The frenzied finale of the 40-day Georgia legislative session is upon us, and so is the last-minute rush by procrastinating politicians Tuesday to pass legislation.
Although Georgia legislators already approved the controversial “heartbeat” anti-abortion measure, the proposal remained front-and-center as actress Alyssa Milano came to the Capitol to threaten a boycott of the film industry if Gov. Brian Kemp signed the bill.
There was also behind-the-scenes maneuvering on several pieces of legislation still pending, such as the airport takeover bid, a proposal to expand medical marijuana and a tax break to help Delta Air Lines.
Other proposals are already in the rear view mirror, including an overhaul to elections rules, sidelined hate-crimes legislation and, of course, the only thing they’re legally required to do: Passing a $27.5 billion budget.
As the AJC’s James Salzer notes, anything can happen in the “controlled chaos” of the exhausting final day.
Here are some highlights of the 2019 sine die:
- Milano, who starred in “Charmed,” headlined a press conference at the Capitol to denounce the abortion measure with members of the local film and television industry, Prabhu reports.
- A measure to legalize the cultivation of hemp has cleared the Legislature and is on its way to Kemp’s desk, reports AJC healthcare writer Ariel Hart.
- A House bill calls for police to preserve evidence of rapes and similar crimes for up to 50 years. Current state law allows evidence of sexual assaults to be discarded after 10 years, according to Niesse’s story.
- A bid to legalize casino gambling stalled, but the chief sponsor created a study committee to analyze the measure over the next year, Prabhu reports.
- For a catchup on what got us here, check out the AJC’s Politically Georgia podcast.
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