Stockbridge proposal passes on final day of legislative session, - CBS46 News

Stockbridge proposal passes on final day of legislative session, several others headed to Governor Deal's desk

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Georgia State Capitol (Source: WGCL) Georgia State Capitol (Source: WGCL)

State lawmakers made their final pitches to get bills to Governor Nathan Deal's desk as they met for the final day of the legislative session on Thursday. One controversial proposal that looks to create the new community of Eagle's Landing in Henry County is now headed to the governor's desk.

Senate Bill 263 would form the new city, which is made up largely of wealthy neighborhoods.

People who live in the Eagle's Landing area say they want more control about how they're being represented. They also say they want to build parks and senior centers in their area and to provide better police protection.

Opponents of the bill believe legislators are trying to split Stockbridge without their input. If the governor signs the bill, it'll will come up for vote in November.

So what other bills were being debated on Thursday?

Distracted driving bill

The distracted driving bill is also still undecided. The bill would require the use of hands-free electronic devices while driving. That bill passed and is now headed to Governor Nathan Deal's desk.

A proposal that could considerably expand public transportation in the Atlanta metro area is on its way to the governor's desk. With only minutes left in the session, the House and Senate passed a compromise measure after reconciling differences between bills passed by each chamber earlier this year.

The measure would establish a regional transit authority, called the ATL, that would be responsible for overseeing transit expansion in the area.

Medical cannabis program

Georgia lawmakers have agreed to expand the state's medical cannabis oil program to include those with post-traumatic stress disorder or intractable pain.

Senators voted 38-14 in favor of widening the cannabis oil program and establishing a joint study commission to analyze medical marijuana. The Senate had weeks ago stripped PTSD and intractable pain from the bill, but the House added it back Thursday afternoon as Rep. David Clark gave a fiery speech accusing Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle of "playing games" with people's lives by blocking the program's expansion.

Terminating housing leases early

Georgia lawmakers have given final passage to a proposal that would allow victims of domestic violence to terminate housing leases early without pay penalties. The House voted 166-0 on Thursday in favor of the measure, sending it to the governor's desk.

Under the proposal, victims who have received a domestic violence order in either criminal or civil court proceeding will be eligible to terminate their lease early.

Lottery anonymity

Those who win a big lottery jackpot would be able to remain anonymous under a bill that's now awaiting the governor's signature. The Senate on Thursday granted final passage to Minority Leader Steve Henson's proposal, which legislators say will help public safety.

Under the measure, those who win at least $250,000 and submit a written request can prevent their name from being publicly released.

Filing lawsuits against alleged abusers

The Georgia Senate has passed a weakened version of a proposal aimed at allowing adults who were sexually abused as children the ability to file lawsuits against their alleged abusers.

Senators voted 51-0 Thursday in favor of giving adults up to the age of 30 to file suit in the future. The current age limit is 23, but the House had last month voted to extend the statute of limitations to 38.

Unlike the House version, the Senate version does not give victims of all ages a one-year window to file suit.

Providing firearm to previously convicted felon

It could soon be a felony to knowingly provide a firearm to a person with a prior felony conviction under a proposal passed by the Georgia House Thursday. The measure, sponsored by Republican Rep. Jesse Petrea of Savannah, represents a rare specimen in gun-friendly Georgia: a piece of gun-control legislation with bipartisan support.

The proposal calls for a prison sentence of one to five years for a first offense and five to 10 years for subsequent offenses.

A late change made by the House to allow for the transfer of a firearm to someone that has been pardoned of a felony conviction must be approved by the Senate before the bill goes to the governor's desk.

Budget passes

The Georgia House has passed a budget for fiscal year 2019 that fully funds the state's K-12 education formula after over a decade of cutbacks. The $26 billion-dollar budget will go to Gov. Nathan Deal's desk, where he is expected to quickly sign it into law. The measure passed the Senate on Tuesday.

The proposal, buoyed by a $195 million increase in the governor's tax revenue estimate, includes an additional $167 million for K-12 education and allows lawmakers to fully fund the Quality Basic Education formula.

The new budget also includes $100 million in borrowing for transit projects, $360 million toward the teacher retirement pension system and about $16 million in funding for school safety in the wake of last month's school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

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