2013 Enacted Legislation

Budget

HB 105 - Supplemental appropriations; State Fiscal Year July 1, 2012 - June 30, 2013

HB 105 is the Supplemental Budget for FY 2013. To view the final version of this bill, please click here.

Effective Date: March 27, 2013
Signed by the Governor March 27, 2013

HB 106 - General appropriations; State Fiscal Year July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014

HB 106 is the Budget for FY 2014. To view the final version of this bill, please click here.

Effective Date: July 1, 2013
Signed by the Governor May 7, 2013

HB 441 - Fulton County Superior Court; administrator shall have oversight of budget; provide

HB 441 provides that the court administrator of the Superior Court of Fulton County shall have oversight of the court’s budget. It also allows the court administrator, after county funds have been appropriated for court operations and with the approval of the chief judge, to make changes to line item appropriations. It also provides that any unexpended funds at the end of the fiscal year shall lapse to the county’s general fund.

Effective Date: May 7, 2013
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013

HB 442 - Fulton County State Court; administrator shall have oversight of budget; provide

HB 442 provides for the administration of the budget of the State Court of Fulton County. The bill establishes that the state court administrator shall have oversight of the budget and provides that the court administrator, with the approval of the chief judge, is authorized to make changes to line item appropriations. HB 442 requires any unexpended funds at the end of the fiscal year lapse to the general fund of Fulton County.

Effective Date: May 7, 2013
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013

Civil

HB 94 - Damages; reduction of earnings to present value; change provisions

HB 94 amends O.C.G.A. Article 1 of Chapter 12 of Title 51, relating to general provisions for damages, so as to change provisions relating to the reduction of earnings to present value and to provide for determining the present value of certain future damages. The bill gives fact-finders alternatives for determining the present value of future expenses and economic damages.

Effective Date: May 6, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

HB 336 - Civil practice; tort claims arising out of use of motor vehicles; provide for certain pre-suit settlement offers

HB 336 amends O.C.G.A. Article 8 of Chapter 11 of Title 9, relating to provisional and final remedies and special proceedings in civil practice, by adding new Code Section 9-11-67.1, to provide for certain pre-suit settlement offers and agreements regarding tort claims arising out of the use of motor vehicles. The bill provides for the inclusion of the following terms to be submitted in writing in any offer, prepared by or with the assistance of an attorney, to settle a tort claim for personal injury, bodily injury or death arising from the use of a motor vehicle: a time period for acceptance (no less than 30 days from receipt of the offer), amount of monetary payment, the party or parties to be released upon acceptance of such offer, the type of release the claimant will provide to each releasee, and the claims to be released. Acceptance of terms of the offer by recipients may be provided in writing. Clarification of terms may be sought by recipients of an offer to settle, which shall not be deemed a counteroffer. The bill requires an offer to settle under this Code Section be sent by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, and provides the acceptable means of payment. It also gives the releasee a period of not less than ten days from the date of acceptance to make payment.

The provisions of this Code Section shall not prohibit the parties from reaching a settlement under terms otherwise agreeable to all parties. It applies to all causes of action for personal injury, bodily injury and death arising from the use of a motor vehicle on or after July 1, 2013.

Effective Date: May 7, 2013
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013

HB 382 - Torts; governing authority of school that enters into recreational joint-use agreement with public or private entity; limit liability

HB 382 amends Chapter 1 of Title 51 of the O.C.G.A., relating to general provisions for torts, so as to limit liability for a governing authority of a school that enters into a recreational joint-use agreement with a public or private entity. The governing authority of a school, when operating pursuant to a recreational joint-use agreement, shall not be liable for any civil damages arising from the use of the school's facilities unless it is proven by clear and convincing evidence that injuries or damages arising from the use were caused by the gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct of the school's governing authority.

Effective Date: July 1, 2013
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013

HB 499 - Torts; payor guidelines and criteria under federal law shall not establish legal basis for negligence or standard of care for medical malpractice; provide

HB 499 amends Chapter 1 of Title 51 of the O.C.G.A, relating to general provisions for torts, by providing that payor guidelines and criteria under federal law do not establish a legal basis for negligence or a standard of care for medical malpractice.

Effective Date: May 6, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

SB 113 - Civil Practice; personal service of a summons on a corporation; provisions

SB 113 revises O.C.G.A. § 9-11-4, relating to process, to change provisions relating to personal service of a summons on a corporation and foreign corporation under certain circumstances. The bill removes the secretary and cashier of a corporation from the eligible representatives on which a summons may be served, and provides a definition of "managing agent" of a corporation.

Effective Date: July 1, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

Criminal

HB 78 - Crimes and offenses; protection of disabled adults and elder persons; change provisions

HB 78 amends Title 16, Code Section 24-13-130, Chapter 5 of Title 30, and Article 4 of Chapter 8 of Title 31 of the O.C.G.A., relating to crimes and offenses, when depositions to preserve testimony in criminal proceedings may be taken, protection of disabled adults and elder persons, and reporting abuse or exploitation of residents in long-term care facilities. The bill moves relevant criminal penalties from Titles 30 and 31 into Title 16. The bill makes it a felony to knowingly and willfully exploit a disabled adult, elder person or resident in a long-term care facility.

HB 78 mandates the reporting of abuse of elder persons or disabled adults by certain specified professionals. It requires that reporters make a report to the law enforcement agency or prosecuting attorney if the abuse or exploitation occurred in a long-term care facility. If the abuse or exploitation did not occur in a long-term care facility, the reporter must report to both law enforcement and adult protective services that has been designated by the Department of Human Services.

Effective Date: May 3, 2013
Signed by Governor May 3, 2013

HB 126 - Park rangers; any person obstructing or hindering the lawful discharge of official duties; prohibit

HB 126 amends Article 2 of Chapter 10 of Title 16 of the O.C.G.A. by adding a new code section 16-10-24.4, relating specifically to park rangers. The new code section provides for a misdemeanor penalty when a person knowingly and willfully obstructs or hinders any park ranger in the lawful discharge of his or her official duties. It also establishes that whosoever knowingly and willfully resists, obstructs, or opposes any park ranger in the lawful discharge of his or her official duties by offering or doing violence to a park ranger shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.

Effective Date: May 6, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

HB 141 - Kidnapping; certain businesses and establishments post a model notice to enable persons who are the subject of human trafficking to obtain help and services; require

HB 141 amends O.C.G.A. Article 3 of Chapter 5 of Title 16, as it relates to kidnapping, false imprisonment, and related offenses. The bill requires certain businesses and establishments to post a model notice so as to enable people who are the subject of human trafficking to obtain help and services. It provides for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to develop and post the model notice on its website. Businesses not in compliance will have 30 days to comply once notice has been made by a law enforcement officer in writing. Business owners that do not comply within the 30 day period shall be charged with a violation and upon conviction be guilty of the misdemeanor offense of failure to post the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline number and may be punished by a fine of not more than $500.00. A second or subsequent conviction shall be a high and aggregated misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000.00, imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or both. Farmers are excluded from this statute.

This Code section shall be repealed in its entirety on January 1, 2019, unless extended by an Act of the General Assembly.

Effective Date: May 6, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

HB 146 - Criminal procedure; the issuance of arrest and search warrants by video conference; change provisions

HB 146 removes the existing geographic restriction on the location of a judge signing an electronic warrant. The bill removes the requirement of being physically located in the county of jurisdiction while issuing a warrant via electronic means. Issuance of warrants by judges of a county utilizing an electronic warrant system are deemed to be issued within that county, regardless of where, within the State of Georgia, that judge accesses the electronic system servicing the judge's county of jurisdiction.

