Acts and resolutions of the first session of the 153rd General Assembly of the State of Georgia 2015: volume one, book one [2015]

ACTS AND RESOLUTIONS OF THE
FIRST SESSION OF THE 153RD
GENERAL ASSEMBLY
OF THE STATE OF GEORGIA
2015
COMPILED AND PUBLISHED BY AUTHORITY OF THE STATE
Volume One Book One

COMPILER'S NOTE
General Acts and Resolutions of the 2015 Regular Session of the General Assembly of Georgia will be found in Volume One, Book One beginning at page 1. The Supplementary Appropriations Act for FY 2014-2015 and the Appropriations Act for FY 2015-2016 will be found in the Volume One Appendix. These two Acts have been separately placed in the Appendix in order to maintain the special formatting and unique characteristics of the underlying bills. Local and Special Acts and Resolutions will be found in Volume Two beginning at page 3501. Home rule actions by counties and consolidated governments and by municipalities filed in the Office of the Secretary of State between June 1, 2014, and May 1, 2015, are printed in Volume Two beginning at pages 4309 and 4583, respectively.
There are no numbered pages between page 1499, the last page of Volume One, and page 3501, the first page of Volume Two. This allows both volumes to be prepared simultaneously. Because of the number of pages in the volume, Volume One has been divided into two books plus an appendix. The only page numbers in the Volume One Appendix will be those appearing in the underlying bills.
Indexes; lists of Acts, Bills, and Resolutions and their Georgia Laws page numbers; material related to courts; population charts; lists of members of the General Assembly; referendum results; and the Governor's veto messages are printed in Volume Three. Indexes cover material in both Volumes One and Two. The tabular indexes list matter by broad categories. The general index is a detailed alphabetical index by subject matter. When possible, general Acts have been indexed by reference to the titles of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated which they amend and the tabular index contains a list of Code sections which have been amended, enacted, or repealed.
Each Act and Resolution is preceded by a caption written by the compilers of the Georgia Laws solely to assist the reader in quickly determining the subject matter of the Act or Resolution. This caption includes the Act number assigned by the Governor and the House or Senate Bill or Resolution number which it was given when it was introduced in the General Assembly. These captions are not part of the Act or Resolution when they are enacted or adopted by the General Assembly. Each Act or Resolution which was signed by the Governor is followed by the approval date on which it was signed by the Governor.

GEORGIA LAWS 2015
TABLE OF CONTENTS
VOLUME ONE
Acts and Resolutions of General Application .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Supplementary Appropriations Act for FY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Appendix General Appropriations Act for FY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Appendix
VOLUME TWO
Acts and Resolutions of Local Application. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3501 County and Consolidated Government Home Rule Actions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4309 Municipal Home Rule Actions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4583
VOLUME THREE
Acts by Numbers-Page References. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1A Bills and Resolutions-Act Number References. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4A Index-Tabular.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8A Index-General. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45A Population of Georgia Counties-Alphabetically. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100A Population of Georgia Counties-Numerically. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104A Population of Municipalities-Alphabetically. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109A Population of Municipalities-Numerically.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117A Population of Judicial Circuits.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125A Georgia Senate Districts, Alphabetically by County. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130A Georgia Senators, Numerically by District. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132A Georgia House Districts, Alphabetically by County. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136A Georgia Representatives, Numerically by District.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138A Status of Referendum Elections.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148A Vetoes by the Governor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 385A Historical List of General Assemblies of the State of Georgia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 393A Legislative Services Committee and Staff.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 394A

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WATERS OF THE STATE, PORTS, AND WATERCRAFT GEORGIA PORTS AUTHORITY; POWERS RELATED TO ACCEPTANCE OF LOANS AND GRANTS FROM THE UNITED STATES.

No. 2 (Senate Bill No. 5).

AN ACT

To amend Code Section 52-2-9 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general powers of the Georgia Ports Authority, so as to provide for powers of the authority with respect to acceptance of loans or grants from the United States upon certain terms and conditions; to provide for related matters; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. This Act is enacted pursuant to Article III, Section VI, Paragraph II(a)(3) of the Constitution of Georgia.

SECTION 2. Code Section 52-2-9 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general powers of the Georgia Ports Authority, is amended by revising paragraph (7) as follows:
"(7) To accept loans and grants, either or both, of money or materials or property of any kind from the United States of America or any agency or instrumentality thereof upon such terms and conditions as the United States of America or such agency or instrumentality may impose and to comply with such terms and conditions; including but not limited to the power to provide indemnification on behalf of the authority or any other agency or instrumentality of the state if such other agency or instrumentality be an equal participant with the authority as a non-federal sponsor of a congressionally authorized civil works project for the benefit of the United States of America or any agency or instrumentality thereof, which power has existed since the creation of the authority;"

SECTION 3. This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval.

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SECTION 4. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved February 23, 2015.

__________

REVENUE AND TAXATION INCORPORATE PROVISIONS OF FEDERAL LAW INTO GEORGIA LAW.

No. 6 (House Bill No. 292).

AN ACT

To amend Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to revenue and taxation, so as to define the terms "Internal Revenue Code" and "Internal Revenue Code of 1986" and thereby incorporate certain provisions of the federal law into Georgia law; to provide an effective date and applicability; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to revenue and taxation, is amended by revising paragraph (14) of Code Section 48-1-2, relating to definitions regarding revenue and taxation, as follows:
"(14) 'Internal Revenue Code' or 'Internal Revenue Code of 1986' means for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, the provisions of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, provided for in federal law enacted on or before January 1, 2015, except that Section 85(c), Section 108(i), Section 163(e)(5)(F), Section 164(a)(6), Section 164(b)(6), Section 168(b)(3)(I), Section 168(e)(3)(B)(vii), Section 168(e)(3)(E)(ix), Section 168(e)(8), Section 168(k) (but not excepting Section 168(k)(2)(A)(i), Section 168(k)(2)(D)(i), and Section 168(k)(2)(E), Section 168(m), Section 168(n), Section 172(b)(1)(H), Section 172(b)(1)(J), Section 172(j), Section 179(f), Section 199, Section 810(b)(4), Section 1400L, Section 1400N(d)(1), Section 1400N(f), Section 1400N(j), Section 1400N(k), and Section 1400N(o) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, shall be treated as if they were not in effect, and except that Section 168(e)(7), Section 172(b)(1)(F), Section 172(i)(1), and Section 1221 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, shall be treated as they were in effect before the 2008 enactment of federal Public

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Law 110-343, and except that Section 163(i)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, shall be treated as it was in effect before the 2009 enactment of federal Public Law 111-5, and except that Section 13(e)(4) of 2009 federal Public Law 111-92 shall be treated as if it was not in effect, and except that the limitations provided in Section 179(b)(1) shall be $250,000.00 for tax years beginning in 2010, shall be $250,000.00 for tax years beginning in 2011, shall be $250,000.00 for tax years beginning in 2012, shall be $250,000.00 for tax years beginning in 2013, and shall be $500,000.00 for tax years beginning in 2014, and except that the limitations provided in Section 179(b)(2) shall be $800,000.00 for tax years beginning in 2010, shall be $800,000.00 for tax years beginning in 2011, shall be $800,000.00 for tax years beginning in 2012, shall be $800,000.00 for tax years beginning in 2013, and shall be $2 million for tax years beginning in 2014, and provided that Section 1106 of federal Public Law 112-95 as amended by federal Public Law 113-243 shall be treated as if it is in effect, except the phrase 'Code Section 48-2-35 (or, if later, November 15, 2015)' shall be substituted for the phrase 'section 6511(a) of such Code (or, if later, April 15, 2015),' and notwithstanding any other provision in this title, no interest shall be refunded with respect to any claim for refund filed pursuant to Section 1106 of federal Public Law 112-95. In the event a reference is made in this title to the Internal Revenue Code or the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 as it existed on a specific date prior to January 1, 2015, the term means the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code or the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 as it existed on the prior date. Unless otherwise provided in this title, any term used in this title shall have the same meaning as when used in a comparable provision or context in the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, which were as of January 1, 2015, enacted into law but not yet effective shall become effective for purposes of Georgia taxation on the same dates upon which they become effective for federal tax purposes."

SECTION 2. This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval and shall be applicable to all taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2014.

SECTION 3. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved March 6, 2015.

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MENTAL HEALTH AUTHORIZE LICENSE PROFESSIONAL COUNSELOR TO PERFORM EMERGENCY EXAMINATIONS
OF MENTALLY ILL OR ALCOHOLIC OR DRUG DEPENDENT PERSONS; REMOVE SUNSET PROVISION.

No. 8 (Senate Bill No. 53).

AN ACT

To amend an Act relating to mental health and authorizing a licensed professional counselor to perform certain acts, Act No. 546, approved April 21, 2014 (Ga L. 2014, p. 347), so as to revise a sunset provision; to provide for an effective date; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. An Act relating to mental health and authorizing a licensed professional counselor to perform certain acts, Act No. 546, approved April 21, 2014 (Ga L. 2014, p. 347), is amended by revising Section 2A to read as follows:

"SECTION 2A. This Act shall stand repealed in its entirety on June 30, 2018."

SECTION 2. This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval.

SECTION 3. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved March 10, 2015.

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OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED REVISE, REPEAL, MODERNIZE, CORRECT ERRORS OR OMISSIONS IN, AND REENACT CODE.

No. 9 (House Bill No. 90).

AN ACT

To amend the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, so as to revise, modernize, correct errors or omissions in, and reenact the statutory portion of said Code, as amended, in furtherance of the work of the Code Revision Commission; to repeal portions of said Code, or Acts in amendment thereof, which have become obsolete, have been declared to be unconstitutional, or have been preempted or superseded by subsequent laws; to provide for other matters relating to revision, reenactment, and publication of said Code; to provide for effect in event of conflicts; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

Reserved.

SECTION 1.

Reserved.

SECTION 2.

Reserved.

SECTION 3.

Reserved.

SECTION 4.

Reserved.

SECTION 5.

Reserved.

SECTION 6.

SECTION 7. Title 7 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to banking and finance, is amended in: (1) Code Section 7-1-95, which is repealed, by designating said Code section as reserved.

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(2) Code Section 7-1-621, relating to definitions relative to interstate acquisitions of banks and bank holding companies, in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (4), by deleting "the Office of Thrift Supervision," which refers to an obsolete entity. (3) Code Section 7-1-650, relating to the powers of operation and regulation relative to credit unions, at the end of paragraph (9), by inserting "and". (4) Code Section 7-1-668, relating to the conversion of state and federal credit unions, at the end of paragraph (2) of subsection (b), by inserting "and". (5) Code Section 7-1-683.1, relating to locations for conduct of business, contracting with authorized agent, and requirements of an agent in the sale of payment instruments, in paragraph (5) of subsection (c), by replacing "but not limited," with "but not limited to,". (6) Code Section 7-1-685, relating to the expiration and renewal of licenses relative to the sale of payment instruments, at the end of the second sentence, by replacing "regulation" with "regulations". (7) Code Section 7-1-689, relating to record keeping, investigations and examinations by the Department of Banking and Finance, subpoenas, confidentiality, and limitations on civil liability, in paragraphs (1), (5), and (6) of subsection (l), by replacing "fax" with "facsimile". (8) Code Section 7-1-698, relating to the continuing effectiveness of existing licenses relative to the sale of checks and money orders, by replacing "Article 4 of Chapter 1 of this title" with "the former provisions of this article". (9) Code Section 7-1-706, relating to record keeping obligations, investigations and examinations by the department, examination fees, administration of oaths and issuing of subpoenas, confidentiality, and civil liability, in paragraphs (1) and (5) of subsection (l), by replacing "fax" with "facsimile". (10) Code Section 7-1-709.2, relating to the continuing effectiveness of existing licenses relative to the cashing of payment instruments, by replacing "Article 4 of Chapter 1 of this title" with "the former provisions of this article". (11) Code Section 7-1-1000, relating to definitions relative to licensing of mortgage lenders and mortgage brokers, in paragraph (11), by deleting "the Director of the Office of Thrift Supervision,", which refers to an obsolete entity and in paragraph (22), by replacing "paragraph (5) of subsection (a) of Code Section 7-1-1002" with "subsection (a.1) of Code Section 7-1-1002". (12) Code Section 7-1-1002, relating to the transaction of business without a license, registration, or exemption prohibited, knowing purchase of mortgage loan from unlicensed or nonexempt broker or lender prohibited, and liability of persons controlling violators, in subsection (a), in paragraph (2), by deleting "a person", in paragraph (3), by deleting "such person" and by adding "or" at the end, in paragraph (4), by replacing "; or" with a period at the end, and in paragraph (5), by redesignating said paragraph as subsection (a.1) and in subsection (c), by replacing "subsection (a)" with "subsection (a), (a.1),". (13) Code Section 7-1-1019, relating to criminal penalties relative to the licensing of mortgage lenders and mortgage brokers, in paragraph (1), by replacing "subsection (a)" with "subsection (a) or (a.1)".

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SECTION 8. Title 8 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to buildings and housing, is amended in: (1) Code Section 8-2-24, relating to the appointment of an advisory committee, reimbursement of members for expenses, use of subcommittees, submittal of proposed amendments, modifications, and new provisions to committee and meeting times of committee relative to the Department of Community Affairs, in paragraph (1) of subsection (a), by replacing "Georgia Safety Fire Commissioner" with "Safety Fire Commissioner". (2) Code Section 8-2-131, relating to definitions relative to manufactured homes, in paragraph (1), by replacing "Georgia Safety Fire Commissioner" with "Safety Fire Commissioner". (3) Code Section 8-2-160, relating to definitions relative to installation of manufactured homes and mobile homes, in paragraph (1), by replacing "Georgia Safety Fire Commissioner" with "Safety Fire Commissioner".

SECTION 9. Title 9 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to civil practice, is amended in: (1) Code Section 9-11-124, relating to the form of motion for production of documents under Code Section 9-11-34, near the end of the form, by deleting the comma following "A.B.".

SECTION 10. Title 10 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to commerce and trade, is amended in: (1) Code Section 10-5-30, relating to registration requirements for broker-dealers and exemptions, in paragraph (2) of subsection (b), by replacing "the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or the Office of Thrift Supervision" with "or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation", as the Office of Thrift Supervision is an obsolete entity.

Reserved.

SECTION 11.

SECTION 12. Title 12 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to conservation and natural resources, is amended in: (1) Code Section 12-2-8, relating to promulgation of minimum standards and procedures for protection of natural resources, environment, and vital areas of state and stream and reservoir buffers, at the end of subparagraphs (g)(1)(A) and (g)(2)(B), by deleting "and".

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(2) Code Section 12-5-546.2, relating to the notification in advance of any state funded augmentation projects relative to the Flint River, in subsection (c), by replacing "board of natural resources" with "board".

Reserved.

SECTION 13.

SECTION 14. Title 14 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to corporations, partnerships, and associations, is amended in: (1) Code Section 14-5-5, which is repealed, by designating said Code section as reserved. (2) Code Section 14-5-10, which is repealed, by designating said Code section as reserved.

SECTION 15. Title 15 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to courts, is amended in: (1) Code Section 15-1-16, relating to mental health court divisions, by redesignating paragraph (10) of subsection (b) as new paragraph (3) of subsection (a) and in such newly redesignated paragraph, by replacing "As used in this Code section, the term 'risk and needs assessment'" with "'Risk and needs assessment'. (2) Code Section 15-6-28.1, which is reserved, by designating said Code section as repealed. (3) Code Section 15-6-88.2, relating to the monthly contingent expense allowance schedule for the operation of the office of clerk of the superior court, in the right-hand column of the schedule heading, by replacing "Expense" with "Expenses". (4) Code Section 15-9-64.1, relating to the monthly contingent expense allowance schedule for the operation of the office of judge of the probate court, in the right-hand column of the schedule heading, by replacing "Expense" with "Expenses". (5) Code Section 15-10-23.1, relating to the monthly contingent expense allowance for the operation of the office of magistrate court, in the right-hand column of the schedule heading, by replacing "Expense" with "Expenses". (6) Code Section 15-10-54, relating to the use of personally identifiable data in court documentation and redaction relative to civil proceedings in the magistrate court, at the end of the introductory paragraph of subsection (a), by replacing "birth date" with "birth date shall include only". (7) Code Section 15-10-105.2, relating to the monthly contingent expense allowance for the operation of the office of magistrate court, in the right-hand column of the schedule heading, by replacing "Expense" with "Expenses". (8) Code Section 15-11-481, relating to victim impact statement in delinquency proceedings, in subsection (f), by replacing "subsection (b)" with "subsection (d)" both times the term appears.

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(9) Code Section 15-16-20.2, relating to the monthly contingent expense allowance for the operation of the sheriff's office, in the right-hand column of the schedule heading, by replacing "Expense" with "Expenses".

SECTION 16. Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to crimes and offenses, is amended in: (1) Code Section 16-8-14.1, relating to refund fraud, in subsection (c), at the end of paragraph (1), by replacing the semicolon with a period and at the end of paragraph (2), by replacing "; and" with a period. (2) Code Section 16-11-90, relating to the prohibition on nude or sexually explicit electronic transmissions, in subsection (e), at the end of paragraph (4), by deleting "or" and at the beginning of paragraph (6), by replacing "The transmission is" with "A transmission that is". (3) Code Section 16-11-127.1, relating to carrying weapons within school safety zones, at school functions, or on a bus or other transportation furnished by a school, in paragraph (1) of subsection (b), by replacing "within a school safety zone or at a school function" with "within a school safety zone, at a school function". (4) Code Section 16-11-138, relating to defense of self or others as an absolute defense relative to the carrying and possession of firearms, by replacing "Title 16" with "this title". (5) Code Section 16-11-160, relating to the use of machine guns, sawed-off rifles, sawed-off shotguns, or firearms with silencers during the commission of certain offenses and enhanced criminal penalties, in paragraph (1) of subsection (a), by replacing "or a firearm" with "or firearm". (6) Code Section 16-11-171, relating to definitions relative to the Brady law regulations, at the end of paragraph (2), by deleting ", or Chapter 16 of Title 43.". (7) Code Section 16-12-129, relating to defense of self or others as an absolute defense to any violation under the "Transportation Passenger Safety Act," by replacing "Title 16" with "this title". (8) Code Section 16-13-21, relating to definitions relative to the "Georgia Controlled Substances Act," in the introductory language of paragraph (10), by inserting a comma following "United States", in paragraph (23), subparagraphs (A) and (B), by replacing "or to administer" with "or administer" and subparagraphs (C) and (D), by replacing "federal Drug Enforcement Administration" with "DEA", and in paragraph (26.1), by replacing "Federal" with "federal". (9) Code Section 16-13-29, relating to Schedule V controlled substances under the "Georgia Controlled Substances Act," in paragraph (5), by deleting "(OTC)", by replacing "U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)" with "DEA", and by replacing "recordkeeping" with "record keeping". (10) Code Section 16-13-31, relating to trafficking in cocaine, illegal drugs, marijuana, or methamphetamine and penalties, in division (g)(2)(D)(ii), by deleting the second extraneous quotation mark after "Firearm".

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(11) Code Section 16-13-31.1, relating to trafficking in ecstasy, sentencing, and variation, in the introductory language of paragraph (4) of subsection (b), by replacing "paragraph" with "subsection". (12) Code Section 16-13-71, relating to the definition of a "dangerous drug," in paragraphs (512.5) and (671) of subsection (b), by replacing "see" with "See" and in paragraph (8) of subsection (e), by replacing "Federal" with "federal". (13) Code Section 16-14-3, relating to definitions relative to the "Georgia RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act," by deleting paragraph (5), as such definition is not used in Chapter 14, and redesignating current paragraphs (6) through (12) as new paragraphs (5) through (11).

SECTION 17. Title 17 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to criminal procedure, is amended in: (1) Code Section 17-5-52.1, relating to disposal of forfeited or abandoned firearms, innocent owners, auctions, record keeping, and liability of government entities, in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (d), by deleting ", and Chapter 16 of Title 43 and who are authorized to receive such firearms under the terms of such license.". (2) Code Section 17-10-1, relating to the fixing of a sentence, suspension or probation of sentence, change in sentence, eligibility for parole, prohibited modifications, and exceptions, in subsection (d), by inserting "of subsection (a)" following "paragraph (2)".

SECTION 18. Title 18 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to debtor and creditor, is amended in: (1) Code Section 18-5-3, relating to exemption for debt adjustment by certain individuals or entities, by deleting "the Office of Thrift Supervision,", which refers to an obsolete entity.

Reserved.

SECTION 19.

SECTION 20. Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to education, is amended in: (1) Code Section 20-2-182, relating to program weights to reflect funds for payment of salaries and benefits, maximum class size, reporting requirements, and application to specific school years, in subsection (h), by deleting "pursuant to Code Section 20-2-232", as such reference is obsolete. (2) Code Section 20-2-200, relating to regulation of certificated professional personnel by the Professional Standards Commission, rules and regulations, and fees, in paragraphs (2) and (3) of subsection (b), by replacing "course work" with "coursework".

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(3) Code Section 20-2-217, relating to professional and staff development stipends relative to the State Board of Education, by deleting "required under Code Section 20-2-232", as such reference is obsolete. (4) Code Section 20-2-320, relating to the Education Information Steering Committee, identification of data to implement the Quality Basic Education Program, and a state-wide comprehensive educational information network, in subsection (c), by replacing "the House Budget and Research Office; the House Research Office; and the Senate Research Office" with "and the House Budget and Research Office" and by replacing "Appropriation Committees" with "Appropriations Committees". (5) Code Section 20-2-327, relating to recognition of advanced proficiency/honors courses and counseling and development of individual graduation plans, in paragraph (2) of subsection (a), by replacing "course work" with "coursework". (6) Code Section 20-3-45.1, relating to the powers and duties of the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council, in paragraph (10), by replacing "this article" with "this part" each time the term appears. (7) Code Section 20-3-47.1, relating to the Division of Archives and History of the University System of Georgia as administrator of surplus state books, by replacing "this article" with "this part". (8) Code Section 20-3-519, relating to definitions relative to HOPE scholarships and grants, in paragraphs (26.1) and (27), by replacing "student that" with "student who" each time the term appears. (9) Code Section 20-3-519.5, relating to student eligibility requirements for a HOPE grant, in paragraph (1) of subsection (a), by replacing "towards" with "toward" and in subsection (c), by replacing "course work" with "coursework".

Reserved.

SECTION 21.

Reserved.

SECTION 22.

Reserved.

SECTION 23.

Reserved.

SECTION 24.

SECTION 25. Title 25 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to fire protection and safety, is amended in:

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(1) Code Section 25-2-6, relating to the state fire marshal as head of the Safety Fire Division, by replacing "office of Commissioner" with "office of the Commissioner". (2) Code Section 25-2-12, relating to the adoption of state fire safety standards and enforcement, investigations, excuse from compliance with standards, and interpretation of standards and granting variances therefrom by the Commissioner of Insurance, at the end of subsection (b), by replacing "subsection (a) of Code Section 25-2-12" with "subsection (a) of this Code section". (3) Code Section 25-2-32, relating to the maintenance of records of fire losses, reports of losses by insurance companies, and reports of fires under provisions of the regulation of fire and other hazards to persons and property generally, in subsection (b), by replacing "office of the Safety Fire Commissioner" with "office of Safety Fire Commissioner". (4) Code Section 25-2-40, relating to the requirement of smoke detectors in new dwellings and dwelling units and exceptions, in subsection (h), by replacing "office of the Safety Fire Commissioner" with "office of Safety Fire Commissioner". (5) Code Section 25-3-24, relating to the authority of the executive director of the Georgia Firefighter Standards and Training Council to determine compliance of minimum requirements by local fire departments generally, by replacing "Georgia Forestry Commission" with "State Forestry Commission". (6) Code Section 25-4-3, relating to the Georgia Firefighter Standards and Training Council and its establishment and organization, advisory committee, and expenses and allowances, in the introductory language of subsection (a), by replacing "eleven" with "11". (7) Code Section 25-9-6, relating to the prerequisites to blasting or excavating and the marking of sites near utility facilities, in the introductory language of subsection (a), by replacing "facilities are either" with "facilities either are" and in subsection (b), by replacing "so as to not to obstruct signs" with "so as not to obstruct signs". (8) Code Section 25-9-13, relating to penalties for violations under the "Georgia Utility Facility Protection Act," bonds, enforcement, advisory committee, and dispose of settlement recommendations, in the introductory language of subsection (a), by replacing "subsections" with "subsection". (9) Code Section 25-11-8, relating to the requirement that installation, repair, or other work be performed or supervised by a certificate holder, in subsection (g), by replacing "Office of the Commissioner of Insurance" with "office of the Commissioner of Insurance".

SECTION 26. Title 26 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to food, drugs, and cosmetics, is amended in: (1) Code Section 26-2-4, relating to the labeling, sale, or advertising of spring water, in subsection (a), by replacing "provided, however, water" with "provided, however, that water". (2) Code Section 26-2-231, relating to definitions relative to milk and milk products, by revising paragraphs (1) through (8) of subsection (b) as follows:

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"(1) 'Grade A buttermilk'; (2) 'Grade A chocolate milk'; (3) 'Grade A milk, pasteurized'; (4) 'Grade A modified solids milk'; (5) 'Grade A skim milk'; (6) 'Grade A whole milk'; (7) 'Pasteurization'; and (8) 'Raw cow's milk.'". (3) Code Section 26-2-249, relating to unlawful acts relative to milk and milk products, at the end of paragraph (11), by inserting "or". (4) Code Section 26-2-261, relating to classification of eggs, at the end of paragraph (1) of subsection (a), by inserting "and". (5) Code Section 26-2-296, relating to duties of the Commissioner of Agriculture, at the end of paragraph (1) of subsection (a), by replacing the period with "; and". (6) Code Section 26-3-8, relating to when a drug or device is deemed misbranded, at the end of paragraph (10), by inserting "or". (7) Code Section 26-4-5, relating to definitions relative to pharmacists and pharmacies, in paragraph (9), by replacing "eoasimilar" with "similar". (8) Code Section 26-4-21, relating to the eligibility requirements for members of the Georgia State Board of Pharmacy and their oath of office, in subsection (c), by replacing "Office of the Governor" with "office of the Governor" both times those terms appear.

SECTION 27. Title 27 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to game and fish, is amended in: (1) Code Section 27-2-3.1, relating to hunting licenses, sportsman's license, license card carrier requirements, and creation of lifetime sportsman's licenses, by deleting reserved subsections (a) and (b) and redesignating current subsections (c) through (j) as new subsections (a) through (h), respectively. (2) Code Section 27-2-30, relating to the establishment of the Wildlife Endowment Fund and limitations on expenditures from the fund, in subsection (b), by replacing "subsection (f)" with "subsection (d)".

SECTION 28. Title 28 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the General Assembly, is amended in: (1) Code Section 28-9-5, relating to publication of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, authority of the Code Revision Commission to make corrections and editorial changes, effect of changes, treatment of multiple amendments enacted at the same session, duty to prepare and have introduced legislation reenacting and correcting the Code, and effect of reenacting the Code, in subsection (b), by replacing "the order in which bills became law" with "the

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order in which bills became Acts" and in subsection (c), by replacing "Except as otherwise provided by law," with "Except as otherwise provided by general law,".

Reserved.

SECTION 29.

Reserved.

SECTION 30.

Reserved.

SECTION 31.

Reserved.

SECTION 32.

SECTION 33. Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to insurance, is amended in: (1) Code Section 33-8-8.3, relating to the funding of services, or the reduction of ad valorem taxes, in unincorporated areas of counties and the powers and duties of a governing authority, at the end of subparagraph (a)(1)(D), by inserting "and". (2) Code Section 33-23-43, relating to the authority of insurance adjusters and penalty for violation, in the introductory language of paragraph (4) of subsection (c), by replacing "subsection" with "paragraph". (3) Code Section 33-23-43.1, relating to the requirements for public insurance adjuster contracts, at the beginning of the introductory language of subsection (a), by replacing "Requirements for public adjusters" with "Public adjusters". (4) Code Section 33-24-44, relating to cancellation of insurance policies generally, in subsection (b), by replacing "Code Section 33-24-14 in person" with "Code Section 33-24-14, in person," and by replacing "United States mails" with "United States mail" and in subsection (e), by replacing "United States mails" with "United States mail". (5) Code Section 33-24-44.1, relating to procedure for cancellation of insurance policy by insured and notice, in subsection (b), by replacing "Code Section 33-24-14 in person" with "Code Section 33-24-14, in person,". (6) Code Section 33-24-45, relating to the cancellation or nonrenewal of automobile or motorcycle insurance policies and procedure for review by the Commissioner of Insurance, in paragraph (1) of subsection (e) and in subsection (m), by replacing "Code Section 33-24-14 in person" with "Code Section 33-24-14, in person," and by replacing "United States mails" with "United States mail". (7) Code Section 33-24-46, relating to the cancellation or nonrenewal of certain property insurance policies, in subsections (d) and (h), by replacing "Code Section 33-24-14 in

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person" with "Code Section 33-24-14, in person," and by replacing "United States mails" with "United States mail". (8) Code Section 33-24-47, relating to notice required of termination or nonrenewal, increase in premium rates, or change restricting coverage and failure of insurer to comply, in subsection (b), by replacing "Code Section 33-24-14 in person" with "Code Section 33-24-14, in person," and in subsection (f), by replacing "Code Section 33-24-14 by" with "Code Section 33-24-14 or by". (9) Code Section 33-24-47.1, relating to the notice prior to cancellation or nonrenewal of an individual or group accident and sickness insurance policy, in subsection (b), by replacing "United States mails" with "United States mail". (10) Code Section 33-30-13, relating to notices of premium increases to be mailed or delivered to group insurance policyholder and notification of impact of federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, in subsections (b) and (c), by redesignating current subsection (c) as new subsection (b), as current subsection (b) was repealed on December 31, 2014. (11) Code Section 33-45-1, relating to definitions relative to continuing care providers and insurance facilities, by redesignating current paragraph (12) as new paragraph (13) and by redesignating current paragraph (13) as new paragraph (12), respectively, and reordering such paragraphs so as to put definitions in alphabetical order.

Reserved.

SECTION 34.

Reserved.

SECTION 35.

Reserved.

SECTION 36.

SECTION 37. Title 37 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to mental health, is amended in: (1) Code Section 37-2-6.1, relating to community service boards and the executive director, staff, budget, and facilities, powers and duties, and exemption from state and local taxation, by redesignating current paragraph (1) of subsection (a) as new subsection (a.1). (2) Code Section 37-4-40.1, which is reserved, by designating said Code section as repealed. (3) Code Section 37-4-40.2, which is reserved, by designating said Code section as repealed. (4) Code Section 37-4-40.3, which is reserved, by designating said Code section as repealed. (5) Code Section 37-4-40.4, which is reserved, by designating said Code section as repealed. (6) Code Section 37-4-40.5, which is reserved, by designating said Code section as repealed.

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Reserved.

SECTION 38.

SECTION 39. Title 39 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to minors, is amended in: (1) Code Section 39-2-10, which is repealed, by designating said Code section as reserved.

SECTION 40. Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to motor vehicles and traffic, is amended in: (1) Code Section 40-1-1, relating to definitions relative to motor vehicles and traffic, by redesignating current paragraphs (15.3), (15.5), and (15.6) as new paragraphs (15.1), (15.2), and (15.3), respectively. (2) Code Section 40-5-81, relating to program optional and certification and approval of courses relative to restoration of licenses, at the end of subsection (a), by adding a period.

SECTION 41. Title 41 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to nuisances, is amended in: (1) Code Section 41-2-6, which is repealed, by designating said Code section as reserved.

SECTION 42. Title 42 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to penal institutions, is amended in: (1) Code Section 42-8-112, relating to timing for issuance of ignition interlock device limited driving permit, documentation required, and reporting requirement, in subparagraph (b)(2)(A), by replacing "permit" with "probationary license".

SECTION 43. Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to professions and businesses, is amended in: (1) Code Section 43-3-6, relating to the duties of executive director serving as the chief executive officer of the Georgia State Board of Accountancy, at the end of paragraph (5) of subsection (a), by replacing the period with a semicolon. (2) Code Section 43-10A-13, relating to requirements for licensure in marriage and family therapy, in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) and in subparagraphs (a)(2)(B) and (a)(2)(C), by replacing "course work" with "coursework". (3) Code Section 43-14-6, relating to powers and duties of divisions relative to electrical contractors, plumbers, conditioned air contractors, low-voltage contractors, and utility contractors, in subparagraph (a)(4)(G), by replacing "conditioned air work" with "conditioned air contracting" each time the term appears.

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(4) Code Section 43-14-13, relating to applicability of chapter relative to electrical contractors, plumbers, conditioned air contractors, low-voltage contractors, and utility contractors, in subsection (j), by replacing "conditioned air work" with "conditioned air contracting". (5) Code Section 43-26-53, relating to reportable incidents relative to mandatory reporting requirements for nurses, in subsection (b), by replacing "applicable board" with "board" each time the term appears.

SECTION 44. Title 44 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to property, is amended in: (1) Code Section 44-14-65, which is repealed, by designating said Code section as reserved.

Reserved.

SECTION 45.

SECTION 46. Title 46 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to public utilities and public transportation, is amended in: (1) Code Section 46-5-1, relating to exercise of power of eminent domain by telephone companies, placement of posts and other fixtures, regulation of construction of fixtures, posts, and wires near railroad tracks, liability of telephone companies for damages, required information, and due compensation, in subparagraph (b)(9)(I), by replacing "32.5320" with "32.5230".

Reserved.

SECTION 47.

SECTION 48. Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to revenue and taxation, is amended in: (1) Code Section 48-5C-1, relating to definitions, exemption from taxation, allocation and disbursement of proceeds collected by tag agents, fair market value of vehicle appealable, and report relative to alternative ad valorem tax on motor vehicles, in subparagraph (d)(15)(D), by replacing "this title" with "Title 40". (2) Code Section 48-8-2, relating to definitions relative to state sales and use tax, in paragraph (30.1), which is repealed, by deleting said paragraph designation; at the beginning of the second and third sentences of paragraph (37), by deleting the quotation marks around "Tangible personal property"; in the second sentence of the introductory text of paragraph (39), by deleting the quotation marks around "telecommunications service" and at the beginning of the third sentence, by deleting the quotation marks around

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"Telecommunications service"; and at the beginning of the second sentence of paragraph (43), by deleting the quotation marks around "Voice mail service".

SECTION 49. Title 49 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to social services, is amended in: (1) Code Section 49-4-6, relating to reserves, income, and resources to be disregarded relative to public assistance, by deleting subsection (b), which contains obsolete references, and redesignating current subsection (c) as new subsection (b).

Reserved.

SECTION 50.

Reserved.

SECTION 51.

Reserved.

SECTION 52.

SECTION 53. Title 53 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to wills, trusts, and administration of estates, is amended in: (1) Code Section 53-11-11, relating to authentication or exemplification of document to be filed in the probate court, by replacing "Code Section 24-7-922" with "Code Section 24-9-922".

SECTION 54. (a) Except for Title 47, the text of Code sections and title, chapter, article, part, subpart, Code section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, division, and subdivision numbers and designations as contained in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated published under authority of the state by The Michie Company in 1982 and contained in Volumes 3 through 40 of such publication or replacement volumes thereto, as amended by the text and numbering of Code sections as contained in the 2014 supplements to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated published under authority of the state in 2014 by LEXIS Publishing, are hereby reenacted. (b) Annotations; editorial notes; Code Revision Commission notes; research references; notes on law review articles; opinions of the Attorney General of Georgia; indexes; analyses; title, chapter, article, part, and subpart captions or headings, except as otherwise provided in the Code; catchlines of Code sections or portions thereof, except as otherwise provided in the Code; and rules and regulations of state agencies, departments, boards, commissions, or other entities which are contained in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated are not enacted

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as statutes by the provisions of this Act. Material which has been added in brackets or parentheses and editorial, delayed effective date, effect of amendment, or other similar notes within the text of a Code section by the editorial staff of the publisher in order to explain or to prevent a misapprehension concerning the contents of the Code section and which is explained in an editorial note is not enacted by the provisions of this section and shall not be considered a part of any statutes. (c) The reenactment of the statutory portion of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated by subsection (a) of this section shall not affect, supersede, or repeal any Act of the General Assembly, or portion thereof, which is not contained in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated and which was not repealed by Code Section 1-1-10, specifically including those Acts which have not yet been included in the text of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated because of effective dates which extend beyond the effective date of the Code or the publication date of the Code or its supplements. (d) The provisions contained in Sections 1 through 53 of this Act and in the other Acts enacted at the 2015 regular session of the General Assembly of Georgia shall supersede the provisions of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated ratified and reenacted by subsection (a) of this section. (e) In the event of a conflict between a provision in Sections 1 through 53 of this Act and a provision of another Act enacted at the 2015 regular session of the General Assembly, the provision of such other Act shall control over the conflicting provision in Sections 1 through 53 of this Act to the extent of the conflict.

SECTION 55. This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval.

SECTION 56. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved March 13, 2015.

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ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES LOCAL AUTHORIZATION AND REGULATION OF SALE FOR CONSUMPTION ON PREMISES ON ONE SUNDAY PER CALENDAR YEAR.

No. 10 (Senate Bill No. 103).

AN ACT

To amend Code Section 3-3-7 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to local authorization and regulation of sales of alcoholic beverages on Sunday, so as to allow for local authorization and regulation of the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises on one Sunday during the calendar year; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Code Section 3-3-7 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to local authorization and regulation of sales of alcoholic beverages on Sunday, is amended by revising subsection (r) as follows:
"(r) Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, in all counties or municipalities in which the sale of alcoholic beverages is lawful for consumption on the premises, the governing authority of the county or municipality, as appropriate, may by adoption of a resolution or ordinance authorize the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises from 12:30 P.M. until 12:00 Midnight on one Sunday during each calendar year that shall be designated in such resolution or ordinance. Any sales for consumption on the premises made pursuant to this subsection shall be subject to such terms and conditions as may be required by the governing authority of the county or municipality."

SECTION 2. This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval.

SECTION 3. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved March 13, 2015.

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EDUCATION ELIMINATE GEORGIA HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION TEST AS REQUIREMENT FOR GRADUATION; AUTHORIZE FORMER STUDENTS TO PETITION FOR DIPLOMA.

No. 14 (House Bill No. 91).

AN ACT

To amend Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the elementary and secondary education, so as to eliminate the Georgia High School Graduation Test as a requirement for purposes of graduation; to provide procedures for former students who did not pass one or more portions of the Georgia High School Graduation Test to petition to obtain a high school diploma; to provide for notice of such petition option; to provide for changes for purposes of conformity; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the elementary and secondary education, is amended in Code Section 20-2-84, relating to accountability, flexibility, and consequences components of contracts, by revising subsection (a) as follows:
"(a) The accountability component of the contract provided in Code Section 20-2-83 shall include at least one of the student achievement measures in paragraphs (1) through (4) of this subsection, including both total scores and any needed targeted subgroups:
(1) High school graduation rates; (2) SAT or ACT performance; (3) State standardized test data, which may include end-of-grade assessments, end-of-course assessments, or a combination thereof; (4) Advanced placement or international baccalaureate participation and performance; and (5) Any other accountability measures included pursuant to Part 3 of Article 2 of Chapter 14 of this title."

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SECTION 2. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 20-2-132, relating to the primary goals of the "Quality Basic Education Act," as follows:
"20-2-132. It is the intent of the General Assembly that the primary goals of this article shall be as follows:
(1) A substantial reduction in the number of teachers who leave the teaching profession for reasons of job dissatisfaction; (2) A decrease in the percentage and number of students who enter school but drop out prior to graduation; (3) The elimination of emergency teaching certificates and waivers for teaching outside of specialty; (4) A decrease in the percentage of students who fail to attain passing scores on end-of-course assessments; (5) A significant increase in the test scores of Georgia students who take the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) or the ACT Assessment (ACT); (6) An increase in the number of students mastering each skill in reading, mathematics, and other subject areas; (7) An accountability system for education programs that measures efficiency and effectiveness and ensures that programs produce improvement in student achievement scores for all students; (8) A comprehensive program and financial information system that provides data that allow for the accurate evaluation of program effectiveness; (9) A seamless education system that allows students to be served in the most effective and efficient way possible; (10) The elimination of school violence; (11) A decrease in the percentage of students who perform below grade level; (12) An increase in parental and community involvement in schools; (13) Better coordination between education agencies and other organizations providing instructional and related services to students; (14) A more competent school work force through the effective use of evaluation tools, training, and school improvement teams that promote best practices; and (15) More flexibility for high-performing schools so that services can be better adapted to student needs."

SECTION 3. Said chapter is further amended in Code Section 20-2-171, relating to minimum direct classroom expenditures, by revising paragraph (3) of subsection (b) as follows:
"(3) A local school system that has direct classroom expenditures that are less than 65 percent of its total operating expenditures and that is unable to meet the expenditure requirements in paragraph (2) of this subsection may apply to the State Board of

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Education for a one-year renewable achievement waiver. The waiver request must include evidence that the local school system is exceeding the state averages in academic categories designated by the board, which may include, but not be limited to, end-of-grade assessments, end-of-course assessments, and the SAT, a plan for obtaining compliance with this Code section, and any other information required at the discretion of the board; and"

SECTION 4. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 20-2-281, relating to the assessment of effectiveness of educational programs under the "Quality Basic Education Act," as follows:
"20-2-281. (a) The State Board of Education shall adopt a student assessment program consisting of instruments, procedures, and policies necessary to implement the program and shall fund all costs of providing and scoring such instruments, subject to appropriation by the General Assembly. Each local school system may elect to administer, with state funding, nationally norm-referenced instruments in reading, mathematics, science, or social studies in grade three, four, or five and in grade six, seven, or eight, subject to available appropriations, with assistance to such school systems by the State Board of Education with regard to administration guidance, scoring, and reporting of such instruments. The State Board of Education shall review, revise, and upgrade the quality core curriculum. Following the adoption of this revised curriculum, the State Board of Education shall contract for development of end-of-grade assessments to measure the quality core curriculum. Such assessments in English and language arts, mathematics, and reading shall be administered annually to students in grades one through eight, and such tests in science and social studies shall be administered annually to students in grades three through eight. This action shall be completed according to a schedule established by the State Board of Education. Writing shall be assessed, at a minimum, for students in grades three, five, eight, and 11. Students and their parents shall be provided with writing performance results from the administration of such assessments. (b) The nationally norm-referenced instruments provided for in subsection (a) of this Code section shall provide students and their parents with grade equivalencies and percentile ranks which result from the administration of such instruments. End-of-grade assessments shall provide for results that reflect student achievement at the individual student, classroom, school, system, and state levels. The State Board of Education shall participate in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and may participate in any other tests that will allow benchmarking this state's performance against national or international performance. The results of such testing shall be provided to the Governor, the General Assembly, and the State Board of Education and shall be reported to the citizens of Georgia. Further, the state board shall adopt a school readiness assessment for students entering first grade and shall administer such assessment pursuant to paragraph

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(2) of subsection (b) of Code Section 20-2-151. One of the components in the awarding of salary supplements as part of a pay for performance or related plan under this article may be assessments of student achievement. (b.1) The State Board of Education shall notify local school systems and individual schools of the results of the assessment instruments administered under this Code section at the earliest possible date determined by the state board, but not later than the beginning of the subsequent school year. (c) The State Board of Education shall have the authority to condition the awarding of a high school diploma to a student upon achievement of satisfactory scores on instruments adopted and administered by the state board pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section and the end-of-course assessments adopted and administered by the state board pursuant to subsections (f) and (h) of this Code section. The state board is authorized and directed to adopt regulations providing that any disabled child, as defined by the provisions of this article, shall be afforded opportunities to take any test adopted by the state board as a condition for the awarding of a high school diploma. Such regulations shall further provide for appropriate accommodations in the administration of such test. Such regulations shall further provide for the awarding of a special education diploma to any disabled student who is lawfully assigned to a special education program and who does not achieve a passing score on such test or who has not completed all of the requirements for a high school diploma but who has nevertheless completed his or her Individualized Education Program.
(d)(1) The State Board of Education shall develop or adopt alternate assessments to be administered to each student receiving special education services pursuant to Code Section 20-2-152 who does not receive instruction in the essential knowledge and skills identified in the quality core curriculum developed pursuant to Code Section 20-2-140 and for whom the assessment instruments adopted under subsection (a) of this Code section, even with allowable modifications, would not provide an appropriate measure of student achievement, as determined by the student's Individualized Education Program team. (2) A student's Individualized Education Program team shall determine appropriate participation in assessment and identify necessary accommodations in accordance with the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. (e) The State Board of Education is authorized to adopt rules, regulations, policies, and procedures regarding accommodations and the participation of limited-English-proficient students, as defined in Code Section 20-2-156, in the assessments described in this Code section. (f) The State Board of Education shall adopt end-of-course assessments for students in grades nine through 12 for all core subjects to be determined by the state board. For those students with an Individualized Education Program, each such student's Individualized Education Program team shall identify necessary accommodations in accordance with the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

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(g) Under rules adopted by the State Board of Education, the Department of Education shall, subject to appropriations by the General Assembly, release some or all of the questions and answers to each end-of-grade assessment administered under subsection (a) of this Code section and each end-of-course assessment administered under subsection (f) of this Code section after the last time such assessment is administered for a school year. (h) The State Board of Education, through the Department of Education, shall administer the end-of-course assessments for core subject areas as defined by state board policy. By the 2015-2016 school year, the State Board of Education shall make all end-of-course assessments available online and shall establish rules and regulations to maximize the number of students and school systems utilizing such online assessments. (i) The Department of Education shall develop study guides for the end-of-grade assessments and end-of-course assessments administered pursuant to subsections (a) and (f) of this Code section. Each school system shall distribute the study guides to students who do not perform satisfactorily on one or more parts of an assessment instrument administered under this Code section and to the parents or guardians of such students. (j) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules and regulations requiring the results of core subject end-of-course assessments to be included as a factor in a student's final grade in the core subject course for which the end-of-course assessment is given. (k) In addition to the assessment instruments adopted by the State Board of Education and administered by the Department of Education, a local school system may adopt and administer criterion-referenced or norm-referenced assessment instruments, or both, at any grade level. Such locally adopted assessment instruments may not replace the state's adopted assessment instruments for purposes of state accountability programs. A local school system shall be responsible for all costs and expenses incurred for locally adopted assessment instruments. Students with Individualized Education Programs must be included in the locally adopted assessments or provided an alternate assessment in accordance with the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. (l) In adopting academic skills assessment instruments under this Code section, the State Board of Education or local school system shall ensure the security of the instruments in their preparation, administration, and scoring. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, meetings or portions of meetings held by the state board or a local board of education at which individual assessment instruments or assessment instrument items are discussed or adopted shall not be open to the public, and the assessment instruments or assessment instrument items shall be confidential. (m) The results of individual student performance on academic skills assessment instruments administered under this Code section shall be confidential and may be released only in accordance with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. Section 1232g. (n) Overall student performance data shall be disaggregated by ethnicity, sex, socioeconomic status, disability, language proficiency, grade level, subject area, school,

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system, and other categories determined by policies established by the Office of Student Achievement. (o) Student performance data shall be made available to the public, with appropriate interpretations, by the State Board of Education, the Office of Student Achievement, and local school system. The information made available to the public shall not contain the names of individual students or teachers. (p) Teachers in kindergarten through grade 12 shall be offered the opportunity to participate annually in a staff development program on the use of tests within the instructional program designed to improve students' academic achievement. This program shall instruct teachers on curriculum alignment related to tests, disaggregated student test data to identify student academic weaknesses by subtests, and other appropriate applications as determined by the State Board of Education. (q) The State Board of Education shall consider the passage by a student of an industry certification examination or a state licensure examination which is approved by the State Board of Education when considering whether to grant such student a variance for one or more end-of-course assessments required by the State Board of Education pursuant to subsection(c) of this Code section in order to obtain a Georgia high school diploma; provided, however, that the state board shall not grant a variance to a student unless the student has attempted and failed to pass the relevant end-of-course assessment or assessments at least four times."

SECTION 5. Said chapter is further amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"20-2-281.1. (a) On and after the effective date of this Act, students shall no longer be required to earn a passing score on the Georgia High School Graduation Test to earn a high school diploma. (b) A person who is no longer enrolled in a Georgia public school and who previously failed to receive a high school diploma in this state or was denied graduation solely for failing to achieve a passing score on one or more portions of the Georgia High School Graduation Test or its predecessor or the Georgia High School Writing Test or its predecessor may petition the local board of education in which he or she was last enrolled to determine the student's eligibility to receive a high school diploma pursuant to this Code section based on the graduation requirements in effect when the student first entered ninth grade. Once the local board of education confers a diploma upon a student meeting such requirements, the local board shall transmit to the Georgia Department of Education in accordance with department procedures the number of diplomas awarded. The local board of education may date the high school diploma on the date the student graduated or the date the diploma was conferred. Students receiving diplomas pursuant to this Code section shall not be counted as graduates in the graduation rate calculations for affected schools and school systems, either retroactively or in current or future calculations. On or before January 31, 2020, the Georgia Department of Education shall report to the State Board of

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Education and the General Assembly the number of diplomas granted, by local school system, pursuant to this Code section. (c) Each local school system shall annually advertise the provisions of this Code section, one time no later than January 15, 2016, one time no later than January 15, 2017, and one time no later than January 15, 2018. Such advertisement shall be made in a local newspaper of general circulation which shall be the same newspaper in which other legal announcements of the local board of education are advertised. At a minimum, such notice shall consist of two columns measuring at least ten inches in length and measuring at least four and one-half inches in combined width, and include:
(1) A headline printed in at least a 24 point boldface type; (2) An explanation of who qualifies for the petitioning option; (3) An explanation of the petition process; (4) A contact name and phone number; and (5) The deadline for submitting a petition."

SECTION 6. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 20-2-283, relating to criteria for placement and promotion policies and specific requirements for students in grades three, five, and eight, as follows:
"20-2-283. (a) No later than January 1, 2002, the State Board of Education shall adopt criteria for the development of a placement and promotion policy by each local board of education consistent with the Georgia Academic Placement and Promotion Policy. (b) Such criteria as adopted by the State Board of Education shall require the following for students in grades three, five, and eight:
(1) No student shall be promoted, except as provided in this Code section, to: (A) The fourth grade program to which the student would otherwise be assigned if the student does not achieve grade level as defined by the Office of Student Achievement in accordance with Code Section 20-14-31 on the third grade end-of-grade reading assessment developed in accordance with subsection (a) of Code Section 20-2-281 and meet the promotional standards and criteria established by the State Board of Education and by the local school board for the school that the student attends; (B) The sixth grade program to which the student would otherwise be assigned if the student does not achieve grade level as defined by the Office of Student Achievement in accordance with Code Section 20-14-31 on the fifth grade end-of-grade mathematics assessment and fifth grade end-of-grade reading assessment developed in accordance with subsection (a) of Code Section 20-2-281 and meet the promotional standards and criteria established by the State Board of Education and by the local school board for the school that the student attends; or (C) The ninth grade program to which the student would otherwise be assigned if the student does not achieve grade level as defined by the Office of Student Achievement

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in accordance with Code Section 20-14-31 on the eighth grade end-of-grade mathematics assessment and eighth grade end-of-grade reading assessment developed in accordance with subsection (a) of Code Section 20-2-281 and meet the promotional standards and criteria established by the State Board of Education and by the local school board for the school that the student attends; (2) When a student does not perform at grade level on any end-of-grade assessment specified in paragraph (1) of this subsection then the following shall occur: (A) The parent or guardian of the student shall be notified in writing by first-class mail by the school principal or such official's designee regarding the student's performance below grade level on the assessment instrument, the retest to be given the student, the accelerated, differentiated, or additional instruction program to which the student is assigned, and the possibility that the student might be retained at the same grade level for the next school year; (B) The student shall be retested with a end-of-grade assessment or an alternative assessment instrument that is appropriate for the student's grade level as provided for by the State Board of Education and the local board of education; and (C) The student shall be given an opportunity for accelerated, differentiated, or additional instruction in the applicable subject; and (3) When a student does not perform at grade level on any end-of-grade assessment specified in paragraph (1) of this subsection and also does not perform at grade level on a second additional opportunity as provided for in paragraph (2) of this subsection then the following shall occur: (A) The school principal or the principal's designee shall retain the student for the next school year except as otherwise provided in this subsection; (B) The school principal or the principal's designee shall notify in writing by first-class mail the parent or guardian of the student and the teacher regarding the decision to retain the student. The notice shall describe the option of the parent, guardian, or teacher to appeal the decision to retain the student and shall further describe the composition and functions of the placement committee as provided for in this subsection, including the requirement that a decision to promote the student must be a unanimous decision of the committee; (C) If the parent, guardian, or teacher appeals the decision to retain the student, then the school principal or designee shall establish a placement committee composed of the principal or the principal's designee, the student's parent or guardian, and the teacher of the subject of the assessment instrument on which the student failed to perform at grade level and shall notify in writing by first-class mail the parent or guardian of the time and place for convening the placement committee; (D) The placement committee shall:
(i) Review the overall academic achievement of the student in light of the performance on the end-of-grade assessment and the standards and criteria as adopted by the local board of education and make a determination to promote or retain. A

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decision to promote must be a unanimous decision and must determine that if promoted and given accelerated, differentiated, or additional instruction during the next year, the student is likely to perform at grade level as defined by the Office of Student Achievement in accordance with Code Section 20-14-31 by the conclusion of the school year; and (ii) Prescribe for the student, whether the student is retained or promoted, such accelerated, differentiated, or additional instruction as needed to perform at grade level by the conclusion of the subsequent school year, prescribe such additional assessments as may be appropriate in addition to assessments administered to other students at the grade level during the year, and provide for a plan of continuous assessment during the subsequent school year in order to monitor the progress of the student; (E) For students receiving special education or related services, the Individualized Education Plan Committee shall serve as the placement committee; and (F) The decision of the placement committee may be appealed only as provided for by the local board of education. (c) This Code section does not preclude the retention by the school principal or the principal's designee of a student who performs satisfactorily on the end-of-grade assessments specified in paragraph (1) of subsection (b) of this Code section as provided for by the local board of education. (d) This Code section does not create a property interest in promotion. (e) The State Board of Education shall establish policies and procedures for implementation of this Code section."

SECTION 7. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 20-2-284, relating to criteria for local board of education and model placement and promotion policies, as follows:
"20-2-284. (a) No later than July 1, 2003, each local board of education shall develop and adopt a placement and promotion policy in accordance with the criteria established by the State Board of Education as provided in Code Section 20-2-283 and consistent with the Georgia Academic Placement and Promotion Policy. (b) Except for those end-of-grade assessments specified in Code Section 20-2-283, the placement and promotion policy as developed and adopted by each local board of education shall state how the end-of-grade assessments administered under Code Section 20-2-281 for grades one through eight will be weighted or otherwise utilized by the school principal or the principal's designee in determining the overall academic achievement of a student and an appropriate plan of accelerated, differentiated, or additional instruction, placement, promotion, or retention of a student.

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(c) To assist each local board of education, the State Board of Education shall develop a model placement and promotion policy which may be utilized by a local board of education."

SECTION 8. This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval.

SECTION 9. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved March 30, 2015.

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MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC PROPERTY DISTRIBUTION OF ALTERNATIVE AD VALOREM TAX PROCEEDS ON APPORTIONED VEHICLES; PUBLICATION OF NOTICES REGARDING UNCLAIMED PROPERTY; RETENTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES.

No. 15 (Senate Bill No. 82).

AN ACT

To amend Code Section 40-2-152 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to fees and alternative ad valorem taxation of apportionable vehicles, so as to revise and change, for a limited period of time, certain provisions regarding the distribution of alternative ad valorem tax proceeds; to provide for automatic repeal; to amend Article 5 of Chapter 12 of Title 44 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to disposition of unclaimed property, so as to change provisions relating to publication of notices of unclaimed property; to provide for the retention of administrative expenses; to provide for an effective date and applicability; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Code Section 40-2-152 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to fees and alternative ad valorem taxation of apportionable vehicles, is amended by revising subsection (m) and adding a new subsection to read as follows:

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"(m)(1) The alternative ad valorem tax imposed by this Code section shall be collected by the commissioner and shall be distributed annually from the separate, segregated fund not later than August 1 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which such taxes were paid to the commissioner, in the manner provided for in this subsection.
(2)(A) One percent of the alternative ad valorem tax collected by the commissioner shall be paid into the general fund of the state treasury in order to defray costs of administration. (B) Except for the amount provided in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, the remaining proceeds of the alternative ad valorem tax shall be allocated by county based upon the ratio of the number of apportioned vehicles attributed by the commissioner on an annual basis to each county to the number of apportioned vehicles submitted to and approved by the commissioner statewide. The proceeds so allocated shall then be distributed to each qualified tax jurisdiction within the county based upon the ratio of the most recently submitted and approved tax digest for each such qualified tax jurisdiction to the total of all tax digests of qualified tax jurisdictions located in the county. Qualified jurisdictions include only counties, municipalities, county school districts, and independent school districts which levy or cause to be levied for their benefit a property tax on real and tangible personal property. (n)(1) The provisions of subsection (m) of this Code section shall be suspended for the 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 tax years, and the provisions of this subsection shall apply during such period. This subsection shall stand repealed on January 1, 2020. (2) The alternative ad valorem tax imposed by this Code section shall be collected by the commissioner and shall be distributed annually from the separate, segregated fund not later than April 1 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which such taxes were paid to the commissioner, in the manner provided for in this subsection. (3) Except as provided in paragraph (4) of this subsection, each year, the distributions of alternative ad valorem tax proceeds under this subsection shall be based upon the immediately preceding year's tax digest of each qualified tax authority submitted to and approved by the commissioner. If such digest has not been submitted and approved, the commissioner shall, for purposes of this subsection, utilize in its place the most recently submitted and approved tax digest of such qualified tax jurisdiction. (4)(A) One percent of the alternative ad valorem tax collected by the commissioner shall be paid into the general fund of the state treasury in order to defray costs of administration. (B) Except for the amount provided in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, the remaining proceeds of the alternative ad valorem tax shall be divided among each qualified tax jurisdiction of this state. Such qualified tax jurisdictions shall be limited to only a county, municipality, county school district, and independent school district which levies or causes to be levied for their benefit a property tax on real and tangible personal property. The commissioner shall determine the amount of ad valorem tax on

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apportionable vehicles identified under subsections (a), (b), and (c) of this Code section that was received by each qualified tax jurisdiction for the 2013 tax year. Such amount shall represent the benchmark amount for such qualified tax jurisdiction:
(i) For the 2015 tax year, each qualified tax jurisdiction shall receive an amount of alternative ad valorem tax revenue equal to such benchmark amount; (ii) For the 2016 tax year, each qualified tax jurisdiction shall receive an amount of alternative ad valorem tax revenue equal to 80 percent of such benchmark amount; (iii) For the 2017 tax year, each qualified tax jurisdiction shall receive an amount of alternative ad valorem tax revenue equal to 60 percent of such benchmark amount; (iv) For the 2018 tax year, each qualified tax jurisdiction shall receive an amount of alternative ad valorem tax revenue equal to 40 percent of such benchmark amount; (v) For the 2019 tax year, each qualified tax jurisdiction shall receive an amount of alternative ad valorem tax revenue equal to 20 percent of such benchmark amount; and (vi) For all tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2020, each qualified tax jurisdiction shall receive the amount of alternative ad valorem tax revenue determined pursuant to subsection (m) of this Code section. (C) In the event that the amount of ad valorem tax on apportionable vehicles collected in a tax year covered under this subsection is less than the benchmark amount, then the benchmark distribution of each qualified tax jurisdiction for such tax year shall be reduced proportionately to reflect the amount of such shortfall. In the event a qualified tax jurisdiction ceases to be a qualified tax jurisdiction, it shall not be entitled to receive a distribution of either the benchmark amount under this subparagraph or the remaining distribution amount under subparagraph (D) of this paragraph. (D) When a qualified tax jurisdiction has received an amount equal to the prorated benchmark amount pursuant to subparagraph (B) of this paragraph for the applicable tax year, any funds remaining with the commissioner shall be distributed in accordance with the formula contained in subparagraph (m)(2)(B) of this Code section."

SECTION 2. Article 5 of Chapter 12 of Title 44 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to disposition of unclaimed property, is amended by revising Code Section 44-12-215, relating to publication of the "Georgia Unclaimed Property List," as follows:
"44-12-215. (a) The commissioner shall electronically publish notice of the reports filed under Code Section 44-12-214 on the Department of Revenue's website. (b) The published notice shall be entitled the 'Georgia Unclaimed Property List' and shall contain the names in alphabetical order and the internal identification number of persons listed in the report and entitled to notice within the county as provided in Code Section 44-12-214.

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(c) The notice shall contain a statement that information concerning the amount or description of the property and the name of the holder may be obtained by any persons possessing an interest in the property by addressing an inquiry to the commissioner. (d) The commissioner shall not be required to publish in such notice any item with a value of less than $50.00 unless the commissioner deems such publication to be in the public interest."

SECTION 3. Said article is further amended by revising Code Section 44-12-218, relating to disposition of funds received under article, as follows:
"44-12-218. All funds received under this article, including the proceeds from the sale of abandoned property under Code Section 44-12-217, shall be deposited by the commissioner in the general fund; provided, however, that the commissioner may deduct moneys necessary to cover the direct administrative expenses required to identify, locate, secure, and transmit abandoned property prior to depositing such funds. Before making a deposit he or she shall record the name and last known address of each person appearing from the holders' reports to be entitled to the abandoned property and of the name and last known address of each insured person or annuitant and, with respect to each policy or contract listed in the report of an insurance corporation, its number, the name of the corporation, and the amount due."

SECTION 4. (a) This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval. (b) Section 1 of this Act shall apply to all disbursements which occur after the effective date of this Act.

SECTION 5. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved March 31, 2015.

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BANKING AND FINANCE INTEREST OR CERTAIN DOMESTIC RELATIONS CASES.

No. 16 (House Bill No. 347).

AN ACT

To amend Chapter 4 of Title 7 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to interest and usury, so as to clarify provisions relating to interest on certain domestic relations cases; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date and applicability; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Chapter 4 of Title 7 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to interest and usury, is amended by revising Code Section 7-4-12.1, relating to interest on arrearage on child support, as follows:
"7-4-12.1. (a) All awards, court orders, decrees, or judgments rendered pursuant to Title 19 expressed in monetary amounts shall accrue interest at the rate of 7 percent per annum commencing 30 days from the date such award, court order, decree, or judgment is entered or an installment payment is due, as applicable. The court may modify the date on which interest shall begin to accrue. It shall not be necessary for the party to whom the child support is due to reduce any such award to judgment in order to recover such interest. The court shall have discretion in applying or waiving past due interest. In determining whether to apply, waive, or reduce the amount of interest owed, the court shall consider whether:
(1) Good cause existed for the nonpayment of the child support; (2) Payment of the interest would result in substantial and unreasonable hardship for the parent owing the interest; (3) Applying, waiving, or reducing the interest would enhance or detract from the parent's current ability to pay child support, including the consideration of the regularity of payments made for current child support of those dependents for whom support is owed; and (4) The waiver or reduction of interest would result in substantial and unreasonable hardship to the parent to whom interest is owed. (b) Subsection (a) of this Code section shall not be construed to abrogate the authority of a IV-D agency to waive, reduce, or negotiate a settlement of unreimbursed public assistance in accordance with subsection (b) of Code Section 19-11-5.

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(c) Notwithstanding Code Section 7-4-12, 7-4-15, 9-12-10, or 13-6-13, when an award, court order, decree, or judgment for alimony or equitable division of assets and liabilities is payable in installments, interest on such award, court order, decree, or judgment shall not begin to accrue until an installment is 30 days past due unless otherwise ordered by the court."

SECTION 2. This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval and shall apply to all civil actions pending on or after such effective date.

SECTION 3. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved April 2, 2015.

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AGRICULTURE CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES STATE SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION COMMISSION; REVISIONS; EROSION MANUAL PUBLICATION OVERSIGHT.

No. 17 (House Bill No. 397).

AN ACT

To amend Article 2 of Chapter 6 of Title 2 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to soil and water conservation districts, so as to revise provisions relating to the State Soil and Water Conservation Commission; to provide for administrative attachment; to provide for appointment to the commission; to remove authority related to funding of water supply reservoirs; to amend Chapter 7 of Title 12 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to erosion and sedimentation control, so as to provide for erosion manual publication oversight; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

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BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Article 2 of Chapter 6 of Title 2 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to soil and water conservation districts, is amended by revising Code Section 2-6-23, relating to establishment of the State Soil and Water Conservation Commission, as follows:
"2-6-23. (a) There is established, to serve as an agency of the state and to perform the functions conferred upon it in this article, the State Soil and Water Conservation Commission. The commission shall be assigned to the Department of Agriculture for administrative purposes only, as prescribed in Code Section 50-4-3. (b) Commencing with appointments for the year 2015, the Governor shall appoint one at-large member from each of the five soil and water conservation district regions to serve on the commission. Such initial appointments shall be for terms of office of one, two, three, four, and five years, respectively. Thereafter, successors shall be appointed for terms of office of five years and until their successors are duly appointed. (c) The following persons shall serve ex officio in an advisory capacity to the State Soil and Water Conservation Commission:
(1) The associate dean for extension of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences of the University of Georgia; (2) The commissioner of natural resources; (3) The associate dean of research of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences of the University of Georgia; (4) The executive director of the Agricultural Stabilization Conservation Service; (5) The Georgia state director of the Farmer's Home Administration; (6) The director of the Southern Piedmont Conservation Research Center; (7) The president of the Georgia Association of Conservation District Supervisors; (8) The director of the State Forestry Commission; (9) The Georgia supervisor of national forests of the U.S. Forestry Service; (10) The state conservationist of the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service; (11) The dean and director of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences of the University of Georgia; (12) The state program manager of agricultural education; (13) The Commissioner of Agriculture; and (14) Such other representatives of state or federal agencies as the commission deems desirable. (d) The commission shall adopt a seal, which shall be judicially noticed. It may perform such acts, hold such public hearings, and promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary for the execution of its functions under this article."

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SECTION 2. Said article is further amended by revising Code Section 2-6-27, relating to additional duties and powers of the commission, as follows:
"2-6-27. In addition to the duties and powers otherwise conferred upon the commission, it shall have the following duties and powers:
(1) To offer such assistance as may be appropriate to the supervisors of the soil and water conservation districts in the carrying out of any of their powers and programs; (2) To keep the supervisors of each of the districts informed of the activities and experiences of all the other districts and to facilitate an interchange of advice, experience, and cooperation between such districts; (3) To coordinate the programs of the districts so far as this may be done by advice and consultation; (4) To secure the cooperation and assistance of the United States and any of its agencies and of the agencies and counties of this state in the work of such districts; (5) To disseminate information throughout this state concerning the activities and programs of the districts and to encourage the formation of such districts in areas where their organization is desirable; (6) To receive gifts, appropriations, materials, equipment, land, and facilities and to manage, operate, and disperse the same; (7) To formulate such rules and regulations, to exercise such powers, and to perform such duties as are necessary to implement the administration of the federal Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act; (7.1) To formulate such rules and regulations in consultation with the Environmental Protection Division of the Department of Natural Resources, to exercise such powers, and to perform such duties as are necessary to implement the administration of the education and training program established under Code Section 12-7-19; (7.2) To formulate such rules and regulations and to exercise such powers as are necessary to perform its duties under subsection (m.1) of Code Section 12-5-31 and subsection (b.1) of Code Section 12-5-105; (8) To enter into contracts and agreements with the districts, municipalities, and counties of this state, other agencies of this state, the United States and any agencies thereof, any association, any landowner or land occupier, or any person in order to carry out the purposes of this article; and (9) To receive grants from any agency of the United States government or any agency of this state, and to make grants to districts, municipalities, or counties in this state, or other state agencies in order to:
(A) Fund up to 20 percent of the cost of obtaining permits for and constructing improvements to any dam that was originally constructed or financially assisted by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, formerly known as the Soil Conservation Service, of the United States Department of Agriculture; or

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(B) Carry out other purposes of this article."

SECTION 3. Chapter 7 of Title 12 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to erosion and sedimentation control, is amended in Code Section 12-7-3, relating to definitions, by redesignating paragraph (10.1) as paragraph (10.2) and by adding a new paragraph to read as follows:
"(10.1) 'Manual for Erosion and Sediment Control in Georgia' or 'manual' means the published guidance of the commission governing the design and practices to be utilized in the protection of this state's natural resources from erosion and sedimentation which shall be based foremost upon sound engineering principles and repeatable bench and field testing of structural and vegetative best management practices and which shall have the annual approval of the Erosion and Sediment Control Overview Council established pursuant to Code Section 12-7-7.1."

SECTION 4. Said chapter is further amended in Code Section 12-7-7.1, relating to erosion and sediment control plan preparation, completion, and implementation, by revising subsection (f) as follows:
"(f)(1) There shall be an Erosion and Sediment Control Overview Council which shall approve the Manual for Erosion and Sediment Control in Georgia prior to publication by the commission. In addition, the council shall provide guidance on the best management practices for implementing any erosion and sediment control plan for purposes of this Code section. The council shall be composed of nine members, including one member of the House of Representatives who shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and serve at the pleasure thereof; one member of the Senate who shall be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor and serve at the pleasure thereof; and seven members who shall be appointed by the Governor and serve at the pleasure thereof, including one employee each from the Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Division of the Department of Natural Resources, and the State Road and Tollway Authority, a professional engineer licensed to practice in this state from a private engineering consulting firm practicing environmental engineering, one representative of the highway contracting industry certified by the Department of Transportation, one representative of the electric utility industry, and a chairperson. The council shall meet prior to December 1, 2015, to approve the most current version of the manual and at all other times as necessary to approve any subsequent changes or updates to the manual prior to its implementation. Such meetings shall be held at the call of the chairperson. Each councilmember shall receive a daily allowance in the amount specified in subsection (b) of Code Section 45-7-21; provided, however, that any full-time state employee serving on the council shall draw no compensation but shall receive necessary

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expenses. The commissioner is authorized to pay such compensation and expenses from department funds. (2) The council may develop recommendations governing the preparation of plans and the installation and maintenance of best management practices. If a dispute concerning the requirements of this Code section should arise, the Erosion and Sediment Control Overview Council shall mediate the dispute."

SECTION 5. This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval.

SECTION 6. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved April 8, 2015.

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STATE GOVERNMENT BONA FIDE COIN OPERATED AMUSEMENT MACHINES; DEFINITIONS; LICENSING; DISPUTE RESOLUTION.

No. 18 (Senate Bill No. 190).

AN ACT

To amend Article 3 of Chapter 27 of Title 50 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to bona fide coin operated amusement machines, so as to provide for certain definitions; to provide for license fees and requirements for manufacturers and distributors; to provide for certain fees upon the transfer of a master license; to provide for an auction of certain licenses; to provide a procedure for dispute resolution; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Article 3 of Chapter 27 of Title 50 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to bona fide coin operated amusement machines, is amended in Code Section 50-27-70, relating to legislative findings and definitions, by adding a new paragraph to subsection (b) to read as follows:

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"(10.1) 'Master licensee' means any person that has lawfully applied for and received a master license."

SECTION 2. Said article is further amended in Code Section 50-27-71, relating to license fees, issuance of license, display of license, control number, duplicate certificates, application for license or renewal, and penalty for noncompliance, by revising subsections (a) through (f) and (k) through (n) as follows:
"(a) Every manufacturer, distributor, and owner, except an owner holding a bona fide coin operated amusement machine solely for personal use or resale, who offers a bona fide coin operated amusement machine for sale to a distributor or to an owner and who offers others the opportunity to play for a charge, whether directly or indirectly, any bona fide coin operated amusement machine shall pay annual master license fees to the corporation as follows:
(1) For Class A machines: (A) For five or fewer machines, the owner shall pay a master license fee of $500.00. In the event such owner acquires a sixth or greater number of machines during a calendar year which requires a certificate for lawful operation under this article so that the total number of machines owned does not exceed 60 machines or more, such owner shall pay an additional master license fee of $1,500.00; (B) For six or more machines but not more than 60 machines, the owner shall pay a master license fee of $2,000.00. In the event such owner acquires a sixty-first or greater number of machines during a calendar year which requires a certificate for lawful operation under this article, such owner shall pay an additional master license fee of $1,500.00; or (C) For 61 or more machines, the owner shall pay a master license fee of $3,500.00;
(2) For any number of Class B machines, the owner shall pay a master license fee of $5,000.00; (3) For any distributor, the distributor shall pay a distributor license fee of $5,000.00; and (4) For any manufacturer, the manufacturer shall pay a manufacturer license fee of $5,000.00. The cost of the license shall be paid to the corporation by company check, cash, cashier's check, money order, or any other method approved by the chief executive officer. Upon such payment, the corporation shall issue a master license certificate to the owner. The license fees levied by this Code section shall be collected by the corporation on an annual basis, and the board may establish procedures for license collection and set due dates for these license payments. No refund or credit of the license charge levied by this Code section may be allowed to any owner who ceases the manufacture, distribution, or operation of bona fide coin operated amusement machines prior to the end of any license or permit period.

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(a.1) Every location owner or location operator shall pay an annual location license fee for each bona fide coin operated amusement machine offered to the public for play. The annual location license fee shall be $25.00 for each Class A machine and $125.00 for each Class B machine. The annual location license fee levied by this Code section shall be collected by the corporation, and the board may establish procedures for location license fee collection and set due dates for payment of such fees. The location license fee shall be paid to the corporation by company check, cash, cashier's check, money order, or any other method approved by the chief executive officer. Upon payment, the corporation shall issue a location license certificate that shall state the number of bona fide coin operated amusement machines permitted for each class without further description or identification of specific machines. No refund or credit of the location license fee shall be allowed to any location owner or location operator who ceases to offer bona fide coin operated amusement machines to the public for commercial use prior the end of any license period. (a.2) The corporation may refuse to issue or renew a location owner or location operator license or may revoke or suspend a location owner or location operator license issued under this article if:
(1) The licensee or applicant has intentionally violated a provision of this chapter or a regulation promulgated under this chapter; (2) The licensee or applicant has intentionally failed to provide requested information or answer a question, intentionally made a false statement in or in connection with his or her application or renewal, or omitted any material or requested information; (3) The licensee or applicant used coercion to accomplish a purpose or to engage in conduct regulated by the corporation; (4) Failure to revoke or suspend the license would be contrary to the intent and purpose of this article; (5) The licensee or applicant has engaged in unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices as provided in Code Section 50-27-87.1; or (6) Any applicant, or any person, firm, corporation, legal entity, or organization having any interest in any operation for which an application has been submitted, fails to meet any obligations imposed by the tax laws or other laws or regulations of this state. (b) A copy of an owner's master license and the location owner's or location operator's location license shall be prominently displayed at all locations where the owner and location owner or location operator have bona fide coin operated amusement machines available for commercial use and for play by the public to evidence the payment of the fees levied under this Code section. A manufacturer's license and distributor's license, as well as invoices for the sales of any Class B machines to any person or entity licensed by this chapter, shall be available for inspection at their places of business and upon request from the corporation. (c) Each manufacturer, distributor, and master license and each location license shall list the name and address of the manufacturer, distributor, owner, location owner, or location operator, as applicable.

