Sine Die: Here are bills that passed or failed in Georgia legislature

ATLANTA — It was a long night for lawmakers at the Capitol as they worked to pass new laws before the midnight deadline.

Sine Die, which means “without a day” in Latin, is Day 40 of the Georgia Legislative Session. By law, the Georgia Legislature can only meet 40 days a year.

“You know, on this day miracles can happen and of course they can fall like the Titanic in the water,” said Sen. Jeff Mullis, speaking specifically about the likely demise of sports betting this session.

Several bills are already on their way to becoming law. Earlier in March, the Georgia legislature has passed a bill that would make to-go cocktails from food establishments permanent.

The General Assembly has passed a bill that paves the way for the state to say goodbye for good to springing forward and falling back.

Georgia would move to year-round daylight savings time with one big caveat -- the U.S. Congress has to agree to it.


“The final resolution is for -- if Congress ever acts -- that’s a big if, and I’m getting some thumbs up back there, if Congress ever acts, we would go to daylight savings time year-round,” said Sen. Ben Watson.

In a unanimous vote by the House, the General Assembly also approved the repeal of Georgia’s citizen arrest law. That law is now on the way to Gov. Brian Kemp’s desk for his signature.

Another major piece of legislation appears to have fallen short again this year. Sport betting in Georgia is unlikely to happen.

“They are leaving tens of millions of dollars on the table for needs-based gap funding for people who really need it,” Mullis said.

And then there are the last-minute surprises. Last week, the General Assembly passed the controversial new election bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp.

On Wednesday, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastien criticized the law. Georgia Republicans were upset at his comments.

“They have to know there’s repercussions. We are a Republican House, a Republican Senate and Republican governor,” Watson said.

There was a late session effort to consider eliminating tax credits favorable to the Atlanta-based airline, but in the end, lawmakers didn’t pass any type of bill.

Lawmakers also passed HB 94, the so-called Porch Pirate Bill, that would make it a felony to steal mail or packages from three or more different addresses.

The General Assembly also passed a law that would block cites and counties from significantly slashing the budget of its police departments.

Also, a controversial bill that would have created classes to teach young drivers how to react when they’re pulled over by a police officer did not make it through.

Channel 2′s Richard Elliot said the bill passed the House but was rejected by the Senate. Opponents said that puts the burden on drivers, not on police officers.

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