HB 146 adds additional procedural safeguards in the issuance of a good behavior bond by a judicial officer. It allows any judicial officer authorized to hold a court of inquiry to issue a notice to appear for a show cause hearing to any person whose conduct in the county is sufficient to justify the belief that there exists imminent danger of injury to any person, damage to any property, or disturbance of the peace. The court may require from the person a bond with sureties for good behavior. At the time of or at any time after the filing of an application for a show cause hearing, the judicial officer may issue an order of arrest for the person(s) named in the application. Upon the arrest of such person, a hearing shall be held within 24 hours. Otherwise, such person shall be released on bond with sureties and reasonable conditions for his or her good behavior until a hearing can be held.

Effective Date: May 6, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

HB 156 - Electronic pornography; certain acts amounting to unlawfully seducing or enticing a child through use of computer online service; clarify

HB 156 amends O.C.G.A. § 16-12-100.2, relating to computer or electronic pornography and child exploitation prevention. The bill broadens the range of persons included in another person’s attempt to unlawfully seduce, solicit, lure or entice a child through use of a computer online service, Internet service, or similar service. Any person having custody or control of a child, or another person believed by such person to have custody or control of a child who is solicited online for the sexual exploitation of that child will be held criminally liable.

The bill also clarifies the offense of unlawful distribution of material depicting nudity or sexual conduct through electronic transmissions.

Effective Date: May 6, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

HB 250 - Local excise tax; sale or use of energy; revise certain provisions

HB 250 amends Article 6 of Chapter 13 of Title 48 of the O.C.G.A., relating to the local excise tax on the sale or use of energy, so as to provide for the revision of certain provisions relating to the levy, collection, and administration of local excise tax. The bill defines “Dealer” to mean any person who sells energy at retail, offers to sell energy at retail, or has in his or her possession any energy for sale at retail. It shall be unlawful for any dealer to knowingly and willfully fail, neglect, or refuse to collect the tax. In addition to the penalty of being liable for and paying the tax himself or herself, any person in violates shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $5,000.00 or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. Upon the second or subsequent conviction, the person shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000.00 or imprisonment for not more than five years, or both. The bill makes it unlawful for any dealer to knowingly and willfully make, render, sign, or verify any return to make a false or fraudulent return with intent to evade the tax levied. It shall be unlawful for any dealer to knowingly and willfully fail or refuse to furnish any return, or to fail or refuse to furnish a supplemental return or other data required by the governing authority of the county or municipality. It shall be unlawful for any dealer to knowingly and willfully fail to keep records or to fail to open the records to inspection as required by law. Any person convicted under HB 250 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature and, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $5,000.00 or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. Upon the second or subsequent conviction, a person shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000.00 or imprisonment for not more than five years, or both.

Effective Date: May 6, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

HB 349 - Criminal cases; provide state with more direct appeal rights

HB 349 is based on the Governor's Criminal Justice Reform Council ("Council") recommendations. It grants the state the right to appeal a pre-trial ruling excluding evidence. It allows a judge to use his discretion to depart from mandatory minimums for drug offenses up to 50 percent in certain enumerated circumstances. The bill removes the word 'knowingly' in regards to the weight of illegal drugs. This amendment clarifies that the accused does not have to have subjective knowledge of the actual weight of the drug in order to be found guilty under the statute.

HB 349 revises the definition of administrative probation to allow the Board of Pardons and Paroles to utilize resources elsewhere while remaining in compliance with the Interstate Compact. It grants discretion to the court for departure from a mandatory minimum sentence for a serious violent felony when the prosecuting attorney and defendant agree. The bill also creates a Council on Criminal Justice Reform for periodic review of criminal and correctional laws. The bill codifies current law regarding child hearsay of a child witness to sexual or physical abuse of another child. – (This section was not a recommendation of the Criminal Justice Reform Council.)

The bill allows courts to grant a limited driving permit to a drug court participant, and allows the Department of Corrections to collect fees for drug screenings for probationers.

HB 349 also amends O.C.G.A. Code Section 35-3-37, relating to review of an individual's criminal history record information, definitions, and privacy considerations, so as to revise definitions and clarify provisions relating to record restriction involving certain felony offenses. When an individual has had a felony charge dismissed or nolle prossed, or was found not guilty of the charge but was convicted of a misdemeanor offense that was not a lesser included offense of the felony charge, that individual may petition the superior court in the county where the arrest occurred to restrict access to criminal history record information for the felony charge within four years of the arrest. The bill applies to offenses prior to July 1, 2013. If a hearing is requested, the court shall hear evidence and shall grant an order restricting the criminal history record information, if the court determines that the misdemeanor conviction was not a lesser included offense of the felony charge and that the harm otherwise resulting to the individual is clearly outweighed by the public interest in the criminal history record information being publicly available.

The bill establishes that a decision of the prosecuting attorney to decline a request to restrict access to criminal history record information shall not be upheld unless it can be demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence that the arrest is not eligible for record restriction.

Effective Date: July 1, 2013
Signed by Governor April 25, 2013

HB 480 - Crimes and offenses; list of persons who may be present in courtroom when person under age of 16 testifies concerning a sex offense; add victim assistance personnel

HB 480 amends O.C.G.A. Code Section 17-8-54, by adding victim assistance personnel to the list of persons who may be present in a courtroom when a person under age 16 testifies concerning a sex offense.

Effective Date: July 1, 2013

SB 86 - Family Violence Order; provide greater protection of victims of family violence

SB 86 provides additional arrest authority for violations of family violence bond and family violence probation conditions. The bill expands the definition of 'family violence order' to mean:

1. Any temporary restraining order, temporary protective order, permanent restraining order, or permanent protective order issued pursuant to Article 1 of Chapter 13 of Title 19;
2. Any order of pretrial release issued as a result of an arrest for an act of family violence; or
3. Any order for probation issued as a result of a conviction or plea of guilty, nolo contendre, or first offender to an act of family violence.

A person commits the offense of violating a family violence order when the person knowingly and in a nonviolent manner violates the terms of the order issued against that person. SB 86 establishes that an arrest for a crime may be made by a law enforcement officer either under a warrant or without a warrant if the officer has probable cause to believe that the offender has violated a family violence order. When an arrest is made for a violation of a family violence order without a warrant, such person shall not be eligible for bail prior to appearing before a judicial officer pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 17-4-21.

Effective Date: May 7, 2013
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013

SB 120 - Probate Courts; provide for prosecuting attorneys in counties where there is not state court

SB 120 allows a probate court judge, in a county where there is no state court, to request the district attorney of the circuit in which the court is located to prosecute criminal cases subject to the jurisdiction of the probate court. If the district attorney is unable to assist the probate court, he or she shall notify the probate court in writing. The request for a prosecuting attorney would be subject to the approval of the county commission. The bill clarifies that a prosecuting attorney or assistant of a probate court shall be subject to all laws and rules governing the conduct of prosecuting attorneys in the state.

Effective Date: May 6, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

SB 136 - "Kyle Glover Boat Education Law" and "Jake and Griffin BUI Law"; provide for greater public protection for hunting and boating

SB 136 amends O.C.G.A. Title 27 and Chapter 7 of Title 52, relating to game and fish and to registration, operation, and sale of watercraft, so as to provide greater public protection for hunting and boating. The bill harmonizes provisions relating to hunting, boating, and driving under the influence of alcohol, toxic vapors, or drugs. It changes provisions relating to rules and regulations used to establish criminal violations for hunting; provisions relating to hunting under the influence; provisions relating to required equipment for children on vessels and lighting; provisions relating to operating vessels and personal watercraft; provisions relating to operation of watercraft and operating watercraft while under the influence of alcohol, toxic vapors, or drugs; provisions relating to ordering drug or alcohol testing; provisions relating to suspension of an operator's privilege to operate a vessel in this state; provisions relating to boating education courses in this state; provisions relating to rules and regulations used to establish criminal violations for registration, operation, and sale of watercraft and displaying watercraft information.