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(d) The corporation may provide a duplicate license issued pursuant to this Code section if the original license has been lost, stolen, or destroyed. The fee for a duplicate original license is $100.00. If the original license is lost, stolen, or destroyed, a sworn, written statement must be submitted explaining the circumstances by which the license was lost, stolen, or destroyed and including the number of the lost, stolen, or destroyed license, if applicable, before a duplicate original license can be issued. A license for which a duplicate license has been issued is void. (e) A license or permit issued under this Code section:
(1) Is effective for a single business entity; (2) Vests no property or right in the holder of the license or permit except to conduct the licensed or permitted business during the period the license or permit is in effect; (3) Except as provided in paragraph (5) of this subsection, is nontransferable, nonassignable by and between owners or location owners and location operators, and not subject to execution; (4) Expires upon the death of an individual holder of a license or permit or upon the dissolution of any other holder of a license or permit; and (5) As it relates to a master licensee, upon the sale of a master licensee's business in its entirety, the buyer shall pay to the corporation a transfer fee for the master license that accompanies the business in the following amounts:
(A) For the first sale of a master licensee's business, a transfer fee for the master license in the amount of $10,000.00; (B) For the second sale of such business, a transfer fee for the master license in the amount of $25,000.00; (C) For the third sale of such business, a transfer fee for the master license in the amount of $50,000.00; and (D) For the fourth sale of such business and each sale thereafter, a transfer fee for the master license in an amount to be established by the corporation, which transfer fee shall be not less than $50,000.00. (f) An application for the renewal of a license or permit must be made to the corporation in accordance with the due dates set forth in the rules promulgated by the board each year." "(k) A renewal application filed on or after the due dates set forth in the rules promulgated by the board, but before the license expires, shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable late fee of $1,000.00. A manufacturer, distributor, or master license or location license that has been expired for more than 90 days may not be renewed. In such a case, the manufacturer, distributor, master license, or location license owner shall obtain a new license, as applicable, by complying with the requirements and procedures for obtaining an original license. (l) A holder of a license who properly completes the application and remits all fees with it by the due date may continue to manufacture, distribute, or operate bona fide coin operated amusement machines after the expiration date if its license or permit renewal has

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not been issued, unless the holder of the license is notified by the corporation prior to the expiration date of a problem with the renewal. (m) Holders of manufacturer, distributor, and location licenses and temporary location permits shall be subject to the same provisions of this article with regard to refunds, license renewals, license suspensions, and license revocations as are master licensees. (n) Failure to obtain a license as required by this Code section shall subject the person to a fine of up to $25,000.00 and repayment of all fees or receipts due to the corporation pursuant to this article and may subject the person to a loss of all state licenses."

SECTION 3. Said article is further amended in Code Section 50-27-72, relating to refund of license, by revising subsection (a) as follows:
"(a) No refund is allowed for a manufacturer, distributor, or master license except as follows:
(1) The licensee makes a written request to the corporation for a refund prior to the beginning of the calendar year for which it was purchased; (2) The licensee makes a written request prior to the issuance of the license or registration certificate; (3) The licensee makes a written request for a refund claiming the license or registration certificate was mistakenly purchased due to reliance on incorrect information from the corporation; (4) The processing of the license is discontinued; or (5) The issuance of the license is denied."

SECTION 4. Said article is further amended by revising Code Section 50-27-73, relating to refusal to issue or renew license, revocation or suspension, and limitation on issuance of licenses, as follows:
"50-27-73. (a) The corporation shall not renew a license for a person under this article and shall suspend for any period of time or cancel a license if the corporation finds that the applicant or licensee is indebted to the state for any fees, costs, penalties, or delinquent fees. (b) The corporation shall not issue or renew a license for a person under this article if the applicant does not designate and maintain an office in this state or if the applicant does not permit inspection by the corporation's agents of his or her place of business or of all records which the applicant or licensee is required to maintain; provided, however, that this subsection shall not apply to manufacturers. (c) The corporation may refuse to issue or renew a manufacturer, distributor, or master license or may revoke or suspend a manufacturer, distributor, or master license issued under this chapter if:
(1) The licensee or applicant has intentionally violated a provision of this chapter or a regulation promulgated under this chapter;

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(2) The licensee or applicant has intentionally failed to provide requested information or answer a question, intentionally made a false statement in or in connection with his or her application or renewal, or omitted any material or requested information; (3) The licensee or applicant used coercion to accomplish a purpose or to engage in conduct regulated by the corporation; (4) A master licensee or applicant allows the use of its master license certificate or per machine permit stickers by any other business entity or person that owns or operates bona fide coin operated amusement machines available for commercial use and available to the public for play. If such unauthorized use occurs, the corporation may fine the licensee as follows:
(A) One thousand dollars for each improper use of a per machine permit sticker; and (B) Twenty-five thousand dollars for each improper use of a master license certificate. In addition, the corporation is authorized to seize the machines in question and assess the master license and permit fees as required by law and to assess the costs of such seizure to the owner or operator of the machines; (5) Failure to suspend or revoke the license would be contrary to the intent and purpose of this article; (6) The licensee or applicant has engaged in unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices as provided in Code Section 50-27-87.1; or (7) Any applicant, or any person, firm, corporation, legal entity, or organization having any interest in any operation for which an application has been submitted, fails to meet any obligations imposed by the tax laws or other laws or regulations of this state. (d) The corporation, on the request of a licensee or applicant for a license, shall conduct a hearing to ascertain whether a licensee or applicant for a license has engaged in conduct which would be grounds for revocation, suspension, or refusal to issue or renew a license. (e) Effective July 1, 2015, the corporation may issue up to 220 Class B master licenses through a process of competitive auction to be established by the corporation and such competitive auction shall occur at least once every three years effective July 1, 2015; provided, however, that any person or entity holding a Class B master license on the effective date of this subsection shall not be subject to the competitive auction process provided for in this Code section but shall be subject to all other requirements of this article; provided, further, that the corporation shall be permitted to renew Class B master licenses at any time."

SECTION 5. Said article is further amended in Code Section 50-27-78, relating to payment and collection of annual permit fee, permit stickers, and treatment of fees, by revising subsection (a) as follows:
"(a) Every owner, except an owner holding a coin operated amusement machine solely for personal use or resale, who offers others the opportunity to play for a charge, whether direct or indirect, any bona fide coin operated amusement machine shall pay an annual

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permit fee for each bona fide coin operated amusement machine in the amount of $25.00 for each Class A machine and $125.00 for each Class B machine. The fee shall be paid to the corporation by company check, cash, cashier's check, money order, or any other method approved by the chief executive officer. Upon payment, the corporation shall issue a sticker for each bona fide coin operated amusement machine. The board may establish procedures for annual collection and set due dates for the fee payments. No refund or credit of the annual fee levied by this article shall be allowed to any owner who ceases the exhibition or display of any bona fide coin operated amusement machine prior to the end of any license or permit period."

SECTION 6. Said article is further amended in Code Section 50-27-84, relating to limitation on percent of monthly gross retail receipts derived from machines, monthly verified reports, issuance of fine or revocation or suspension of license for violations, and submission of electronic reports, by revising subsection (b) as follows:
"(b)(1) No location owner or location operator shall derive more than 50 percent of such location owner's or location operator's monthly gross retail receipts for the business location in which the Class B machine or machines are situated from such Class B machines; provided, however, that revenues that are due to a master licensee or the corporation shall not be deemed revenue derived from Class B machines. (2) No location owner or location operator shall offer more than nine Class B machines to the public for play in the same business location; provided, however, that this limitation shall not apply to an amusement or recreational establishment."

SECTION 7. Said article is further amended in Code Section 50-27-87, relating to master licenses and requirements and restrictions for licensees, by revising paragraph (4) of subsection (a) and paragraph (3) of subsection (b) as follows:
"(4) On or after July 1, 2013, no person with or applying for a master license shall have an interest in any manufacturer, distributor, location owner, or location operator in this state. No person with or applying for a manufacturer license shall have an interest in a distributor, master licensee, location owner, or location operator in this state. No person applying for a distributor license shall have an interest in a manufacturer, master licensee, location owner, or location operator in this state. Additionally, no group or association whose membership includes manufacturers, distributors, operators, master licensees, location owners, or location operators shall obtain a master license nor shall they form an entity which acts as a master licensee, operator, location owner, or location operator for the purpose of obtaining a master license; provided, however, that through June 30, 2015, this paragraph shall not apply to persons who, as of December 31, 2013, have or will have continuously possessed a master license for ten or more years and, for ten or more years, have or will have continuously owned or operated a location where a

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bona fide coin operated machine has been placed. Nothing in this paragraph shall prohibit a manufacturer, distributor, or master licensee from entering into a financing arrangement with the other for the sale of machines, including but not limited to a lien, guaranty, or line of credit." "(3) Any written agreement entered into after April 10, 2013, shall be exclusive as between one bona fide coin operated amusement machine master licensee and one location owner or location operator per location. Any agreement entered into before April 10, 2013, shall not be deemed void for failure to allocate revenue pursuant to Code Section 50-27-87.1 or 50-27-102, and notwithstanding any agreements between master licensees and location owners and location operators, both shall act in a manner that complies with this chapter."

SECTION 8. Said article is further amended in Code Section 50-27-87.1, relating to unfair methods of competition and unfair and deceptive acts, by revising paragraphs (3) and (4) as follows:
"(3) A location owner or location operator asking, demanding, or accepting anything of value, including but not limited to a loan or financing arrangement, gift, procurement fee, lease payments, revenue sharing, or payment of license fees or permit fees from a manufacturer, distributor, or master licensee, as an incentive, inducement, or any other consideration to locate bona fide coin operated amusement machines in that establishment. A location owner that violates this subsection shall have all of the location owner's state business licenses revoked for a period of one to five years per incident. The location owner also shall be fined up to $50,000.00 per incident and required to repay any incentive fees or other payments received from the operator; and (4) A manufacturer, distributor, operator, master licensee, or individual providing anything of value, including but not limited to a loan or financing arrangement, gift, procurement fee, lease payments, revenue sharing, or payment of license fees or permit fees to a location owner or location operator, as any incentive, inducement, or any other consideration to locate bona fide coin operated amusement machines in that establishment. A manufacturer, distributor, operator, master licensee, or individual who violates this subsection shall have all of his or her state business licenses revoked for a period of one to five years per incident. The individual, manufacturer, distributor, owner, or master licensee also shall be fined up to $50,000.00 per incident."

SECTION 9. Said article is further amended in Code Section 50-27-102, relating to role of the corporation, implementation and certification, and separation of funds and accounting, by adding a new subsection to read as follows:
"(d)(1) As a condition of the license issued pursuant to this article, no master licensee or location owner or location operator shall replace or remove a Class A or Class B bona fide coin operated amusement machine from a location until the master licensee and

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location owner or location operator certify to the corporation that there are no disputes regarding any agreement, distribution of funds, or other claim between the master licensee and location owner or location operator; provided, however, that this certification shall not be required if a master licensee is replacing its own Class A or Class B bona fide coin operated amusement machine at a location. If either the master licensee or location owner or location operator is unable to make the certification required by this Code section, the corporation shall refer the dispute to a hearing officer as set forth in this subsection. (2) All disputes subject to the provisions of this Code section shall be decided by a hearing officer approved or appointed by the corporation. The corporation shall adopt rules and regulations governing the selection of hearing officers after consultation with the Bona Fide Coin Operated Amusement Machine Operator Advisory Board. Costs of the hearing officer's review, including any hearing set pursuant to this Code Section, shall be shared equally between the parties in the dispute; provided, however, that the corporation shall not be responsible for any of the costs associated with the dispute resolution mechanism set forth in this Code section. (3) The corporation shall also adopt rules governing the procedure, evidentiary matters, and any prehearing discovery applicable to disputes resolved pursuant to this Code section. Such rules shall be consistent with the Georgia Arbitration Code, and the corporation shall consult the Bona Fide Coin Operated Amusement Machine Operator Advisory Board regarding the procedures or rules adopted pursuant to this subsection. Notwithstanding Code Section 9-9-9, such procedures and rules shall include at least the right of notice to produce books, writings, and other documents or tangible things; depositions; and interrogatories. (4) If requested by the master licensee or the location owner or location operator, the hearing officer shall conduct a hearing as to the dispute, but in no case shall the hearing officer conduct a hearing more than 90 days after he or she has been appointed or selected to decide the dispute. No Class B bona fide coin operated amusement machine that is subject to the dispute resolution mechanism required by this Code section shall be removed from the terminal by a master licensee, location owner, or location operator or otherwise prevented by a master licensee, location owner, or location operator from play by the public until a final decision is entered and all appellate rights have been exhausted, or until the master licensee and location owner or location operator agree to a resolution, whichever occurs first. (5) The decision of the hearing officer may be appealed to the chief executive officer or his or her designee. The chief executive officer shall not reverse a finding of fact of the hearing officer if any evidence supports the hearing officer's conclusion. The chief executive officer shall not reverse a conclusion of law of the hearing officer unless it was clearly erroneous, arbitrary, and capricious or exceeded the hearing officer's jurisdiction. The decision of the chief executive officer may be appealed to the Superior Court of Fulton County, which court shall not reverse the chief executive officer's findings of fact

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unless it is against the weight of the evidence as set forth in Code Section 5-5-21, and the chief executive officer's legal conclusions shall not be set aside unless there is an error of law."

SECTION 10. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved April 8, 2015.

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REVENUE AND TAXATION RATIFY EXECUTIVE ORDER SUSPENDING COLLECTION OF TAXES ON GASOLINE AND AVIATION FUEL.

No. 19 (House Bill No. 319).

AN ACT

To amend Code Section 48-8-17 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the temporary suspension of the collection of taxes on gasoline and aviation fuel, so as to provide for legislative findings; to provide for procedures, conditions, and limitations; to provide for powers, duties, and authority of the state revenue commissioner with respect to the foregoing; to ratify an executive order of the Governor suspending temporarily the collection of such taxes; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Code Section 48-8-17 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the temporary suspension of the collection of taxes on gasoline and aviation fuel, is amended by repealing said Code section, which ratified Executive Order 06.08.12.01, and enacting a new Code Section 48-8-17 to read as follows:
"48-8-17. (a) The General Assembly finds that:
(1) Motor fuels and aviation gasoline are essential commodities used by Georgians for transportation; (2) The price of gasoline has fluctuated dramatically since the adjournment of the 2014 General Assembly;

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(3) It is the intention of this state to stabilize the rate of taxation on motor fuels and aviation gasoline during periods of volatile price swings; and (4) Code Section 45-12-22 authorizes the Governor to suspend the collection of taxes, or any part thereof, due the state until the meeting of the next General Assembly. (b) The General Assembly of Georgia ratifies the Executive Order of the Governor dated December 5, 2014, and filed in the official records of the office of the Governor as Executive Order 12.05.14.02 which suspended commencing on December 5, 2014, the collection of any rate of prepaid state taxes as defined in paragraph (24) of Code Section 48-8-2 to the extent it differs from the rate levied as of June 1, 2014, pursuant to Code Section 48-9-14 as it applies to sales of motor fuel and aviation gasoline as those terms are defined in Code Section 48-9-2. The period of suspension under this subsection shall conclude at the last moment of December 31, 2015. (c) The ratification of the temporary suspension of collection of prepaid state tax shall not apply to prepaid local taxes as defined in paragraph (23) of Code Section 48-8-2. (d) The commissioner is authorized to prescribe forms and promulgate rules and regulations deemed necessary in order to administer and effectuate this Code section."

SECTION 2. This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval.

SECTION 3. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved April 15, 2015.

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CRIMES AND OFFENSES TORTS AUTHORIZE POSSESSION AND USE OF LOW THC OIL.

No. 20 (House Bill No. 1).

AN ACT

To amend Chapter 12 of Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to public health and morals, so as to provide for the possession of low THC oil under certain circumstances; to provide for definitions; to provide for penalties; to amend Title 31 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to health, so as to create a registration within the Department of Public Health for individuals or caregivers who are authorized to possess low THC oil; to define certain terms; to provide for registration cards; to provide for

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procedure; to create the Georgia Commission on Medical Cannabis; to provide for membership, procedures, duties, and responsibilities; to provide for an automatic repeal of the commission; to allow the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia to create or work with others to create a research program using low THC oil in treating certain residents of this state who have medication-resistant epilepsies; to provide for permits to be issued to program participants and others; to provide for automatic repeal of the research program; to amend Chapter 1 of Title 51 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions of torts, so as to provide for limited liability for health care institutions and health care providers that permit the possession, administration, or use of low THC oil by an individual or caregiver on their premises in accordance with the laws of this state; to provide for a short title; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

PART I SECTION 1-1.

This Act shall be known and may be cited as the "Haleigh's Hope Act."

SECTION 1-2. Chapter 12 of Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to offenses against public health and morals, is amended by adding a new article to read as follows:

"ARTICLE 8

16-12-190. As used in this article, the term 'low THC oil' means an oil that contains not more than 5 percent by weight of tetrahydrocannabinol and an amount of cannabidiol equal to or greater than the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol.

16-12-191. (a)(1) Notwithstanding any provision of Chapter 13 of this title, it shall be lawful for any person to possess or have under his or her control 20 fluid ounces or less of low THC oil if: (A) Such person is registered with the Department of Public Health as set forth in Code Section 31-2A-18; (B) Such person has in his or her possession a registration card issued by the Department of Public Health; and (C) Such substance is in a pharmaceutical container labeled by the manufacturer indicating the percentage of tetrahydrocannabinol therein.

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(2) Notwithstanding any provision of Chapter 13 of this title, any person who possesses or has under his or her control 20 fluid ounces or less of low THC oil without complying with subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be punished as for a misdemeanor. (b)(1) Notwithstanding any provision of Chapter 13 of this title, it shall be lawful for any person to possess or have under his or her control 20 fluid ounces or less of low THC oil if:
(A) Such person is involved in a clinical research program being conducted by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia or any authorized clinical trial or research study in this state or their authorized agent pursuant to Chapter 51 of Title 31 as:
(i) A program participant; (ii) A parent, guardian, or legal custodian of a program participant; (iii) An employee of the board of regents designated to participate in the research program; (iv) A program agent; (v) A program collaborator and their designated employees; (vi) A program supplier and their designated employees; (vii) A program physician; (viii) A program clinical researcher; (ix) Program pharmacy personnel; or (x) Other program medical personnel; (B) Such person has in his or her possession a permit issued as provided in Code Section 31-51-7; and (C) Such substance is in a pharmaceutical container labeled by the manufacturer indicating the percentage of tetrahydrocannabinol therein. (2) Notwithstanding any provision of Chapter 13 of this title, any person who possesses or has under his or her control 20 fluid ounces or less of low THC oil without complying with subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be punished as for a misdemeanor. (c) Notwithstanding any provision of Chapter 13 of this title, any person having possession of or under his or her control more than 20 fluid ounces of low THC oil but less than 160 fluid ounces of low THC oil or who manufactures, distributes, dispenses, sells, or possesses with the intent to distribute low THC oil shall be guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years, a fine not to exceed $50,000.00, or both. (d) Notwithstanding any provision of Chapter 13 of this title, any person who sells, manufactures, delivers, brings into this state, or has possession of 160 or more fluid ounces of low THC oil shall be guilty of the felony offense of trafficking in low THC oil and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as follows:

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(1) If the quantity of low THC oil is at least 160 fluid ounces but less than 31,000 fluid ounces, by imprisonment for not less than five years nor more than ten years and a fine not to exceed $100,000.00; (2) If the quantity of low THC oil is at least 31,000 fluid ounces but less than 154,000 fluid ounces, by imprisonment for not less than seven years nor more than 15 years and a fine not to exceed $250,000.00; and (3) If the quantity of low THC oil is 154,000 or more fluid ounces, by imprisonment for not less than ten years nor more than 20 years and a fine not to exceed $1 million. (e) Subsections (c) and (d) of this Code section shall not apply to a person involved in a research program being conducted by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia or its authorized agent pursuant to Chapter 51 of Title 31 as an employee of the board of regents designated to participate in such program, a program agent, a program collaborator and their designated employees, a program supplier and their designated employees, a physician, clinical researcher, pharmacy personnel, or other medical personnel, provided that such person has in his or her possession a permit issued as provided in Code Section 31-5-7 and such possession, sale, manufacturing, distribution, or dispensing is solely for the purposes set forth in Chapter 51 of Title 31. (f) Nothing in this article shall require an employer to permit or accommodate the use, consumption, possession, transfer, display, transportation, sale, or growing of marijuana in any form, or to affect the ability of an employer to have a written zero tolerance policy prohibiting the on-duty, and off-duty, use of marijuana, or prohibiting any employee from having a detectable amount of marijuana in such employee's system while at work."

PART II SECTION 2-1.

Title 31 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to health, is amended in Chapter 2A, relating to the Department of Public Health, by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"31-2A-18. (a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) 'Board' means the Georgia Composite Medical Board. (2) 'Caregiver' means the parent, guardian, or legal custodian of an individual who is less than 18 years of age or the legal guardian of an adult. (3) 'Condition' means:
(A) Cancer, when such diagnosis is end stage or the treatment produces related wasting illness, recalcitrant nausea and vomiting; (B) Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, when such diagnosis is severe or end stage; (C) Seizure disorders related to diagnosis of epilepsy or trauma related head injuries; (D) Multiple sclerosis, when such diagnosis is severe or end stage; (E) Crohn's disease;

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(F) Mitochondrial disease; (G) Parkinson's disease, when such diagnosis is severe or end stage; or (H) Sickle cell disease, when such diagnosis is severe or end stage. (4) 'Department' means the Department of Public Health. (5) 'Low THC oil' shall have the same meaning as set forth in Code Section 16-12-190. (6) 'Physician' means an individual licensed to practice medicine pursuant to Article 2 of Chapter 34 of Title 43. (7) 'Registry' means the Low THC Oil Patient Registry. (b) There is established within the department the Low THC Oil Patient Registry. (c) The purpose of the registry is to provide a registration of individuals and caregivers who have been issued registration cards. The department shall establish procedures and promulgate rules and regulations for the establishment and operation of the registration process and dispensing of registry cards to individuals and caregivers. Only individuals residing in this state for at least one year or a child born in this state less than one year old shall be eligible for registration under this Code section. Nothing in this Code section shall apply to any Georgia residents living temporarily in another state for the purpose of securing THC oil for treatment of any condition under this Code section. (d) The department shall issue a registration card to individuals and caregivers as soon as practicable but no later than September 1, 2015, when an individual has been certified to the department by his or her physician as being diagnosed with a condition and has been authorized by such physician to use low THC oil as treatment for such condition. The board shall establish procedures and promulgate rules and regulations to assist physicians in providing required uniform information relating to certification and any other matter relating to the issuance of certifications. In promulgating such rules and regulations, the board shall require that physicians have a doctor-patient relationship when certifying an individual as needing low THC oil and physicians shall be required to be treating an individual for the specific condition requiring such treatment. (e) The board shall require physicians to issue quarterly reports to the board. Such reports shall require physicians to provide information, including, but not limited to, dosages recommended for a particular condition, clinical responses, compliance, responses to treatment, side effects, and drug interactions. (f) Information received and records kept by the department for purposes of administering this Code section shall be confidential; provided, however, that such information shall be disclosed: (1) Upon written request of an individual or caregiver registered pursuant to this Code section; and (2) To peace officers and prosecuting attorneys for the purpose of: (A) Verifying that an individual in possession of a registration card is registered pursuant to this Code section; or (B) Determining that an individual in possession of low THC oil is registered pursuant to this Code section.

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(g) The board shall develop a waiver form that will advise that the use of cannabinoids and THC containing products have not been approved by the FDA and the clinical benefits are unknown and may cause harm. Any patient or caregiver shall sign such waiver prior to his or her approval for registration."

PART III SECTION 3-1.

Said title is further amended by adding a new chapter to read as follows:

"CHAPTER 50

31-50-1. (a) There is created the Georgia Commission on Medical Cannabis. (b) As used in this chapter, the term 'commission' means the Georgia Commission on Medical Cannabis.

31-50-2. (a) The commission shall consist of 17 members. The commissioner of public health, the director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the director of the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency, the commissioner of agriculture, the chairperson of the Georgia Composite Medical Board, and the Governor's executive counsel shall be permanent members of the commission. The permanent members of the commission may designate another individual to serve in his or her stead. The remaining members of the commission shall be appointed by the Governor on or before July 1, 2015. The remaining members shall be:
(1) Two members of the Senate; (2) Two members of the House of Representatives; (3) A board certified hematologist-oncologist; (4) A board certified neurologist; (5) A board certified gastroenterologist; (6) A board certified pharmacist; (7) An attorney employed by the Prosecuting Attorneys' Council of the State of Georgia or a prosecuting attorney; (8) A sheriff; and (9) A police chief. (b) In the event of death, resignation, disqualification, or removal for any reason of any member of the commission, the vacancy shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment, and the successor shall serve for the unexpired term. (c) Membership on the commission shall not constitute public office, and no member shall be disqualified from holding public office by reason of his or her membership.

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(d) The Governor shall designate a chairperson of the commission from among the members, which chairperson shall serve in that position at the pleasure of the Governor. The chairperson shall only vote to break a tie. The commission may elect such other officers and committees as it considers appropriate. (e) The commission, with the approval of the Governor, may employ such professional, technical, or clerical personnel as deemed necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter. The commission may create committees from among its membership as well as appoint other persons to serve in an advisory capacity to the commission in implementing this chapter. (f) The commission shall be attached for administrative purposes only to the Department of Public Health in accordance with Code Section 50-4-3. The Department of Public Health may use any funds specifically appropriated to it to support the work of the commission.

31-50-3. (a) The commission may conduct meetings at such places and times as it deems necessary or convenient to enable it to exercise fully and effectively its powers, perform its duties, and accomplish the objectives and purposes of this chapter. The commission shall hold meetings at the call of the chairperson. (b) A quorum for transacting business shall be a majority of the members of the commission. (c) Any legislative members of the commission shall receive the allowances provided for in Code Section 28-1-8. Citizen members shall receive a daily expense allowance in the amount specified in subsection (b) of Code Section 45-7-21 as well as the mileage or transportation allowance authorized for state employees. Members of the commission who are state officials, other than legislative members, or state employees shall receive no compensation for their services on the commission, but shall be reimbursed for expenses incurred in the performance of their duties as members of the commission in the same manner as reimbursements are made in their capacity as state officials or state employees. The funds necessary for the reimbursement of the expenses of state officials, other than legislative members, and state employees shall come from funds appropriated to or otherwise available to their respective departments.

31-50-4. (a) The commission shall have the following duties:
(1) To establish comprehensive recommendations regarding the potential regulation of medical cannabis in this state. Such recommendations shall include, without limitations, specification of the department or departments to have responsibility for the oversight of a state-sanctioned system related to medical cannabis. A detailed report, which shall be submitted no later than December 31, 2015, including a review of the conditions, needs, issues, and problems related to medical cannabis and any recommended action or

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proposed legislation which the commission deems necessary or appropriate shall be provided to the executive counsel of the Governor, the Office of Planning and Budget, and the chairpersons of the House Committee on Appropriations, the Senate Appropriations Committee, the House Committee on Judiciary, Non-civil, the Senate Judiciary, Non-civil Committee, the House Committee on Health and Human Services, and the Senate Health and Human Services Committee; and (2) To evaluate and consider the best practices, experiences, and results of legislation in other states with regard to medical cannabis. (b) The commission shall have the following powers: (1) To evaluate how the laws and programs affecting medical cannabis should operate in this state; (2) To request and receive data from and review the records of appropriate state agencies to the greatest extent allowed by state and federal law; (3) To authorize entering into contracts or agreements through the commission's chairperson necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties; (4) To establish rules and procedures for conducting the business of the commission; and (5) To conduct studies, hold public meetings, collect data, or take any other action the commission deems necessary to fulfill its responsibilities. (c) Subject to the availability of funds, the commission shall be authorized to retain the services of attorneys, consultants, subject matter experts, economists, budget analysts, data analysts, statisticians, and other individuals or organizations as determined appropriate by the commission.

31-50-5. This chapter shall stand repealed on June 30, 2016."

PART IV SECTION 4-1.

Title 31 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to health, is amended by adding a new chapter to read as follows:

"CHAPTER 51

31-51-1. (a) As used in this chapter, the term 'low THC oil' shall have the same meaning as set forth in Code Section 16-12-190. (b) The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia may cause to be designed, developed, implemented, and administered a low THC oil research program to develop rigorous data that will inform and expand the scientific community's understanding of

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potential treatments for individuals under 18 years of age with medication-resistant epilepsies. (c) Any such program shall adhere to the regulatory process established by the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as well as other federal laws and regulations governing the development of new medications containing controlled substances. (d) Any universities and nonprofit institutions of higher education that conduct research may continue any research that is permitted under federal law as well as any additional research is permitted under this chapter.

31-51-2. To the extent permissible under this chapter, any research program developed pursuant to this chapter shall be designed to permit the voluntary enrollment of all individuals under 18 years of age having medication-resistant epilepsies who are residents of this state and who:
(1) Have been residents of this state for the 24 month period immediately preceding their entry into the program; or (2) Have been residents of this state continuously since birth if they are less than 24 months old at the time of their entry into the program.

31-51-3. (a) For purposes of this chapter, the board of regents may act through a unit of the University System of Georgia, a nonprofit corporation research institute, or a nonprofit institution of higher education that conducts research, or any combination thereof. (b) Any nonprofit corporation research institute approved by the board of regents to participate in the research program established under this chapter shall be required to have the necessary experience, expertise, industry standards and security procedures, and infrastructure to implement such research in accordance with accepted scientific and regulatory standards. (c) The board of regents and its authorized agent may enter into such agreements, among themselves and with other parties, as are reasonable and necessary to implement the provisions of this chapter.

31-51-4. (a) The board of regents or its authorized agent may designate an FDA approved supplier of low THC oil and collaborate with a designated supplier to develop a clinical trial or research study protocol to study the use of low THC oil in the treatment of individuals under 18 years of age with medication-resistant epilepsies, which trial or research study shall be conducted at one or more locations in this state. Such supplier shall be required to supply a source of low THC oil that has been standardized and tested in keeping with such standards.

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(b) The board of regents or its authorized agent shall work with any supplier of low THC oil to commit personnel and other resources to such collaboration and to supply low THC oil for a collaborative study under reasonable terms and conditions to be agreed upon mutually.

31-51-5. Any public record, as defined by Code Section 50-18-70, produced pursuant to this chapter shall be exempt from disclosure to the extent provided by Code Section 50-18-72.

31-51-6. All activities undertaken pursuant to this chapter shall be subject to availability of funds appropriated to the board of regents or to any other academic or research institution or otherwise made available for purposes of this chapter.

31-51-7. (a)(1) Research program participants and their parents, guardian, or legal custodian, employees of the board of regents designated to participate in the research program, program agents and collaborators and their designated employees, and program suppliers of low THC oil and their designated employees shall be immune from state prosecution as provided in Code Section 16-12-191. (2) Physicians, clinical researchers, pharmacy personnel, and all medical personnel in the research program authorized by this chapter shall be immune from state prosecution as provided in Code Section 16-12-191.
(b) For purposes of providing proof of research program participation, the board of regents or its agent which administers the research program authorized by this chapter shall provide appropriate permits, suitable for carrying on their persons or display, as applicable, to research program participants and their parents, guardian, or legal custodian, employees of the board of regents designated to participate in the research program, program agents and collaborators and their designated employees, program suppliers of low THC oil and their designated employees, physicians, clinical researchers, pharmacy personnel, and all medical personnel in the program.

31-51-8. The board of regents may establish fees for program participants in such amounts as are reasonable to offset program costs.

31-51-9. The board of regents may adopt such rules and regulations as are reasonable and necessary for purposes of this chapter.

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31-51-10. This chapter shall stand repealed on July 1, 2020."

PART V SECTION 5-1.

Chapter 1 of Title 51 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions of torts, is amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"51-1-29.6. (a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) 'Caregiver' shall have the same meaning as set forth in Code Section 31-2A-18. (2) 'Health care institution' shall have the same meaning as set forth in Code Section 51-1-29.5. (3) 'Health care provider' means any person licensed, certified, or registered under Chapter 9, 10A, 11, 11A, 26, 28, 30, 33, 34, 35, 39, or 44 of Title 43 or Chapter 4 of Title 26. (4) 'Low THC oil' shall have the same meaning as set forth in Code Section 16-12-190. (b) A health care institution shall not be subject to any civil liability, penalty, licensing sanction, or other detrimental action and a health care provider shall not be subject to any civil liability, penalty, denial of a right or privilege, disciplinary action by a professional licensing board, or other detrimental action for allowing an individual or caregiver to possess, administer, or use low THC oil on the premises of a health care institution or offices of a health care provider provided that the possession of such substance is in accordance with the laws of this state."

PART VI SECTION 6-1.

This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval.

SECTION 6-2. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved April 16, 2015.

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ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES DOMESTIC RELATIONS EDUCATION MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC REPEAL SUSPENSION OF DRIVER'S LICENSE PENALTY FOR VIOLATIONS NOT DIRECTLY RELATED TO TRAFFIC SAFETY; NOTIFICATION TO DELINQUENT CHILD SUPPORT OBLIGORS REGARDING DRIVER'S LICENSE SUSPENSION; REPORTING OF CERTAIN INFORMATION; LICENSING OF DRIVERS AND OPERATION OF MOTOR VEHICLES.

No. 21 (Senate Bill No. 100).

AN ACT

To amend Article 2 of Chapter 3 of Title 3 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to prohibited acts regarding the regulation of alcoholic beverages generally, so as to repeal certain provisions for driver's license suspensions not directly related to traffic safety; to amend Article 1 of Chapter 11 of Title 19 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the Child Support Recovery Act, so as to require certain notifications to delinquent obligors; to amend Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to elementary and secondary education, so as to revise certain reporting requirements by the Department of Education to the Department of Driver Services; to amend Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to motor vehicles and traffic, so as to revise provisions regarding licensing for the operation of motor vehicles and the operation of motor vehicles; to provide for applicability with current federal regulations in the safe operations of motor carriers and commercial motor vehicles; to provide for definitions; to provide for registration and regulation of for-hire intrastate motor carriers and intrastate motor carriers; to provide for the dissemination of certain information by the Department of Driver Services; to provide for participation in an anatomical gift donation program when obtaining a personal identification card through the department; to provide for the designation of such participation on personal identification cards; to provide for the dissemination of identifying information for applicants making such election; to repeal certain provisions for driver's license suspensions not directly related to traffic safety; to provide for a waiver of the application fee for instruction permits in certain instances; to provide for legislative findings; to provide for the use of paper eye charts for the testing of noncommercial driver's vision; to provide for the issuance of limited driving permits to noncommercial drivers in certain instances; to change provisions relating to a plea of nolo

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contendere; to prohibit the offering of items of monetary value for the enrollment of students by any driver improvement clinic or DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program licensed by the department; to allow photographs on drivers' licenses and identification cards to be in black and white; to provide for the conditions under which limited driving permits shall be issued; to allow photographs on drivers' licenses and identification cards to be in black and white; to provide for related matters; to provide for effective dates and applicability; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

PART I SECTION 1-1.

Article 2 of Chapter 3 of Title 3 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to prohibited acts regarding the regulation of alcoholic beverages generally, is amended in Code Section 3-3-23.1, relating to procedure and penalties upon violation of Code Section 3-3-23, by revising paragraph (3) of subsection (b) as follows: See Compiler's Note, Page 81.

PART II SECTION 2-1.

Article 1 of Chapter 11 of Title 19 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the Child Support Recovery Act, is amended in Code Section 19-11-9.3, relating to suspension or denial of license for noncompliance with child support order, interagency agreements, and report to General Assembly, by adding a new subsection to read as follows:
"(p) The department shall inform delinquent obligors of resources available which may remedy such delinquent obligor's license suspension."

PART III SECTION 3-1.

Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to elementary and secondary education, is amended by revising subsection (f) of Code Section 20-2-320, relating to the Education Information Steering Committee, identification of data to implement the Quality Basic Education Program, and the state-wide comprehensive educational information network, as follows:
"(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Department of Education is authorized to and shall obtain and provide to the Department of Driver Services, in a form to be agreed upon between the Department of Education and the Department of Driver Services, enrollment, expulsion, and suspension information regarding minors 15 through 17 years

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of age reported pursuant to Code Sections 20-2-690 and 20-2-697, to be used solely for the purposes set forth in subsection (a.1) of Code Section 40-5-22."

SECTION 3-2. Said chapter is further amended by revising paragraph (5) of subsection (b) and paragraph (6) of subsection (c) of Code Section 20-2-690, relating to educational entities and requirements by private schools and home study programs, as follows:
"(5) Within 30 days after the beginning of each school year, it shall be the duty of the administrator of each private school to provide to the school superintendent of each local public school district which has residents enrolled in the private school a list of the name, age, and residence of each resident so enrolled. At the end of each school month, it shall be the duty of the administrator of each private school to notify the school superintendent of each local public school district of the name, age, and residence of each student residing in the public school district who enrolls or terminates enrollment at the private school during the immediately preceding school month. Such records shall indicate when attendance has been suspended and the grounds for such suspension. Enrollment records and reports shall not be used for any purpose except providing necessary enrollment information, except with the permission of the parent or guardian of a child, pursuant to the subpoena of a court of competent jurisdiction, or for verification of enrollment by the Department of Driver Services for the purposes set forth in subsection (a.1) of Code Section 40-5-22; and" "(6) The parent or guardian shall have the authority to execute any document required by law, rule, regulation, or policy to evidence the enrollment of a child in a home study program, the student's full-time or part-time status, the student's grades, or any other required educational information. This shall include, but not be limited to, documents for purposes of verification of enrollment by the Department of Driver Services, for the purposes set forth in subsection (a.1) of Code Section 40-5-22, documents required pursuant to Chapter 2 of Title 39 relating to employment of minors, and any documents required to apply for the receipt of state or federal public assistance;"

SECTION 3-3. Said chapter is further amended by revising subsection (g) of Code Section 20-2-690.2, relating to the establishment of student attendance protocol committee, membership and protocol, summary of penalties for failure to comply, and reporting, as follows:
"(g) The committee shall write the summary of possible consequences and penalties for failing to comply with compulsory attendance under Code Section 20-2-690.1 for children and their parents, guardians, or other persons who have control or charge of children for distribution by schools in accordance with Code Section 20-2-690.1. The summary of possible consequences for children shall include possible dispositions for children in need of services and possible denial of a driver's license for a child in accordance with Code Section 40-5-22."

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SECTION 3-4. Said chapter is further amended by revising subsection (a) of Code Section 20-2-697, relating to cooperation of principals and teachers in public schools with visiting teachers and attendance officers, attendance reports and records kept by public schools, and letter indicating enrollment, as follows:
"(a) Visiting teachers and attendance officers shall receive the cooperation and assistance of all teachers and principals of public schools in the local school systems within which they are appointed to serve. It shall be the duty of the principals or local school site administrators and of the teachers of all public schools to report, in writing, to the visiting teacher or attendance officer of the local school system the names, ages, and residences of all students in attendance at their schools and classes within 30 days after the beginning of the school term or terms and to make such other reports of attendance in their schools or classes as may be required by rule or regulation of the State Board of Education. All public schools shall keep daily records of attendance, verified by the teachers certifying such records. Such reports shall be open to inspection by the visiting teacher, attendance officer, or duly authorized representative at any time during the school day. Any such attendance records and reports which identify students by name shall be used only for the purpose of providing necessary attendance information required by the state board or by law, except with the permission of the parent or guardian of a child, pursuant to the subpoena of a court of competent jurisdiction, or for verification of enrollment by the Department of Driver Services for the purposes set forth in subsection (a.1) of Code Section 40-5-22. Such attendance records shall also be maintained in a format which does not identify students by name, and in this format shall be a part of the data collected for the student record component of the state-wide comprehensive educational information system pursuant to subsection (b) of Code Section 20-2-320."

SECTION 3-5. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 20-2-701, relating to responsibility for reporting truants to juvenile or other courts, as follows:
"20-2-701. Local school superintendents as applied to private schools, the Department of Education as applied to home study programs, or visiting teachers and attendance officers as applied to public schools, after written notice to the parent or guardian of a child, shall report to the juvenile or other court having jurisdiction under Chapter 11 of Title 15 any child who is absent from a public or private school or a home study program in violation of this subpart. If the judge of the court places such child in a home or in a public or private institution pursuant to Chapter 11 of Title 15, school shall be provided for such child. The Department of Education shall coordinate with local school superintendents with respect to attendance records and notification for students in home study programs."

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PART IV SECTION 4-1.

Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to motor vehicles and traffic, is amended by revising subparagraph (A) of paragraph (8.3) of Code Section 40-1-1, relating to definitions, as follows:
"(A) Has a gross vehicle weight rating, gross combination weight rating, gross vehicle weight, or gross combination weight of 4,536 kg (10,001 lbs.) or more;"

SECTION 4-2. Said title is further amended by revising paragraph (3) of subsection (a) of Code Section 40-1-8, relating to definitions, safe operations of motor carriers and commercial motor vehicles, civil penalties, operation of out-of-service vehicles, and criminal penalties, as follows:
"(3) 'Present regulations' means the regulations promulgated under 49 C.F.R. in force and effect on January 1, 2015."

SECTION 4-3. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 40-2-1, relating to definitions, as follows:
"40-2-1. As used in this chapter, the term:
(1) 'Cancellation of vehicle registration' means the annulment or termination by formal action of the department of a person's vehicle registration because of an error or defect in the registration or because the person is no longer entitled to such registration. The cancellation of registration is without prejudice and application for a new registration may be made at any time after such cancellation. (2) 'Commissioner' means the state revenue commissioner. (3) 'Department' means the Department of Revenue. (4) 'For-hire intrastate motor carrier' means an entity engaged in the transportation of goods or ten or more passengers for compensation wholly within the boundaries of this state. (5) 'Intrastate motor carrier' means any self-propelled or towed motor vehicle operated by an entity that is used on a highway in intrastate commerce to transport passengers or property and:
(A) Has a gross vehicle weight rating, gross combination weight rating, gross vehicle weight, or gross combination weight of 4,536 kg (10,001 lbs.) or more, whichever is greater; (B) Is designed or used to transport more than ten passengers, including the driver, and is not used to transport passengers for compensation; or

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(C) Is used to transport material found by the United States Secretary of Transportation to be hazardous pursuant to 49 U.S.C. Section 5103 and is transported in any quantity. (6) 'Motor carrier' means: (A) Any entity subject to the terms of the Unified Carrier Registration Agreement pursuant to 49 U.S.C. Section 14504a whether engaged in interstate or intrastate commerce, or both; or (B) Any entity defined by the commissioner or commissioner of public safety who operates or controls commercial motor vehicles as defined in 49 C.F.R. Section 390.5 or this chapter whether operated in interstate or intrastate commerce, or both. (7) 'Operating authority' means the registration required by 49 U.S.C. Section 13902, 49 C.F.R. Part 365, 49 C.F.R. Part 368, and 49 C.F.R. Section 392.9a. (8) 'Regulatory compliance inspection' means the examination of facilities, property, buildings, vehicles, drivers, employees, cargo, packages, records, books, or supporting documentation kept or required to be kept in the normal course of motor carrier business or enterprise operations. (9) 'Resident' means a person who has a permanent home or domicile in Georgia and to which, having been absent, he or she has the intention of returning. For the purposes of this chapter, there is a rebuttable presumption that any person who, except for infrequent, brief absences, has been present in the state for 30 or more days is a resident. (10) 'Revocation of vehicle registration' means the termination by formal action of the department of a vehicle registration, which registration shall not be subject to renewal or reinstatement, except that an application for a new registration may be presented and acted upon by the department after the expiration of the applicable period of time prescribed by law. (11) 'Suspension of vehicle registration' means the temporary withdrawal by formal action of the department of a vehicle registration, which temporary withdrawal shall be for a period specifically designated by the department."

SECTION 4-4. Said title is further amended in Code Section 40-2-20, relating to registration and license requirements, by adding a new subparagraph to paragraph (1) of subsection (a) to read as follows:
"(C) The county tag agent may issue a temporary operating permit for any vehicle that fails to comply with applicable federal emission standards, provided that the owner of such vehicle has provided verification of the existence of minimum motor vehicle liability insurance coverage and paid all applicable taxes, penalties, insurance lapse fees, and fees other than the registration fee. Such temporary operating permit shall be valid for 30 days and shall not be renewable."

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SECTION 4-5. Said title is further amended by revising subsections (d), (e), and (f) of Code Section 40-2-140, relating to the administration of the Federal Unified Carrier Registration Act of 2005 by the Department of Public Safety, registration and fee requirements, evidence of continuing education, requirements for obtaining operating authority, collection, retention, and utilization of fees, regulatory compliance inspections, and penalties, as follows:
"(d)(1) Any intrastate motor carrier, leasing company leasing to a motor carrier, broker, or freight forwarder that engages in intrastate commerce and operates a motor vehicle on or over any public highway of this state shall register with the commissioner and pay a fee determined by the commissioner. (2) No for-hire intrastate motor carrier shall be issued a registration unless there is filed with the commissioner a certificate of insurance for such applicant or holder, on forms prescribed by the commissioner, evidencing a policy of indemnity insurance by an insurance company licensed to do business in this state. Such policy shall provide for the protection of passengers in passenger vehicles and the protection of the public against the negligence of such for-hire intrastate motor carrier, and its servants or agents, when it is determined to be the proximate cause of any injury. The commissioner shall determine and fix the amounts of such indemnity insurance and shall prescribe the provisions and limitations thereof. The insurer shall file such certificate. Failure to file any form required by the commissioner shall not diminish the rights of any person to pursue an action directly against a for-hire intrastate motor carrier's insurer. The insurer may file its certificate of insurance electronically with the commissioner. (3) The commissioner shall have the power to permit self-insurance in lieu of a policy of indemnity insurance whenever in his or her opinion the financial ability of the motor carrier so warrants. (4) Any person having a cause of action, whether arising in tort or contract, under this Code section may join in the same cause of action the motor carrier and its insurance carrier. (e) Before any intrastate motor carrier engaged in exempt passenger intrastate commerce shall operate any motor vehicle on or over any public highway of this state, the intrastate motor carrier shall register with the commissioner and pay a fee determined by the commissioner. (f) Prior to the issuance of the initial registration to any intrastate motor carrier by the Department of Public Safety pursuant to subsection (d) or (e) of this Code section, that intrastate motor carrier shall furnish evidence to the Department of Public Safety that the intrastate motor carrier, through an authorized representative, has completed, within the preceding 12 months, an educational seminar on motor carrier operations and safety regulations that has been certified by the commissioner."

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SECTION 4-6. Said title is further amended in Code Section 40-5-2, relating to information which may be disseminated by the Department of Driver Services, by revising paragraph (5) of subsection (f) as follows:
"(5) The information required to be made available to organ procurement organizations pursuant to subsection (d) of Code Section 40-5-25 and subsection (e) of Code Section 40-5-100 and for the purposes set forth in such Code sections;"

SECTION 4-7. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 40-5-6, relating to forms for making anatomical gifts, as follows:
"40-5-6. (a) Whenever any person applies for or requests the issuance, reissuance, or renewal of any class of driver's license or personal identification card, the department shall furnish such person with a form, sufficient under Article 6 of Chapter 5 of Title 44, the 'Georgia Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act,' for the gift of all or part of the donor's body conditioned upon the donor's death. If any such person, legally authorized to execute such a gift as provided for pursuant to Code Section 44-5-142, desires to execute a gift, the department shall provide such person with appropriate assistance and the presence of the legally required number of witnesses. (b) A notation shall be affixed to or made a part of every driver's license and personal identification card issued in this state indicating whether or not the licensee or cardholder has executed, under Article 6 of Chapter 5 of Title 44, the 'Georgia Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act,' a gift, by will or otherwise, of all or part of his or her body conditioned upon the donor's death."

SECTION 4-8. Said title is further amended in Code Section 40-5-22, relating to persons not to be licensed and school attendance requirements, by revising subsections (a.1) and (c) and by adding a new subsection to read as follows:
"(a.1)(1) The department shall not issue an instruction permit or driver's license to a person who is younger than 18 years of age unless at the time such minor submits an application for an instruction permit or driver's license the applicant presents acceptable proof that he or she has received a high school diploma, a general educational development (GED) diploma, a special diploma, or a certificate of high school completion or has terminated his or her secondary education and is enrolled in a postsecondary school, is pursuing a general educational development (GED) diploma, or the records of the department indicate that said applicant:
(A) Is enrolled in and not under expulsion from a public or private school; or (B) Is enrolled in a home education program that satisfies the reporting requirements of all state laws governing such program.

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The department shall notify such minor of his or her ineligibility for an instruction permit or driver's license at the time of such application. (2) The State Board of Education and the commissioner of driver services are authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this subsection. (3) The Technical College System of Georgia shall be responsible for compliance and noncompliance data for students pursuing a general educational development (GED) diploma." "(c) Except as provided in subsection (d) of this Code section, the department shall not issue any driver's license to nor renew the driver's license of any person: (1) Whose license has been suspended during such suspension, or whose license has been revoked, except as otherwise provided in this chapter; (2) Whose license is currently under suspension or revocation in any other jurisdiction upon grounds which would authorize the suspension or revocation of a license under this chapter; (3) Who is a habitual user of alcohol or any drug to a degree rendering him or her incapable of safely driving a motor vehicle; (4) Who has previously been adjudged to be afflicted with or suffering from any mental disability or disease and who has not at the time of application been restored to competency by the methods provided by law; (5) Who is required by this chapter to take an examination, unless such person shall have successfully passed such examination; (6) Who the commissioner has good cause to believe would not, by reason of physical or mental disability, be able to operate a motor vehicle with safety upon the highway; or (7) Whose license issued by any other jurisdiction is suspended or revoked by such other jurisdiction during the period such license is suspended or revoked by such other jurisdiction. (d) The department is authorized to issue a limited driving permit to an applicant whose license is currently under suspension or revocation in any other jurisdiction upon grounds which would authorize the suspension or revocation of a license under this chapter, provided that the applicant is otherwise eligible for such limited driving permit in accordance with paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 40-5-64."

SECTION 4-9. Said title is further amended in Code Section 40-5-25, relating to application fees for drivers' licenses, by revising subsection (b) as follows:
"(b)(1) Each person applying for a Class P commercial or noncommercial instruction permit for a Class A, B, C, E, F, or M driver's license shall pay the applicable license fee prior to attempting the knowledge test for the instruction permit sought when the knowledge test is to be administered by the department. If said person fails to achieve a passing score on the knowledge test, the license fee paid shall be considered a testing fee and retained by the department. Any person failing to achieve a passing score on the

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knowledge test for an instructional permit shall pay the applicable license fee on each subsequent attempt until successful, at which time said fee shall be his or her license fee. (2) The department shall waive the license fee for each person applying for a Class P noncommercial instruction permit for a Class C driver's license when the noncommercial knowledge test is to be administered by a licensed driver training school or public or private high school authorized to administer such tests as provided for in subsection (d) of Code Section 40-5-27. (3) Each person applying for a Class A, B, or C commercial driver's license shall pay the applicable license fee at the time that he or she schedules his or her appointment for said skills test. If said person fails to appear for his or her scheduled skills test appointment or fails to achieve a passing score on the skills test, the license fee paid shall be considered a testing fee and retained by the department. The person shall pay the applicable license fee on each subsequent attempt until successful, at which time said fee shall be his or her license fee. All fees retained by the department pursuant to this Code section shall be remitted to the general fund."

SECTION 4-10. Said title is further amended in Code Section 40-5-25, relating to indication of participation in voluntary programs on driver's license application, by revising subsection (d) and paragraph (1) of subsection (e) as follows:
"(d)(1) The General Assembly finds that it is in the best interest of this state to encourage improved public education and awareness regarding anatomical gifts of human organs and tissues and to address the ever increasing need for donations of anatomical gifts for the benefit of the citizens of Georgia. (2) The department shall make available to procurement organizations or secure data centers maintained and managed at the direction of a procurement organization information provided for in Article 6 of Chapter 5 of Title 44, the 'Georgia Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act,' including the name, license number, date of birth, gender, and most recent address of any person eligible pursuant to Code Section 44-5-142 who obtains an organ donor driver's license; provided, however, that the gender information shall be made available only to a procurement organization or secure data center if such organization or center has sufficient funds to cover the associated costs of providing such information. Information so obtained by such organizations and centers shall be used for a state-wide organ donor registry accessible to organ tissue and eye banks authorized to function as such in this state and shall not be further disseminated. (e)(1) The General Assembly finds that it is in the best interest of this state to encourage improved public education and awareness regarding blindness and to address the need for blindness prevention screenings, treatments, and rehabilitation for the benefit of the citizens of Georgia."

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SECTION 4-11. Said title is further amended in Code Section 40-5-27, relating to examination of driver's license applicants, by revising paragraph (1) of subsection (c) as follows:
"(c)(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) of this subsection, no noncommercial driver's license shall be issued to any person who does not have a visual acuity of 20/60, corrected or uncorrected, in at least one eye or better and a horizontal field of vision with both eyes open of at least 140 degrees or, in the event that one eye only has usable vision, horizontal field of vision must be at least 70 degrees temporally and 50 degrees nasally."

SECTION 4-12. Said title is further amended in Code Section 40-5-28, relating to contents of drivers' licenses, by revising subsection (a) as follows:
"(a) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this Code section, the department shall, upon payment of the required fee, issue to every applicant qualifying therefor a driver's license indicating the type or general class of vehicles the licensee may drive, which license shall be upon a form prescribed by the department and which shall bear thereon a distinguishing number assigned to the licensee, a photograph of the licensee, the licensee's full legal name, either a facsimile of the signature of the licensee or a space upon which the licensee shall write his or her usual signature with a pen and ink immediately upon receipt of the license, and such other information or identification as is required by the department. No license shall be valid until it has been so signed by the licensee. The department shall not require applicants to submit or otherwise obtain from applicants any fingerprints or any other biological characteristic or information which uniquely identifies an individual, including without limitation deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and retinal scan identification characteristics but not including a photograph, by any means upon application."

SECTION 4-13. Said title is further amended by revising subsection (a) of Code Section 40-5-54, relating to mandatory suspension of license and notice of suspension, as follows:
"(a) The department shall forthwith suspend, as provided in Code Section 40-5-63, the license of any driver upon receiving a record of such driver's conviction of the following offenses, whether charged as a violation of state law or of a local ordinance adopted pursuant to Article 14 of Chapter 6 of this title:
(1) Homicide by vehicle, as defined by Code Section 40-6-393; (2) Any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used; (3) Hit and run or leaving the scene of an accident in violation of Code Section 40-6-270; (4) Racing on highways and streets; (5) Using a motor vehicle in fleeing or attempting to elude an officer; or (6) Operating a motor vehicle with a revoked, canceled, or suspended registration in violation of Code Section 40-6-15."

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SECTION 4-14. Said title is further amended by repealing in its entirety Code Section 40-5-57.2, relating to suspension based on violation of Code Section 40-6-255, and designating said Code section as reserved.

SECTION 4-15. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 40-5-57.1, relating to suspension and reinstatement of drivers' licenses for persons under a certain age, as follows:
"(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the driver's license of any person under 21 years of age convicted of hit and run or leaving the scene of an accident in violation of Code Section 40-6-270, racing on highways or streets, using a motor vehicle in fleeing or attempting to elude an officer, reckless driving, any offense for which four or more points are assessable under subsection (c) of Code Section 40-5-57, or a violation of Code Section 40-6-391 shall be suspended by operation of law as provided by this Code section. A plea of nolo contendere shall be considered a conviction for the purposes of this subsection. The court in which such conviction is had shall require the surrender to it of the driver's license then held by the person so convicted, and the court shall thereupon forward such license and a copy of the disposition to the department within ten days after the conviction. The department shall send notice of any suspension imposed pursuant to this subsection via certified mail to the address reflected on its records as the person's mailing address. (b) The driver's license of any person under 18 years of age who has accumulated a violation point count of four or more points under Code Section 40-5-57 in any consecutive 12 month period shall be suspended by the department as provided by subsection (c) of this Code section. A plea of nolo contendere shall be considered a conviction for purposes of this subsection. Notice of suspension shall be given by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, to the address reflected in the department's records as the driver's mailing address or, in lieu thereof, notice may be given by personal service upon such person. Notice given by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, mailed to the person's last known address shall be prima-facie evidence that such person received the required notice. (c) A person whose driver's license has been suspended under subsection (a) or (b) of this Code section shall:
(1) Subject to the requirements of subsection (d) of this Code section and except as otherwise provided by paragraph (2) of this subsection:
(A) Upon a first such suspension, be eligible to apply for license reinstatement and, subject to payment of required fees, have his or her driver's license reinstated after six months; and (B) Upon a second or subsequent such suspension, be eligible to apply for license reinstatement and, subject to payment of required fees, have his or her driver's license reinstated after 12 months; or

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(2)(A) Upon the first conviction of a violation of Code Section 40-6-391, with no arrest and conviction of and no plea of nolo contendere accepted to such offense within the previous five years, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained to the date of the current arrest for which a conviction is obtained, have his or her license suspended for a period of six months unless the driver's blood alcohol concentration at the time of the offense was 0.08 grams or more or the person has previously been subject to a suspension pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection, in which case the period of suspension shall be for 12 months. (B) Upon the second conviction of a violation of Code Section 40-6-391 within five years, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained to the date of the current arrest for which a conviction is obtained, have his or her license suspended for a period of 18 months. (C) Upon the third conviction of any such offense within five years, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained to the date of the current arrest for which a conviction is obtained, be considered a habitual violator, and such person's license shall be revoked as provided for in Code Section 40-5-58. (c.1) In any case where a person's driver's license was administratively suspended as a result of a violation of Code Section 40-6-391 for which the person's driver's license has been suspended pursuant to subsection (c) of this Code section, the administrative license suspension period and the license suspension period provided by this Code section may run concurrently, and any completed portion of such administrative license suspension period shall apply toward completion of the license suspension period provided by this Code section. (d)(1) Any driver's license suspended under subsection (a) or (b) of this Code section for commission of any offense other than violation of Code Section 40-6-391 shall not become valid and shall remain suspended until such person submits proof of completion of a defensive driving course approved by the commissioner pursuant to Code Section 40-5-83 and pays the applicable reinstatement fee. Any driver's license suspended under subsection (a) of this Code section for commission of a violation of Code Section 40-6-391 shall not become valid and shall remain suspended until such person submits proof of completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program and pays the applicable reinstatement fee. (2) The reinstatement fee for a first such suspension shall be $210.00 or $200.00 if paid by mail. The reinstatement fee for a second or subsequent such suspension shall be $310.00 or $300.00 if paid by mail. (e) A suspension provided for in subsection (a) of this Code section shall be imposed based on the person's age on the date of the conviction giving rise to the suspension."

SECTION 4-16. Said title is further amended by repealing in their entirety subsections (e) and (f) of Code Section 40-5-63, relating to periods of suspension and conditions of return of license.

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SECTION 4-17. Said title is further amended in Code Section 40-5-64, relating to limited driving permits for certain offenders, by revising subsections (a), (c), and (c.1) as follows:
"(a) To whom issued. (1) Notwithstanding any contrary provision of Code Section 40-5-57 or 40-5-63 or any other Code section of this chapter, any person who has not been previously convicted or adjudicated delinquent for a violation of Code Section 40-6-391 within five years, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained or pleas of nolo contendere were accepted to the date of the current arrest for which a conviction is obtained or a plea of nolo contendere is accepted, may apply for a limited driving permit when and only when that person's driver's license has been suspended in accordance with subsection (d) of Code Section 40-5-57, paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 40-5-63, paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 40-5-67.2, or subsection (a) of Code Section 40-5-57.1, when the person is 18 years of age or older and his or her license was suspended for exceeding the speed limit by 24 miles per hour or more but less than 34 miles per hour, and the sentencing judge, in his or her discretion, decides it is reasonable to issue a limited driving permit."
"(c) Standards for approval. The department shall issue a limited driving permit if the application indicates that refusal to issue such permit would cause extreme hardship to the applicant. Except as otherwise provided by subsection (c.1) of this Code section, for the purposes of this Code section, 'extreme hardship' means that the applicant cannot reasonably obtain other transportation, and therefore the applicant would be prohibited from:
(1) Going to his or her place of employment or performing the normal duties of his or her occupation; (2) Receiving scheduled medical care or obtaining prescription drugs; (3) Attending a college or school at which he or she is regularly enrolled as a student; (4) Attending regularly scheduled sessions or meetings of support organizations for persons who have addiction or abuse problems related to alcohol or other drugs, which organizations are recognized by the commissioner; (5) Attending under court order any driver education or improvement school or alcohol or drug program or course approved by the court which entered the judgment of conviction resulting in suspension of his or her driver's license or by the commissioner; (6) Attending court, reporting to a probation office or officer, or performing community service; or (7) Transporting an immediate family member who does not hold a valid driver's license for work, medical care, or prescriptions or to school. (c.1) Exception to standards for approval. (1) The provisions of paragraphs (2), (3), (4), and (5) of subsection (c) of this Code section shall not apply and shall not be considered for purposes of granting a limited driving permit or imposing conditions thereon under this Code section in the case of a

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driver's license suspension under paragraph (2) of subsection (a.1) of Code Section 40-5-22. (2) An ignition interlock device limited driving permit shall be restricted to allow the holder thereof to drive solely for the following purposes:
(A) Going to his or her place of employment or performing the normal duties of his or her occupation; (B) Attending a college or school at which he or she is regularly enrolled as a student; (C) Attending regularly scheduled sessions or meetings of treatment support organizations for persons who have addiction or abuse problems related to alcohol or other drugs, which organizations are recognized by the commissioner; and (D) Going for monthly monitoring visits with the permit holder's ignition interlock device service provider."

SECTION 4-18. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 40-5-75, relating to suspension of licenses by operation of law, as follows:
"40-5-75. (a) The driver's license of any person convicted of driving or being in actual physical control of any moving vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance or marijuana in violation of paragraph (2), (4), or (6) of subsection (a) of Code Section 40-6-391 or the law of any other jurisdiction, shall by operation of law be suspended, and such suspension shall be subject to the following terms and conditions:
(1) Upon the first conviction of any such offense, with no arrest and conviction of and no plea of nolo contendere accepted to such offense within the previous five years, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained to the date of the current arrest for which a conviction is obtained, the period of suspension shall be for not less than 180 days. At the end of 180 days, the person may apply to the department for reinstatement of his or her driver's license. Such license shall be reinstated only if the person submits proof of completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program and pays to the department a restoration fee of $210.00 or $200.00 when such reinstatement is processed by mail; (2) Upon the second conviction of any such offense within five years, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained to the date of the current arrest for which a conviction is obtained, the period of suspension shall be for three years, provided that after one year from the date of the conviction, the person may apply to the department for reinstatement of his or her driver's license by submitting proof of completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program and paying to the department a restoration fee of $310.00 or $300.00 when such reinstatement is processed by mail; and (3) Upon the third or subsequent conviction of any such offense within five years, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained to the

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date of the current arrest for which a conviction is obtained, such person's license shall be suspended for a period of five years. At the end of two years, the person may apply to the department for a three-year driving permit upon compliance with the following conditions:
(A) Such person has not been convicted or pleaded nolo contendere to any drug related offense, including driving under the influence, for a period of two years immediately preceding the application for such permit; (B) Such person submits proof of completion of a licensed drug treatment program. Such proof shall be submitted within two years of the license suspension and prior to the issuance of the permit. Such licensed drug treatment program shall be paid for by the offender. The offender shall pay a permit fee of $25.00 to the department; (C) Such person submits proof of financial responsibility as provided in Chapter 9 of this title; and (D) Refusal to issue such permit would cause extreme hardship to the applicant. For the purposes of this subparagraph, the term 'extreme hardship' means that the applicant cannot reasonably obtain other transportation, and, therefore, the applicant would be prohibited from:
(i) Going to his or her place of employment or performing the normal duties of his or her occupation; (ii) Receiving scheduled medical care or obtaining prescription drugs; (iii) Attending a college or school at which he or she is regularly enrolled as a student; or (iv) Attending regularly scheduled sessions or meetings of support organizations for persons who have addiction or abuse problems related to alcohol or other drugs, which organizations are recognized by the commissioner. Any permittee who is convicted of violating any state law or local ordinance relating to the movement of vehicles or any permittee who is convicted of violating the conditions endorsed on his or her permit shall have his or her permit revoked by the department. Any court in which such conviction is had shall require the permittee to surrender the permit to the court, and the court shall forward it to the department within ten days after the conviction, with a copy of the conviction. Any person whose limited driving permit has been revoked shall not be eligible to apply for a driver's license until six months from the date such permit was surrendered to the department. At the end of five years from the date on which the license was suspended, the person may apply to the department for reinstatement of his or her driver's license by submitting proof of completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program and paying to the department a restoration fee of $410.00 or $400.00 when such reinstatement is processed by mail. (b) Except as provided in Code Section 40-5-76, whenever a person is convicted of driving or being in actual physical control of any moving vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance or marijuana in violation of paragraph (2), (4), or (6) of subsection (a) of Code Section 40-6-391 or the law of any other jurisdiction, the court in which such

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conviction is had shall require the surrender to it of any driver's license then held by the person so convicted, and the court shall thereupon forward such license and a copy of its order to the department within ten days after the conviction. The periods of suspension provided for in this Code section shall begin on the date of surrender of the driver's license or on the date that the department processes the conviction or citation, whichever shall first occur. (c) Application for reinstatement of a driver's license under paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be made on such forms as the commissioner may prescribe and shall be accompanied by proof of completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program and a restoration fee of $210.00 or $200.00 when such reinstatement is processed by mail. Application for a three-year driving permit under paragraph (3) of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be made on such form as the commissioner may prescribe and shall be accompanied by proof of completion of an approved residential drug treatment program and a fee of $25.00 for such permit. (d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Code section or any other provision of this chapter, any person whose license is suspended pursuant to this Code section shall not be eligible for early reinstatement of his or her license and shall not be eligible for a limited driving permit, but such person's license shall be reinstated only as provided in this Code section or Code Section 40-5-76. (e) Except as provided in subsection (a) of this Code section, it shall be unlawful for any person to operate any motor vehicle in this state after such person's license has been suspended pursuant to this Code section if such person has not thereafter obtained a valid license. Any person who is convicted of operating a motor vehicle before the department has reinstated such person's license or issued such person a three-year driving permit shall be punished by a fine of not less than $750.00 nor more than $5,000.00 or by imprisonment in the penitentiary for not more than 12 months, or both. (f) Licensed drivers who are 16 years of age who are adjudicated in a juvenile court pursuant to this Code section may, at their option, complete a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program or an assessment and intervention program approved by the juvenile court. (g) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter to the contrary, the suspension imposed pursuant to this Code section shall be in addition to and run consecutively to any other suspension imposed by the department at the time of the conviction that results in said suspension. If the person has never been issued a driver's license in the State of Georgia or holds a driver's license issued by another state, the person shall not be eligible for a driver's license for the applicable period of suspension following his or her submission of an application for issuance thereof."

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SECTION 4-19. Said title is further amended in Code Section 40-5-81, relating to the driver improvement clinic or DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program option and the certification and approval of courses, by adding a new subsection to read as follows:
"(d) It shall be unlawful for the owner, agent, servant, or employee of any driver improvement clinic or DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program licensed by the department to directly or indirectly offer, for purposes of the enrollment or solicitation of any student or prospective student, any item of monetary value, including but not limited to United States legal tender, food, gasoline cards, debit gift cards, or merchant gift cards to any:
(1) Student or agent or legal representative of a student; (2) Employee or agent of a private company which has contracted with a county, municipality, or consolidated government to provide probation services pursuant to Article 6 of Chapter 8 of Title 42; (3) Law enforcement officer; or (4) Officer or employee of the judicial branch or a court. A violation of this subsection shall be a misdemeanor."

SECTION 4-20. Said title is further amended in Code Section 40-5-100, relating to the issuance of personal identification cards, by revising subsection (a) and by adding new subsections to read as follows:
"(a) The department shall issue personal identification cards to all residents as defined in Code Section 40-5-1 who make application to the department in accordance with rules and regulations prescribed by the commissioner. Cards issued to applicants under 21 years of age shall contain the distinctive characteristics of drivers' licenses issued pursuant to Code Section 40-5-26. The identification card shall be similar in form but distinguishable in color from motor vehicle drivers' licenses and may contain a recent photograph of the applicant and include the following information:
(1) Full legal name; (2) Address of residence; (3) Birth date; (4) Date identification card was issued; (5) Sex; (6) Height; (7) Weight; (8) Eye color; (9) Signature of person identified or facsimile thereof; (10) Designation of participation in an anatomical gift donation program when such person is eligible to make such gift pursuant to Code Section 44-5-142; and

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(11) Such other information or identification as required by the department; provided, however, that the department shall not require an applicant to submit or otherwise obtain from an applicant any fingerprints or any other biological characteristic or information which uniquely identifies an individual, including without limitation deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and retinal scan identification characteristics but not including a photograph, by any means upon application." "(e)(1) The General Assembly finds that it is in the best interest of this state to encourage improved public education and awareness regarding anatomical gifts of human organs and tissues and to address the ever increasing need for donations of anatomical gifts for the benefit of the citizens of Georgia. (2) The department shall make available to procurement organizations or secure data centers maintained and managed at the direction of a procurement organization information provided for in Article 6 of Chapter 5 of Title 44, the 'Georgia Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act,' including the name, personal identification card number, date of birth, gender, and most recent address of any person who obtains an organ donor identification card; provided, however, that the gender information shall be made available only to a procurement organization or secure data center if such organization or center has sufficient funds to cover the associated costs of providing such information. Information so obtained by such organizations and centers shall be used for a state-wide organ donor registry accessible to organ tissue and eye banks authorized to function as such in this state and shall not be further disseminated. (f)(1) The General Assembly finds that it is in the best interest of this state to encourage improved public education and awareness regarding blindness and to address the need for blindness prevention screenings, treatments, and rehabilitation for the benefit of the citizens of Georgia. (2) Each application form for issuance, reissuance, or renewal of a personal identification card under this Code section shall include language permitting the applicant to make a voluntary contribution of $1.00 to be used for purposes of preventing blindness and preserving the sight of residents of this state. Any such voluntary contribution shall be made at the discretion of the applicant at the time of application in addition to payment of the personal identification card fee prescribed by the commissioner. (3) Voluntary contributions made pursuant to this subsection shall be transmitted to the Department of Public Health for use thereby in providing the blindness education, screening, and treatment program provided by Code Section 31-1-23."

SECTION 4-21. Said title is further amended by revising paragraph (1) of subsection (b) of Code Section 40-5-121, relating to driving while license suspended or revoked, as follows:
"(b)(1) The department, upon receiving a record of the conviction of any person under this Code section upon a charge of driving a vehicle while the license of such person was suspended, disqualified, or revoked, including suspensions under subsection (e) of Code

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Section 40-5-75, shall extend the period of suspension or disqualification by six months. Upon the expiration of six months from the date on which the suspension or disqualification is extended and payment of the applicable reinstatement fee, the department shall reinstate the license. The reinstatement fee for a first such conviction within a five-year period shall be $210.00 or $200.00 if paid by mail. The reinstatement fee for a second such conviction within a five-year period shall be $310.00 or $300.00 if paid by mail. The reinstatement fee for a third or subsequent such conviction within a five-year period shall be $410.00 or $400.00 if paid by mail."

SECTION 4-22. Said title is further amended in Code Section 40-5-150, relating to contents of commercial drivers' licenses, by revising subsection (a) as follows:
"(a) The commercial driver's license shall be marked 'Commercial Driver's License' or 'CDL' and shall be, to the maximum extent practicable, tamperproof, and shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:
(1) The full legal name and residential address of the person; (2) The person's photograph; (3) A physical description of the person, including sex, height, weight, and eye color; (4) Full date of birth; (5) The license number or identifier assigned by the department; (6) The person's signature; (7) The class or type of commercial motor vehicle or vehicles which the person is authorized to drive, together with any endorsements or restrictions; (8) The name of this state; and (9) The dates between which the license is valid."

SECTION 4-23. Said title is further amended in Code Section 40-5-171, relating to contents of personal identification cards for persons with disabilities, by revising subsection (a) as follows:
"(a) The department shall issue personal identification cards to persons with disabilities who make application to the department in accordance with rules and regulations prescribed by the commissioner. The identification card for persons with disabilities shall contain a recent photograph of the applicant and the following information:
(1) Full legal name; (2) Address of residence; (3) Birth date; (4) Date identification card was issued; (5) Date identification card expires; (6) Sex; (7) Height; (8) Weight;

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(9) Eye color; (10) Signature of person identified or facsimile thereof; and (11) Such other information as required by the department; provided, however, that the department shall not require an applicant to submit or otherwise obtain from an applicant any fingerprints or any other biological characteristic or information which uniquely identifies an individual, including without limitation deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and retinal scan identification characteristics but not including a photograph, by any means upon application."

SECTION 4-24. Said title is further amended in Code Section 40-6-15, relating to knowingly driving a motor vehicle with a suspended, canceled, or revoked vehicle registration, by revising subsection (e) as follows:
"(e) For purposes of pleading nolo contendere, only one nolo contendere plea shall be accepted to a charge of driving a motor vehicle with a suspended, canceled, or revoked vehicle registration within a five-year period of time as measured from the date of the previous arrest for which a conviction was obtained or plea of nolo contendere was accepted to the date of the current arrest. All other nolo contendere pleas within such period of time shall be considered convictions."

PART V SECTION 5-1.

Code Section 42-8-112 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to timing for issuance of ignition interlock device limited driving permits, is amended by revising paragraph (1) of subsection (a) as follows:
"(a)(1) In any case where the court grants a certificate of eligibility for an ignition interlock device limited driving permit or probationary license pursuant to Code Section 42-8-111 to a person whose driver's license is suspended pursuant to subparagraph (c)(2)(C) of Code Section 40-5-57.1 or paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of Code Section 40-5-63, the Department of Driver Services shall not issue an ignition interlock device limited driving permit until after the expiration of 120 days from the date of the conviction for which such certificate was granted."

PART VI SECTION 6-1.

Section 4-9 of Part IV of this Act shall become effective on January 1, 2016, and all other parts of this Act shall become effective on July 1, 2015, and shall apply to offenses which occur on or after that date.

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SECTION 6-2. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Compiler's Note - Section 1-1 revised paragraph (3) of subsection (b) of Code Section 3-3-23 by repealing it. The stricken text read as follows:
"(3) In addition to any other penalty provided for in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection, the driver's license of any person convicted of attempting to purchase an alcoholic beverage in violation of paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of Code Section 3-3-23 upon the first conviction shall be suspended for six months and upon the second or subsequent conviction shall be suspended for one year."

Approved April 16, 2015.

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ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES LOCAL CONTROL OF DISTANCE REQUIREMENTS FOR RETAIL SALE OF WINE AND MALT BEVERAGES BY GROCERY STORES NEAR SCHOOLS; REPEAL PROHIBITION REGARDING SALE OR FURNISHING OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES TO PATIENTS OR INMATES OF CENTRAL STATE HOSPITAL.

No. 22 (House Bill No. 85).

AN ACT

To amend Chapter 3 of Title 3 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the regulation of alcoholic beverages generally, so as to provide for local control of distance requirements for grocery stores as to the retail sale of wine and malt beverages for consumption off the premises only such that grocery stores shall be allowed to open in locations near school buildings and school grounds if so permitted by the local governing authority; to change a definition; to change certain provisions relating to the sale or furnishing of alcoholic beverages to patients or inmates of Central State Hospital and to the sale or possession of alcoholic beverages near or upon the grounds of such hospital; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

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SECTION 1. Chapter 3 of Title 3 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the regulation of alcoholic beverages generally, is amended by revising subsection (a) of Code Section 3-3-21, relating to sales of alcoholic beverages near churches, school buildings, or other sites, as follows:
"(a)(1) No person knowingly and intentionally may sell or offer to sell: (A) Any distilled spirits in or within 100 yards of any church building or within 200 yards of any school building, educational building, school grounds, or college campus; (B) Any wine or malt beverages within 100 yards of any school building, school grounds, or college campus. This subparagraph shall not apply at any location for which a license has been issued prior to July 1, 1981, nor to the renewal of such license. Nor shall this subparagraph apply at any location for which a new license is applied for if the sale of wine and beer was lawful at such location at any time during the 12 months immediately preceding such application. Nothing in this subparagraph shall prohibit a grocery store licensed for the retail sale of only wine and malt beverages for consumption off the premises from selling wine or malt beverages within 100 yards of any school building, school grounds, or college campus, where so permitted by resolution or ordinance of the county or municipality. As used in this subparagraph, the term 'grocery store' means a retail establishment which has a total retail floor space of at least 10,000 square feet of which at least 85 percent is reserved for the sale of food and other nonalcoholic items, conducts all of its sales inside the building containing its retail floor space, and meets such other criteria as may be required by the local governing authority of the county or municipality; or (C) Any distilled spirits, wine, or malt beverages within 100 yards of an alcoholic treatment center owned and operated by this state or any county or municipal government therein. This paragraph shall not apply to any business having a license in effect on July 1, 1981.
(2) As used in this subsection, the term 'school building' or 'educational building' shall apply only to state, county, city, or church school buildings and to such buildings at such other schools in which are taught subjects commonly taught in the common schools and colleges of this state and which are public schools or private schools as defined in subsection (b) of Code Section 20-2-690."

