February 26, 2018 - Atlanta, Ga: The south wing is shown during Legislative day 27 at the Georgia State Capitol Monday, February 26, 2018, in Atlanta. PHOTO / JASON GETZ
Photo: Jason Getz
Photo: Jason Getz

5 bills to watch on Crossover Day at the Georgia Capitol

Dozens of bills will come up for votes in the Georgia General Assembly on Wednesday, the deadline for measures to pass at least one legislative chamber.

Bills that don’t win approval by either the House or Senate before the end of the day are unlikely to become law, though measures can still be revived before the conclusion of the 2018 legislative session on March 29. 

Called Crossover Day, Wednesday is the last day for bills to “cross over” from one chamber to the other and still have a clear path to becoming law.

It is the last day for bills to move from one chamber to the other — that is, to cross over. (Erica A. Hernandez/AJC)

Here’s a look at five bills that could be voted on Wednesday:

  1. The ATL: A regional public transportation system covering metro Atlanta could be created under House Bill 930. The system, called the ATL, would manage transit planning involving MARTA and smaller local transportation agencies. The measure is meant to expand public transportation across the region and alleviate traffic.
  2. Gun control: Lawmakers are trying to keep guns out of the hands of those with mental illnesses. House Bill 999 would end a state requirement for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to purge records of those unwillingly committed for mental health treatment after five years. People on the GBI’s list aren’t allowed to own a gun.
  3. Medical marijuana: Post-traumatic stress disorder could be added to the list of conditions covered by Georgia’s medical marijuana law, according to House Bill 764. The legislation would also allow patients to use medical marijuana for “intractable pain” that lasts at least six months.
  4. Distracted driving: It would be illegal to talk on your cellphone while driving unless you use hands-free technology, according to House Bill 673. The measure doubles the fine for distracted driving to $300.
  5. Paper ballots: Georgia lawmakers are considering replacing the state’s 16-year-old electronic voting system. A new system would include paper ballots so that results could be checked for accuracy, according to Senate Bill 403.

After Wednesday, there will be 12 business days remaining in this year’s 40-day legislative session. During that time, lawmakers will decide which bills deserve to be sent to Gov. Nathan Deal for his signature or veto.

For details on every bill, check out the Georgia Legislative Navigator.

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