SB 136 amends the minimum blood alcohol concentration level to be considered intoxicated while operating a boat or hunting from .10 to .08 grams. It also provides for punishment in the case of refusal to submit to a blood alcohol test.

Effective Date: May 15, 2013
Signed by Governor April 23, 2013
*See also Traffic*

SB 170 - Forgery and Fraudulent Practices; identity fraud; add medical identity fraud

SB 170 amends O.C.G.A. Chapter 9 of Title 16, relating to forgery and fraudulent practices, so as to add medical identity fraud to the provisions relating to identity fraud.

Effective Date: May 7, 2013
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013

SB 225 - Criminal Procedure; relieve a surety from liability under certain circumstances

SB 225 revises O.C.G.A. Code Section 17-6-72 relating to proceedings for forfeiture of bonds, to relieve a surety from liability for failing to appear due to treatment needs. Subsections (b) and (c) are amended to reduce from fifteen to ten days the time that a prosecutor and sheriff or law enforcement of a jurisdiction must place a detainer on a principal once requested by a surety. Subsection (d) (1) is amended to streamline the provision related to the remission of 95 percent of the bond amount to a surety within 120 days from the payment of judgment if the principal is produced or otherwise appears before the court, and 50 percent of the bond amount if the principal is located within two years of the time the bond was made.

Effective Date: May 7, 2013
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013

Compensation/Retirement

HB 578 - Columbia County; health insurance program; revise the time for vesting for certain officials

HB 578 decreases the time for vesting in the Columbia County health insurance program for certain officials upon leaving office. The bill establishes that members of the Board of Commissioners; the Clerk of the Superior Court; the Judge of the Probate Court; the Sheriff; the Tax Receiver, Tax Collector, and Tax Commissioner; the Coroner; and the Chief Magistrate shall be entitled to continue to participate in and be covered by the health insurance plan provided by the county for county officers and employees, if the officer has served at least eight years in the office.

Effective Date: May 6, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

SB 142 - Georgia Judicial Retirement System; board of trustees; authority to determine the time/circumstances of paying benefits; qualified plan under federal law

SB 142 amends O.C.G.A. Article 6 of Chapter 23 of Title 47, relating to salary, retirement, death, and disability benefits under the Georgia Judicial Retirement System. The bill provides the board of trustees with the authority to determine the time and circumstances of paying benefits, to the extent necessary, to preserve the retirement system's status as a qualified plan under federal law. In addition, SB 142 establishes that if any retired member returns to the service of the state in any position, except as a member of the General Assembly, his or her retirement allowance shall cease. Upon cessation of such service, the retired member, after proper notification to the board, shall receive the same retirement allowance which he or she was receiving prior to returning to state service, calculated with any increases granted during the period of compensation.

Effective Date: May 6, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

Fines and Fees

HB 142 - Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission; change certain provisions

HB 142 amends Chapter 5 of Title 21 of the O.C.G.A., relating to ethics in government, so as to change certain provisions relating to powers and duties of the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission.

The bill grants the Commission with rule making authority under the Georgia Administrative Procedure Act, and imposes a $75 gift cap on travel, lodging, registration, food and beverages that are received from any individual lobbyist. It allows expenditures for food, beverages, and registration at group events that are open to all members of an agency, including the General Assembly. Events for committees and caucuses are limited to one per calendar year. The bill allows for reimbursement or payment of actual and reasonable expenses to a public officer and his/her necessary staff for transportation, lodging, travel, and registration for educational, informational, charitable, or civic meetings and conferences that are held within the United States and are directly related to the official duties of that public officer, plus food and beverages during the conference for the public officer, staff, and spouse.

HB 142 expands the definition of who needs to register as a lobbyist to include any person who receives compensation in excess of $250 per calendar year for advocating a position or agenda for the purpose of influencing the decision making of a public officer of the executive or legislative branch of state government. It eliminates the lobbyist registration fee but authorizes the Commission to supplemental registration and ID cards. It requires lobbyists or those who are required to register to wear their badges while meeting with public officers at the Capitol or at the Legislative Office Building when speaking to public officers unless the lobbyist is a resident of that public officer's district. The same responsibility is placed on the public officers to not knowingly accept an expenditure from a lobbyist or person who is required to register as a lobbyist.

Effective Date: January 1, 2014
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

HB 143 - Campaign contributions; disclosure reports; change certain provisions

HB 143 changes the requirements for filing campaign disclosure reports by mandating that candidates for public office file their reports with the election superintendent in the county of election.

This legislation also eliminates the filing requirement for candidates for public office who raise less than $2,500 in a calendar year and file a written notice of intent not to accept contributions in excess of $2,500. Candidates who raise between $2,500-$5,000 will only be required to file June 30th and October 25th reports. Candidates who raise more than $5,000 in a calendar year are subject to the full filing requirements of O.C.G.A. Code Section21-5-34.

This election superintendent has 30 days from the grace period to transmit a copy of the report to the Ethics Commission by e-Filing or e-Fax. No fine, fee, or sanction, shall be imposed by the commission on a candidate for failure of the election superintendent to timely transmit a copy of the report. The Ethics Commission will post the transmitted reports to their website.

The election superintendent will be responsible for notifying the candidate of a late filing and subsequently fining, and collecting the fine from the candidate. The fine amounts and distribution of the fines have remained as is under current law.

Notice of late filing shall be sent to a candidate in the same manner in which the penalized report was filed with the election superintendent. Candidates who file by paper or in person shall be notified of late filing by certified mail, return receipt requested.

Effective Date: January 1, 2014
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

HB 160 - Mortgages; vacant and foreclosed real property registries; revise provisions

HB 160 amends O.C.G.A. Code Section 44-14-14, relating to vacant and foreclosed real property registries. When any vacant real property is acquired by foreclosure under power of sale or acquired pursuant to a deed in lieu of foreclosure, and the deed is filed with the clerk of superior court within 60 days of foreclosure sale or transfer of the deed in lieu of foreclosure, a county or municipal corporation shall not require the transferee to register the vacant real property or the payment of any administrative fees.

HB 160 adds a new code section 44-14-15, so as to prohibit a fee for a future conveyance of real property except under limited circumstances. The fee can only be required when it is associated with the conveyance of the property to be paid to an association with the purposes of exercising the powers of any condominium, or a property owners' association with the purposes of exercising the powers of property owners. The fees should only be used to pay common expenses for the operation of the association. The bill also allows legal malpractice claims to be assigned.

Effective Date: Sections 1 and 5 of this Act shall become effective May 6, 2013. Sections 2 and 3 of this Act shall become effective on July 1, 2013.
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

HB 450 - Cherokee County State Court; charge technology fee for each civil case filed and each criminal fine imposed; authorize

HB 450 authorizes the State Court of Cherokee County to charge a technology fee not to exceed $5.00 for each civil case filed and each criminal fine imposed. This Act shall stand automatically repealed on July 30, 2018.

Effective Date: July 1, 2013
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013
*See also Local General*

HB 556 - Columbus, City of; Recorder's Court; impose and collect technology fee for each fine imposed

HB 556 authorizes the Recorder’s Court of Columbus, Georgia, to impose and collect technology fees. The Clerk of Court will be entitled to charge a technology fee set by the court, not to exceed $15.00, as a surcharge to each fine. This fine cannot be added to a fine established by general law. The fines shall be used specifically for the technology needs of the court and will be maintained in a segregated fund by the court clerk. This Act shall stand repealed on July 1, 2016.

Effective Date: July 1, 2013
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013
*See also Local General*

HB 583 - Griffin, City of; Municipal Court; charge technology fee for each civil case and criminal fine imposed; authorize

HB 583 authorizes the Municipal Court of the City of Griffin to charge a technology fee for each civil case and criminal fine imposed. The technology fee shall be set by order of the judge of the court, provided that the fee shall not exceed $5.00. The funds may be used to reimburse the city's information technology department for services provided to the court.