SECTION 2. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 3-3-25, relating to furnishing alcoholic beverages to prisoners or inmates of places of confinement, possession on grounds or within 200 yards of certain buildings prohibited, and exceptions, as follows:
"3-3-25. (a) No person knowingly and intentionally shall:
(1) Offer for sale, sell, barter, exchange, give, provide, or furnish alcoholic beverages to

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any person confined in any jail, penal institution, correctional facility, or other lawful place of confinement; or (2) Introduce or possess any alcoholic beverages in the buildings of the Georgia War Veterans Home operated for the use and care of disabled war veterans. (b) Nothing contained in this Code section shall prevent or prohibit: (1) The administration of alcohol by the staff of the institutions provided for in subsection (a) of this Code section to any prisoner, patient, or lawful inmate in strict compliance with the prescription of a licensed physician; or (2) The staff members of the Georgia War Veterans Home who maintain their domicile on the grounds of such institution from possessing alcoholic beverages for their own consumption or for that of their families or persons invited to their homes, except patients or lawful inmates of such institution. (c) No person shall knowingly allow any other person to violate this Code section."

SECTION 3. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved April 20, 2015.

__________

EDUCATION STATE GOVERNMENT NONPUBLIC POSTSECONDARY EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS; DEFINITIONS; EXEMPTIONS; CHANGE MEMBERSHIP AND RULES OF NONPUBLIC POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION COMMISSION; REVISE PROVISIONS RELATED TO TERMINOLOGY, APPLICATIONS, SURETY BONDS, COMPLAINTS, AND REVIEW; REVISE PROVISIONS REGARDING TUITION GUARANTY TRUST FUND.

No. 23 (House Bill No. 353).

AN ACT

To amend Part 1A of Article 7 of Chapter 3 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to nonpublic postsecondary educational institutions, so as to revise definitions relative to said part; to revise provisions relating to educational institutions exempted from application of said part; to change the membership and rules of the Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission; to revise terminology; to revise procedures

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concerning applications to operate or conduct postsecondary activities; to revise surety bond requirements; to change provisions regarding the filing of a complaint against institutions or agents; to revise procedures for hearings and review by the commission; to revise provisions applicable to the Tuition Guaranty Trust Fund; to allow for the provision of consumer information to prospective and currently enrolled students; to amend Article 1 of Chapter 13 of Title 50 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions regarding the Georgia Administrative Procedure Act, so as to exempt the commission from the Georgia Administrative Procedure Act; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Part 1A of Article 7 of Chapter 3 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to nonpublic postsecondary educational institutions, is amended in Code Section 20-3-250.2, relating to definitions, by revising paragraphs (11.1), (16), and (26), as follows:
"(11.1) 'Gross tuition' means the total amount collected by a postsecondary educational institution during the most recently completed 12 month fiscal year, reduced only by the amount of refunds paid during the fiscal year, for tuition, application fees, registration fees, and those other fees deemed appropriate by rule or regulation of the commission; provided, however, that for a postsecondary educational institution located outside of this state which is authorized only for the purpose of advertising and recruiting in this state, or is authorized only for the purpose of offering instruction by correspondence or any telecommunications or electronic media technology, or a combination of these purposes, 'gross tuition' means only the amount of such tuition and fees collected from residents of this state while such residents reside in this state." "(16) 'Postsecondary degree' means a credential conferring on the recipient thereof the title of 'Associate,' 'Bachelor,' 'Master,' 'Specialist,' or 'Doctor,' or an equivalent title, signifying educational attainment based on:
(A) Study; (B) A substitute for study in the form of equivalent experience or achievement testing; or (C) A combination of the foregoing, provided that 'postsecondary degree' shall not include any honorary degree or other so-called 'unearned' degree." "(26) 'To operate' an educational institution, or like term, means to establish, keep, or maintain any facility or location in this state where, from which, or through which education is offered or given or educational credentials are offered or granted and includes contracting with any person, group, or entity to perform any such act and to conduct postsecondary activities within this state or from a location outside of this state by correspondence or by any telecommunications or electronic media technology,

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provided that such educational institution specifically recruits persons located within this state or has a physical presence within this state."

SECTION 2. Said part is further amended in Code Section 20-3-250.3, relating to educational institutions exempted from application of part, by revising subsection (a) as follows:
"(a) The following education and postsecondary educational institutions are exempted from this part except as expressly provided to the contrary:
(1) Institutions exclusively offering instruction at any or all levels from preschool through the twelfth grade regardless of the age of the student; (2) Education sponsored by a bona fide trade, business, professional, or fraternal organization, so recognized by the commission, solely for that organization's membership or offered on a no-fee basis, not granting degrees; (3) Education solely avocational or recreational in nature, as determined by the commission, and institutions, not granting degrees, offering such education exclusively; (4) Postsecondary educational institutions established, operated, governed, or licensed by this state, its agencies, or its political subdivisions, as determined by the commission; (5) Any flight school which holds an applicable federal air agency certificate issued by the administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration; (6) Nonpublic, nonprofit, postsecondary educational institutions which demonstrate annually to the satisfaction of the commission that their purposes are solely to provide programs of study in theology, divinity, religious education, and ministerial training, and that they do not grant postsecondary degrees of a nonreligious nature and that such institutions:
(A) Accept no federal or state funds; and (B) Accept no student who has a federal or state education loan to attend such institutions; (7) Subject to the requirements of subsection (c) of Code Section 20-3-250.6, nonpublic law schools not accredited by the American Bar Association which are subject to the regulations and standards established by the Georgia Supreme Court for such schools; (8) Nonpublic postsecondary educational institutions conducting postsecondary activity on the premises of military installations located in this state which are solely for military personnel stationed on active duty at such military installations, their dependents, or Department of Defense employees and other civilian employees of that installation; (9) A school where the sole purpose of the instructional program is review or preparation for a specific occupational examination recognized by a government agency or bona fide trade, business, or fraternal organization and where the student's occupational training received from another school already makes the student eligible to sit for the examination; (10) Subject to the requirements of subsection (c) of Code Section 20-3-250.6, any nonpublic, nonprofit college or university granting baccalaureate degrees whose principal

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office and campus are located in this state and its related graduate and professional programs, which have been in existence ten or more years as a nonpublic, nonprofit college or university prior to July 1, 1989, and is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education; provided, however, that such nonpublic, nonprofit college or university shall be subject to the provisions of Code Section 20-3-250.14 for the purposes of satisfying the requirements of 34 C.F.R. Section 668.43(b) and shall designate the commission as the recipient of complaints from students of such nonpublic, nonprofit college or university as a prerequisite for such nonpublic, nonprofit college's or university's acceptance of federal student financial aid funds; and provided, further, that the designation provided for under this paragraph shall be provided solely to the extent necessary for institutional compliance of such nonpublic, nonprofit college or university with the laws and regulations governing federal student financial aid and shall not affect, rescind, or supersede any preexisting authorizations, charters, or recognition; (11) Subject to the requirements of subsection (c) of Code Section 20-3-250.6, any liberal arts college or university whose principal office and campus are located in this state and its related graduate and professional programs, if any, which was chartered prior to 1955 as a nonpublic, nonprofit, degree-granting institution, provided that it is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education; and provided, further, that such liberal arts college or university shall be subject to the provisions of Code Section 20-3-250.14 for the purposes of satisfying the requirements of 34 C.F.R. Section 668.43(b) and shall designate the commission as the recipient of complaints from students of such liberal arts college or university as a prerequisite for such liberal arts college's or university's acceptance of federal financial aid funds; and provided, further, that the designation provided for under this paragraph shall be provided solely to the extent necessary for institutional compliance of such liberal arts college or university with the laws and regulations governing federal student financial aid and shall not affect, rescind, or supersede any preexisting authorizations, charters, or recognition; (12) Any institution offering only education or training in income tax theory or income tax return preparation when the total contract price for such education or training does not exceed $1,000.00, provided that the total charges incurred by any student for all instruction, other than instruction which is solely avocational or recreational in nature as provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection, do not exceed $1,000.00 in any one calendar year; (13) Subject to the requirements of subsection (c) of Code Section 20-3-250.6, any nonpublic medical school accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education and a national or regional accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education; and (14) Any college or university that confers both associate and baccalaureate or higher degrees, that is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, College

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Division, that is operated in a proprietary status, that provides a $200,000.00 surety bond, and that contributes to the Tuition Guaranty Trust Fund pursuant to Code Section 20-3-250.27; provided, however, that such college or university shall be subject to the provisions of Code Section 20-3-250.14 for the purposes of satisfying the requirements of 34 C.F.R. Section 668.43(b) and shall designate the commission as the recipient of complaints from students of such college or university as a prerequisite for such college's or university's acceptance of federal student financial aid funds; and provided, further, that the designation provided for under this paragraph shall be provided solely to the extent necessary for institutional compliance of such college or university with the laws and regulations governing federal student financial aid and shall not affect, rescind, or supersede any preexisting authorizations, charters, or recognition."

SECTION 3. Said part is further amended in Code Section 20-3-250.4, relating to the Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission and membership, by revising subsections (a), (e), and (g) as follows:
"(a) There is established the Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission consisting of 15 members who shall be appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. One member shall be appointed from each congressional district and the remaining member shall be appointed as an at-large member. Members serving a term of appointment on January 1, 2015, shall complete their terms of appointment, thereafter members of the commission shall be appointed for terms of three years each. Each member shall serve for the term of office to which the person is appointed and until a successor is appointed, confirmed, and qualified. Members may be appointed to succeed themselves but shall not serve for more than two full consecutive terms." "(e) The commission shall meet at least quarterly on the call of the chairperson or upon the written petition of a majority of the commission." "(g) A majority of the currently appointed commission shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of business."

SECTION 4. Said part is further amended in Code Section 20-3-250.5, relating to the administration of the Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission and general powers and duties, by revising subsection (d) as follows:
"(d) The commission shall establish separate listings for degree-granting institutions and nondegree-granting institutions. All standards, rules, regulations, and policies adopted by the commission pursuant to this part shall identify the listings to which such standards, rules, regulations, and policies are applicable."

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SECTION 5. Said part is further amended in Code Section 20-3-250.8, relating to applications to operate or conduct postsecondary activities, by revising subsection (f) as follows:
"(f) The authorization to operate shall be issued to the owner or governing body of the applicant institution and shall be nontransferable. In the event of a change in ownership of the institution, a new owner or governing body shall within ten days after the change in ownership notify the commission in writing and shall within 30 days after the change in ownership make application to the commission for a new authorization to operate; and in the event of failure to do so, the institution's authorization to operate shall terminate. Application for a new authorization to operate by reason of change in ownership of the institution shall, for purposes of subsection (b) of Code Section 20-3-250.12, be deemed an application for renewal of the institution's authorization to operate."

SECTION 6. Said part is further amended in Code Section 20-3-250.10, relating to filing of surety bond by institutions and agents, by revising subsections (b) and (f) as follows:
"(b) The minimum amount of the bond required by subsection (a) of this Code section shall be based on the gross tuition of the nonpublic postsecondary educational institution during the previous year or on the estimated gross tuition for the current year, whichever is larger, and shall be as follows:

Gross Tuition

Minimum Bond

$

0.00 - $ 50,000.00. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 20,000.00

50,001.00 - 100,000.00. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30,000.00

100,001.00 - 200,000.00. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50,000.00

200,001.00 - 300,000.00. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75,000.00

300,001.00 - 400,000.00. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100,000.00

400,001.00 - 500,000.00. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150,000.00

500,001.00 and over. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200,000.00
For situations where a nonpublic postsecondary educational institution is unable to secure a bond amount provided for by this subsection, a bank standby letter of credit secured from a federally insured financial institution shall be accepted pursuant to rules and regulations of the commission."

SECTION 7. Said part is further amended in Code Section 20-3-250.14, relating to filing complaints against institutions or agents, as follows:

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"20-3-250.14. (a) Any person claiming damage or loss as a result of any act or practice by a nonpublic postsecondary educational institution or its agent, or both, which is a violation of this part or of the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto may file with the executive director a complaint against such institution or against its agent, or both. A complaint shall be filed with the executive director within a reasonable period of time, as determined by regulations of the commission, after the event giving rise to the complaint. The complaint shall set forth the alleged violation and shall contain such other information as may be required by the commission. A complaint may also be filed with the executive director by the commission's representatives or by the Attorney General. A complainant may also file with the executive director as a representative of a class of complainants. (b) The executive director shall investigate any such complaint and may, at his or her discretion, attempt to effectuate a settlement by persuasion and conciliation. The executive director shall consider a complaint pursuant to rules, regulations, and procedures promulgated by the commission. (c) If, based upon all the evidence at a hearing or other procedure, the executive director shall find that a nonpublic postsecondary educational institution or its agent, or both, have engaged in or are engaging in any act or practice which violates this part or the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, the executive director shall issue and cause to be served upon such institution or agent, or both, an order requiring such institution or agent, or both, to cease and desist from such act or practice. Additionally, if the executive director shall find that the complainant or class of complainants has suffered loss or damage as a result of such act or practice, the executive director may, at his or her discretion, award the complainant or class of complainants full or partial restitution for such damage or loss and may impose the penalties provided for in Code Section 20-3-250.21. The executive director may also, as appropriate, based on his or her own investigation or the evidence adduced at such hearing or on the basis of such investigation and evidence, commence an action to revoke an institution's authorization to operate or revoke an agent's permit."

SECTION 8. Said part is further amended in Code Section 20-3-250.15, relating to hearing and review by commission of denial of permit, by revising subsections (c) and (d) as follows:
"(c) Upon receiving such notice from the aggrieved party, the executive director, after consultation with the commission, shall within 30 days fix the time and place for a hearing by the commission and shall notify the aggrieved party thereof. (d) At such hearing the party may employ counsel, shall have the right to hear the evidence upon which the action is based, and may present evidence in opposition or in extenuation. The commission as a whole may conduct such hearing and render a decision or the commission may appoint a hearing officer to conduct such hearing and render a decision on behalf of the commission. Such hearing officer may be a member of the commission

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or any other person, other than the executive director or his or her staff, as designated by the commission. The commission by rules and regulations shall provide for the rules of evidence and order and procedure which is to be followed for such hearings. Any member of the commission may participate in such hearing pursuant to this part except where a clear conflict of interest may be designated."

SECTION 9. Said part is further amended in Code Section 20-3-250.27, relating to the Tuition Guaranty Trust Fund, by revising subsection (a), paragraph (3) of subsection (d), and subsection (e) as follows:
"(a) It is the purpose of this Code section to create a trust fund from participation fees from postsecondary educational institutions to enable such institutions, collectively, to protect students against financial loss when a postsecondary educational institution closes without reimbursing its students and without completing its educational obligations to its students and to provide consumer information, as necessary in the determination of the commission, to prospective and currently enrolled students."
"(3) If earnings from investments, participation fees required under paragraph (2) of this subsection, and claims experience ever cause the balance in the fund to exceed $7,750,000.00, the commission, upon being notified by the board of trustees, shall make refunds to postsecondary educational institutions which have participated in the fund for at least five years, so that the fund balance is reduced to $7.5 million. Any such refund shall be determined by the commission in proportion to the total participation fees paid by a postsecondary educational institution until the time of the refund; provided, however, no reimbursement shall be made to any postsecondary educational institution whose students have been reimbursed from the fund or from bond forfeiture as provided in subsection (g) of this Code section. The commission shall establish by regulation the time and other procedures and requirements for making any such refund, but refunds shall be issued no more than once during a fiscal year." "(e) The annual cost incurred by the commission and by the board of trustees in administering the Tuition Guaranty Trust Fund and providing consumer information as necessary for prospective and currently enrolled students, including expenses incurred in collecting from defaulting postsecondary educational institutions the amounts paid from the fund to or on behalf of students pursuant to the provisions of subsection (g) of this Code section, shall be paid from the fund; provided, however, such annual administrative costs shall not exceed 2.5 percent of the fund during the fiscal year. The commission shall issue a report annually to each postsecondary educational institution participating in the fund. The report shall provide an evaluation of the financial condition of the fund and a summary of claims paid or other expenditures from the fund during the immediately preceding fiscal year."

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SECTION 10. Article 1 of Chapter 13 of Title 50 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions regarding the Georgia Administrative Procedure Act, is amended in Code Section 50-13-2, relating to definitions, by revising paragraph (1) as follows:
"(1) 'Agency' means each state board, bureau, commission, department, activity, or officer authorized by law expressly to make rules and regulations or to determine contested cases, except the General Assembly; the judiciary; the Governor; the State Board of Pardons and Paroles; the State Financing and Investment Commission; the State Properties Commission; the Board of Bar Examiners; the Board of Corrections and its penal institutions; the State Board of Workers' Compensation; all public authorities except as otherwise expressly provided by law; the State Personnel Board; the Department of Administrative Services or commissioner of administrative services; the Technical College System of Georgia; the Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission; the Department of Labor when conducting hearings related to unemployment benefits or overpayments of unemployment benefits; the Department of Revenue when conducting hearings relating to alcoholic beverages, tobacco, or bona fide coin operated amusement machines or any violations relating thereto; the Georgia Tobacco Community Development Board; the Georgia Higher Education Savings Plan; any school, college, hospital, or other such educational, eleemosynary, or charitable institution; or any agency when its action is concerned with the military or naval affairs of this state. The term 'agency' shall include the State Board of Education and Department of Education, subject to the following qualifications:
(A) Subject to the limitations of subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, all otherwise valid rules adopted by the State Board of Education and Department of Education prior to January 1, 1990, are ratified and validated and shall be effective until January 1, 1991, whether or not such rules were adopted in compliance with the requirements of this chapter; and (B) Effective January 1, 1991, any rule of the State Board of Education or Department of Education which has not been proposed, submitted, and adopted in accordance with the requirements of this chapter shall be void and of no effect."

SECTION 11. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved April 20, 2015.

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EDUCATION OPPORTUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT; ESTABLISH.

No. 24 (Senate Bill No. 133).

AN ACT

To amend Chapter 14 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the Education Coordinating Council, so as to provide for the establishment of the Opportunity School District; to provide for definitions; to authorize the Opportunity School District to assume the supervision of public elementary and secondary schools that are qualifying; to provide for a superintendent for the district; to provide criteria; to provide for rating of schools; to provide for intervention models; to provide for opportunity schools seeking state charter school status; to provide for successful opportunity schools to exit state supervision; to provide for funding; to provide for applicability; to provide for support services and flexibility for schools on warning, schools on probation, and qualifying schools that are not selected; to repeal a provision relating to appropriate levels of intervention for failing schools; to provide for conforming amendments; to provide for related matters; to provide for contingent effectiveness; to provide for automatic repeal under certain conditions; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Chapter 14 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the Education Coordinating Council, is amended by adding a new article to read as follows:

"ARTICLE 3

20-14-100. As used in this article, the term:
(1) 'Office' means the Office of Student Achievement. (2) 'Opportunity school' means a public elementary or secondary school under the supervision of the Opportunity School District. (3) 'Opportunity School District' or 'OSD' means the state-wide district established pursuant to this article. (4) 'OSD charter school' means an opportunity school authorized by the State Charter Schools Commission pursuant to Article 31A of Chapter 2 of this title. (5) 'OSD Superintendent' means the superintendent of the Opportunity School District appointed by the Governor pursuant to Code Section 20-14-102.

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(6) 'Qualifying school' means a public elementary or secondary school that earns a rating of F pursuant to Code Section 20-14-104 for a minimum of three consecutive years. (7) 'School on probation' means a public elementary or secondary school that earns a rating of F pursuant to Code Section 20-14-104 for two consecutive years. (8) 'School on warning' means a public elementary or secondary school that earns a rating of F pursuant to Code Section 20-14-104 for one year.

20-14-101. (a) The Opportunity School District is hereby created pursuant to the authority granted in Article VIII, Section V, Paragraph VIII of the Georgia Constitution. The Opportunity School District shall be authorized to assume the supervision, management, and operation of public elementary and secondary schools which have been determined to be qualifying pursuant to this article. (b) The Opportunity School District shall be established within the Office of Student Achievement.

20-14-102. (a) The Governor shall appoint a superintendent, to be confirmed by the Senate, to serve as the executive officer of the Opportunity School District. The OSD Superintendent shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor and shall have such qualifications as set forth in subsection (b) of Code Section 20-2-101 and salary as determined by the Governor. The OSD Superintendent shall be an employee of the office but shall report directly to the Governor. (b) The OSD Superintendent shall develop guidelines and procedures for the operation of the OSD. The OSD Superintendent shall annually provide a report to the General Assembly on all aspects of operation, including the selection, intervention chosen, and progress of the opportunity schools. The report shall also be published on the office website.

20-14-103. (a) The Opportunity School District shall be authorized to select up to 20 qualifying schools to add to the OSD in any single school year. The Opportunity School District shall have no more than 100 schools under its supervision at any given time. The schools selected for inclusion in the OSD should represent geographic diversity, including urban and rural schools. (b) Selection of up to 20 qualifying schools to add to the OSD in any single school year shall be based on an analysis of performance over the most recent three-year period with emphasis on student growth and progress and other considerations, including geographic clusters of qualifying schools, feeder patterns with multiple eligible schools, current turn-around efforts, availability of qualified partners, and community engagement and support. The school selection process shall include a public hearing to allow for parent and

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community input and the final selection of which schools are transferred into the OSD shall be in the sole discretion of the OSD Superintendent. (c) The OSD Superintendent shall have the sole discretion in determining the timing and sequencing of transferring qualifying schools to the OSD, which may take into consideration the capacity of the OSD in successfully overseeing each school. Prior to transferring any qualifying school to the OSD, the OSD Superintendent shall conduct an evaluation of the school to determine the factors contributing to the school's performance and shall conference with the school principal, local board of education members, and the local school superintendent to share the findings of the evaluation and discuss options for remediation in a joint effort between the OSD and the local school system. The OSD Superintendent shall evaluate and identify the qualifying schools selected for intervention no later than April 1 prior to the initial school year in which the OSD intervention model will be implemented. The specific intervention model in subsection (a) of Code Section 20-14-105 most appropriate for each school based on the findings of the evaluation shall be identified by the OSD Superintendent no later than July 1 of the effective school year and published on the office website. (d) The OSD Superintendent is authorized to waive specifically identified State Board of Education rules, regulations, policies, and procedures, or provisions of Chapter 2 of this title for opportunity schools. The goal for each waiver shall be improvement of student performance. The OSD Superintendent is not authorized to waive any federal, state, and local rules, regulations, court orders, and statutes relating to civil rights; insurance; the protection of the physical health and safety of school students, employees, and visitors; conflicting interest transactions; the prevention of unlawful conduct; any laws relating to unlawful conduct in or near a public school; any reporting requirements pursuant to Code Section 20-2-320 or this chapter; the requirements of Code Section 20-2-211.1 relating to fingerprint and criminal background checks; state accountability requirements, including but not limited to teacher and leader evaluation pursuant to Code Section 20-2-210; or the requirements in subsection (c) of Code Section 20-2-327. A school that has received a waiver shall remain subject to the provisions of Part 3 of Article 2 of this chapter, the requirement that it shall not charge tuition or fees to its students except as may be authorized for local boards by Code Section 20-2-133. All opportunity schools shall comply with all applicable constitutional and statutory nondiscrimination requirements. (e) In the event that a qualifying school selected to be an opportunity school pursuant to this article is an existing charter school or is currently subject to any school level requirements included in a charter system contract or a contract executed pursuant to Article 4 of Chapter 2 of this title, the authority of the OSD shall supersede any such charter or contract with respect to the qualifying school and the State Board of Education and affected local board of education shall take all necessary steps to modify or cancel any such charter or contract with respect to the qualifying school to effectuate this.

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20-14-104. The office shall annually, for purposes of this article, determine a rating of A, B, C, D, or F for each public elementary and secondary school in this state based on student achievement, achievement gap closure, and student growth. Such ratings shall be based on the state accountability system approved by the State Board of Education.

20-14-105. (a) An opportunity school may be subject to any of the following intervention models, as determined by the OSD Superintendent:
(1) Direct management of the opportunity school by the OSD; (2) Shared governance of the opportunity school by the OSD and the local board of education pursuant to a contract in which the local board of education operates the school and the OSD Superintendent has the authority to direct changes to be made at the school; (3) Reconstitution of the school as an OSD charter school in which the OSD works in collaboration with the State Charter Schools Commission to build capacity of petitioning governing boards and charter school applications to establish a charter that will be approved by the State Charter Schools Commission; or (4) Closure of an opportunity school which is not enrolled at full capacity and reassigning the students to a nonqualifying school within the local school system. School closure shall be the intervention of last resort. (b) The OSD Superintendent shall establish and implement a process for gaining community feedback and input to inform his or her decision regarding the most appropriate intervention model for a particular school. (c)(1) For opportunity schools under the intervention models in paragraphs (2) and (3) of subsection (a) of this Code section, the school principal or OSD charter school governing board shall be authorized to make decisions about school finance, human capital, and curriculum and instruction for the opportunity school; provided, however, that the OSD Superintendent may direct school principals to make certain decisions under the intervention model in paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of this Code section. For such schools, the OSD Superintendent and staff shall provide appropriate training and support to develop effective leadership in such areas. (2) For opportunity schools under the intervention model in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section, the OSD shall be authorized to have a direct role in making decisions about school finance, human capital, and curriculum and instruction for the opportunity school while developing the leadership capacity in such schools. (3) For opportunity schools under the intervention models in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a) of this Code section, the existing local school councils may remain in place or may be reconstituted under the guidance of the opportunity school principal so long as they still meet the requirements in Code Section 20-2-86 regarding the composition of the council. The school council shall serve as an advisory board for the principal.

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(4) For opportunity schools under the intervention model in paragraph (3) of subsection (a) of this Code section, parents and advisory board members shall be eligible for consideration to fill specific roles on the governing board. (d) All opportunity schools shall remain open to enrollment in the same manner with the same attendance zone as prior to becoming an opportunity school. (e) An opportunity school may purchase services from the OSD, the local board of education, or an education service provider for routine student support and operational services for an opportunity school. The opportunity school shall solicit and preferentially consider qualified local contractors and service providers. The local board of education shall be required to cooperate fully with the opportunity school, whether under the control of the OSD or the State Charter Schools Commission, to make available at a reasonable cost all appropriate services requested. Such services may include, but are not limited to, transportation, cafeteria services, custodial services, alternative education, broadband, utilities, special education services, test administration services, and student information services. The local board of education shall be required to make immediately available to the opportunity school, at no cost, the student records for all students of that school. (f) Opportunity schools shall develop and provide for positive behavioral interventions and supports, which means an evidence based data-driven framework to reduce the disciplinary incidents, increase a school's sense of safety, and support improved academic outcomes through a multitiered approach, using disciplinary data and principles of behavior analysis to develop school-wide, targeted, and individualized interventions and supports. Additionally, opportunity schools shall develop and provide for response to intervention, which means a framework of identifying and addressing the academic and behavioral needs of students through a tiered system. (g) Opportunity schools shall develop and provide for integrated student supports that target academic and nonacademic barriers to achievement and, where appropriate, shall form partnerships to implement proven or innovative strategies. (h) The OSD Superintendent or OSD charter school governing board shall select and hire the school principal for an opportunity school. Within the limits of the school budget, the school principal shall select staff members in accordance with guidance from the OSD or OSD charter school governing board. Before finalizing staffing recommendations, the principal, the OSD Superintendent, or the OSD charter school governing board shall interview all existing staff members at the qualifying school and review student growth and performance data for those staff members for whom it is available. The OSD or OSD charter school governing board shall have the authority to decide whether any leader, teacher, or staff member previously assigned to a qualifying school selected to become an opportunity school shall continue as an employee of the opportunity school. Any such employees retained shall become employees of the OSD or OSD charter school governing board, on the principal's recommendation, and be under their control. Any teacher subject to Code Section 20-2-942 who is not given the option to continue as an employee for the opportunity school shall remain an employee of the local board of education. The local

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board of education may determine whether or not to continue the employment of any teacher who is not given the option to continue as an employee for the opportunity school, subject to Code Section 20-2-942. Local boards of education may use the authority contained in Code Section 20-2-943 to reassign staff and in Code Section 20-2-948 to implement their reduction in force policy.

20-14-106. (a) For opportunity schools other than OSD charter schools, the OSD Superintendent shall set clear goals, empower and equip teachers and school leaders to meet the goals, and hold such teachers and school leaders accountable to meet the goals. The OSD Superintendent shall approve appropriate waivers for the qualifying school pursuant to subsection (d) of Code Section 20-14-103. (b) For opportunity schools that become OSD charter schools, the State Charter Schools Commission shall set such goals and hold such teachers and school leaders accountable. (c) The OSD Superintendent shall select, approve, or remove the school principal for opportunity schools and the governing board members for opportunity schools which become OSD charter schools.
(d)(1) Each OSD charter school shall have a governing board that is involved in school-level governance of the school. The governing board shall be organized and operated as a nonprofit corporation under the laws of this state. The OSD charter school shall be a public, nonsectarian, nonreligious, nonprofit school that is not home based, provided that a school's nonprofit status shall not prevent the school from contracting for the services of a for profit entity. (2) The members of the governing board for an OSD charter school shall come from the community and shall meet the following qualifications:
(A) Must be a United States citizen; (B) Must be a resident of Georgia; and (C) Must not be an employee of the opportunity school. (3) The OSD Superintendent, after soliciting and considering recommendations from the local legislative delegation, shall make the final selection of governing board members for OSD charter schools and shall ensure that the boards possess the financial, legal, and educational expertise needed to successfully run a school. (e) The OSD Superintendent shall enter into an agreement with the school principal, the OSD charter school governing board, or the local board of education regarding specific goals for each opportunity school related to higher academic outcomes for students, quality careers for graduates, safe and positive learning environments for children, parent and community engagement, and the efficient and effective use of taxpayer dollars.

20-14-107. (a) In an effort to ensure high quality charter petitions for opportunity schools seeking OSD charter school status, the OSD Superintendent shall:

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(1) Solicit, screen, and select or approve OSD charter school governing board members; and (2) Assist the OSD charter school governing board members in charter petition development and review; provided, however, that such assistance shall conclude upon approval by the State Charter Schools Commission of the opportunity school as an OSD charter school. (b) In an effort to provide opportunity schools seeking OSD charter school status with necessary support, the State Charter Schools Commission shall solicit, screen, and select education service providers, including independent consultants, education management organizations, charter management organizations, and other support organizations, that can partner with the OSD charter school governing boards to support or operate such OSD charter schools. (c) The State Charter Schools Commission shall establish a separate application cycle for opportunity schools seeking OSD charter school status. Such application cycle shall allow commission staff and commission members to evaluate the needs of an opportunity school, match them with an education service provider, and work with both parties to ensure the execution of a viable curricular model and educational program. (d) Upon renewing a state charter, an OSD charter school shall no longer be considered a part of the OSD but shall be subject to the terms of its charter and the provisions of Article 31A of Chapter 2 of this title. The local board of education shall be required to continue any and all facility use and service provision agreements previously in place with the OSD regarding any such OSD charter school as long as the OSD charter school continues to operate in that facility. (e) If an opportunity school is not approved or renewed by the State Charter Schools Commission as an OSD charter school, the school shall remain under or return to the supervision of the OSD, and the OSD Superintendent shall reevaluate the school's performance and determine the appropriate intervention pursuant to subsection (a) of Code Section 20-14-105 for the school. If an initial charter petition by an opportunity school to become an OSD charter school is denied by the State Charter Schools Commission, the opportunity school may submit another charter petition in a subsequent cycle. If a renewal charter petition by an opportunity school to continue as an OSD charter school is denied by the State Charter Schools Commission at the end of its initial term, the governing board of the school may not elect to seek approval from the local board of education as a local charter school.

20-14-108. (a) Facilities of qualifying schools that are transferred to the supervision of the OSD as opportunity schools shall come under the control of the OSD. The OSD Superintendent may assign the facility for use by an OSD charter school governing board to operate the opportunity school. The OSD or the OSD charter school governing board shall be responsible for paying the pro-rata bond indebtedness of the school. The contents of the

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facility, including but not limited to textbooks, technology, media resources, instructional equipment, and all other resources shall remain with the facility and be available for use by the opportunity school. In the event that the OSD Superintendent closes a qualifying school, the local board of education shall not use the facility to open a school with the same grade span or attendance zone that is substantially the same for three years. (b) The OSD or OSD charter school governing board shall be responsible for the routine maintenance and repair of the facilities and property, such that they are maintained in the same manner prior to the school's transition to the OSD. The OSD or OSD charter school governing board shall be responsible for reasonable costs for all utilities at an opportunity school as provided in subsection (d) of Code Section 20-14-105. (c) The local board of education shall continue to be responsible for extensive repairs, as determined by the State Properties Commission, to buildings or facilities considered capital expenses. Any fixtures, improvements, or tangible assets added to a school building or facility by the OSD while the school is an opportunity school shall remain with the school building or facility upon its return to the control of the local board of education pursuant to Code Section 20-14-109.

20-14-109. (a) An opportunity school shall remain under the supervision of the OSD for a minimum of five consecutive years or, for an OSD charter school, for the term of the initial charter for such school; provided, however, that if an opportunity school earns, for three consecutive years, a rating above an F pursuant to Code Section 20-14-104, it shall be removed from the OSD. If an opportunity school that becomes an OSD charter school that subsequently earns a rating above an F for three consecutive years, it shall no longer be subject to the oversight of the OSD but shall remain under the authority of the State Charter Schools Commission and shall operate according to the terms of its charter. (b) An opportunity school shall remain under the supervision of the OSD for no more than ten years. Renewal of a charter for an opportunity school shall result in the exit of the school from the OSD. For other opportunity schools, the OSD Superintendent shall engage the school, the school community, and the school's local board of education in a negotiation to determine the best transition plan for the school to leave the supervision of the OSD. (c) An opportunity school that becomes an OSD charter school shall work with the State Charter Schools Commission to renew and continue an effective charter or, if ineffective as a charter school, shall return to the governance of the OSD. If a successful OSD charter school does not wish to remain under the authorization of the State Charter Schools Commission for a subsequent charter term after demonstrating effective performance, the State Charter Schools Commission and the OSD shall coordinate the development of a transition plan back to the governance of the local board of education, which may include, but is not limited to, approval by the local board of education as a local charter school.

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20-14-110. (a) The OSD shall be treated as a single local education agency; provided, however, that opportunity schools that are OSD charter schools shall be treated individually as single local education agencies in accordance with Code Section 20-2-2090. The State Charter Schools Commission shall annually provide an analysis of the performance of opportunity schools that are OSD charter schools. The commission shall work with the OSD Superintendent to determine additional assistance that may be needed to improve the performance of the school. (b) The OSD shall be responsible for data reporting for all opportunity schools under the intervention model in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 20-14-105. The local board of education shall be responsible for data reporting for all opportunity schools under the intervention model in paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of Code Section 20-14-105. OSD charter schools shall be subject to data reporting in accordance with Code Section 20-2-2090. For all opportunity schools, the entity responsible for data reporting shall comply with the requirements of Code Section 20-2-740.

20-14-111. (a) Funding for an opportunity school shall be an amount equal to the sum of:
(1) QBE formula earnings, QBE grants, and federal grants earned by the school based on the school's enrollment, school profile, and student characteristics. QBE formula earnings shall include the salary portion of direct instructional costs, the adjustment for training and experience, the nonsalary portion of direct instructional costs, earnings for psychologists and school social workers, school administration, facility maintenance and operation, media centers, additional days of instruction in accordance with Code Section 20-2-184.1, and staff development and shall include the portion of funds that are calculated as the local five mill share pursuant to Code Section 20-2-164; (2) A proportional share of state categorical grants, non-QBE state grants, state equalization grants, and all other state and federal grants; and (3) An amount determined by OSD for each student enrolled in such school equal to a proportional share of local revenue from the local school system in which the school is located. (b) The OSD may withhold up to 3 percent of the amount determined pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section for each opportunity school for use in administering the duties required pursuant to this article; provided, however, that any amount withheld pursuant to this subsection shall be spent solely on expenses incurred by the OSD in performing the duties required by this article. For opportunity schools that are OSD charter schools, the 3 percent withheld shall be shared equally between the OSD and the State Charter Schools Commission for the initial term of the charter. (c) The total allotment of state and federal funds to the local school system in which an opportunity school is located shall be calculated as otherwise provided in Article 6 of Chapter 2 of this title with an ensuing reduction equivalent to the amount of funds

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appropriated to the opportunity schools pursuant to paragraph (3) of subsection (a) of this Code section. (d) Opportunity schools that become OSD charter schools and subsequently exit the OSD shall continue to be eligible for the same level of funding provided for in this Code section that they were eligible for while under the authority of the OSD. (e) The General Assembly may appropriate additional funds to be allocated among the opportunity schools within the OSD at the discretion of the OSD Superintendent for necessary and innovative purposes. In addition, private funds may be solicited and accepted by the OSD to support opportunity schools.

20-14-112. (a) The State Board of Education is authorized to waive specifically identified State Board of Education rules, regulations, policies, and procedures, or provisions of Chapter 2 of this title for schools on warning, schools on probation, and qualifying schools not selected as opportunity schools. The goal for each waiver shall be improvement of student performance. Notwithstanding subsection (g) of Code Section 20-2-244, the State Board of Education is authorized to waive the provisions referenced in paragraphs (1) through (4) of subsection (g) of Code Section 20-2-244 for schools on warning, schools on probation, and qualifying schools not selected as opportunity schools and is also authorized to waive any other state board rule, regulation, policy, procedure, or provision of Chapter 2 of this title for such schools pursuant to Code Section 20-2-244. Any waivers granted pursuant to this subsection may be renewable annually based on student performance. The State Board of Education shall coordinate with the OSD Superintendent in determining appropriate waivers for a qualifying school that was not selected as an opportunity school to enable school improvement services and technical assistance by the department pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section. The State Board of Education shall communicate to the OSD Superintendent any waivers granted to a school on warning or a school on probation. Any waivers granted pursuant to this subsection shall not preclude the school from being selected in subsequent years for inclusion in the OSD. (b) The Department of Education shall provide school improvement services and technical assistance to schools on warning, schools on probation, and qualifying schools not selected for intervention by the OSD Superintendent pursuant to this article which may include, but is not limited to, appointing a Department of Education school improvement team to:
(1) Conduct a comprehensive on-site evaluation of the school to determine the cause for the school's low performance and lack of progress that includes presentations by the chairperson of the local board of education, the school principal, a parent member of the local school council, and other school personnel; (2) Recommend actions, including reallocation of resources and technical assistance, changes in school procedures or operations, professional learning focused on student achievement for instructional and administrative staff, intervention for individual administrators or teachers, instructional strategies based on scientifically based research,

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waivers from state statutes or rules, adoption of policies and practices to ensure all groups of students meet the state's proficiency level, extended instruction time for low-performing students, strategies for parental involvement, incorporation of a teacher mentoring program, smaller class size for low-performing students, or other actions the team considers appropriate; (3) Assist in the development of an intensive school improvement plan focused on student achievement; and (4) Monitor the progress of the school in implementing the intensive school improvement plan focused on student achievement.

20-14-113. This article shall be applicable beginning with school year 2017-2018."

SECTION 2. Said chapter is further amended by repealing Code Section 20-14-41, relating to appropriate levels of intervention for failing schools, master or management team, school improvement team, annual reports, data revision, and hearings.

SECTION 3. Code Section 20-2-84 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the accountability, flexibility, and consequences components of contracts, is amended by revising paragraph (1) of subsection (c) as follows:
"(1) Interventions or sanctions for failure to meet identified levels of achievement or for not showing specified levels of progress; and"

SECTION 4. Code Section 20-2-186 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the allocation of funds for local systems to pay beginning salaries of superintendents, secretaries, accountants, nurses, and certain other personnel, is amended by revising subsection (c) as follows:
"(c) Notwithstanding any provision of this Code section to the contrary, no local system shall earn funds under this Code section, except for funds for nurses, accountants, visiting teachers, school psychologists, and secretaries, if the local board of education has not implemented in a failing school within the system the interventions, that are prescribed by the State Board of Education or the office pursuant to their respective authority."

SECTION 5. Code Section 20-2-2068 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to termination of a charter for a charter school, is amended by revising subparagraph (a)(2)(A) as follows:
"(A) A failure to comply with any recommendation or direction of the state board with respect to any intervention prescribed by the state board pursuant to the charter;"

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SECTION 6. (a) This Act shall become effective on January 1, 2017, only if an amendment to the Constitution is ratified at the November, 2016, general election expressly allowing the General Assembly to authorize the establishment of an Opportunity School District to provide for state intervention for failing schools. (b) If such an amendment to the Constitution is not so ratified, then this Act shall not become effective and shall stand repealed by operation of law on January 1, 2017.

SECTION 7. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved April 21, 2015.

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EDUCATION PROHIBIT ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS OF CERTAIN CHARTER SCHOOLS; EXEMPTION OF CERTAIN NONPUBLIC, NONPROFIT COLLEGES; WEIGHTED LOTTERIES IN CHARTER SCHOOLS FOR EDUCATIONALLY DISADVANTAGED STUDENTS.

No. 25 (House Bill No. 372).

AN ACT

To amend Code Section 20-2-2068.2 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to a facilities fund for charter schools, so as to prohibit additional requirements of a charter school to operate that has passed state facility inspections and received a certificate of occupancy; to provide a short title; to amend Code Section 20-3-250.3 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to educational institutions exempted from application of part, so as to revise a provision relating to nonpublic, nonprofit colleges; to amend Article 31 of Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to charter schools, so as to provide for weighted lotteries in charter schools for educationally disadvantaged students; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

PART I SECTION 1-1.

This part shall be known and may be cited as the "Utopian Academy for the Arts Act."

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SECTION 1-2. Code Section 20-2-2068.2 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to a facilities fund for charter schools, is amended by adding a new subsection to read as follows:
"(i) No municipality, county, or other local political subdivision of this state may require the nonprofit corporation that holds the charter for a charter school that has passed the Department of Education facility inspection and holds a valid certificate of occupancy to obtain any other licensure to operate the school, including, but not limited to, a business license, professional license, or occupational tax certificate; provided, however, that any for profit vendor of the charter school shall be subject to any applicable local requirements relating to doing business in this state. Charter schools shall be subject to all applicable zoning, planning, and building permitting requirements when constructing or renovating a facility."

PART II SECTION 2-1.

Code Section 20-3-250.3 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to educational institutions exempted from application of part, is amended by revising paragraph (10) of subsection (a), as follows:
"(10) Subject to the requirements of subsection (c) of Code Section 20-3-250.6, any nonpublic, nonprofit college or university granting baccalaureate degrees whose principal office and campus are located in this state and its related graduate and professional programs, which have been in existence ten or more years as a nonpublic, nonprofit college or university and is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education;"

PART III SECTION 3-1.

Article 31 of Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to charter schools, is amended by adding a new paragraph to Code Section 20-2-2062, relating to definitions, to read as follows:
"(4.1) 'Educationally disadvantaged students' means all or a subset of the following: students who are economically disadvantaged, students with disabilities, limited English proficient students, neglected or delinquent students, and homeless students, as each such subset is defined by the State Board of Education in accordance with federal education guidelines and regulations."

SECTION 3-2. Said article is further amended by revising Code Section 20-2-2066, relating to admission, enrollment, and withdrawal of students, as follows:

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"20-2-2066. (a) A local charter school shall enroll students in the following manner:
(1)(A) A start-up charter school shall enroll any student who resides in the attendance zone specified in the charter and who submits a timely application as specified in the charter unless the number of applications exceeds the capacity of a program, class, grade level, or building. Except for educationally disadvantaged students who may be provided an increased chance of admission through a weighted lottery if permitted by the school's charter, all such applicants shall have an equal chance of being admitted through a random selection process unless otherwise prohibited by law; provided, however, that a start-up charter school may give enrollment preference to applicants in any one or more of the following categories in the order of priority specified in the charter:
(i) A sibling of a student enrolled in the start-up charter school; (ii) A sibling of a student enrolled in another local school designated in the charter; (iii) A student whose parent or guardian is a member of the governing board of the start-up charter school or is a full-time teacher, professional, or other employee at the start-up charter school; (iv) Students matriculating from a local school designated in the charter; and (v) Children who matriculate from a pre-kindergarten program which is associated with the school, including, but not limited to, programs which share common facilities or campuses with the school or programs which have established a partnership or cooperative efforts with the school. (B) A conversion charter school shall enroll any student who resides in the attendance zone specified in the charter and who submits a timely application as specified in the charter. If the number of applying students who reside in the attendance zone does not exceed the capacity as specified in the charter, additional students shall be enrolled based on a random selection process, except for educationally disadvantaged students who may be provided an increased chance of admission through a weighted lottery if permitted by the school's charter; provided, however, that a conversion charter school may give enrollment preference to applicants in any one or more of the following categories in the order of priority specified in the charter: (i) A sibling of a student enrolled in the conversion charter school or in any school in the high school cluster; (ii) A student whose parent or guardian is a member of the governing board of the conversion charter school or is a full-time teacher, professional, or other employee at the conversion charter school; (iii) Students who were enrolled in the local school prior to its becoming a conversion charter school; (iv) Students who reside in the attendance zone specified in the charter; and (v) Children who matriculate from a pre-kindergarten program which is associated with the school, including, but not limited to, programs which share common facilities

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or campuses with the school or programs which have established a partnership or cooperative efforts with the school; and (2) A student who resides outside the school system in which the local charter school is located may not enroll in that local charter school except pursuant to a contractual agreement between the local boards of the school system in which the student resides and the school system in which the local charter school is located. Unless otherwise provided in such contractual agreement, a local charter school may give enrollment preference to a sibling of a nonresident student currently enrolled in the local charter school. (b) A state chartered special school shall enroll any student who resides in the attendance zone specified in the charter and who submits a timely application as specified in the charter unless the number of applications exceeds the capacity of a program, class, grade level, or building. The period of time during which an application for enrollment may be submitted shall be specified in the charter. Except for educationally disadvantaged students who may be provided an increased chance of admission through a weighted lottery if permitted by the school's charter, all such applicants shall have an equal chance of being admitted through a random selection process unless otherwise prohibited by law; provided, however, that a state chartered special school may give enrollment preference to applicants in any one or more of the following categories in the order of priority specified in the charter: (1) A sibling of a student enrolled in the state chartered special school; (2) A sibling of a student enrolled in another local school designated in the charter; (3) A student whose parent or guardian is a member of the governing board of the state chartered special school or is a full-time teacher, professional, or other employee at the state chartered special school; (4) Students matriculating from a local school designated in the charter; and (5) Children who matriculate from a pre-kindergarten program which is associated with the state chartered special school, including, but not limited to, programs which share common facilities or campuses with the school or programs which have established a partnership or cooperative efforts with the school. (b.1) A charter system shall enroll students in its system charter schools per the terms of the charter and in accordance with state board rules. (c) A charter school shall not discriminate on any basis that would be illegal if used by a school system. (d) A student may withdraw without penalty from a charter school at any time and enroll in a local school in the school system in which such student resides as may be provided for by the policies of the local board. A student who is suspended or expelled from a charter school as a result of a disciplinary action taken by a charter school shall be entitled to enroll in a local school within the local school system in which the student resides, if, under the disciplinary policy of the local school system, such student would not have been subject to suspension or expulsion for the conduct which gave rise to the suspension or expulsion.

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In such instances, the local board shall not be required to independently verify the nature or occurrence of the applicable conduct or any evidence relating thereto."

PART IV SECTION 4-1.

All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved April 21, 2015.

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GAME AND FISH REPEAL PROHIBITION ON RACCOON TRAPPING IN CERTAIN COUNTIES.

No. 26 (House Bill No. 160).

AN ACT

To amend Article 2 of Chapter 3 of Title 27 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to wildlife trapping, trappers, and fur dealers, so as to repeal a provision prohibiting the trapping of raccoons in certain counties; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Article 2 of Chapter 3 of Title 27 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to wildlife trapping, trappers, and fur dealers, is amended by revising Code Section 27-3-62, relating to open seasons, as follows:
"27-3-62. (a) Except as otherwise specifically provided in this Code section, it shall be unlawful to trap any wildlife in this state between March 1 and November 19. (b) It shall be unlawful to trap any wildlife during the period between November 20 and February 29, except as otherwise provided in this Code section and except that it shall not be unlawful to trap a fur-bearing animal during that period or a portion thereof if that period or portion thereof is designated by the board as an open trapping season for such fur-bearing animal. (c) In accordance with subsection (b) of this Code section and as may be appropriate in accordance with sound wildlife management principles, the board is authorized to

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promulgate rules and regulations establishing open seasons for the trapping of fur-bearing animals on a state-wide, regional, or local basis. (d) Notwithstanding subsection (a) or (b) of this Code section, it shall be lawful to trap beaver, rats, and mice at any time during the year. It shall also be lawful for any person to set steel traps within 200 yards of the residence or dwelling of any such person for the protection of livestock, ratites, poultry, or other fowl or domestic animals from any predatory bird or animal. (e) Any person who violates any provision of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor."

SECTION 2. This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval.

SECTION 3. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved April 29, 2015.

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GENERAL PROVISIONS DESIGNATE WATER PROFESSIONALS APPRECIATION DAY.

No. 27 (Senate Bill No. 119).

AN ACT

To amend Chapter 4 of Title 1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to holidays and observances, so as to designate the first Monday in May of each year as "Water Professionals Appreciation Day" in Georgia; to provide for legislative findings; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. The General Assembly finds that:
(1) The Georgia Water Quality Control Act was passed by the Georgia General Assembly and signed into law in 1964 by Governor Carl Sanders; (2) At that time, there were 25 communities in Georgia which had no public sewer systems, 40 communities with a sewer system but no treatment facilities, 60 communities

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with a sewer system but only primary treatment facilities, 50 communities with a sewer system and secondary treatment facilities which were in need of improvement, and 395 industries which had documented untreated or inadequately treated discharges to Georgia's surface waters; (3) At the time of passage of the Act, many of Georgia's surface waters were extremely polluted, and serious water quality problems existed all over the State of Georgia; (4) The state established the Georgia Water Quality Control Board (later reconstituted as the Georgia Environmental Protection Division as a result of the 1972 Reorganization of State Government under Governor Jimmy Carter), and Governor Sanders appointed R.S. "Rock" Howard to be the board's executive secretary; (5) By the time the Federal Water Quality Control Act was passed in 1972, most of Georgia's industries had been brought into compliance with the initial requirements of the federal Act; (6) Over the ensuing four decades, billions of federal, state, and local dollars have been invested in planning, designing, and constructing modern publicly owned wastewater treatment facilities throughout this state; (7) Georgia's water professionals are committed to operating these facilities to maintain consistent compliance with extremely stringent standards; (8) Both publicly and privately owned facilities have performed so well that they are no longer the most significant threat to Georgia's waters; (9) The quality of Georgia's waters has improved dramatically throughout this great state over the years since the passage of the original Act; (10) It is imperative that these improvements be sustained while continuing our efforts to educate Georgians of their growing responsibility in the reduction of non-point sources of pollution to Georgia's waters; (11) The success that we have experienced thus far and the success that we will have is due to the tremendous dedication and efforts of Georgia's water professionals; and (12) It is fitting and proper that these individuals and their efforts be appropriately recognized.

SECTION 2. Chapter 4 of Title 1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to holidays and observances, is amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"1-4-22. The first Monday in May of each year is designated as 'Water Professionals Appreciation Day' in Georgia."

SECTION 3. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved April 29, 2015.

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PROFESSIONS AND BUSINESSES REAL ESTATE APPRAISERS; REQUIREMENTS FOR ESTABLISHMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF REAL ESTATE APPRAISAL MANAGEMENT COMPANY.

No. 29 (House Bill No. 253).

AN ACT

To amend Chapter 39A of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to real estate appraisers, so as to change certain provisions relating to requirements for the establishment and maintenance of a real estate appraisal management company; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Chapter 39A of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to real estate appraisers, is amended by revising subsection (e) of Code Section 43-39A-14.1, relating to requirements for the establishment and maintenance of a real estate appraisal management company, as follows:
"(e) An appraisal management company shall not pay any fees to an appraiser performing or attempting to perform any real estate appraisal activity in a federally related transaction without complying with the rules and regulations adopted by the board to regulate such transactions in accordance with 15 U.S.C. Section 1601, et seq., and the regulations promulgated thereunder and the standards required by the federal financial institutions regulatory agency that regulates the financial transaction for which the appraisal assignment is undertaken, including, but not limited to, compensation to appraisers that is customary and reasonable for appraisals being performed for one- to four-family residential units in the market area of the property being appraised. An appraisal management company shall separately state to the client the fees paid to an appraiser for appraisal services and the fees charged by the appraisal management company for services associated with the management of the appraisal process, including procurement of the appraiser's services."

SECTION 2. This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval.

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SECTION 3. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved April 29, 2015.

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INSURANCE PROHIBIT RESTRICTIONS ON COVERAGE FOR PRESCRIBED TREATMENT BASED UPON DIAGNOSIS OF TERMINAL CONDITION; COVERAGE OF AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS.

No. 31 (House Bill No. 429).

AN ACT

To amend Chapter 24 of Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to insurance generally, so as to provide that no health benefit plan shall restrict coverage for prescribed treatment based upon the insured's diagnosis with a terminal condition; to provide for definitions; to provide for penalties; to provide for certain insurance coverage of autism spectrum disorders; to provide for definitions; to provide for limitations; to provide for premium cap and other conditions; to provide for applicability; to provide for related matters; to provide effective dates; to provide for contingent repeal; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Chapter 24 of Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to insurance generally, is amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"33-24-59.18. (a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) 'Health benefit plan' means any hospital, health, or medical expense insurance policy, hospital or medical service contract, employee welfare benefit plan, contract or agreement with a health maintenance organization, subscriber contract or agreement, preferred provider organization, accident and sickness insurance benefit plan, or other insurance contract under any other name. The term shall include any health insurance plan established under Article 1 of Chapter 18 of Title 45 and under Chapter 4 of Title 49, the 'Georgia Medical Assistance Act of 1977.'

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(2) 'Terminal condition' means any disease, illness, or health condition that a physician has diagnosed as expected to result in death in 24 months or less. (3) 'Treatment' does not include any medication or medical procedure, regardless of where actually prescribed, dispensed, or administered, which if prescribed, dispensed, or administered in this state would constitute assisted suicide in violation of Code Section 16-5-5. (b) No health benefit plan shall restrict coverage for treatment of a terminal condition when such treatment has been prescribed by a physician as medically appropriate and such treatment has been agreed to by an insured patient or by a person to whom the insured patient has legally delegated such authority or to whom otherwise has the legal authority to consent on behalf of the insured patient. The health benefit plan shall not refuse to pay or otherwise reimburse for the treatment diagnosed under this subsection, including any drug or device, so long as such end of life care is consistent with best practices for the treatment of the terminal condition and such treatment is supported by peer reviewed medical literature. (c) A denial or a refusal to pay for treatment prescribed under subsection (b) of this Code section shall be a violation of this Code section. (d) A violation of this Code section shall be a per se violation of Chapter 6 of this title, and the penalties, procedures, and remedies applicable to violations of Chapter 6 of this title shall be applicable to a violation of this Code section."

SECTION 2A. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 33-24-59.10, relating to insurance coverage for autism, as follows:
"33-24-59.10. (a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) 'Accident and sickness contract, policy, or benefit plan' shall have the same meaning as found in Code Section 33-24-59.1. Accident and sickness contract, policy, or benefit plan shall also include without limitation any health benefit plan established pursuant to Article 1 of Chapter 18 of Title 45. Accident and sickness contract, policy, or benefit plan shall not include limited benefit insurance policies designed, advertised, and marketed to supplement major medical insurance such as accident only, CHAMPUS supplement, dental, disability income, fixed indemnity, long-term care, medicare supplement, specified disease, vision, and any other type of accident and sickness insurance other than basic hospital expense, basic medical-surgical expense, or major medical insurance. (2) 'Applied behavior analysis' means the design, implementation, and evaluation of environmental modifications using behavioral stimuli and consequences to produce socially significant improvement in human behavior, including the use of direct observation, measurement, and functional analysis of the relationship between environment and behavior.

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(3) 'Autism spectrum disorder' means autism spectrum disorders as defined by the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. (4) 'Treatment of autism spectrum disorder' includes the following types of care prescribed, provided, or ordered for an individual diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder:
(A) Habilitative or rehabilitative services, including applied behavior analysis or other professional or counseling services necessary to develop, maintain, and restore the functioning of an individual to the extent possible. To be eligible for coverage, applied behavior analysis shall be provided by a person professionally certified by a national board of behavior analysts or performed under the supervision of a person professionally certified by a national board of behavior analysts; (B) Counseling services provided by a licensed psychiatrist, licensed psychologist, professional counselor, or clinical social worker; and (C) Therapy services provided by a licensed or certified speech therapist, speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, or marriage and family therapist. (b) Accident and sickness contracts, policies, or benefit plans shall provide coverage for autism spectrum disorders for an individual covered under a policy or contract who is six years of age or under in accordance with the following: (1) The policy or contract shall provide coverage for any assessments, evaluations, or tests by a licensed physician or licensed psychologist to diagnose whether an individual has an autism spectrum disorder; (2) The policy or contract shall provide coverage for the treatment of autism spectrum disorders when it is determined by a licensed physician or licensed psychologist that the treatment is medically necessary health care. A licensed physician or licensed psychologist may be required to demonstrate ongoing medical necessity for coverage provided under this Code section at least annually; (3) The policy or contract shall not include any limits on the number of visits; (4) The policy or contract may limit coverage for applied behavior analysis to $30,000.00 per year. An insurer shall not apply payments for coverage unrelated to autism spectrum disorders to any maximum benefit established under this paragraph; and (5) This subsection shall not be construed to require coverage for prescription drugs if prescription drug coverage is not provided by the policy or contract. Coverage for prescription drugs for the treatment of autism spectrum disorders shall be determined in the same manner as coverage for prescription drugs for the treatment of any other illness or condition is determined under the policy or contract. (c) Except as otherwise provided in this Code section, any policy or contract that provides coverage for services under this Code section may contain provisions for maximum benefits and coinsurance and reasonable limitations, deductibles, and exclusions to the extent that these provisions are not inconsistent with the requirements of this Code section.

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(d) This Code section shall not be construed to affect any obligation to provide services to an individual with an autism spectrum disorder under an individualized family service plan, an individualized education plan as required by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or an individualized service plan. This Code section also shall not be construed to limit benefits that are otherwise available to an individual under an accident and sickness contract, policy, or benefit plan.
(e)(1) An insurer, corporation, or health maintenance organization, or a governmental entity providing coverage for such treatment pursuant to this Code section, is exempt from providing coverage for behavioral health treatment required under this Code section and not covered by the insurer, corporation, health maintenance organization, or governmental entity providing coverage for such treatment pursuant to this Code section as of December 31, 2016, if:
(A) An actuary, affiliated with the insurer, corporation, or health maintenance organization, who is a member of the American Academy of Actuaries and meets the American Academy of Actuaries' professional qualification standards for rendering an actuarial opinion related to health insurance rate making, certifies in writing to the Commissioner that:
(i) Based on an analysis to be completed no more frequently than one time per year by each insurer, corporation, or health maintenance organization, or such governmental entity, for the most recent experience period of at least one year's duration, the costs associated with coverage of behavioral health treatment required under this Code section, and not covered as of December 31, 2016, exceeded 1 percent of the premiums charged over the experience period by the insurer, corporation, or health maintenance organization; and (ii) Those costs solely would lead to an increase in average premiums charged of more than 1 percent for all insurance policies, subscription contracts, or health care plans commencing on inception or the next renewal date, based on the premium rating methodology and practices the insurer, corporation, or health maintenance organization, or such governmental entity, employs; and (B) The Commissioner approves the certification of the actuary. (2) An exemption allowed under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall apply for a one-year coverage period following inception or next renewal date of all insurance policies, subscription contracts, or health care plans issued or renewed during the one-year period following the date of the exemption, after which the insurer, corporation, or health maintenance organization, or such governmental entity, shall again provide coverage for behavioral health treatment required under this subsection. (3) An insurer, corporation, or health maintenance organization, or such governmental entity, may claim an exemption for a subsequent year, but only if the conditions specified in this subsection again are met. (4) Notwithstanding the exemption allowed under paragraph (1) of this subsection, an insurer, corporation, or health maintenance organization, or such governmental entity,

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may elect to continue to provide coverage for behavioral health treatment required under this subsection. (f) Beginning January 1, 2016, to the extent that this Code section requires benefits that exceed the essential health benefits required under Section 1302(b) of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, P. L. 111-148, the specific benefits that exceed the required essential health benefits shall not be required of a 'qualified health plan' as defined in such act when the qualified health plan is offered in this state through the exchange. Nothing in this subsection shall nullify the application of this Code section to plans offered outside the state's exchange. (g) This Code section shall not apply to any accident and sickness contract, policy, or benefit plan offered by any employer with ten or fewer employees. (h) Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to limit any coverage under any accident and sickness contract policy or benefit plan, including, but not limited to, speech therapy, occupational therapy, or physical therapy otherwise available under such plan. (i) By January 15, 2017, and every January 15 thereafter, the department shall submit a report to the General Assembly regarding the implementation of the coverage required under this Code section. The report shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following: (1) The total number of insureds diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder; (2) The total cost of all claims paid out in the immediately preceding calendar year for coverage required by this Code section; (3) The cost of such coverage per insured per month; and (4) The average cost per insured for coverage of applied behavior analysis. All health carriers and health benefit plans subject to the provisions of this Code section shall provide the department with all data requested by the department for inclusion in the annual report."

SECTION 2B. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 33-24-59.10, relating to insurance coverage for autism, to read as follows:
"33-24-59.10. (a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) 'Accident and sickness contract, policy, or benefit plan' shall have the same meaning as found in Code Section 33-24-59.1. Accident and sickness contract, policy, or benefit plan shall also include without limitation any health benefit plan established pursuant to Article 1 of Chapter 18 of Title 45. (2) 'Autism' means a developmental neurological disorder, usually appearing in the first three years of life, which affects normal brain functions and is manifested by compulsive, ritualistic behavior and severely impaired social interaction and communication skills. (b) An insurer that provides benefits for neurological disorders, whether under a group or individual accident and sickness contract, policy, or benefit plan, shall not deny providing benefits in accordance with the conditions, schedule of benefits, limitations as to type and

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scope of treatment authorized for neurological disorders, exclusions, cost-sharing arrangements, or copayment requirements which exist in such contract, policy, or benefit plan for neurological disorders because of a diagnosis of autism. The provisions of this subsection shall not expand the type or scope of treatment beyond that authorized for any other diagnosed neurological disorder."

SECTION 3. (a) This Act shall become effective on July 1, 2015, except as otherwise provided by subsection (b) of this section. (b) Section 2B of this Act shall become effective on January 1, 2017, only if the amendment to the Georgia Constitution proposed by HR 808 is ratified by the voters at the November, 2016, general state-wide election, in which event Section 2A of this Act shall stand repealed on January 1, 2017. If such constitutional amendment is not so ratified, then Section 2B of this Act shall not become effective and shall stand repealed on January 1, 2017.

SECTION 4. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved April 29, 2015.

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EDUCATION SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM; QUALIFICATIONS.

No. 32 (House Bill No. 62).

AN ACT

To amend Code Section 20-2-2114 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to qualifications for the scholarship program for special needs students, so as to waive certain qualifications for students whose parent is an active duty military service member stationed in Georgia within the previous year; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

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BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Code Section 20-2-2114 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to qualifications for the scholarship program for special needs students, is amended by revising subsection (a) as follows:
"(a) A student shall qualify for a scholarship under this article if: (1) The student's parent currently resides within Georgia and has been a Georgia resident for at least one year; provided, however, that the one-year requirement shall not apply if the student's parent is an active duty military service member stationed in Georgia within the previous year; (2) The student has one or more of the following disabilities: (A) Autism; (B) Deaf/blind; (C) Deaf/hard of hearing; (D) Emotional and behavioral disorder; (E) Intellectual disability; (F) Orthopedic impairment; (G) Other health impairment; (H) Specific learning disability; (I) Speech-language impairment; (J) Traumatic brain injury; or (K) Visual impairment; (3) The student: (A) Has spent the prior school year in attendance at a Georgia public school; provided, however, that this requirement shall not apply if the student's parent is an active duty military service member stationed in Georgia within the previous year; and (B) Has an Individualized Education Program written in accordance with federal and state laws and regulations; provided, however, that the State Board of Education shall be authorized to require a local board of education to expedite the development of an Individualized Education Program and to waive the prior school year requirement contained in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, in its sole discretion, on a case-by-case basis for specific medical needs of the student upon the request of a parent or guardian in accordance with state board procedures. If an expedited Individualized Education Program is required by the state board pursuant to this subparagraph, the state board may additionally require such expedited process to be completed prior to the beginning of the school year. The State Board of Education shall provide an annual report by December 31 of each year through December 31, 2015, regarding the number of waivers approved pursuant to this paragraph to the General Assembly; (4) The parent obtains acceptance for admission of the student to a participating school; and

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(5) The parent submits an application for a scholarship to the department no later than the deadline established by the department; provided, however, that the department shall provide application deadline opportunities on September 15, December 15, and February 15 of each school year for a student to transfer."

SECTION 2. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved April 29, 2015.

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EDUCATION HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA; REQUIREMENTS.

No. 33 (Senate Bill No. 2).

AN ACT

To amend Part 2 of Article 6 of Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to competencies and core curriculum in elementary and secondary education, so as to provide that a student who completes certain requirements relating to postsecondary coursework may be awarded a high school diploma; to provide for rules and regulations; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Part 2 of Article 6 of Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to competencies and core curriculum, is amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"20-2-149.2. (a) A local board of education may award a high school diploma to a student enrolled in coursework pursuant to Code Section 20-2-159.5 who:
(1) Completes rigorous coursework at a postsecondary institution which meets the requirements in paragraph (7) of Code Section 20-3-519; (2) Has completed at least the following state required ninth and tenth grade level high school courses: two English courses, two mathematics courses, two science courses, two social studies courses, and one health and physical education course; and any state required tests associated with any such courses;

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(3) Receives a score of admission acceptable on the readiness assessment required by the postsecondary institution; and (4) Completes: (i) an associate degree program; (ii) a technical college diploma program and all postsecondary academic education and technical education and training prerequisites for any state, national, or industry occupational certifications or licenses required to work in the field; or (iii) at least two technical college certificate of credit programs in one specific career pathway and all postsecondary academic education and technical education and training prerequisites for any state, national, or industry occupational certifications or licenses required to work in the field as determined by the Technical College System of Georgia. (b) The State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia shall annually identify fields of study in which a critical need or shortage of trained personnel exists in the labor markets in this state and provide such information to the State Board of Education. The State Board of Education shall annually provide such information to local school systems for the purpose of emphasizing areas of critical workforce needs and shortages in the labor markets in our state to high school students to support their career pathway decisions. (c) The State Board of Education, in consultation with the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia and the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, shall establish rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this Code section. (d) A student who meets the requirements of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be deemed to have met all graduation requirements of the State Board of Education and shall not be subject to any assessments otherwise required for purposes of graduation."

SECTION 2. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved April 30, 2015.

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EDUCATION REVISE PROGRAM FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TO ATTEND POSTSECONDARY INSTITUTIONS; DUAL CREDIT COURSES.

No. 34 (Senate Bill No. 132).

AN ACT

To amend Article 6 of Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the "Quality Basic Education Act," so as to revise provisions relating to the program for high school students to attend postsecondary institutions; to provide for a short title; to provide a program for eligible students to take dual credit courses; to repeal a statute relating to dual credit courses; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Article 6 of Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the "Quality Basic Education Act," is amended by revising Code Section 20-2-161.3, relating to the program for high school students to attend postsecondary institutions, as follows:
"20-2-161.3. (a) This Code section shall be known and may be cited as the 'Move on When Ready Act.' (b) For purposes of this Code section, the term:
(1) 'Commission' means the Georgia Student Finance Commission created by Code Section 20-3-233. (2) 'Department' means the Department of Education. (3) 'Dual credit course' means a postsecondary course, including a virtual course, taken by an eligible high school student pursuant to an arrangement at or through an eligible postsecondary institution for which the student receives secondary credit from his or her eligible high school. (4) 'Eligible high school' means any private or public secondary educational institution located within the State of Georgia and any home study program operated pursuant to Code Section 20-2-690. (5) 'Eligible high school student' means a student entering ninth, tenth, eleventh, or twelfth grade at an eligible high school. (6) 'Eligible postsecondary institution' or 'postsecondary institution' means any eligible postsecondary institution as defined in paragraph (7) of Code Section 20-3-519.

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(7) 'Program' means the arrangement authorized by this Code section whereby an eligible high school student takes one or more dual credit courses with the goal of completing postsecondary credit and high school diploma requirements. (8) 'Secondary credit' means high school credit for dual credit courses taken at or through an eligible postsecondary institution under the program. (c) Any eligible high school student may apply to an eligible postsecondary institution to take one or more dual credit courses at or through that postsecondary institution which are approved for secondary credit pursuant to subsection (f) of this Code section. If accepted at an eligible postsecondary institution, such eligible high school student may take any such approved dual credit course at or through that postsecondary institution, whether or not the course is taught during the regular eligible high school day, and receive secondary credit therefor under the conditions provided in this Code section. (d) In consultation with and subject to approval by the commission, the department shall develop appropriate forms and counseling guidelines for the program and shall make such forms and guidelines available to eligible high schools and eligible postsecondary institutions. No later than the first day of February each year, each eligible high school shall provide general information about the program, including such forms, to all its eligible high school students. An eligible high school shall also provide counseling services to such students and their parents or guardians before the students enroll in the program. Prior to participating in the program, the student and the student's parent or guardian shall sign the form provided by the eligible high school or by an eligible postsecondary institution stating that they have received the counseling specified in this subsection and that they understand the responsibilities that shall be assumed in participating in the program. Program information and materials shall be provided to each eighth grade public school student at the time the student is developing his or her individual graduation plan as required by Code Section 20-2-327. (e) Each eligible high school shall be required to execute a participation agreement as prescribed by the commission. (f)(1) A participating eligible high school shall grant secondary credit to an eligible high school student enrolled in a dual credit course in an eligible postsecondary institution if such student successfully completes that course. The secondary credit granted shall be for a comparable required course; career, technical, and agricultural education course; or elective course. Upon completion of an eligible postsecondary institution's dual credit course, the eligible high school student shall be responsible for requesting that the eligible postsecondary institution notify the student's eligible high school regarding his or her grade in that course. (2) Secondary credits granted for eligible postsecondary institution dual credit courses under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be counted by the eligible high school toward graduation requirements and subject area requirements of the eligible high school. Evidence of successful completion of each dual credit course and secondary credits granted shall be included in the eligible high school student's secondary school records.

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(3) A participating eligible high school shall be required to award a high school diploma to any eligible high school student who is enrolled at or through an eligible postsecondary institution under the program as long as the credit earned at or through such postsecondary institution satisfies course requirements needed for the eligible high school student to complete high school graduation. The State Board of Education, in consultation with the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia and the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, shall determine appropriate courses to meet these requirements. No later than July 1, 2015, the Department of Education shall communicate to high schools the subject area requirements or elective courses that may be satisfied with dual credit courses provided by eligible postsecondary institutions, which shall include completion of:
(A) At least the following state required ninth and tenth grade level high school courses or their equivalent: two English courses, two mathematics courses, two science courses, two social studies courses, and one health and physical education course; and any state required tests associated with any such courses; and (B) One of the following:
(i) An associate degree program; (ii) A technical college diploma program and all postsecondary academic education and technical education and training prerequisites for any state, national, or industry occupational certifications or licenses required to work in the field; or (iii) At least two technical college certificate of credit programs in one specific career pathway and all postsecondary academic education and technical education and training prerequisites for any state, national, or industry occupational certifications or licenses required to work in the field as determined by the Technical College System of Georgia. (g) Hours for dual credit courses taken at or through an eligible postsecondary institution pursuant to this Code section by an eligible high school student shall not count against any maximum hourly caps which may be applicable for purposes of HOPE scholarships or grants. (h) The commission is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations not inconsistent with the provisions of this Code section relating to the program described in this Code section. (i) Every eligible postsecondary institution shall be subject to examination by the commission for the sole purpose of determining whether such postsecondary institution has properly complied with rules and regulations established pursuant to this Code section. Such examination shall be conducted by the commission no less frequently than once every three years. The commission is authorized to conduct the examination using sampling and extrapolation techniques. However, nothing in this subsection shall be construed to interfere with the authority of the postsecondary institution to determine its own curriculum, philosophy, purpose, or administration. In the event it is determined that a postsecondary institution knowingly or through error certified an ineligible student to be eligible for the program established under this Code section, the amount paid to the

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postsecondary institution pursuant to such certification shall be refunded by the postsecondary institution to the commission. The commission may suspend a postsecondary institution from receiving payments under this Code section if it fails to refund any moneys deemed due pursuant to this subsection. (j) In order to participate in the program, each eligible postsecondary institution shall be required to enter into a participation agreement with the commission agreeing to:
(1) Waive all mandatory and noncourse related fees for eligible high school students participating in the program; (2) Provide course books to eligible high school students participating in the program at no charge to the student; and (3) Accept the amount paid by the commission as full payment for an eligible high school student's tuition, mandatory and noncourse related fees, and course books. (k) The funding provided to the commission for the program shall be subject to annual appropriations enacted by the General Assembly beginning in Fiscal Year 2016. The commission shall set criteria for funding for tuition, mandatory and noncourse related fees, course books, and transportation. The amount of such funds to be paid shall be determined by the commission. The commission shall create a grant program, subject to the availability of funds, pursuant to which participating public eligible high schools may apply for transportation grants. Such grants shall be awarded based on criteria, terms, and conditions determined by the commission in consultation with the department. (l) In the event the funds made available to the commission are not sufficient to enable the commission to meet all funding requirements of the program, the amount paid to eligible postsecondary institutions shall be reduced by the commission. Under no circumstances shall the eligible postsecondary institutions require an eligible high school student participating in the program to pay for tuition, mandatory and noncourse related fees, or course books. (m) Students enrolled in a work based learning program under Code Section 20-2-161.2 may be eligible to earn dual credit upon completing a planned training experience under guidelines developed by the Department of Education and the Technical College System of Georgia provided students meet postsecondary readiness established in reading and writing and mathematics for the particular advanced training program or associate's degree."

SECTION 2. Said article is further amended by revising subsection (a.1) of Code Section 20-2-157, relating to uniform reporting system for certain purposes, dual credit courses, and academic eligibility requirements to receive a HOPE scholarship, as follows:
"(a.1) As used in this Code section, the term 'dual credit course' shall have the same meaning as in Code Section 20-2-161.3."

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SECTION 3. Said article is further amended by repealing in its entirety Code Section 20-2-159.5, relating to dual credit courses and requirements.

