Both chambers moved through the rules calendar quickly to pass as many bills as possible before Crossover Day. 

In the Senate, 22 bills and resolutions were passed. 

Bills of note:

Senate Bill 494 would regulate and license hemp wholesalers and distributers as well as hemp products such as edibles containing Delta-9 THC. It passed 43 to 5. 

SB 147 will allow students at public schools to transfer to another school more easily. The student must have permission to leave one school and be accepted at the transfer school. The bill also allows the QBE funds to follow the student if the transfer adheres to the new rules but would not apply if a student transfers to a private school. The bill would also not apply to students who want to transfer solely for athletic participation reasons. The bill passed 38 to 14. 

One of the more controversial issues of the day was whether the state’s constitution should be amended to allow various forms of gambling. Senate Resolution 579 would allow voters to decide. The bill that is attached to this resolution would provide 80 percent of the gambling proceeds to education, namely pre-K funding — and after that, the HOPE scholarship. Concerns about problem gambling were noted, but the resolution passed 41 to 12.  

Finally, a special retirement was announced today. This time it was the Senate Minority Leader Gloria Butler. Butler has been in the Georgia Senate since 1998 and was the first Black woman caucus leader elected under the Gold Dome.  

In the House, lawmakers pored over a dozen bills today. 

One bill seeks to enforce a minimum age of 21 to buy cannabis products. Another, House Bill 974, will allow scanned ballots, without voters’ names, to be uploaded to the secretary of state’s website. The bill is designed to improve transparency in elections by allowing anyone to view the ballots. The bill passed unanimously.  


House Bill 880 passed today, easing the process for military spouses to transition their out-of-state work licenses to Georgia. The bill expedites their ability to work and could help increase the workforce in rural areas.

After lunch, representatives took up hospital Certificates of Need. House Bill 1399 reduces requirements for medical facilities in rural areas to expand or build new locations. The bill passed with only one “no” vote, but some Democrats say improvement is still needed.  

Members also debated HB 1182, which revises low-income housing tax credits. It reduces the credit that developers can receive for building low income housing unless the project meets certain criteria. Supporters say this change saves money, but opponents said it could discourage new affordable housing builds. The bill passed 104 to 61 in a mostly party-line vote.  

Lawmakers will return to the capitol tomorrow for Crossover Day, the last day when bills can cross from one chamber to the other. 

Join host Donna Lowry and capitol reporter Sarah Kallis at 7 p.m. on GPB-TV for the 54th season of GPB's Lawmakers