The law, which takes effect in January, requires all new child care centers seeking a state license to authorize the fingerprint and records checks. New employees will have the same deadline, January 2014, for having the fingerprint-based record check. However, those employed at a center before Jan. 1 aren’t required to have the background check until Jan. 1, 2017.
The driver’s license measure would allow Georgia to reach “reciprocity agreements” with other countries that allow their nationals to skip the state’s knowledge and on-the-road driver’s license tests, so long as they are legally present in the U.S. and hold valid driver’s licenses issued by their own countries. Their countries must also offer the same benefits to visitors with Georgia driver’s licenses.
The leaders of ProEnglish, a nonprofit group that supports making English the official language of all levels of government, urged Deal to veto the bill, saying voters “expect their elected officials to put road safety ahead of well-funded special interest groups.”
But the governor and other supporters said it would help boost the state’s economic competitiveness by helping the corporate executives who routinely visit the state. Deal said international companies bring in about 20 percent of the new jobs created in Georgia each year.
“The reciprocal benefits outlined in HB 475 will benefit the state’s status as a global player and reinforce Georgia’s reputation as a welcoming state,” he said.