Effective Date: July 1, 2013
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013
*See also Local General*

SB 66 - Courts; increase penalties than can imposed for contempt of superior and state courts

SB 66 increases penalties that can be imposed for contempt of superior and state courts to $1,000.00, currently $500.00. SB 66 also revises subsection (c) of Code Section 15-10-43, relating to filing an answer or counterclaim in magistrate court, by clarifying that verification of answers and counterclaims shall not be required.

Effective Date: May 6, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

SB 231 - Georgia Driver's Education Commission; additional sums collected on fines; extend the sunset provisions

SB 231 amends O.C.G.A. § 15-21-179, to extend the sunset provision for Joshua’s Law, which provides for the revenue stream to fund the Georgia Drivers’ Education Commission and driver education and training.

Effective Date: May 6, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013
*See also Traffic*

General

HB 55 - Wiretapping; interception of wire or oral transmissions by law enforcement; change provisions

HB 55 amends subsection (c) of Code Section 16-11-64, relating to interception of wire or oral transmissions by law enforcement officers, by authorizing a judge to issue a wire tap warrant that has statewide jurisdiction. Upon written application, under oath, of the district attorney or the Attorney General, made before a judge of superior court having jurisdiction over the crime under investigation, the court may issue an investigation warrant permitting the use of a device for the surveillance of a person or place to the extent the same is consistent with and subject to the terms, conditions, and procedures provided for by 18 U.S.C. Chapter 119. The warrant shall have statewide application and interception of communications shall be permitted in any location in this state.

HB 55 is further amended by revising Code Section 16-11-64.1, relating to the application and issuance of orders authorizing installation and use of pen register and trap and trace, by permitting the court to enter an order authorizing the use of a pen register or a trap and trace device. The order shall have state-wide application and the interception by the use of a pen and register or trap and trace device shall be permitted in any location in this state.

Effective Date: February 13, 2013
Signed by Governor February 13, 2013

HB 57 - Controlled substances; definition of Schedule I; expand

HB 57 amends O.C.G.A. Code Section 16-13-25, relating to Schedule I controlled substances. The bill expands the definition of Schedule I controlled substances to include new substances used in the production of synthetic narcotics.

Effective Date: February 26, 2013
Signed by Governor February 26, 2013

HB 79 - Official Code of Georgia; revise, modernizes and corrects errors or omissions

HB 79 amends the O.C.G.A. to revise, modernize, and correct errors or omissions in the Code in furtherance of the work of the Code Revision Commission. It repeals portions of the Code, or Acts in amendment thereof, which have become obsolete, have been declared unconstitutional, or have been preempted or superseded by subsequent laws.

Effective Date: April 24, 2013; except that:
(1) The amendment made by paragraph (4) of Section 16 of this Act shall be effective July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2014;
(2) The amendment made by paragraph (5) of Section 16 of this Act shall become effective July 1, 2014;
(3) The amendment made by paragraph (4) of Section 26 of this Act shall become effective only when funds are specifically appropriated for purposes of Ga. L. 2007, p. 463, in an Appropriations Act making specific reference to such Act; and
(4) The amendment made by paragraph (18) of Section 48 of this Act shall become effective on January 1 of the year following the year in which federal funds are made available for the purpose of funding the credit provided by Ga. L. 2010, p. 1163, Section 1, and in which the state auditor certifies in writing to the commissioner of natural resources and the state revenue commissioner that such funds have been received, have been deposited in the general fund, and are available for purposes of Ga. L. 2010, p. 1163, Section 1.

Signed by Governor April 24, 2013

HB 87 - Elections; use of the boundaries of a gated community as the boundaries of a precinct; authorize

HB 87 authorizes the use of the boundaries of a gated community as the boundaries of a voting precinct. It requires these communities be open to the public on election days.

Effective Date: April 30, 2013
Signed by Governor April 30, 2013

HB 122 - Sexual Offender Registration Review Board; review and utilize records of Board of Pardons and Paroles in making assessments; authorize

HB 122 authorizes the Sexual Offender Registration Review Board to review and utilize the records, regarding a sexual offender, of the Board of Pardons and Paroles in making its assessment. The records shall remain confidential and shall not be made available to any other person or entity or be subject to subpoena unless declassified by the State Board of Pardons and Paroles. HB 122 also restricts the public identification of individuals administering the death penalty.

Effective Date: May 7, 2013
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013

HB 139 - Sheriffs; general qualification requirements; revise

HB 139 amends O.C.G.A. Article 1 of Chapter 16 of Title 15, relating to general provisions regarding sheriffs, so as to revise the general qualification requirements for sheriffs. The bill provides a three-day grace period following the close of the qualifying period to candidates running for the office of sheriff to provide required information. The probate judge, under whose direction the candidate’s fingerprints are taken, is required to notify the election superintendent of any criminal history records within the three-day grace period.

EEffective Date: May 6, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

HB 150 - Law enforcement officers; the reproduction of arrest booking photographs; enact provisions

HB 150 amends O.C.G.A. Chapter 1 of Title 10, Chapter 1 of Title 35, Article 4 of Chapter 18 of Title 50, and Title 51, relating to selling and other trade practices, so as to enact provisions relating to the reproduction of arrest booking photographs; to require law enforcement agencies to copyright or watermark booking photographs; to authorize copyrighting of public records; to provide for the right of publicity in an individual's persona; and to prohibit the use of an individual's persona for commercial purposes without authorization. The bill prevents companies from charging individuals for the removal of their mug shots from the company websites. The bill requires law enforcement agencies to copyright or watermark booking photographs.

Effective Date: July 1, 2013

HB 155 - Game and fish; licensing and operation of shooting preserve; revise provisions

HB 155 amends Title 27 of the O.C.G.A., relating to game and fish. The bill revises provisions concerning the licensing and operation of shooting preserves. It revises the definition of "pen raised game birds;" changes licensing requirements for shooting preserves and creates a lifetime shooting preserve license.

Effective Date: July 1, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

HB 161 - Trial juries; oath of bailiffs; change provisions

HB 161 amends O.C.G.A. Code Section 15-11-140, by updating the oath to all bailiffs on duty in any court in the state conducting a jury trial. The oath states the bailiff shall take all juries committed to their charge to the jury room or some other private and convenient place designated by the court. It restricts a bailiff from allowing the jurors to receive any books, papers, nourishment, or hydration other than water, or to use any electronic communication device except as directed and approved by the court. The oath also restricts communication between bailiffs and jurors, and does not allow anyone to communicate with the jurors except as specifically authorized by the court.

Effective Date: May 6, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

HB 187 - Controlled substances; date of incorporation of local ordinances by reference; change

HB 187 amends Code Section 16-13-32.6 of the O.C.G.A., relating to manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, or possessing with intent to distribute controlled substances or marijuana in, on, or within drug-free commercial zones. It allows the General Assembly to adopt and incorporate all drug-free commercial zones that have been adopted by local municipal or county ordinance and entered in the register of the Department of Community Affairs on or before July 1, 2013.

Effective Date: May 6, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

HB 215 - Superior courts; filings in the clerk's office; change provisions

HB 215 establishes that when the clerk accepts an instrument or document for filing, the clerk shall note the date and time of receipt of such instrument or document on the instrument or document. The clerk shall not record any instrument or document conveying real or personal property, including liens, unless the clerk receives all required fees and taxes that are due in connection with such filing.

The bill allows superior court clerk’s offices with three or fewer employees to be open from 8:00 A.M. until noon and 1:00 P.M. until 5:00 P.M. Currently, the office of each clerk of superior court must remain open Monday through Friday from 9:00 A.M. until 5:00 P.M. and may not close for any period of time during such hours.

