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Governor Deal's Deadline to Sign is Tomorrow

May 2, 2016
Governor Deal signed HB 229 on April 26, 2016

The 2016 Legislative Session ended over a month ago, and things are finally coming to a close. Tomorrow, May 3, is the last day for Governor Deal to sign and veto bills that have passed in the 2016 Legislative Session.

Before a bill can become a state law, it has to pass through the House of Representatives, the Senate and the Governor. The Governor will either sign the bill, do nothing or veto it. This year, Governor Deal signed 5 bills before the final day of session, Sine Die, and has since signed over 50 more to date. The Governor has 40 days to sign or veto any bills sent to him after Sine Die. Georgia's legislative sessions run in 2-year cycles, and 2016 was the second of its cycle. Any bills that didn't pass through both the General Assembly and Governor Deal will need to start from the beginning next year for a chance at becoming law. Any bills that Governor Deal doesn't sign and doesn't veto will automatically become law after his deadline tomorrow.

Here are a few bills passed by both chambers that Governor Deal has signed so far:

  • SB 417: Georgia Film and Television Trail Act. The Georgia Department of Economic Development will be responsible for developing a trail to highlight film and television production sites in Georgia. Governor Deal signed SB 417 into law on April 26, 2016.
  • HB 229: Expanded family's right to visitation. Allows great-grandparents, aunts and uncles visitation rights in families experiencing situations such as divorce, termination of parental rights and certain cases of adoption. Governor Deal signed HB 229 into law on April 26, 2016.
  • HB 166: Motorcycle Mobility Safety Act. Increases the allowed height of handlebars by 10 inches. Governor Deal signed HB 166 into law on April 26, 2016.
  • HB 725: Child Abuse Records Protection Act. Provides greater confidentiality of child abuse records and redefines terms such as "child abuse" and "sexual exploitation." Governor Deal signed HB 725 into law on April 26, 2016.
  • SB 402: Suspends issuance of new licenses to narcotic treatment programs. Provides a temporary moratorium on issuing licenses for new narcotic treatment programs, and creates the State Commission on Narcotic Treatment Programs. The suspension will allow the commission to report its recommendations to the General Assembly. Governor Deal signed SB 402 into law on April 26, 2016.
  • HB 402: Encouraging employers to provide work based learning opportunities. Ensures that work based learning students age 16 and up are covered under workers' compensation insurance, and that their employers have an optional reduction in workers' compensation premiums. Governor Deal signed HB 402 into law on April 26, 2016.

Check out the Governor's website and the Georgia General Assembly website for lists and full text of what bills Governor Deal has signed so far. 

Do you want to make a difference in Georgia law? Learn more about how a bill becomes a law and contact a legislator. If things work out, maybe you'll get to watch the Governor sign your bill next year!

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