Update from the State Capitol

Published 5:28 pm Monday, April 1, 2019

By Randy Nix
Represents District 69 in the Georgia House

It’s been a very productive session and this week was no exception, particularly with adjournment scheduled for today. Many bills passed both the House and Senate and are now on the governor’s desk for his consideration. Most importantly this week, we fulfilled our state constitutional mandate of passing the FY 2020 General Budget to begin July 1, 2019.

On Friday, the House gave final passage to HB 481, commonly known as the “heartbeat bill”, which would outlaw most abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy.  Under the proposal, women still would be able to get later abortions in cases of rape, incest, if the life of the mother is in danger or in instances of “medical futility,” when a fetus would not be able to survive after birth. This has been by far the most watched and most controversial bill of the session and the Georgia House narrowly approved it 92-78. 

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Gov. Kemp is expected to sign this bill after the legislative session, which ends today.

Sex trafficking is a horrendous crime that has infiltrated our state. SB 158 is the ‘Anti-Human Trafficking Protective Response Act’ that authorizes the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) to provide emergency care and supervision of any child who is the victim of human trafficking for labor or sexual servitude without a court order or the consent of the parents or legal guardian. Moreover, SB 158 directs DFCS and law enforcement to take the child to an available victim services organization, which is certified by the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, to provide comprehensive trauma-informed services.

The bill also limits the prosecution of prostitution to individuals who are 18 years of age or older.

The House passed this bill unanimously.