SECTION 4. Said article is further amended by revising subsection (a) of Code Section 20-2-160, relating to determination of enrollment by institutional program and determination of funds to be appropriated, as follows:
"(a) The State Board of Education shall designate the specific dates upon which two counts of students enrolled in each instructional program authorized under this article shall be made each school year and by which the counts shall be reported to the Department of Education. The initial enrollment count shall be made after October 1 but prior to November 17 and the final enrollment count after March 1 but prior to May 1. The report shall indicate the student's specific assigned program for each one-sixth segment of the school day on the designated reporting date. No program shall be indicated for a student for any one-sixth segment of the school day that the student is assigned to a study hall; a noncredit course; a course recognized under this article or by state board policy as an enrichment course, except a driver education course; a course which requires participation in an extracurricular activity for which enrollment is on a competitive basis; a course in which the student serves as a student assistant to a teacher, in a school office, or in the media center, except when such placement is an approved work site of a recognized career, technical, and agricultural education laboratory program; an individual study course for which no outline of course objectives is prepared in writing prior to the beginning of the course; or any other course or activity so designated by the state board. For the purpose of this Code section, the term 'enrichment course' means a course which does not dedicate a major portion of the class time toward the development and enhancement of one or more student competencies as adopted by the state board under Code Section 20-2-140. A program shall not be indicated for a student for any one-sixth segment of the school day for which the student is not enrolled in an instructional program or has not attended a class or classes within the preceding ten days; nor shall a program be indicated for a student for any one-sixth segment of the school day for which the student is charged tuition or fees or is required to provide materials or equipment beyond those authorized pursuant to Code Section 20-2-133. A student who is enrolled in a dual credit course pursuant to Code Section 20-2-161.3 shall be counted for the high school program or other appropriate program for each segment in which the student is attending such dual credit course. The state board shall adopt such regulations and criteria as necessary to ensure objective and true counts of students in state approved instructional programs. The state board shall also establish criteria by which students shall be counted as resident or nonresident students, including specific circumstances which may include, but not be limited to, students attending another local school system under court order or under the terms of a contract between two local school systems. If a local school system has a justifiable reason, it may

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seek authority from the state board to shift full-time equivalent program counts from the designated date to a requested alternate date."

SECTION 5. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved April 30, 2015.

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REVENUE AND TAXATION INCOME TAXES; CREDIT FOR FILM, VIDEO, OR DIGITAL PRODUCTION.

No. 35 (House Bill No. 339).

AN ACT

To amend Article 2 of Chapter 7 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the imposition, rate, and computation of state income taxes, so as to extend the tax credit for film, video, or digital production in this state; to provide for an application process for claiming tax credit; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date and applicability; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Article 2 of Chapter 7 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the imposition, rate, and computation of state income taxes, is amended by revising subsection (e) of Code Section 48-7-40.26, relating to the tax credit for film, video, or digital production in this state, as follows:
"(e)(1) In no event shall the aggregate amount of tax credits allowed under this Code section for qualified interactive entertainment production companies and affiliates exceed $25 million for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2013, and before January 1, 2014. The maximum credit for any qualified interactive entertainment production company and its affiliates shall be $5 million for such taxable year. When the $25 million cap is reached, the tax credit for qualified interactive entertainment production companies shall expire for such taxable years. (2) For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, and before January 1, 2015, the amount of tax credits allowed under this Code section for qualified interactive entertainment production companies and affiliates shall not exceed $12.5 million.

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(3) For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2015, and before January 1, 2016, the amount of tax credits allowed under this Code section for qualified interactive entertainment production companies and affiliates shall not exceed $12.5 million. (4) For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2016, and before January 1, 2019, the amount of tax credits allowed under this Code section for qualified interactive entertainment production companies and affiliates shall not exceed $12.5 million for each taxable year. The tax credits allowed under this Code section for qualified interactive entertainment production companies and affiliates shall not be available for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2019. (5) The maximum allowable credit claimed for any qualified interactive entertainment production company and its affiliates shall not exceed $1.5 million in any single year. (6) Qualified interactive entertainment production companies seeking to claim a tax credit under the provisions of this Code section shall submit an application to the commissioner for preapproval of such tax credit. The commissioner shall be authorized to promulgate any rules and regulations and forms necessary to implement and administer the provisions of this Code section. The commissioner shall preapprove the tax credits based on the order in which properly completed applications were submitted. In the event that two or more applications were submitted on the same day and the amount of funds available will not be sufficient to fully fund the tax credits requested, the commissioner shall prorate the available funds between or among the applicants. (7) No qualified interactive entertainment production company shall be allowed to claim an amount of tax credits under this Code section for any single year in excess of its total aggregate payroll expended to employees working within this state for the calendar year directly preceding the start of the year the qualified interactive entertainment production company claims the tax credits. Any amount in excess of such limit shall not be eligible for carry forward to the succeeding years' tax liability, nor shall such excess amount be eligible for use against the qualified interactive entertainment production company's quarterly or monthly payment under Code Section 48-7-103, nor shall such excess amount be assigned, sold, or transferred to any other taxpayer. (8) Before the Department of Economic Development issues its approval to the qualified interactive entertainment production company for the qualified production activities related to interactive entertainment, the qualified interactive entertainment production company must certify to the department that:
(A) The qualified interactive entertainment production company maintains a business location physically located in this state; and (B) The qualified interactive entertainment production company had expended a total aggregate payroll of $500,000.00 or more for employees working within this state during the calendar year directly preceding the start of the taxable year of the qualified interactive entertainment production company. The department shall issue a certification that the qualified interactive entertainment production company meets the requirements of this paragraph; provided, however, that

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the department shall not issue any certifications before July 1, 2014. The qualified interactive entertainment production company shall provide such certification to the Department of Economic Development. The Department of Economic Development shall not issue its approval until it receives such certification.
(9)(A) For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2016, and before January 1, 2019, the qualified interactive entertainment production company shall report to the Department of Revenue on its Georgia income tax return the monthly average number of full-time employees subject to Georgia income tax withholding for the taxable year as provided in subparagraphs (B) and (C) of this paragraph. For purposes of this paragraph, a full-time employee shall mean a person who performs a job that requires a minimum of 35 hours a week, and pays at or above the average wage earned in the county with the lowest average wage earned in this state, as reported in the most recently available annual issue of the Georgia Employment and Wages Averages Report of the Department of Labor. (B) For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2016, and before January 1, 2017, the qualified interactive entertainment production company shall report such number for such taxable year and separately for each of the prior two taxable years. (C) For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2017, and before January 1, 2019, the qualified interactive entertainment production company shall report such number for each respective taxable year. (D) Notwithstanding Code Sections 48-2-15, 48-7-60, and 48-7-61, for such taxable years, the commissioner shall report yearly to the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Finance Committee. The report shall include the name, tax year beginning, and monthly average number of full-time employees for each qualified interactive entertainment production company. The first report shall be submitted by June 30, 2016, and each year thereafter by June 30."

SECTION 2. This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval and shall be applicable to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2016.

SECTION 3. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved April 30, 2015.

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GENERAL ASSEMBLY JOINT GEORGIA-ALABAMA STUDY COMMITTEE.

No. 36 (House Resolution No. 395).

A RESOLUTION

Creating the Joint Georgia-Alabama Study Committee; and for other purposes.

WHEREAS, the General Assembly desires to promote cooperative working relationships between the State of Georgia and the State of Alabama, our neighbor to the west; and

WHEREAS, the General Assembly desires to foster and encourage good will between the states of Georgia and Alabama; and

WHEREAS, the General Assembly desires to provide a formal means for members of the Georgia House of Representatives, members of the Georgia Senate, and their counterparts from the State of Alabama to discuss and review issues that are common to both states and to seek common solutions to common problems.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:
(1) Creation of joint study committee. There is created the Joint Georgia-Alabama Study Committee. (2) Members and officers.
(A) The committee shall be composed of ten members. (B) The Speaker of the House of Representatives shall appoint five members of the House of Representatives whose districts abut any part of the boundary between the State of Georgia and the State of Alabama as members of the committee and shall designate one of such members as cochairperson. (C) The President of the Senate shall appoint five members of the Senate whose districts abut any part of the boundary between the State of Georgia and the State of Alabama as members of the committee and shall designate one of such members as cochairperson. (3) Powers and duties. The committee shall undertake a study of the conditions, needs, issues, and problems mentioned above or related thereto and recommend any action or legislation which the committee deems necessary or appropriate. To the extent practical, the committee shall coordinate its efforts with its counterpart committee from the legislature of the State of Alabama. (4) Meetings. The cochairpersons shall call all meetings of the committee. The committee may conduct such meetings at such places and at such times as it may deem

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necessary or convenient to enable it to exercise fully and effectively its powers, perform its duties, and accomplish the objectives and purposes of this resolution. (5) Allowances and funding.
(A) The legislative members of the committee shall receive the allowances provided for in Code Section 28-1-8 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated. (B) The allowances authorized by this resolution shall not be received by any member of the committee for more than five days annually unless additional days are authorized. Funds necessary to carry out the provisions of this resolution shall come from funds appropriated to the House of Representatives and Senate. (6) Report. (A) In the event the committee adopts any specific findings or recommendations that include suggestions for proposed legislation, the cochairpersons shall file a report of the same prior to the date of abolishment specified in this resolution, subject to subparagraph (C) of this paragraph. (B) In the event the committee adopts a report that does not include suggestions for proposed legislation, the cochairpersons shall file the report, subject to subparagraph (C) of this paragraph. (C) No report shall be filed unless the same has been approved prior to the date of abolishment specified in this resolution by majority vote of a quorum of the committee. A report so approved shall be signed by the cochairpersons of the committee and filed with the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of the Senate. (D) In the absence of an approved report, the cochairpersons may file with the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of the Senate copies of the minutes of the meetings of the committee in lieu thereof. (7) Abolishment. The committee shall stand abolished on December 1, 2016.

Approved April 30, 2015.

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STATE GOVERNMENT DESIGNATE WHITE-TAILED DEER AS OFFICIAL STATE MAMMAL.

No. 37 (House Bill No. 70).

AN ACT

To amend Article 3 of Chapter 3 of Title 50 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to state symbols, so as to designate the white-tailed deer as the official state mammal; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

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BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Article 3 of Chapter 3 of Title 50 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to state symbols, is amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"50-3-87. The white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) is designated as the official Georgia state mammal."

SECTION 2. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved April 30, 2015.

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STATE PROPERTY GRANT OF NONEXCLUSIVE EASEMENTS.

No. 38 (Senate Resolution No. 267).

A RESOLUTION

Authorizing the granting of nonexclusive easements for the construction, operation, and maintenance of facilities, utilities, roads, and ingress and egress in, on, over, under, upon, across, or through property owned by the State of Georgia in the counties of Baldwin, Barrow, Bartow, Chatham, Clarke, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Floyd, Fulton, Gordon, Houston, Laurens, Liberty, Lowndes, Macon, McIntosh, Meriwether, Newton, Polk, Richmond, Troup, Walton, and Wayne; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

WHEREAS, the State of Georgia is the owner of certain real property located in the counties of Baldwin, Barrow, Bartow, Chatham, Clarke, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Floyd, Fulton, Gordon, Houston, Laurens, Liberty, Lowndes, Macon, McIntosh, Meriwether, Newton, Polk, Richmond, Troup, Walton, and Wayne; and

WHEREAS, Atlanta Gas Light Company; the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia; the City of Dublin; the City of Valdosta; Coastal Electric Cooperative; the Corley family; CorrectHealth; the Georgia Department of Transportation; Georgia Power Company; Flint Electric Membership Corporation; Fulton County; Okefenokee Rural Electric Membership Corporation; Walton Electric Membership Corporation; and various utility

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companies desire to operate and maintain facilities, utilities, roads, and ingress and egress in, on, over, under, upon, across, or through a portion of said property; and

WHEREAS, these nonexclusive easements, facilities, utilities, roads, and ingress and egress in, on, over, under, upon, across, or through the above described state property have been requested or approved by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, Department of Corrections, Department of Defense, Department of Natural Resources, Technical College System of Georgia, and State Properties Commission.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED AND ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

ARTICLE I SECTION 1.

That the State of Georgia is the owner of the hereinafter described real property lying and being in Land Lots 259, 260, 287, and 288, 1st Land District, City of Milledgeville, Baldwin County, Georgia, and that the property is in the custody of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities and the Department of Corrections, which on May 2, 2013, declared Bostick State Prison surplus to its needs. On June 27, 2013, the State Properties Commission approved the 2013 Resolution Act 313 (H.R. 205) authorizing conveyance of the property and sale by competitive bid. The bid was opened on August 6, 2013, and the State Properties Commission approved the bid from CorrectHealth GDC, LLC, on October 10, 2013. The Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities and the Department of Corrections do not object to the granting of this easement, hereinafter referred to as the easement area, and that, in all matters relating to the easement area, the State of Georgia is acting by and through its State Properties Commission.

SECTION 2. That the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, may grant to CorrectHealth GDC, LLC, or its successors and assigns, a nonexclusive easement area for ingress and egress. Said easement area is located on the former Central State Hospital campus, located in Baldwin County, and is more particularly described as follows:
That approximately 3.68 acres, lying and being in the Land Lots 259, 260, 287, and 288, 1st Land District, City of Milledgeville, Baldwin County, Georgia, and that portion only as shown on a plat of survey, and being on file in the offices of the State Properties Commission, and may be more particularly described by a plat of survey prepared by a Georgia registered land surveyor and presented to the State Properties Commission for approval.

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SECTION 3. That the above described premises shall be used solely for the purposes of ingress and egress over the easement area.

SECTION 4. That CorrectHealth GDC, LLC, shall, with the permission of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, have the right to remove or cause to be removed from said easement area only such trees and bushes as may be reasonably necessary for the easement area.

SECTION 5. That, after CorrectHealth GDC, LLC, has put into use the easement area this easement is granted for, a subsequent abandonment of the use thereof shall cause a reversion to the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns, of all the rights, title, privileges, powers, and easement granted herein. Upon abandonment, CorrectHealth GDC, LLC, or its successors and assigns, shall have the option of removing any facilities from the easement area or leaving the same in place, in which event the easement area and any facilities shall become the property of the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns.

SECTION 6. That no title shall be conveyed to CorrectHealth GDC, LLC, and, except as herein specifically granted to CorrectHealth GDC, LLC, all rights, title, and interest in and to said easement area is reserved in the State of Georgia, which may make any use of said easement area not inconsistent with or detrimental to the rights, privileges, and interest granted to CorrectHealth GDC, LLC.

SECTION 7. That if the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, determines that any or all of the facilities placed on the easement area should be removed or relocated to an alternate site on state owned land in order to avoid interference with the state's use or intended use of the easement area, it may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement to allow placement of the removed or relocated facilities across the alternate site under such terms and conditions as the State Properties Commission shall in its discretion determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia, and CorrectHealth GDC, LLC, shall remove or relocate its facilities to the alternate easement area at its sole cost and expense, unless the State Properties Commission determines that the requested removal or relocation is to be for the sole benefit of the State of Georgia and the grantee provides, and the State Properties Commission receives and approves, in advance of any construction being commenced, a written estimate for the cost of such removal and relocation. Upon written request from the grantee or any third party, the State Properties Commission, in its sole discretion, may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement within the property

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for the relocation of the facilities without cost, expense, or reimbursement from the State of Georgia.

SECTION 8. That the easement granted to CorrectHealth GDC, LLC, shall contain such other reasonable terms, conditions, and covenants as the State Properties Commission shall deem to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia and that the State Properties Commission is authorized to use a more accurate description of the easement area, so long as the description utilized by the State Properties Commission describes the same easement area herein granted.

SECTION 9. That this resolution does not affect and is not intended to affect any rights, powers, interest, or liability of the Georgia Department of Transportation with respect to the state highway system, of a county with respect to the county road system, or of a municipality with respect to the city street system. The grantee shall obtain any and all other required permits from the appropriate governmental agencies as are necessary for its lawful use of the easement area or public highway right of way and comply with all applicable state and federal environmental statutes in its use of the easement area.

SECTION 10. That the consideration for such easement shall be $650.00 and such further consideration and provisions as the State Properties Commission may determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia.

SECTION 11. That this grant of easement shall be recorded by the grantee in the Superior Court of Baldwin County and a recorded copy shall promptly be forwarded to the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 12. That the authorization in this resolution to grant the above described easement to CorrectHealth GDC, LLC, shall expire three years after the date that this resolution is enacted into law and approved by the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 13. That the State Properties Commission is authorized and empowered to do all acts and things necessary and proper to effect the grant of the easement area.

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ARTICLE II SECTION 14.

That the State of Georgia is the owner in fee simple of certain real property having approximately 4,153 acres, commonly known as Central State Campus in Baldwin County, Georgia, as described on that March 16, 2011, drawing entitled "Central State Campus," and that the property is in the custody of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, which operates an electrical power grid that currently serves various properties at Central State Campus in custody of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, the Department of Corrections, the Georgia Forestry Commission, the Department of Veterans Services, and the Department of Driver Services, and which by official action does not object to the granting of an easement, hereinafter referred to as the easement area, and that, in all matters relating to the easement area, the State of Georgia is acting by and through its State Properties Commission.

SECTION 15. That the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, may grant to Georgia Power Company, or its successors and assigns, a nonexclusive easement for the operation and maintenance of the electrical power grid, including any transmission lines and associated equipment, together with the right of ingress and egress over the above described property owned by the State of Georgia to serve Central State Campus.

SECTION 16. That the installation of any new transmission line or associated equipment on any state property within the easement area by Georgia Power Company shall require advance approval from the affected custodial agency. A survey prepared and signed by a licensed surveyor in the State of Georgia or an engineered drawing prepared by a licensed engineer shall accompany the installation of any new transmission line or associated equipment, including upgrades or replacements of the electrical power grid.

SECTION 17. That the above described premises shall be used solely for the purpose of the installation, operation, and maintenance of an electrical power grid, electrical transmission lines, and associated equipment.

SECTION 18. That, after Georgia Power Company has put into use the transmission lines and associated equipment this easement is granted for, a subsequent abandonment of the use thereof shall cause a reversion to the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns, of all the rights, title, privileges, powers, and easement granted herein. Upon abandonment, Georgia Power Company, or its successors and assigns, shall have the option of removing its facilities from

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the easement area or leaving the same in place, in which event the transmission lines and any associated equipment shall become the property of the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns.

SECTION 19. That no title shall be conveyed to Georgia Power Company and, except as herein specifically granted to Georgia Power Company, all rights, title, and interest in and to said easement area are reserved in the State of Georgia, which may make any use of said easement area not inconsistent with or detrimental to the rights, privileges, and interest granted to Georgia Power Company.

SECTION 20. That if the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, determines that any or all of the facilities placed on the easement area should be removed or relocated to an alternate site on state owned land in order to avoid interference with the state's use or intended use of the easement area, it may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement to allow placement of the removed or relocated facilities across the alternate site under such terms and conditions as the State Properties Commission shall in its discretion determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia, and Georgia Power Company shall remove or relocate its facilities to the alternate easement area at its sole cost and expense, unless the State Properties Commission determines that the requested removal or relocation is to be for the sole benefit of the State of Georgia and the grantee provides, and the State Properties Commission receives and approves, in advance of any construction being commenced, a written estimate for the cost of such removal and relocation. Upon written request from the grantee or any third party, the State Properties Commission, in its sole discretion, may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement within the property for the relocation of the facilities without cost, expense, or reimbursement from the State of Georgia. In either event, Georgia Power Company shall quitclaim to the state its interest in the former easement area, which shall not require other approval for the State of Georgia to accept.

SECTION 21. That the easement granted to Georgia Power Company shall contain such other reasonable terms, conditions, and covenants as the State Properties Commission shall deem to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia, and that the State Properties Commission is authorized to use a more accurate description of the easement area, so long as the description utilized by the State Properties Commission describes the same easement area herein granted.

SECTION 22. That this resolution does not affect and is not intended to affect any rights, powers, interest, or liability of the Georgia Department of Transportation with respect to the state highway

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system, of a county with respect to the county road system, or of a municipality with respect to the city street system. The grantee shall obtain any and all other required permits from the appropriate governmental agencies as are necessary for its lawful use of the easement area or public highway right of way and comply with all applicable state and federal environmental statutes in its use of the easement area.

SECTION 23. That the consideration for such easement shall be that Georgia Power Company will operate and maintain the electrical power grid, transmission lines, and associated equipment at Central State Campus and any such further consideration and provisions as the State Properties Commission shall deem to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia. Prior to the granting of the easement, an agreement shall be executed concerning the operation and maintenance of the existing and any new power grid, transmission line, or associated equipment between Georgia Power Company and the affected custodial agencies. The Central State Campus electrical power grid, including transmission lines and associated equipment, shall be conveyed from the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities to the Georgia Power Company in a separate agreement.

SECTION 24. That this grant of easement shall be recorded by the grantee in the Superior Court of Baldwin County and a recorded copy shall be promptly forwarded to the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 25. That the authorization in this resolution to grant the above described easement to Georgia Power Company shall expire three years after the date that this resolution is enacted into law and approved by the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 26. That the State Properties Commission is authorized and empowered to do all acts and things necessary and proper to effect the grant of the easement area.

ARTICLE III SECTION 27.

That the State of Georgia is the owner of the hereinafter described real property lying and being in the 243rd District, G.M., Barrow County, Georgia, commonly known as Fort Yargo State Park, and that the property is in the custody of the Department of Natural Resources, which by official action dated August 26, 2014, did not object to the granting of an easement, hereinafter referred to as the easement area, and that, in all matters relating to the easement area, the State of Georgia is acting by and through its State Properties Commission.

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SECTION 28. That the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, may grant to Georgia Power Company, or its successors and assigns, a nonexclusive easement to construct, install, and maintain underground distribution lines and associated equipment to serve the new camper cabins at Fort Yargo State Park. Said easement area is located in Barrow County and is more particularly described as follows:
That approximately 1.0 acre, lying and being in the 243rd District, G.M., Barrow County, Georgia, and that portion only as shown on a drawing furnished by Georgia Power Company, and being on file in the offices of the State Properties Commission, and may be more particularly described by a plat of survey prepared by a Georgia registered land surveyor and presented to the State Properties Commission for approval.

SECTION 29. That the above described premises shall be used solely for the purpose of installing, operating, and maintaining underground distribution lines and associated equipment.

SECTION 30. That Georgia Power Company shall have the right to remove or cause to be removed from said easement area only such trees and bushes as may be reasonably necessary for the proper installation, operation, and maintenance of said distribution lines and associated equipment.

SECTION 31. That, after Georgia Power Company has put into use the distribution lines and associated equipment this easement is granted for, a subsequent abandonment of the use thereof shall cause a reversion to the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns, of all the rights, title, privileges, powers, and easement granted herein. Upon abandonment, Georgia Power Company, or its successors and assigns, shall have the option of removing its facilities from the easement area or leaving the same in place, in which event the distribution lines and associated equipment shall become the property of the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns.

SECTION 32. That no title shall be conveyed to Georgia Power Company and, except as herein specifically granted to Georgia Power Company, all rights, title, and interest in and to said easement area is reserved in the State of Georgia, which may make any use of said easement area not inconsistent with or detrimental to the rights, privileges, and interest granted to Georgia Power Company.

SECTION 33. That if the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, determines that any or all of the facilities placed on the easement area should be removed or

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relocated to an alternate site on state owned land in order to avoid interference with the state's use or intended use of the easement area, it may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement to allow placement of the removed or relocated facilities across the alternate site under such terms and conditions as the State Properties Commission shall in its discretion determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia, and Georgia Power Company shall remove or relocate its facilities to the alternate easement area at its sole cost and expense, unless the State Properties Commission determines that the requested removal or relocation is to be for the sole benefit of the State of Georgia and the grantee provides, and the State Properties Commission receives and approves, in advance of any construction being commenced, a written estimate for the cost of such removal and relocation. Upon written request from the grantee or any third party, the State Properties Commission, in its sole discretion, may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement within the property for the relocation of the facilities without cost, expense, or reimbursement from the State of Georgia.

SECTION 34. That the easement granted to Georgia Power Company shall contain such other reasonable terms, conditions, and covenants as the State Properties Commission shall deem to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia and that the State Properties Commission is authorized to use a more accurate description of the easement area, so long as the description utilized by the State Properties Commission describes the same easement area herein granted.

SECTION 35. That this resolution does not affect and is not intended to affect any rights, powers, interest, or liability of the Georgia Department of Transportation with respect to the state highway system, of a county with respect to the county road system, or of a municipality with respect to the city street system. The grantee shall obtain any and all other required permits from the appropriate governmental agencies as are necessary for its lawful use of the easement area or public highway right of way and comply with all applicable state and federal environmental statutes in its use of the easement area.

SECTION 36. That, given the public purpose of the project, the consideration for such easement shall be $10.00 and such further consideration and provisions as the State Properties Commission may determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia.

SECTION 37. That this grant of easement shall be recorded by the grantee in the Superior Court of Barrow County and a recorded copy shall be promptly forwarded to the State Properties Commission.

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SECTION 38. That the authorization in this resolution to grant the above described easement to Georgia Power Company shall expire three years after the date that this resolution is enacted into law and approved by the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 39. That the State Properties Commission is authorized and empowered to do all acts and things necessary and proper to effect the grant of the easement area.

ARTICLE IV SECTION 40.

That the State of Georgia is the owner of the hereinafter described improved property lying and being in Bartow County, Georgia, commonly known as the Western and Atlantic Railroad, and that the property is in the custody of the State Properties Commission, which does not object to the granting of this easement, hereinafter referred to as the easement area, and that, in all matters relating to the easement area, the State of Georgia is acting by and through its State Properties Commission.

SECTION 41. That the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, may grant to the Georgia Department of Transportation, or its successors and assigns, a nonexclusive easement area over the property to construct and maintain a bridge and road to widen SR 140 from SR 53 to SR 3/US 41 in Bartow County. Said easement area is located in Bartow County and is more particularly described as follows:
That approximately 0.548 acre lying and being in Bartow County, Georgia, commonly known as the Western and Atlantic Railroad and that portion as shown on GDOT ROW Plans PI No. 621505, and being on file in the offices of the State Properties Commission, and may be more particularly described by a plat of survey prepared by a Georgia registered land surveyor and presented to the State Properties Commission for approval.

SECTION 42. That the above described premises shall be used solely for the purpose of road widening and the construction and maintenance of a bridge in the easement area.

SECTION 43. That the Georgia Department of Transportation shall have the right to remove or cause to be removed from the easement area only such trees and bushes as may be reasonably necessary for the proper installation, operation, and maintenance purposes in the easement area.

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SECTION 44. That, after the Georgia Department of Transportation has put into use the easement area this easement is granted for, a subsequent abandonment of the use thereof shall cause a reversion to the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns, of all the rights, title, privileges, powers, and easement granted herein. Upon abandonment, the Georgia Department of Transportation, or its successors and assigns, shall have the option of removing its facilities from the easement area or leaving the same in place, in which event the bridge and road and any equipment shall become the property of the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns.

SECTION 45. That no title shall be conveyed to the Georgia Department of Transportation and, except as herein specifically granted to the Georgia Department of Transportation, all rights, title, and interest in and to said easement area is reserved in the State of Georgia, which may make any use of said easement area not inconsistent with or detrimental to the rights, privileges, and interest granted to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

SECTION 46. That if the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, determines that any or all of the facilities placed on the easement area should be removed or relocated to an alternate site on state owned land in order to avoid interference with the state's use or intended use of the easement area, it may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement to allow placement of the removed or relocated facilities across the alternate site under such terms and conditions as the State Properties Commission shall in its discretion determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia, and the Georgia Department of Transportation shall remove or relocate its facilities to the alternate easement area at its sole cost and expense, unless the State Properties Commission determines that the requested removal or relocation is to be for the sole benefit of the State of Georgia and the grantee provides, and the State Properties Commission receives and approves, in advance of any construction being commenced, a written estimate for the cost of such removal and relocation. Upon written request from the grantee or any third party, the State Properties Commission, in its sole discretion, may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement within the property for the relocation of the facilities without cost, expense, or reimbursement from the State of Georgia.

SECTION 47. That the easement granted to the Georgia Department of Transportation shall contain such other reasonable terms, conditions, and covenants as the State Properties Commission shall deem to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia and that the State Properties Commission is authorized to use a more accurate description of the easement area, so long

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as the description utilized by the State Properties Commission describes the same easement area herein granted.

SECTION 48. That this resolution does not affect and is not intended to affect any rights, powers, interest, or liability of the Georgia Department of Transportation with respect to the state highway system, of a county with respect to the county road system, or of a municipality with respect to the city street system. The grantee shall obtain any and all other required permits from the appropriate governmental agencies as are necessary for its lawful use of the easement area or public highway right of way and comply with all applicable state and federal environmental statutes in its use of the easement area.

SECTION 49. That, given the public purpose of the project, the consideration for such easement shall be $10.00 and such further consideration and provisions as the State Properties Commission may determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia.

SECTION 50. That this grant of easement shall be recorded by the grantee in the Superior Court of Bartow County and a recorded copy shall promptly be forwarded to the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 51. That the authorization in this resolution to grant the above described easement to the Georgia Department of Transportation shall expire three years after the date that this resolution is enacted into law and approved by the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 52. That the State Properties Commission is authorized and empowered to do all acts and things necessary and proper to effect the grant of the easement area.

ARTICLE V SECTION 53.

That the State of Georgia is the owner of the hereinafter described real property lying and being in Land Lots 1240 and 1281, 21st Land District, Bartow County, Georgia, commonly known as North Metro Campus of Chattahoochee Technical College, and that the property is in the custody of the Technical College System of Georgia, which by official action dated February 6, 2014, did not object to the granting of this easement, hereinafter referred to as the easement area, and that, in all matters relating to the easement area, the State of Georgia is acting by and through its State Properties Commission.

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SECTION 54. That the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, may grant to Atlanta Gas Light Company, or its successors and assigns, a nonexclusive easement area to construct, install, and maintain underground gas distribution lines and associated equipment to serve the campus of North Metro Campus of Chattahoochee Technical College. Said easement area is located in Bartow County and is more particularly described as follows:
That approximately 0.57 acre, lying and being in the Land Lots 1240 and 1281, 21st Land District, Bartow County, Georgia, and that portion only as shown on a drawing furnished by the Technical College System of Georgia, and being on file in the offices of the State Properties Commission, and may be more particularly described by a plat of survey prepared by a Georgia registered land surveyor and presented to the State Properties Commission for approval.

SECTION 55. That the above described premises shall be used solely for the purpose of installing, operating, and maintaining underground gas distribution lines and associated equipment.

SECTION 56. That Atlanta Gas Light Company shall have the right to remove or cause to be removed from said easement area only such trees and bushes as may be reasonably necessary for the proper installation, operation, and maintenance of said gas distribution lines and associated equipment.

SECTION 57. That, after Atlanta Gas Light Company has put into use the gas distribution lines and associated equipment this easement is granted for, a subsequent abandonment of the use thereof shall cause a reversion to the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns, of all the rights, title, privileges, powers, and easement granted herein. Upon abandonment, Atlanta Gas Light Company, or its successors and assigns, shall have the option of removing its facilities from the easement area or leaving the same in place, in which event the gas distribution lines and associated equipment shall become the property of the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns.

SECTION 58. That no title shall be conveyed to Atlanta Gas Light Company and, except as herein specifically granted to Atlanta Gas Light Company, all rights, title, and interest in and to said easement area is reserved in the State of Georgia, which may make any use of said easement area not inconsistent with or detrimental to the rights, privileges, and interest granted to Atlanta Gas Light Company.

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SECTION 59. That if the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, determines that any or all of the facilities placed on the easement area should be removed or relocated to an alternate site on state owned land in order to avoid interference with the state's use or intended use of the easement area, it may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement to allow placement of the removed or relocated facilities across the alternate site under such terms and conditions as the State Properties Commission shall in its discretion determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia, and Atlanta Gas Light Company shall remove or relocate its facilities to the alternate easement area at its sole cost and expense, unless the State Properties Commission determines that the requested removal or relocation is to be for the sole benefit of the State of Georgia and the grantee provides, and the State Properties Commission receives and approves, in advance of any construction being commenced, a written estimate for the cost of such removal and relocation. Upon written request from the grantee or any third party, the State Properties Commission, in its sole discretion, may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement within the property for the relocation of the facilities without cost, expense, or reimbursement from the State of Georgia.

SECTION 60. That the easement granted to Atlanta Gas Light shall contain such other reasonable terms, conditions, and covenants as the State Properties Commission shall deem to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia and that the State Properties Commission is authorized to use a more accurate description of the easement area, so long as the description utilized by the State Properties Commission describes the same easement area herein granted.

SECTION 61. That this resolution does not affect and is not intended to affect any rights, powers, interest, or liability of the Georgia Department of Transportation with respect to the state highway system, of a county with respect to the county road system, or of a municipality with respect to the city street system. The grantee shall obtain any and all other required permits from the appropriate governmental agencies as are necessary for its lawful use of the easement area or public highway right of way and comply with all applicable state and federal environmental statutes in its use of the easement area.

SECTION 62. That, given the public purpose of the project, the consideration for such easement shall be $10.00 and such further consideration and provisions as the State Properties Commission may determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia.

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SECTION 63. That this grant of easement shall be recorded by the grantee in the Superior Court of Bartow County and a recorded copy shall promptly be forwarded to the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 64. That the authorization in this resolution to grant the above described easement to Atlanta Gas Light Company shall expire three years after the date that this resolution is enacted into law and approved by the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 65. That the State Properties Commission is authorized and empowered to do all acts and things necessary and proper to effect the grant of the easement area.

ARTICLE VI SECTION 66.

That the State of Georgia is the owner of the hereinafter described real property lying and being in 4th District, G.M., Chatham County, Georgia, commonly known as Savannah Technical College, and that the property is in the custody of the Technical College System of Georgia, which by official action dated February 6, 2014, did not object to the granting of this easement, hereinafter referred to as the easement area, and that, in all matters relating to the easement area, the State of Georgia is acting by and through its State Properties Commission.

SECTION 67. That the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, may grant to Atlanta Gas Light Company, or its successors and assigns, a nonexclusive easement area to construct, install, and maintain underground gas distribution lines and associated equipment to serve the campus of Savannah Technical College. Said easement area is located in Chatham County and is more particularly described as follows:
That approximately 4.26 acres, lying and being in the 4th District, G.M., Chatham County, Georgia, and that portion only as shown on a drawing furnished by the Technical College System of Georgia, and being on file in the offices of the State Properties Commission, and may be more particularly described by a plat of survey prepared by a Georgia registered land surveyor and presented to the State Properties Commission for approval.

SECTION 68. That the above described premises shall be used solely for the purpose of installing, operating, and maintaining underground gas distribution lines and associated equipment.

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SECTION 69. That Atlanta Gas Light Company shall have the right to remove or cause to be removed from said easement area only such trees and bushes as may be reasonably necessary for the proper installation, operation, and maintenance of said gas distribution lines and associated equipment.

SECTION 70. That, after Atlanta Gas Light Company has put into use the gas distribution lines and associated equipment this easement is granted for, a subsequent abandonment of the use thereof shall cause a reversion to the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns, of all the rights, title, privileges, powers, and easement granted herein. Upon abandonment, Atlanta Gas Light Company, or its successors and assigns, shall have the option of removing its facilities from the easement area or leaving the same in place, in which event the gas distribution lines and associated equipment shall become the property of the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns.

SECTION 71. That no title shall be conveyed to Atlanta Gas Light Company and, except as herein specifically granted to Atlanta Gas Light Company, all rights, title, and interest in and to said easement area is reserved in the State of Georgia, which may make any use of said easement area not inconsistent with or detrimental to the rights, privileges, and interest granted to Atlanta Gas Light Company.

SECTION 72. That if the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, determines that any or all of the facilities placed on the easement area should be removed or relocated to an alternate site on state owned land in order to avoid interference with the state's use or intended use of the easement area, it may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement to allow placement of the removed or relocated facilities across the alternate site under such terms and conditions as the State Properties Commission shall in its discretion determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia, and Atlanta Gas Light Company shall remove or relocate its facilities to the alternate easement area at its sole cost and expense, unless the State Properties Commission determines that the requested removal or relocation is to be for the sole benefit of the State of Georgia and the grantee provides, and the State Properties Commission receives and approves, in advance of any construction being commenced, a written estimate for the cost of such removal and relocation. Upon written request from the grantee or any third party, the State Properties Commission, in its sole discretion, may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement within the property for the relocation of the facilities without cost, expense, or reimbursement from the State of Georgia.

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SECTION 73. That the easement granted to Atlanta Gas Light shall contain such other reasonable terms, conditions, and covenants as the State Properties Commission shall deem to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia and that the State Properties Commission is authorized to use a more accurate description of the easement area, so long as the description utilized by the State Properties Commission describes the same easement area herein granted.

SECTION 74. That this resolution does not affect and is not intended to affect any rights, powers, interest, or liability of the Georgia Department of Transportation with respect to the state highway system, of a county with respect to the county road system, or of a municipality with respect to the city street system. The grantee shall obtain any and all other required permits from the appropriate governmental agencies as are necessary for its lawful use of the easement area or public highway right of way and comply with all applicable state and federal environmental statutes in its use of the easement area.

SECTION 75. That, given the public purpose of the project, the consideration for such easement shall be $10.00 and such further consideration and provisions as the State Properties Commission may determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia.

SECTION 76. That this grant of easement shall be recorded by the grantee in the Superior Court of Chatham County and a recorded copy shall promptly be forwarded to the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 77. That the authorization in this resolution to grant the above described easement to Atlanta Gas Light Company shall expire three years after the date that this resolution is enacted into law and approved by the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 78. That the State Properties Commission is authorized and empowered to do all acts and things necessary and proper to effect the grant of the easement area.

ARTICLE VII SECTION 79.

That the State of Georgia is the owner of the hereinafter described real property lying and being in the 216th District, G.M., City of Athens, Clarke County, Georgia, commonly known as the Athens Day Reporting Center, and that the property is in the custody of the

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Department of Corrections, which by official action dated October 2, 2014, did not object to the granting of this easement, hereinafter referred to as the easement area, and that, in all matters relating to the easement area, the State of Georgia is acting by and through its State Properties Commission.

SECTION 80. That the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, may grant to Georgia Power Company, or its successors and assigns, a nonexclusive easement area for the installation, operation, and maintenance of underground electrical lines and associated equipment. Said easement area is located on Old Epps Bridge Road in Clarke County and is more particularly described as follows:
That approximately 0.09 acre, lying and being in Land Lot 216th District, G.M., Clarke County, Georgia, and that portion only as shown on a survey titled: "Underground Distribution Line Easement Survey," and being on file in the offices of the State Properties Commission, and may be more particularly described by a plat of survey prepared by a Georgia registered land surveyor and presented to the State Properties Commission for approval.

SECTION 81. That the above described premises shall be used solely for the installation, operation, and maintenance of underground electrical lines and associated equipment.

SECTION 82. That Georgia Power Company shall have the right to remove or cause to be removed from said easement area only such trees and bushes as may be reasonably necessary for the proper installation, operation, and maintenance of said underground electrical lines and associated equipment.

SECTION 83. That, after Georgia Power Company has put into use the underground electrical lines and associated equipment this easement is granted for, a subsequent abandonment of the use thereof shall cause a reversion to the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns, of all the rights, title, privileges, powers, and easement granted herein. Upon abandonment, Georgia Power Company, or its successors and assigns, shall have the option of removing its facilities from the easement area or leaving the same in place, in which event the electrical lines and associated equipment shall become the property of the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns.

SECTION 84. That no title shall be conveyed to Georgia Power Company and, except as herein specifically granted to Georgia Power Company, all rights, title, and interest in and to said easement area

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is reserved in the State of Georgia, which may make any use of said easement area not inconsistent with or detrimental to the rights, privileges, and interest granted to Georgia Power Company.

SECTION 85. That if the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, determines that any or all of the facilities placed on the easement area should be removed or relocated to an alternate site on state owned land in order to avoid interference with the state's use or intended use of the easement area, it may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement to allow placement of the removed or relocated facilities across the alternate site under such terms and conditions as the State Properties Commission shall in its discretion determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia, and Georgia Power Company shall remove or relocate its facilities to the alternate easement area at its sole cost and expense, unless the State Properties Commission determines that the requested removal or relocation is to be for the sole benefit of the State of Georgia and the grantee provides, and the State Properties Commission receives and approves, in advance of any construction being commenced, a written estimate for the cost of such removal and relocation. Upon written request from the grantee or any third party, the State Properties Commission, in its sole discretion, may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement within the property for the relocation of the facilities without cost, expense, or reimbursement from the State of Georgia.

SECTION 86. That the easement granted to Georgia Power Company shall contain such other reasonable terms, conditions, and covenants as the State Properties Commission shall deem to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia and that the State Properties Commission is authorized to use a more accurate description of the easement area, so long as the description utilized by the State Properties Commission describes the same easement area herein granted.

SECTION 87. That this resolution does not affect and is not intended to affect any rights, powers, interest, or liability of the Georgia Department of Transportation with respect to the state highway system, of a county with respect to the county road system, or of a municipality with respect to the city street system. The grantee shall obtain any and all other required permits from the appropriate governmental agencies as are necessary for its lawful use of the easement area or public highway right of way and comply with all applicable state and federal environmental statutes in its use of the easement area.

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SECTION 88. That the consideration for such easement shall be $650.00 and such further consideration and provisions as the State Properties Commission may determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia.

SECTION 89. That this grant of easement shall be recorded by the grantee in the Superior Court of Clarke County and a recorded copy shall promptly be forwarded to the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 90. That the authorization in this resolution to grant the above described easement to Georgia Power Company shall expire three years after the date that this resolution is enacted into law and approved by the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 91. That the State Properties Commission is authorized and empowered to do all acts and things necessary and proper to effect the grant of the easement area.

ARTICLE VIII SECTION 92.

That the State of Georgia is the owner of the hereinafter described real property lying and being in Land Lot 53 of the 10th Land District, Clayton County, Georgia, commonly known as the Atlanta State Farmers Market, and that the property is in the custody of the Department of Agriculture, which by official action dated September 17, 2014, the Commissioner did not object to the granting of this easement, hereinafter referred to as the easement area, and that, in all matters relating to the easement area, the State of Georgia is acting by and through its State Properties Commission.

SECTION 93. That the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, may grant to Georgia Power Company, or its successors and assigns, a nonexclusive easement area for the installation, operation, and maintenance of underground electrical lines and associated equipment. Said easement area is located at the Atlanta State Farmers Market in Clayton County and is more particularly described as follows:
That approximately 0.251 acre, lying and being in Land Lot 53 of the 10th Land District, Clayton County, Georgia, and that portion only as shown on a drawing furnished by Georgia Power Company, and being on file in the offices of the State Properties Commission, and may be more particularly described by a plat of survey prepared by a Georgia registered land surveyor and presented to the State Properties Commission for approval.

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SECTION 94. That the above described premises shall be used solely for the installation, operation, and maintenance of underground electrical lines and associated equipment.

SECTION 95. That Georgia Power Company shall have the right to remove or cause to be removed from said easement area only such trees and bushes as may be reasonably necessary for the proper installation, operation, and maintenance of said underground electrical lines and associated equipment.

SECTION 96. That, after Georgia Power Company has put into use the underground electrical lines and associated equipment this easement is granted for, a subsequent abandonment of the use thereof shall cause a reversion to the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns, of all the rights, title, privileges, powers, and easement granted herein. Upon abandonment, Georgia Power Company, or its successors and assigns, shall have the option of removing its facilities from the easement area or leaving the same in place, in which event the electrical lines and associated equipment shall become the property of the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns.

SECTION 97. That no title shall be conveyed to Georgia Power Company and, except as herein specifically granted to Georgia Power Company, all rights, title, and interest in and to said easement area is reserved in the State of Georgia, which may make any use of said easement area not inconsistent with or detrimental to the rights, privileges, and interest granted to Georgia Power Company.

SECTION 98. That if the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, determines that any or all of the facilities placed on the easement area should be removed or relocated to an alternate site on state owned land in order to avoid interference with the state's use or intended use of the easement area, it may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement to allow placement of the removed or relocated facilities across the alternate site under such terms and conditions as the State Properties Commission shall in its discretion determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia, and Georgia Power Company shall remove or relocate its facilities to the alternate easement area at its sole cost and expense, unless the State Properties Commission determines that the requested removal or relocation is to be for the sole benefit of the State of Georgia and the grantee provides, and the State Properties Commission receives and approves, in advance of any construction being commenced, a written estimate for the cost of such removal and relocation. Upon written request from the grantee or any third party, the State Properties Commission, in its sole

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discretion, may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement within the property for the relocation of the facilities without cost, expense, or reimbursement from the State of Georgia.

SECTION 99. That the easement granted to Georgia Power Company shall contain such other reasonable terms, conditions, and covenants as the State Properties Commission shall deem to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia and that the State Properties Commission is authorized to use a more accurate description of the easement area, so long as the description utilized by the State Properties Commission describes the same easement area herein granted.

SECTION 100. That this resolution does not affect and is not intended to affect any rights, powers, interest, or liability of the Georgia Department of Transportation with respect to the state highway system, of a county with respect to the county road system, or of a municipality with respect to the city street system. The grantee shall obtain any and all other required permits from the appropriate governmental agencies as are necessary for its lawful use of the easement area or public highway right of way and comply with all applicable state and federal environmental statutes in its use of the easement area.

SECTION 101. That, given the public purpose of the project, the consideration for such easement shall be $10.00 and such further consideration and provisions as the State Properties Commission may determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia.

SECTION 102. That this grant of easement shall be recorded by the grantee in the Superior Court of Clayton County and a recorded copy shall be promptly forwarded to the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 103. That the authorization in this resolution to grant the above described easement to Georgia Power Company shall expire three years after the date that this resolution is enacted into law and approved by the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 104. That the State Properties Commission is authorized and empowered to do all acts and things necessary and proper to effect the grant of the easement area.

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ARTICLE IX SECTION 105.

That the State of Georgia is the owner of the hereinafter described real property lying and being in Land Lot 168 of the 20th Land District, 2nd Section, Cobb County, Georgia, commonly known as the Kennesaw Armory, and that the property is in the custody of the Department of Defense, which by official action dated October 6, 2014, the Adjutant General did not object to the granting of this easement, hereinafter referred to as the easement area, and that, in all matters relating to the easement area, the State of Georgia is acting by and through its State Properties Commission.

SECTION 106. That the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, may grant to Georgia Power Company, or its successors and assigns, a nonexclusive easement area for the installation, operation, and maintenance of underground electrical lines and associated equipment. Said easement area is located at the Kennesaw Armory in Cobb County and is more particularly described as follows:
That approximately 0.049 acre, lying and being in Land Lot 168 of the 20th Land District, 2nd Section, Cobb County, Georgia, and that portion only as shown on a drawing furnished by Georgia Power Company, and being on file in the offices of the State Properties Commission, and may be more particularly described by a plat of survey prepared by a Georgia registered land surveyor and presented to the State Properties Commission for approval.

SECTION 107. That the above described premises shall be used solely for the installation, operation, and maintenance of underground electrical lines and associated equipment.

SECTION 108. That Georgia Power Company shall have the right to remove or cause to be removed from said easement area only such trees and bushes as may be reasonably necessary for the proper installation, operation, and maintenance of said underground electrical lines and associated equipment.

SECTION 109. That, after Georgia Power Company has put into use the underground electrical lines and associated equipment this easement is granted for, a subsequent abandonment of the use thereof shall cause a reversion to the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns, of all the rights, title, privileges, powers, and easement granted herein. Upon abandonment, Georgia Power Company, or its successors and assigns, shall have the option of removing its facilities

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from the easement area or leaving the same in place, in which event the electrical lines and associated equipment shall become the property of the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns.

SECTION 110. That no title shall be conveyed to Georgia Power Company and, except as herein specifically granted to Georgia Power Company, all rights, title, and interest in and to said easement area is reserved in the State of Georgia, which may make any use of said easement area not inconsistent with or detrimental to the rights, privileges, and interest granted to Georgia Power Company.

SECTION 111. That if the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, determines that any or all of the facilities placed on the easement area should be removed or relocated to an alternate site on state owned land in order to avoid interference with the state's use or intended use of the easement area, it may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement to allow placement of the removed or relocated facilities across the alternate site under such terms and conditions as the State Properties Commission shall in its discretion determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia, and Georgia Power Company shall remove or relocate its facilities to the alternate easement area at its sole cost and expense, unless the State Properties Commission determines that the requested removal or relocation is to be for the sole benefit of the State of Georgia and the grantee provides, and the State Properties Commission receives and approves, in advance of any construction being commenced, a written estimate for the cost of such removal and relocation. Upon written request from the grantee or any third party, the State Properties Commission, in its sole discretion, may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement within the property for the relocation of the facilities without cost, expense, or reimbursement from the State of Georgia.

SECTION 112. That the easement granted to Georgia Power Company shall contain such other reasonable terms, conditions, and covenants as the State Properties Commission shall deem to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia and that the State Properties Commission is authorized to use a more accurate description of the easement area, so long as the description utilized by the State Properties Commission describes the same easement area herein granted.

SECTION 113. That this resolution does not affect and is not intended to affect any rights, powers, interest, or liability of the Georgia Department of Transportation with respect to the state highway system, of a county with respect to the county road system, or of a municipality with respect to the city street system. The grantee shall obtain any and all other required permits from the

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appropriate governmental agencies as are necessary for its lawful use of the easement area or public highway right of way and comply with all applicable state and federal environmental statutes in its use of the easement area.

SECTION 114. That, given the public purpose of the project, the consideration for such easement shall be $10.00 and such further consideration and provisions as the State Properties Commission may determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia.

SECTION 115. That this grant of easement shall be recorded by the grantee in the Superior Court of Cobb County and a recorded copy shall promptly be forwarded to the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 116. That the authorization in this resolution to grant the above described easement to Georgia Power Company shall expire three years after the date that this resolution is enacted into law and approved by the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 117. That the State Properties Commission is authorized and empowered to do all acts and things necessary and proper to effect the grant of the easement area.

ARTICLE X SECTION 118.

That the State of Georgia is the owner of the hereinafter described real property lying and being in the Land Lot 134, 16th Land District, DeKalb County, Georgia, commonly known as Georgia Piedmont Technical College, and that the property is in the custody of the Technical College System of Georgia, which by official action dated December 4, 2014, did not object to the granting of this easement, hereinafter referred to as the easement area, and that, in all matters relating to the easement area, the State of Georgia is acting by and through its State Properties Commission.

SECTION 119. That the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, may grant to Georgia Power Company, or its successors and assigns, a nonexclusive easement area for the construction, installation, and maintenance of overhead electrical distribution lines and associated equipment. Said easement area is located at the Georgia Piedmont Technical College, DeKalb County, and is more particularly described as follows:

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That approximately 0.37 acre, lying and being in Land Lot 134, 16th Land District, DeKalb County, Georgia, as shown on a drawing furnished by Georgia Power Company, and being on file in the offices of the State Properties Commission, and may be more particularly described by a plat of survey prepared by a Georgia registered land surveyor and presented to the State Properties Commission for approval.

SECTION 120. That the above described premises shall be used solely for the construction, installation, and maintenance of overhead electrical distribution lines and associated equipment.

SECTION 121. That Georgia Power Company shall have the right to remove or cause to be removed from said easement area only such trees and bushes as may be reasonably necessary for the proper construction, installation, and maintenance of overhead electrical distribution lines and associated equipment.

SECTION 122. That, after Georgia Power Company has put into use the overhead electrical distribution lines and associated equipment this easement is granted for, a subsequent abandonment of the use thereof shall cause a reversion to the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns, of all the rights, title, privileges, powers, and easement granted herein. Upon abandonment, Georgia Power Company, or its successors and assigns, shall have the option of removing its facilities from the easement area or leaving the same in place, in which event the electrical distribution lines and associated equipment shall become the property of the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns.

SECTION 123. That no title shall be conveyed to Georgia Power Company and, except as herein specifically granted to Georgia Power Company, all rights, title, and interest in and to said easement area is reserved in the State of Georgia, which may make any use of said easement area not inconsistent with or detrimental to the rights, privileges, and interest granted to Georgia Power Company.

SECTION 124. That if the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, determines that any or all of the facilities placed on the easement area should be removed or relocated to an alternate site on state owned land in order to avoid interference with the state's use or intended use of the easement area, it may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement to allow placement of the removed or relocated facilities across the alternate site under such terms and conditions as the State Properties Commission shall in its discretion determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia, and Georgia Power Company

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shall remove or relocate its facilities to the alternate easement area at its sole cost and expense, unless the State Properties Commission determines that the requested removal or relocation is to be for the sole benefit of the State of Georgia and the grantee provides, and the State Properties Commission receives and approves, in advance of any construction being commenced, a written estimate for the cost of such removal and relocation. Upon written request from the grantee or any third party, the State Properties Commission, in its sole discretion, may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement within the property for the relocation of the facilities without cost, expense, or reimbursement from the State of Georgia.

SECTION 125. That the easement granted to Georgia Power Company shall contain such other reasonable terms, conditions, and covenants as the State Properties Commission shall deem to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia and that the State Properties Commission is authorized to use a more accurate description of the easement area, so long as the description utilized by the State Properties Commission describes the same easement area herein granted.

SECTION 126. That this resolution does not affect and is not intended to affect any rights, powers, interest, or liability of the Georgia Department of Transportation with respect to the state highway system, of a county with respect to the county road system, or of a municipality with respect to the city street system. The grantee shall obtain any and all other required permits from the appropriate governmental agencies as are necessary for its lawful use of the easement area or public highway right of way and comply with all applicable state and federal environmental statutes in its use of the easement area.

SECTION 127. That, given the public purpose of the project, the consideration for such easement shall be $10.00 and such further consideration and provisions as the State Properties Commission may determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia.

SECTION 128. That this grant of easement shall be recorded by the grantee in the Superior Court of DeKalb County and a recorded copy shall be promptly forwarded to the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 129. That the authorization in this resolution to grant the above described easement to Georgia Power Company shall expire three years after the date that this resolution is enacted into law and approved by the State Properties Commission.

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SECTION 130. That the State Properties Commission is authorized and empowered to do all acts and things necessary and proper to effect the grant of the easement area.

ARTICLE XI SECTION 131.

That the State of Georgia is the owner of the hereinafter described real property lying and being in Land Lots 210 and 211, 23rd Land District, 3rd Section, Floyd County, Georgia, commonly known as the Rome Armory, and that the property is in the custody of the Department of Defense, which by official action dated October 6, 2014, the Adjutant General did not object to the granting of this easement, hereinafter referred to as the easement area, and that, in all matters relating to the easement area, the State of Georgia is acting by and through its State Properties Commission.

SECTION 132. That the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, may grant to Georgia Power Company, or its successors and assigns, a nonexclusive easement area for the installation, maintenance, and operation of underground electrical power lines and associated equipment to provide updated and secure electric service to the armory and new motor pool. Said easement area is located at the Rome Armory in Floyd County and is more particularly described as follows:
That approximately 0.103 acre, lying and being in Land Lots 210 and 211, 23rd Land District, 3rd Section, Floyd County, Georgia, as shown on a drawing furnished by Georgia Power Company, and being on file in the offices of the State Properties Commission, and may be more particularly described by a plat of survey prepared by a Georgia registered land surveyor and presented to the State Properties Commission for approval.

SECTION 133. That the above described premises shall be used solely for the purpose of installing, maintaining, and operating underground electrical power lines and associated equipment.

SECTION 134. That Georgia Power Company shall have the right to remove or cause to be removed from said easement area only such trees and bushes as may be reasonably necessary for the installation, maintenance, and operation of an underground electrical power line.

SECTION 135. That, after Georgia Power Company has put into use the underground electrical power lines and associated equipment this easement is granted for, a subsequent abandonment of the use thereof shall cause a reversion to the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns, of all the

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rights, title, privileges, powers, and easement granted herein. Upon abandonment, Georgia Power Company, or its successors and assigns, shall have the option of removing its facilities from the easement area or leaving the same in place, in which event the underground electrical power lines and associated equipment shall become the property of the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns.

SECTION 136. That no title shall be conveyed to Georgia Power Company and, except as herein specifically granted to Georgia Power Company, all rights, title, and interest in and to said easement area is reserved in the State of Georgia, which may make any use of said easement area not inconsistent with or detrimental to the rights, privileges, and interest granted to Georgia Power Company.

SECTION 137. That if the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, determines that any or all of the facilities placed on the easement area should be removed or relocated to an alternate site on state owned land in order to avoid interference with the state's use or intended use of the easement area, it may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement to allow placement of the removed or relocated facilities across the alternate site under such terms and conditions as the State Properties Commission shall in its discretion determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia, and Georgia Power Company shall remove or relocate its facilities to the alternate easement area at its sole cost and expense, unless the State Properties Commission determines that the requested removal or relocation is to be for the sole benefit of the State of Georgia and the grantee provides, and the State Properties Commission receives and approves, in advance of any construction being commenced, a written estimate for the cost of such removal and relocation. Upon written request from the grantee or any third party, the State Properties Commission, in its sole discretion, may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement within the property for the relocation of the facilities without cost, expense, or reimbursement from the State of Georgia.

SECTION 138. That the easement granted to Georgia Power Company shall contain such other reasonable terms, conditions, and covenants as the State Properties Commission shall deem to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia and that the State Properties Commission is authorized to use a more accurate description of the easement area, so long as the description utilized by the State Properties Commission describes the same easement area herein granted.

SECTION 139. That this resolution does not affect and is not intended to affect any rights, powers, interest, or liability of the Georgia Department of Transportation with respect to the state highway

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system, or of a county with respect to the county road system, or of a municipality with respect to the city street system. The grantee shall obtain any and all other required permits from the appropriate governmental agencies as are necessary for its lawful use of the easement area or public highway right of way and comply with all applicable state and federal environmental statutes in its use of the easement area.

SECTION 140. That, given the public purpose of the project, the consideration for such easement shall be $10.00 and such further consideration and provisions as the State Properties Commission may determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia.

SECTION 141. That this grant of easement shall be recorded by the grantee in the Superior Court of Floyd County and a recorded copy shall be promptly forwarded to the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 142. That the authorization in this resolution to grant the above described easement to Georgia Power Company shall expire three years after the date that this resolution is enacted into law and approved by the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 143. That the State Properties Commission is authorized and empowered to do all acts and things necessary and proper to effect the grant of the easement area.

ARTICLE XII SECTION 144.

That the State of Georgia is the owner of the hereinafter described real property lying and being in Land Lot 853, 1st Land District, Fulton County, Georgia, commonly known as the North Fulton Campus of Gwinnett Technical College, and that the property is in the custody of the Technical College System of Georgia, which by official action dated December 4, 2014, did not object to the granting of this easement, hereinafter referred to as the easement area, and that, in all matters relating to the easement area, the State of Georgia is acting by and through its State Properties Commission.

SECTION 145. That the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, may grant to various utility companies, or their successors and assigns, a nonexclusive easement area for various utilities and associated equipment. Said easement area is located through the North Fulton Campus of Gwinnett Technical College in Fulton County and is more particularly described as follows:

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That approximately 25.433 acres, lying and being in Land Lot 853, 1st Land District, Fulton County, Georgia, and that portion only as shown on a drawing furnished by the Technical College System of Georgia, and being on file in the offices of the State Properties Commission, and may be more particularly described by a plat of survey prepared by a Georgia registered land surveyor and presented to the State Properties Commission for approval.

SECTION 146. That the above described premises shall be used solely for the purpose of the installation, maintenance, and operation of various utilities and associated equipment.

SECTION 147. That the various utility companies shall have the right to remove or cause to be removed from said easement area only such trees and bushes as may be reasonably necessary for the proper installation, operation, and maintenance of said various utilities and associated equipment.

SECTION 148. That, after the various utility companies have put into use the various utilities and associated equipment this easement is granted for, a subsequent abandonment of the use thereof shall cause a reversion to the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns, of all the rights, title, privileges, powers, and easement granted herein. Upon abandonment, the various utility companies, or their successors and assigns, shall have the option of removing their facilities from the easement area or leaving the same in place, in which event the utilities and associated equipment shall become the property of the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns.

SECTION 149. That no title shall be conveyed to the various utility companies and, except as herein specifically granted to the various utility companies, all rights, title, and interest in and to said easement area is reserved in the State of Georgia, which may make any use of said easement area not inconsistent with or detrimental to the rights, privileges, and interest granted to the various utility companies.

SECTION 150. That if the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, determines that any or all of the facilities placed on the easement area should be removed or relocated to an alternate site on state owned land in order to avoid interference with the state's use or intended use of the easement area, it may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement to allow placement of the removed or relocated facilities across the alternate site under such terms and conditions as the State Properties Commission shall in its discretion

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determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia, and the various utility companies shall remove or relocate their facilities to the alternate easement area at their sole cost and expense, unless the State Properties Commission determines that the requested removal or relocation is to be for the sole benefit of the State of Georgia and the grantee provides, and the State Properties Commission receives and approves, in advance of any construction being commenced, a written estimate for the cost of such removal and relocation. Upon written request from the grantee or any third party, the State Properties Commission, in their sole discretion, may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement within the property for the relocation of the facilities without cost, expense, or reimbursement from the State of Georgia.

SECTION 151. That the easement granted to the various utility companies shall contain such other reasonable terms, conditions, and covenants as the State Properties Commission shall deem to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia and that the State Properties Commission is authorized to use a more accurate description of the easement area, so long as the description utilized by the State Properties Commission describes the same easement area herein granted.

SECTION 152. That this resolution does not affect and is not intended to affect any rights, powers, interest, or liability of the Georgia Department of Transportation with respect to the state highway system, of a county with respect to the county road system, or of a municipality with respect to the city street system. The grantee shall obtain any and all other required permits from the appropriate governmental agencies as are necessary for its lawful use of the easement area or public highway right of way and comply with all applicable state and federal environmental statutes in its use of the easement area.

SECTION 153. That, given the public purpose of the project, the consideration for such easement shall be $10.00 and such further consideration and provisions as the State Properties Commission may determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia.

SECTION 154. That this grant of easement shall be recorded by the grantee in the Superior Court of Fulton County and a recorded copy shall be promptly forwarded to the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 155. That the authorization in this resolution to grant the above described easement to the various utility companies shall expire three years after the date that this resolution is enacted into law and approved by the State Properties Commission.

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SECTION 156. That the State Properties Commission is authorized and empowered to do all acts and things necessary and proper to effect the grant of the easement area.

ARTICLE XIII SECTION 157.

That the State of Georgia is the owner of the hereinafter described real property lying and being in Land Lots 148 and 149 of the 15th Land District, Gordon County, Georgia, commonly known as the Western and Atlantic Railroad, and that the property is in the custody of the State Properties Commission, which does not object to the granting of this easement, hereinafter referred to as the easement area, and that, in all matters relating to the easement area, the State of Georgia is acting by and through its State Properties Commission.

SECTION 158. That the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, may grant to the Georgia Department of Transportation, or its successors and assigns, a nonexclusive easement for road widening project PI 662510 on the South Calhoun Bypass from SR53 at CR13 East to SR53 at CR64 which will bridge over existing railroad right of way. Said easement area is located in Gordon County and is more particularly described as follows:
That approximately 0.262 acre, lying and being in Land Lots 148 and 149 of the 15th Land District, Gordon County, Georgia, as shown on a drawing prepared by the Georgia Department of Transportation, and being on file in the offices of the State Properties Commission, and may be more particularly described by a plat of survey prepared by a Georgia registered land surveyor and presented to the State Properties Commission for approval.

SECTION 159. That the above described premises shall be used solely for the purpose of road widening and the construction and maintenance of a bridge in the easement area.

SECTION 160. That the Georgia Department of Transportation shall have the right to remove or cause to be removed from said easement area only such trees and bushes as may be reasonably necessary for the easement area.

SECTION 161. That, after the Georgia Department of Transportation has put into use the easement area this easement is granted for, a subsequent abandonment of the use thereof shall cause a reversion to the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns, of all the rights, title, privileges, powers, and easement granted herein. Upon abandonment, the Georgia Department of

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Transportation, or its successors and assigns, shall have the option of removing its facilities from the easement area or leaving the same in place, in which event the bridge and road shall become the property of the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns.

SECTION 162. That no title shall be conveyed to the Georgia Department of Transportation and, except as herein specifically granted to the Georgia Department of Transportation, all rights, title, and interest in and to said easement area is reserved in the State of Georgia, which may make any use of said easement area not inconsistent with or detrimental to the rights, privileges, and interest granted to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

SECTION 163. That if the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, determines that any or all of the facilities placed on the easement area should be removed or relocated to an alternate site on state owned land in order to avoid interference with the state's use or intended use of the easement area, it may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement to allow placement of the removed or relocated facilities across the alternate site under such terms and conditions as the State Properties Commission shall in its discretion determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia, and the Georgia Department of Transportation shall remove or relocate its facilities to the alternate easement area at its sole cost and expense, unless the State Properties Commission determines that the requested removal or relocation is to be for the sole benefit of the State of Georgia and the grantee provides, and the State Properties Commission receives and approves, in advance of any construction being commenced, a written estimate for the cost of such removal and relocation. Upon written request from the grantee or any third party, the State Properties Commission, in its sole discretion, may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement within the property for the relocation of the facilities without cost, expense, or reimbursement from the State of Georgia.

SECTION 164. That the easement granted to the Georgia Department of Transportation shall contain such other reasonable terms, conditions, and covenants as the State Properties Commission shall deem to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia and that the State Properties Commission is authorized to use a more accurate description of the easement area, so long as the description utilized by the State Properties Commission describes the same easement area herein granted.

SECTION 165. That this resolution does not affect and is not intended to affect any rights, powers, interest, or liability of the Georgia Department of Transportation with respect to the state highway system, of a county with respect to the county road system, or of a municipality with respect

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to the city street system. The grantee shall obtain any and all other required permits from the appropriate governmental agencies as are necessary for its lawful use of the easement area or public highway right of way and comply with all applicable state and federal environmental statutes in its use of the easement area.

SECTION 166. That, given the public purpose of the project, the consideration for such easement shall be $10.00 and such further consideration and provisions as the State Properties Commission may determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia.

SECTION 167. That this grant of easement shall be recorded by the grantee in the Superior Court of Gordon County and a recorded copy shall promptly be forwarded to the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 168. That the authorization in this resolution to grant the above described easement to the Georgia Department of Transportation shall expire three years after the date that this resolution is enacted into law and approved by the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 169. That the State Properties Commission is authorized and empowered to do all acts and things necessary and proper to effect the grant of the easement area.

ARTICLE XIV SECTION 170.

That the State of Georgia is the owner of the hereinafter described real property lying and being in Land Lot 165 of the 10th Land District, Houston County, Georgia, commonly known as Central Georgia Technical College, and that the property is in the custody of the Technical College System of Georgia, which by official action dated May 1, 2014, did not object to the granting of this easement, hereinafter referred to as the easement area, and that, in all matters relating to the easement area, the State of Georgia is acting by and through its State Properties Commission.

SECTION 171. That the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, may grant to Flint Electric Membership Corporation, or its successors and assigns, a nonexclusive easement area for the installation, maintenance, and operation of electrical distribution lines to service the Health Services Center (TCSG-267) at Central Georgia Technical College. Said easement area is located in Houston County and is more particularly described as follows:

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That approximately 0.924 acre, lying and being in Land Lot 165 of the 10th Land District, Houston County, Georgia, as shown on a drawing furnished by Flint Electric Membership Corporation, and being on file in the offices of the State Properties Commission, and may be more particularly described by a plat of survey prepared by a Georgia registered land surveyor and presented to the State Properties Commission for approval.

SECTION 172. That the above described premises shall be used solely for the purpose of the installation, maintenance, and operation of electrical distribution lines.

SECTION 173. That Flint Electric Membership Corporation shall have the right to remove or cause to be removed from said easement area only such trees and bushes as may be reasonably necessary for the installation, maintenance, and operation of electrical distribution lines.

SECTION 174. That, after Flint Electric Membership Corporation has put into use the electrical distribution lines this easement is granted for, a subsequent abandonment of the use thereof shall cause a reversion to the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns, of all the rights, title, privileges, powers, and easement granted herein. Upon abandonment, Flint Electric Membership Corporation, or its successors and assigns, shall have the option of removing its facilities from the easement area or leaving the same in place, in which event the electrical distribution lines and associated equipment shall become the property of the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns.

SECTION 175. That no title shall be conveyed to Flint Electric Membership Corporation and, except as herein specifically granted to Flint Electric Membership Corporation, all rights, title, and interest in and to said easement area is reserved in the State of Georgia, which may make any use of said easement area not inconsistent with or detrimental to the rights, privileges, and interest granted to Flint Electric Membership Corporation.

SECTION 176. That if the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, determines that any or all of the facilities placed on the easement area should be removed or relocated to an alternate site on state owned land in order to avoid interference with the state's use or intended use of the easement area, it may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement to allow placement of the removed or relocated facilities across the alternate site under such terms and conditions as the State Properties Commission shall in its discretion determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia, and the Flint Electric Membership Corporation shall remove or relocate its facilities to the alternate easement area at its sole

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cost and expense, unless the State Properties Commission determines that the requested removal or relocation is to be for the sole benefit of the State of Georgia and the grantee provides, and the State Properties Commission receives and approves, in advance of any construction being commenced, a written estimate for the cost of such removal and relocation. Upon written request from the grantee or any third party, the State Properties Commission, in its sole discretion, may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement within the property for the relocation of the facilities without cost, expense, or reimbursement from the State of Georgia.

SECTION 177. That the easement granted to Flint Electric Membership Corporation shall contain such other reasonable terms, conditions, and covenants as the State Properties Commission shall deem to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia and that the State Properties Commission is authorized to use a more accurate description of the easement area, so long as the description utilized by the State Properties Commission describes the same easement area herein granted.

SECTION 178. That this resolution does not affect and is not intended to affect any rights, powers, interest, or liability of the Georgia Department of Transportation with respect to the state highway system, of a county with respect to the county road system, or of a municipality with respect to the city street system. The grantee shall obtain any and all other required permits from the appropriate governmental agencies as are necessary for its lawful use of the easement area or public highway right of way and comply with all applicable state and federal environmental statutes in its use of the easement area.

SECTION 179. That, given the public purpose of the project, the consideration for such easement shall be $10.00 and such further consideration and provisions as the State Properties Commission may determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia.

SECTION 180. That this grant of easement shall be recorded by the grantee in the Superior Court of Houston County and a recorded copy shall promptly be forwarded to the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 181. That the authorization in this resolution to grant the above described easement to Flint Electric Membership Corporation shall expire three years after the date that this resolution is enacted into law and approved by the State Properties Commission.

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SECTION 182. That the State Properties Commission is authorized and empowered to do all acts and things necessary and proper to effect the grant of the easement area.

ARTICLE XV SECTION 183.

That the State of Georgia is the owner of the hereinafter described real property lying and being in the Land Lot 233 of the 1st Land District, Laurens County, Georgia, commonly known as the Dublin Armory, and that the property is in the custody of the Department of Defense, which by official action dated October 6, 2014, the Adjutant General did not object to the granting of this easement, hereinafter referred to as the easement area, and that, in all matters relating to the easement area, the State of Georgia is acting by and through its State Properties Commission.

SECTION 184. That the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, may grant to the City of Dublin, Georgia, or its successors and assigns, a nonexclusive easement area to construct, install, and maintain sanitary sewer lines to serve the Dublin Armory. Said easement area is located in Laurens County and is more particularly described as follows:
That approximately 0.072 acre, lying and being in the Land Lot 233 of the 1st Land District, Laurens County, Georgia, and that portion only as shown on a drawing furnished by the City of Dublin, Georgia, and being on file in the offices of the State Properties Commission, and may be more particularly described by a plat of survey prepared by a Georgia registered land surveyor and presented to the State Properties Commission for approval.

SECTION 185. That the above described premises shall be used solely for the purpose of the City of Dublin installing, operating, and maintaining sanitary sewer lines.

SECTION 186. That the City of Dublin shall have the right to remove or cause to be removed from said easement area only such trees and bushes as may be reasonably necessary for the proper installation, operation, and maintenance of said sanitary sewer lines.

SECTION 187. That, after the City of Dublin has put into use the sanitary sewer lines this easement is granted for, a subsequent abandonment of the use thereof shall cause a reversion to the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns, of all the rights, title, privileges, powers, and easement granted herein. Upon abandonment, the City of Dublin, or its successors and

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assigns, shall have the option of removing its facilities from the easement area or leaving the same in place, in which event the sewer lines and associated equipment shall become the property of the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns.

SECTION 188. That no title shall be conveyed to the City of Dublin and, except as herein specifically granted to City of Dublin, all rights, title, and interest in and to said easement area is reserved in the State of Georgia, which may make any use of said easement area not inconsistent with or detrimental to the rights, privileges, and interest granted to the City of Dublin.

SECTION 189. That if the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, determines that any or all of the facilities placed on the easement area should be removed or relocated to an alternate site on state owned land in order to avoid interference with the state's use or intended use of the easement area, it may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement to allow placement of the removed or relocated facilities across the alternate site under such terms and conditions as the State Properties Commission shall in its discretion determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia, and the City of Dublin shall remove or relocate its facilities to the alternate easement area at its sole cost and expense, unless the State Properties Commission determines that the requested removal or relocation is to be for the sole benefit of the State of Georgia and the grantee provides, and the State Properties Commission receives and approves, in advance of any construction being commenced, a written estimate for the cost of such removal and relocation. Upon written request from the grantee or any third party, the State Properties Commission, in its sole discretion, may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement within the property for the relocation of the facilities without cost, expense, or reimbursement from the State of Georgia.

SECTION 190. That the easement granted to the City of Dublin shall contain such other reasonable terms, conditions, and covenants as the State Properties Commission shall deem to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia and that the State Properties Commission is authorized to use a more accurate description of the easement area, so long as the description utilized by the State Properties Commission describes the same easement area herein granted.

SECTION 191. That this resolution does not affect and is not intended to affect any rights, powers, interest, or liability of the Georgia Department of Transportation with respect to the state highway system, of a county with respect to the county road system, or of a municipality with respect to the city street system. The grantee shall obtain any and all other required permits from the appropriate governmental agencies as are necessary for its lawful use of the easement area

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or public highway right of way and comply with all applicable state and federal environmental statutes in its use of the easement area.

SECTION 192. That, given the public purpose of the project, the consideration for such easement shall be $10.00 and such further consideration and provisions as the State Properties Commission may determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia.

SECTION 193. That this grant of easement shall be recorded by the grantee in the Superior Court of Laurens County and a recorded copy shall be promptly forwarded to the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 194. That the authorization in this resolution to grant the above described easement to the City of Dublin shall expire three years after the date that this resolution is enacted into law and approved by the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 195. That the State Properties Commission is authorized and empowered to do all acts and things necessary and proper to effect the grant of the easement area.

ARTICLE XVI SECTION 196.

That the State of Georgia is the owner of the hereinafter described real property lying and being in the 1458th District, G.M., Liberty County, Georgia, commonly known as Savannah Technical College, and that the property is in the custody of the Technical College System of Georgia, which by official action dated May 1, 2014, did not object to the granting of this easement, hereinafter referred to as the easement area, and that, in all matters relating to the easement area, the State of Georgia is acting by and through its State Properties Commission.

SECTION 197. That the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, may grant to Georgia Power Company, or its successors and assigns, a nonexclusive easement area for the relocation of power poles and guy wire anchors due to the SR 119 widening. Said easement area is located in Liberty County and is more particularly described as follows:
That approximately 0.156 acre, lying and being in the 1458th District, G.M., Liberty County, Georgia, and that portion only as shown on a drawing furnished by Georgia Power Company, and being on file in the offices of the State Properties Commission, and may be more particularly described by a plat of survey prepared by a Georgia registered land surveyor and presented to the State Properties Commission for approval.

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SECTION 198. That the above described premises shall be used solely for the relocation of power poles and guy wire anchors.

SECTION 199. That Georgia Power Company shall have the right to remove or cause to be removed from said easement area only such trees and bushes as may be reasonably necessary for the proper relocation of power poles and guy wire anchors.

SECTION 200. That, after Georgia Power Company has put into use the power poles and guy wire anchors this easement is granted for, a subsequent abandonment of the use thereof shall cause a reversion to the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns, of all the rights, title, privileges, powers, and easement granted herein. Upon abandonment, Georgia Power Company, or its successors and assigns, shall have the option of removing its facilities from the easement area or leaving the same in place, in which event the power poles, guy wire anchors, and associated equipment shall become the property of the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns.

