Finance Commission. 

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SB 9:

This law creates more sentencing options and charges for those who have sexually assaulted someone in their care, or to someone who they have disciplinary authority over. Consent can no longer be used as a defense.

SB 60:

The Department of Education will be required to post guidelines and relevant information on the nature and warning signs of sudden cardiac arrest on its website for students participating in interscholastic athletic activities, their parents or guardians and coaches, under this bill.

In addition, under the law, any student who passes out either while participating in or immediately after an athletic activity who has a history of fainting during or after the activity must be removed at that time until they are cleared in writing by a healthcare provider.

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HB 12: 

This new law requires public schools, including local and state charter schools, to post a sign of the toll-free telephone number for the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) of the Department of Human Services to report child abuse or neglect at any time. The sign must be posted in a clearly visible location in a public area of the school.

HB 530:

This law will require the Georgia Department of Education to provide a declaration of homeschooling to local school districts. Under HB 530, if a child is withdrawn from school without filing a declaration and the student stops attending school for 45 days, the school would be required to inform the Department of Family and Children Services.

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HB 62:

Under this law, any health care facilities that conduct mammograms will be required to notify the patient when their results show dense breast tissue.

HB 218:

House Bill 218 will extend the time period students are eligible to receive the HOPE scholarship to 10 years from a student’s graduation from high school. The bill allows for an exception for students who serve in the military during the 10 year time period.

HB 228:

This law increases the minimum age an individual can get married from 16 to 17.

HB 282:

House Bill requires that in cases where a victim reports a sexual assault to law enforcement, the investigating law enforcement agency will be required to maintain all physical evidence that contains biological material for 30 years from the date of arrest, or seven years from the completion of the sentence, whichever occurs last. If no arrests are made, the evidence must be maintained for 50 years.

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HB 346:

This law outlines actions a tenant may take against their landlord relating to the safe occupancy of a property. Landlords will have three months to fix their tenants’ complaints and a list of prohibited retaliatory actions a landlord can take against a tenant are outlined. The bill also specifies the circumstances in which a landlord would not be liable for retaliation claims.


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