The Senate passed a bill today that would increase regulation on the title pawn lending industry. Senate Bill 535 is sponsored by Senators Bill Hamrick and Steen Miles. SB 535 passed overwhelmingly today, but there was plenty of debate on an amendment offered by Senator Emmanuel Jones. The bill requires title pawn lenders to register with the Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs. Senator Jones' amendment would have capped interest rates in the industry.
A measure allowing optometrists to prescribe medication passed the House today. But almost two hours of debate preceded the vote. Those who support House Bill 1390 argued that it would provide much needed eye care to underserved rural communities.
Those opposed countered that optometrists are not qualified to make the
same pharmaceutical decisions that ophthalmologists do. Several
legislators argued that the process by which House Rules Chair Earl Ehrhart sponsored the bill and guided it through the Rules Committee was unfair.
Dialysis technicians would have to be licensed by the state under a bill passed by the Senate today. Senator Jeff Mullis said his late father could have benefited from Senate Bill 423.
Also in the Senate today Governor Perdue's land conservation tax credit
received final passage. The Governor says he's looking forward to
signing the legislation, saying it "gives landowners an incentive to
donate land or a conservation easement to help protect Georgia's
natural beauty." House Bill 1107 passed both the Senate and House with no dissenting votes.
Those redistricting measures Senator Robert Brown mentioned were signed into law today by Governor Perdue. House Bill 1137 makes changes to 8 house districts while SB 386 puts Athens-Clarke County into two senatorial districts.