SECTION 201. That no title shall be conveyed to Georgia Power Company and, except as herein specifically granted to Georgia Power Company, all rights, title, and interest in and to said easement area is reserved in the State of Georgia, which may make any use of said easement area not inconsistent with or detrimental to the rights, privileges, and interest granted to Georgia Power Company.

SECTION 202. That if the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, determines that any or all of the facilities placed on the easement area should be removed or relocated to an alternate site on state owned land in order to avoid interference with the state's use or intended use of the easement area, it may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement to allow placement of the removed or relocated facilities across the alternate site under such terms and conditions as the State Properties Commission shall in its discretion determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia, and Georgia Power Company shall remove or relocate its facilities to the alternate easement area at its sole cost and expense, unless the State Properties Commission determines that the requested removal or relocation is to be for the sole benefit of the State of Georgia and the grantee provides, and the State Properties Commission receives and approves, in advance of any construction being commenced, a written estimate for the cost of such removal and relocation. Upon written request from the grantee or any third party, the State Properties Commission, in its sole discretion, may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement within the property

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for the relocation of the facilities without cost, expense, or reimbursement from the State of Georgia.

SECTION 203. That the easement granted to Georgia Power Company shall contain such other reasonable terms, conditions, and covenants as the State Properties Commission shall deem to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia and that the State Properties Commission is authorized to use a more accurate description of the easement area, so long as the description utilized by the State Properties Commission describes the same easement area herein granted.

SECTION 204. That this resolution does not affect and is not intended to affect any rights, powers, interest, or liability of the Georgia Department of Transportation with respect to the state highway system, of a county with respect to the county road system, or of a municipality with respect to the city street system. The grantee shall obtain any and all other required permits from the appropriate governmental agencies as are necessary for its lawful use of the easement area or public highway right of way and comply with all applicable state and federal environmental statutes in its use of the easement area.

SECTION 205. That the consideration for such easement shall be the fair market value, but not less than $650.00, and such further consideration and provisions as the State Properties Commission may determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia.

SECTION 206. That this grant of easement shall be recorded by the grantee in the Superior Court of Liberty County and a recorded copy shall promptly be forwarded to the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 207. That the authorization in this resolution to grant the above described easement to Georgia Power Company shall expire three years after the date that this resolution is enacted into law and approved by the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 208. That the State Properties Commission is authorized and empowered to do all acts and things necessary and proper to effect the grant of the easement area.

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ARTICLE XVII SECTION 209.

That the State of Georgia is the owner of the hereinafter described real property lying and being in the Land Lot 33 of the 12th Land District, Lowndes County, Georgia, commonly known as the Valdosta State Prison, and that the property is in the custody of the Department of Corrections, which by official action dated March 6, 2014, did not object to the granting of this easement, hereinafter referred to as the easement area, and that, in all matters relating to the easement area, the State of Georgia is acting by and through its State Properties Commission.

SECTION 210. That the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, may grant to the City of Valdosta, Georgia, or its successors and assigns, a nonexclusive easement area to construct, install, and maintain a sanitary sewer main to serve Valdosta State Prison. Said easement area is located in Lowndes County and is more particularly described as follows:
That approximately 0.04 acre, lying and being in the Land Lot 33 of the 12th Land District, Lowndes County, Georgia, and that portion only as shown on a drawing furnished by the City of Valdosta, Georgia, and being on file in the offices of the State Properties Commission, and may be more particularly described by a plat of survey prepared by a Georgia registered land surveyor and presented to the State Properties Commission for approval.

SECTION 211. That the above described premises shall be used solely for the purpose of installing, operating, and maintaining a sanitary sewer main.

SECTION 212. That the City of Valdosta shall have the right to remove or cause to be removed from said easement area only such trees and bushes as may be reasonably necessary for the proper installation, operation, and maintenance of said sanitary sewer main.

SECTION 213. That, after the City of Valdosta has put into use the sanitary sewer main this easement is granted for, a subsequent abandonment of the use thereof shall cause a reversion to the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns, of all the rights, title, privileges, powers, and easement granted herein. Upon abandonment, the City of Valdosta, or its successors and assigns, shall have the option of removing its facilities from the easement area or leaving the same in place, in which event the sewer main and associated equipment shall become the property of the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns.

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SECTION 214. That no title shall be conveyed to the City of Valdosta and, except as herein specifically granted to the City of Valdosta, all rights, title, and interest in and to said easement area is reserved in the State of Georgia, which may make any use of said easement area not inconsistent with or detrimental to the rights, privileges, and interest granted to the City of Valdosta.

SECTION 215. That if the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, determines that any or all of the facilities placed on the easement area should be removed or relocated to an alternate site on state owned land in order to avoid interference with the state's use or intended use of the easement area, it may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement to allow placement of the removed or relocated facilities across the alternate site under such terms and conditions as the State Properties Commission shall in its discretion determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia, and the City of Valdosta shall remove or relocate its facilities to the alternate easement area at its sole cost and expense, unless the State Properties Commission determines that the requested removal or relocation is to be for the sole benefit of the State of Georgia and the grantee provides, and the State Properties Commission receives and approves, in advance of any construction being commenced, a written estimate for the cost of such removal and relocation. Upon written request from the grantee or any third party, the State Properties Commission, in its sole discretion, may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement within the property for the relocation of the facilities without cost, expense, or reimbursement from the State of Georgia.

SECTION 216. That the easement granted to the City of Valdosta shall contain such other reasonable terms, conditions, and covenants as the State Properties Commission shall deem to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia and that the State Properties Commission is authorized to use a more accurate description of the easement area, so long as the description utilized by the State Properties Commission describes the same easement area herein granted.

SECTION 217. That this resolution does not affect and is not intended to affect any rights, powers, interest, or liability of the Georgia Department of Transportation with respect to the state highway system, of a county with respect to the county road system, or of a municipality with respect to the city street system. The grantee shall obtain any and all other required permits from the appropriate governmental agencies as are necessary for its lawful use of the easement area or public highway right of way and comply with all applicable state and federal environmental statutes in its use of the easement area.

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SECTION 218. That, given the public purpose of the project, the consideration for such easement shall be $10.00 and such further consideration and provisions as the State Properties Commission may determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia.

SECTION 219. That this grant of easement shall be recorded by the grantee in the Superior Court of Lowndes County and a recorded copy shall promptly be forwarded to the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 220. That the authorization in this resolution to grant the above described easement to the City of Valdosta shall expire three years after the date that this resolution is enacted into law and approved by the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 221. That the State Properties Commission is authorized and empowered to do all acts and things necessary and proper to effect the grant of the easement area.

ARTICLE XVIII SECTION 222.

That the State of Georgia is the owner of the hereinafter described real property commonly known as Camp John Hope, Macon County, Georgia, and that the property is in the custody of the Department of Education, which by official action dated March 14, 2014, did not object to the granting of an easement, hereinafter referred to as the easement area, and that, in all matters relating to the easement area, the State of Georgia is acting by and through its State Properties Commission.

SECTION 223. That the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, may grant to Flint Electric Membership Corporation, or its successors and assigns, a nonexclusive easement area to construct, install, and maintain electrical transmission lines and associated equipment to serve Camp John Hope. Said easement area is located in Macon County and is more particularly described as follows:
That approximately 226.148 acres lying and being in Macon County, Georgia, and commonly known as Camp John Hope, and that portion only as shown on a drawing furnished by Flint Electric Membership Corporation, and being on file in the offices of the State Properties Commission, and may be more particularly described by a plat of survey prepared by a Georgia registered land surveyor and presented to the State Properties Commission for approval.

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SECTION 224. That the above described premises shall be used solely for the purpose of installing, operating, and maintaining electrical transmission lines and associated equipment.

SECTION 225. That Flint Electric Membership Corporation shall have the right to remove or cause to be removed from said easement area only such trees and bushes as may be reasonably necessary for the proper installation, operation, and maintenance of said transmission lines and associated equipment.

SECTION 226. That, after Flint Electric Membership Corporation has put into use the transmission lines and associated equipment this easement is granted for, a subsequent abandonment of the use thereof shall cause a reversion to the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns, of all the rights, title, privileges, powers, and easement granted herein. Upon abandonment, Flint Electric Membership Corporation, or its successors and assigns, shall have the option of removing its facilities from the easement area or leaving the same in place, in which event the transmission lines and associated equipment shall become the property of the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns.

SECTION 227. That no title shall be conveyed to Flint Electric Membership Corporation and, except as herein specifically granted to Flint Electric Membership Corporation, all rights, title, and interest in and to said easement area is reserved in the State of Georgia, which may make any use of said easement area not inconsistent with or detrimental to the rights, privileges, and interest granted to Flint Electric Membership Corporation.

SECTION 228. That if the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, determines that any or all of the facilities placed on the easement area should be removed or relocated to an alternate site on state owned land in order to avoid interference with the state's use or intended use of the easement area, it may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement to allow placement of the removed or relocated facilities across the alternate site under such terms and conditions as the State Properties Commission shall in its discretion determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia, and Flint Electric Membership Corporation shall remove or relocate its facilities to the alternate easement area at its sole cost and expense, unless the State Properties Commission determines that the requested removal or relocation is to be for the sole benefit of the State of Georgia and the grantee provides, and the State Properties Commission receives and approves, in advance of any construction being commenced, a written estimate for the cost of such removal and relocation. Upon written request from the grantee or any third party, the State Properties

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Commission, in its sole discretion, may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement within the property for the relocation of the facilities without cost, expense, or reimbursement from the State of Georgia.

SECTION 229. That the easement granted to Flint Electric Membership Corporation shall contain such other reasonable terms, conditions, and covenants as the State Properties Commission shall deem to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia and that the State Properties Commission is authorized to use a more accurate description of the easement area, so long as the description utilized by the State Properties Commission describes the same easement area herein granted.

SECTION 230. That this resolution does not affect and is not intended to affect any rights, powers, interest, or liability of the Georgia Department of Transportation with respect to the state highway system, of a county with respect to the county road system, or of a municipality with respect to the city street system. The grantee shall obtain any and all other required permits from the appropriate governmental agencies as are necessary for its lawful use of the easement area or public highway right of way and comply with all applicable state and federal environmental statutes in its use of the easement area.

SECTION 231. That, given the public purpose of the project, the consideration for each easement shall be $10.00 and such further consideration and provisions as the State Properties Commission may determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia.

SECTION 232. That this grant of easement shall be recorded by the grantee in the Superior Court of Macon County and a recorded copy shall be promptly forwarded to the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 233. That the authorization in this resolution to grant the above described easement to Flint Electric Membership Corporation shall expire three years after the date that this resolution is enacted into law and approved by the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 234. That the State Properties Commission is authorized and empowered to do all acts and things necessary and proper to effect the grant of the easement area.

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ARTICLE XIX SECTION 235.

That the State of Georgia is the owner of the hereinafter described real property lying and being in the 22nd District, G.M., McIntosh County, Georgia, and that the property is regulated by the Department of Natural Resources pursuant to the Coastal Marshlands Protection Act, Code Section 12-5-280, et. seq., of the O.C.G.A., and the Governor's powers to regulate public property, Code Section 50-16-61 of the O.C.G.A., and which by official action dated March 11, 2013, did not object to the granting of this easement, hereinafter referred to as the easement area, and that, in all matters relating to the easement area, the State of Georgia is acting by and through its State Properties Commission.

SECTION 236. That the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, may grant to Coastal Electric Cooperative, or its successors and assigns, a nonexclusive easement area to construct, install, and maintain electrical distribution lines and associated equipment to serve Barbour and Wahoo Islands. Said easement area is located in McIntosh County and is more particularly described as follows:
That approximately 15.3 acres, lying and being in the 22nd District, G.M., McIntosh County, Georgia, and that portion only as shown on a drawing furnished by Coastal Electric Cooperative, and being on file in the offices of the State Properties Commission, and may be more particularly described by a plat of survey prepared by a Georgia registered land surveyor and presented to the State Properties Commission for approval.

SECTION 237. That the above described premises shall be used solely for the purpose of installing, operating, and maintaining electrical distribution lines and associated equipment.

SECTION 238. That Coastal Electric Cooperative shall have the right to remove or cause to be removed from said easement area only such trees and bushes as may be reasonably necessary for the proper installation, operation, and maintenance of said distribution lines and associated equipment.

SECTION 239. That, after Coastal Electric Cooperative has put into use the distribution lines and associated equipment this easement is granted for, a subsequent abandonment of the use thereof shall cause a reversion to the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns, of all the rights, title, privileges, powers, and easement granted herein. Upon abandonment, Coastal Electric Cooperative, or its successors and assigns, shall have the option of removing its facilities from the easement area or leaving the same in place, in which event the distribution lines and

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associated equipment shall become the property of the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns.

SECTION 240. That no title shall be conveyed to Coastal Electric Cooperative and, except as herein specifically granted to Coastal Electric Cooperative, all rights, title, and interest in and to said easement area is reserved in the State of Georgia, which may make any use of said easement area not inconsistent with or detrimental to the rights, privileges, and interest granted to Coastal Electric Cooperative.

SECTION 241. That if the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, determines that any or all of the facilities placed on the easement area should be removed or relocated to an alternate site on state owned land in order to avoid interference with the state's use or intended use of the easement area, it may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement to allow placement of the removed or relocated facilities across the alternate site under such terms and conditions as the State Properties Commission shall in its discretion determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia, and Coastal Electric Cooperative shall remove or relocate its facilities to the alternate easement area at its sole cost and expense, unless the State Properties Commission determines that the requested removal or relocation is to be for the sole benefit of the State of Georgia and the grantee provides, and the State Properties Commission receives and approves, in advance of any construction being commenced, a written estimate for the cost of such removal and relocation. Upon written request from the grantee or any third party, the State Properties Commission, in its sole discretion, may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement within the property for the relocation of the facilities without cost, expense, or reimbursement from the State of Georgia.

SECTION 242. That the easement granted to Coastal Electric Cooperative shall contain such other reasonable terms, conditions, and covenants as the State Properties Commission shall deem to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia and that the State Properties Commission is authorized to use a more accurate description of the easement area, so long as the description utilized by the State Properties Commission describes the same easement area herein granted.

SECTION 243. That this resolution does not affect and is not intended to affect any rights, powers, interest, or liability of the Georgia Department of Transportation with respect to the state highway system, of a county with respect to the county road system, or of a municipality with respect to the city street system. The grantee shall obtain any and all other required permits from the appropriate governmental agencies as are necessary for its lawful use of the easement area

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or public highway right of way and comply with all applicable state and federal environmental statutes in its use of the easement area.

SECTION 244. That the consideration for such easement shall be the fair market value, but not less than $650.00, and such further consideration and provisions as the State Properties Commission may determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia.

SECTION 245. That this grant of easement shall be recorded by the grantee in the Superior Court of McIntosh County and a recorded copy shall promptly be forwarded to the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 246. That the authorization in this resolution to grant the above described easement to Coastal Electric Cooperative shall expire three years after the date that this resolution is enacted into law and approved by the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 247. That the State Properties Commission is authorized and empowered to do all acts and things necessary and proper to effect the grant of the easement area.

ARTICLE XX SECTION 248.

That the State of Georgia is the owner of the hereinafter described real property lying and being in the 1514th District, G.M., McIntosh County, Georgia, commonly known as the Altamaha River-Townsend WMA, and that the property is in the custody of the Department of Natural Resources, which by official action dated September 23, 2014, did not object to the granting of the easement, hereinafter referred to as the easement area, and that, in all matters relating to the easement area, the State of Georgia is acting by and through its State Properties Commission.

SECTION 249. That the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, may grant to Coastal Electric Cooperative, or its successors and assigns, a nonexclusive easement area for the construction and maintenance of underground distribution lines and associated equipment to provide power to maintenance facilities at Altamaha River-Townsend WMA. Said easement area is located in McIntosh County and is more particularly described as follows:

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That approximately 1.03 acre, lying and being in the 1514th District, G.M., McIntosh County, Georgia, and that portion only as shown on a drawing furnished by Coastal Electric Cooperative, and being on file in the offices of the State Properties Commission, and may be more particularly described by a plat of survey prepared by a Georgia registered land surveyor and presented to the State Properties Commission for approval.

SECTION 250. That the above described premises shall be used solely for the construction and maintenance of underground distribution lines and associated equipment.

SECTION 251. That Coastal Electric Cooperative shall have the right to remove or cause to be removed from said easement area only such trees and bushes as may be reasonably necessary for the construction and maintenance of underground distribution lines and associated equipment.

SECTION 252. That, after Coastal Electric Cooperative has put into use the underground distribution lines and associated equipment this easement is granted for, a subsequent abandonment of the use thereof shall cause a reversion to the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns, of all the rights, title, privileges, powers, and easement granted herein. Upon abandonment, Coastal Electric Cooperative, or its successors and assigns, shall have the option of removing its facilities from the easement area or leaving the same in place, in which event the distribution lines and associated equipment shall become the property of the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns.

SECTION 253. That no title shall be conveyed to Coastal Electric Cooperative and, except as herein specifically granted to Coastal Electric Cooperative, all rights, title, and interest in and to said easement area is reserved in the State of Georgia, which may make any use of said easement area not inconsistent with or detrimental to the rights, privileges, and interest granted to Coastal Electric Cooperative.

SECTION 254. That if the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, determines that any or all of the facilities placed on the easement area should be removed or relocated to an alternate site on state owned land in order to avoid interference with the state's use or intended use of the easement area, it may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement to allow placement of the removed or relocated facilities across the alternate site under such terms and conditions as the State Properties Commission shall in its discretion determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia, and Coastal Electric Cooperative shall remove or relocate its facilities to the alternate easement area at its sole cost and

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expense, unless the State Properties Commission determines that the requested removal or relocation is to be for the sole benefit of the State of Georgia and the grantee provides, and the State Properties Commission receives and approves, in advance of any construction being commenced, a written estimate for the cost of such removal and relocation. Upon written request from the grantee or any third party, the State Properties Commission, in its sole discretion, may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement within the property for the relocation of the facilities without cost, expense, or reimbursement from the State of Georgia.

SECTION 255. That the easement granted to Coastal Electric Cooperative shall contain such other reasonable terms, conditions, and covenants as the State Properties Commission shall deem to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia and that the State Properties Commission is authorized to use a more accurate description of the easement area, so long as the description utilized by the State Properties Commission describes the same easement area herein granted.

SECTION 256. That this resolution does not affect and is not intended to affect any rights, powers, interest, or liability of the Georgia Department of Transportation with respect to the state highway system, of a county with respect to the county road system, or of a municipality with respect to the city street system. The grantee shall obtain any and all other required permits from the appropriate governmental agencies as are necessary for its lawful use of the easement area or public highway right of way and comply with all applicable state and federal environmental statutes in its use of the easement area.

SECTION 257. That, given the public purpose of the project, the consideration for such easement shall be $10.00 and such further consideration and provisions as the State Properties Commission may determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia.

SECTION 258. That this grant of easement shall be recorded by the grantee in the Superior Court of McIntosh County and a recorded copy shall be promptly forwarded to the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 259. That the authorization in this resolution to grant the above described easement to Coastal Electric Cooperative shall expire three years after the date that this resolution is enacted into law and approved by the State Properties Commission.

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SECTION 260. That the State Properties Commission is authorized and empowered to do all acts and things necessary and proper to effect the grant of the easement area.

ARTICLE XXI SECTION 261.

That the State of Georgia is the owner of the hereinafter described real property lying and being in Land Lots 119, 120, 121, 122, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 150, and 171, 2nd Land District, Meriwether County, Georgia, commonly known as Roosevelt Warm Springs Rehabilitation Hospital and Hilliard Cottage, and that the property is in the custody of the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency, which by official action dated June 9, 2014, did not object to the granting of this easement, hereinafter referred to as the easement area, and that, in all matters relating to the easement area, the State of Georgia is acting by and through its State Properties Commission.

SECTION 262. That the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, may grant to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, or its successors and assigns, a nonexclusive easement area for ingress and egress to provide access, parking, signage, utilities, and any other rights which the parties deem desirable for the benefit of the property or the campus of the Roosevelt Warm Springs Rehabilitation Hospital and Hilliard Cottage. Said easement area is located in Meriwether County and is more particularly described as follows:
That approximately 913 acres, lying and being in Land Lots 119, 120, 121, 122, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 150, and 171, 2nd Land District, Meriwether County, Georgia, and that portion only as shown on a drawing furnished by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, and being on file in the offices of the State Properties Commission, and may be more particularly described by a plat of survey prepared by a Georgia registered land surveyor and presented to the State Properties Commission for approval.

SECTION 263. That the above described premises shall be used solely for ingress and egress to provide access, parking, signage, utilities, and any other rights which the parties deem desirable for the benefit of the property or the campus.

SECTION 264. That the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia shall have the right to remove or cause to be removed from said easement area only such trees and bushes as may be reasonably necessary for ingress and egress to provide access, parking, signage, utilities, and

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any other rights which the parties deem desirable for the benefit of the property or the campus.

SECTION 265. That, after the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia has put into use the access, parking, signage, utilities, and any other benefits this easement is granted for, a subsequent abandonment of the use thereof shall cause a reversion to the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns, of all the rights, title, privileges, powers, and easement granted herein. Upon abandonment, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, or its successors and assigns, shall have the option of removing its facilities from the easement area or leaving the same in place, in which event the easement area and associated equipment shall become the property of the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns.

SECTION 266. That no title shall be conveyed to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and, except as herein specifically granted to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, all rights, title, and interest in and to said easement area is reserved in the State of Georgia, which may make any use of said easement area not inconsistent with or detrimental to the rights, privileges, and interest granted to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

SECTION 267. That if the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, determines that any or all of the facilities placed on the easement area should be removed or relocated to an alternate site on state owned land in order to avoid interference with the state's use or intended use of the easement area, it may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement to allow placement of the removed or relocated facilities across the alternate site under such terms and conditions as the State Properties Commission shall in its discretion determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia, and the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia shall remove or relocate its facilities to the alternate easement area at its sole cost and expense, unless the State Properties Commission determines that the requested removal or relocation is to be for the sole benefit of the State of Georgia and the grantee provides, and the State Properties Commission receives and approves, in advance of any construction being commenced, a written estimate for the cost of such removal and relocation. Upon written request from the grantee or any third party, the State Properties Commission, in its sole discretion, may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement within the property for the relocation of the facilities without cost, expense, or reimbursement from the State of Georgia.

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SECTION 268. That the easement granted to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia shall contain such other reasonable terms, conditions, and covenants as the State Properties Commission shall deem to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia and that the State Properties Commission is authorized to use a more accurate description of the easement area, so long as the description utilized by the State Properties Commission describes the same easement area herein granted.

SECTION 269. That this resolution does not affect and is not intended to affect any rights, powers, interest, or liability of the Georgia Department of Transportation with respect to the state highway system, of a county with respect to the county road system, or of a municipality with respect to the city street system. The grantee shall obtain any and all other required permits from the appropriate governmental agencies as are necessary for its lawful use of the easement area or public highway right of way and comply with all applicable state and federal environmental statutes in its use of the easement area.

SECTION 270. That, given the public purpose of the project, the consideration for such easement shall be $10.00 and such further consideration and provisions as the State Properties Commission may determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia.

SECTION 271. That this grant of easement shall be recorded by the grantee in the Superior Court of Meriwether County and a recorded copy shall be promptly forwarded to the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 272. That the authorization in this resolution to grant the above described easement to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia shall expire three years after the date that this resolution is enacted into law and approved by the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 273. That the State Properties Commission is authorized and empowered to do all acts and things necessary and proper to effect the grant of the easement area.

ARTICLE XXII SECTION 274.

That the State of Georgia is the owner of the hereinafter described real property lying and being in Land Lot 105 of the 1st District, Newton County, Georgia, commonly known as the

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Georgia BioScience Training Center at Athens Technical College, and that the property is in the custody of the Technical College System of Georgia, which by official action dated February 6, 2014, did not object to the granting of this easement, hereinafter referred to as the easement area, and that, in all matters relating to the easement area, the State of Georgia is acting by and through its State Properties Commission.

SECTION 275. That the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, may grant to Walton Electric Membership Corporation, or its successors and assigns, a nonexclusive easement area for the construction, operation, and maintenance of underground electrical distribution lines and associated equipment to serve the Georgia BioScience Training Center (TCSG-300) at Athens Technical College. Said easement area is located in Newton County and is more particularly described as follows:
That approximately 0.16 acre, lying and being in the Land Lot 105 of the 1st District of Newton County, Georgia, and that portion only as shown on a drawing furnished by Walton Electric Membership Corporation, and being on file in the offices of the State Properties Commission, and may be more particularly described by a plat of survey prepared by a Georgia registered land surveyor and presented to the State Properties Commission for approval.

SECTION 276. That the above described premises shall be used solely for the construction, operation, and maintenance of underground electrical distribution lines and associated equipment.

SECTION 277. That Walton Electric Membership Corporation shall have the right to remove or cause to be removed from said easement area only such trees and bushes as may be reasonably necessary for the construction, operation, and maintenance of underground electrical distribution lines and associated equipment.

SECTION 278. That, after Walton Electric Membership Corporation has put into use the underground electrical distribution lines and associated equipment this easement is granted for, a subsequent abandonment of the use thereof shall cause a reversion to the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns, of all the rights, title, privileges, powers, and easement granted herein. Upon abandonment, Walton Electric Membership Corporation, or its successors and assigns, shall have the option of removing its facilities from the easement area or leaving the same in place, in which event the distribution lines and associated equipment shall become the property of the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns.

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SECTION 279. That no title shall be conveyed to Walton Electric Membership Corporation and, except as herein specifically granted to Walton Electric Membership Corporation, all rights, title, and interest in and to said easement area is reserved in the State of Georgia, which may make any use of said easement area not inconsistent with or detrimental to the rights, privileges, and interest granted to Walton Electric Membership Corporation.

SECTION 280. That if the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, determines that any or all of the facilities placed on the easement area should be removed or relocated to an alternate site on state owned land in order to avoid interference with the state's use or intended use of the easement area, it may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement to allow placement of the removed or relocated facilities across the alternate site under such terms and conditions as the State Properties Commission shall in its discretion determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia, and Walton Electric Membership Corporation shall remove or relocate its facilities to the alternate easement area at its sole cost and expense, unless the State Properties Commission determines that the requested removal or relocation is to be for the sole benefit of the State of Georgia and the grantee provides, and the State Properties Commission receives and approves, in advance of any construction being commenced, a written estimate for the cost of such removal and relocation. Upon written request from the grantee or any third party, the State Properties Commission, in its sole discretion, may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement within the property for the relocation of the facilities without cost, expense, or reimbursement from the State of Georgia.

SECTION 281. That the easement granted to Walton Electric Membership Corporation shall contain such other reasonable terms, conditions, and covenants as the State Properties Commission shall deem to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia and that the State Properties Commission is authorized to use a more accurate description of the easement area, so long as the description utilized by the State Properties Commission describes the same easement area herein granted.

SECTION 282. That this resolution does not affect and is not intended to affect any rights, powers, interest, or liability of the Georgia Department of Transportation with respect to the state highway system, of a county with respect to the county road system, or of a municipality with respect to the city street system. The grantee shall obtain any and all other required permits from the appropriate governmental agencies as are necessary for its lawful use of the easement area or public highway right of way and comply with all applicable state and federal environmental statutes in its use of the easement area.

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SECTION 283. That, given the public purpose of the project, the consideration for such easement shall be $10.00 and such further consideration and provisions as the State Properties Commission may determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia.

SECTION 284. That this grant of easement shall be recorded by the grantee in the Superior Court of Newton County and a recorded copy shall promptly be forwarded to the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 285. That the authorization in this resolution to grant the above described easement to Walton Electric Membership Corporation shall expire three years after the date that this resolution is enacted into law and approved by the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 286. That the State Properties Commission is authorized and empowered to do all acts and things necessary and proper to effect the grant of the easement area.

ARTICLE XXIII SECTION 287.

That the State of Georgia is the owner of the hereinafter described real property lying and being in Land Lot 406 of the 18th District, 3rd Section, Polk County, Georgia, commonly known as Paulding Forest Wildlife Management Area, and that the property is in the custody of the Department of Natural Resources, which by official action dated June 24, 2014, did not object to the granting of this easement exchange, the easement to be granted hereinafter referred to as the easement area, and that, in all matters relating to the easement area, the State of Georgia is acting by and through its State Properties Commission.

SECTION 288. That the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, may grant to the Corley family, or its successors and assigns, a nonexclusive easement area for ingress and egress access within Ironstob Phase I tract along Blue Car Body Road of the Paulding Wildlife Management Area. Said easement area is located in Polk County and is more particularly described as follows:
That approximately 3.0 acres, lying and being in the Land Lot 406 of the 18th District, 3rd Section of Polk County, Georgia, and that portion only as shown on a drawing furnished by the Department of Natural Resources, and being on file in the offices of the State Properties Commission, and may be more particularly described by a plat of survey prepared by a Georgia registered land surveyor and presented to the State Properties Commission for approval.

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SECTION 289. That the above described premises shall be used solely for ingress and egress.

SECTION 290. That the Corley family shall have the right to remove or cause to be removed from said easement area only such trees and bushes as may be reasonably necessary for ingress and egress.

SECTION 291. That, after the Corley family has put into use the access easement this easement is granted for, a subsequent abandonment of the use thereof shall cause a reversion to the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns, of all the rights, title, privileges, powers, and easement granted herein. Upon abandonment, the Corley family, or its successors and assigns, shall have the option of removing its property from the easement area or leaving the same in place, in which event the property shall become the property of the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns.

SECTION 292. That no title shall be conveyed to the Corley family and, except as herein specifically granted to the Corley family, all rights, title, and interest in and to said easement area is reserved in the State of Georgia, which may make any use of said easement area not inconsistent with or detrimental to the rights, privileges, and interest granted to the Corley family.

SECTION 293. That if the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, determines that any or all of the facilities placed on the easement area should be removed or relocated to an alternate site on state owned land in order to avoid interference with the state's use or intended use of the easement area, it may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement to allow placement of the removed or relocated facilities across the alternate site under such terms and conditions as the State Properties Commission shall in its discretion determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia, and the Corley family shall remove or relocate its facilities to the alternate easement area at its sole cost and expense, unless the State Properties Commission determines that the requested removal or relocation is to be for the sole benefit of the State of Georgia and the grantee provides, and the State Properties Commission receives and approves, in advance of any construction being commenced, a written estimate for the cost of such removal and relocation. Upon written request from the grantee or any third party, the State Properties Commission, in its sole discretion, may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement within the property for the relocation of the facilities without cost, expense, or reimbursement from the State of Georgia.

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SECTION 294. That the easement granted to the Corley family shall contain such other reasonable terms, conditions, and covenants as the State Properties Commission shall deem to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia and that the State Properties Commission is authorized to use a more accurate description of the easement area, so long as the description utilized by the State Properties Commission describes the same easement area herein granted.

SECTION 295. That this resolution does not affect and is not intended to affect any rights, powers, interest, or liability of the Georgia Department of Transportation with respect to the state highway system, of a county with respect to the county road system, or of a municipality with respect to the city street system. The grantee shall obtain any and all other required permits from the appropriate governmental agencies as are necessary for its lawful use of the easement area or public highway right of way and comply with all applicable state and federal environmental statutes in its use of the easement area.

SECTION 296. That, as consideration for such easement exchange, the Corley family shall grant an easement over approximately six acres for ingress and egress access for public use and for the Department of Natural Resource's administrative use along with a right of first refusal to purchase approximately 360 acres of the Corley family's property labeled Tracts A, B, C, D, and E, being on file in the offices of the State Properties Commission, and such further consideration and provisions as the State Properties Commission may determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia.

SECTION 297. That this grant of easement shall be recorded by the grantee in the Superior Court of Polk County and a recorded copy shall be promptly forwarded to the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 298. That the authorization in this resolution to grant the above described easement to the Corley family shall expire three years after the date that this resolution is enacted into law and approved by the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 299. That the State Properties Commission is authorized and empowered to do all acts and things necessary and proper to effect the grant of the easement area.

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ARTICLE XXIV SECTION 300.

That the State of Georgia is the owner of the hereinafter described real property lying and being in 86-3 District, G.M., formerly the 1660th District, G.M., Richmond County, Georgia, commonly known as the East Central Regional Hospital, and that the property is in the custody of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, which by official action dated June 18, 2014, did not object to the granting of this easement, hereinafter referred to as the easement area, and that, in all matters relating to the easement area, the State of Georgia is acting by and through its State Properties Commission.

SECTION 301. That the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, may grant to Augusta, Georgia, or its successors and assigns, a nonexclusive easement area for the replacement and construction of water pipelines at East Central Regional Hospital. Said easement area is located in Richmond County and is more particularly described as follows:
That approximately 0.873 acre, lying and being in 86-3 District, G.M., formerly the 166th District, G.M., of Richmond County, Georgia, and that portion only as shown on a drawing furnished by Augusta, Georgia, and being on file in the offices of the State Properties Commission, and may be more particularly described by a plat of survey prepared by a Georgia registered land surveyor and presented to the State Properties Commission for approval.

SECTION 302. That the above described premises shall be used solely for the replacement and construction of water pipelines.

SECTION 303. That Augusta, Georgia, shall have the right to remove or cause to be removed from said easement area only such trees and bushes as may be reasonably necessary for the replacement and construction of water pipelines.

SECTION 304. That, after Augusta, Georgia, has put into use the water pipelines this easement is granted for, a subsequent abandonment of the use thereof shall cause a reversion to the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns, of all the rights, title, privileges, powers, and easement granted herein. Upon abandonment, Augusta, Georgia, or its successors and assigns, shall have the option of removing its facilities from the easement area or leaving the same in place, in which event the pipelines shall become the property of the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns.

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SECTION 305. That no title shall be conveyed to Augusta, Georgia, and, except as herein specifically granted to Augusta, Georgia, all rights, title, and interest in and to said easement area is reserved in the State of Georgia, which may make any use of said easement area not inconsistent with or detrimental to the rights, privileges, and interest granted to Augusta, Georgia.

SECTION 306. That if the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, determines that any or all of the facilities placed on the easement area should be removed or relocated to an alternate site on state owned land in order to avoid interference with the state's use or intended use of the easement area, it may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement to allow placement of the removed or relocated facilities across the alternate site under such terms and conditions as the State Properties Commission shall in its discretion determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia, and Augusta, Georgia, shall remove or relocate its facilities to the alternate easement area at its sole cost and expense, unless the State Properties Commission determines that the requested removal or relocation is to be for the sole benefit of the State of Georgia and the grantee provides, and the State Properties Commission receives and approves, in advance of any construction being commenced, a written estimate for the cost of such removal and relocation. Upon written request from the grantee or any third party, the State Properties Commission, in its sole discretion, may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement within the property for the relocation of the facilities without cost, expense, or reimbursement from the State of Georgia.

SECTION 307. That the easement granted to Augusta, Georgia, shall contain such other reasonable terms, conditions, and covenants as the State Properties Commission shall deem to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia and that the State Properties Commission is authorized to use a more accurate description of the easement area, so long as the description utilized by the State Properties Commission describes the same easement area herein granted.

SECTION 308. That this resolution does not affect and is not intended to affect any rights, powers, interest, or liability of the Georgia Department of Transportation with respect to the state highway system, of a county with respect to the county road system, or of a municipality with respect to the city street system. The grantee shall obtain any and all other required permits from the appropriate governmental agencies as are necessary for its lawful use of the easement area or public highway right of way and comply with all applicable state and federal environmental statutes in its use of the easement area.

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SECTION 309. That the consideration for such easement shall be $650.00 and such further consideration and provisions as the State Properties Commission may determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia.

SECTION 310. That this grant of easement shall be recorded by the grantee in the Superior Court of Richmond County and a recorded copy shall promptly be forwarded to the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 311. That the authorization in this resolution to grant the above described easement to Augusta, Georgia, shall expire three years after the date that this resolution is enacted into law and approved by the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 312. That the State Properties Commission is authorized and empowered to do all acts and things necessary and proper to effect the grant of the easement area.

ARTICLE XXV SECTION 313.

That the State of Georgia is the owner of the hereinafter described real property commonly known as the Kia/Hyundai Dymos Tract in Troup County, Georgia, and that the property is in the custody of the Department of Economic Development, which by official action dated August 22, 2014, did not object to the granting of this easement, hereinafter referred to as the easement area, and that, in all matters relating to the easement area, the State of Georgia is acting by and through its State Properties Commission.

SECTION 314. That the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, may grant to the City of West Point, Georgia, or its successors and assigns, a nonexclusive easement area for a water and sewer line. Said easement area is located at the Kia/Hyundai Dymos Tract in Troup County and is more particularly described as follows:
That approximately 1.391 acre, lying and being in 5th Land District, Troup County, Georgia, and that portion only as shown on a drawing furnished by various utility companies, and being on file in the offices of the State Properties Commission, and may be more particularly described by a plat of survey prepared by a Georgia registered land surveyor and presented to the State Properties Commission for approval.

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SECTION 315. That the above described premises shall be used solely for the purpose of the installation, maintenance, and operation of a water and sewer line.

SECTION 316. That the City of West Point shall have the right to remove or cause to be removed from said easement area only such trees and bushes as may be reasonably necessary for the proper installation, operation, and maintenance of said water and sewer line.

SECTION 317. That, after the City of West Point put into use the water and sewer line this easement is granted for, a subsequent abandonment of the use thereof shall cause a reversion to the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns, of all the rights, title, privileges, powers, and easement granted herein. Upon abandonment, the City of West Point, or its successors and assigns, shall have the option of removing its facilities from the easement area or leaving the same in place, in which event the water and sewer line and associated equipment shall become the property of the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns.

SECTION 318. That no title shall be conveyed to the City of West Point and, except as herein specifically granted to the city, all rights, title, and interest in and to said easement area is reserved in the State of Georgia, which may make any use of said easement area not inconsistent with or detrimental to the rights, privileges, and interest granted to the City of West Point.

SECTION 319. That if the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, determines that any or all of the facilities placed on the easement area should be removed or relocated to an alternate site on state owned land in order to avoid interference with the state's use or intended use of the easement area, it may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement to allow placement of the removed or relocated facilities across the alternate site under such terms and conditions as the State Properties Commission shall in its discretion determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia, and the various utility companies shall remove or relocate their facilities to the alternate easement area at their sole cost and expense, unless the State Properties Commission determines that the requested removal or relocation is to be for the sole benefit of the State of Georgia and the grantee provides, and the State Properties Commission receives and approves, in advance of any construction being commenced, a written estimate for the cost of such removal and relocation. Upon written request from the grantee or any third party, the State Properties Commission, in its sole discretion, may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement within the property for the relocation of the facilities without cost, expense, or reimbursement from the State of Georgia.

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SECTION 320. That the easement granted to the City of West Point shall contain such other reasonable terms, conditions, and covenants as the State Properties Commission shall deem to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia and that the State Properties Commission is authorized to use a more accurate description of the easement area, so long as the description utilized by the State Properties Commission describes the same easement area herein granted.

SECTION 321. That this resolution does not affect and is not intended to affect any rights, powers, interest, or liability of the Georgia Department of Transportation with respect to the state highway system, of a county with respect to the county road system, or of a municipality with respect to the city street system. The grantee shall obtain any and all other required permits from the appropriate governmental agencies as are necessary for its lawful use of the easement area or public highway right of way and comply with all applicable state and federal environmental statutes in its use of the easement area.

SECTION 322. That, given the public purpose of the project, the consideration for such easement shall be $10.00 and such further consideration and provisions as the State Properties Commission may determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia.

SECTION 323. That this grant of easement shall be recorded by the grantee in the Superior Court of Troup County and a recorded copy shall promptly be forwarded to the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 324. That the authorization in this resolution to grant the above described easement to the City of West Point shall expire three years after the date that this resolution is enacted into law and approved by the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 325. That the State Properties Commission is authorized and empowered to do all acts and things necessary and proper to effect the grant of the easement area.

ARTICLE XXVI SECTION 326.

That the State of Georgia is the owner of the hereinafter described real property lying and being in Land Lots 72 and 77, 1st District, Walton County, Georgia, commonly known as the Walton Fish Hatchery, and that the property is in the custody of the Department of Natural Resources, which by official action dated January 31, 2014, did not object to the

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granting of this easement, hereinafter referred to as the easement area, and that, in all matters relating to the easement area, the State of Georgia is acting by and through its State Properties Commission.

SECTION 327. That the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, may grant to Georgia Power Company, or its successors and assigns, a nonexclusive easement area for the construction, operation, and maintenance of transmission lines and associated equipment along Willow Springs Church Road at Walton Fish Hatchery. Said easement area is located in Walton County and is more particularly described as follows:
That approximately 0.7 acre, lying and being in Land Lots 72 and 77, 1st District, Walton County, Georgia, and that portion only as shown on a drawing furnished by Georgia Power Company, and being on file in the offices of the State Properties Commission, and may be more particularly described by a plat of survey prepared by a Georgia registered land surveyor and presented to the State Properties Commission for approval.

SECTION 328. That the above described premises shall be used solely for the construction, operation, and maintenance of transmission lines and associated equipment.

SECTION 329. That Georgia Power Company shall have the right to remove or cause to be removed from said easement area only such trees and bushes as may be reasonably necessary for the construction, operation, and maintenance of transmission lines and associated equipment.

SECTION 330. That, after Georgia Power Company has put into use the transmission lines and associated equipment this easement is granted for, a subsequent abandonment of the use thereof shall cause a reversion to the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns, of all the rights, title, privileges, powers, and easement granted herein. Upon abandonment, Georgia Power Company, or its successors and assigns, shall have the option of removing its facilities from the easement area or leaving the same in place, in which event the transmission lines and associated equipment shall become the property of the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns.

SECTION 331. That no title shall be conveyed to Georgia Power Company and, except as herein specifically granted to Georgia Power Company, all rights, title, and interest in and to said easement area is reserved in the State of Georgia, which may make any use of said easement area not inconsistent with or detrimental to the rights, privileges, and interest granted to Georgia Power Company.

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SECTION 332. That if the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, determines that any or all of the facilities placed on the easement area should be removed or relocated to an alternate site on state owned land in order to avoid interference with the state's use or intended use of the easement area, it may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement to allow placement of the removed or relocated facilities across the alternate site under such terms and conditions as the State Properties Commission shall in its discretion determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia, and Georgia Power Company shall remove or relocate its facilities to the alternate easement area at its sole cost and expense, unless the State Properties Commission determines that the requested removal or relocation is to be for the sole benefit of the State of Georgia and the grantee provides, and the State Properties Commission receives and approves, in advance of any construction being commenced, a written estimate for the cost of such removal and relocation. Upon written request from the grantee or any third party, the State Properties Commission, in its sole discretion, may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement within the property for the relocation of the facilities without cost, expense, or reimbursement from the State of Georgia.

SECTION 333. That the easement granted to Georgia Power Company shall contain such other reasonable terms, conditions, and covenants as the State Properties Commission shall deem to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia and that the State Properties Commission is authorized to use a more accurate description of the easement area, so long as the description utilized by the State Properties Commission describes the same easement area herein granted.

SECTION 334. That this resolution does not affect and is not intended to affect any rights, powers, interest, or liability of the Georgia Department of Transportation with respect to the state highway system, of a county with respect to the county road system, or of a municipality with respect to the city street system. The grantee shall obtain any and all other required permits from the appropriate governmental agencies as are necessary for its lawful use of the easement area or public highway right of way and comply with all applicable state and federal environmental statutes in its use of the easement area.

SECTION 335. That the consideration for such easement shall be the fair market value, but not less than $650.00, and such further consideration and provisions as the State Properties Commission may determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia.

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SECTION 336. That this grant of easement shall be recorded by the grantee in the Superior Court of Walton County and a recorded copy shall promptly be forwarded to the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 337. That the authorization in this resolution to grant the above described easement to Georgia Power Company shall expire three years after the date that this resolution is enacted into law and approved by the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 338. That the State Properties Commission is authorized and empowered to do all acts and things necessary and proper to effect the grant of the easement area.

ARTICLE XXVII SECTION 339.

That the State of Georgia is the owner of the hereinafter described real property lying and being in the 333rd and 1313th District, G.M., Wayne County, Georgia, commonly known as the Penholoway Swamp Wildlife Management Area, and that the property is in the custody of the Department of Natural Resources, which by official action dated January 31, 2014, did not object to the granting of this easement, hereinafter referred to as the easement area, and that, in all matters relating to the easement area, the State of Georgia is acting by and through its State Properties Commission.

SECTION 340. That the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, may grant to Okefenokee Rural Electric Membership Corporation, or its successors and assigns, a nonexclusive easement area for the construction, operation, and maintenance of underground power lines and associated equipment for the new Wildlife Resources Division Maintenance Facility at Penholoway Swamp Wildlife Management Area. Said easement area is located in Wayne County and is more particularly described as follows:
That approximately 0.28 acre, lying and being in the 333rd and 1313th District, G.M., of Wayne County, Georgia, and that portion only as shown on a drawing furnished by Okefenokee Rural Electric Membership Corporation, and being on file in the offices of the State Properties Commission, and may be more particularly described by a plat of survey prepared by a Georgia registered land surveyor and presented to the State Properties Commission for approval.

SECTION 341. That the above described premises shall be used solely for the construction, operation, and maintenance of underground power lines and associated equipment.

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SECTION 342. That Okefenokee Rural Electric Membership Corporation shall have the right to remove or cause to be removed from said easement area only such trees and bushes as may be reasonably necessary for the construction, operation, and maintenance of underground power lines and associated equipment.

SECTION 343. That, after Okefenokee Rural Electric Membership Corporation has put into use the power lines and associated equipment this easement is granted for, a subsequent abandonment of the use thereof shall cause a reversion to the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns, of all the rights, title, privileges, powers, and easement granted herein. Upon abandonment, Okefenokee Rural Electric Membership Corporation, or its successors and assigns, shall have the option of removing its facilities from the easement area or leaving the same in place, in which event the power lines and associated equipment shall become the property of the State of Georgia, or its successors and assigns.

SECTION 344. That no title shall be conveyed to Okefenokee Rural Electric Membership Corporation and, except as herein specifically granted to Okefenokee Rural Electric Membership Corporation, all rights, title, and interest in and to said easement area is reserved in the State of Georgia, which may make any use of said easement area not inconsistent with or detrimental to the rights, privileges, and interest granted to Okefenokee Rural Electric Membership Corporation.

SECTION 345. That if the State of Georgia, acting by and through its State Properties Commission, determines that any or all of the facilities placed on the easement area should be removed or relocated to an alternate site on state owned land in order to avoid interference with the state's use or intended use of the easement area, it may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement to allow placement of the removed or relocated facilities across the alternate site under such terms and conditions as the State Properties Commission shall in its discretion determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia, and Okefenokee Rural Electric Membership Corporation shall remove or relocate its facilities to the alternate easement area at its sole cost and expense, unless the State Properties Commission determines that the requested removal or relocation is to be for the sole benefit of the State of Georgia and the grantee provides, and the State Properties Commission receives and approves, in advance of any construction being commenced, a written estimate for the cost of such removal and relocation. Upon written request from the grantee or any third party, the State Properties Commission, in its sole discretion, may grant a substantially equivalent nonexclusive easement within the property for the relocation of the facilities without cost, expense, or reimbursement from the State of Georgia.

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SECTION 346. That the easement granted to Okefenokee Rural Electric Membership Corporation shall contain such other reasonable terms, conditions, and covenants as the State Properties Commission shall deem to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia and that the State Properties Commission is authorized to use a more accurate description of the easement area, so long as the description utilized by the State Properties Commission describes the same easement area herein granted.

SECTION 347. That this resolution does not affect and is not intended to affect any rights, powers, interest, or liability of the Georgia Department of Transportation with respect to the state highway system, of a county with respect to the county road system, or of a municipality with respect to the city street system. The grantee shall obtain any and all other required permits from the appropriate governmental agencies as are necessary for its lawful use of the easement area or public highway right of way and comply with all applicable state and federal environmental statutes in its use of the easement area.

SECTION 348. That, given the public purpose of the project, the consideration for such easement shall be $10.00 and such further consideration and provisions as the State Properties Commission may determine to be in the best interest of the State of Georgia.

SECTION 349. That this grant of easement shall be recorded by the grantee in the Superior Court of Wayne County and a recorded copy shall promptly be forwarded to the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 350. That the authorization in this resolution to grant the above described easement to Okefenokee Rural Electric Membership Corporation shall expire three years after the date that this resolution is enacted into law and approved by the State Properties Commission.

SECTION 351. That the State Properties Commission is authorized and empowered to do all acts and things necessary and proper to effect the grant of the easement area.

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ARTICLE XXVIII SECTION 352.

That this resolution shall become effective as law upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval.

SECTION 353. That all laws and parts of laws in conflict with this resolution are repealed.

Approved April 30, 2015.

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REVENUE AND TAXATION ADDITIONAL PURPOSES FOR USE OF PROCEEDS OF SPECIAL PURPOSE LOCAL OPTION SALES AND USE TAXES.

No. 39 (Senate Bill No. 122).

AN ACT

To amend Code Section 48-8-111 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the procedure for implementing a special purpose local option sales tax, so as to provide for additional purposes for use of the proceeds of the tax; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Code Section 48-8-111 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the procedure for implementing a special purpose local option sales tax, is amended by revising subsection (a) as follows:
"(a) Prior to the issuance of the call for the referendum and prior to the vote of a county governing authority within a special district to impose the tax under this part, such governing authority may enter into an intergovernmental agreement with any or all of the qualified municipalities within the special district. Any county that desires to have a tax under this part levied within the special district shall deliver or mail a written notice to the mayor or chief elected official in each qualified municipality located within the special district. Such notice shall contain the date, time, place, and purpose of a meeting at which the governing authorities of the county and of each qualified municipality are to meet to discuss the possible projects for inclusion in the referendum, including municipally owned

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or operated projects. The notice shall be delivered or mailed at least ten days prior to the date of the meeting. The meeting shall be held at least 30 days prior to the issuance of the call for the referendum. Following such meeting, the governing authority of the county within the special district voting to impose the tax authorized by this part shall notify the county election superintendent by forwarding to the superintendent a copy of the resolution or ordinance of the governing authority calling for the imposition of the tax. Such ordinance or resolution shall specify eligible expenditures identified by the county and any qualified municipality for use of proceeds distributed pursuant to subsection (b) of Code Section 48-8-115. Such ordinance or resolution shall also specify:
(1) The purpose or purposes for which the proceeds of the tax are to be used and may be expended, which purpose or purposes may consist of capital outlay projects located within or outside, or both within and outside, any incorporated areas in the county in the special district or outside the county, as authorized by subparagraph (B) of this paragraph for regional facilities, and which may include any of the following purposes:
(A) A capital outlay project consisting of road, street, and bridge purposes, which purposes may include sidewalks and bicycle paths; (B) A capital outlay project or projects in the special district and consisting of a courthouse; administrative buildings; a civic center; a local or regional jail, correctional institution, or other detention facility; a library; a coliseum; local or regional solid waste handling facilities as defined under paragraph (27.1) or (35) of Code Section 12-8-22, as amended, excluding any solid waste thermal treatment technology facility, including, but not limited to, any facility for purposes of incineration or waste to energy direct conversion; local or regional recovered materials processing facilities as defined under paragraph (26) of Code Section 12-8-22, as amended; or any combination of such projects; (C) A capital outlay project or projects which will be operated by a joint authority or authorities of the county and one or more qualified municipalities within the special district; (D) A capital outlay project or projects, to be owned or operated or both either by the county, one or more qualified municipalities within the special district, one or more local authorities within the special district, or any combination thereof; (E) A capital outlay project consisting of a cultural facility, a recreational facility, or a historic facility or a facility for some combination of such purposes; (F) A water capital outlay project, a sewer capital outlay project, a water and sewer capital outlay project, or a combination of such projects, to be owned or operated or both by a county water and sewer district and one or more qualified municipalities in the county; (G) The retirement of previously incurred general obligation debt of the county, one or more qualified municipalities within the special district, or any combination thereof;

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(H) A capital outlay project or projects within the special district and consisting of public safety facilities, airport facilities, or related capital equipment used in the operation of public safety or airport facilities, or any combination of such purposes; (I) A capital outlay project or projects within the special district, consisting of capital equipment for use in voting in official elections or referendums; (J) A capital outlay project or projects within the special district consisting of any transportation facility designed for the transportation of people or goods, including but not limited to railroads, port and harbor facilities, mass transportation facilities, or any combination thereof; (K) A capital outlay project or projects within the special district and consisting of a hospital or hospital facilities that are owned by a county, a qualified municipality, or a hospital authority within the special district and operated by such county, municipality, or hospital authority or by an organization which is tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, which operates the hospital through a contract or lease with such county, municipality, or hospital authority; (L) The repair of capital outlay projects, including, but not limited to, roads, streets, and bridges, located, in part or in whole, within the special district that have been damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster; (M) A capital outlay project or projects that are owned, operated, or administered by the state and located, in part or in whole, within the special district; or (N) Any combination of two or more of the foregoing; (2) The maximum period of time, to be stated in calendar years or calendar quarters and not to exceed five years, unless the provisions of paragraph (1) of subsection (b) or subparagraph (b)(2)(A) of Code Section 48-8-115 are applicable, in which case the maximum period of time for which the tax may be levied shall not exceed six years; (3) The estimated cost of the project or projects which will be funded from the proceeds of the tax, which estimated cost shall also be the estimated amount of net proceeds to be raised by the tax, unless the provisions of paragraph (1) of subsection (b) or subparagraph (b)(2)(A) of Code Section 48-8-115 are applicable, in which case the final day of the tax shall be based upon the length of time for which the tax was authorized to be levied by the referendum; and (4) If general obligation debt is to be issued in conjunction with the imposition of the tax, the principal amount of the debt to be issued, the purpose for which the debt is to be issued, the local government issuing the debt, the interest rate or rates or the maximum interest rate or rates which such debt is to bear, and the amount of principal to be paid in each year during the life of the debt."

SECTION 2. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved May 1, 2015.

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CRIMES AND OFFENSES INCEST; HARASSING COMMUNICATIONS; DESTROYING OR INJURING POLICE DOG OR POLICE HORSE.

No. 40 (Senate Bill No. 72).

AN ACT

To amend Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to crimes and offenses, so as to change provisions relating to the relationships between relatives which constitute incest; to change the offense of harassing phone calls to the offense of harassing communications; to provide for penalties; to provide for venue; to provide for exceptions; to change provisions relating to destroying or injuring a police dog or police horse; to provided for definitions; to create degrees of an offense relating to harming law enforcement animals; to provide for exceptions; to provide for the necropsy of law enforcement animals killed in the performance of official duties; to provide for a short title; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

PART I SECTION 1-1.

Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to crimes and offenses, is amended by revising subsection (a) of Code Section 16-6-22, relating to incest, as follows:
"(a) A person commits the offense of incest when such person engages in sexual intercourse or sodomy, as such term is defined in Code Section 16-6-2, with a person whom he or she knows he or she is related to either by blood or by marriage as follows:
(1) Father and child or stepchild; (2) Mother and child or stepchild; (3) Siblings of the whole blood or of the half blood; (4) Grandparent and grandchild of the whole blood or of the half blood; (5) Aunt and niece or nephew of the whole blood or of the half blood; or (6) Uncle and niece or nephew of the whole blood or of the half blood."

PART II SECTION 2-1.

Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 16-11-39.1, relating to harassing phone calls, as follows:

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"16-11-39.1. (a) A person commits the offense of harassing communications if such person:
(1) Contacts another person repeatedly via telecommunication, e-mail, text messaging, or any other form of electronic communication for the purpose of harassing, molesting, threatening, or intimidating such person or the family of such person; (2) Threatens bodily harm via telecommunication, e-mail, text messaging, or any other form of electronic communication; (3) Telephones another person and intentionally fails to hang up or disengage the connection; or (4) Knowingly permits any device used for telecommunication, e-mail, text messaging, or any other form of electronic communication under such person's control to be used for any purpose prohibited by this subsection. (b) Any person who commits the offense of harassing communications shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. (c) The offense of harassing communications shall be considered to have been committed in the county where: (1) The defendant was located when he or she placed the telephone call or transmitted, sent, or posted an electronic communication; or (2) The telephone call or electronic communication was received. (d) Any violation of this Code section shall constitute a separate offense and shall not merge with any other crimes set forth in this title. (e) This Code section shall not apply to constitutionally protected speech."

PART III SECTION 3-1.

This part of this Act shall be known and may be cited as "Tanja's Law."

SECTION 3-2. Said title is further amended by revising subsection (e) of Code Section 16-5-23, relating to simple battery, as follows:
"(e) Any person who commits the offense of simple battery against a police officer, correction officer, or detention officer engaged in carrying out official duties shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature."

SECTION 3-3. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 16-11-107, relating to destroying or injuring a police dog or police horse, as follows:
"16-11-107. (a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) 'Accelerant detection dog' means a dog trained to detect hydrocarbon substances.

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(2) 'Bomb detection dog' means a dog trained to locate bombs or explosives by scent. (2.1) 'Dangerous weapon' shall have the same meaning as provided for in Code Section 16-11-121. (2.2) 'Firearm' means any handgun, rifle, shotgun, stun gun, taser, or dangerous weapon. (3) 'Firearms detection dog' means a dog trained to locate firearms by scent. (3.1) 'Knowingly' means having knowledge that an animal is a law enforcement animal. (3.2) 'Law enforcement animal' means a police dog, police horse, or any other animal trained to support a peace officer, fire department, or the state fire marshal in performance of law enforcement duties. (4) 'Narcotic detection dog' means a dog trained to locate narcotics by scent. (5) 'Narcotics' means any controlled substance as defined in paragraph (4) of Code Section 16-13-21 and shall include marijuana as defined by paragraph (16) of Code Section 16-13-21. (6) 'Patrol dog' means a dog trained to protect a peace officer and to apprehend or hold without excessive force a person in violation of the criminal statutes of this state. (6.1) 'Performance of its duties' means performing law enforcement, fire department, or state fire marshal duties as trained. (7) 'Police dog' means a bomb detection dog, a firearms detection dog, a narcotic detection dog, a patrol dog, an accelerant detection dog, or a tracking dog used by a law enforcement agency. Such term also means a search and rescue dog. (8) 'Police horse' means a horse trained to transport, carry, or be ridden by a law enforcement officer and used by a law enforcement agency. (8.1) 'Search and rescue dog' means any dog that is owned or the services of which are employed by a fire department or the state fire marshal for the principal purpose of aiding in the detection of missing persons, including but not limited to persons who are lost, who are trapped under debris as a result of a natural or manmade disaster, or who are drowning victims. (9) 'Tracking dog' means a dog trained to track and find a missing person, escaped inmate, or fleeing felon. (b) A person commits the offense of harming a law enforcement animal in the fourth degree when he or she knowingly and intentionally causes physical harm to such law enforcement animal while such law enforcement animal is in performance of its duties or because of such law enforcement animal's performance of its duties. Any person convicted of a violation of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment not to exceed 12 months, a fine not to exceed $5,000.00, or both. (c) A person commits the offense of harming a law enforcement animal in the third degree when he or she knowingly and intentionally and with a deadly weapon causes, or with any object, device, instrument, or body part which, when used offensively against such law enforcement animal, is likely to or actually does cause, serious physical injury to such law enforcement animal while such law enforcement animal is in performance of its duties or

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because of such law enforcement animal's performance of its duties. Any person convicted of a violation of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than six nor more than 12 months, a fine not to exceed $5,000.00, or both. (d) A person commits the offense of harming a law enforcement animal in the second degree when he or she knowingly and intentionally shoots a law enforcement animal with a firearm or causes debilitating physical injury to a law enforcement animal while such law enforcement animal is in performance of its duties or because of such law enforcement animal's performance of its duties. Any person convicted of a violation of this subsection shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years, a fine not to exceed $25,000.00, or both. (e) A person commits the offense of harming a law enforcement animal in the first degree when he or she knowingly and intentionally causes the death of a law enforcement animal while such law enforcement animal is in performance of its duties or because of such law enforcement animal's performance of its duties. Any person convicted of a violation of this subsection shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 18 months nor more than five years, a fine not to exceed $50,000.00, or both. (f) In addition to any other penalty provided for under this Code section, any person convicted of a violation under this Code section shall pay restitution to the law enforcement agency, fire department, or the state fire marshal which is the owner of, or which owned, such law enforcement animal in the amount of associated veterinary expenses incurred in the treatment of such law enforcement animal pursuant to Article 1 of Chapter 14 of Title 17; provided, however, that if such law enforcement animal died or is no longer able to engage in performance of its duties as a result of a violation of this Code section, the amount paid in restitution shall additionally include the amount of the actual replacement value of the law enforcement animal, which shall include the value of an animal to replace the law enforcement animal and all costs associated with training such animal and its handler or handlers. (g) Nothing in this Code section shall prohibit the killing or euthanasia of a law enforcement animal for humane purposes. (h) Nothing in this Code section shall prohibit the defense of a person against a law enforcement animal that attacks such person without or in spite of commands given by its handler. (i) The Division of Forensic Sciences of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation shall perform forensic pathology services upon any law enforcement animal whose death occurred while in performance of its duties or because of such law enforcement animal's performance of its duties."

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PART IV SECTION 4-1.

All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved May 1, 2015.

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CRIMINAL PROCEDURE PENAL INSTITUTIONS STATE GOVERNMENT INPUT AND TRANSPARENCY REGARDING CERTAIN PARDONS AND COMMUTATIONS.

No. 43 (House Bill No. 71).

AN ACT

To amend Chapter 17 of Title 17 and Chapter 9 of Title 42 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the Crime Victims' Bill of Rights and pardons and paroles, respectively, so as to provide for input and transparency relative to the granting of a pardon for a serious offense or commutation of a death sentence to a life sentence; to provide for a definition; to change provisions relating to notifications by the State Board of Pardons and Paroles; to change provisions relating to the State Board of Pardons and Paroles procedure and information gathering when considering the grant of pardon, clemency, or commutation of a death sentence; to provide for exemptions from disclosure; to amend Code Section 50-13-9.1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to variance or waiver to rules, so as to correct an incorrect reference; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Chapter 17 of Title 17 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the Crime Victims' Bill of Rights, is amended by revising Code Section 17-17-13, relating to notification of impending parole or clemency proceedings, as follows:
"17-17-13. The State Board of Pardons and Paroles shall give 20 days' advance notification to a victim whenever it considers making a final decision to grant parole, release a defendant for a period exceeding 60 days, or grant a pardon; and the board shall provide the victim with an opportunity to file a written objection to such action. Within 72 hours of receiving a

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request to commute a death sentence, the State Board of Pardons and Paroles shall provide notification to a victim of the date set for hearing such request and provide such victim an opportunity to file a written response to such request. No notification to the victim need be given unless the victim has expressed a desire for such notification and has provided the State Board of Pardons and Paroles with a current mailing or e-mail address and telephone number. Failure of the victim to inform the board of a change of address or telephone number shall not void a decision of the board."

SECTION 2. Chapter 9 of Title 42 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to pardons and paroles, is amended by revising Code Section 42-9-20.1, relating to public access to information regarding paroled felons residing within this state, as follows:
"42-9-20.1. Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 4 of Chapter 18 of Title 50 or any provisions of this chapter relating to the confidentiality of records, the State Board of Pardons and Paroles shall develop and implement a system whereby any interested citizen of this state shall be permitted to contact the board through an electronic calling system or by other means and receive information relating to persons who have been convicted of a felony, who have been paroled, and whose current addresses are within the State of Georgia. With respect to each parolee, the board shall provide the parolee's name, sex, date of birth, current address, crime or crimes for which the parolee was convicted, and the beginning and ending dates of such person's parole. The board shall be authorized to charge a reasonable fee to cover the costs of providing such information. The board shall be authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this Code section."

SECTION 3. Said chapter is further amended by revising subsection (b) of Code Section 42-9-42, relating to the procedure for granting relief from sentence, conditions, and prerequisites, as follows:
"(b)(1) As used in this subsection, the term 'serious offense' means: (A) A serious violent felony as such term is defined in Code Section 17-10-6.1; or (B) A felony offense of: (i) False imprisonment in violation of Code Section 16-5-41 when the victim is not the child of the accused and the victim is less than 14 years of age; (ii) Aggravated assault in violation of Code Section 16-5-21; (iii) Aggravated battery in violation of Code Section 16-5-24; (iv) Trafficking of persons for labor or sexual servitude in violation of Code Section 16-5-46; (v) Cruelty to children in violation of Code Section 16-5-70; (vi) Stalking in violation of Code Section 16-5-90; (vii) Aggravated stalking in violation of Code Section 16-5-91;

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(viii) Exploitation and intimidation of disabled adults, elder persons, and residents in violation of Code Section 16-5-102; (ix) Sodomy in violation of Code Section 16-6-2; (x) Statutory rape in violation of Code Section 16-6-3; (xi) Child molestation in violation of Code Section 16-6-4; (xii) Enticing a child for indecent purposes in violation of Code Section 16-6-5; (xiii) Sexual assault of certain persons in violation of Code Section 16-6-5.1; (xiv) Incest in violation of Code Section 16-6-22; (xv) Sexual battery in violation of Code Section 16-6-22.1; (xvi) Burglary in violation of Code Section 16-7-1; (xvii) Home invasion in violation of Code Section 16-7-5; (xviii) Arson in violation of Code Section 16-7-60; (xix) Possession, manufacture, transport, distribution, possession with the intent to distribute, or offering to distribute an explosive device in violation of Code Section 16-7-82; (xx) Possessing, transporting, or receiving explosives or destructive devices with the intent to kill, injure, or intimidate individuals or destroy public buildings in violation of Code Section 16-7-88; (xxi) Theft by receiving stolen property in violation of Code Section 16-8-7; (xxii) Robbery in violation of Code Section 16-8-40; (xxiii) Sexual exploitation of children in violation of Code Section 16-12-100; (xxiv) Drug related objects in violation of Code Section 16-13-1; (xxv) Approval by the federal Food and Drug Administration as prerequisite to certain sales in violation of Code Section 16-13-4; (xxvi) Purchase, possession, manufacture, distribution, or sale of controlled substances or marijuana in violation of Code Section 16-13-30; (xxvii) Licenses for sale, transfer, or purchase for resale of products containing pseudoephedrine; reporting and record-keeping requirements in violation of Code Section 16-13-30.4; (xxviii) Possession of substances with intent to use or convey such substances for the manufacture of Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substances in violation of Code Section 16-13-30.5; (xxix) Trafficking in cocaine, illegal drugs, marijuana, or methamphetamine in violation of Code Section 16-13-31; (xxx) Trafficking in ecstasy in violation of Code Section 16-13-31.1; (xxxi) Transactions in drug related objects in violation of Code Section 16-13-32; (xxxii) Transactions in drug related objects in violation of Code Section 16-13-32.1; (xxxiii) Use of a communication facility in committing or facilitating commission of an act which constitutes a felony in violation of Code Section 16-13-32.3; (xxxiv) Manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, or possessing controlled substances in, on, or near public or private schools in violation of Code Section 16-13-32.4;

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(xxxv) Manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, or possessing controlled substances, marijuana, or counterfeit substances near a park or housing project in violation of Code Section 16-13-32.5; (xxxvi) Manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, or possessing with intent to distribute controlled substances or marijuana in, on, or within a drug-free commercial zone in violation of Code Section 16-13-32.6; (xxxvii) Unauthorized distribution and dispensation of a controlled substance in violation of Code Section 16-13-42; (xxxviii) Unauthorized distribution of a controlled substance in violation of Code Section 16-13-43; (xxxix) A violation of Article 3 of Chapter 13 of Title 16 involving dangerous drugs; (xl) A violation of Chapter 14 of Title 16 involving racketeer influenced and corrupt organizations; or (xli) Participating in gang activity in violation of Code Section 16-15-4. (2) A grant of pardon, parole, or other relief from sentence shall be rendered only by a written decision which shall be signed by at least the number of board members required for the relief granted and which shall become a part of such individual's permanent record. (3) Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 4 of Chapter 18 of Title 50 or any provisions of this chapter relating to the confidentiality of records, a written decision relating to a pardon for a serious offense or commutation of a death sentence shall: (A) Include the board's findings which reflect the board's consideration of the evidence offered that supports the board's decision; and (B) Be available for public inspection."

SECTION 4. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 42-9-43, relating to information to be considered by the board generally, investigation, granting relief, and notice to victim, as follows:
"42-9-43. (a) The board, in considering any case within its power, shall cause to be brought before it all pertinent information on the person in question. Included therein shall be:
(1) A report by the superintendent, warden, or jailer of the jail or state or county correctional institution in which the person has been confined upon the conduct of record of the person while in such jail or state or county correctional institution; (2) The results of such physical and mental examinations as may have been made of the person; (3) The extent to which the person appears to have responded to the efforts made to improve his or her social attitude; (4) The industrial record of the person while confined, the nature of his or her occupations while so confined, and a recommendation as to the kind of work he or she

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is best fitted to perform and at which he or she is most likely to succeed when and if he or she is released; (5) The educational programs in which the person has participated and the level of education which the person has attained based on standardized reading tests; (6) The written statements or oral testimony, if any, of the district attorney of the circuit in which the person was sentenced expressing views and making any recommendation as to a pardon for a serious offense, as such term is defined in Code Section 42-9-42, or commutation of a death sentence; (7) The written, oral, audiotaped, or videotaped testimony of the victim, the victim's family, or a witness having personal knowledge of the victim's personal characteristics, including any information prepared by the victim or any individual offering or preparing information on behalf of the victim, for the purpose of the board's consideration of a pardon or commutation of a death sentence if the victim has provided such information to the board; and (8) If the person is or was required to register pursuant to Code Section 42-1-12, any court order issued releasing the person from registration requirements or residency or employment restrictions. (b)(1) As used in this subsection, the term:
(A) 'Debilitating terminal illness' means a disease that cannot be cured or adequately treated and that is reasonably expected to result in death within 12 months. (B) 'Entirely incapacitated' means an offender who:
(i) Requires assistance in order to perform two or more necessary daily life functions or who is completely immobile; and (ii) Has such limited physical or mental ability, strength, or capacity that he or she poses an extremely low risk of physical threat to others or to the community. (C) 'Necessary daily life function' means eating, breathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, walking, or bathing. (2) The board may issue a medical reprieve to an entirely incapacitated person suffering a progressively debilitating terminal illness in accordance with Article IV, Section II, Paragraph II of the Constitution. (c)(1) The board shall give at least 30 days' advance written notification to the district attorney of the circuit in which the person was sentenced whenever it considers making a final decision on a pardon for a serious offense, as such term is defined in Code Section 42-9-42, and shall provide the district attorney an opportunity to submit information and file a written objection to such action. (2) Within 72 hours of receiving a request to commute a death sentence, the board shall provide written notification to the district attorney of the circuit in which the person was sentenced of the date set for hearing such request and shall provide the district attorney an opportunity to submit information and file a written response to such request. (3) The board may also make such other investigation as it may deem necessary in order to be fully informed about the person.

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(d)(1) Before releasing any person on parole, granting a pardon, or commuting a death sentence, the board may have the person appear before it and may personally examine him or her and consider any information it deems relevant or necessary. When objections to relief have been tendered, the board may hold a hearing and consider oral testimony. Upon consideration of the records, papers, documents, and oral testimony submitted, the board shall make its findings and determine whether or not such person shall be granted a pardon, parole, or other relief within the power of the board and determine the terms and conditions thereof. (2) Notice of the board's determination shall be given to the person being considered, the correctional official having him or her in custody, if applicable, the district attorney who submitted any information or objection, and the victim in accordance with Code Section 17-17-13. (e) If a person in custody is granted a pardon or a parole, the correctional official having such person in custody, upon notification thereof, shall inform him or her of the terms and conditions thereof and shall, in strict accordance therewith, release the person."

SECTION 5. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 42-9-46, relating to cases in which inmate has failed to serve time required for automatic initial consideration, as follows:
"42-9-46. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary, if the board is to consider any case in which an inmate has failed to serve the time required by law for automatic initial consideration, the board shall notify in writing, at least ten days prior to consideration, the sentencing judge, the district attorney of the county in which the person was sentenced, and any victim of crimes against the person or, if such victim is deceased, the spouse, children, or parents of the deceased victim if such person's contact information is provided pursuant to Code Section 17-17-13. The sentencing judge, district attorney, or victim or, if such victim is deceased, the spouse, children, or parents of the deceased victim may appear at a hearing held by the board or make a written statement to the board expressing their views and making their recommendation as to whether the person should be paroled."

SECTION 6. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 42-9-47, relating to notification of decision to parole inmate, as follows:
"42-9-47. Within 72 hours after the board reaches a final decision to parole an inmate, the district attorney, the presiding judge, the sheriff of each county in which the inmate was tried, convicted, and sentenced, the local law enforcement authorities of the county of the last residence of the inmate prior to incarceration, and the victim of crimes against the person shall be notified of the decision by the chairman of the board. Such notice to the victim shall be mailed or e-mailed to the victim's address if such information is provided pursuant

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to Code Section 17-17-13. Failure of the victim to inform the board of a change of address shall not void a parole date set by the board."

SECTION 7. Said chapter is further amended by revising subsection (b) of Code Section 42-9-53, relating to preservation of documents, classification of information and documents, divulgence of confidential state secrets, and conduct of hearings, as follows:
"(b)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection and subsection (d) of this Code section, all information, both oral and written, received by the members of the board in the performance of their duties under this chapter and all records, papers, and documents coming into their possession by reason of the performance of their duties under this chapter shall be classified as confidential state secrets until declassified by the board. In making a determination as to whether any information, records, papers, or documents in the possession of the board should be declassified, the board shall consider whether declassification of such materials would assist law enforcement or aid in the protection of the public and whether, in the board's judgment, the public benefit of declassifying such information outweighs other considerations relative to confidentiality and privacy. (2) The board shall disclose, upon request:
(A) To an alleged violator of parole or conditional release, the evidence introduced against him or her at a final hearing on the matter of revocation of parole or conditional release; (B) Supervision records of the board to probation officials employed with the Department of Corrections and the Sexual Offender Registration Review Board, provided that the same shall remain confidential and not available to any other person or subject to subpoena unless declassified by the board; (C) Information as provided in paragraph (3) of subsection (b) of Code Section 42-9-42; and (D) Any other information which has been declassified by the board."

SECTION 8. Code Section 50-13-9.1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to variance or waiver to rules, is amended by revising subsection (h) as follows:
"(h) This Code section shall not apply, and no variance or waiver shall be sought or authorized, when:
(1) Any agency rule or regulation has been adopted or promulgated in order to implement or promote a federally delegated program; (2) Any rule or regulation is promulgated or adopted by the Department of Corrections concerning any institutional operations or inmate activities; (3) Any rule or regulation is promulgated or adopted by the Department of Community Health;

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(4) Any rule or regulation is promulgated or adopted by the Department of Agriculture; (5) Any rules, regulations, standards, or procedures are adopted or promulgated by the Department of Natural Resources for the protection of the natural resources, environment, or vital areas of this state; or (6) The granting of a waiver or variance would be harmful to the public health, safety, or welfare."

SECTION 9. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved May 1, 2015.

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REVENUE AND TAXATION ADULT BASIC SKILLS EDUCATION PROGRAM TAX CREDIT.

No. 44 (House Bill No. 63).

AN ACT

To amend Article 2 of Chapter 7 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the imposition, computation, and rate of and exemptions from state income taxes, so as to revise the adult basic skills education program tax credit; to provide for procedures, conditions, and limitations; to provide an aggregate cap on the amount of the tax credit; to provide for a sunset date; to provide for a short title; to provide for an effective date and for applicability; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. This Act shall be known and may be cited as the "Georgia Employer GED Tax Credit Act of 2015."

