HB 23, the Foster Children's Psychotropic Medication Monitoring Act, was introduced by Representative Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur) on January 24, 2011. This bill requires the Department of Human Services to create procedures to ensure that the psychotropic medication administered to children in foster care is appropriate, delivered with informed consent of the parent and the child if the child is 14 or over, and is monitored for side effects and continued efficacy. The bill would also require the Department of Human Services to keep records of the medications and other therapies received or recommended for a child. HB 23 has been referred to the House Health and Human Services Committee.
HB 65 was introduced by Representative Tom McCall (R-Elberton) on January 26, 2011. This bill would amend O.C.G.A. 19-8-23 to expand the categories of people who can access adoption records and the information they can access. Specifically, it would add the child or sibling of an adopted party to the parties of interest in an adoption who can access medical information on the adopted person or biological parents, and clarify that health history is part of the information they are entitled to access. HB 65 has been referred to the House Civil Judiciary Committee.
HB 185, the Runaway Youth Safety Act, was introduced by Representative Tom Weldon (R-Ringgold) on February 9, 2011. This bill would amend O.C.G.A. 16-5-45 relating to interference with custody and O.C.G.A. 16-12-1 relating to contributing to the unruliness of a minor to provide a limited exception to misdemeanor liability for shelters providing services to runaway youth as long as they either contact a parent or make a child abuse report within the first 72 hours of contact with the child. HB 185 is under consideration by the Setzler Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.
HB 200 was introduced by Representative Edward Lindsey (R-Atlanta) on Febuary 10, 2011. This bill amends Georgia's anti-human trafficking law, which encompasses the commercial sexual exploitation of children, to: (1) clarify its offenses, (2) substantially increase penalties, (3) allow for forfeiture of property related to the crime, (4) provide that victim's sexual history, relation to the defendant, and ability to consent are not a defense to sex trafficking, (5) provide that a person will not be guilty of a prostitution-related crime if the act was committed while they were a human trafficking victim, (6) clarify that victims of human trafficking are eligible for victim's compensation, and (7) establish training for law enforcement on human trafficking issues, including appropriate treatment of victims. The bill received a favorable recommendation from the Ramsey Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee, and will be considered by the full Committee this Wednesday, February 23, at 1pm in room 132 of the Capitol.
HB 230 was introduced by Representative Ed Setzler (R-Acworth) on February 10, 2011. This bill would add a new code section to Chapter 2 of Title 20 to require local boards of education to develop a curriculum to teach children in grades six through eight and eight through ten about the potential liability for committing certain offenses, with an emphasis on felonies for which they can be charged as adults and sexual offenses. HB 230 has been referred to the House Education Committee.
HB 267 was introduced by Representative Sheila Jones (D-Smyrna) on February 17, 2011. This bill would add a new code section to O.C.G.A. Title 20, Chapter 2 to require the Department of Education to develop a comprehensive strategy to inform children in grades 4-12 about the dangers of "sexting," or sending explicit images via text message. HB 267 has been referred to the House Education Committee.
HB 272 was introduced by Representative Tom Weldon (R-Ringgold) on February 17, 2011. This bill would amend O.C.G.A. 15-11-21 to eliminate the option for cases heard before an associate judge in juvenile court to be reheard before a full juvenile court judge. HB 272 has been referred to the House Civil Judiciary Committee.
HR 9 was introduced by Representative Roger Bruce (D-Atlanta) on February 1, 2011. This resolution would create a joint study committee to look into the causes and effects of teen violence. The joint study committee would be comprised of six appointed members and would issue a report including possible legislative recommendations by January 9, 2012. HR 9 was referred to the House Children and Youth Committee.
SB 14 was introduced by Senator Lester Jackson (D-Savannah) on January 26, 2011. This bill would amend O.C.G.A. 20-2-690.1 to raise the age through which children are required to be in school from 16 to 17 years of age. SB 14 has been referred to the Senate Education and Youth Committee.
SB 31 was introduced by Senator Jason Carter (D-Decatur) on January 31, 2011. This bill would expand the attorney-client privilege under O.C.G.A. 24-9-21 to cover parents' participation in private conversations with defense attorneys representing their children in delinquent or criminal cases. The bill states that only the child, not the parent, can waive the privilege. SB 31 received a favorable recommendation from the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, February 16, 2011, and now awaits consideration by the full Senate.
SB 43 was introduced by Senator Donzella James (D-College Park) on February 7, 2011. This bill would amend O.C.G.A. 20-2-690.1 to expand the range of ages during which children are required to be in school from 6 to 16 years of age to 5 to 17 years of age, and to create exceptions where the child is not eligible for enrollment, has completed a GED or high school certificate program, or is enrolled in another appropriate educational program. SB 43 has been referred to the Senate Education and Youth Committee.
SB 46 was introduced by Senator Gloria Butler (D-Stone Mountain) on February 7, 2011. This bill would amend O.C.G.A. 20-2-143 to require that the sex education curriculum from students in grades 7 through 12 include information on dating violence, including warning signs, prevention, and resources for victims. SB 46 has been referred to the Senate Education and Youth Committee.
SB 49 was introduced by Senator John Albers (R-Roswell) on February 7, 2011. This bill would amend O.C.G.A. 20-2-690.1 to raise the age through which children are required to be in school from 16 to 16.5 years of age. It would also amend O.C.G.A. 20-4-15 and 20-4-18 to reflect this change in age with respect to adult literacy and post secondary education programs. SB 49 has been referred to the Senate Education and Youth Committee.
SB 57 was introduced by Senator Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega) on February 9, 2011. A companion bill, HB 215 was introduced by Representative Paul Battles (R-Cartersville) on February 10, 2011. These bills would add a new code section to Chapter 5 of Title 40 to prohibit people who have been convicted of crimes against children that would qualify them for registry as sex offenders from obtaining commercial driver's licenses for vehicles that transport 16 or more people. SB 57 has been referred to the Senate Transportation Committee, and HB 215 has been referred to the House Motor Vehicles Committee.
SB 80 was introduced by Senator Joshua McKoon (R-Columbus) on February 15, 2011. This bill would require any person, including a juvenile, who is arrested for a felony offense, to give a DNA sample, which would be analyzed and kept in a database by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. SB 80 has been referred to the Senate State Institutions and Property Committee.
SB 105 was introduced by Senator Emanuel Jones (D-Decatur) on Feburary 17, 2011. This bill would require the Commissioner of the Department of Juvenile Justice to create 3-member juvenile parole panels to review and, where appropriate, grant parole petitions relating to children in the Department's custody as the result of an adjudication of delinquency for a designated felony. The petition for parole may be brought by either the child or the Department, requires a recommendation by a Department counselor or placement supervisor, and may not be brought until after the child has been in the Department's custody for at least a year. SB 105 has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.