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Jeffares: Week 11 under the Gold Dome
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Now that we’ve wrapped up week 11 and completed legislative day 38, we only have two legislative days left this session to complete our business under the Gold Dome. Committees have wrapped up their work vetting bills and we’re pushing hard to get our bills passed through the House. It’s been nothing short of a busy session with 5,354 pieces of legislation drafted by members of the General Assembly so far this year, and I’m looking forward to the excitement of the final two days.

This week, I carried House Bill 210 through the Senate. This bill simply provides an exception in the definition of clinical laboratories relating to certain specimen collections. Under current law, clinical laboratories, specimen collections stations and blood banks are defined as an operation that provides the service of collection, processing, or storage of human blood and its components. HB 210 provides an exception that specimen collection stations and blood banks will not be considered clinical laboratories under Georgia Law when human blood and its components are collected for the purpose of manufacturing of biological products and are regulated by the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research within the FDA.

Below are brief summaries of a few other bills passed this week:

HB 221 would create the Uniform Power of Attorney Act to create a uniform framework for granting powers of attorney.

HB 320 would ban the sale of counterfeit and non-functioning airbags and forbids the installation of any device that would cause a vehicle’s diagnostic system to falsely indicate the vehicle is equipped with a functioning airbag when it is not.

HB 338 would create a system of supports to improve the performance of Georgia’s lowest performing schools. HB 338 provides for the appointment of a Chief Turnaround Officer who would be responsible for managing the system of supports and outlines the process for evaluation and intervention of schools, creates of the Education Turnaround Advisory Council and creates a process to suspend eligible members of local boards of education.

HB 340 would change the way used and leased cars are assessed for Title Ad Valorem Tax (TAVT) purposes. Currently, TAVT fees for used vehicles are based on the state’s book value, but HB 340 would change this formula to match the tax structure for new vehicles which is seven percent of the sales price or of the book value, whichever is higher.

HB 391 would extend the age at which newborns can be surrendered from one week to 30 days and adds fire and police stations to the list of safe places where these babies can be dropped off. Under HB 391, mothers can decline to provide any personal, identifying information when leaving a newborn at a designated safe place.

HB 425 would encourage school systems to administer paper and pencil format standardized assessments when requested by the parent or guardian of a child under the age of 18. This bill also requires the State School Superintendent to create guidelines for students who refuse to take standardized tests.

As we near the end of this session, your input is more important than ever. I encourage you to reach out to me with any question, comments or concerns. As always, I am honored to represent you under the Gold Dome.

Sen. Rick Jeffares serves as Chairman of the Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee.  He represents the 17th Senate District which includes portions of Henry, Rockdale and Newton counties.  He may be reached by phone at 404.651.7738 or by email at