SECTION 2. Article 2 of Chapter 7 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the imposition, computation, and rate of and exemptions from state income taxes, is amended by repealing Code Section 48-7-41, relating to basic skills education program credits, and inserting a new Code section to read as follows:

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"48-7-41. (a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) 'Adult basic skills education' means training that enhances reading, writing, or mathematical skills of adult employees. (2) 'Approved adult basic skills education program' means an employer provided or employer sponsored adult basic skills education program:
(A) That has agreed to operate under the standards for the delivery of adult education services as designated by the Technical College System of Georgia, Office of Adult Education; and (B) For which the employer does not require the employee to make any payment, either directly or indirectly, through forfeiture of leave time, vacation time, or other compensable time. (3) 'Basic skills education test' means the test required to receive a GED diploma. (4) 'Employee' means any employee resident in this state who is employed for at least 24 hours per week and has been continuously employed by the employer for at least 16 consecutive weeks and who is eligible to take the GED test. (5) 'Employer' means any employer upon whom an income tax is imposed by this chapter. (6) 'Employer provided' refers to approved basic skills education offered on the premises of the employer or on premises approved by the Technical College System of Georgia by instructors hired by or employed by an employer. (7) 'Employer sponsored' refers to a contractual arrangement with a school, university, college, or other instructional facility which offers approved basic skills education that is paid for by the employer. (b) A tax credit shall be granted to an employer who provides or sponsors an approved adult basic skills education program. The amount of the tax credit shall be: (1) Four hundred dollars for each employee who passes the basic skills education test that was paid for by the employer in a taxable year; or (2) Twelve hundred dollars for each employee who successfully completes an approved adult basic skills education program consisting of at least 40 hours of training while the employee is being compensated at his or her normal rate of pay, and passes the basic skills education test that was paid for by the employer in a taxable year. No employer shall receive a credit if the employer requires that the employee reimburse or pay the employer for the cost of attending the adult basic skills education program or taking the basic skills education test. (c)(1) An employer desiring to claim a tax credit under the provisions of this Code section shall submit an application to the commissioner for preapproval of such tax credit. The application for preapproval shall be developed and promulgated by the commissioner along with any rules or regulations necessary to aid in the administration of this income tax credit. The department shall have the authority to require electronic submission of such application in the manner specified by the department.

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(2) Within 45 days of receipt of a properly completed application for preapproval, the commissioner shall preapprove the application if a sufficient amount of available tax credits remains. The commissioner shall provide notice of the preapproval or denial to the employer and the Office of Adult Education. The commissioner shall preapprove the tax credits based on the order in which properly completed applications were submitted. In the event that two or more applications were submitted on the same day and the amount of funds available will not be sufficient to fully fund the tax credits requested, the commissioner shall prorate the available funds between or among the applicants. (d) In order to receive the income tax credit established under this Code section, the employer shall, after the successful completion by an employee of the requirements of paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (b) of this Code section, and after receiving preapproval of the credit by the commissioner under subsection (c) of this Code section, certify to the Technical College System of Georgia, Office of Adult Education, the name of the employee, the name of the employer, the name of the approved adult basic skills education provider, and such other information as may be required by the Office of Adult Education. The Office of Adult Education shall issue a certification to the employer if the requirements of subsections (a), (b), and (c) of this Code section are satisfied. Such certification shall be attached to the taxpayer's income tax return when the credit is claimed. The Technical College System of Georgia shall adopt rules and regulations and forms necessary to implement and administer this income tax credit program. The department is expressly authorized and directed to work with the Technical College System of Georgia to ensure the proper granting of income tax credits pursuant to this Code section. (e) In no event shall the aggregate amount of the income tax credits preapproved under this Code section exceed $1 million per calendar year. No single employer shall receive income tax credits pursuant to this Code section in excess of $100,000.00 per calendar year. (f) The income tax credit granted to any employer pursuant to this Code section shall not exceed the amount of the employer's income tax liability for the taxable year as computed without regard to this Code section. (g) The department shall provide an annual report to the General Assembly on the utilization of the tax credit established under this Code section. (h) This Code section shall stand repealed on January 1, 2020."

SECTION 3. This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval and shall be applicable to all taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2016.

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SECTION 4. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved May 1, 2015.

__________

REVENUE AND TAXATION LOCAL SALES AND USE TAXES.

No. 45 (House Bill No. 215).

AN ACT

To amend Chapter 8 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to sales and use taxes, so as to provide for an additional exemption to the ceiling on local sales and use taxes which may be levied by a political subdivision; to provide for a revised distribution of the proceeds from the levy of an equalized homestead option sales and use tax; to provide for the levy of a special purpose local options sales and use tax in certain counties; to provide for procedures, conditions, and limitations; to provide for a short title; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Chapter 8 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to sales and use taxes, is amended in Code Section 48-8-6, relating to the ceiling on local sales and use taxes, by revising paragraph (2) of subsection (a) as follows:
"(2) Any tax levied for purposes of a metropolitan area system of public transportation, as authorized by the amendment to the Constitution set out at Georgia Laws, 1964, page 1008; the continuation of such amendment under Article XI, Section I, Paragraph IV(d) of the Constitution; and the laws enacted pursuant to such constitutional amendment; provided, however, that the exception provided for under this paragraph shall only apply:
(A) In a county in which a tax is being imposed under subparagraph (a)(1)(D) of Code Section 48-8-111 in whole or in part for the purpose or purposes of a water capital outlay project or projects, a sewer capital outlay project or projects, a water and sewer capital outlay project or projects, water and sewer projects and costs as defined under paragraph (4) of Code Section 48-8-200, or any combination thereof and with respect to which the county has entered into an intergovernmental contract with a municipality, in which the average waste-water system flow of such municipality is not less than 85

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million gallons per day, allocating proceeds to such municipality to be used solely for water and sewer projects and costs as defined under paragraph (4) of Code Section 48-8-200. The exception provided for under this subparagraph shall apply only during the period the tax under such subparagraph (a)(1)(D) is in effect. The exception provided for under this subparagraph shall not apply in any county in which a tax is being imposed under Article 2A of this chapter; (B) In a county in which the tax levied for purposes of a metropolitan area system of public transportation is first levied after January 1, 2010, and before November 1, 2016. Such tax shall not apply to the following:
(i) The sale or use of jet fuel to or by a qualifying airline at a qualifying airport. For purposes of this division, a 'qualifying airline' means any person which is authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration or another appropriate agency of the United States to operate as an air carrier under an air carrier operating certificate and which provides regularly scheduled flights for the transportation of passengers or cargo for hire. For purposes of this division, a 'qualifying airport' means any airport in this state that has had more than 750,000 takeoffs and landings during a calendar year; and (ii) The sale of motor vehicles; or (C) In a county in which a tax is levied and collected pursuant to Part 2 of Article 2A of this chapter;"

SECTION 2. Said chapter is further amended by revising Article 2A, relating to the homestead option sales and use tax, as follows:

"Part 1

48-8-100. This part shall be known and may be cited as the 'Homestead Option Sales and Use Tax Act.'

48-8-101. As used in this part, the term:
(1) 'Ad valorem taxes for county purposes' means any and all ad valorem taxes for county maintenance and operation purposes levied by, for, or on behalf of the county, excluding taxes to retire general obligation bonded indebtedness of the county. (2) 'Existing municipality' means a municipality created prior to January 1, 2007, lying wholly within or partially within a county. (3) 'Homestead' means homestead as defined and qualified in Code Section 48-5-40, with the additional qualification that it shall include only the primary residence and not more than five contiguous acres of land immediately surrounding such residence.

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(4) 'Qualified municipality' means a municipality created on or after January 1, 2007, lying wholly within or partially within a county.

48-8-101.1. It is the intent of the General Assembly that the proceeds of the homestead option sales and use tax be distributed equitably to the counties and qualified municipalities such that the residents of a new incorporated municipality will continue to receive a benefit from that tax substantially equal to the benefit they would have received if the area covered by the municipality had not incorporated. The provisions of this part shall be liberally construed to effectuate such intent.

48-8-102. (a) Pursuant to the authority granted by Article IX, Section II, Paragraph VI of the Constitution of this state, there are created within this state 159 special districts. The geographical boundary of each county shall correspond with and shall be conterminous with the geographical boundary of one of the 159 special districts. (b) When the imposition of a local sales and use tax is authorized according to the procedures provided in this part within a special district, the county whose geographical boundary is conterminous with that of the special district shall levy a local sales and use tax at the rate of 1 percent. Except as to rate, the local sales and use tax shall correspond to the tax imposed and administered by Article 1 of this chapter. No item or transaction which is not subject to taxation by Article 1 of this chapter shall be subject to the sales and use tax levied pursuant to this part, except that the sales and use tax provided in this part shall be applicable to sales of motor fuels as prepaid local tax as such term is defined in Code Section 48-8-2 and shall be applicable to the sale of food and food ingredients and alcoholic beverages only to the extent provided for in paragraph (57) of Code Section 48-8-3.
(c)(1) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, the proceeds of the sales and use tax levied and collected under this part shall be used only for the purposes of funding capital outlay projects and of funding services within a special district equal to the revenue lost to the homestead exemption as provided in Code Section 48-8-104 and, in the event excess funds remain following the expenditure for such purposes, such excess funds shall be expended as provided in subparagraph (c)(2)(C) of Code Section 48-8-104. (2) Prior to January 1 of the year immediately following the first complete calendar year in which the sales and use tax under this part is imposed, such proceeds may be used for funding all or any portion of those services which are to be provided by the governing authority of the county whose geographic boundary is conterminous with that of the special district pursuant to and in accordance with Article IX, Section II, Paragraph III of the Constitution of this state.

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(d) Such sales and use tax shall only be levied in a special district following the enactment of a local Act which provides for a homestead exemption of an amount to be determined from the amount of sales and use tax collected under this part. Such exemption shall commence with taxable years beginning on or after January 1 of the year immediately following the first complete calendar year in which the sales and use tax under this part is levied. Any such local Act shall incorporate by reference the terms and conditions specified under this part. Any such local Act shall not be subject to the provisions of Code Section 1-3-4.1. Any such homestead exemption under this part shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any other homestead exemption applicable to county taxes for county purposes within the special district. Notwithstanding any provision of such local Act to the contrary, the referendum which shall otherwise be required to be conducted under such local Act shall only be conducted if the resolution required under subsection (a) of Code Section 48-8-103 is adopted prior to the issuance of the call for the referendum under the local Act by the election superintendent. If such ordinance is not adopted by that date, the referendum otherwise required to be conducted under the local Act shall not be conducted. (e) No sales and use tax shall be levied in a special district under this part in which a tax is levied and collected under Article 2 of this chapter.

48-8-103. (a) Whenever the governing authority of any county whose geographic boundary is conterminous with that of the special district wishes to submit to the electors of the special district the question of whether the sales and use tax authorized by Code Section 48-8-102 shall be imposed, any such governing authority shall notify the election superintendent of the county whose geographical boundary is conterminous with that of the special district by forwarding to the superintendent a copy of a resolution of the governing authority calling for a referendum election. Upon receipt of the resolution, it shall be the duty of the election superintendent to issue the call for an election for the purpose of submitting the question of the imposition of the sales and use tax to the voters of the special district for approval or rejection. The election superintendent shall issue the call and shall conduct the election on a date and in the manner authorized under Code Section 21-2-540. Such election shall only be conducted on the date of and in conjunction with a referendum provided for by local Act on the question of whether to impose a homestead exemption within such county and based on the amount of proceeds from the sales and use tax levied and collected pursuant to this part. The election superintendent shall cause the date and purpose of the election to be published once a week for two weeks immediately preceding the date of the election in the official organ of such county. The ballot shall have written or printed thereon the following statement which shall precede the ballot question specified in this subsection and the ballot question specified by the required local Act:
'NOTICE TO ELECTORS: Unless BOTH the homestead exemption AND the retail homestead option sales and use tax are approved, then neither the exemption nor the sales and use tax shall become effective.'

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Such statement shall be followed by the following:

'( ) YES ( ) NO

Shall a retail homestead option sales and use tax of 1 percent be levied within the special district within _____________ County for the purposes of funding capital outlay projects and of funding services to replace revenue lost to an additional homestead exemption of up to 100 percent of the assessed value of homesteads from county taxes for county purposes?'

Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the statement, ballot question, and local Act ballot question referred to in this subsection shall precede any and all other ballot questions calling for the levy or imposition of any other sales and use tax which are to appear on the same ballot. (b) All persons desiring to vote in favor of levying the sales and use tax shall vote 'Yes,' and those persons opposed to levying the tax shall vote 'No.' If more than one-half of the votes cast are in favor of levying the tax and approving the local Act providing such homestead exemption, then the tax shall be levied in accordance with this part; otherwise, the sales and use tax may not be levied, and the question of the imposition of the sales and use tax may not again be submitted to the voters of the special district until after 24 months immediately following the month in which the election was held. It shall be the duty of the election superintendent to hold and conduct such elections under the same rules and regulations as govern special elections. It shall be the superintendent's further duty to canvass the returns, declare the result of the election, and certify the result to the Secretary of State and to the commissioner. The expense of the election shall be borne by the county whose geographical boundary is conterminous with that of the special district holding the election. (c) If the imposition of the sales and use tax provided in Code Section 48-8-102 is approved in a referendum election as provided by subsections (a) and (b) of this Code section, the governing authority of the county whose geographical boundary is conterminous with that of the special district shall adopt a resolution during the first 30 days following the certification of the result of the election imposing the sales and use tax authorized by Code Section 48-8-102 on behalf of the county whose geographical boundary is conterminous with that of the special district. The resolution shall be effective on the first day of the next succeeding calendar quarter which begins more than 80 days after the adoption of the resolution. With respect to services which are billed on a regular monthly basis, however, the resolution shall become effective with the first regular billing period coinciding with or following the otherwise effective date of the resolution. A certified copy of the resolution shall be forwarded to the commissioner so that it will be received within five days after its adoption.

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48-8-104. (a) The sales and use tax levied pursuant to this part shall be exclusively administered and collected by the commissioner for the use and benefit of each county whose geographical boundary is conterminous with that of a special district. Such administration and collection shall be accomplished in the same manner and subject to the same applicable provisions, procedures, and penalties provided in Article 1 of this chapter except that the sales and use tax provided in this part shall be applicable to sales of motor fuels as prepaid local tax as such term is defined in Code Section 48-8-2; provided, however, that all moneys collected from each taxpayer by the commissioner shall be applied first to such taxpayer's liability for taxes owed the state. Dealers shall be allowed a percentage of the amount of the sales and use tax due and accounted for and shall be reimbursed in the form of a deduction in submitting, reporting, and paying the amount due if such amount is not delinquent at the time of payment. The deduction shall be at the rate and subject to the requirements specified under subsections (b) through (f) of Code Section 48-8-50. (b) Each sales and use tax return remitting sales and use taxes collected under this part shall separately identify the location of each retail establishment at which any of the sales and use taxes remitted were collected and shall specify the amount of sales and the amount of taxes collected at each establishment for the period covered by the return in order to facilitate the determination by the commissioner that all sales and use taxes imposed by this part are collected and distributed according to situs of sale. (c) The proceeds of the sales and use tax collected by the commissioner in each special district under this part shall be disbursed as soon as practicable after collection as follows:
(1) One percent of the amount collected shall be paid into the general fund of the state treasury in order to defray the costs of administration; (2) Except for the percentage provided in paragraph (1) of this subsection and the amount determined under subsections (d) and (e) of this Code section, the remaining proceeds of the sales and use tax shall be distributed to the governing authority of the county whose geographical boundary is conterminous with that of the special district; provided, however, that a county and any qualified municipality shall be authorized by intergovernmental agreement to waive the equalization amount otherwise required under subsections (d) and (e) of this Code section and provide for a different distribution amount. In the event of such waiver, except for the percentage provided in paragraph (1) of this subsection, the remaining proceeds of the sales and use tax shall be distributed to the governing authority of the county whose geographical boundary is conterminous with that of the special district. As a condition precedent for the authority to levy the sales and use tax or to collect any proceeds from the tax authorized by this part for the year following the first complete calendar year in which it is levied and for all subsequent years except the year following the year in which the sales and use tax is terminated under Code Section 48-8-106, the county whose geographical boundary is conterminous with that of the special district shall, except as otherwise provided in subsection (c) of Code Section 48-8-102, expend such proceeds as follows:

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(A) A portion of such proceeds shall be expended for the purpose of funding capital outlay projects as follows:
(i) The governing authority of the county whose geographical boundary is conterminous with that of the special district shall establish the capital factor which shall not exceed .200 and, for a county in which a qualified municipality is located, shall not be less than the level required by subsection (d) of this Code section; therefore, at a minimum, the county shall set the capital factor at a level that yields an amount of capital outlay proceeds that is equal to or greater than the sum of all equalization amounts due qualified municipalities and existing municipalities under subsection (e) of this Code section; and (ii) Capital outlay projects shall be funded in an amount equal to the product of the capital factor multiplied by the net amount of the sales and use tax proceeds collected under this part during the previous calendar year, and this amount shall be referred to as capital outlay proceeds in subsections (d) and (e) of this Code section; (B) A portion of such proceeds shall be expended for the purpose of funding services within the special district equal to the revenue lost to the homestead exemption as provided in this Code section as follows: (i) The homestead factor shall be calculated by multiplying the quantity 1.000 minus the capital factor times an amount equal to the net amount of sales and use tax collected in the special district pursuant to this part for the previous calendar year, and then dividing by the taxes levied for county purposes on only that portion of the county tax digest that represents net assessments on qualified homestead property after all other homestead exemptions have been applied, rounding the result to three decimal places; (ii) If the homestead factor is less than or equal to 1.000, the amount of homestead exemption created under this part on qualified homestead property shall be equal to the product of the homestead factor multiplied times the net assessment of each qualified homestead remaining after all other homestead exemptions have been applied; and (iii) If the homestead factor is greater than 1.000, the homestead exemption created by this part on qualified homestead property shall be equal to the net assessment of each homestead remaining after all other homestead exemptions have been applied; and (C) If any of such proceeds remain following the distribution provided for in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this paragraph and subsections (d) and (e) of this Code section: (i) The millage rate levied for county purposes shall be rolled back in an amount equal to such excess divided by the net taxable digest for county purposes after deducting all homestead exemptions including the exemption under this part; and (ii) In the event the rollback created by division (i) of this subparagraph exceeds the millage rate for county purposes, the governing authority of the county whose

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boundary is conterminous with the special district shall be authorized to expend the surplus funds for funding all or any portion of those services which are to be provided by such governing authorities pursuant to and in accordance with Article IX, Section II, Paragraph III of the Constitution of this state. (d)(1) The commissioner shall distribute to the governing authority of each qualified municipality located in the special district a share of the capital outlay proceeds calculated as provided in this subsection and subsection (e) of this Code section which proceeds shall be expended for the purpose of funding capital outlay projects of such municipality. (2) Both the tax commissioner and the governing authority for the county in which a qualified municipality is located shall cooperate with and assist the commissioner in the calculation of the equalization amounts under subsection (e) of this Code section and shall, on or before July 1 of each year, provide to the commissioner and the governing authority of each qualified municipality written certification of the following: (A) The capital factor set by the county for the current calendar year; provided, however, that the capital factor may not exceed 0.200; (B) The total amount, if any, due to be paid to existing municipalities from the capital outlay proceeds as required by any intergovernmental agreement between the county and such municipalities; (C) The incorporated county millage rate in each qualified municipality; (D) The net homestead digest for each qualified municipality; (E) The total homestead digest; and (F) The unincorporated county millage rate. If the tax commissioner and the governing authority of the county fail to provide such certification on or before July 1, the commissioner shall not distribute to such county any additional proceeds of the sales and use tax collected after July 1 unless and until such certification is provided. (3) The commissioner shall then calculate the equalization amount due each qualified municipality based on the certifications provided by the tax commissioner and the governing authority of the county and pay such amount to the governing authority of each qualified municipality in six equal monthly payments as soon as practicable during or after each of the last six months of the current calendar year. In the event an existing municipality that has entered into an intergovernmental agreement with a county at any time before January 1, 2007, to receive capital outlay proceeds of the homestead option sales and use tax and such intergovernmental agreement has become or does become null and void for any reason, such existing municipality shall be treated under this part the same as if it were a qualified municipality as defined in paragraph (4) of Code Section 48-8-101 and therefore receive payment of equalization amounts under this part as provided for under this part. The commissioner shall distribute to the governing authority of the county each month the net sales and use tax remaining after payment of equalization amounts to the qualified municipalities.

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(e)(1) As used in this subsection, the term: (A) 'Equalization amount' means for a qualified municipality the product of the equalization millage times the net homestead digest for that qualified municipality. (B) 'Equalization millage' means for each qualified municipality the product of the homestead factor calculated pursuant to division (c)(2)(B)(i) of this Code section times the difference between the unincorporated county millage rate and the incorporated county millage rate for that qualified municipality. (C) 'Incorporated county millage rate' means the millage rate for all ad valorem taxes for county purposes levied by the county in each of the qualified municipalities in the county. (D) 'Net homestead digest' means for each qualified municipality the total net assessed value of all qualified homestead property located in that portion of the qualified municipality located in the county remaining after all other homestead exemptions are applied. (E) 'Total homestead digest' means the total net assessed value of all qualified homestead property located in the county remaining after all other homestead exemptions are applied. (F) 'Unincorporated county millage rate' means the millage rate for all ad valorem taxes for county purposes levied by the county in the unincorporated areas of the county.
(2) For illustration purposes, a hypothetical example of the calculation of the equalization amount is provided below.
First, calculate the homestead factor in accordance with division (c)(2)(B)(i) of this Code section as follows:

(A) Capital factor certified by county as required by subsection (d) of this Code section
(B) Net amount of sales and use tax collected in the special district pursuant to this part for the previous calendar year
(C) Taxes levied for county purposes on only that portion of the county tax digest that represents net assessments on qualified homestead property after all other homestead exemptions have been applied
(D) Calculation of homestead factor using figures above = [(1-.0150)($50 million/$100 million)]

0.150 $ 50 million $100 million
.425

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Next, calculate the equalization amount in accordance with paragraph (1) of this subsection as follows:

(E) Unincorporated county millage rate

15.0 mills

(F) Minus the incorporated county millage rate for qualified municipality 'Y'

(10.0 mills)

Difference:

= 5.0 mills

(G) Times homestead factor (calculated above)

x .425

(H) Equals the equalization millage:

= 2.125 mills

(I) Times net homestead digest for qualified municipality 'Y'

$200 million

(J) Equals the equalization amount payable to municipality 'Y'

$ 425,000.00

(3) In the event the total amount payable in a calendar year to all existing municipalities

as certified by the county pursuant to subparagraph (d)(2)(B) of this Code section plus

the total equalization amount payable to all qualified municipalities in the special district

exceeds the capital outlay proceeds calculated based on a maximum capital factor

of 0.200, the commissioner shall pay to the governing authority of each qualified

municipality a share of such proceeds calculated as follows:

(A) Determine the capital outlay proceeds based on a maximum capital factor of 0.200;

(B) Subtract the amount certified by the county as payable to existing municipalities pursuant to subparagraph (d)(2)(B) of this Code section; (C) The remaining amount equals the portion of the capital outlay proceeds that may be used by the commissioner to pay equalization amounts to qualified municipalities. The commissioner shall calculate each qualified municipality's share of such remaining amount by dividing the net homestead digest for each qualified municipality by the total

homestead digest for all municipalities.

(4) In the event the incorporated county millage rate for a qualified municipality is

greater than the unincorporated county millage rate, no payment shall be due from the

governing authority of the qualified municipality to the governing authority of the county.

(5) In the event the amount of capital outlay proceeds exceeds the sum of the

equalization amounts due all qualified municipalities plus the total amount certified under

subparagraph (d)(2)(B) of this Code section as due all existing municipalities, the

commissioner shall distribute to each qualified municipality a portion of such excess

equal to the net homestead digest for such municipality divided by the total homestead

digest.

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(6) If any qualified municipality is located partially in the county then only that portion so located shall be considered in the calculations contained in this subsection.

48-8-105. Where a local sales or use tax has been paid with respect to tangible personal property by the purchaser either in another local tax jurisdiction within this state or in a tax jurisdiction outside this state, the sales and use tax may be credited against the sales and use tax authorized to be imposed by this part upon the same property. If the amount of sales or use tax so paid is less than the amount of the use tax due under this part, the purchaser shall pay an amount equal to the difference between the amount paid in the other tax jurisdiction and the amount due under this part. The commissioner may require such proof of payment in another local tax jurisdiction as the commissioner deems necessary and proper. No credit shall be granted, however, against the sales and use tax imposed under this part for tax paid in another jurisdiction if the sales and use tax paid in such other jurisdiction is used to obtain a credit against any other local sales and use tax levied in the special district or in the county which is conterminous with the special district; and sales and use taxes so paid in another jurisdiction shall be credited first against the sales and use tax levied under this part and then against the sales and use tax levied under Article 3 of this chapter, if applicable.

48-8-106. (a) Whenever the governing authority of any county whose geographic boundary is conterminous with that of the special district in which the sales and use tax authorized by this part is being levied wishes to submit to the electors of the special district the question of whether the sales and use tax authorized by Code Section 48-8-102 shall be discontinued, the governing authority shall notify the election superintendent of the county whose geographical boundary is conterminous with that of the special district by forwarding to the superintendent a copy of a resolution of the governing authority calling for the referendum election. Upon receipt of the resolution, it shall be the duty of the election superintendent to issue the call for an election for the purpose of submitting the question of discontinuing the levy of the sales and use tax to the voters of the special district for approval or rejection. The election superintendent shall issue the call and shall conduct the election on a date and in the manner authorized under Code Section 21-2-540. Such election shall be conducted only on the date of and in conjunction with a referendum provided for by local Act on the question of whether to repeal the homestead exemption within such county which is funded from the proceeds of the sales and use tax levied and collected pursuant to this part. The election superintendent shall cause the date and purpose of the election to be published once a week for two weeks immediately preceding the date of the election in the official organ of such county. The ballot shall have written or printed thereon the following:

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'( ) YES Shall the 1 percent retail homestead option sales and use tax being levied within the special district within ____________ County for the purposes
( ) NO of funding capital outlay projects and of funding services to replace revenue lost to an additional homestead exemption of up to 100 percent of the assessed value of homesteads from county taxes for county purposes be terminated?'
(b) All persons desiring to vote in favor of discontinuing the sales and use tax shall vote 'Yes,' and those persons opposed to discontinuing the tax shall vote 'No.' If more than one-half of the votes cast are in favor of discontinuing the sales and use tax and repealing the local Act providing for such homestead exemption, then the sales and use tax shall cease to be levied on the last day of the taxable year following the taxable year in which the commissioner receives the certification of the result of the election; otherwise, the sales and use tax shall continue to be levied, and the question of the discontinuing of the tax may not again be submitted to the voters of the special district until after 24 months immediately following the month in which the election was held. It shall be the duty of the election superintendent to hold and conduct such elections under the same rules and regulations as govern special elections. It shall be the superintendent's further duty to canvass the returns, declare and certify the result of the election, and certify the result to the Secretary of State and to the commissioner. The expense of the election shall be borne by the county whose geographical boundary is conterminous with that of the special district holding the election.
48-8-107. No sales and use tax provided for in Code Section 48-8-102 shall be imposed upon the sale of tangible personal property which is ordered by and delivered to the purchaser at a point outside the geographical area of the special district in which the sales and use tax is imposed under this part regardless of the point at which title passes, if the delivery is made by the seller's vehicle, United States mail, or common carrier or by private or contract carrier licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or the Georgia Department of Public Safety.
48-8-108. (a) As used in this Code section, the term 'building and construction materials' means all building and construction materials, supplies, fixtures, or equipment, any combination of such items, and any other leased or purchased articles when the materials, supplies, fixtures, equipment, or articles are to be utilized or consumed during construction or are to be incorporated into construction work pursuant to a bona fide written construction contract. (b) No sales and use tax provided for in Code Section 48-8-102 shall be imposed in a special district upon the sale or use of building and construction materials when the contract pursuant to which the materials are purchased or used was advertised for bid prior

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to approval of the levy of the sales and use tax by the county whose geographical boundary is conterminous with that of the special district and the contract was entered into as a result of a bid actually submitted in response to the advertisement prior to approval of the levy of the sales and use tax.

48-8-109. The commissioner shall have the power and authority to promulgate such rules and regulations as shall be necessary for the effective and efficient administration and enforcement of the collection of the sales and use tax authorized to be imposed by this part.

Part 2

48-8-109.1. This part shall be known and may be cited as the 'Equalized Homestead Option Sales Tax Act of 2015.'

48-8-109.2. In any county where a homestead option sales and use tax under Part 1 of this article and a sales tax for purposes of a metropolitan area system of public transportation, as authorized by the amendment to the Constitution set out at Georgia Laws, 1964, page 1008; the continuation of such amendment under Article XI, Section I, Paragraph IV(d) of the Constitution; and the laws enacted pursuant to such constitutional amendment, are being levied, the county governing authority may choose to submit to the electors of the special district the question of whether to suspend the sales and use tax authorized by Code Section 48-8-102 and replace such tax with a sales and use tax authorized by this part. Such referendum shall only be held in conjunction with a referendum submitting to the electors of the special district the question of whether to approve a special purpose local option sales and use tax pursuant to the provisions of Part 1 of Article 3 of this chapter. The electors of the special district must approve both of the sales and use taxes in order for either of them to be implemented. If either of the sales and use taxes is not approved by the electors, the homestead option sales and use tax under Part 1 of this article shall be continued in full force and effect.

48-8-109.3. (a) Pursuant to the authority granted by Article IX, Section II, Paragraph VI of the Constitution of this state, there are created within this state 159 special districts. The geographical boundary of each county shall correspond with and shall be conterminous with the geographical boundary of one of the 159 special districts. (b) When the imposition of a local sales and use tax is authorized according to the procedures provided in this part within a special district, the county whose geographical boundary is conterminous with that of the special district shall levy a local sales and use

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tax at the same rate as provided in Part 1 of this article. Except as otherwise provided in this part, the local sales and use tax shall correspond to the tax imposed and administered by Part 1 of this article. The local sales and use tax levied pursuant to this part shall apply to all items and transactions subject to taxation pursuant to Part 1 of this article. No item or transaction which is not subject to taxation pursuant to Part 1 of this article shall be subject to the tax levied pursuant to this part. (c) No sales and use tax shall be levied in a special district under this part in which a tax is levied and collected under Article 2 of this chapter.

48-8-109.4. (a) Whenever the governing authority of any county whose geographic boundary is conterminous with that of the special district wishes to submit to the electors of the special district the question of whether the sales and use tax authorized by this part shall be imposed, any such governing authority shall notify the election superintendent of the county whose geographical boundary is conterminous with that of the special district by forwarding to the superintendent a copy of a resolution of the governing authority calling for a referendum election. Upon receipt of the resolution, it shall be the duty of the election superintendent to issue the call for an election for the purpose of submitting the question of the imposition of the sales and use tax to the voters of the special district for approval or rejection. The election superintendent shall issue the call and shall conduct the election on a date and in the manner authorized under Code Section 21-2-540. Such election shall only be held in conjunction with a referendum submitting to the electors of the special district the question of whether to approve a special purpose local option sales and use tax pursuant to the provisions of Part 1 of Article 3 of this chapter. The electors of the special district must approve both of the sales and use taxes in order for either of them to be implemented. If either of the taxes is not approved by the electors, the homestead option sales and use tax under Part 1 of this article shall be continued in full force and effect. If the sales and use tax under Part 1 of Article 3 of this chapter is not renewed, the sales and use tax under Part 1 of this article shall replace the sales and use tax under this part upon expiration of the sales and use tax under Part 1 of Article 3 of this chapter. The election superintendent shall cause the date and purpose of the election to be published once a week for two weeks immediately preceding the date of the election in the official organ of such county. The ballot shall have written or printed thereon the following statement which shall precede the ballot question specified in this subsection:
'NOTICE TO ELECTORS: Unless BOTH the equalized homestead option sales and use tax AND the special purpose local option sales and use tax are approved, then neither sales and use tax shall become effective.' Such statement shall be followed by the following:

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"( ) YES Shall an equalized homestead option sales and use tax be levied and the regular homestead option sales and use tax be suspended within the special
( ) NO district within _____________ County for the purposes of reducing the ad valorem property tax millage rates levied by county and municipal governments on homestead properties?'
Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the statement and ballot question referred to in this subsection shall precede any and all other ballot questions which are to appear on the same ballot. (b) All persons desiring to vote in favor of levying the sales and use tax shall vote 'Yes,' and those persons opposed to levying the tax shall vote 'No.' If more than one-half of the votes cast are in favor of levying the tax, then the tax shall be levied in accordance with this part; otherwise, the sales and use tax may not be levied, and the question of the imposition of the sales and use tax may not again be submitted to the voters of the special district until after 24 months immediately following the month in which the election was held. It shall be the duty of the election superintendent to hold and conduct such elections under the same rules and regulations as govern special elections. It shall be the superintendent's further duty to canvass the returns, declare the result of the election, and certify the result to the Secretary of State and to the commissioner. The expense of the election shall be borne by the county whose geographical boundary is conterminous with that of the special district holding the election. (c) If the imposition of the sales and use tax provided in this part is approved in a referendum election as provided by subsections (a) and (b) of this Code section, the governing authority of the county whose geographical boundary is conterminous with that of the special district shall adopt a resolution during the first 30 days following the certification of the result of the election imposing the sales and use tax authorized in this part on behalf of the county whose geographical boundary is conterminous with that of the special district. The resolution shall be effective on the first day of the next succeeding calendar quarter which begins more than 80 days after the adoption of the resolution. With respect to services which are billed on a regular monthly basis, however, the resolution shall become effective with the first regular billing period coinciding with or following the otherwise effective date of the resolution. A certified copy of the resolution shall be forwarded to the commissioner so that it will be received within five days after its adoption.
48-8-109.5. (a) The sales and use tax levied pursuant to this part shall be exclusively administered and collected by the commissioner for the use and benefit of each county whose geographical boundary is conterminous with that of a special district. Such administration and collection shall be accomplished in the same manner and subject to the same applicable provisions, procedures, and penalties provided in Article 1 of this chapter except that the sales and use tax provided in this part shall be applicable to sales of motor fuels as prepaid local tax as

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such term is defined in Code Section 48-8-2, to the same extent that sales of motor fuels are subject to taxation pursuant to Part 1 of this article; provided, however, that all moneys collected from each taxpayer by the commissioner shall be applied first to such taxpayer's liability for taxes owed the state. Dealers shall be allowed a percentage of the amount of the sales and use tax due and accounted for and shall be reimbursed in the form of a deduction in submitting, reporting, and paying the amount due if such amount is not delinquent at the time of payment. The deduction shall be at the rate and subject to the requirements specified under subsections (b) through (f) of Code Section 48-8-50. (b) Each sales and use tax return remitting sales and use taxes collected under this part shall separately identify the location of each retail establishment at which any of the sales and use taxes remitted were collected and shall specify the amount of sales and the amount of taxes collected at each establishment for the period covered by the return in order to facilitate the determination by the commissioner that all sales and use taxes imposed by this part are collected and distributed according to situs of sale. (c) The proceeds of the sales and use tax collected by the commissioner in each special district under this part shall be disbursed as soon as practicable after collection as follows:
(1) One percent of the amount collected shall be paid into the general fund of the state treasury in order to defray the costs of administration; and (2) The remaining proceeds shall be disbursed to the governing authority of the county whose geographical boundary is conterminous with that of the special district, and each municipality located wholly or partially therein, and shall be utilized as follows:
(A) First, the proceeds shall be used to roll back, and eliminate if possible, the millage rates for any county ad valorem property tax line items levied uniformly throughout the county on homestead properties, including in all municipalities; and (B) Next, any remaining proceeds shall be used to roll back at an equal and uniform rate across both of the following categories, and eliminate if possible:
(i) The millage rates for any county ad valorem property tax line items levied only in unincorporated portions of the county on homestead properties; and (ii) The millage rates for any municipal ad valorem property tax line items levied in every municipality located wholly or partially in the county on homestead properties but not in unincorporated portions of the county. If any municipality is located partially in the special district, then only that portion so located shall be considered in the calculations contained in this subsection. (d) The form to collect ad valorem tax prepared by the county tax commissioner shall reflect the full amount owed by the taxpayer pursuant to the millage rates set by the county governing authority and any municipal governing authority. Under a separate heading, the form shall reflect the deductions from the gross ad valorem tax amount realized through the application of proceeds from the equalized homestead option sales and use tax. (e) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary except subsection (f) of this Code section, in any county levying a tax under this part, a tax levied pursuant to the provisions of Part 1 of Article 3 of this chapter in a special district in such county shall be strictly

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divided between the unincorporated portions of the county whose geographical boundary is conterminous with that of the special district and the municipalities wholly or partially located within the special district on a per capita basis, based on the most recent decennial census, unless altered by an intergovernmental agreement between the county and all municipalities wholly located within the special district. For as long as a municipality located within the special district and incorporated after the effective date of this Code section does not maintain the roads, streets, sidewalks, and bicycle paths within its territorial boundaries and relies upon the county governing authority for such maintenance, such municipality's per capita share of the proceeds of the tax levied pursuant to Part 1 of Article 3 of this chapter shall be paid to the county governing authority. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the department shall disburse directly to the county and each municipality its share of the proceeds of the tax levied pursuant to Part 1 of Article 3 of this chapter. (f) The tax levied in the special district under Part 1 of Article 3 of this chapter shall not be levied within the boundaries of any municipality wholly or partially located within the special district that is levying a tax pursuant to Article 4 of this chapter. No proceeds from the tax levied in the special district under Part 1 of Article 3 of this chapter shall be disbursed to any such municipality. Upon the expiration of the tax levied under Article 4 of this chapter in such municipality, the tax in the special district under Part 1 of Article 3 of this chapter shall be levied within such municipality and proceeds shall be disbursed to such municipality in accordance with this part.

48-8-109.6. Where a local sales or use tax has been paid with respect to tangible personal property by the purchaser either in another local tax jurisdiction within this state or in a tax jurisdiction outside this state, the sales and use tax may be credited against the sales and use tax authorized to be imposed by this part upon the same property. If the amount of sales or use tax so paid is less than the amount of the use tax due under this part, the purchaser shall pay an amount equal to the difference between the amount paid in the other tax jurisdiction and the amount due under this part. The commissioner may require such proof of payment in another local tax jurisdiction as the commissioner deems necessary and proper. No credit shall be granted, however, against the sales and use tax imposed under this part for tax paid in another jurisdiction if the sales and use tax paid in such other jurisdiction is used to obtain a credit against any other local sales and use tax levied in the special district or in the county which is conterminous with the special district; and sales and use taxes so paid in another jurisdiction shall be credited first against the sales and use tax levied under this part and then against the sales and use tax levied under Article 3 of this chapter, if applicable.

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48-8-109.7. (a) Whenever the governing authority of any county whose geographic boundary is conterminous with that of the special district in which the sales and use tax authorized by this part is being levied wishes to submit to the electors of the special district the question of whether the sales and use tax authorized by this part shall be discontinued, the governing authority shall notify the election superintendent of the county whose geographical boundary is conterminous with that of the special district by forwarding to the superintendent a copy of a resolution of the governing authority calling for the referendum election. Upon receipt of the resolution, it shall be the duty of the election superintendent to issue the call for an election for the purpose of submitting the question of discontinuing the levy of the sales and use tax to the voters of the special district for approval or rejection. The election superintendent shall issue the call and shall conduct the election on a date and in the manner authorized under Code Section 21-2-540. Such election shall be conducted only on the date of and in conjunction with an election to repeal the special purpose local option sales and use tax pursuant to the provisions of Part 1 of Article 3 of this chapter. If either such sales and use tax is repealed, then both such sales and use taxes shall be repealed and the sales and use tax under Part 1 of this article shall replace the sales and use tax that was imposed under this part. The election superintendent shall cause the date and purpose of the election to be published once a week for two weeks immediately preceding the date of the election in the official organ of such county. The ballot shall have written or printed thereon the following:
'( ) YES Shall the equalized homestead option sales and use tax being levied within the special district within _____________ County for the
( ) NO purposes of reducing the ad valorem property tax millage rates levied by county and municipal governments on homestead properties be terminated?'
(b) All persons desiring to vote in favor of discontinuing the sales and use tax shall vote 'Yes,' and those persons opposed to discontinuing the tax shall vote 'No.' If more than one-half of the votes cast are in favor of discontinuing the sales and use tax, then the sales and use tax shall cease to be levied on the last day of the taxable year following the taxable year in which the commissioner receives the certification of the result of the election; otherwise, the sales and use tax shall continue to be levied, and the question of discontinuing the tax may not again be submitted to the voters of the special district until after 24 months immediately following the month in which the election was held. It shall be the duty of the election superintendent to hold and conduct such elections under the same rules and regulations as govern special elections. It shall be the superintendent's further duty to canvass the returns, declare and certify the result of the election, and certify the result to the Secretary of State and to the commissioner. The expense of the election shall be borne by the county whose geographical boundary is conterminous with that of the special district holding the election.

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48-8-109.8. No sales and use tax provided for in this part shall be imposed upon the sale of tangible personal property which is ordered by and delivered to the purchaser at a point outside the geographical area of the special district in which the sales and use tax is imposed under this part regardless of the point at which title passes, if the delivery is made by the seller's vehicle, United States mail, or common carrier or by private or contract carrier licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or the Georgia Department of Public Safety.

48-8-109.9. (a) As used in this Code section, the term 'building and construction materials' means all building and construction materials, supplies, fixtures, or equipment, any combination of such items, and any other leased or purchased articles when the materials, supplies, fixtures, equipment, or articles are to be utilized or consumed during construction or are to be incorporated into construction work pursuant to a bona fide written construction contract. (b) No sales and use tax provided for in this part shall be imposed in a special district upon the sale or use of building and construction materials when the contract pursuant to which the materials are purchased or used was advertised for bid prior to approval of the levy of the sales and use tax by the county whose geographical boundary is conterminous with that of the special district and the contract was entered into as a result of a bid actually submitted in response to the advertisement prior to approval of the levy of the sales and use tax.

48-8-109.10. The commissioner shall have the power and authority to promulgate such rules and regulations as shall be necessary for the effective and efficient administration and enforcement of the collection of the sales and use tax authorized to be imposed by this part."

SECTION 3. This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval.

SECTION 4. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved May 4, 2015.

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GENERAL ASSEMBLY HIGHWAYS, BRIDGES, AND FERRIES MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES REVENUE AND TAXATION FUNDING FOR TRANSPORTATION PURPOSES.

No. 46 (House Bill No. 170).

AN ACT

To amend various provisions of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated so as to provide for additional revenue necessary for funding transportation purposes in this state; to amend Title 28 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the General Assembly, so as to create the Special Joint Committee on Georgia Revenue Structure; to amend Title 32 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to highways, bridges, and ferries, so as to require an annual report from the Department of Transportation; to amend Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to motor vehicles and traffic, so as to levy a registration fee on alternative fueled vehicles; to amend Chapter 12 of Title 45 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the Governor, so as to limit the Governor's power to suspend the collection of certain motor fuel taxes and require ratification by the General Assembly; to amend Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to revenue and taxation, so as to reduce the state income tax credits for low-emission vehicles to zero; to provide for the elimination of state sales and use taxes with respect to certain sales of motor fuels; to revise the exemption from sales and use taxes for jet fuel; to provide for revised definitions of certain terms relating to prepaid motor fuel taxes; to provide a limit on local sales taxes on motor fuels; to change the rate and method of computation of the excise tax on motor fuels; to repeal the second motor fuel tax; to provide for editorial revision; to provide for a state fee on hotel or motel room rentals; to amend Part 3 of Article 2 of Chapter 10 of Title 32 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, the "Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank Act," so as to provide revised criteria for determination of eligible projects by the Transportation Infrastructure Bank; to amend Chapter 8 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to sales and use taxation, so as to change certain provisions relating to the special district transportation sales and use tax pursuant to the Transportation Investment Act of 2010; to provide for future levies to be at a fractional rate; to change procedures and requirements regarding the future imposition of such tax; to change certain provisions regarding the ceiling on the amount of local sales and use taxes; to provide for an additional transportation special purpose local option sales and use tax by counties and municipalities; to provide for definitions, procedures, conditions, and limitations for the imposition, collection, disbursement, and termination of the tax; to provide for powers, duties, and authority of the state revenue commissioner; to provide for a short title; to provide for appropriations of increases in revenue; to provide for related matters; to

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provide for an effective date and applicability; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

PART I SECTION 1-1.

Title 28 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the General Assembly, is amended by adding a new chapter to read as follows:

"CHAPTER 12

28-12-1. (a) There is created the Special Joint Committee on Georgia Revenue Structure which shall consist of 14 members as follows:
(1) The President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker Pro Tempore of the House of Representatives; (2) The majority leader of the Senate and the majority leader of the House of Representatives; (3) The minority leader of the Senate and the minority leader of the House of Representatives; (4) The chairpersons of the Senate Finance Committee and the House Committee on Ways and Means; (5) Three members of the Senate to be appointed by the President of the Senate, two from the majority party and one from the minority party; and (6) Three members of the House of Representatives to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, two from the majority party and one from the minority party. (b) The Special Joint Committee on Georgia Revenue Structure shall elect two persons, one Senator and one Representative, to serve as co-chairpersons of the special joint committee.

28-12-2. (a) The Special Joint Committee on Georgia Revenue Structure created in Code Section 28-12-1 shall during the 2016 legislative session cause to be introduced in the House of Representatives one or more bills or resolutions relating to tax reform, and such legislation shall, after its introduction, be referred directly and only to the special joint committee. (b) If the special joint committee recommends that one or more bills or resolutions referred to it do pass or do pass by committee substitute, the measure or measures recommended

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by the special joint committee shall then be in order for consideration only by the House of Representatives at any time fixed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Any such bill or resolution shall be reported directly to the floor of the House of Representatives and shall receive an up or down vote as reported from the special joint committee without amendment. (c) If one or more bills or resolutions referred by the special joint committee are passed by the House of Representatives, the measure or measures shall then be in order for consideration only by the Senate at any time fixed by the President of the Senate. Any such bill or resolution shall be reported directly to the floor of the Senate and shall receive an up or down vote as reported from the House of Representatives without amendment. (d) Any bills or resolutions considered as provided for in this Code section shall be read three times on three separate days in each house and shall be considered in compliance with all other requirements of the Constitution. (e) The rules of the Senate and the House of Representatives for the 2016 legislative session may, as adopted or as amended, contain such provisions as may be necessary or appropriate to comply with the legislative process specified by this Code section.

28-12-3. This chapter shall stand repealed by operation of law on July 1, 2016."

PART II SECTION 2-1.

Title 32 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to highways, bridges, and ferries, is amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"32-5-27.1. (a) In addition to the requirements contained in Code Section 32-5-27, the department shall annually prepare and submit to the General Assembly, for approval by the Senate Transportation Committee and the House Committee on Transportation, a ten-year strategic plan that outlines the use of department resources for the upcoming fiscal years. (b) The Senate Transportation Committee and the House Committee on Transportation shall approve the plan and may make recommendations to the Senate Appropriations Committee and the House Committee on Appropriations for their consideration in developing the budget. (c) Such plan shall identify at least the following categories and establish a target percentage of resources to be expended and the respective fund sources in each of the following areas:
(1) Construction of new highway projects; (2) Maintenance of existing infrastructure; (3) Bridge repairs and replacement; (4) Safety enhancements; and

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(5) Administrative expenses. (d) Priority shall be given to expenditure of available resources for maintenance, expansion, and improvement of highway infrastructure in the areas of this state most impacted by traffic congestion and to areas of this state in need of highway infrastructure to aid in attracting economic development to the area. (e) Such plan shall also bring forward all efficiencies found within the bureaucracy of the Department and how those funds have been redirected to road construction."

PART III SECTION 3-1.

Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to motor vehicles and traffic, is amended by revising paragraph (7) of subsection (l) of Code Section 40-2-86.1, relating to certain special license plates, as follows:
"(7)(A) A special license plate to be issued for alternative fueled vehicles, which license plate shall be similar in design to the license plate issued to all other residents of this state except that the commissioner shall place a distinctive logo or emblem on the license plate which shall distinguish the vehicle as an alternative fueled vehicle eligible to travel in travel lanes designated for such vehicles under paragraph (4) of subsection (a) of Code Section 32-9-4. The words 'alternative fueled vehicle' shall be imprinted on such special license plate in lieu of the county name decal. The funds raised by the sale of this license plate shall be deposited in the general fund. (B) As used in this paragraph, the term:
(i) 'Alternative fuel' means electricity, natural gas, and propane. (ii) 'Alternative fueled vehicle' means any vehicle fueled solely by alternative fuel as defined in division (i) of this subparagraph, bi-fuel, or dual fuel. (C) Pursuant to paragraph (19) of subsection (a) of Code Section 40-2-151, the applicant for a special license plate for any alternative fueled vehicle shall provide proof that he or she has paid the registration fee prescribed therein prior to the issuance of any special license plate under this paragraph."

SECTION 3-2. Said title is further amended by adding a new paragraph to subsection (a) of Code Section 40-2-151, relating to the annual license fees for the operation of vehicles, to read as follows:
"(19)(A)(i) Upon registration of an alternative fueled vehicle not operated for commercial purposes.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200.00
(ii) Upon registration of an alternative fueled vehicle operated for commercial purposes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 300.00

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(B)(i) As used in this paragraph, the term 'alternative fueled vehicle' shall have the same meaning as in division (l)(7)(B)(ii) of Code Section 40-2-86.1; provided, however, that the fees in this paragraph shall not be assessed on vehicles which operate primarily on compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, or liquefied petroleum gas. (ii) The fees in this paragraph shall be in addition to any other fee imposed on the vehicle by this Code section. (iii) The fees in this paragraph shall be automatically adjusted on an annual basis by multiplying the percentage of increase or decrease in fuel efficiency from the previous year as measured by using the average of combined miles per gallon published in the United States Department of Energy Fuel Economy Guide against the current fee, and the resulting increase or decrease shall be added or subtracted from the fee. This preliminary fee adjustment shall then be multiplied by the increase or decrease in the Consumer Price Index percentage for the applicable year, and the result will be added or subtracted from the preliminary fee to produce the fee for the year. The first adjustment shall be calculated and implemented on July 1, 2016. The Consumer Price Index shall no longer be used after July 1, 2018."

SECTION 3-3. Said title is further amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"40-2-151.1. (a) As used in this Code section, the term 'transportation purposes' means and includes roads, bridges, public transit, rails, airports, buses, seaports, including without limitation road, street, and bridge purposes pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection (b) of Code Section 48-8-121, and all accompanying infrastructure and services necessary to provide access to these transportation facilities, including general obligation debt and other multiyear obligations issued to finance such purposes. (b) In conjunction with the payment of fees for the licensing of the operation of vehicles pursuant to Code Section 40-2-151, certain heavy vehicles registered in Georgia shall pay a highway impact fee. The annual fees shall be as follows for each such vehicle registered:
(1) 15,500 lbs. up to 26,000 lbs. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 50.00
(2) Greater than 26,001 lbs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100.00
(c) It is the intention of the General Assembly, subject to appropriations, that the fees collected pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section shall be made available and used exclusively for transportation purposes in this state. (d) If the amount collected under this Code section is ever not appropriated for a fiscal year as provided by subsection (c) of this Code section, as determined jointly by the House Budget and Research Office and the Senate Budget and Evaluation Office, then the amount collected shall be reduced by 50 percent. Upon the conclusion of a second fiscal year in which an amount is not so appropriated, this Code section shall stand repealed and

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reserved, and such fees shall cease to be collected, on the date the appropriations Act for such fiscal year becomes effective. Such budget offices shall certify any such lack of appropriation to the Code Revision Commission for purposes of updating the Code in accordance with this subsection."

PART IV SECTION 4-1.

Chapter 12 of Title 45 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the Governor, is amended by revising Code Section 45-12-22, relating to the Governor's authority to suspend the collection of taxes, as follows:
"45-12-22. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this Code section, the Governor may suspend the collection of taxes, or any part thereof, due the state until the meeting of the next General Assembly but no longer; but he or she shall not otherwise interfere with the collection of taxes. (b) Unless there has been a state of emergency declaration by the Governor, the Governor shall not suspend or modify in any manner the collection of any rate of state motor fuel under Code Section 48-9-3 as it applies to sales of motor fuel and aviation gasoline as such terms are defined in Code Section 48-9-2. Any suspension or modification of any rate of state motor fuel taxes under this subsection by the Governor shall be effective only until the next meeting of the General Assembly which must ratify such suspension or modification by a two-thirds' vote of both chambers. In the event the General Assembly fails to ratify the Governor's actions, state motor fuel taxes under this subsection shall be collected at the rate specified absent such suspension or modification and any amounts unpaid due to such suspension or modification shall be collected using such rate."

PART V SECTION 5-1.

Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to revenue and taxation, is amended by revising subsection (b) of Code Section 48-7-40.16, relating to state income tax credits for low-emission vehicles, as follows:
"(b)(1) A tax credit is allowed against the tax imposed under this article to a taxpayer for the purchase or lease of a new low-emission vehicle or new zero emission vehicle that is registered in the State of Georgia. The amount of the credit shall be:
(A) For any new low-emission vehicle, 10 percent of the cost of such vehicle or $2,500.00, whichever is less; and (B) For any new zero emission vehicle, 20 percent of the cost of such vehicle or $5,000.00, whichever is less.

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(2) For any new low-emission vehicle or new zero emission vehicle purchased or leased on or after July 1, 2015, the amount of the credit shall be $0.00."

SECTION 5-2. Said title is further amended by revising paragraphs (23) and (24) of Code Section 48-8-2, relating to definitions regarding state sales and use taxes, as follows:
"(23) 'Prepaid local tax' means any local sales and use tax which is levied on the sale or use of motor fuel and imposed in an area consisting of less than the entire state, however authorized, including, but not limited to, such taxes authorized by or pursuant to constitutional amendment; by or pursuant to Section 25 of an Act approved March 10, 1965 (Ga. L. 1965, p. 2243), as amended, known as the 'Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority Act of 1965'; or by or pursuant to Article 2, 2A, 3, or 4 of this chapter. Such tax is based on the same average retail sales price as compiled by the Energy Information Agency of the United States Department of Energy, the Oil Pricing Information Service, or a similar reliable published index less taxes imposed under Code Section 48-9-3 and all local sales and use or excise taxes levied on motor fuel. Such price shall be used to compute the prepaid sales tax rate for local jurisdictions by multiplying such retail price by the applicable rate imposed by the jurisdiction. The person collecting and reporting the prepaid local tax for the local jurisdiction shall provide a schedule as to which jurisdiction these collections relate. This determination shall be based upon the shipping papers of the conveyance that delivered the motor fuel to the dealer or consumer in the local jurisdiction. A seller may rely upon the representation made by the purchaser as to which jurisdiction the shipment is bound and prepare shipping papers in accordance with those instructions. (24) Reserved."

SECTION 5-3. Said title is further amended by revising paragraph (33.1) of Code Section 48-8-3, relating to exemptions from state sales and use taxes, as follows:
"(33.1)(A) The sale or use of jet fuel to or by a qualifying airline at a qualifying airport, to the extent provided in subparagraphs (B) and (C) of this paragraph. (B) For the period of time beginning July 1, 2012, and ending on June 30, 2015, the sale or use of jet fuel to or by a qualifying airline at a qualifying airport shall be exempt from 1 percent of the 4 percent state sales and use tax. (C) The sale or use of jet fuel to or by a qualifying airline at a qualifying airport shall be exempt at all times from the sales or use tax levied and imposed as authorized pursuant to Part 1 of Article 3 of this chapter. As used in this subparagraph, the term 'qualifying airport' means any airport in this state that has had more than 750,000 takeoffs and landings during a calendar year, and the term 'qualifying airline' shall have the same meaning as set forth in subparagraph (E) of this paragraph.

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(D) Except as provided for in subparagraph (C) of this paragraph, this exemption shall not apply to any other local sales and use tax levied or imposed at any time in any area consisting of less than the entire state, however authorized, not to exceed the rate at which such taxes were levied as of January 1, 2014, including, but not limited to, such taxes authorized by or pursuant to Section 25 of an Act approved March 10, 1965 (Ga. L. 1965, p. 2243), as amended, the 'Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority Act of 1965,' or such taxes as authorized by or pursuant to Part 2 of Article 3 or Article 2, 2A, or 4 of this chapter. (E) For purposes of subparagraph (B) of this paragraph and paragraph (2) of subsection (d) of Code Section 48-8-241, a 'qualifying airline' shall mean any person which is authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration or appropriate agency of the United States to operate as an air carrier under an air carrier operating certificate and which provides regularly scheduled flights for the transportation of passengers or cargo for hire. (F) For purposes of subparagraph (B) of this paragraph and paragraph (2) of subsection (d) of Code Section 48-8-241, the term 'qualifying airport' means a certificated air carrier airport in Georgia. (G) On or after July 1, 2017, revenue derived from the levy of sales and use taxes on jet fuel shall be used for a state aviation program or airport related purposes to the extent required to comply with 49 U.S.C. Sections 47107(b) and 47113. Any portion of such revenue so derived which is in excess of the amount required for purposes of such compliance with federal law may be appropriated by the General Assembly for other purposes. (H) The commissioner shall adopt rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this paragraph;"

SECTION 5-4. Said title is further amended by revising subsections (a) and (b) of Code Section 48-8-3.1, relating to sales tax exemptions as applied to motor fuels, as follows:
"(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this Code section, sales of motor fuels as defined in paragraph (9) of Code Section 48-9-2 shall be exempt from the state sales and use taxes levied or imposed by this article. (b) Sales of motor fuel, other than gasoline, purchased for purposes other than propelling motor vehicles on public highways as defined in Article 1 of Chapter 9 of this title shall be fully subject to the state sales and use taxes levied or imposed by this article unless otherwise specifically exempted by this article."

SECTION 5-5. Said title is further amended by revising subsection (k) of Code Section 48-8-30, relating to the imposition, rate, and collection of state sales tax, as follows:

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"(k) The prepaid local tax shall be imposed at the time tax is imposed under Code Section 48-9-3."

SECTION 5-6. Said title is further amended by revising paragraph (2) of subsection (b) of Code Section 48-8-49, relating to dealers' returns as gross proceeds of sales and purchases, as follows:
"(2) If the tax liability of a dealer in the preceding calendar year was greater than $60,000.00 excluding local sales taxes, the dealer shall file a return and remit to the commissioner not less than 50 percent of the estimated tax liability for the taxable period on or before the twentieth day of the period. The amount of the payment of the estimated tax liability shall be credited against the amount to be due on the return required under subsection (a) of this Code section."

SECTION 5-7. Said title is further amended by revising paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) of subsection (b) of Code Section 48-8-50, relating to compensation of dealers for reporting and paying tax, as follows:
"(2) With respect to each certificate of registration number on such return, a deduction of one-half of 1 percent of that portion exceeding $3,000.00 of the combined total amount of all sales and use taxes reported due on such return for each location other than the taxes specified in paragraph (3) of this subsection; and (3) With respect to each certificate of registration number on such return, a deduction of 3 percent of the combined total amount due of all sales and use taxes on motor fuel as defined under paragraph (9) of Code Section 48-9-2, which are imposed under any provision of this title, including, but not limited to, sales and use taxes on motor fuel imposed under any of the provisions described in subsection (f) of this Code section."

SECTION 5-8. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 48-8-82, relating to authorization of counties and municipalities to impose a joint sales and use tax, as follows:
"48-8-82. (a) When the imposition of a joint county and municipal sales and use tax is authorized according to the procedures provided in this article within a special district, the county whose geographical boundary is conterminous with that of the special district and each qualified municipality located wholly or partially within the special district shall levy a joint sales and use tax at the rate of 1 percent, except as provided in subsection (b) of this Code section. Except as to rate, the joint tax shall correspond to the tax imposed and administered by Article 1 of this chapter. No item or transaction which is not subject to taxation by Article 1 of this chapter shall be subject to the tax levied pursuant to this article, except that the joint tax provided in this article shall be applicable to sales of motor fuels as prepaid local tax as that term is defined in Code Section 48-8-2 and shall be applicable

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to the sale of food and food ingredients and alcoholic beverages only to the extent provided for in paragraph (57) of Code Section 48-8-3. (b) On or after July 1, 2015, such joint sales and use tax levied on sales of motor fuels as defined in Code Section 48-9-2 shall be at the rate of 1 percent of the retail sales price of the motor fuel which is not more than $3.00 per gallon."

SECTION 5-9. Said title is further amended by revising subsection (b) of Code Section 48-8-102, relating to the creation of special districts and use of proceeds of the homestead option sales and use tax, as follows:
"(b)(1) When the imposition of a local sales and use tax is authorized according to the procedures provided in this article within a special district, the county whose geographical boundary is conterminous with that of the special district shall levy a local sales and use tax at the rate of 1 percent, except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection. Except as to rate, the local sales and use tax shall correspond to the tax imposed and administered by Article 1 of this chapter. No item or transaction which is not subject to taxation by Article 1 of this chapter shall be subject to the sales and use tax levied pursuant to this article, except that the sales and use tax provided in this article shall be applicable to sales of motor fuels as prepaid local tax as that term is defined in Code Section 48-8-2 and shall be applicable to the sale of food and food ingredients and alcoholic beverages only to the extent provided for in paragraph (57) of Code Section 48-8-3. (2) On or after July 1, 2015, such sales and use tax levied on sales of motor fuels as defined in Code Section 48-9-2 shall be at the rate of 1 percent of the retail sales price of the motor fuel which is not more than $3.00 per gallon."

SECTION 5-10. Said title is further amended by revising subsection (c) of and by adding a new subsection to Code Section 48-8-110.1, relating to the authorization for a county special purpose local option sales tax, to read as follows:
"(c) Except as provided in subsection (d) of this Code section, any tax imposed under this part shall be at the rate of 1 percent. Except as to rate, a tax imposed under this part shall correspond to the tax imposed by Article 1 of this chapter. No item or transaction which is not subject to taxation under Article 1 of this chapter shall be subject to a tax imposed under this part, except that a tax imposed under this part shall apply to sales of motor fuels as prepaid local tax as that term is defined in Code Section 48-8-2 and shall be applicable to the sale of food and food ingredients and alcoholic beverages as provided for in Code Section 48-8-3. (d) On or after July 1, 2015, such sales and use tax levied on sales of motor fuels as defined in Code Section 48-9-2 shall be at the rate of 1 percent of the retail sales price of the motor fuel which is not more than $3.00 per gallon."

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SECTION 5-11. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 48-8-141, relating to imposition of a sales tax for educational purposes, as follows:
"48-8-141. (a) Except as otherwise expressly provided in Article VIII, Section VI, Paragraph IV of the Constitution of Georgia, the sales tax for educational purposes which may be levied by a board of education of a county school district or concurrently by the board of education of a county school district and the board of education of each independent school district located within such county shall be imposed and levied by such board or boards of education and collected by the commissioner on behalf of such board or boards of education in the same manner as provided for under Part 1 of this article and the provisions of Part 1 of this article in particular, but without limitation, the provisions regarding the authority of the commissioner to administer and collect this tax, retain the 1 percent administrative fee, and promulgate rules and regulations governing this tax shall apply equally to such board or boards of education. The report required pursuant to Code Section 48-8-122 shall be applicable; provided, however, that in addition to posting such report in a newspaper of general circulation as required by such Code section, such report may be posted on the searchable website provided for under Code Section 50-6-32. (b) On or after July 1, 2015, such sales and use tax levied on sales of motor fuels as defined in Code Section 48-9-2 shall be at the rate of 1 percent of the retail sales price of the motor fuel which is not more than $3.00 per gallon."

SECTION 5-12. Said title is further amended by revising subsection (c) of and adding a new subsection to Code Section 48-8-201, relating to the intergovernmental agreement for the distribution of tax proceeds from the water and sewer projects sales tax, as follows:
"(c) In the event a tax imposed under this article is imposed only by the municipality: (1) No item or transaction which is not subject to taxation under Article 1 of this chapter shall be subject to a tax imposed under this article, except that a tax imposed under this article shall apply to: (A) Sales of motor fuels as prepaid local tax as that term is defined in Code Section 48-8-2; (B) The sale of food and food ingredients and alcoholic beverages as provided for in Code Section 48-8-3; (C) The sale of natural or artificial gas used directly in the production of electricity which is subsequently sold, notwithstanding paragraph (70) of Code Section 48-8-3; and (D) The furnishing for value to the public of any room or rooms, lodgings, or accommodations which is subject to taxation under Article 3 of Chapter 13 of this title; and (2) A tax imposed under this article shall not apply to the sale of motor vehicles."

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"(e) On or after July 1, 2015, such sales and use tax levied on sales of motor fuels as defined in Code Section 48-9-2 shall be at the rate of 1 percent of the retail sales price of the motor fuel which is not more than $3.00 per gallon."

SECTION 5-13. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 48-9-3, relating to an excise tax on motor fuel, as follows:
"48-9-3. (a)(1) An excise tax is imposed at the rate of 26 per gallon on distributors who sell or use motor fuel, other than diesel fuel, within this state. An excise tax is imposed at the rate of 29 per gallon on distributors who sell or use diesel fuel within this state. It is the intention of the General Assembly that the legal incidence of the tax be imposed upon the distributor. (1.1)(A) Beginning on July 1, 2016, and annually thereafter, the amount of this excise tax per gallon on distributors shall be automatically adjusted on an annual basis in accordance with this paragraph. (B) Using 2014 as a base year, the department shall determine the average miles per gallon of all new vehicles registered in this state pursuant to Code Section 48-5C-1 using the average of combined miles per gallon published in the United States Department of Energy Fuel Economy Guide. Beginning on July 1, 2016, and each year thereafter, the department shall calculate the average miles per gallon of all new vehicles registered in this state in the previous year. The excise tax rate shall be multiplied by the percentage increase or decrease in fuel efficiency from the previous year, and the resulting increase or decrease shall be added to the excise tax rate to determine the preliminary excise tax rate. (C) Once the preliminary excise tax rate is established, it shall be multiplied by the annual percentage of increase or decrease in the Consumer Price Index. The resulting calculation shall be added to the preliminary excise tax rate, and the result of such calculation shall be the new excise tax rate for motor fuels for the next calendar year. The Consumer Price Index shall no longer be used after July 1, 2018. (2) In the event any motor fuels which are not commonly sold or measured by the gallon are used in any motor vehicles on the public highways of this state, the commissioner may assess, levy, and collect a tax upon such fuels, under such regulations as the commissioner may promulgate, in accordance with and measured by the nearest power potential equivalent to that of one gallon of regular grade gasoline. Any determination by the commissioner of the power potential equivalent of such motor fuels shall be prima-facie correct. Upon each such quantity of such fuels used upon the public highways of this state, a tax at the same rate per gallon imposed on motor fuel under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be assessed and collected. (3) No county, municipality, or other political subdivision of this state shall levy any fee, license, or other excise tax on a gallonage basis upon the sale, purchase, storage, receipt,

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distribution, use, consumption, or other disposition of motor fuel. Nothing contained in this article shall be construed to prevent a county, municipality, or other political subdivision of this state from levying license fees or taxes upon any business selling motor fuel.
(4)(A) For purposes of this subsection, and notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (2) of this subsection and any provision contained in the National Bureau of Standards Handbook or any other national standard that may be adopted by law or regulation, the gallon equivalent of compressed natural gas shall be not less than 110,000 British thermal units and the gallon equivalent of liquefied natural gas shall not be less than 6.06 pounds. (B) As used in this paragraph, the term:
(i) 'Compressed natural gas' means a mixture of hydrocarbon gases and vapors, consisting principally of methane in gaseous form, that has been compressed for use as a motor fuel. (ii) 'Liquefied natural gas' means methane or natural gas in the form of a cryogenic or refrigerated liquid for use as a motor fuel. (b) No tax is imposed by this article upon or with respect to the following sales by duly licensed distributors: (1) Bulk sales to a duly licensed distributor; (2) Sales of motor fuel for export from this state when exempted by any provisions of the Constitutions of the United States or this state; (3) Sales of motor fuel to a licensed distributor for export from this state; (4) Sales of motor fuel to the United States for the exclusive use of the United States when the motor fuel is purchased and paid for by the United States; (5) Sales of aviation gasoline to a duly licensed aviation gasoline dealer, except for 1 per gallon of the tax imposed by paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section; (6) Bulk sales of compressed petroleum gas or special fuel to a duly licensed consumer distributor; (7)(A) Sales of compressed petroleum gas or special fuel to a consumer who has no highway use of the fuel at the time of the sale and does not resell the fuel. Consumers of compressed petroleum gas or special fuel who have both highway and nonhighway use of the fuel and resellers of such fuel must be licensed as distributors in order for sales of the fuel to be tax exempt. Each type of motor fuel is to be considered separately under this exemption. (B)(i) In instances where a sale of compressed petroleum gas has been made to an ultimate consumer who has both highway and nonhighway use of that type of motor fuel and no tax has been paid by the distributor on the sale, the consumer shall become licensed as a consumer distributor of that type of motor fuel. After the consumer is licensed as a consumer distributor and if it is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the commissioner that the motor fuel purchased prior to the licensee's becoming licensed as a consumer distributor was used for nonhighway purposes, such

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sales shall be exempt from the tax imposed by this article; provided, however, that, if at the time of demonstration the ultimate consumer does not have both highway and nonhighway use of such fuel but it can be demonstrated by the distributor to the satisfaction of the commissioner that the motor fuel was used for nonhighway purposes, the sales shall be exempt from the tax imposed by this article; and
(ii)(I) Any special fuel sold by a distributor to a purchaser who has a storage receptacle which has a connection to a withdrawal outlet that may be used for highway use, as defined in paragraph (8) of Code Section 48-9-2, is not exempt from the motor fuel and road taxes imposed by this article unless: (1) the purchaser is at the time of sale a valid licensed distributor of that type of motor fuel, or (2) an exemption certificate has been obtained from the purchaser on forms furnished by the Department of Revenue showing that the purchaser has no highway use of such fuels and is not a reseller of such fuels. Each exemption certificate shall be valid for a period of not more than three years and shall be kept by the distributor as one of the records specified in Code Section 48-9-8. It shall be the responsibility of the purchaser to notify the distributor when the purchaser is no longer qualified for the nonhighway exemption. All applicable taxes must be charged the purchaser until the purchaser is granted a valid distributor's license for that type of motor fuel. (II) Any such purchaser granted an exemption under subdivision (I) of this division who falsely claims the exemption or fails to rescind the purchaser's exemption certificate to the distributor in writing when he or she is no longer eligible for the exemption shall be deemed a distributor for purposes of taxation and is subject to all provisions of this article relating to distributors. This division in no way shall restrict the option of the purchaser to become licensed as a distributor. If the distributor sells special fuel to a purchaser who has a storage receptacle which has a connection to a withdrawal outlet that may be used for highway use, as defined in paragraph (8) of Code Section 48-9-2, and the purchaser is not a valid licensed distributor and has not executed a valid signed exemption certificate, the taxes imposed by this article are due from the distributor and not the purchaser on all sales of that type of fuel to that purchaser; (8) Sales of fuel oils, compressed petroleum gas, or special fuel directly to an ultimate consumer to be used for heating purposes only. The delivery of fuel oils, compressed petroleum gas, or special fuel directly to an ultimate consumer to be used for heating purposes only shall be made directly into the storage receptacle of the heating unit of the consumer by the licensed distributor. To qualify for this exemption, sales must be delivered into storage receptacles that are not equipped with any secondary withdrawal outlets for the motor fuel; (9) Sales of dyed fuel oils to a consumer for other than highway use as defined in paragraph (8) of Code Section 48-9-2; (10)(A) During the period of July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2015, sales of motor fuel, as defined in paragraph (9) of Code Section 48-9-2, for public mass transit vehicles

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which are owned by public transportation systems which receive or are eligible to receive funds pursuant to 49 U.S.C. Sections 5307 and 5311 for which passenger fares are routinely charged and which vehicles are used exclusively for revenue generating purposes which motor fuel sales occur at bulk purchase facilities approved by the department. (B) During the period of July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2015, sales of motor fuel, as defined in paragraph (9) of Code Section 48-9-2, for vehicles operated by a public campus transportation system, provided that such system has a policy which provides for free transfer of passengers from the public transportation system operated by the jurisdiction in which the campus is located; makes the general public aware of such free transfer policy; and receives no state or federal funding to assist in the operation of such public campus transportation system and which motor fuel sales occur at bulk purchase facilities approved by the department. (C) For purposes of this paragraph, the term 'vehicle' or 'vehicles' means buses, vans, minibuses, or other vehicles which have the capacity to transport seven or more passengers; or (11) For the period of time beginning July 1, 2013, and ending June 30, 2015, sales of motor fuel to public school systems in this state for the exclusive use of the school system in operating school buses when the motor fuel is purchased and paid for by the school system. (c) Fuel oils, compressed petroleum gas, or special fuel used by a duly licensed distributor for nonhighway purposes is exempt from the tax imposed by this article. (d) No export from this state shall be recognized as being exempt from tax under paragraphs (2) and (3) of subsection (b) of this Code section unless the exporter informs the seller and the terminal operator of the intention to export and causes to be set out the minimum information specified in subsection (e) of Code Section 48-9-17 on the bill of lading or equivalent documentation under which the motor fuel is transported. In the event that the motor fuel is delivered to any point other than that which is set out on the bill of lading or equivalent documentation, the legal incidence of the tax shall continue to be imposed exclusively upon the exporter who caused the export documentation to be issued and no exemption shall be recognized until suitable proof of exportation has been provided to the commissioner."

SECTION 5-14. Said title is further amended by repealing in its entirety Code Section 48-9-14, relating to the second motor fuel tax, and designating said Code section as reserved.

SECTION 5-15. Said title is further amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"48-13-50.3. (a) As used in this Code section, the term:

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(1) 'Extended stay' means providing lodging for the public for longer than 30 consecutive days to the same customer. (2) 'Innkeeper' means any person who is subject to taxation under this article for the furnishing for value to the public any rooms, lodgings, or accommodations. (3) 'Transportation purposes' means and includes roads, bridges, public transit, rails, airports, buses, seaports, including without limitation road, street, and bridge purposes pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection (b) of Code Section 48-8-121, and all accompanying infrastructure and services necessary to provide access to these transportation facilities, including general obligation debt and other multiyear obligations issued to finance such purposes. (b) On or after July 1, 2015, each innkeeper in this state shall charge a $5.00 per night fee to the customer, unless it is an extended stay rental, for each calendar day a room, lodging, or accommodation is rented or leased. The innkeeper shall collect the fee at the time the customer pays for the rental or lease of such room, lodging, or accommodation. The innkeeper collecting the fee shall remit the fee on a monthly basis to the department. (c) The commissioner shall promulgate and make available forms for the use of innkeepers to assist in compliance with this Code section. The commissioner shall promulgate rules and regulations as necessary to implement the provisions of this Code section. (d) It is the intention of the General Assembly, subject to appropriations, that the fees collected pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section shall be made available and used exclusively for transportation purposes in this state. (e) If the amount collected under this Code section is ever not appropriated for a fiscal year as provided by subsection (d) of this Code section, as determined jointly by the House Budget and Research Office and the Senate Budget and Evaluation Office, then the amount collected shall be reduced by 50 percent. Upon the conclusion of a second fiscal year in which an amount is not so appropriated, this Code section shall stand repealed and reserved, and such fees shall cease to be collected, on the date the appropriations Act for such fiscal year becomes effective. Such budget offices shall certify any such lack of appropriation to the Code Revision Commission for purposes of updating the Code in accordance with this subsection."

PART VI SECTION 6-1.

Part 3 of Article 2 of Chapter 10 of Title 32 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, the "Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank Act," is amended by revising subsection (b) of Code Section 32-10-127, relating to loans and other financial assistance and the determination of eligible projects, as follows:
"(b)(1) The board shall determine which projects are eligible projects and then select from among the eligible projects qualified projects. When determining eligibility, the

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board shall make every effort to balance any loans or other financial assistance among all regions of this state. (2) Preference for loans may be given to eligible projects in tier 1 and tier 2 counties, as defined in Code Section 48-7-40 and by the Department of Community Affairs. (3) Preference for grants and other financial assistance may be given to eligible projects which have local financial support."