Effective Date: July 1, 2013

HB 256 - Tobacco; regulation of cigar wraps; provide

HB 256 adds the definition of cigar wraps to Article 7 of Chapter 12 of Title 16, relating to the sale or distribution by minors of cigarettes and tobacco related objects, so that they will be regulated like other tobacco products.

Effective Date: May 6, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

HB 302 - Controlled substances; substances included under Schedule I and III; add

HB 302 amends Chapter 13 of Title 16 of the O.C.G.A. relating to control substances. The Act adds substances under Schedule I control substances, Schedule III control substances, and updates and revises the list of dangerous drugs and substances.

Effective Date: April 18, 2013
Signed by Governor April 18, 2013

HB 482 - Corrections, Department of; employees serving as certified peace officers may retain their weapons under certain circumstances; provide

HB 482 allows former certified employees of the Department of Corrections to retain their department issued weapon when the employee leaves the service of the department under honorable conditions and has accumulated 20 years of service with the department as a certified officer.

Effective Date: April 18, 2013
Signed by Governor April 18, 2013

SB 1 - Child's Health Insurance Information and Records; provide that both parents have equal access

SB 1 amends O.C.G.A. Titles 33 and 19, relating respectively to insurance and domestic relations. It prevents health insurance records and information pertaining to a child from being withheld from a custodial parent or from the noncustodial parent unless a court order has specifically removed the right of the noncustodial parent to such information, or unless parental rights have been terminated.

Effective Date: May 6, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013
*See also Juvenile*

SB 96 - State Courts, Solicitors-General of; part-time solicitor-general; engage in private practice of law; not represent defendants in criminal matters in such solicitor-general's state court

SB 96 permits a part-time solicitor-general of the state court, and any part-time assistant solicitor-general, to engage in the private practice of law. But the bill prohibits part-time solicitors-general from representing defendants in criminal matters in the courts in which the solicitors-general serve or from appearing on behalf of any client other than the state, in any matter that is within their duties. The bill clarifies that a full-time solicitor general shall not engage in the private practice of law.

Effective Date: May 6, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

SB 105 - "Uniform Fraudulent Transfers Act"; provide for a definition

SB 105 adds a new Code section relating to contributions to charitable organizations to Article 4 of Chapter 2 of Title 18 of the O.C.G.A., the "Uniform Fraudulent Transfers Act". The bill provides a definition of "charitable organization," and provides that a charitable contribution made to a charitable organization shall not be considered fraudulent when such organization has received the transfer in good faith.

SB 105 also provides for an increase in the bankruptcy exception for motor vehicles, from $3,500 to $5,000.

Effective Date: May 7, 2013
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013

SB 160 - Public Employers; provide annual report relative to compliance with certain laws; provide for certain report to Dept. of Audits and Accounts

SB 160 amends O.C.G.A. Code Section 13-10-91, relating to the verification of new employee eligibility, applicability, and rules and regulations, so as to provide for an annual report by public employers to the Department of Audits and Accounts.

Effective Date: July 1, 2013
Signed by Governor April 24, 2013

SB 193 - 'Uniform Interstate Family Support Act'; update

SB 193 updates the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), last revised in 1996, which provides a substantive and procedural framework for the establishment, modification and subsequent enforcement of support orders among the states. Since then, UIFSA has been modernized to streamline interstate cooperation and to comply with the new Hague Maintenance Convention.

Effective Date: May 6, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

Juvenile

HB 21 - Adoption; postadoption contact agreements; provide

HB 21 adds new Code section 19-8-27 to the O.C.G.A., relating to general provisions relative to adoption. The bill provides for postadoption contact agreements that permit continuing contact between an adopted child and the birth relatives. A court must find an agreement to have been entered into voluntarily and to be in the child’s best interests. An adopted child who is 14 years old or older is considered a party to the agreement.

Effective Date: May 7, 2013
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013

HB 182 - Juvenile court administration; hearing on the order of an associate court judge; delete provisions

HB 182 removes the requirement for rehearing of associate juvenile court judges' decisions, and allows for an associate juvenile court judge to serve as judge pro tempore in the event of the disqualification, illness, or absence of a juvenile court judge.

Effective Date: July 1, 2013. Part II of this Act shall become effective on January 1, 2014. Part I of this Act shall stand repealed January 1, 2014.
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013

HB 242 - Juvenile proceedings; substantially revise, supersede, and modernize provisions

HB 242 is a combination of some of the provisions from the Juvenile Code Rewrite and the recommendations from the Criminal Justice Reform Council in regards to juvenile justice. The bill restructures the juvenile code to improve the process for practitioners and judges. To view a more detailed summary, please click here.

Effective Date: January 1, 2014
Signed by Governor May 2, 2013

HB 446 - Guardian and ward; proposed ward who resided in another state prior to submission of guardianship or conservatorship petition for such proposed ward; provide certain additional notice requirements

HB 446 amends O.C.G.A. Title 29, relating to guardian and ward. It provides for an additional notice requirement for a proposed ward who resided in another state prior to the submission of a guardianship or conservatorship petition.

The petition must set forth any state in which the proposed ward was physically present, including a period of temporary absence, for at least the immediate preceding six months. Notice must be given to those persons who reside in such other state.

Effective Date: May 7, 2013
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013

SB 1 - Child's Health Insurance Information and Records; provide that both parents have equal access

SB 1 amends O.C.G.A. Titles 33 and 19, relating respectively to insurance and domestic relations. It prevents health insurance records and information pertaining to a child from being withheld from a custodial parent or from the noncustodial parent unless a court order has specifically removed the right of the noncustodial parent to such information, or unless parental rights have been terminated.

Effective Date: May 6, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013
*See also General*

SB 204 - Appeal and Error; limit the scope of judgments/orders; child custody cases; direct appeal

SB 204 amends O.C.G.A. Code Section 5-6-34, so as to limit the scope of judgments or orders in child custody cases which are subject to direct appeal.

Effective Date: May 6, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

Local Compensation

HB 86 - Putnam County State Court; judge and solicitor-general; change compensation

HB 86 changes the compensation for the judge and solicitor-general of the State Court of Putnam County. The judge and solicitor-general of the State Court of Putnam County shall be part-time and shall be paid an annual salary of $54,000.00. Health insurance, retirement, and deferred compensation benefits currently in place on the effective date of this section and being paid to the state court judge and solicitor-general shall remain in place. The salaries, which may also be supplemented by the governing authority of Putnam County, shall be payable out of the funds of Putnam County at the same intervals as installments are paid to other county employees. The salary of the solicitor-general shall be an expense of the State Court of Putnam County and payable out of the county treasury as such. The amount of compensation for the judge and solicitor-general shall be increased by multiplying the amount by the percentage which equals five times the number of completed four-year terms of office served by any judge or solicitor-general following December 31, 2008, effective the first day of January following the completion of each period of service.

Effective Date: May 1, 2013
Signed by Governor April 24, 2013

HB 435 - Fulton County State Court; change compensation of chief judge

HB 435 changes the compensation and provides for duties of the chief judge of the State Court of Fulton County. The chief judge shall be paid from county funds the sum of $6,000.00 per annum. This compensation shall be in addition to his or her compensation as a judge of the court.

Effective Date: June 1, 2013
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013

HB 444 - Fulton County Superior Court; amount of supplement for judges; increase

HB 444 amends the Act to supplement the salaries of the judges of the Superior Court of Fulton County by increasing the amount of the supplement. The bill authorizes the Board of County Commissioners of Fulton County to pay each of the judges of the Superior Court of Fulton County, in addition to the salaries paid by the state, the sum of not less than $49,748.00 per annum, payable in equal monthly installments. The chief judge of the Superior Court of Fulton County shall receive an additional county paid salary supplement in the sum of not less than $6,000.00 per annum, such amount to be paid in addition to the additional amount paid by the county to each superior court judge and paid in equal monthly installments.

