2016 General Assembly recap

ATLANTA, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – State Representative Allen Peake isn’t giving up hope for his new medical marijuana bill.

Thursday the Senate did not take a vote on Senate Bill 145.  The bill would expands Georgia’s medical marijuana status.

The lawmaker tells 41NBC:

“I am not giving up and plan to continue to push this issue again next year.”

As a procedural move to keep the bill alive, Peake attached his bill to Senate Bill 145.  This happened after Senator Renee Unterman, Chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, refused to have a hearing on House Bill 722.

The house passed SB 145.

When it was first introduced, HB 722 included a model for growing marijuana for medical purposes in Georgia. Peake maintained this was the next step to helping Georgians who are suffering from medical conditions that can be treated by medical cannabis. The House Judiciary Non Civil Committee removed the model a few weeks ago after multiple hearings. The chairman claimed it was too controversial and he wanted to make sure a bill passed this session that would help more people. The committee issued a substitute bill which added to the conditions that can use medical marijuana to treat their symptoms.

The House and the Senate both passed the religious freedom and campus carry bills. The religious freedom bill would allow businesses to deny services to people if it conflicts with their religious beliefs. The campus carry bill would allow people to carry guns on public state universities.

Governor Nathan Deal opposes legislation that would discriminate against people. He had reservations about certain aspects of the campus carry proposal. Deal issued the following news release about the issue:

“As a lifetime defender and staunch supporter of Second Amendment rights, Gov. Deal has signed every pro-gun bill to reach his desk. However, he believes legitimate points have been made in regards to certain aspects of the ‘campus carry’ bill and he calls on the General Assembly to address these concerns in related legislation before Sine Die. Specifically, these areas of concern include dually enrolled k-12 students who leave school to attend classes at a university or technical college campus, as well as daycare centers on these same campuses. Deal also believes the governing boards of universities and technical colleges should have the discretion to set reasonable rules regarding disciplinary hearings and faculty and administrative offices. Addressing these issues is an important step in ensuring the safety and freedoms of students, faculty and staff in our institutions of higher learning throughout our state.”

Casino gambling supporters are looking to the next legislative session. The bill died after it didn’t pass from the House into the Senate on Crossover Day. It would have allowed a small number of licensed casino resorts to open in Georgia. State Representative Rusty Kidd wanted to put the money the casinos make toward rural hospitals and the HOPE scholarship.

Categories: Georgia News