PART VII SECTION 7-1.

Chapter 8 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to revenue and taxation, is amended by revising subsection (d) of and adding new subsections to Code Section 48-8-241, relating to the creation of special districts and the tax rate for purposes of a transportation sales and use tax, as follows:
"(d) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (e) of this Code section, any tax imposed under this article shall be at the rate of 1 percent. Except as to rate, a tax imposed under this article shall correspond to the tax imposed by Article 1 of this chapter. No item or transaction which is not subject to taxation under Article 1 of this chapter shall be subject to a tax imposed under this article, except that a tax imposed under this article shall not apply to:
(1) The sale or use of any type of fuel used for off-road heavy-duty equipment, off-road farm or agricultural equipment, or locomotives; (2) The sale or use of jet fuel to or by a qualifying airline at a qualifying airport; (3) The sale or use of fuel that is used for propulsion of motor vehicles on the public highways. For purposes of this paragraph, a motor vehicle means a self-propelled vehicle designed for operation or required to be licensed for operation upon the public highways; (4) The sale or use of energy used in the manufacturing or processing of tangible goods primarily for resale; or (5) For motor fuel as defined under paragraph (9) of Code Section 48-9-2 for public mass transit. The tax imposed pursuant to this article shall only be levied on the first $5,000.00 of any transaction involving the sale or lease of a motor vehicle. The tax imposed pursuant to this article shall be subject to any sales and use tax exemption which is otherwise imposed by law; provided, however, that the tax levied by this article shall be applicable to the sale of food and food ingredients as provided for in paragraph (57) of Code Section 48-8-3. (e) Any tax imposed under this article on or after July 1, 2015, may be at a rate of up to 1 percent but shall not be more than 1 percent. Any rate less than 1 percent shall be in an increment of .05 percent. This subsection shall not apply to taxes under this article imposed or to be imposed under resolutions and ordinances adopted prior to July 1, 2015.

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(f) Any tax imposed under this article on or after July 1, 2015, shall be required to expend at least 30 percent of the estimated revenue on projects included in the state-wide strategic transportation plan as defined in paragraph (6) of subsection (a) of Code Section 32-2-22."

SECTION 7-2. Said chapter is further amended by revising paragraph (12) of Code Section 48-8-242, relating to definitions relative to Special District Transportation Sales and Use Tax, as follows:
"(12) Reserved."

SECTION 7-3. Said chapter is further amended by revising subsection (c) of Code Section 48-8-245, relating to the collection and cessation of special district transportation sales and use tax, as follows:
"(c)(1) No more than a single tax under this article may be collected at any time within a special district. (2) Upon the adoption of resolutions by the governing bodies of a majority of the counties within a special district in which a tax authorized by this article is in effect, an election may be held for the reimposition of the tax while the tax is in effect. Proceedings for the development of an investment list and for the reimposition of a tax shall be in the same manner as provided for in Code Sections 48-8-241 and 48-8-243. (3) Following the expiration of the special district transportation sales and use tax under this article, or following a special election in which voters in a special district rejected the imposition of the tax, upon the adoption of resolutions by the governing bodies of a majority of counties within a special district, an election may be held for the imposition of a tax under this article in the same manner as provided in this article for the initial imposition of such tax. The election superintendents shall issue the call and conduct the election in the manner authorized by general law. The development of the investment list for such special district shall follow the dates established in Code Section 48-8-243 with the years adjusted appropriately, and such schedule shall be posted on a website developed by the state revenue commissioner to be used exclusively for matters related to the special district transportation sales and use tax within 30 days of the later of the state revenue commissioner's receipt of notice from the final county governing body required to adopt a resolution."

SECTION 7-4. Said chapter is further amended in subsection (a) of Code Section 48-8-6, relating to the ceiling on local sales and use taxes, by revising paragraphs (4) and (5) and adding a new paragraph to read as follows:
"(4) A sales and use tax levied under Article 4 of this chapter; (5) A sales and use tax levied under Article 5 of this chapter; and (6) A sales and use tax levied under Article 5A of this chapter."

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SECTION 7-5. Said chapter is further amended by adding a new article to read as follows:

"ARTICLE 5A

48-8-260. As used in this article, the term:
(1) 'Dealer' means a dealer as defined in paragraph (8) of Code Section 48-8-2. (2) 'District' means a special district created pursuant to subsection (a) of Code Section 48-8-261. (3) 'Intergovernmental agreement' means a contract entered into pursuant to Article IX, Section III, Paragraph I of the Constitution. (4) 'Levy' means the collection within a special district of the tax authorized pursuant to this article. (5) 'Mass transportation' means any mode of transportation serving the general public which is appropriate to transport people by highways or rail. (6) 'Mass transportation regional system participant' means any county within a special district created pursuant to Article 5 of this chapter wherein mass transportation service is provided within the district, to the district, or from the district by a multicounty regional transportation authority created by an Act of the General Assembly, including but not limited to the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority or the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. (7) 'Qualified municipality' means a qualified municipality as defined in paragraph (4) of Code Section 48-8-110 situated wholly or partly within a district. (8) 'Transportation purposes' means and includes roads, bridges, public transit, rails, airports, buses, seaports, including without limitation road, street, and bridge purposes pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection (b) of Code Section 48-8-121, and all accompanying infrastructure and services necessary to provide access to these transportation facilities, including general obligation debt and other multiyear obligations issued to finance such purposes.

48-8-261. (a) Pursuant to the authority granted by Article IX, Section II, Paragraph VI of the Constitution of this state, 159 special districts are created within this state. The geographical boundary of each county shall correspond with and shall be conterminous with the geographical boundary of the 159 districts created. (b) On or after July 1, 2015, any county:
(1) That is not located within a special district levying a special sales and use tax pursuant to Article 5 of this chapter; (2) That is a mass transportation regional system participant; and (3) In which a tax is currently being levied and collected pursuant to:

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(A) Part 1 of Article 3 of this chapter; (B) A local constitutional amendment for purposes of a metropolitan area system of public transportation set out at Ga. L. 1964, p. 1008, and the laws enacted pursuant to such local constitutional amendment; or (C) Code Section 48-8-96 may, by following the procedures required by this article, impose for a limited period of time within the special district under this article a transportation special purpose local option sales tax, the proceeds of which shall be used only for transportation purposes. (c) On or after July 1, 2017, any county: (1) That is not located within a special district levying a special sales and use tax pursuant to Article 5 of this chapter; and (2) In which a tax is currently being levied and collected pursuant to: (A) Part 1 of Article 3 of this chapter; (B) A local constitutional amendment for purposes of a metropolitan area system of public transportation set out at Ga. L. 1964, p. 1008, and the laws enacted pursuant to such local constitutional amendment; or (C) Code Section 48-8-96 may, by following the procedures required by this article, impose for a limited period of time within the special district under this article a transportation special purpose local option sales tax, the proceeds of which shall be used only for transportation purposes.

48-8-262. (a)(1) Prior to the issuance of the call for the referendum required by Code Section 48-8-263, any county that desires to levy a tax under this article shall deliver or mail a written notice to the mayor or chief elected official in each qualified municipality located within the district. Such notice shall contain the date, time, place, and purpose of a meeting at which the governing authorities of the county and of each qualified municipality are to meet to discuss possible projects for inclusion in the referendum. The notice shall be delivered or mailed at least ten days prior to the date of the meeting. The meeting shall be held at least 30 days prior to the issuance of the call for the referendum. (2) When a qualified municipality or combination of qualified municipalities within the special district whose population within the special district is 90 percent or more of the aggregate population of all qualified municipalities within the special district desires to levy a tax under this article, such qualified municipality or combination of qualified municipalities may deliver or mail written notice to the chief elected official of the governing authority of the county located within the special district calling for a meeting to discuss projects for inclusion in the referendum and the rate of levy of the tax. Such notice shall contain the date, time, place, and purpose of the meeting and shall be delivered or mailed at least ten days prior to the date of the meeting. The meeting shall be held at least 30 days prior to the issuance of the call for a referendum. If the county and all qualified municipalities within the special district do not enter into an

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intergovernmental agreement meeting the requirements of subsection (b) of this Code section within 30 days after the meeting, the qualified municipality or combination of qualified municipalities within the special district whose population within the special district is 90 percent or more of the aggregate population of all qualified municipalities within the special district may issue the call for a referendum on the levy of a tax under this article. (b)(1) Following the meeting required by subsection (a) of this Code section and prior to any tax being imposed under this article, the county and all qualified municipalities therein shall execute an intergovernmental agreement memorializing their agreement to the levy of a tax and the rate of such tax. (2) At a minimum, the intergovernmental agreement authorized by paragraph (1) of this subsection shall include the following:
(A) A list of the projects and purposes qualifying as transportation purposes proposed to be funded from the levy, including an expenditure of at least 30 percent of the estimated revenue from the tax on projects included in the state-wide strategic transportation plan as defined in paragraph (6) of subsection (a) of Code Section 32-2-22; (B) The estimated or projected dollar amounts allocated for each transportation purpose from proceeds from the levy; (C) The procedures for distributing proceeds from the levy to qualified municipalities; (D) A schedule for distributing proceeds from the levy to qualified municipalities which shall include the priority or order in which transportation purposes will be fully or partially funded; (E) A provision that all transportation purposes included in the agreement shall be funded from proceeds from the levy except as otherwise agreed; (F) A provision that proceeds from the levy shall be maintained in separate accounts and utilized exclusively for the specified purposes; (G) Record-keeping and audit procedures necessary to carry out the purposes of this article; and (H) Such other provisions as the county and qualified municipalities choose to address. (c)(1) If an intergovernmental agreement is entered into by the county and all qualified municipalities, the rate of the tax may be up to 1 percent. (2) If an intergovernmental agreement is not entered into by the county and all qualified municipalities, the maximum rate of the tax shall not exceed .75 percent and shall be determined by the governing authority of the county. (d)(1) As soon as practicable after the meeting between the governing authorities of the county and qualified municipalities and the execution of an intergovernmental agreement, if applicable, the governing authority of the county may by a majority vote on a resolution offered for such purpose submit the list of transportation purposes and the question of whether the levy should be approved to electors of the district in the next scheduled election and shall notify the county election superintendent within the district

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by forwarding to the superintendent a copy of such resolution calling for the imposition of the levy. Such list, or a digest thereof, shall be available during regular business hours in the office of the county clerk. (2) The resolution authorized by paragraph (1) of this subsection shall describe:
(A) The specific transportation purposes to be funded; (B) The approximate cost of such transportation purposes, which shall also be the maximum amount of net proceeds to be raised by the levy; and (C) The maximum period of time, to be stated in calendar years, for which the levy may be levied and the rate thereof. The maximum period of time shall not exceed five years.

48-8-263. (a)(1) The ballot submitting the question of the imposition of the levy to the voters within the district shall have written or printed thereon the following:
'( ) YES Shall a special ___ percent sales and use tax be imposed in the district consisting of _______County for a period of time not to exceed _______
( ) NO and for the raising of not more than an estimated amount of $_______ for transportation purposes?'
(2) If debt is to be issued pursuant to an intergovernmental agreement, the ballot shall also have written or printed thereon, following the language specified by paragraph (1) of this subsection, the following:
'If imposition of the tax is approved by the voters, such vote shall also constitute approval of the issuance of general obligation debt of ___________ County in the principal amount of $___________ for the above purpose.' (b) The election superintendent shall issue the call and conduct the election in the manner authorized by general law. The superintendent shall canvass the returns, declare the result of the election, and certify the result to the Secretary of State and to the commissioner. The expense of the election shall be paid from county funds. All persons desiring to vote in favor of imposing the levy shall vote 'Yes,' and all persons opposed to imposing the levy shall vote 'No.' If more than one-half of the votes cast throughout the entire district are in favor of imposing the levy, then the levy shall be imposed as provided in this article. (c) Where such question is not approved by the voters, the county may resubmit such question from time to time upon compliance with the requirements of this article. (d)(1) If the intergovernmental agreement and proposal include the authority to issue general obligation debt and if more than one-half of the votes cast are in favor of the proposal, then the authority to issue such debt in accordance with Article IX, Section V, Paragraph I of the Constitution is given to the proper officers of the county; otherwise, such debt shall not be issued. If the authority to issue such debt is so approved by the voters, then such debt may be issued without further approval by the voters.

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(2) If the issuance of general obligation debt is included and approved as provided in this Code section, then the governing authority of the county may incur such debt either through the issuance and validation of general obligation bonds or through the execution of a promissory note or notes or other instrument or instruments. If such debt is incurred through the issuance of general obligation bonds, such bonds and their issuance and validation shall be subject to Articles 1 and 2 of Chapter 82 of Title 36 except as specifically provided otherwise in this article. If such debt is incurred through the execution of a promissory note or notes or other instrument or instruments, no validation proceedings shall be necessary, and such debt shall be subject to Code Sections 36-80-10 through 36-80-14 except as specifically provided otherwise in this article. In either event, such general obligation debt shall be payable first from the separate account in which are placed the proceeds received by the county from the levy. Such general obligation debt shall, however, constitute a pledge of the full faith, credit, and taxing power of the county; and any liability on such debt which is not satisfied from the proceeds of the levy shall be satisfied from the general funds of the county.

48-8-264. (a) If the imposition of the levy is approved at the election, the tax shall be imposed on the first day of the next succeeding calendar quarter which begins more than 80 days after the date of the election at which the levy was approved by the voters. With respect to services which are regularly billed on a monthly basis, however, the resolution shall become effective with respect to and the levy shall apply to services billed on or after the effective date specified in the previous sentence. (b) The levy shall cease to be imposed on the earliest of the following dates:
(1) If the resolution calling for the imposition of the tax provided for the issuance of general obligation debt and such debt is the subject of validation proceedings, as of the end of the first calendar quarter ending more than 80 days after the date on which a court of competent jurisdiction enters a final order denying validation of such debt; (2) On the final day of the maximum period of time specified for the imposition of the levy; or (3) As of the end of the calendar quarter during which the commissioner determines that the levy will have raised revenues sufficient to provide to the district net proceeds equal to or greater than the amount specified as the maximum amount of net proceeds to be raised by the levy. (c)(1) At any time, no more than a single tax under this article shall be imposed within a district. Any tax imposed under this article may be at a rate of up to 1 percent but shall not be more than 1 percent. Any rate less than 1 percent shall be in an increment of .05 percent. (2) The governing authority of the county in which a levy is in effect under this article may, upon approval of all qualified municipalities, while the levy is in effect, adopt resolutions calling for the reimposition of the levy upon the termination of the levy then

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in effect; and an election may be held at the next regularly scheduled general election for this purpose while the levy is in effect. Proceedings for the reimposition of a levy shall be in the same manner as proceedings for the initial imposition of the levy, but the newly authorized levy shall not be imposed until the expiration of the levy then in effect. (3) Following the expiration of a levy under this article, the county may initiate proceedings for the reimposition of a levy under this article in the same manner as provided in this article for initial imposition of such levy.

48-8-265. A tax levied pursuant to this article shall be exclusively administered and collected by the commissioner for the use and benefit of the county and qualified municipalities within the district imposing the tax. Such administration and collection shall be accomplished in the same manner and subject to the same applicable provisions, procedures, and penalties provided in Article 1 of this chapter; provided, however, that all moneys collected from each taxpayer by the commissioner shall be applied first to such taxpayer's liability for taxes owed the state; and provided, further, that the commissioner may rely upon a representation by or on behalf of the district or the Secretary of State that such a tax has been validly imposed, and the commissioner and the commissioner's agents shall not be liable to any person for collecting any such tax which was not validly imposed. Dealers shall be allowed a percentage of the amount of the tax due and accounted for and shall be reimbursed in the form of a deduction in submitting, reporting, and paying the amount due if such amount is not delinquent at the time of payment. The deduction shall be at the rate and subject to the requirements specified under subsections (b) through (f) of Code Section 48-8-50.

48-8-266. Each sales tax return remitting taxes collected under this article shall separately identify the location of each retail establishment at which any of the taxes remitted were collected and shall specify the amount of sales and the amount of taxes collected at each establishment for the period covered by the return in order to facilitate the determination by the commissioner that all taxes imposed by this article are collected and distributed according to situs of sale.

48-8-267. (a) The proceeds of the tax collected by the commissioner in each special district under this article shall be disbursed as soon as practicable after collection as follows:
(1) One percent of the amount collected shall be paid into the general fund of the state treasury in order to defray the costs of administration; and (2) Except for the percentage provided in paragraph (1) of this Code section, the remaining proceeds of the tax shall be distributed:
(A) Pursuant to the terms of the intergovernmental agreement, if applicable; or

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(B) If no intergovernmental agreement has been entered into, in accordance with subsection (b) of this Code section. (b) In the event an intergovernmental agreement has not been entered into, distribution of the proceeds shall be as follows: (1) The state auditor shall determine the most recent three fiscal years for which an audit under Code Section 36-81-7 has or should have been made or for which other equivalent, reliable information is available for the county and all qualified municipalities; and (2) Utilizing the audit information under paragraph (1) of this subsection, the county and each qualified municipality shall receive a proportional amount of proceeds of the tax based upon the amount of expenditures made for transportation in the fiscal year. The proportional amount for the county and each qualified municipality shall be determined by dividing the average expended on transportation during the most recent three fiscal years by the county or qualified municipality by the aggregate average expended on transportation by the county and all qualified municipalities in the district during the most recent three fiscal years. Amounts expended on transportation include transportation maintenance and operation costs and shall correspond with classifications and subclassifications specified in section 4200, including noncapital expenditures in sections 4210-4270, of the uniform chart of accounts in subsection (e) of Code Section 36-81-3 and shall be reported in the local government audit. Total general fund expenditures by the local government within these categories shall be specified in the footnotes of the audited financial statement. If such transportation expenditures include maintenance and operation costs to support local government airport and transit operations, reported in function 7561 and 7563 of the uniform chart, the general fund costs for those functions shall be included in the footnotes of the local government's audited financial statement.

48-8-268. (a) The levy shall not be subject to any allocation or balancing of state and federal funds provided for by general law, nor may such proceeds be considered or taken into account in any such allocation or balancing. (b) The approval of the levy of the tax under this article shall not in any way diminish the percentage of state or federal funds allocated to any of the local governments within the special district levying the tax under the provisions of Code Section 32-5-27. The amount of state or federal funds expended in the county or any municipality within the special district shall not be decreased or diverted due to the use of proceeds from the tax levied under this article for transportation purposes that have a high priority in the state-wide strategic transportation plan.

48-8-269. (a) Except as to rate, a tax imposed under this article shall correspond to the tax imposed by Article 1 of this chapter. No item or transaction which is not subject to taxation under

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Article 1 of this chapter shall be subject to a tax imposed under this article, except that a tax imposed under this article shall not apply to:
(1) The sale or use of any type of fuel used for off-road heavy-duty equipment, off-road farm or agricultural equipment, or locomotives; (2) The sale or use of jet fuel to or by a qualifying airline at a qualifying airport; (3) The sale or use of fuel that is used for propulsion of motor vehicles on the public highways; (4) The sale or use of energy used in the manufacturing or processing of tangible goods primarily for resale; (5) The sale or use of motor fuel as defined under paragraph (9) of Code Section 48-9-2 for public mass transit; or (6) The purchase or lease of any motor vehicle pursuant to Code Section 48-5C-1. (b) Except as otherwise specifically provided in this article, the tax imposed pursuant to this article shall be subject to any sales and use tax exemption which is otherwise imposed by law; provided, however, that the tax levied by this article shall be applicable to the sale of food and food ingredients as provided for in paragraph (57) of Code Section 48-8-3.

48-8-269.1. Where a local sales or use tax has been paid with respect to tangible personal property by the purchaser either in another local tax jurisdiction within this state or in a tax jurisdiction outside this state, the tax may be credited against the tax authorized to be imposed by this article upon the same property. If the amount of sales or use tax so paid is less than the amount of the levy due under this article, the purchaser shall pay an amount equal to the difference between the amount paid in the other tax jurisdiction and the amount due under this article. The commissioner may require such proof of payment in another local tax jurisdiction as he or she deems necessary and proper. No credit shall be granted, however, against the levy for tax paid in another jurisdiction if the tax paid in such other jurisdiction is used to obtain a credit against any other local sales and use tax levied in the county or in a special district which includes the county.

48-8-269.2. No levy shall be imposed upon the sale of tangible personal property which is ordered by and delivered to the purchaser at a point outside the geographical area of the county in which the levy is imposed regardless of the point at which title passes, if the delivery is made by the seller's vehicle, United States mail, or common carrier or by private or contract carrier.

48-8-269.3. The commissioner shall have the power and authority to promulgate such rules and regulations as shall be necessary for the effective and efficient administration and enforcement of the collection of the levy.

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48-8-269.4. Except as provided in Code Section 48-8-6, the tax authorized under this article shall be in addition to any other local sales and use tax. Except as otherwise provided in this article and except as provided in Code Section 48-8-6, the imposition of any other local sales and use tax within a county or qualified municipality within a special district shall not affect the authority of a county to impose the tax authorized under this article, and provided that a county is not currently collecting a levy under Article 5 of this chapter, the imposition of a tax under this article shall not affect the imposition of any otherwise authorized local sales and use tax within the special district.

48-8-269.5. (a)(1) The proceeds received from the levy shall be used by the county and qualified municipalities within the district exclusively for the transportation purposes specified in the resolution calling for imposition of the levy. Such proceeds shall be kept in a separate account from other funds of any county and qualified municipality receiving proceeds of the levy and shall not in any manner be commingled with other funds of any county or qualified municipality prior to the expenditure. (2) The governing authority of each county and the governing authority of each qualified municipality receiving any proceeds from the tax under this article shall maintain a record of each and every purpose for which the proceeds of the tax are used. A schedule shall be included in each annual audit which shows for each purpose in the resolution calling for imposition of the levy the original estimated cost, the current estimated cost if it is not the original estimated cost, amounts expended in prior years, and amounts expended in the current year. The auditor shall verify and test expenditures sufficient to provide assurances that the schedule is fairly presented in relation to the financial statements. The auditor's report on the financial statements shall include an opinion, or disclaimer of opinion, as to whether the schedule is presented fairly in all material respects in relation to the financial statements taken as a whole.
(b) No general obligation debt shall be issued in conjunction with the imposition of the levy unless each county governing authority determines that, and if the debt is to be validated it is demonstrated in the validation proceedings that, during each year in which any payment of principal or interest on the debt comes due, the county will receive from the levy net proceeds sufficient to fully satisfy such liability. General obligation debt issued under this article shall be payable first from the separate account in which are placed the proceeds received by each county from the levy. Such debt, however, shall constitute a pledge of the full faith, credit, and taxing power of each county; and any liability on said debt which is not satisfied from the proceeds of the levy shall be satisfied from the general funds of the county. (c) The intergovernmental agreement, if applicable, and resolution calling for imposition of the levy may specify that all of the proceeds of the levy will be used for payment of general obligation debt issued in conjunction with the imposition of the levy. If the

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intergovernmental agreement, if applicable, and resolution so provide, then such proceeds shall be used solely for such purpose except as provided in subsection (f) of this Code section. (d) The intergovernmental agreement, if applicable, and resolution calling for the imposition of the levy may specify that a part of the proceeds of the levy will be used for payment of general obligation debt issued in conjunction with the imposition of the tax. The intergovernmental agreement, if applicable, and resolution shall specifically state the other purposes for which such proceeds will be used. In such a case, no part of the net proceeds from the levy received in any year shall be used for such other purposes until all debt service requirements of the general obligation debt for that year have first been satisfied from the account in which the proceeds of the levy are placed. (e) The resolution calling for the imposition of the tax may specify that no general obligation debt is to be issued in conjunction with the imposition of the tax. The intergovernmental agreement and resolution shall specifically state the purpose or purposes for which the proceeds will be used.
(f)(1)(A) If the proceeds of the levy are specified to be used solely for the purpose of payment of general obligation debt issued in conjunction with the imposition of the levy, then any net proceeds of the levy in excess of the amount required for final payment of such debt shall be subject to and applied as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection. (B) If the district receives from the levy net proceeds in excess of the maximum cost of the transportation projects and costs stated in the resolution calling for the imposition of the levy or in excess of the actual cost of such purpose or purposes, then such excess proceeds shall be subject to and applied as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection unless otherwise specified in the intergovernmental agreement, if applicable. (C) If the tax is terminated under paragraph (1) of subsection (b) of Code Section 48-8-264 by reason of denial of validation of debt, then all net proceeds received by the special district from the tax shall be excess proceeds subject to paragraph (2) of this subsection. (2) Excess proceeds subject to this subsection shall be used solely for the purpose of reducing any indebtedness of any county or qualified municipality within the district other than indebtedness incurred pursuant to this article. If there is no such other indebtedness or if the excess proceeds exceed the amount of any such other indebtedness, then the excess proceeds shall next be paid into the general fund of such county or qualified municipality, it being the intent that any funds so paid into the general fund of such county or qualified municipality be used for the purpose of reducing ad valorem taxes.

48-8-269.6. Not later than December 31 of each year, the governing authority of each county and each qualifying municipality receiving any proceeds from the tax under this article shall publish

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annually, in a newspaper of general circulation in the boundaries of such county or municipality, a simple, nontechnical report which shows for each purpose in the resolution calling for imposition of the levy the original estimated cost, the current estimated cost if it is not the original estimated cost, amounts expended in prior years, and amounts expended in the current year. The report shall also include a statement of what corrective action the county or municipality intends to implement with respect to each purpose which is underfunded or behind schedule and a statement of any surplus funds which have not been expended for a purpose."

PART VIII SECTION 8-1.

This Act shall be known and may be cited as the "Transportation Funding Act of 2015."

SECTION 8-2. It is the intention of the General Assembly, subject to appropriations and other constitutional obligations of this state, that year to year revenue increases be prioritized to fund education, transportation, and health care in this state.

PART IX SECTION 9-1.

(a) This Act shall become effective on July 1, 2015. (b) Tax, penalty, and interest liabilities and refund eligibility for prior taxable years shall not be affected by the passage of this Act and shall continue to be governed by the provisions of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated as it existed immediately prior to the effective date of this Act.

SECTION 9-2. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved May 4, 2015.

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STATE GOVERNMENT EQUAL CREDITS FOR CERTAIN FORESTRY CERTIFICATION SYSTEMS FOR GREEN BUILDING STANDARDS IN STATE CONSTRUCTION, OPERATION, REPAIR, AND RENOVATION PROJECTS.

No. 47 (House Bill No. 255).

AN ACT

To amend Part 1 of Article 3 of Chapter 5 of Title 50 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general authority, duties, and procedure relative to state purchasing, so as to require equal credits be given to certain forestry certification systems when using green building standards in state construction, operation, repair, and renovation projects; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date and applicability; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Part 1 of Article 3 of Chapter 5 of Title 50 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general authority, duties, and procedure relative to state purchasing, is amended by revising Code Section 50-5-63, relating to the exclusive use of Georgia forest products in state construction contracts, as follows:
"50-5-63. (a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) 'Green building standards' means any system or tool created to rate the environmental efficiency and sustainability of the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of a building. (2) 'State building' means any facility owned, constructed, or acquired by the State of Georgia or any department, board, commission, or agency thereof, including state supported institutions of higher learning. (b) No contract for the construction of, addition to, or repair or renovation of any facility, the cost of which is borne by this state or any department, agency, commission, authority, or political subdivision thereof, shall be let unless the contract contains a stipulation therein providing that the contractor or any subcontractor shall use exclusively Georgia forest products in the construction thereof, when forest products are to be used in such construction, addition, repair, or renovation, and if Georgia forest products are available. (c) Whenever green building standards are applied to the new construction, operation, repair, or renovation of any state building, the entity applying the standards shall use only those green building standards that give certification credits equally to Georgia forest products grown, manufactured, and certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, the

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American Tree Farm System, the Forest Stewardship Council, or other similar certifying organization approved by such entity. (d) This Code section shall not apply when in conflict with federal rules and regulations concerning construction."

SECTION 2. This Act shall become effective on July 1, 2015, and shall apply to all contracts entered into on or after such date.

SECTION 3. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved May 5, 2015.

__________

CRIMES AND OFFENSES LOCAL GOVERNMENT REGULATION OF USE AND PROSECUTION OF ILLEGAL USE OF GOVERNMENT PURCHASING CARDS.

No. 49 (House Bill No. 192).

AN ACT

To amend Article 3 of Chapter 9 of Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to illegal use of financial transaction cards, so as to revise definitions; to provide for the prosecution of the unlawful use of government purchasing cards; to provide for venue; to amend Chapter 80 of Title 36 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions regarding counties, municipal corporations, and other governmental entities, so as to provide for the limitation and regulation of the use of government purchasing cards and government credit cards by elected officials of counties, municipal corporations, local school systems, and consolidated governments; to provide for the promulgation of certain policies; to provide for access to certain records; to provide for certain powers for certain local authorities; to provide a definition; to make certain findings; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

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BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Article 3 of Chapter 9 of Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to illegal use of financial transaction cards, is amended by revising Code Section 16-9-30, relating to definitions, as follows:
"16-9-30. As used in this article, the term:
(1) 'Acquirer' means a business organization, government, financial institution, or an agent of a business organization, government, or financial institution that authorizes a merchant to accept payment by financial transaction card for money, goods, services, or anything else of value. (2) 'Automated banking device' means any machine which when properly activated by a financial transaction card and personal identification code may be used for any of the purposes for which a financial transaction card may be used. (3) 'Cardholder' means the person, government, or organization to whom or for whose benefit the financial transaction card is issued by an issuer. (4) 'Expired financial transaction card' means a financial transaction card which is no longer valid because the term for which it was issued has elapsed. (5) 'Financial transaction card' or 'FTC' means any instrument or device, whether known as a credit card, credit plate, bank services card, banking card, check guarantee card, debit card, or by any other name, issued with or without fee by an issuer for the use of the cardholder:
(A) In obtaining money, goods, services, or anything else of value; (B) In certifying or guaranteeing to a person or business the availability to the cardholder of funds on deposit that are equal to or greater than the amount necessary to honor a draft or check payable to the order of such person or business; or (C) In providing the cardholder access to a demand deposit account, savings account, or time deposit account for the purpose of:
(i) Making deposits of money or checks therein; (ii) Withdrawing funds in the form of money, money orders, or traveler's checks therefrom; (iii) Transferring funds from any demand deposit account, savings account, or time deposit account to any other demand deposit account, savings account, or time deposit account; (iv) Transferring funds from any demand deposit account, savings account, or time deposit account to any credit card accounts, overdraft privilege accounts, loan accounts, or any other credit accounts in full or partial satisfaction of any outstanding balance owed existing therein; (v) For the purchase of goods, services, or anything else of value; or

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(vi) Obtaining information pertaining to any demand deposit account, savings account, or time deposit account. (5.1) 'Financial transaction card account number' means a number, numerical code, alphabetical code, or alphanumeric code assigned by the issuer to a particular financial transaction card and which identifies the cardholder's account with the issuer. (5.2) 'Government' means: (A) Every state department, agency, board, bureau, commission, and authority; (B) Every county, municipal corporation, school system, or other political subdivision of this state; (C) Every department, agency, board, bureau, commission, authority, or similar body of each such county, municipal corporation, school system, or other political subdivision of this state; and (D) Every city, county, regional, or other authority established pursuant to the laws of this state. (6) 'Issuer' means the business organization or financial institution or its duly authorized agent which issues a financial transaction card. (7) 'Personal identification code' means a numeric or alphabetical code, signature, photograph, fingerprint, or any other means of electronic or mechanical confirmation used by the cardholder of a financial transaction card to permit authorized electronic use of that financial transaction card. (8) 'Presenting' means those actions taken by a cardholder or any person to introduce a financial transaction card into an automated banking device with or without utilization of a personal identification code or merely displaying or showing, with intent to defraud, a financial transaction card to the issuer or to any person or organization providing money, goods, services, or anything else of value or to any other entity. (8.1) 'Purchasing card,' 'PCard,' or 'P-Card' means a type of financial transaction card allowing persons, governments, or business organizations to use financial transaction infrastructure. (9) 'Receives' or 'receiving' means acquiring possession of or control of or accepting a financial transaction card as security for a loan. (10) 'Revoked financial transaction card' means a financial transaction card which is no longer valid because permission to use it has been suspended or terminated by the issuer."

SECTION 2. Said article is further amended by revising Code Section 16-9-33, relating to financial transaction card fraud, as follows:
"16-9-33. (a) A person commits the offense of financial transaction card fraud when, with intent to defraud the issuer; a person or organization providing money, goods, services, or anything else of value; or any other person; or cardholder, such person:
(1) Uses for the purpose of obtaining money, goods, services, or anything else of value:

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(A) A financial transaction card obtained or retained or which was received with knowledge that it was obtained or retained in violation of Code Section 16-9-31 or 16-9-32; (B) A financial transaction card which he or she knows is forged, altered, expired, revoked, or was obtained as a result of a fraudulent application in violation of subsection (d) of this Code section; or (C) The financial transaction card account number of a financial transaction card which he or she knows has not in fact been issued or is forged, altered, expired, revoked, or was obtained as a result of a fraudulent application in violation of subsection (d) of this Code section; (2) Obtains money, goods, services, or anything else of value by: (A) Representing without the consent of the cardholder that he or she is the holder of a specified card; (B) Presenting the financial transaction card without the authorization or permission of the cardholder or issuer; (C) Falsely representing that he or she is the holder of a card and such card has not in fact been issued; or (D) Giving, orally or in writing, a financial transaction card account number to the provider of the money, goods, services, or other thing of value for billing purposes without the authorization or permission of the cardholder or issuer for such use; (3) Obtains control over a financial transaction card as security for debt; (4) Deposits into his or her account or any account by means of an automated banking device a false, fictitious, forged, altered, or counterfeit check, draft, money order, or any other such document not his or her lawful or legal property; or (5) Receives money, goods, services, or anything else of value as a result of a false, fictitious, forged, altered, or counterfeit check, draft, money order, or any other such document having been deposited into an account via an automated banking device, knowing at the time of receipt of the money, goods, services, or item of value that the document so deposited was false, fictitious, forged, altered, or counterfeit or that the above-deposited item was not his lawful or legal property. (b) A person who is authorized by an issuer to furnish money, goods, services, or anything else of value upon presentation of a financial transaction card by the cardholder or any agent or employee of such person commits the offense of financial transaction card fraud when, with intent to defraud the issuer or the cardholder, he or she: (1) Furnishes money, goods, services, or anything else of value upon presentation of a financial transaction card obtained or retained in violation of Code Section 16-9-31 or a financial transaction card which he or she knows is forged, expired, or revoked; (2) Alters a charge ticket or purchase ticket to reflect a larger amount than that approved by the cardholder; or (3) Fails to furnish money, goods, services, or anything else of value which he or she represents in writing to the issuer that he or she has furnished.

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(c) Conviction of the offense of financial transaction card fraud as provided in subsection (a) or (b) of this Code section is punishable as provided in subsection (a) of Code Section 16-9-38 if the value of all money, goods, services, and other things of value furnished in violation of this Code section or if the difference between the value actually furnished and the value represented to the issuer to have been furnished in violation of this Code section does not exceed $100.00 in any six-month period. Conviction of the offense of financial transaction card fraud as provided in subsection (a) or (b) of this Code section is punishable as provided in subsection (b) of Code Section 16-9-38 if such value exceeds $100.00 in any six-month period. (d) A person commits the offense of financial transaction card fraud when, upon application for a financial transaction card to an issuer, he or she knowingly makes or causes to be made a false statement or report relative to his or her name, occupation, employer, financial condition, assets, or liabilities or willfully and substantially overvalues any assets or willfully omits or substantially undervalues any indebtedness for the purpose of influencing the issuer to issue a financial transaction card. Financial transaction card fraud as provided in this subsection is punishable as provided in subsection (b) of Code Section 16-9-38. (e) A cardholder commits the offense of financial transaction card fraud when he or she willfully, knowingly, and with an intent to defraud the issuer; a person or organization providing money, goods, services, or anything else of value; or any other person submits verbally or in writing to the issuer or any other person any false notice or report of the theft, loss, disappearance, or nonreceipt of his or her financial transaction card and personal identification code. Conviction of the offense of financial transaction card fraud as provided in this subsection is punishable as provided in subsection (b) of Code Section 16-9-38. (f) A person authorized by an acquirer to furnish money, goods, services, or anything else of value upon presentation of a financial transaction card or a financial transaction card account number by a cardholder or any agent or employee of such person, who, with intent to defraud the issuer, acquirer, or cardholder, remits to an issuer or acquirer, for payment, a financial transaction card record of a sale, which sale was not made by such person, agent, or employee, commits the offense of financial transaction card fraud. Conviction of the offense of financial transaction card fraud as provided in this subsection shall be punishable as provided in subsection (b) of Code Section 16-9-38. (g) Reserved. (h) For purposes of this Code section, revocation shall be construed to include either notice given in person or notice given in writing to the person to whom the financial transaction card and personal identification code was issued. Notice of revocation shall be immediate when notice is given in person. The sending of a notice in writing by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery in the United States mail, duly stamped and addressed to such person at his or her last address known to the issuer, shall be prima-facie evidence that such notice was duly received after seven days from the date of deposit in the mail. If

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the address is located outside the United States, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Canal Zone, and Canada, notice shall be presumed to have been received ten days after mailing by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery."

SECTION 3. Said article is further amended by revising Code Section 16-9-37, relating to unauthorized use of financial transaction card, as follows:
"16-9-37. (a) Any person who has been issued or entrusted with a financial transaction card for specifically authorized purposes, provided such authorization is in writing stating a maximum amount charges that can be made with the financial transaction card, and who uses the financial transaction card in a manner and for purposes not authorized in order to obtain or purchase money, goods, services, or anything else of value shall be punished as provided in subsection (a) of Code Section 16-9-38. (b) Any person who has been issued or entrusted with a financial transaction card by a government for specifically limited and specifically authorized purposes, provided such limitations and authorizations are in writing, and who uses the financial transaction card in a manner and for purposes not authorized shall be punished as provided in subsection (b) of Code Section 16-9-38."

SECTION 4. Said article is further amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"16-9-40. (a) In any prosecution for a violation of this article, the state is not required to establish that all of the acts constituting the crime occurred in this state or within one city, county, or local jurisdiction, and it is no defense that some of the acts constituting the crime did not occur in this state or within one city, county, or local jurisdiction. Except as otherwise provided by Code Section 17-2-2, for purposes of venue, the crime defined by this Code section shall be considered as having been committed in the county where the commission of the crime commenced. (b) In any prosecution for a violation of this article by a public official or government employee, using government funds or a financial transaction card issued to such official or government employee by or on behalf of government, the crime shall be considered to have been committed in the county in which such public official holds office or such government employee is employed."

SECTION 5. Chapter 80 of Title 36 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions regarding counties, municipal corporations, and other governmental entities, is amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:

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"36-80-24. (a) An elected official of a county, municipal corporation, local school system, or consolidated government shall be prohibited from the use of a government purchasing card or a government credit card unless:
(1) Such purchases are solely for items or services that directly relate to such official's public duties; and (2) Such purchases are in accordance with guidelines adopted by the county, municipal corporation, local school system, or consolidated government. (b) Documents related to such purchases incurred by such elected officials shall be available for public inspection. (c) No such county, municipal corporation, local school system, or consolidated government shall issue government purchasing cards or government credit cards to elected officials on or after January 1, 2016, until the governing authority of such county, municipal corporation, local school system, or consolidated government, by public vote, has authorized such issuance and has promulgated specific policies regarding the use of such government purchasing cards or government credit cards for elected officials of such county, municipal corporation, local school system, or consolidated government. Such policies shall include the following: (1) Designation of officials who shall be authorized to be issued such government purchasing cards or government credit cards; (2) A requirement that, before being issued a government purchasing card or government credit card, authorized users shall sign and accept an agreement with the county, municipal corporation, local school system, or consolidated government issuing the government purchasing card or government credit card that such users will use such cards only in accordance with the policies of the issuing governmental entity; (3) Transaction limits for the use of such cards; (4) A description of purchases that shall be authorized for use of such cards; (5) A description of purchases that shall not be authorized for use of such cards; (6) Designation of a government purchasing card or government credit card administrator; (7) A process for auditing and reviewing purchases made with such cards; and (8) Procedures for addressing a violation of such purchasing card or credit card policies and imposing penalties for violations including, but not limited to, revocation of purchasing card or credit card privileges. Nothing in such procedures or any administrative action taken pursuant thereto shall preclude any other civil or criminal remedy under any other provision of law."

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SECTION 6. Said chapter is further amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"36-80-25. (a) As used in this Code section, the term 'project' means and includes hospitals, health care facilities, dormitories, office buildings, clinics, housing accommodations, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, extended care facilities, and other health related facilities, whether public or private. (b) To the extent that the Constitution of Georgia permits the General Assembly by law to further define the powers and duties of any local government authority, as defined in Code Section 36-80-16, whose purpose includes the public purpose of developing or promoting trade, commerce, or industry, and to enlarge or restrict the same, each such local government authority is authorized and shall have the power to finance (by loan, grant, lease, or otherwise), refinance, construct, erect, assemble, purchase, acquire, own, repair, remodel, renovate, rehabilitate, modify, maintain, extend, improve, install, sell, equip, expand, add to, operate, or manage projects and to pay the cost of any project from the proceeds of revenue bonds of such a local government authority or any other funds of such local government authority, or from any contributions or loans by persons, corporations, limited or general partnerships, or other entities, all of which such a local government authority is authorized to receive, accept, and use. To the extent that any project serves a governmental function, the General Assembly finds and determines that such a project by its nature comprises both public and private components that are integrated so as to produce the desired public purpose and that therefore carrying out such a project is proper and authorized for such a local government authority under the Constitution of Georgia."

SECTION 7. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved May 5, 2015.

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CRIMES AND OFFENSES FIRE PROTECTION AND SAFETY LOCAL GOVERNMENT REVENUE AND TAXATION SALE, USE, AND POSSESSION OF FIREWORKS; EXCISE TAX.

No. 50 (House Bill No. 110).

AN ACT

To amend Part 3 of Article 4 of Chapter 11 of Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to carrying and possession of firearms, so as to provide for the possession of consumer fireworks within a school safety zone; to amend Chapter 10 of Title 25 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to regulation of fireworks, so as to provide for the sale of consumer fireworks; to provide for definitions; to provide for the use or explosion of consumer fireworks during certain times and dates and for exceptions; to provide for licensing; to revise penalties; to provide for enforcement of said chapter; to render certain devices unlawful that require a flame for propulsion or lighting; to amend Chapter 60 of Title 36 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to provisions applicable to counties and municipal corporations, so as to clarify local governments' role in regulating or prohibiting the sale and use of consumer fireworks; to amend Chapter 13 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to specific, business, and occupation taxes, so as to provide for an excise tax on the sale of consumer fireworks; to provide for criminal penalties; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Part 3 of Article 4 of Chapter 11 of Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to carrying and possession of firearms, is amended in Code Section 16-11-127.1, relating to carrying weapons within school safety zones, at school functions, or on a bus or other transportation furnished by a school, by revising paragraph (1) of subsection (b) as follows:
"(b)(1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c) of this Code section, it shall be unlawful for any person to carry to or to possess or have under such person's control while within a school safety zone, at a school function, or on a bus or other transportation furnished by a school any weapon or explosive compound, other than fireworks or consumer fireworks the possession of which is regulated by Chapter 10 of Title 25."

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SECTION 2. Chapter 10 of Title 25 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to regulation of fireworks, is amended by revising Code Section 25-10-1, relating to definitions, as follows:
"25-10-1. (a) As used in this chapter, the term:
(1) 'Consumer fireworks' means any small fireworks devices containing restricted amounts of pyrotechnic composition, designed primarily to produce visible or audible effects by combustion, that comply with the construction, chemical composition, and labeling regulations of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission as provided for in Parts 1500 and 1507 of Title 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations, the United States Department of Transportation as provided for in Part 172 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and the American Pyrotechnics Association as provided for in the 2001 American Pyrotechnics Association Standard 87-1, and additionally shall mean Roman candles. (2) 'Consumer fireworks retail sales facility' shall have the same meaning as provided for by NFPA 1124. (3) 'Consumer fireworks retail sales stand' shall have the same meaning as provided for by NFPA 1124. (4) 'Distributor' means any person, firm, corporation, association, or partnership which sells consumer fireworks. (5) 'Fireworks' means any combustible or explosive composition or any substance or combination of substances or article prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration, or detonation, including blank cartridges, firecrackers, torpedos, skyrockets, bombs, sparklers, and other combustibles and explosives of like construction, as well as articles containing any explosive or flammable compound and tablets and other devices containing an explosive substance. (6) 'NFPA 1124' means the National Fire Protection Association Standard 1124, Code for the Manufacture, Transportation, Storage, and Retail Sales of Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles, 2006 Edition. (7) 'Nonprofit group' means any entity exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. (8) 'Proximate audience' means an audience closer to pyrotechnic devices than permitted by the National Fire Protection Association Standard 1123, Code for Fireworks Display, as adopted by the Safety Fire Commissioner. (9) 'Pyrotechnics' means fireworks. (11) 'Retail chain' means a person, firm, corporation, association, or partnership with more than one store, where all such stores are collectively known to the public by the same name or share central management. (12) 'Store' shall have the same meaning as provided for by NFPA 1124. (b) As used in this chapter, the term 'consumer fireworks' or 'fireworks' shall not include:

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(1) Model rockets and model rocket engines designed, sold, and used for the purpose of propelling recoverable aero models, toy pistol paper caps in which the explosive content averages 0.25 grains or less of explosive mixture per paper cap or toy pistols, toy cannons, toy canes, toy guns, or other devices using such paper caps; nor shall the term 'consumer fireworks' or 'fireworks' include ammunition consumed by weapons used for sporting and hunting purposes; and (2) Wire or wood sparklers of 100 grams or less of mixture per item; other sparkling items which are nonexplosive and nonaerial and contain 75 grams or less of chemical compound per tube or a total of 500 grams or less for multiple tubes; snake and glow worms; smoke devices; or trick noise makers which include paper streamers, party peppers, string peppers, snappers, and drop pops each consisting of 0.25 grains or less of explosive mixture."

SECTION 3. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 25-10-2, relating to prohibited fireworks activities, as follows:
"25-10-2. (a) It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, corporation, association, or partnership to offer for sale at retail or wholesale, to use or explode or cause to be exploded, or to possess, manufacture, transport, or store any consumer fireworks or fireworks, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.
(b)(1) Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter to the contrary, it shall be unlawful for any person, firm, corporation, association, or partnership to sell consumer fireworks or any items defined in paragraph (2) of subsection (b) of Code Section 25-10-1 to any person under 18 years of age. (2) It shall be unlawful to sell consumer fireworks or any items defined in paragraph (2) of subsection (b) of Code Section 25-10-1 to any person by any means other than an in-person, face-to-face sale. Such person shall provide proper identification to the seller at the time of such purchase. For purposes of this paragraph, the term 'proper identification' means any document issued by a governmental agency containing a description of the person or such person's photograph, or both, and giving such person's date of birth and includes without being limited to a passport, military identification card, driver's license, or identification card authorized under Code Sections 40-5-100 through 40-5-104.
(3)(A) It shall be unlawful to use fireworks, consumer fireworks, or any items defined in paragraph (2) of subsection (b) of Code Section 25-10-1 indoors. (B) Except as provided for in subparagraph (D) of this paragraph and subject to paragraph (4) of this subsection, it shall be lawful for any person, firm, corporation, association, or partnership to use or explode or cause to be exploded any consumer fireworks on any day between the hours of 10:00 A.M. and 12:00 Midnight only; provided, however, that it shall be lawful for any person, firm, corporation, association,

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or partnership to use or explode or cause to be exploded any consumer fireworks on January 1, July 3, July 4, and December 31 of each year between the hours of 12:00 Midnight and 2:00 A.M. (C) Subject to paragraph (4) of this subsection, it shall be lawful for any person, firm, corporation, association, or partnership to use or explode or cause to be exploded any consumer fireworks anywhere in this state except:
(i) As provided for under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph; (ii) In any location where such person, firm, corporation, association, or partnership is not lawfully present or is not otherwise lawfully permitted to use or explode or cause to be exploded any consumer fireworks; or (iii) Within 100 yards of a nuclear power facility or a facility engaged in the retail sale of gasoline or the production, refining, processing, or blending of gasoline for such retail purposes. (D) Any person, firm, corporation, association, or partnership may use or explode or cause to be exploded any consumer fireworks on any day at a time not provided for under subparagraph (B) of this paragraph if such person, firm, corporation, association, or partnership is issued a special use permit pursuant to the law of a governing authority of a county or municipal corporation for the use or explosion of consumer fireworks in a location within such county or municipality at a time not provided for under subparagraph (B) of this paragraph. Such special use permit shall designate the time or times and location that such person, firm, corporation, association, or partnership may use or explode or cause to be exploded such consumer fireworks. A fee assessed by a county or municipal corporation for the issuance of a special use permit pursuant to this subparagraph shall not exceed $100.00. No governing authority or official of a county, municipality, or other political subdivision shall bear liability for any decisions made pursuant to this Code section. (4)(A) It shall be lawful for any person 18 years of age or older to use or explode or cause to be exploded or to possess, manufacture, transport, or store consumer fireworks. (B) To the extent otherwise permitted by law, it shall be lawful for any person who is 16 or 17 years of age to possess or transport consumer fireworks, provided that such person is serving as an assistant to a distributor licensed under subsection (c) of Code Section 25-10-5.1 or the nonprofit group benefiting from such distributor's application pursuant to subsection (c) of Code Section 25-10-5.1 and is not transporting such consumer fireworks on a highway which constitutes a part of The Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways. (5)(A) It shall be lawful for any person 18 years of age or older to sell or to offer for sale at retail or wholesale any consumer fireworks pursuant to the requirements of this chapter. (B) It shall be lawful for any person who is 16 or 17 years of age to sell or to offer for sale at retail or wholesale any consumer fireworks, provided that such person is serving as an assistant to a distributor licensed under subsection (c) of Code Section 25-10-5.1

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or the nonprofit group benefiting from such distributor's application pursuant to subsection (c) of Code Section 25-10-5.1. (6)(A) It shall be lawful to sell consumer fireworks from a permanent consumer fireworks retail sales facility or store only if such permanent consumer fireworks retail sales facility or store is:
(i) In compliance with the requirements for such a permanent consumer fireworks retail sales facility or store in the selling of consumer fireworks as provided for in NFPA 1124; and (ii) Selling consumer fireworks of a distributor licensed pursuant to subsection (b) or (d) of Code Section 25-10-5.1. (B) It shall be lawful to sell consumer fireworks from a temporary consumer fireworks retail sales stand only if such temporary consumer fireworks retail sales stand is: (i) In compliance with the requirements for such a temporary consumer fireworks retail sales stand in the selling of consumer fireworks as provided for in NFPA 1124; (ii) Within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant of a county, municipality, or other political subdivision or a fire department connection of a building affiliated with such consumer fireworks retail sales stand, unless the chief administrative officer of the fire department of a county, municipality, or other political subdivision or chartered fire department legally organized to operate in this state pursuant to Chapter 3 of this title and having operational authority over such location of the temporary consumer fireworks retail sales stand provides in writing that such temporary consumer fireworks retail sales stand may operate in excess of 1,000 feet from such fire hydrant or fire department connection; and (iii) Selling consumer fireworks of a distributor licensed pursuant to subsection (c) of Code Section 25-10-5.1. No distributor licensed pursuant to subsection (c) of Code Section 25-10-5.1 shall at any one time operate more than two temporary consumer fireworks retail sales stands for each license issued to such distributor under subsection (b) or (d) of Code Section 25-10-5.1, except that a distributor which is a retail chain and which is licensed pursuant to subsection (d) of Code Section 25-10-5.1 shall not at any one time operate more than two temporary consumer fireworks retail sales stands for each store of such retail chain. Such temporary consumer fireworks retail sales stands shall be located within the same county as the location of such permanent consumer fireworks retail sales facility or store provided for under subsection (b) or (d) of Code Section 5-10-5.1; provided, however, that if a county does not have a distributor licensed pursuant to subsection (b) or (d) of Code Section 25-10-5.1 offering consumer fireworks for sale from a permanent consumer fireworks retail sales facility or store within its boundaries, then a distributor licensed pursuant to subsection (b) or (d) of Code Section 25-10-5.1 offering consumer fireworks for sale from a permanent consumer fireworks retail sales facility or store within 75 miles of the

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perimeter of the boundaries of such county may locate one of the two temporary consumer fireworks retail sales stands in the unserved county. (C) It shall be unlawful to sell consumer fireworks from any motor vehicle or from a trailer towed by a motor vehicle."

SECTION 4. Said chapter is further amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"25-10-5.1. (a)(1) A license pursuant to this Code section shall only be issued to a distributor that: (A) Complies with all the requirements of this chapter; and (B) Maintains at all times public liability and product liability insurance with minimum coverage limits of $2 million to cover the losses, damages, or injuries that might ensue to persons or property as a result of selling consumer fireworks. (2) Any person who knowingly and willfully makes a false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement of representation in an application executed pursuant to this Code section shall be guilty of a violation of Code Section 16-10-20. (b)(1) The initial license fee for a distributor selling consumer fireworks from a permanent consumer fireworks retail sales facility shall be $5,000.00 per location, payable to the Safety Fire Commissioner. Upon a finding that a distributor has met the requirements of paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section and upon payment of such license fee, such initial license shall be issued by the Safety Fire Commissioner and shall identify the permanent consumer fireworks retail sales facility applicable to such license. Such initial license shall expire on January 31 of the year after such initial license was issued. After such initial license, such distributor may annually renew such initial license for $1,000.00 per year, payable to the Safety Fire Commissioner. Upon finding that a distributor has met the requirements of paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section and upon payment of such license fee, such annual license shall be issued by the Safety Fire Commissioner and shall identify the permanent consumer fireworks retail sales facility applicable to such license. Such annual license shall expire on January 31 of each year; provided, however, that a distributor shall not apply for an annual license earlier than 30 days prior to the expiration of an initial license or annual license. (2) The determination by the Safety Fire Commissioner of whether a distributor has met requirements for the issuance of a license required by this subsection shall be made within 15 days of the submission of an application for any such license. Such application shall be in writing and, if the Safety Fire Commissioner provides for a written form for the application for a license pursuant to this Code section, upon such form as may be provided by the Safety Fire Commissioner. If a determination has not been made within the time provided for by this paragraph, or for an appeal of a determination by the Safety Fire Commissioner, a distributor may seek review from the judge of the probate court of the county of the location or proposed location of the permanent consumer fireworks

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retail sales facility. Such judge may provide for the issuance or nonissuance of a license and for the payment of license fees in such manner as is consistent with the provisions of this subsection. (c)(1) The license fee for a distributor selling consumer fireworks from a temporary consumer fireworks retail sales stand shall be $500.00 per location, payable to the governing authority of the county, municipality, or other political subdivision of this state in whose boundaries such temporary consumer fireworks retail sales stand shall be located or is proposed to be located. Upon finding that a distributor has met the requirements of paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section, has a license pursuant to subsection (b) or (d) of this Code section for a location applicable to the location of such temporary consumer fireworks retail sales stand as provided for in subparagraph (b)(6)(B) of Code Section 25-10-2, has no more than the allowable temporary consumer fireworks retail sales stands pursuant to subparagraph (b)(6)(B) of Code Section 25-10-2, that the sales of consumer fireworks from such temporary consumer fireworks retail sales stand shall accrue to the benefit of a nonprofit group, and upon payment of such license fee, such license shall be issued by the fire department of the county, municipality, or other political subdivision or the chartered fire department legally organized to operate in this state pursuant to Chapter 3 of this title and having operational authority of the area in which such temporary consumer fireworks retail sales stand shall be located or is proposed to be located; provided, however, that no such license shall be issued prior to January 1, 2016. Such license shall identify the temporary consumer fireworks retail sales stand applicable to such license and shall expire 90 days after the issuance of such license. (2) A determination by a fire department as provided for under paragraph (1) of this subsection of whether a distributor has met requirements for the issuance of a license pursuant to this subsection shall be made within 15 days of the submission of an application for any such license. Such application shall be in writing and, if such fire department provides for a written form for the application for a license pursuant to this Code section, upon such form as may be provided by such fire department. If a determination has not been made within the time provided for by this paragraph, or for an appeal of a determination by such fire department, a distributor may seek review from the judge of the probate court of the county of the location or proposed location of the temporary consumer fireworks retail sales stand. Such judge may provide for the issuance or nonissuance of a license and for the payment of license fees in such manner as is consistent with the provisions of this subsection. (3) A nonprofit group benefiting from the sale of consumer fireworks pursuant to this Code section shall directly participate in operating the temporary consumer fireworks retail sales stand. It shall be unlawful for a nonprofit group or any agent or bona fide representative of a nonprofit group to knowingly lend the name of the nonprofit group or allow the identity of the nonprofit group to be used for the license under this subsection

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if such nonprofit group is not directly participating in operating such temporary consumer fireworks retail sales stand. (4) The governing authority of a county, municipality, or other political subdivision receiving fees pursuant to this Code section shall expend such fees for public safety purposes. (5) A distributor licensed pursuant to this subsection shall submit a list of the names and addresses, including the counties, of each temporary consumer fireworks retail sales stand at which such distributor has consumer fireworks offered for sale pursuant to this Code section to the Safety Fire Commissioner. Such list shall be submitted by January 31 of each year and such distributor shall amend such list, or file an initial list if such distributor first becomes licensed after January 31 of a particular year, within 45 days of having such distributor's consumer fireworks offered for sale at a location not previously included on such list. The Safety Fire Commissioner shall make such list publicly available for inspection. In making determinations as provided for under this subsection, fire departments shall reference the list provided for by this paragraph. (d)(1) The initial license fee for a distributor selling consumer fireworks from a store shall be $5,000.00, payable to the Safety Fire Commissioner, provided that, if a store is a retail chain, one payment of $5,000.00 shall satisfy such license fee for each store of the retail chain. Upon finding that a distributor has met the requirements of paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section, such initial license shall be issued by the Safety Fire Commissioner and, if issued to a store which is a retail chain, shall be a license for each current or future store of the retail chain. Such initial license shall expire on January 31 of the year after such initial license was issued. After such initial license, such distributor may annually renew such initial license for $1,000.00 per year, payable to the Safety Fire Commissioner, provided that, if a store is a retail chain, one payment of $1,000.00 shall satisfy such license fee for each store of the retail chain. Upon finding that a distributor has met the requirements of paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section, such annual license shall be issued by the Safety Fire Commissioner and, if issued to a store which is a retail chain, shall be a license for each current or future store of the retail chain. Such annual license shall expire on January 31 of each year; provided, however, that a distributor shall not apply for an annual license earlier than 30 days prior to the expiration of an initial license or annual license. (2) The determination by the Safety Fire Commissioner of whether a distributor has met requirements for the issuance of a license required by this subsection shall be made within 15 days of the submission of an application for any such license. Such application shall be in writing and, if the Safety Fire Commissioner provides for a written form for the application for a license pursuant to this Code section, upon such form as may be provided by the Safety Fire Commissioner. If a determination has not been made within the time provided for by this paragraph, or for an appeal of a determination by the Safety Fire Commissioner, a distributor may seek review from the judge of the probate court of the county of the location or proposed location of the store from which consumer

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fireworks will be sold. Such judge may provide for the issuance or nonissuance of a license and for the payment of license fees in such manner as is consistent with the provisions of this subsection."

SECTION 5. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 25-10-6, relating to fireworks manufactured, sold, or stored in violation of this chapter declared contraband and seizure and disposition, as follows:
"25-10-6. The state fire marshal shall enforce the provisions of this chapter. Applicable fire departments of a county, municipality, or other political subdivision or a chartered fire department shall refer cases for enforcement under subsection (c) of Code Section 25-10-5.1 to the state fire marshal. All fireworks manufactured, offered for sale, exposed for sale, or stored in violation of this chapter are declared to be contraband and may be seized, taken, and removed, or caused to be removed and destroyed at the expense of the owner thereof by the state fire marshal, the Georgia State Patrol, or any sheriff or local police official."

SECTION 6. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 25-10-9, relating to penalty for illegal sale of sparklers or other devices, as follows:
"25-10-9. Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter to the contrary, any person, firm, corporation, association, or partnership that knowingly violates this chapter may be punished by a fine not to exceed $2,500.00. Each sales transaction in violation of this chapter shall be a separate offense."

SECTION 7. Said chapter is further amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"25-10-10. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, corporation, association, or partnership to release or cause to be released any balloon, bag, parachute, or other similar device which requires fire underneath for propulsion or to release or cause to be released any floating water lantern or wish lantern which uses a flame to create a lighting effect in any public waterway, lake, pond, stream, or river."

SECTION 8. Chapter 60 of Title 36 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to provisions applicable to counties and municipal corporations, is amended by revising Code Section 36-60-24, relating to the sale of products or services, as follows:

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"36-60-24. (a) The governing authority of a county or municipal corporation shall not prohibit the sale or use or explosion of consumer fireworks or products or services which are lawful under subsection (b) of Code Section 25-10-1, unless such prohibition is expressly authorized by general law. (b) If the sale of a product or service is regulated by Chapter 10 of Title 25, the governing authority of a county or municipal corporation shall not enact additional regulation of the sale or use or explosion of such product or service, unless such additional regulation is expressly authorized by general law. (c) Notwithstanding subsections (a) and (b) of this Code section, the governing authority of a county or municipal corporation may provide for permits or licenses for the sale or use of consumer fireworks as provided for under subsection (c) of Code Section 25-10-5.1. (d) Notwithstanding subsections (a) and (b) of this Code section, the governing authority of a county may further regulate the sale of consumer fireworks from temporary consumer fireworks retail sales stands. (e) The governing authority of a county shall not unreasonably delay or deny an application for a temporary consumer fireworks retail sales stand. (f) For purposes of this subsection, the terms 'consumer fireworks' and 'consumer fireworks retail sales stand' shall have the same meanings as provided in Code Section 25-10-1. (g) Any ordinance enacted before, on, or after July 1, 2006, by a county or municipal corporation in violation of this Code section is void."

SECTION 9. Chapter 13 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to specific, business, and occupation taxes, is amended by adding a new article to read as follows:

"ARTICLE 7

48-13-130. As used in this article, the term:
(1) 'Consumer fireworks' shall have the same meaning as provided for in Code Section 25-10-1. (2) 'Seller' means the person who is issued a license pursuant to Code Section 25-10-5.1.

48-13-131. (a) An excise tax, in addition to all other taxes of every kind imposed by law, is imposed upon the sale of consumer fireworks and any items provided for in paragraph (2) of subsection (b) of Code Section 25-10-1 in this state at a rate of 5 percent per item sold.

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(b) The excise tax imposed by this article shall be paid by the seller and due and payable in the same manner as would be otherwise required under Article 1 of Chapter 8 of this title.

48-13-132. A seller who knowingly and willfully violates the requirements of this article shall be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $10,000.00 in addition to the amount of tax due.

48-13-133. The department is authorized to adopt rules and regulations necessary for the enforcement and implementation of the provisions of this Code section."

SECTION 10. This Act shall become effective on July 1, 2015.

SECTION 11. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved May 5, 2015.

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REVENUE AND TAXATION SALES AND USE TAX EXEMPTION FOR CERTAIN CONSTRUCTION OF AQUARIUMS AND ZOOLOGICAL INSTITUTIONS.

No. 51 (House Bill No. 428).

AN ACT

To amend Code Section 48-8-3 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to exemptions from sales and use taxes, so as to provide a state and local sales tax exemption for tangible personal property used for or in the renovation or expansion of an aquarium owned or operated by an organization which is exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; to extend a sales tax exemption for materials to be used in certain construction projects of zoological institutions; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

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SECTION 1. Code Section 48-8-3 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to exemptions from sales and use taxes, is amended by revising paragraphs (76) and (87) as follows:
"(76)(A) The sale or use of tangible personal property used for or in the renovation or expansion of an aquarium located in this state that charges for admission and that is owned or operated by an organization which is exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, to the extent provided in subparagraphs (B) and (C) of this paragraph. (B) This exemption shall apply from July 1, 2015, until January 1, 2017, or until the aggregate state sales and use tax refunded pursuant to this paragraph exceeds $750,000.00, whichever occurs first. A qualifying aquarium must pay sales and use tax on all purchases and uses of tangible personal property and may obtain the benefit of this exemption from state sales and use tax by filing a claim for refund of tax paid on qualifying items. All refunds made pursuant to this paragraph will not include interest. (C) This exemption shall apply from July 1, 2015, until January 1, 2017, to any local sales and use tax levied or imposed at any time in any area consisting of less than the entire state, however authorized, including, but not limited to, such taxes authorized by or pursuant to Section 25 of an Act approved March 10, 1965 (Ga. L. 1965, p. 2243), as amended, the 'Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority Act of 1965,' or such taxes as authorized by or pursuant to Article 2, 2A, 3, 4, or 5 of this chapter. (D) Notwithstanding any provision of Code Section 48-8-63 to the contrary, purchases by a contractor may qualify for the exemption provided for in this paragraph. However, when a contractor purchases qualifying tangible personal property, the contractor shall pay the tax at the time of purchase or at the time of first use in this state; and the ultimate owner of the property may file a claim for refund of the tax paid on the qualifying property. (E) Items qualifying for exemption include all tangible personal property that will remain at the aquarium facility after completion of construction and all tangible personal property that becomes incorporated into the real property structures of the aquarium facility. The exemption excludes all items that remain tangible personal property in the possession of a contractor after the completion of construction;" "(87)(A) The sale or use of tangible personal property used for or in the renovation or expansion of a zoological institution to the extent provided in subparagraphs (B) and (C) of this paragraph. As used in this paragraph, the term 'zoological institution' means a nonprofit wildlife park, terrestrial institution, or facility which:
(i) Is open to the public, charges for admission, exhibits and cares for a collection consisting primarily of animals other than fish, and has received accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums; and (ii) Is located in this state and owned or operated by an organization which is exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

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(B) This exemption shall apply from July 1, 2016, until June 30, 2018, or until the aggregate state sales and use tax refunded pursuant to this paragraph exceeds $350,000.00, whichever occurs first. A qualifying zoological institution shall pay sales and use tax on all purchases and uses of tangible personal property and may obtain the benefit of this exemption from state sales and use tax by filing a claim for refund of tax paid on qualifying items. All refunds made pursuant to this paragraph shall not include interest.
(C)(i) This exemption shall apply from July 1, 2016, until June 30, 2018. A qualifying zoological institution shall pay sales and use tax on all purchases and uses of tangible personal property and may obtain the benefit of this exemption from local sales and use tax by filing a claim for refund of tax paid on qualifying items. All refunds made pursuant to this paragraph shall not include interest. (ii) For purposes of this subparagraph, local sales and use tax shall be defined as any local sales and use tax levied or imposed at any time in any area consisting of less than the entire state, however authorized, including, but not limited to, such taxes authorized by or pursuant to Section 25 of an Act approved March 10, 1965 (Ga. L. 1965, p. 2243), as amended, the 'Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority Act of 1965,' or such taxes as authorized by or pursuant to Article 2, 2A, 3, 4, or 5 of this chapter. (D) Notwithstanding any provision of Code Section 48-8-63 to the contrary, purchases by a contractor may qualify for the exemption provided for in this paragraph. However, when a contractor purchases qualifying tangible personal property, the contractor shall pay the tax at the time of purchase or at the time of first use in this state; and the ultimate owner of the property may file a claim for refund of the tax paid on the qualifying property. (E) Items qualifying for exemption include all tangible personal property that will remain at the zoological institution after completion of construction and all tangible personal property that becomes incorporated into the real property structures of the zoological institution. This exemption excludes all items that remain tangible personal property in the possession of a contractor after the completion of construction;"

SECTION 2. This Act shall become effective on July 1, 2015.

SECTION 3. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved May 5, 2015.

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MILITARY, EMERGENCY, AND VETERANS AFFAIRS STATE DEFENSE FORCE; RIGHTS OF PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES TO BE ABSENT FOR SERVICE; REEMPLOYMENT RIGHTS AFTER SERVICE.

No. 52 (Senate Bill No. 69).

AN ACT

To amend Part 3 of Article 1 of Chapter 2 of Title 38 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the State Defense Force, so as to remove restrictions regarding the rights of public officers and employees to be absent for service on the State Defense Force and regarding reemployment rights of persons after service on the State Defense Force; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Part 3 of Article 1 of Chapter 2 of Title 38 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the State Defense Force, is amended by revising Code Section 38-2-54, relating to duties, privileges, and immunities of members of the State Defense Force, as follows:
"38-2-54. All duties imposed by the military law or other statutes of the state or by regulations issued thereunder upon units, commissioned officers, warrant officers, and enlisted personnel of the organized militia are imposed upon the units, commissioned officers, warrant officers, and enlisted personnel, respectively, of the State Defense Force. All rights, privileges, and immunities conferred by the military law or other statutes of the state or by regulations issued thereunder upon the units, commissioned officers, warrant officers, and enlisted personnel of the Georgia National Guard or of the organized militia are conferred upon the units, commissioned officers, warrant officers, and enlisted personnel, respectively, of the State Defense Force except as otherwise prescribed in this chapter. Such rights, privileges, and immunities include relief from civil or criminal liability for acts done while on duty; rights to pay, allowances, and other compensation; expenses and subsistence; arms, uniforms, and equipment; provision, maintenance, use, and control of armories; eligibility to appointment on the military staff of the Governor; exemption from civil process and from jury duty; right of way; right to wear the uniform and to parade with firearms; and all other rights, privileges, and immunities created by statute or custom not hereinbefore specifically enumerated."

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SECTION 2. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved May 5, 2015.

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PROFESSIONS AND BUSINESSES PHYSICAL THERAPISTS AND PHYSICAL THERAPY ASSISTANTS; LICENSURE AND REGULATION.

No. 53 (House Bill No. 505).

AN ACT

To amend Chapter 33 of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to physical therapists, so as to revise various provisions regarding the licensure and regulation of physical therapists and physical therapy assistants; to revise definitions; to include additional powers of the State Board of Physical Therapy; to revise provisions regarding use of titles; to revise provisions regarding granting licenses and discipline of licensees; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Chapter 33 of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to physical therapists, is amended by revising Code Section 43-33-3, relating to definitions, as follows:
"43-33-3. As used in this chapter, the term:
(1) 'Board' means the State Board of Physical Therapy. (2) 'License' means a valid and current certificate of registration issued by the board which shall give the person to whom it is issued authority to engage in the practice prescribed thereon. (3) 'Licensee' means any person holding a license under this chapter. (4) 'Person' means a human being only, not a legal entity. (5) 'Physical therapist' means a person licensed to practice physical therapy as defined in this chapter and whose license is in good standing. (6) 'Physical therapist assistant' or 'physical therapy assistant' means a person who is licensed by the board to assist a physical therapist, whose activities are supervised and directed by a physical therapist, and whose license is in good standing.

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(7) 'Physical therapy' means the care and services provided by or under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist who is licensed pursuant to this chapter. The term 'physiotherapist' shall be synonymous with 'physical therapy' pursuant to this chapter. The practice of physical therapy means:
(A) Examining, evaluating, and testing patients and clients with mechanical, physiological, and developmental impairments, activity limitations, participation restrictions, and disabilities or other movement related conditions in order to determine a physical therapy diagnosis, prognosis, and plan of intervention and to assess the ongoing effects of intervention; (B) Alleviating impairments of body structure or function by designing, implementing, and modifying interventions to improve activity limitations or participation restrictions for the purpose of preventing or reducing the incidence and severity of physical disability, bodily malfunction, and pain; (C) Reducing the risk of injury, impairment, activity limitations, participation restrictions, and disability, including the promotion and maintenance of health, fitness, and wellness in populations of all ages; (D) Planning, administering, evaluating, and modifying intervention and instruction, including the use of physical measures, activities, and devices, including but not limited to dry needling for preventative and therapeutic purposes; and (E) Engaging in administration, consultation, education, teaching, research, telehealth, and the provision of instructional, consultative, educational, and other advisory services. (8) 'Physical therapy aide' means a person who only performs designated and supervised physical therapy tasks. The physical therapy aide must receive direct supervision and must be directed on the premises at all times by a licensee. Physical therapy aides are not licensed under this chapter. (9) 'Trainee' means an individual who is approved for a traineeship. (10) 'Traineeship' means a period of activity during which a trainee works under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist who has practiced for not less than one year prior to assuming the supervisory role. (11) 'Training permit' means a valid and current certificate of registration issued by the board which gives the person to whom it is issued authority to engage in practice through a traineeship prescribed thereon."

SECTION 2. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 43-33-7, relating to conduct of business by telephone, as follows:
"43-33-7. With the exception of hearings in contested cases, the board may conduct business in conference by telephone or other digital means, provided that members of the board shall

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not receive compensation for business conducted in conference by telephone or other digital means."

SECTION 3. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 43-33-11, relating to license required for physical therapists or physical therapy assistants, use of titles, and limitation on scope of Code section, as follows:
"43-33-11. (a) A physical therapist shall clearly inform the public of his or her professional credential as a physical therapist. A physical therapist shall use the appropriate regulatory designator as identified by the board. (b) A physical therapist assistant shall use the letters 'PTA' immediately following his or her name to designate licensure under this chapter. A person shall not use the title 'physical therapist assistant,' the letters 'PTA,' or any other words, abbreviations, or insignia in connection with that person's name to indicate or imply, directly or indirectly, that the person is a physical therapist assistant unless that person is licensed as a physical therapist assistant pursuant to this chapter. (c) A person or business entity and its employees, agents, or representatives shall not use in connection with that person's name or the name or activity of the business entity the words 'physical therapy,' 'physical therapist,' 'physiotherapist,' or 'doctor of physical therapy,' the letters 'PT,' 'CPT,' 'DPT,' 'LPT,' 'RPT,' or 'MPT,' or any other words, abbreviations, or insignia indicating or implying, directly or indirectly, that physical therapy is provided or supplied, unless such services are provided by or under the direction of a physical therapist licensed pursuant to this chapter. A person or business entity shall not advertise or otherwise promote another person as being a physical therapist or physiotherapist unless the individual so advertised or promoted is licensed as a physical therapist under this chapter. A person or business entity that offers, provides, or bills any other person for services shall not characterize those services as physical therapy unless the individual directing and supervising those services is a person licensed under this chapter. (d) Nothing in this Code section shall be construed as preventing or restricting the practice, services, or activities of:
(1) Any person licensed under any other law of this state who is engaged in the professional or trade practices properly conducted under the authority of such other licensing laws; (2) Any person pursuing a course of study leading to a degree or certificate as a physical therapist or as a physical therapist assistant in an entry level educational program approved by the board, if such person is designated by a title indicating student status, is fulfilling work experiences required for the attainment of the degree or certificate, and is under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist; (3) Any person enrolled in a course of study designed to develop advanced physical therapy skills when the physical therapy activities are required as part of an educational

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program sponsored by an educational institution approved by the board and are conducted under the supervision of a physical therapist licensed under this chapter. If such person provides physical therapy services outside the scope of the educational program, he or she shall then be required to be licensed in accordance with this chapter; (4) A physical therapist licensed in another state or country or employed by the United States government conducting a teaching or clinical demonstration in connection with an academic or continuing education program; (5) Any person employed as a physical therapist or as a physical therapist assistant by the United States government if such person provides physical therapy services solely under the direction or control of the employing organization. If such person shall engage in the practice of physical therapy or as a physical therapist assistant outside the course and scope of such employment, he or she shall then be required to be licensed in accordance with this chapter; (6) A person currently licensed in another state who is present in this state for treatment of a temporary sojourner only, such treatment in this state not to exceed a total of 60 days during any 12 month period; or (7) A person currently licensed in another state who is present in this state providing physical therapy services during a declared local, jurisdictional, or national disaster or emergency, such services not to exceed a total of 60 days during any 12 month period."

