“We have stated all along that the real fix for this problem would be to put all of the employees on 12-month contracts and penalize high-cost employers,” said Yvonne Robinson of the Georgia AFL-CIO. “It’s a slap in the face to these experienced school workers who went above and beyond the call of duty to keep our kids safe during the Georgia snowstorms that crippled Atlanta, Augusta and other parts of Georgia — like bus drivers and teachers who spent the night at schools to stay with stranded kids.”
The bill survived several proposed amendments in the Senate, most of which failed, before it passed that chamber by a 36-20 vote. Democrats filed several of those proposals, seeking to blunt the effect of the bill.
Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, also withdrew a proposal to insert "religious freedom" language into HB 714.
McKoon earlier this session had failed to move a stand-alone religious freedom bill that critics feared would open the door for private business owners to discriminate against gays by citing religious beliefs.
Because of changes made in the Senate, the bill then returned to the House. There, it passed on a vote of 107-64, largely along party lines.