Effective Date: January 1, 2014
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013

HB 485 - Soperton, City of; City Court; change salary of judge and solicitor

HB 485 provides compensation for the judge and solicitor-general of the State Court of Treutlen County. Beginning on July 1, 2013, the judge shall receive an annual salary of not less than $34,000 for the length of the first four-year term served and $42,000 annually for the length of the second four-year term and any subsequent terms for which he or she is elected to serve. Beginning on July 1, 2013, the solicitor-general shall receive an annual salary of not less than $24,000 for the length of the first four-year term served and $36,000 annually for the length of the second four-year term and any subsequent terms for which he or she is elected to serve.

Effective Date: July 1, 2013
Signed by Governor April 30, 2013

HB 588 - Cobb County; Probate Court; change compensation of chief deputy sheriff and others

HB 588 changes the compensation of the chief deputy sheriff, the assistant chief deputy, and the executive assistant to the sheriff. The chief deputy’s salary shall be $123,356.77 annually. The assistant chief deputy sheriff’s salary shall be $111,928.78 annually. The executive assistant’s salary shall be $67,277.99 annually.

Effective Date: May 6, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

HB 592 - Pierce County State Court; change compensation of judge and solicitor-general

HB 592 changes the compensation of the judge and solicitor-general of Pierce County State Court. The judge of the State Court of Pierce County shall receive an annual base salary of $40,084.02 which shall be paid in equal monthly installments from the funds of Pierce County. The solicitor-general of the State Court of Pierce County shall receive an annual base salary of $38,117.80 which shall be paid in equal monthly installments from the funds of Pierce County.

Effective Date: May 6, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

HB 603 - Cobb County State Court; change compensation of judges

HB 603 increases the salary of the judges of Division 1 of the State Court of Cobb County to $161,662.00 per annum.

Effective Date: May 7, 2013
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013

HB 638 - Cobb Judicial Circuit; supplement paid to judges of superior court and additional supplement to chief judge; provide

HB 638 seeks to provide for a supplement to be paid to each of the judges of the superior court of the Cobb Judicial Circuit and an additional supplement for the chief judge of the circuit. The Act revises subsections (a) and (b) of Section 4H. Each judge of the superior court of the Cobb Judicial Circuit shall receive an annual supplement of $60,472.33. In addition to the supplement provided for in subsection (a), the chief judge of the Superior Court of the Cobb Judicial Circuit will receive $10,094.00 annually.

Effective Date: May 7, 2013
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013

HB 639 - Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit; increase amount of supplement for judges of superior court

HB 639 provides that beginning January 1, 2014, the salary supplement to the superior court judges of the Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit be increased in the amount of $9,000.00.

Effective Date: January 1, 2014
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013

HB 653 - Sumter County State Court; change compensation of judge

HB 653 seeks to change the compensation of the State Court judge of Sumter County. The salary of the judge of the State Court of Sumter County will not be less than $17,000.00 per annum that will be paid in biweekly installments. The judge of the state court may engage in the private practice of law in other courts, but will not be allowed to practice in his or her own court or appear in any matter as which that judge has exercised any jurisdiction. It will be unlawful for the judge of the state court to give advice or counsel to any person on any matter of any kind directly or indirectly in his or her own court, except such advice or counsel as he or she is called upon to give while performing his or her duties as state court judge.

Effective Date: May 6, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

Local Elections

HB 223 - Banks County; board of elections and registration; create

HB 223 creates a board of elections and registration for Banks County. The bill provides for the transference of powers and duties from the judge of the Probate Court of Banks County to the newly created board.

Effective Date: May 1, 2013
Signed by Governor April 24, 2013

HB 252 - Athens-Clarke County; chief magistrate judge; provide nonpartisan elections

HB 252 provides that future elections for the office of chief magistrate judge of Athens-Clarke County be nonpartisan elections, in accordance with O.C.G.A. Code Section 21-2-139. It establishes the election be conducted at the general primary election immediately preceding the expiration of the term of office.

Effective Date: April 24, 2013
Signed by Governor April 24, 2013

HB 253 - Athens-Clarke County; provide future nonpartisan elections for office of probate judge

HB 253 provides that future elections for the office of probate judge of Athens-Clarke County be nonpartisan elections, in accordance with O.C.G.A. Code Section 21-2-139. It establishes the election be conducted at the general primary election immediately preceding the expiration of the term of office.

Effective Date: April 24, 2013
Signed by Governor April 24, 2013

HB 328 - Lowndes County; nonpartisan nomination and election of judge of Probate Court; provide

HB 328 provides for the nonpartisan election of the judge of the Probate Court of Lowndes County.

Effective Date: April 24, 2013
Signed by Governor April 24, 2013

HB 329 - Lowndes County; judge of Small Claims Court shall be magistrate judge elected on nonpartisan basis; provide

HB 329 provides for the nonpartisan election of the magistrate judge of the Small Claims Court for Lowndes County.

Effective Date: April 24, 2013
Signed by Governor April 24, 2013

HB 437 - Atlanta Judicial Circuit; provide for selection of chief judge HB

HB 437 provides for the selection of the chief judge of the Atlanta Judicial Circuit and for the chief judge's powers and duties. The chief judge of the Atlanta Judicial Circuit shall be selected by an election of the majority of the judges of the circuit. If no agreement is reached on the selection of the chief judge, the judge most senior in time of service who has not previously served as chief judge shall be the chief judge. The chief judge shall serve for a term of two years, and he or she may only serve two consecutive terms. After a two-year break in service, a judge may be again selected as the chief judge.

Effective Date: May 7, 2013
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013

HB 443 - Fulton County Magistrate Court; successor to chief judge currently serving shall be appointed by Governor; provide

HB 443 amends the Act providing for the appointment of magistrates in Fulton County. The bill provides that the successor to the current chief magistrate judge of Fulton County will be appointed by the Governor and serve a term of four years. The chief magistrate will be elected at the nonpartisan general election held immediately after the expiration of the term of office. The bill further elaborates on the duties of the chief magistrate.

Effective Date: May 7, 2013
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013

HB 505 - Madison County; board of elections and registration; create

HB 505 creates a board of elections and registration for Madison County and provides for its powers and duties. The bill establishes that the board shall have the powers, duties, and responsibilities of the superintendent of elections of Madison County under O.C.G.A. Chapter 2 of Title 21.e, the "Georgia Election Code," currently being exercised by the judge of the Probate Court of Madison County. It also provides the powers, duties, and responsibilities of the Board of Registrars of Madison County under O.C.G.A. Chapter 2 of Title 21, the "Georgia Election Code."

Effective Date: July 1, 2013
Signed by Governor April 30, 2013

HB 506 - Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit; provide for selection of chief judge

HB 506 provides that the chief judge of the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit shall be elected from among the judges by a majority vote of the total number of active judges in the circuit voting by secret ballot. Elections shall be held during the second week of August preceding the expiration of a term.

Effective Date: May 7, 2013
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013

HB 552 - Appling County; board of elections; create

HB 552 seeks to create a board of elections and establish powers and duties relating specifically to subsection (b) of Code Section 21-2-40 of the O.C.G.A. The board shall have the powers, duties, and responsibilities of the judge of the Probate Court of Appling County as elections superintendent under Chapter 2 of Title 21 of the O.C.G.A. This Act shall take full effect July 1, 2013. All conflicting laws and parts of laws shall be repealed.

Effective Date: April 30, 2013 for purposes of making initial appointments to the board only. This Act shall become fully effective on July 1, 2013.
Signed by Governor April 30, 2013

HB 576 - Wilcox County; board of elections and registration; create

HB 576 creates a board of elections and registration for Wilcox County. The bill provides for the transference of powers and duties from the judge of the Probate Court of Wilcox County to the newly created board.

