2018 Enacted Legislation

The 2018 Regular Session of the 154th Georgia General Assembly convened on January 8, 2018, and adjourned Sine Die on March 29, 2018. As the second year of the biennium, several legislative topics carried over from last year and many others were introduced for the first time. Among the topics considered by legislators this year were comprehensive reforms to the adoption process, continued expansion of medical marijuana, public transit, and rural access to broadband internet.

A number of bills that affect the judiciary were passed including the budget for Fiscal Year 2019, proposed constitutional amendments to create a statewide business court and expand victims’ rights, reforms to the State Office of Administrative Hearings as recommended by the Court Reform Council, updates to garnishment practices, and a new distracted driving law. The final pieces of Governor Nathan Deal’s criminal justice reform initiative were also passed during this session.

Four Judicial Council-supported bills received final passage: HB 571, HB 654 (by way of SB 427), SB 407, and SB 436. HB 571 revises some aspects Magistrates Retirement Fund. HB 654 makes the use of multiple worksheets optional rather than mandatory in cases in which there is more than one child and there is a likelihood that a child will become ineligible to receive support within two years of a final order being entered. This bill was incorporated into the text of SB 427 in order to receive final passage. SB 407 provides for various criminal justice reforms and included substantial changes to how judges handle bail decisions in misdemeanor cases and the establishment of mandatory civil e-filing in superior and state courts. SB 436 will clean up various provisions related to the filling of probate judge vacancies.

To view the legislative summaries of all bills tracked by the Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts, please visit us at: legislation.georgiacourts.gov.

To view all bills introduced during the General Assembly’s 2018 session, go to www.legis.ga.gov/.

To view the bills signed by the governor in 2018, visit https://gov.georgia.gov/legislation/2018