Effective Date: July 1, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

HB 661 - Taylor County; board of elections and registration; create

HB 661 creates a board of elections and registration for Taylor County and provide for its powers and duties. The appointment of each member shall be evidenced by the appointing authority filing an affidavit with the clerk of the Superior Court of Taylor County no later than 30 days preceding the date on which the member is to take office. The bill provides that each member of the board be subject to removal at any time for cause, after notice and hearing, by the chief judge of the Superior Court of Taylor County.

Effective Date: May 7, 2013
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013

SB 26 - Bibb County; provide for future elections for coroner

SB 26 provides for the nonpartisan election of the judge of Civil Court of Bibb County, the office of chief magistrate judge of Bibb County and the office of probate judge of Bibb County. The nonpartisan elections shall be held and conducted in conjunction with the general primary in even-numbered years, as provided for in Code Section 21-2-139.

Effective Date: April 24, 2013
Signed by Governor April 24, 2013

SB 254 - Irwin County; create a board of elections and registration; provide for powers and duties

SB 254 creates the Board of Elections and Registration of Irwin County. The board shall have the powers, duties, and responsibilities of the superintendent of elections of Irwin County currently being exercised by the judge of the Probate Court of Irwin County.

Effective Date: July 1, 2013
Signed by Governor April 24, 2013

SB 256 - Magistrate Court of Chatham County; provide chief magistrate shall appoint any pro tempore magistrates

SB 256 provides that the chief magistrate of Chatham County shall appoint any part-time and pro tempore magistrates.

Effective Date: April 24, 2013
Signed by Governor April 24, 2013

Local General

HB 5 - Forest Park, City of; councilmember votes for calling special meeting; change number

HB 5 amends an Act incorporating the City of Forest Park in Clayton County. It provides that any elected officer sought to be removed from office shall have the right of appeal from the decision of the city council to the Superior Court of Clayton County. The appeal shall be governed by the same rules as govern appeals to the superior court from the probate court.

Effective Date: May 7, 2013. The governing authority of the City of Forest Park is required to submit the Act for preclearance to the U.S. Department of Justice or file it with the appropriate court no later than 45 days after the date on which it‘s approved by the Governor or otherwise becomes law without such approval.
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013

HB 206 - Hoschton, City of; corporate boundaries and powers; provide

HB 206 provides for a new charter for the City of Hoschton, Georgia. It provides for a municipal court and the judge or judges thereof and other matters relative to those judges.

Effective Date: April 24, 2013
Signed by Governor April 24, 2013

HB 247 - Emerson, City of; provide new charter

HB 247 provides a new charter for the City of Emerson, Georgia. It provides for a municipal court and the judge or judges thereof and other matters relative to those judges.

Effective Date: May 7, 2013
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013

HB 273 - Bibb County; State Court; provide additional judge

HB 273 provides an additional judge for the State Court of Bibb County. It establishes that there shall be two full-time judges of the State Court of Bibb County. The bill establishes the guidelines for the initial appointment of the additional judge by the Governor; terms of office, compensation and provides for a chief judge of Bibb County State Court. HB 273 also provides for the selection, terms of office, and compensation of the solicitor-general of the court.

Effective Date: May 6, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

HB 281 - Cobb County Commission on Children and Youth; provide annual report

HB 281 amends the Act creating the Cobb County Commission on Children and Youth, by requiring the commission to produce an annual report of its findings and recommendations as of September 30 each year. Within 180 days of the production of the annual report, the commission shall submit the report to each member of the Cobb County legislative delegation, the board of commissioners of Cobb County, and the judicial officers of Cobb County. The commission shall stand abolished July 1, 2024.

Effective Date: April 24, 2013
Signed by Governor April 24, 2013

HB 286 - Hawkinsville, City of; Pulaski County; create and incorporate new political body corporate under name Hawkinsville-Pulaski County, Georgia

HB 286 provides for the restructuring of the governments of the City of Hawkinsville and Pulaski County. It creates and incorporates a new political body corporate under the name Hawkinsville-Pulaski County. The bill provides that all judicial officers and offices perform the same duties and be unaffected by the consolidation.

Effective Date: January 1, 2015, or upon the election of the board of commissioners
Signed by Governor April 24, 2013

HB 334 - Euharlee, City of; provide new charter

HB 334 provides a new charter for the City of Euharlee, Georgia. It provides for a municipal court and judge or judges and all matters relative to those judges including the court’s jurisdiction, powers, practices, and procedures.

Effective Date: May 7, 2013
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013

HB 342 - Senoia, City of; provide new charter

HB 342 provides a new charter for the City of Senoia and for all aspects of the Town's day-to-day functions. It provides for a municipal court and judge or judges and all matters relative to those judges, including the court's jurisdiction, powers, practices, and procedures.

Effective Date: January 1, 2014
Signed by Governor April 24, 2013

HB 450 - Cherokee County State Court; charge technology fee for each civil case filed and each criminal fine imposed; authorize

HB 450 authorizes the State Court of Cherokee County to charge a technology fee not to exceed $5.00 for each civil case filed and each criminal fine imposed. This Act shall stand automatically repealed on July 30, 2018.

Effective Date: July 1, 2013
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013
*See also Fine and Fees*

HB 451 - Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit; provide for additional judge

HB 451 amends O.C.G.A. § 15-6-2 to create a new superior court judgeship in the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit, for a total of seven superior court judges. The bill provides for gubernatorial appointment and for an initial term of July 1, 2013, through December 31, 2014. It also provides for election of a successor to begin in 2014, pursuant to the manner provided by O.C.G.A. § 21-2-138; the terms of office; and the powers, duties, jurisdiction and responsibilities of the judge. It further provides for the election of a chief judge of the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit, and the terms and duties of chief judge.

HB 451 also creates a new superior court judgeship in the Oconee Judicial Circuit, for a total of three superior court judges. It provides for gubernatorial appointment for an initial term of July 1, 2013, through December 31, 2014, and for the election of a successor to begin in 2014, pursuant to the manner provided by O.C.G.A. § 21-2-138. The bill also provides the terms of office and the powers, duties, jurisdiction and responsibilities of the new judge.

HB 451 amends Article 1 of Chapter 6 of Title 15 of the O.C.G.A. to revise the terms of court for the Superior Courts of the Griffin Judicial Circuit. The terms of court in each county will be set for the second Monday in March and the second Monday in September, effective July 1, 2014.

Effective Date: For purposes of making the initial appointments to fill the superior court judgeships this Act shall become effective May 6, 2013. For purposes of revising the terms of court for the Superior Courts of the Griffin Judicial Circuit judgeships this Act shall become effective on January 1, 2014. For all other purposes, this Act shall become effective on July 1, 2013.
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

HB 466 - Cornelia, City of; provide new charter

HB 466 provides for a new charter for the City of Cornelia. It provides for a municipal court and the judge or judges thereof and other matters relative to those judges.

Effective Date: April 30, 2013
Signed by Governor April 30, 2013

HB 467 - Danville, Town of; provide new charter

HB 467 provides a new charter for the Town of Danville and for all aspects of the Town's day-to-day functions. It provides for a municipal court and judge or judges and all matters relative to those judges, including the court's jurisdiction, powers, practices, and procedures.

Effective Date: April 30, 2013
Signed by Governor April 30, 2013

HB 484 - Monroe, City of; provide for jurisdiction of municipal court

HB 484 provides for jurisdiction of the Municipal Court of the City of Monroe.

Effective Date: April 30, 2013
Signed by Governor April 30, 2013

HB 556 - Columbus, City of; Recorder's Court; impose and collect technology fee for each fine imposed

HB 556 authorizes the Recorder’s Court of Columbus, Georgia, to impose and collect technology fees. The Clerk of Court will be entitled to charge a technology fee set by the court, not to exceed $15.00, as a surcharge to each fine. This fine cannot be added to a fine established by general law. The fines shall be used specifically for the technology needs of the court and will be maintained in a segregated fund by the court clerk. This Act shall stand repealed on July 1, 2016.

Effective Date: May 7, 2013
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013
*See also Fine and Fees*

HB 557 - Danielsville, City of; provide for staggered, four-year terms for mayor and council

HB 557 amends the Act providing a charter for the City of Danielsville. The bill requires the municipal judge to be a licensed attorney.

Effective Date: April 30, 2013
Signed by Governor April 30, 2013

HB 569 - Bibb County State Court; provide additional judge

HB 569 provides an additional judge for the State Court of Bibb County. It establishes that there shall be two full-time judges of the State Court of Bibb County and provides for a chief judge. The bill establishes the guidelines for the initial appointment of the additional judge by the governor, and provides the terms of office and compensation. HB 569 also provides for the selection, terms of office, and compensation of the solicitor-general of the court.

Effective Date: April 30, 2013
Signed by Governor April 30, 2013

HB 583 - Griffin, City of; Municipal Court; charge technology fee for each civil case and criminal fine imposed; authorize

HB 583 authorizes the Municipal Court of the City of Griffin to charge a technology fee for each civil case and criminal fine imposed. The technology fee shall be set by order of the judge of the court, provided that the fee shall not exceed $5.00. The funds may be used to reimburse the city's information technology department for services provided to the court.

Effective Date: July 1, 2013
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013
*See also Fine and Fees*

HB 584 - Cleveland, City of; provide new charter

HB 584 seeks to provide a new charter for the City of Cleveland and for all aspects of the Town's day-to-day functions. It provides for municipal court and judge or judges and all matters relative to those judges, including the court's jurisdiction, powers, practices, and procedures.

Effective Date: May 6, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

HB 585 - Davisboro, City of; provide new charter

HB 585 provides a new charter for the City of Davisboro for incorporation and for all aspects of the Town’s day-to-day functions. It provides for municipal court and judge or judges and all matters relative to those judges, including the court’s jurisdiction, powers, practices, and procedures.

Effective Date: May 6, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

HB 594 - Fulton County Personnel Board and Fulton County Merit System of Personnel Administration; all future employees other than public safety employees shall be unclassified; provisions

HB 594 provides that all future employees of Fulton County other than public safety employees shall be unclassified. It allows employees to be dismissed, demoted, or disciplined for any reason or no reason without notice, explanation, or appeal.

Effective Date: May 7, 2013
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013

HB 598 - Fulton County; employees employed after July 1, 2013, to serve the Superior Court, Magistrate Court or State Court shall be employees at will; provide

HB 598 provides that Fulton County employees first or again employed on and after July 1, 2013, to serve the Superior Court, the Magistrate Court, or the State Court of Fulton County be employees at will. Employees who are covered by the county merit system of employment prior to July 1, 2013, shall continue to be covered by such merit system so long as they remain in the same position without a break in service.

Effective Date: May 7, 2013
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013

HB 616 - Lyons, City of; provide new charter

HB 616 provides a new charter for the City of Lyons and for all aspects of the Town’s day-to-day functions. It provides for a municipal court and judge or judges, and all matters relative to those judges, including the court’s jurisdiction, powers, practices, and procedures.

Effective Date: July 1, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

HB 629 - Kennesaw, City of; provide new charter

HB 629 seeks to provide a new charter for the City of Kennesaw and for all aspects of the Town's day to day functions. It provides for a municipal court and judge or judges, and all matters relative to those judges, including the court's jurisdiction, powers, practices, and procedures.

Effective Date: May 6, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

SB 253 - Carlton, City of; provide for a new charter

SB 253 seeks to provide a new charter for the City of Carlton, Georgia. It provides for a municipal court and the judge or judges thereof and other matters relative to those judges. It also provides for the court’s jurisdiction, powers, practices, and procedures.

Effective Date: July 1, 2013
Signed by Governor April 24, 2013

Traffic

HB 323 - Motor vehicles; age for operation of certain commercial motor vehicle operators; modify

HB 323 amends Chapter 1 of Title 40 of the O.C.G.A., relating to identification and regulation of motor vehicles, so as to modify the age for operation of certain commercial motor vehicle operators and to require commercial motor vehicle operators to utilize safety belts. The bill also increases civil fines and sanctions against motor carriers, limousine carriers, and persons regulated by the Motor Carrier Compliance Division of the Department of Public Safety.

Effective Date: July 1, 2013. Section 12 of this Act shall not be effective until January 1, 2014
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013

HB 407 - Drivers' licenses; mandatory use of ignition interlock devices following second conviction for driving under influence of alcohol or drugs; modify and extend provisions

HB 407 amends O.C.G.A. Article 3 of Chapter 5 of Title 40 and Article 7 of Chapter 8 of Title 42, relating to cancellation, suspension, and revocation of drivers' licenses and ignition interlock devices as a condition of probation, respectively. The bill extends provisions related to the mandatory use of ignition interlock devices following a second conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs to one year.

Effective Date: July 1, 2013
Signed by Governor May 7, 2013

SB 122 - Drivers' Licenses; authorize the issuance of a temporary driving permit; noncitizen applicant whose license has expired; filed extension

SB 122 amends O.C.G.A. § 40-5-21.1 by adding new subsection (c) to authorize the issuance of a temporary driving permit to any noncitizen applicant whose Georgia drivers license has expired, or will expire within 30 days, who has filed, or on whose behalf has been filed, a request for an extension to remain lawfully within the United States with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security or similar federal issuing agency. This temporary driving permit shall be valid for 120 days from the date of expiration of his or her valid driver’s license. Evidence of the application for extension shall be required by submitting a copy or copies of the documentation along with an application fee, which shall be determined by the Department of Driver Services and shall not exceed $200. The issuance of a temporary driving permit shall be limited to one consecutive permit, but application may be made following the expiration of an additional valid Georgia driver’s license.

Effective Date: January 1, 2014
Signed by Governor May 1, 2013

SB 136 - "Kyle Glover Boat Education Law" and "Jake and Griffin BUI Law"; provide for greater public protection for hunting and boating

SB 136 amends O.C.G.A. Title 27 and Chapter 7 of Title 52, relating to game and fish and to registration, operation, and sale of watercraft, so as to provide greater public protection for hunting and boating. The bill harmonizes provisions relating to hunting, boating, and driving under the influence of alcohol, toxic vapors, or drugs. It changes provisions relating to rules and regulations used to establish criminal violations for hunting; provisions relating to hunting under the influence; provisions relating to required equipment for children on vessels and lighting; provisions relating to operating vessels and personal watercraft; provisions relating to operation of watercraft and operating watercraft while under the influence of alcohol, toxic vapors, or drugs; provisions relating to ordering drug or alcohol testing; provisions relating to suspension of an operator's privilege to operate a vessel in this state; provisions relating to boating education courses in this state; provisions relating to rules and regulations used to establish criminal violations for registration, operation, and sale of watercraft and displaying watercraft information

SB 136 amends the minimum blood alcohol concentration level to be considered intoxicated while operating a boat or hunting from .10 to .08 grams. It also provides for punishment in the case of refusal to submit to a blood alcohol test.

Effective Date: May 15, 2013
Signed by Governor April 23, 2013
*See also Criminal*

SB 231 - Georgia Driver's Education Commission; additional sums collected on fines; extend the sunset provisions

SB 231 amends O.C.G.A. § 15-21-179, to extend the sunset provision for Joshua’s Law, which provides for the revenue stream to fund the Georgia Drivers’ Education Commission and driver education and training.

Effective Date: May 6, 2013
Signed by Governor May 6, 2013
*See also Fines & Fees*