SECTION 4. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 43-33-12, relating to requirements for license to practice physical therapy, as follows:
"43-33-12. A license to practice physical therapy shall be issued to any person who:
(1) Is a graduate of an educational program that prepares physical therapists and which is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency and approved by the board or, in the case of an applicant who has graduated from an educational program which prepares physical therapists conducted in a foreign country, has submitted, in a manner prescribed by the board, credentials approved by the board and who has further demonstrated the ability to speak, write, and understand the English language and has satisfactorily completed a three-month board approved traineeship under the supervision of a physical therapist licensed under this chapter; (2) Has satisfactorily passed an examination prepared or approved by the board and has acquired any additional education and training required by the board; and (3) Is not disqualified to receive a license under the provisions of Code Section 43-33-18 or subsection (a) or (c) of Code Section 43-1-19."

SECTION 5. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 43-33-13, relating to requirements for license to practice as physical therapy assistant, as follows:

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"43-33-13. A license to practice as a physical therapist assistant shall be issued to any person who:
(1) Is a graduate of an educational program that prepares physical therapist assistants and which is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency and approved by the board or, in the case of an applicant who has graduated from an educational program which prepares physical therapist assistants conducted in a foreign country, has submitted, in a manner prescribed by the board, credentials approved by the board and who has further demonstrated the ability to speak, write, and understand the English language and has satisfactorily completed a three-month board approved traineeship under the supervision of a physical therapist licensed under this chapter; (2) Has satisfactorily passed an examination prepared or approved by the board; and (3) Is not disqualified to receive a license under the provisions of Code Section 43-33-18 or subsection (b) or (c) of Code Section 43-1-19."

SECTION 6. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 43-33-18, relating to refusal to grant or restore licenses, discipline of licensees, suspension, revocation, or restriction of licenses, and immunity for violation reporters, as follows:
"43-33-18. (a) The board shall have authority to refuse to grant or restore a license to an applicant or to discipline a physical therapist licensed under this chapter upon a finding by the board that the licensee or applicant has:
(1) Identified himself or herself as a doctor without also clearly informing the public of his or her professional credential as a physical therapist; (2) Performed physical therapy care and services without examination and evaluation of patients or clients in order to determine a physical therapy diagnosis, prognosis, and plan of intervention, which, in the case of patients who have self-referred, means the physical therapist has:
(A) Failed to refer the patient to an individual licensed pursuant to Article 2 of Chapter 11 of Title 43 or Article 2 of Chapter 34 of Title 43 if at any time the physical therapist has reason to believe that the patient has symptoms or conditions that require treatment beyond the scope of practice of the physical therapist or, regardless of the patient's condition, if after 21 days or eight visits from the initiation of a physical therapy plan of intervention, the physical therapist has not received a referral from the patient's provider who is licensed pursuant to Article 2 of Chapter 11 of Title 43 or Article 2 of Chapter 34 of Title 43. The day and visit limitations contained in this subparagraph shall not apply:
(i) In the case of services provided for health promotion, wellness, fitness, or maintenance purposes, in which case the physical therapist shall refer a client seen for health promotion, wellness, fitness, or maintenance purposes to an appropriate individual licensed pursuant to Article 2 or 4 of Chapter 34 of Title 43 if the client

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exhibits or develops signs and symptoms beyond the scope of practice of the physical therapist; (ii) In the case of a patient diagnosed within the previous nine months with a neuromuscular or developmental condition when the evaluation, treatment, or services are being provided for problems or symptoms associated with that previously diagnosed condition; or (iii) In the case of a patient diagnosed within the previous 90 days with a chronic musculoskeletal condition and noted by a current relevant document from an appropriate licensed health care provider; (B) Ordered radiology, performed surgery, ordered laboratory or body fluid testing, diagnosed disease, or practiced medicine; (C) Failed to provide each self-referred patient with a written disclosure that a physical therapy diagnosis is not a medical diagnosis by a physician or based on radiological imaging and that such services might not be covered by the patient's health plan or insurer; (D) Not satisfied the additional requirements for seeing a patient who has self-referred, which shall include: (i) A doctorate in physical therapy or equivalent degree from an accredited institution plus two years of clinical practice experience; (ii) A doctorate in physical therapy or equivalent and:
(I) Post graduate certification; (II) American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties Board Certification; or (III) Residency or fellowship training; or (iii) Five years of clinical practice experience; or (E) Performed dry needling treatment interventions without consulting an individual licensed pursuant to Article 2 or 4 of Chapter 34 of Title 43; or (3) Acted in a manner inconsistent with generally accepted standards of physical therapy practice, regardless of whether actual injury to a patient occurs, or failed to provide the expected minimal standard of patient or client management, which shall include that: (A) A physical therapist is fully responsible for managing all aspects of the physical therapy care of each patient. A physical therapist shall provide: (i) The initial evaluation, determination of physical therapy diagnosis, prognosis, and plan of intervention and documentation of the initial evaluation; (ii) Periodic reevaluation and documentation of findings for each patient; and (iii) The documented episode of care for each patient, including the patient's response to the plan of intervention at the time of completion of the episode of care; (B) A physical therapist shall assure the qualifications of all physical therapist assistants and physical therapy aides under his or her direction and supervision; (C) For each patient on each date of service, a physical therapist shall provide all of the intervention that requires the education, skills, knowledge, and abilities of a physical therapist;

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(D) A physical therapist shall determine the use of physical therapist assistants and physical therapy aides to ensure the delivery of care that is safe, effective, and efficient. A physical therapist may use physical therapy aides for designated routine tasks. A physical therapy aide shall work under the supervision of a physical therapist; (E) A physical therapist shall communicate the overall plan of care with the patient or the patient's legally authorized representative; (F) A physical therapist's responsibility shall include accurate documentation and billing of the services provided; (G) A physical therapist shall adhere to the recognized standards for professional conduct and code of ethics of the physical therapy profession as established by rule; and (H) A physical therapist shall ensure that he or she has liability coverage either independently or provided by the entity by which he or she is employed. (b) The board shall have authority to refuse to grant or restore a license to an applicant or to discipline a physical therapist assistant licensed under this chapter upon a finding by the board that the licensee or applicant has: (1) Worked outside the supervision of a physical therapist; (2) Failed to provide accurate documentation or billing of services provided; (3) Failed to adhere to the recognized standards of ethical conduct and code of ethics as established by rule; or (4) Acted in a manner inconsistent with generally accepted standards of the physical therapist assistant's scope of work, regardless of whether actual injury to the patient occurs. (c) The board shall have authority to refuse to grant or restore a license to an applicant or to discipline a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant licensed under this chapter or any antecedent law upon a finding by the board that the licensee or applicant has: (1) Displayed an inability or has become unable to practice as a physical therapist or as a physical therapist assistant with reasonable skill and safety to patients by reason of illness, use of alcohol, drugs, narcotics, chemicals, or any other type of material, or as a result of any mental or physical condition: (A) In enforcing this paragraph the board may, upon reasonable grounds, require a licensee or applicant to submit to a mental or physical examination by an appropriate licensed health care provider designated by the board. The expense of such mental or physical examination shall be borne by the licensee or applicant. The results of such examination shall be admissible in any hearing before the board, notwithstanding any claim of privilege under a contrary rule of law or statute, including, but not limited to, Code Section 24-5-501. Every person who shall accept the privilege of practicing physical therapy in this state or who shall file an application for a license to practice physical therapy in this state shall be deemed to have given his or her consent to submit to such mental or physical examination and to have waived all objections to the admissibility of the results in any hearing before the board upon the grounds that the same constitutes a privileged communication. If a licensee or applicant fails to submit

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to such an examination when properly directed to do so by the board, unless such failure was due to circumstances beyond his or her control, the board may enter a final order upon proper notice, hearing, and proof of such refusal. Any licensee or applicant who is prohibited from practicing physical therapy under this paragraph shall at reasonable intervals be afforded an opportunity to demonstrate to the board that he or she can resume or begin the practice of physical therapy with reasonable skill and safety to patients; (B) For the purposes of this paragraph, the board may, upon reasonable grounds, obtain any and all records relating to the mental or physical condition of a licensee or applicant, including psychiatric records; and such records shall be admissible in any hearing before the board, notwithstanding any privilege under a contrary rule of law or statute, including, but not limited to, Code Section 24-5-501. Every person who shall accept the privilege of practicing physical therapy in this state or who shall file an application to practice physical therapy in this state shall be deemed to have given his or her consent to the board's obtaining any such records and to have waived all objections to the admissibility of such records in any hearing before the board upon the grounds that the same constitute a privileged communication; and (C) If any licensee or applicant could, in the absence of this paragraph, invoke a privilege to prevent the disclosure of the results of the examination provided for in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph or the records relating to the mental or physical condition of such licensee or applicant obtained pursuant to subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, all such information shall be received by the board in camera and shall not be disclosed to the public, nor shall any part of the record containing such information be used against any licensee or applicant in any other type of proceeding; (2) Been convicted of a felony or crime involving moral turpitude in the courts of this state or the United States or the conviction of an offense in another jurisdiction which if committed in this state would be deemed a felony. For the purpose of this Code section, a 'conviction' shall include a finding or verdict of guilty, a plea of guilty, or a plea of nolo contendere in a criminal proceeding regardless of whether the adjudication of guilt or sentence is withheld or not entered thereon pursuant to the provisions of Code Sections 42-8-60 through 42-8-64, relating to first offenders, or any comparable rule or statute; (3) Knowingly made misleading, deceptive, untrue, or fraudulent representations to a patient, consumer, or other person or entity in connection with the practice of physical therapy or in any document connected therewith; practiced fraud or deceit or intentionally made any false statement in obtaining or attempting to obtain a license to practice physical therapy or as a physical therapist assistant; or made a false or deceptive biennial registration with the board; (4) Practiced physical therapy contrary to this Code section or to the rules and regulations of the board; knowingly aided, assisted, procured, or advised any person to practice physical therapy contrary to this Code section or to the rules and regulations of

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the board; or knowingly performed any act which in any way aids, assists, procures, advises, or encourages any unlicensed person to practice physical therapy; (5) Engaged in any unprofessional, unethical, deceptive, or deleterious conduct or practice harmful to the public, which conduct or practice need not have resulted in actual injury to any person; unprofessional conduct shall also include any departure from, or the failure to conform to, the minimal standards of acceptable and prevailing physical therapy practice or the failure to comply with the code of ethics of the board; (6) Failed to report to the board any act or omission of a licensee or applicant or any other person which violates the provisions of this subsection; or (7) Divided fees or agreed to divide fees received for professional services with any person, firm, association, corporation, or other entity for bringing or referring a patient. (d)(1) When the board finds that any person is unqualified to be granted a license or finds that any person should be disciplined pursuant to subsection (a), (b), or (c) of this Code section, the board may take any one or more of the following actions:
(A) Refuse to grant or restore a license to an applicant; (B) Administer a public or private reprimand, but a private reprimand shall not be disclosed to any person except the licensee; (C) Suspend any license for a definite period; (D) Limit or restrict any license; (E) Revoke any license; (F) Condition the penalty or withhold formal disposition, upon the physical therapist's, physical therapist assistant's, or other person's submission to the care, counseling, or treatment of physicians or other professional persons, and the completion of such care, counseling, or treatment, as directed by the board; or (G) Impose a fine not to exceed $500.00 for each violation of law, rule, or regulation of the board. (2) In addition to or in conjunction with the actions enumerated pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection, the board may make a finding adverse to the licensee or applicant but withhold imposition of judgment and penalty, or it may impose the judgment and penalty but suspend enforcement thereof and place the licensee or applicant on probation, which may be vacated upon noncompliance with such reasonable terms as the board may impose. (e) In its discretion, the board may restore and reissue a license issued under this chapter or any antecedent law and, as a condition thereof, it may impose any disciplinary or corrective measure provided in this chapter. (f) A person, firm, corporation, association, authority, or other entity shall be immune from civil and criminal liability for reporting the acts or omissions of a licensee or applicant which violate the provisions of subsection (a), (b), or (c) of this Code section or any other provision of law relating to a licensee's or applicant's fitness to practice as a physical therapist or as a physical therapist assistant, if such report is made in good faith without fraud or malice. Any person who testifies without fraud or malice before the board in any

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proceeding involving a violation of the provisions of subsection (a), (b), or (c) of this Code section or any other law relating to a licensee's or applicant's fitness to practice as a physical therapist or as a physical therapist assistant shall be immune from civil and criminal liability for so testifying. (g) The provisions of this Code section shall not prevent any other health care provider from administering techniques authorized within his or her scope of practice."

SECTION 7. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved May 5, 2015.

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HEALTH PROFESSIONS AND BUSINESSES VACCINATIONS; MENINGOCOCCAL DISEASE; ADMINISTRATION OF VACCINES.

No. 54 (House Bill No. 504).

AN ACT

To amend Code Section 31-12-3.2 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to meningococcal disease vaccinations and disclosures, so as to revise provisions regarding vaccination against meningococcal disease of college students; to amend Article 2 of Chapter 34 of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to physicians, so as to authorize the administration of vaccines by pharmacists or nurses pursuant to vaccine protocol agreements with physicians; to provide for definitions; to provide requirements for the content of vaccine protocol agreements; to provide that a party to a vaccine protocol agreement shall not delegate his or her authority; to limit the number of vaccine protocol agreements into which a physician may enter at any one time; to prohibit certain entities from entering into vaccine protocol agreements; to provide for rules and regulations; to provide for limited liability; to provide for applicability; to provide for statutory construction; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Code Section 31-12-3.2 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to meningococcal disease vaccinations and disclosures, is amended by revising subsection (b) as follows:

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"(b) In accordance with the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, newly admitted students who are 18 years of age or older residing in campus housing as defined by the postsecondary educational institution or residing in sorority or fraternity houses shall be required to sign a document provided by the postsecondary educational institution stating that he or she has received vaccination against meningococcal disease not more than five years prior to such admittance or reviewed the information provided as required by subsection (a) of this Code section. If a student is a minor, only a parent or guardian may sign such document."

SECTION 2. Article 2 of Chapter 34 of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to physicians, is amended by revising Code Section 43-34-26.1, relating to influenza vaccine protocol agreements, as follows:
"43-34-26.1. (a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) 'Administer' means the provision of a unit dose of vaccine by a pharmacist or nurse pursuant to a vaccine order contained in a vaccine protocol agreement with a physician. (2) 'Adverse event' means an event that is a negative consequence of the administration of vaccine by a pharmacist or nurse that results in an unintended reaction, injury, or illness, which may or may not have been preventable. (3) 'Board' means the Georgia Composite Medical Board. (4) 'Nurse' means a registered professional nurse as defined in paragraph (9) of Code Section 43-26-3. The term shall also mean a licensed practical nurse as defined in paragraph (5) of Code Section 43-26-32 who is regularly employed by a physician engaged in the active practice of medicine. (5) 'Pharmacist' means an individual licensed under Chapter 4 of Title 26 to engage in the practice of pharmacy in the State of Georgia. (6) 'Pharmacy intern' means a pharmacy intern as defined in paragraph (19) of Code Section 26-4-5. (7) 'Physician' means an individual licensed to practice medicine and surgery pursuant to this article and whose principal place of practice is located in this state. (8) 'Vaccine' means a specially prepared antigen which upon administration to a person will result in immunity to influenza, pneumococcal disease, shingles, or meningitis. No live attenuated virus shall be administered pursuant to this Code section unless the patient or his or her parent, if a minor, has signed an informed consent that he or she does not have a contraindication to this vaccine. The informed consent form shall list the contraindications to the vaccine. (9) 'Vaccine order' means a prescription drug order, contained in a vaccine protocol agreement, for a vaccine issued by a physician for a group of patients who meet certain criteria and to be administered by a pharmacist or a nurse. A vaccine order shall also mean a prescription drug order, contained in a vaccine protocol agreement, for

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epinephrine issued by a physician for a group of patients who meet certain criteria and to be administered by a pharmacist or a nurse only upon the occurrence of an actual or perceived anaphylactic adverse reaction to the administered vaccine provided that the vaccine protocol agreement sets forth the signs and symptoms that warrant the administration of epinephrine. (10) 'Vaccine protocol agreement' means a written document mutually agreed upon and signed by a physician and a pharmacist or by a physician and a nurse, by which document the physician prescribes a vaccine and epinephrine, if determined appropriate by the physician, by means of a vaccine order for administration by a pharmacist or a nurse. (b) A physician engaged in the active practice of medicine may prescribe a vaccine for a group of patients via a vaccine order contained in a vaccine protocol agreement to be administered by a pharmacist, provided the physician is registered with the vaccination registry established by the Department of Public Health pursuant to Code Section 31-12-3.1, commonly known as the Georgia Registry of Immunization Transactions and Services; the pharmacist is located within the county of the physician's place of registration with the vaccination registry or a county contiguous thereto; the pharmacist holds current certification in Basic Cardiac Life Support and has completed a course of training accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education or similar health authority or professional body approved by the Georgia State Board of Pharmacy; and the pharmacist completes a training program recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the basics of immunology which focuses on practice implementation and legal and regulatory issues, composed of: (1) at least 12 hours of self-study and an assessment exam; (2) at least eight hours of live seminar with a final exam; and (3) a hands-on assessment of intramuscular and subcutaneous injection technique. A physician who is a party to a vaccine protocol agreement may also prescribe epinephrine via a vaccine order contained in a vaccine protocol agreement for administration by a pharmacist upon the occurrence of an actual or perceived anaphylactic adverse reaction to the administered vaccine provided that the vaccine protocol agreement sets forth the signs and symptoms that warrant the administration of epinephrine. (c) A physician engaged in the active practice of medicine may prescribe a vaccine for a group of patients via a vaccine order contained in a vaccine protocol agreement to be administered by a nurse, provided the physician is registered with the vaccination registry established by the Department of Public Health pursuant to Code Section 31-12-3.1, commonly known as the Georgia Registry of Immunization Transactions and Services, the nurse is located within the county of the physician's place of registration with the vaccination registry or a county contiguous thereto, and the nurse holds current certification in Basic Cardiac Life Support. A physician who is a party to a vaccine protocol agreement may also prescribe epinephrine via a vaccine order contained in a vaccine protocol agreement for administration by a nurse upon the occurrence of an actual or perceived anaphylactic adverse reaction to the administered vaccine provided that the vaccine

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protocol agreement sets forth the signs and symptoms that warrant the administration of epinephrine. (d) A vaccine protocol agreement between a physician and a pharmacist or a physician and a nurse pursuant to this Code section shall, without limitation:
(1) Contain the current names, addresses, telephone numbers, and professional license numbers of the physician and the pharmacist or nurse; (2) Contain a provision for immediate consultation between the pharmacist or nurse and the physician. If the physician is not available, the physician for purposes of consultation may designate another physician who concurs with the terms of the vaccine protocol agreement; (3) Require the pharmacist or nurse to take a complete case history and determine whether the patient has had a physical examination within the past year and shall not administer a vaccine to a patient with any condition for which such vaccine is contraindicated; (4) Require the pharmacist or nurse to provide the vaccine recipient with the appropriate and current Vaccine Information Statement as provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; (5) Require the pharmacist or nurse to provide written information to the vaccine recipient to be developed by the Department of Public Health on the importance of having and periodically seeing a primary care physician; (6) Require the pharmacist or nurse to provide each new vaccine recipient with a personal immunization card on card stock paper containing the vaccine recipient's name, the pharmacist's or nurse's name and phone number, the name and dosage of the vaccine, the location of injection on the vaccine recipient, and the date of the administration of the vaccine in legible writing or printed type in a format made available by the Department of Public Health. The patient shall produce such card when he or she has subsequent vaccines and the pharmacist or nurse shall update such card, unless the patient does not have such card, in which case, a new card shall be provided. The written information required pursuant to paragraph (5) of this subsection may be included on the card provided pursuant to this paragraph; (7) Require the pharmacist or nurse or his or her employer to retain documentation of each dose of vaccine administered. Such documentation shall include, but not be limited to:
(A) The administering pharmacist's or nurse's name, address, telephone number, and professional license number; (B) The name, dose, manufacturer, and lot number of the vaccine; (C) The vaccine recipient's name, address, date of birth, and telephone number; (D) The date of administration and injection site; (E) A signed and dated consent form by which the vaccine recipient acknowledges receipt of the Vaccine Information Statement, consents to the administration of the

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vaccine, and authorizes the pharmacy or nurse to notify the vaccine recipient's primary care provider of the vaccine administered to the vaccine recipient; and (F) Any adverse events or complications that occur; (8) Require the pharmacist or nurse to make documented reasonable efforts to obtain the name of the vaccine recipient's primary care provider and to notify such primary care provider of the vaccine administered by the pharmacist or nurse within 72 hours of administration; (9) Require the pharmacist or nurse to administer the vaccine to a patient in a private room, area with a privacy screen, or other interior area in which the patient's privacy can be maintained. In no event shall a pharmacist or nurse administer a vaccine to a patient in a manner that is designed so that the patient can be served while remaining in his or her personal vehicle. This paragraph shall not apply to mass immunizations in the event of a public health emergency or for purposes of training in which vaccinations are administered to large groups of people at one or more locations in a short interval of time; (10) Require the pharmacist or nurse to enter the patient's vaccine information in the Georgia Registry of Immunization Transactions and Services within the registry's designated time frame, or as designated by the Department of Public Health. The Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency shall have the authority to impose sanctions in accordance with subsection (r) of this Code section on any person subject to the requirements of this paragraph who does not submit the information required by this paragraph and to notify the delegating physician and the applicable licensing board for such person of violations of this paragraph; (11) Require, as a condition of administration of the vaccine, the vaccine recipient to remain under the observation of the administering pharmacist or nurse for a period of not less than 15 minutes immediately subsequent to the administration of the vaccine; (12) Contain procedures to follow up on the occurrence of an adverse event or complication including, if prescribed via a vaccine order contained in a vaccine protocol agreement, the administration of epinephrine; (13) Provide for prioritization of vaccine recipients in the event the supply of a vaccine is limited; (14) Require the pharmacist or nurse to maintain individual liability insurance coverage or be individually covered by his or her employer's liability insurance coverage in an amount not less than $250,000.00 to cover claims arising from administration of vaccines by the pharmacist or nurse pursuant to a vaccine protocol agreement and to provide proof of such coverage to the physician for submission to the board with the vaccine protocol agreement. The pharmacist or nurse shall also retain a copy of the proof of insurance coverage, including the name of the insurer and policy number, onsite at his or her primary location for inspection by the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency, upon request; (15) Require the pharmacist or nurse to post proof of the vaccine protocol agreement, including a list of the vaccines authorized by such protocol, in a conspicuous location

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within the pharmacy, local health department, or other setting in which the vaccine is being administered; (16) Require the pharmacist or nurse to submit a signed and notarized affidavit to the physician attesting to the following:
(A) Compliance with paragraph (14) of this subsection regarding maintenance of liability insurance; (B) Verification that the pharmacist or nurse holds current certification in Basic Cardiac Life Support as required by subsections (b) and (c) of this Code section and, for pharmacists, verification of completion of immunology training as required by subsection (b) of this Code section; (C) The pharmacist or nurse has a copy of the vaccine protocol agreement and agrees to comply with its requirements; and (D) Identification of the pharmacist's or nurse's location or locations in which he or she will be administering vaccinations pursuant to the vaccine protocol agreement. The pharmacist or nurse shall keep a copy of the affidavit onsite at his or her primary location for inspection by the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency, upon request. The Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency shall have the authority to impose sanctions in accordance with subsection (r) of this Code section on any person subject to the requirements of this paragraph who does not submit the information required by this paragraph and to notify the delegating physician and the applicable licensing board for such person of violations of this paragraph; and (17) Be renewed and, if necessary, revised or updated biennially by the physician and the pharmacist or nurse. A vaccine protocol agreement that is not renewed biennially shall expire. (e) A pharmacist who is a party to a vaccine protocol agreement pursuant to this Code section shall not delegate the administration of a vaccine to any individual other than a pharmacy intern under the direct supervision of the pharmacist whether or not any such other individual is under the supervision, direct or otherwise, of the pharmacist. (f) A nurse who is a party to a vaccine protocol agreement pursuant to this Code section shall not delegate the administration of a vaccine to any individual, whether or not any such individual is under the supervision, direct or otherwise, of the nurse; provided, however, that notwithstanding the requirement of employment by a physician in paragraph(4) of subsection (a) of this Code section, a registered professional nurse who is a party to a vaccine protocol agreement pursuant to this Code section may delegate the administration of a vaccine to a licensed practical nurse under the direct on-site supervision of the registered professional nurse. (g) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, a nurse acting pursuant to a vaccine protocol agreement as provided in this Code section may possess and transport such vaccine and epinephrine.

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(h) A pharmacist or nurse administering vaccines pursuant to a vaccine protocol agreement authorized by this Code section shall maintain policies and procedures for the handling and disposal of used or contaminated equipment and supplies. (i) Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to authorize a physician to prescribe any other vaccines or other drugs pursuant to a vaccine protocol agreement or vaccine order contained in a vaccine protocol agreement other than those vaccines and epinephrine specifically authorized in such vaccine protocol agreement or vaccine order. (j) A delegating physician may not enter into a vaccine protocol agreement with more than ten pharmacists or nurses, or any combination thereof, at any one time; provided, however, and notwithstanding the geographic limitations provided in subsections (b) and (c) of this Code section, a delegating physician may enter into a vaccine protocol agreement with more than ten pharmacists or nurses, or any combination thereof, at any one time so long as the pharmacists or nurses are in the same public health district as established pursuant to Code Section 31-3-15 and are employees or agents of the same corporate entity. (k) It shall be unlawful for a physician who is employed by a pharmacist or nurse to enter into a vaccine protocol agreement or otherwise delegate medical acts to such pharmacist or nurse. It shall be unlawful for a physician who is employed by a pharmacy to enter into a vaccine protocol agreement or otherwise delegate medical acts to a pharmacist or nurse who is also employed by such pharmacy. (l) The board shall have the authority to promulgate rules and regulations governing a physician who is a party to a vaccine protocol agreement in order to carry out the intent and purposes of this Code section. Further, the board shall:
(1) Require that the vaccine protocol agreement, along with the affidavit by the pharmacist or nurse submitted pursuant to paragraph (16) of subsection (d) of this Code section and the proof of insurance required pursuant to paragraph (14) of subsection (d) of this Code section, be filed by the physician with the board and be made available by the board for public inspection; and (2) Promulgate by rule an approved standard protocol template that may be utilized as a vaccine protocol agreement and make such template available on the board's website. (m) Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to require a physician to enter into a vaccine protocol agreement. A public or private managed care system, health plan, hospital, insurance company, or similar entity shall not require a physician, pharmacist, or nurse to enter into a vaccine protocol agreement as a condition for participation in or reimbursement from such entity. (n) No physician who complies with the provisions of this Code section shall be subject to criminal or civil liability or discipline for unprofessional conduct for: (1) Entering into a vaccine protocol agreement with a pharmacist or nurse; (2) Issuing a vaccine order contained in a vaccine protocol agreement with a pharmacist or nurse; or (3) The acts or omissions of a pharmacist or nurse pursuant to a vaccine protocol agreement including the administration of a vaccine or epinephrine.

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Nothing in this subsection shall be interpreted as altering liability of an employer for acts of his or her employees. (o) This Code section shall not apply to any activities conducted within a hospital, physician's office, nursing home, or other health care facility designated by the department or conducted within any other facility or entity owned, operated, or leased by a hospital. (p) This Code section shall not be interpreted as limiting the authority of any authorized person to dispense or administer vaccines or other medications. (q) No vaccine protocol agreement entered into pursuant to this Code section shall permit a pharmacist or nurse to administer any of the following:
(1) An influenza vaccine to any child under the age of 13 without an individual prescription from a physician; (2) A pneumococcal disease vaccine to any child under the age of 18 without an individual prescription from a physician; (3) Any vaccines containing a live attenuated virus to a child under the age of 13; or (4) A meningitis vaccine to any child under the age of 18. Consent of the child's parent or legal guardian shall be a condition precedent to the administration of a vaccine to a child under the age of 18. (r)(1) A pharmacist or nurse who knowingly does not comply with paragraph (14) of subsection (d) of this Code section may be assessed a fine of up to $2,500.00 by the board. (2) A pharmacist or nurse who knowingly administers a vaccine without a vaccine protocol agreement as required by this Code section may be assessed a fine of up to $2,500.00 and may be prohibited from administering vaccines pursuant to this Code section for up to one year as determined by the board. (3) A pharmacist or nurse who knowingly does not comply with paragraph (6) of subsection (d) of this Code section may be subject to the following sanctions by the board:
(A) Upon the first violation, the issuance of a warning: (B) Upon the second violation, a fine of up $500.00; and (C) Upon a third or subsequent violation, prohibited from administering vaccines pursuant to this Code section for up to one year. (4) A pharmacist or nurse who knowingly does not comply with paragraph (15) of subsection (d) of this Code section may be subject to the following sanctions by the board: (A) Upon the first or second violation, the issuance of a warning: (B) Upon a third or subsequent violation, prohibited from administering vaccines pursuant to this Code section for up to six months. (5) A pharmacist or nurse who knowingly does not comply with paragraph (10) or (16) of subsection (d) of this Code section may be subject to the following sanctions by the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency: (A) Upon the first violation, the issuance of a warning;

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(B) Upon the second violation, a fine of up to $5,000.00; and (C) Upon a third or subsequent violation, prohibited from administering vaccines pursuant to this Code section. (6) The sanctions contained in this subsection shall be supplemental to any other sanctions or penalties to which a pharmacist or nurse may otherwise be subject."

SECTION 3. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved May 5, 2015.

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HEALTH CLARIFY USE AND EFFECTIVENESS OF PHYSICIAN ORDERS FOR LIFE-SUSTAINING TREATMENT FORMS; ALTERNATE TERMINOLOGY FOR DO NOT RESUSCITATE ORDERS.

No. 55 (Senate Bill No. 109).

AN ACT

To amend Article 1 of Chapter 1 of Title 31 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions relative to health, so as to clarify the use and effectiveness of Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment forms; to provide alternate terminology for do not resuscitate orders; to amend other Code sections of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated for purposes of conformity; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Article 1 of Chapter 1 of Title 31 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions relative to health, is amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"31-1-14. (a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) 'Attending physician' means the physician who has primary responsibility at the time of reference for the treatment and care of the patient. (2) 'Authorized person' shall have the same meaning as in Code Section 31-39-2.

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(3) 'Decision-making capacity' means the ability to understand and appreciate the nature and consequences of an order regarding end of life care decisions, including the benefits and disadvantages of such an order, and to reach an informed decision regarding the order. (4) 'Health care facility' shall have the same meaning as in Code Section 31-32-2. (5) 'Health care provider' shall have the same meaning as in Code Section 31-32-2. (6) 'Life-sustaining procedures' means medications, machines, or other medical procedures or interventions which, when applied to a patient in a terminal condition or in a state of permanent unconsciousness, could in reasonable medical judgment keep the patient alive but cannot cure the patient and where, in the judgment of the attending physician and a second physician, death will occur without such procedures or interventions. The term 'life-sustaining procedures' shall not include the provision of nourishment or hydration but a patient may direct the withholding or withdrawal of the provision of nourishment or hydration in a POLST form. The term 'life-sustaining procedures' shall not include the administration of medication to alleviate pain or the performance of any medical procedure deemed necessary to alleviate pain. (7) 'Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment form' or 'POLST form' means a form executed pursuant to this Code section which provides directions regarding the patient's end of life care. (8) 'Provision of nourishment or hydration' means the provision of nutrition or fluids by tube or other medical means. (9) 'State of permanent unconsciousness' means an incurable or irreversible condition in which the patient is not aware of himself or herself or his or her environment and in which the patient is showing no behavioral response to his or her environment. (10) 'Terminal condition' means an incurable or irreversible condition which would result in the patient's death in a relatively short period of time. (b) The department shall develop and make available a Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment form. Such form shall provide directions regarding the patient's end of life care and may be voluntarily executed by either a patient who has decision-making capacity and an attending physician or, if the patient does not have decision-making capacity, by the patient's authorized person and an attending physician; provided, however, that this shall not prevent a health care facility from imposing additional administrative or procedural requirements regarding a patient's end of life care decisions. A POLST form may be executed when a patient has a serious illness or condition and the attending physician's reasoned judgment is that the patient will die within the next 365 days; provided, however, that a POLST form may be executed at any time if a person has been diagnosed with dementia or another progressive, degenerative disease or condition that attacks the brain and results in impaired memory, thinking, and behavior. A POLST form, if signed by an authorized person, shall indicate the relationship of the authorized person to the patient pursuant to paragraph (3) of Code Section 31-39-2.

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(c)(1) A POLST form shall constitute a legally sufficient order that may be utilized by a health care provider or health care facility in accordance with its policies and procedures regarding end of life care. Such an order shall remain effective unless the order is revoked by the attending physician upon the consent of the patient or the patient's authorized person. An attending physician who has issued such an order and who transfers care of the patient to another physician shall inform the receiving physician and the health care facility, if applicable, of the order. Review of the POLST form is recommended at care transitions, and such review should be specified on the form. (2) A POLST form signed by the patient and attending physician and indicating 'allow natural death' or 'do not resuscitate' or the equivalent may be implemented without restriction. If the POLST form (i) is signed by the attending physician and an authorized person instead of the patient and (ii) indicates 'allow natural death' or 'do not resuscitate' or the equivalent, in compliance with subsection (c) of Code Section 31-39-4, the POLST form may be implemented or become effective when the patient is a candidate for nonresuscitation, and such consent shall be based in good faith upon what such authorized person determines such candidate for nonresuscitation would have wanted had such candidate for nonresuscitation understood the circumstances under which such order is being considered. (3) A POLST form addressing interventions other than resuscitation and signed by the patient and attending physician may be implemented without restriction. If the POLST form is signed by an authorized person who is the health care agent named by the patient in an advance directive for health care and the attending physician, in compliance with paragraph (1) of subsection (e) of Code Section 31-32-7, all treatment indications on the POLST form may be implemented. If the POLST form is signed by an authorized person who is not the health care agent named by the patient in an advance directive for health care, treatment indications on the POLST form may be implemented or become effective only when the patient is in a terminal condition or a state of permanent unconsciousness; provided, however, that a POLST form may become effective at any time if a person has been diagnosed with dementia or another progressive, degenerative disease or condition that attacks the brain and results in impaired memory, thinking, and behavior. (4) A POLST form shall be portable with the patient across care settings and shall be valid in any health care facility in which the patient who is the subject of such form is being treated; provided, however, that this shall not prevent a health care facility from imposing additional requirements regarding a patient's end of life care decisions. A health care facility and a health care provider, in its discretion, may rely upon a POLST form as legally valid consent by the patient to the terms therein. (5) A copy of a POLST form shall be valid and have the same meaning and effect as the original document. (6) A physician orders for life-sustaining treatment form which was executed in another state, which is valid under the laws of such state and which is substantially similar to the Georgia POLST form, and contains signatures of (i) either the patient or an authorized

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person and (ii) the attending physician, shall be treated as a POLST form which complies with this Code section. (d)(1) Each health care provider, health care facility, and any other person who acts in good faith reliance on a POLST form shall be protected and released to the same extent as though such provider, facility, or other person had interacted directly with the patient as a fully competent person. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the following specific provisions shall also govern, protect, and validate the acts of an authorized person and each such health care provider, health care facility, and any other person acting in good faith reliance on such POLST form:
(A) No such health care provider, health care facility, or person shall be subject to civil or criminal liability or discipline for unprofessional conduct solely for complying with a patient's end of life care decisions as provided in a POLST form, even if death or injury to the patient ensues; (B) No such health care provider, health care facility, or person shall be subject to civil or criminal liability or discipline for unprofessional conduct solely for failure to comply with a patient's end of life care decisions in a POLST form, so long as such health care provider, health care facility, or person promptly informs the patient or the patient's authorized person of such health care provider's, health care facility's, or person's refusal or failure to comply with such patient's end of life care decisions in a POLST form. The authorized person shall then be responsible for arranging the patient's transfer to another health care provider or health care facility. A health care provider, health care facility, or person who is unwilling to comply with a patient's end of life care decisions in a POLST form shall continue to provide reasonably necessary consultation and care in connection with the pending transfer; (C) If the actions of a health care provider, health care facility, or person who fails to comply with a patient's end of life care decisions in a POLST form are substantially in accord with reasonable medical standards at the time of reference; and such provider, facility, or person cooperates in the transfer of the patient, then the health care provider, health care facility, or person shall not be subject to civil or criminal liability or discipline for unprofessional conduct for failure to comply with such patient's end of life care decisions in a POLST form; (D) No authorized person who, in good faith, acts with due care for the benefit of the patient and in accordance with a patient's end of life care decisions in a POLST form, or who fails to act, shall be subject to civil or criminal liability for such action or inaction; and (E) If a POLST form is revoked, a person shall not be subject to criminal prosecution or civil liability for acting in good faith reliance upon a patient's end of life care decisions in a POLST form unless such person had actual knowledge of the revocation. (2) No person shall be civilly liable for failing or refusing in good faith to effectuate a patient's end of life care decisions in a POLST form regarding the withholding or

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withdrawal of life-sustaining procedures or the withholding or withdrawal of the provision of nourishment or hydration. (3) No physician or any person acting under a physician's direction and no health care facility or any agent or employee thereof who, acting in good faith in accordance with the requirements of this Code section, causes the withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining procedures or the withholding or withdrawal of the provision of nourishment or hydration from a patient or who otherwise participates in good faith therein shall be subject to any civil or criminal liability or guilty of unprofessional conduct therefor. (4) Any person who participates in the withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining procedures or the withholding or withdrawal of the provision of nourishment or hydration pursuant to a patient's end of life care decisions in a POLST form and who has actual knowledge that such POLST form has been properly revoked shall not have any civil or criminal immunity otherwise granted under this subsection for such conduct. (e) In the event there are any directions in a patient's previously executed living will, advance directive for health care, durable power of attorney for health care, do not resuscitate order, or other legally authorized instrument that conflict with the directions in a POLST form, the most recent instrument will take precedence to the extent of the conflict. (f) Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to authorize any act prohibited by Code Section 16-5-5. Any health care provider, health care facility, or any other person who violates Code Section 16-5-5 shall not be entitled to any civil immunity provided pursuant to this Code section."

SECTION 2. Chapter 39 of Title 31 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is amended by revising subsections (a) and (c) of Code Section 31-39-4, relating to persons authorized to issue an order not to resuscitate, as follows:
"(a) It shall be lawful for the attending physician to issue an order not to resuscitate pursuant to the requirements of this chapter. Any written order issued by the attending physician using the term 'do not resuscitate,' 'DNR,' 'order not to resuscitate,' 'do not attempt resuscitation,' 'DNAR,' 'no code,' 'allow natural death,' 'AND,' 'order to allow natural death,' or substantially similar language in the patient's chart shall constitute a legally sufficient order and shall authorize a physician, health care professional, nurse, physician assistant, caregiver, or emergency medical technician to withhold or withdraw cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Such an order shall remain effective, whether or not the patient is receiving treatment from or is a resident of a health care facility, until the order is canceled as provided in Code Section 31-39-5 or until consent for such order is revoked as provided in Code Section 31-39-6, whichever occurs earlier. An attending physician who has issued such an order and who transfers care of the patient to another physician shall inform the receiving physician and the health care facility, if applicable, of the order."

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"(c) The appropriate authorized person may, after being informed of the provisions of this Code section, consent orally or in writing to an order not to resuscitate for an adult candidate for nonresuscitation; provided, however, that such consent is based in good faith upon what such authorized person determines such candidate for nonresuscitation would have wanted had such candidate for nonresuscitation understood the circumstances under which such order is being considered. Where such authorized person is an agent under a durable power of attorney for health care or a health care agent under an advance directive for health care appointed pursuant to Chapter 32 of this title or where a Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment form with a code status of 'do not resuscitate' or its equivalent has been executed in accordance with Code Section 31-1-14 by an authorized person who is an agent under a durable power of attorney for health care or a health care agent under an advance directive for health care appointed pursuant to Chapter 32 of this title, the attending physician may issue an order not to resuscitate a candidate for nonresuscitation pursuant to the requirements of this chapter without the concurrence of another physician, notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (4) of Code Section 31-39-2."

SECTION 3. Code Section 16-5-5 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to assisted suicide and notification of licensing board regarding violations, is amended by revising paragraphs (3) and (4) of subsection (c) as follows:
"(3) Any person prescribing, dispensing, or administering medications or medical procedures pursuant to, without limitation, a living will, a durable power of attorney for health care, an advance directive for health care, a Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment form pursuant to Code Section 31-1-14, or a consent pursuant to Code Section 29-4-18 or 31-9-2 when such actions are calculated or intended to relieve or prevent a patient's pain or discomfort but are not calculated or intended to cause such patient's death, even if the medication or medical procedure may have the effect of hastening or increasing the risk of death; (4) Any person discontinuing, withholding, or withdrawing medications, medical procedures, nourishment, or hydration pursuant to, without limitation, a living will, a durable power of attorney for health care, an advance directive for health care, a Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment form pursuant to Code Section 31-1-14, a consent pursuant to Code Section 29-4-18 or 31-9-2, or a written order not to resuscitate; or"

SECTION 4. Code Section 16-5-101 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to neglect to a disabled adult, elder person, or resident, is amended by revising subsection (b) as follows:
"(b) The provisions of this Code section shall not apply to a physician nor any person acting under a physician's direction nor to a hospital, hospice, or long-term care facility,

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nor any agent or employee thereof who is in good faith acting within the scope of his or her employment or agency or who is acting in good faith in accordance with a living will, a durable power of attorney for health care, an advance directive for health care, a Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment form pursuant to Code Section 31-1-14, an order not to resuscitate, or the instructions of the patient or the patient's lawful surrogate decision maker, nor shall the provisions of this Code section require any physician, any institution licensed in accordance with Chapter 7 of Title 31, or any employee or agent thereof to provide essential services or shelter to any person in the absence of another legal obligation to do so."

SECTION 5. Code Section 29-4-18 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to definitions, requirements, and termination of temporary medical consent guardianship, is amended by revising subsections (k) and (l) as follows:
"(k)(1) No hospital or other health care facility, health care provider, or other person or entity shall be subject to civil or criminal liability or discipline for unprofessional conduct solely for relying in good faith on any direction or decision by a temporary medical consent guardian, even if death or injury to the medical consent ward ensues. Each hospital or other health care facility, health care provider, and any other person or entity who acts in good faith reliance on any direction or decision by a temporary medical consent guardian shall be protected and released to the same extent as though such person had interacted directly with the medical consent ward as a fully competent person. (2) No temporary medical consent guardian who, in good faith, acts with due care for the benefit of the medical consent ward, or who fails to act, shall be subject to civil or criminal liability for such action or inaction."

SECTION 6. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved May 5, 2015.

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FOOD, DRUGS, AND COSMETICS HEALTH EDUCATION USE OF AUTO-INJECTABLE EPINEPHRINE; AUTHORIZE SCHOOLS TO MAINTAIN SUPPLY OF LEVALBUTEROL SULFATE.

No. 56 (Senate Bill No. 126).

AN ACT

To amend Chapter 4 of Title 26 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to pharmacists and pharmacies, so as to authorize certain health care practitioners to prescribe auto-injectable epinephrine to an authorized entity for emergency purposes; to authorize licensed health practitioners to prescribe levalbuterol sulfate for schools; to authorize pharmacists to fill such prescriptions; to amend Chapter 1 of Title 31 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to health generally, so as to provide for authorized entities to acquire and stock a supply of auto-injectable epinephrine; to authorize certain individuals to administer auto-injectable epinephrine under certain circumstances; to provide for immunity; to provide for reports; to amend Part 3 of Article 16 of Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to student health in elementary and secondary education, so as to authorize public and private schools to stock a supply of levalbuterol sulfate; to provide for definitions; to provide for requirements and reporting; to provide for arrangements with manufacturers; to provide for rules and regulations; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Chapter 4 of Title 26 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to pharmacists and pharmacies, is amended by revising Code Section 26-4-116.1, relating to licensed health practitioners authorized to prescribe auto-injectable epinephrine for schools and pharmacists authorized to fill prescriptions, as follows:
"26-4-116.1. (a) A physician licensed to practice medicine in this state, an advanced practice registered nurse acting pursuant to the authority of Code Section 43-34-25, and a physician assistant acting pursuant to the authority of subsection (e.1) of Code Section 43-34-103 may prescribe auto-injectable epinephrine in the name of a public or private school for use in accordance with Code Section 20-2-776.2 and in accordance with protocol specified by such physician, advanced practice registered nurse, or physician assistant.

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(b) A physician licensed to practice medicine in this state, an advanced practice registered nurse acting pursuant to the authority of Code Section 43-34-25, and a physician assistant acting pursuant to the authority of subsection (e.l) of Code Section 43-34-103 may prescribe auto-injectable epinephrine in the name of an authorized entity in accordance with Code Section 31-1-14. (c) A pharmacist may dispense auto-injectable epinephrine pursuant to a prescription issued in accordance with subsection (a) or (b) of this Code section."

SECTION 1A. Said chapter is further amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"26-4-116.3. (a) A physician licensed to practice medicine in this state, an advanced practice registered nurse acting pursuant to the authority of Code Section 43-34-25, and a physician assistant acting pursuant to the authority of subsection (e.1) of Code Section 43-34-103 may prescribe levalbuterol sulfate or albuterol sulfate in the name of a public or private school for use in accordance with Code Section 20-2-776.3. (b) A pharmacist may dispense levalbuterol sulfate or albuterol sulfate pursuant to a prescription issued in accordance with subsection (a) of this Code section."

SECTION 2. Chapter 1 of Title 31 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to health generally, is amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"31-1-14. (a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) 'Authorized entity' means any entity or organization, other than a school subject to Code Section 20-2-776.2, in connection with or at which allergens capable of causing anaphylaxis may be present, as identified by the department. The department shall, through rule or other guidance, identify the types of entities and organizations that are considered authorized entities no later than January 1, 2016, and shall review and update such rule or guidance at least annually thereafter. For purposes of illustration only, such entities may include, but are not limited to, restaurants, recreation camps, youth sports leagues, theme parks and resorts, and sports arenas. (2) 'Auto-injectable epinephrine' means a single-use device used for the automatic injection of a premeasured dose of epinephrine into the human body. (3) 'Health care practitioner' means a physician licensed to practice medicine in this state, an advanced practice registered nurse acting pursuant to the authority of Code Section 43-34-25, and a physician assistant acting pursuant to the authority of subsection (e.l) of Code Section 43-34-103. (b) An authorized entity may acquire and stock a supply of auto-injectable epinephrine pursuant to a prescription issued in accordance with Code Section 26-4-116.1. Such auto-injectable epinephrine shall be stored in a location readily accessible in an emergency

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and in accordance with the auto-injectable epinephrine's instructions for use and any additional requirements that may be established by the department. An authorized entity shall designate employees or agents who have completed the training required by subsection (d) of this Code section to be responsible for the storage, maintenance, control, and general oversight of auto-injectable epinephrine acquired by the authorized entity. (c) An employee or agent of an authorized entity, or any other individual, who has completed the training required by subsection (d) of this Code section may use auto-injectable epinephrine prescribed pursuant to Code Section 26-4-116.1 to:
(1) Provide auto-injectable epinephrine to any individual who the employee, agent, or other individual believes in good faith is experiencing anaphylaxis, or to the parent, guardian, or caregiver of such individual, for immediate administration, regardless of whether the individual has a prescription for auto-injectable epinephrine or has previously been diagnosed with an allergy; and (2) Administer auto-injectable epinephrine to any individual who the employee, agent, or other individual believes in good faith is experiencing anaphylaxis, regardless of whether the individual has a prescription for auto-injectable epinephrine or has previously been diagnosed with an allergy. (d) An employee, agent, or other individual described in subsection (b) or (c) of this Code section shall complete an anaphylaxis training program and repeat such training at least every two years following completion of the initial anaphylaxis training program. Such training shall be conducted by a nationally recognized organization experienced in training laypersons in emergency health treatment or an entity or individual approved by the department. Training may be conducted online or in person and, at a minimum, shall cover: (1) How to recognize signs and symptoms of severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis; (2) Standards and procedures for the storage and administration of auto-injectable epinephrine; and (3) Emergency follow-up procedures. (e) An authorized entity that possesses and makes available auto-injectable epinephrine and its employees, agents, and other individuals; a health care practitioner that prescribes or dispenses auto-injectable epinephrine to an authorized entity; a pharmacist or health care practitioner that dispenses auto-injectable epinephrine to an authorized entity; and an individual or entity that conducts the training described in subsection (d) of this Code section shall not be liable for any injuries or related damages that result from any act or omission taken pursuant to this Code section; provided, however, that this immunity does not apply to acts or omissions constituting willful or wanton misconduct. The administration of auto-injectable epinephrine in accordance with this Code section is not the practice of medicine or any other profession that otherwise requires licensure. This Code section does not eliminate, limit, or reduce any other immunity or defense that may be available under state law, including that provided under Code Section 51-1-29. An

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entity located in this state shall not be liable for any injuries or related damages that result from the provision or administration of auto-injectable epinephrine outside of this state if the entity:
(1) Would not have been liable for such injuries or related damages had the provision or administration occurred within this state; or (2) Is not liable for such injuries or related damages under the law of the state in which such provision or administration occurred. (f) An authorized entity that possesses and makes available auto-injectable epinephrine shall submit to the department, on a form developed by the department, a report including each incident on the authorized entity's premises that involves the administration of auto-injectable epinephrine pursuant to subsection (c) of this Code section and any other information deemed relevant by the department. The department shall annually publish a report that summarizes and analyzes all reports submitted to it under this subsection. (g) The department shall establish requirements regarding the storage, maintenance, control, and oversight of the auto-injectable epinephrine, including but not limited to any temperature limitations and expiration of such auto-injectable epinephrine."

SECTION 2A. Part 3 of Article 16 of Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to student health in elementary and secondary education, is amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"20-2-776.3. (a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) 'Levalbuterol sulfate' means an orally inhaled medication that contains a premeasured single dose of levalbuterol sulfate or albuterol sulfate delivered by a nebulizer or compressor device or by a pressurized metered dose inhaler used to treat perceived respiratory distress including, but not limited to, wheezing, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing. (2) 'Licensed practitioner' means a physician licensed to practice medicine in this state, an advanced practice registered nurse acting pursuant to the authority of Code Section 43-34-25, and a physician assistant acting pursuant to the authority of subsection (e.1) of Code Section 43-34-103. (b) A public or private school in this state may acquire and stock a supply of levalbuterol sulfate pursuant to a prescription issued in accordance with Code Section 26-4-116.3. A public or private school may designate an employee or agent trained in the possession and administration of levalbuterol sulfate to be responsible for the storage, maintenance, and distribution of the levalbuterol sulfate stocked by the school. (c) Any school employee or agent of a public or private school who has completed training or received information pursuant to subsection (c) of Code Section 20-2-776.4 in recognizing the symptoms of respiratory distress and the correct method of administering the levalbuterol sulfate may:

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(1) Provide levalbuterol sulfate to any student such employee or agent believes in good faith is experiencing a perceived respiratory distress for immediate self-administration; or (2) Administer levalbuterol sulfate to any student such employee or agent believes in good faith is experiencing a perceived respiratory distress, regardless of whether the student has a prescription for levalbuterol sulfate. (d) A public or private school may enter into arrangements with manufacturers of approved levalbuterol sulfate or third-party suppliers of levalbuterol sulfate to obtain the products free of charge or at fair market or reduced prices. (e) No later than July 1, 2015, the State Board of Education, in consultation with the Department of Public Health, shall adopt regulations as necessary to implement the provisions of this Code section. (f)(1) Any school personnel who in good faith administers or chooses not to administer levalbuterol sulfate to a student pursuant to this Code section shall be immune from civil liability for any act or omission to act related to the administration of levalbuterol sulfate, except that such immunity shall not apply to an act of willful or wanton misconduct. (2) Any licensed practitioner who prescribes levalbuterol sulfate pursuant to Code Section 26-4-116.3 for use by a school in accordance with this Code section shall be immune from civil liability for any act or omission to act related to the administration of such levalbuterol sulfate, except that such immunity shall not apply to an act of willful or wanton misconduct.

20-2-776.4. (a) As used in this Code section, the term 'levalbuterol sulfate' means an orally inhaled medication that contains a premeasured single dose of levalbuterol sulfate or albuterol sulfate delivered by a nebulizer or compressor device or by a pressurized metered dose inhaler used to treat perceived respiratory distress including, but not limited to, wheezing, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing. (b) Each local board of education shall adopt a policy authorizing school personnel to administer levalbuterol sulfate, if available, to a student upon the occurrence of perceived respiratory distress by the student, whether or not such student has a prescription for levalbuterol sulfate. (c) Each local board of education shall provide information to school personnel on how to recognize the symptoms of respiratory distress and the correct method of administering the levalbuterol sulfate.

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(d) Any school personnel who in good faith administers or chooses not to administer levalbuterol sulfate to a student pursuant to this Code section shall be immune from civil liability for any act or omission to act related to the administration of levalbuterol sulfate, except that such immunity shall not apply to an act of willful or wanton misconduct."

SECTION 3. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved May 5, 2015.

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ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES REGULATION AND LICENSING; LIMITATIONS ON QUANTITIES AND TYPES OF BEVERAGES PROVIDED BY MANUFACTURERS.

No. 57 (Senate Bill No. 63).

AN ACT

To amend Title 3 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to alcoholic beverages, so as to provide for manufacturers of certain alcoholic beverages to provide to the public certain quantities and types of such beverages produced by such manufacturer for consumption on and off the premises; to change and provide for certain definitions; to provide for the powers and duties of the state revenue commissioner as to the denial, suspension, or cancellations of permits; to change certain provisions related to penalties; to change certain provisions relating to the number of samples of distilled spirits that may be provided to a person in a calendar day; to provide for the payment of certain taxes by distillers; to provide for the issuance of tour permits to distiller; to provide for the conditions under which distillery tours may be conducted; to allow certain merchandise to be offered to the public by a distiller; to provide for rules and regulations by the Department of Revenue; to provide for a brewpub to sell or otherwise provide certain types and quantities of malt beverages manufactured on its premises for consumption on the premises; to allow brewers to provide limited amounts of malt beverages directly to the public as a part of educational and promotional brewery tours; to authorize a brewer to provide free souvenirs; to change certain provisions related to the provision of tours by brewers; to provide for the payment of certain taxes by brewers; to provide for the conditions under which brewery tours may be conducted; to allow certain merchandise to be offered to the public by a brewer; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

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BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Title 3 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to alcoholic beverages, is amended by revising paragraph (3) of Code Section 3-1-2, relating to definitions, as follows:
"(3) 'Brewpub' means any eating establishment in which malt beverages are manufactured, subject to the barrel production limitation prescribed in Code Section 3-5-36. As used in this paragraph, the term 'eating establishment' means an establishment which is licensed to sell distilled spirits, malt beverages, or wines and which derives at least 50 percent of its total annual gross food and beverage sales from the sale of prepared meals or food; provided, however, that when determining the total annual gross food and beverage sales, barrels of malt beverages sold to licensed wholesale dealers, as authorized pursuant to subparagraph (D) of paragraph (2) of Code Section 3-5-36, or to the public for consumption off the premises, as authorized pursuant to subparagraph (D) of paragraph (2) and paragraph (4) of Code Section 3-5-36, shall not be used."

SECTION 2. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 3-2-3, relating to the powers and duties of commissioner as to denial, suspension, or cancellation of licenses and promulgation of rules and regulations as to conversion of standards of measurement to English system and labeling of distilled spirits, as follows:
"3-2-3. In addition to his or her other duties and responsibilities to administer this title, the commissioner may:
(1) Deny, suspend, or cancel any license or permit required under this title if: (A) The license application is not filed in good faith or is filed by some person as a subterfuge for any other person; (B) Any applicant for a license or permit or any licensee or permit holder under this title willfully fails to comply with any provisions of this title or with rules and regulations adopted by the commissioner; or (C) Any person to whom a license or permit has been issued is no longer engaged in the dealing of alcoholic beverages or no longer qualifies as a licensee or permit holder under this title.
Before any denial, suspension, or cancellation of a license or permit granted pursuant to this title, the applicant, licensee, or permit holder shall be afforded a hearing in the manner and subject to the conditions and procedures established by this chapter and the commissioner. The commissioner shall notify an applicant, licensee, or permit holder in writing of the denial, suspension, or cancellation by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery to the last known address of the applicant, licensee, or permit holder appearing in the commissioner's files or by personal service upon the applicant,

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licensee, or permit holder by an authorized agent of the commissioner. Upon cancellation of a license or permit for cause under this paragraph, there shall be no renewal or reissuance of the canceled license or permit for a period of two years from the date of cancellation; (2) In the event that the license of any person is canceled by the commissioner under the authority of this title, hold the bonds of the person for a period of three years against any liabilities accruing as a result of the business of the person whose license is canceled. In no event shall the surrender of any bond release any liability; (3) Enter into agreements with appropriate authorities of other states who enforce the alcoholic beverage laws thereof, to exchange information relative to the manufacture, receipt, sale, use, or transportation of alcoholic beverages; (4) Promulgate rules and regulations which he or she deems necessary for the conversion from the metric system of measurement to the equivalent English measurement in United States gallons and subdivisions of gallons and shall compute all tax rates at the equivalent English measurement; and (5) Promulgate rules and regulations, not inconsistent with federal laws or regulations, requiring informative labeling of all distilled spirits offered for sale in this state."

SECTION 3. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 3-3-46, relating to penalties, as follows:
"3-3-46. (a) The violation of any provision of this article by the operator of any licensed premises or any premises for which a permit has been issued shall constitute grounds for the suspension and revocation of any and all alcoholic beverage licenses and permits issued to such operator. (b) Any person who violates any provision of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature."

SECTION 4. Said title is further amended by revising subsection (e) of Code Section 3-4-24, relating to issuance to fruit growers of license to manufacture distilled spirits, storage and disposition, limitations upon manufacture and sale, issuance of manufacturer's or distiller's license in certain counties or municipalities, educational and promotional tours, and tasting room limitations for certain licensees, as follows:
"(e) A manufacturer or distiller issued a license pursuant to this Code section may provide educational and promotional tours upon the issuance of a permit by the commissioner pursuant to Code Section 3-4-180."

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SECTION 5. Said title is further amended by revising subsection (e) of Code Section 3-4-24.1, relating to distiller's license authorizing manufacture of distilled spirits from agricultural products other than perishable fruits, storage, and educational and promotional tours, as follows:
"(e) A manufacturer or distiller issued a license pursuant to this Code section may provide educational and promotional tours upon the issuance of a permit by the commissioner pursuant to Code Section 3-4-180."

SECTION 6. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 3-4-180, relating to tastings of distilled spirits, definitions, and general provisions, as follows:
"3-4-180. (a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) 'Distillery tour' means guided access to the manufacturing portion of the licensed premises of a distiller. (2) 'Free souvenir' means a complimentary sealed container of distilled spirits. (3) 'Free tastings' means the provision of complimentary samples of distilled spirits to the public for consumption on the premises of a distiller. (4) 'Sample' means one-half of one ounce of distilled spirits. (b)(1) A distiller licensed in this state may apply to the commissioner for an annual permit authorizing such distiller to conduct educational and promotional distillery tours on the licensed premises of the distiller, free of charge or for a fee, which may include:
(A) Free souvenirs; (B) Free food; and (C) Free tastings. (2)(A) No distiller providing free souvenirs pursuant to this subsection shall provide, directly or indirectly, more than one free souvenir to the same individual in one calendar day. Each free souvenir shall be a single bottle of distilled spirits, containing not more than 750 milliliters of distilled spirits manufactured by the distiller on the licensed premises. (B) No distiller conducting free tastings under this Code section shall provide, directly or indirectly, more than the three samples to a person in one calendar day. Free tastings shall consist of distilled spirits manufactured by the distiller on the licensed premises. Free tastings shall be held in a designated tasting area on the premises of the distiller, and all open bottles containing distilled spirits shall be visible at all times. (3) Free souvenirs shall only be provided after the distillery tour and only to individuals who have attended a distillery tour on the same calendar day. Free tastings and free food may be provided before, during, and after a distillery tour. An individual shall be 21 years of age or older to receive a free souvenir or free tasting. (4) The distiller shall pay all excise and use taxes on any samples and all use taxes on any free souvenirs provided pursuant to this subsection.

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(c) A distiller may provide to the public free of charge or for a fee merchandise such as shirts, glasses, and other promotional items which do not contain alcoholic beverages. (d) If a distiller chooses to charge a fee for a distillery tour pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section, such distiller may charge varying fees for the distillery tours, provided that such fees are charged prior to the beginning of such tour. The provision of distilled spirits by a distiller as part of a distillery tour pursuant to this Code section shall not be deemed a retail sale of alcoholic beverages. (e) No alcoholic beverages shall be sold on any licensed premises for which a permit has been issued pursuant to this Code section. (f) The department shall promulgate and enforce such rules and regulations as it may deem necessary to effectuate the provisions of this Code section."

SECTION 7. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 3-5-36, relating to brewpubs and the limited exception to the prohibition against ownership and employment interests between manufacture, distribution, and sale of malt beverages, as follows:
"3-5-36. A limited exception to the provisions of Code Sections 3-5-29 through 3-5-32 providing a three-tier system for the distribution and sale of malt beverages shall exist for owners and operators of brewpubs, subject to the following terms and conditions:
(1) No individual shall be permitted to own or operate a brewpub without first obtaining a proper license from the commissioner in the manner provided in this title, and each brewpub licensee shall comply with all other applicable state and local license requirements; (2) A brewpub license authorizes the holder of such license to:
(A) Manufacture on the licensed premises not more than 10,000 barrels of malt beverages in a calendar year solely for retail sale; (B) Operate an eating establishment that shall be the sole retail outlet for such malt beverages; (C) Operate an eating establishment that may offer for sale for consumption on the premises any other alcoholic beverages produced by other manufacturers which are authorized for retail sale under this title, including wine, distilled spirits, and malt beverages, provided that such alcoholic beverages are purchased from a licensed wholesaler; and, provided, further, that in addition to draft beer manufactured on the premises, each brewpub licensee shall offer for sale commercially available canned or bottled malt beverages from licensed wholesalers; and (D) Notwithstanding any other provision of this paragraph, sell up to a maximum of 5,000 barrels annually of such malt beverages to licensed wholesale dealers. Under no circumstances shall such malt beverages be sold by a brewpub licensee to any person holding a retail consumption dealer's license or a retailer's license for the purpose of resale;

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(3) Possession of a brewpub license shall not prevent the holder of such license from obtaining a retail consumption dealer's license or a retailer's license for the same premises; (4) A brewpub license does not authorize the holder of such license to sell alcoholic beverages by the package for consumption off the premises; (5) The commissioner shall not issue a brewpub license if the premises to be licensed is located in a county or municipality in which the sale of alcoholic beverages is prohibited; and (6) A brewpub licensee shall:
(A) Pay all state and local license fees and excise taxes applicable to individuals licensed by this state as manufacturers, retailers, and, where applicable, wholesalers under this title; (B) At the request of the commissioner, provide an irrevocable letter of credit or bond in favor of the State of Georgia in an amount sufficient to guarantee such brewpub licensee's estimated tax liability for the first year of operation; and (C) Measure malt beverages manufactured on the premises and otherwise comply with applicable rules and regulations respecting excise and enforcement tax determination of such malt beverages as required by this title."

SECTION 8. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 3-5-38, relating to free tasting of malt beverages on brewery premises during educational and promotional tours, as follows:
"3-5-38. (a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) 'Brewery tour' means guided access to the manufacturing portion of the licensed premises of a brewer. (2) 'Free souvenir' means a complimentary sealed container or containers of malt beverages with a total liquid capacity that does not exceed 72 ounces. (3) 'Free tastings' means the provision of complimentary samples of malt beverages to the public for consumption on the premises of a brewer. (4) 'Sample' means a quantity of malt beverages manufactured by the brewer. (b)(1) A brewer licensed in this state may apply to the commissioner for an annual permit authorizing such brewer to conduct educational and promotional brewery tours on the licensed premises of the brewer, free of charge or for a fee, which may include:
(A) Free souvenirs; (B) Free food; and (C) Free tastings on the licensed premises of the brewery of malt beverages manufactured by such brewer. (2) No brewer providing free souvenirs pursuant to this subsection shall provide, directly or indirectly, more than one free souvenir to the same individual in one calendar day.

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Each free souvenir shall consist of malt beverages manufactured by the brewer on the licensed premises. (3) No brewer conducting free tastings pursuant to this subsection shall provide, directly or indirectly, to the same individual in one calendar day more than 36 ounces of malt beverages for consumption on the premises. Free tastings shall be held in a designated tasting area on the licensed premises of the brewer and all open bottles containing malt beverages shall be visible at all times. (4) Free souvenirs shall only be provided after the brewery tour and only to individuals who have attended a brewery tour on the same calendar day. Free tastings and free food may be provided before, during, and after a brewery tour. An individual shall be 21 years of age or older to receive a free souvenir or free tasting. (5) The brewer shall pay all excise and use taxes on any samples and all use taxes on any free souvenirs provided pursuant to this subsection. (c) A brewer may provide to the public free of charge or for a fee merchandise such as shirts, glasses, and other promotional items which do not contain alcoholic beverages. (d) If a brewer chooses to charge a fee for a brewery tour pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section, such brewer may charge varying fees for the brewery tours, provided that such fees are charged prior to the beginning of such tour. The provision of malt beverages by a brewer as part of a brewery tour pursuant to this Code section shall not be deemed a retail sale of alcoholic beverages. (e) No alcoholic beverages shall be sold on any licensed premises for which a permit has been issued pursuant to this Code section. (f) The department shall promulgate and enforce such rules and regulations as it may deem necessary to effectuate the provisions of this Code section."

SECTION 9. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved May 5, 2015.

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MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC PROCEDURE FOR PASSING SANITATION VEHICLES.

No. 58 (House Bill No. 206).

AN ACT

To amend Article 1 of Chapter 6 of Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions relative to uniform rules of the road, so as to provide for

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procedure for passing sanitation vehicles; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Article 1 of Chapter 6 of Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions relative to uniform rules of the road, is amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"40-6-16.1. (a) As used in this Code section, the term 'sanitation worker' means an individual engaged in the collection and transport of residential or commercial solid waste and recyclables as authorized by a county or municipal governing authority. (b) The operator of a motor vehicle approaching a vehicle with active sanitation workers that is displaying flashing yellow, amber, white, or red lights shall approach the vehicle with due caution and shall, absent any other direction by a peace officer, proceed as follows:
(1) Make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the vehicle if possible in the existing safety and traffic conditions; or (2) If a lane change under paragraph (1) of this subsection would be impossible, prohibited by law, or unsafe, reduce the speed of the motor vehicle to a reasonable and proper speed for the existing road and traffic conditions, which speed shall be at least ten miles per hour less than the posted speed limit or 25 miles per hour, whichever is more, and be prepared to stop. (c) Violation of subsection (b) of this Code section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $250.00."

SECTION 2. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved May 5, 2015.

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PROFESSIONS AND BUSINESSES STATE GOVERNMENT STATE BOARD OF ACCOUNTANCY; POWERS AND ACTIONS; FOREIGN REGISTERED ACCOUNTANTS; STANDARD OF PROOF; CONFIDENTIALITY; ADMINISTRATIVELY ATTACH TO STATE ACCOUNTING OFFICE.

No. 59 (House Bill No. 246).

AN ACT

To amend Chapter 3 of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to accountants, so as to provide for powers and actions granted to other licensing boards; to revise and add definitions; to provide that the State Board of Accountancy is administratively attached to the State Accounting Office; to change provisions relating to foreign registered accountants; to change the standard of proof; to provide for confidentiality of certain information; to amend Chapter 5B of Title 50 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the State Accounting Office, so as to remove the State Board of Accountancy as a division of the State Accounting office; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Chapter 3 of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to accountants, is amended by revising Code Section 43-3-2, relating to definitions, as follows:
"43-3-2. As used in this chapter, the term:
(1) 'Any other state' means the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, Guam, or a state other than Georgia. (2) 'Attest' means providing the following public accountancy services:
(A) Any audit to be performed in accordance with the professional standards adopted by the board's rules or regulations; (B) Any review of a financial statement to be performed in accordance with the professional standards adopted by the board's rules or regulations; (C) Any examination of prospective financial information to be performed in accordance with the professional standards for attestation engagements adopted by the board's rules or regulations; (D) Any engagement to be performed in accordance with the professional standards related to public companies adopted by the board's rules or regulations; and

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(E) Any examination, review, or agreed upon procedures engagement to be performed in accordance with the professional standards adopted by the board's rules or regulations, other than an examination of prospective financial information as described in subparagraph (C) of this paragraph. (3) 'Board' means the Georgia State Board of Accountancy. (4) 'Compilation' means providing a service to be performed in accordance with professional standards adopted by the board's rules or regulations that presents information in the form of financial statements that are the representation of management or owners without undertaking to express any assurance as to the statements. (5) 'CPA' means certified public accountant. (6) 'Executive director' means the individual appointed by the board to serve as the chief executive officer of the board. (7) 'Firm' means any proprietorship, partnership, corporation, association, or any other legal entity which is practicing public accountancy. (8) 'Peer review' means a study, appraisal, or review of one or more aspects of the professional work of a licensee that provides attest or compilation services, by a licensee who is not affiliated with the individual or firm being reviewed. (9) 'Practice of public accountancy' or 'practicing public accountancy' means offering to perform or performing attest or compilation services or while holding oneself out in such manner as to state or imply that one is a licensee, offering to perform or performing for an individual or entity services involving: (A) The use of accounting or auditing skills; (B) Management advisory or other consulting services; (C) The preparation of tax returns; or (D) The furnishing of advice on tax matters. (10) 'Report' when used with reference to any attest or compilation service, means an opinion, report, or other form of language that states or implies assurance as to the reliability of the attested information or compiled financial statements and that also includes or is accompanied by any statement or implication that the person or firm issuing it has special knowledge or competence in accounting or auditing. Such a statement or implication of special knowledge or competence may arise from use by the issuer of the report of names or titles indicating that the person or firm is an accountant or auditor, or from the language of the report itself. Such term includes any form of language which disclaims an opinion when such form of language is conventionally understood to imply any positive assurance as to the reliability of the attested information or compiled financial statements referred to or special competence on the part of the person or firm issuing such language; and it includes any other form of language that is conventionally understood to imply such assurance or such special knowledge or competence. (11) 'State Accounting Office' means the office created under Code Section 50-5B-1."

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SECTION 2. Said chapter is further amended by revising subsections (c) and (d) of Code Section 43-3-3, relating to the powers and duties of the State Board of Accountancy, as follows:
"(c) On and after July 1, 2014, the board shall be an attached agency for administrative purposes only to the State Accounting Office and shall not be considered a division as such term is defined in Code Section 43-1-1. The board shall neither be under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of State nor be under the direction of the director of the Professional Licensing Boards Division of the Secretary of State. The board shall not be subject to the provisions of Chapter 1 of this title. (d) The board shall fix the compensation of an executive director. The executive director shall serve at the pleasure of the board. The executive director shall have those duties and powers prescribed by the board as further set forth in Code Section 43-3-6."

SECTION 3. Said chapter is further amended by adding a new subsection to Code Section 43-3-5, relating to chairperson and secretary of the board, meetings, seal, and records of proceedings, to read as follows:
"(g) The board may appoint such committees or persons, who need not be members of the board, to advise or assist it in administration, investigation, and enforcement of the provisions of this chapter as the board deems necessary and shall be authorized to compensate any such persons or members of committees who are not members of the board in such amounts as it shall determine to be reasonable."

SECTION 4. Said chapter is further amended by revising subsections (a) and (b) of Code Section 43-3-6, relating to the duties of the executive director, as follows:
"(a) The executive director shall: (1) Be a full-time employee of the State Accounting Office and shall serve as the secretary of the board. He or she shall be an individual of good moral character and shall possess such qualifications as the board may require; (2) Take an oath to discharge faithfully the duties of the office; (3) Keep all records related to the board; (4) With the approval of the board, employ and fix the compensation of individuals as deemed necessary to assist in the duties of the board. If an employee will serve as an investigator, he or she shall have a level of experience or knowledge of the area of practice needing to be examined or investigated, including but not limited to accounting, auditing, and taxes, that is acceptable to the board; (5) Schedule the time and location for all examinations and hearings; (6) Maintain a schedule of all meetings and hearings of the board that shall be available for public review; and

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(7) Make a report to the Governor on or before the second Tuesday in January of each year covering the activities of the board for the previous calendar year, which shall be made available to any member of the General Assembly upon request. (b) With the approval of the board, the executive director may contract with any person or agency who is not an employee of the State Accounting Office to implement any provision of this chapter and to fulfill the responsibilities of the board."

SECTION 5. Said chapter is further amended by revising subsection (c) of Code Section 43-3-9, relating to requirements for certificate of certified public accountants, as follows:
"(c) If the board determines that an applicant lacks good moral character, the board may refuse to certify an applicant when it finds by a preponderance of the evidence that there is a substantial connection between the lack of good moral character of the applicant and the potential professional responsibilities of such applicant. When an applicant is found to be unqualified for a certificate because of lack of good moral character, the board shall furnish the applicant a statement containing the findings of the board and a complete listing of the evidence upon which the determination was based, and the applicant may request a hearing on that determination."

SECTION 6. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 43-3-15, relating to registration as foreign accountants, as follows:
"43-3-15. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, on and after July 1, 2015, each foreign registered accountant who holds a license from the board and who is in good standing shall be certificated as a certified public accountant. On and after July 1, 2015, the board shall not consider any application for a foreign registered accountant."

SECTION 7. Said chapter is further amended by revising paragraphs (6) and (7) of subsection (a) and paragraph (2) of subsection (b) of Code Section 43-3-16, relating to licensure requirements for firms practicing public accountancy, as follows:
"(6) Any holder of a license in this state and any individual who qualifies for substantial equivalency practice privileges under subsection (b) of Code Section 43-3-18 who is responsible for supervising attest or compilation services and signs or authorizes someone to sign the accountant's report on behalf of the firm shall meet the competency requirements set by the board for such services; and (7) Any holder of a license in this state and any individual who qualifies for substantial equivalency practice privileges under subsection (b) of Code Section 43-3-18 who signs or authorizes someone to sign the accountant's report on behalf of the firm shall meet the competency requirements set by the board."

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"(2) A firm that does not have a physical office in this state may perform services described in subparagraphs (B) and (E) of paragraph (2) or paragraph (4) of Code Section 43-3-2 for a client that specifies a location in this state to which any service described in subparagraph (A), (C), or (D) of paragraph (2) of Code Section 43-3-2 is directed and may use the title 'CPA' or 'CPA firm' without being licensed as provided in this Code section only if:
(A) It meets the qualifications described in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section; (B) It complies with the board's rules or regulations regarding peer review; and (C) It performs such services through an individual with substantial equivalency practice privileges under subsection (b) of Code Section 43-3-18."

SECTION 8. Said chapter is further amended by revising subsection (a) of Code Section 43-3-18, relating to issuance of licence to practice accountancy, as follows:
"(a) A license to engage in the practice of public accountancy in this state shall be issued by the executive director, at the direction of the board, to each individual who is certificated as a certified public accountant under Code Section 43-3-9 or 43-3-12 or who shall have furnished evidence, satisfactory to the board, of compliance with the continuing professional education requirements of Code Section 43-3-19, and to firms licensed under Code Section 43-3-16, provided that such firms are maintained and licensed as required under Code Sections 43-3-16 and 43-3-17. There shall be a biennial license fee in an amount to be determined by the board."

SECTION 9. Said chapter is further amended by revising subsection (a) of Code Section 43-3-19, relating to continuing professional education requirements, as follows:
"(a) When an individual for one year or more has been certificated as a certified public accountant and has maintained licensure under such status, his or her application for renewal of a license shall be accompanied or supported by such evidence as the board shall prescribe of satisfactory completion of continuing professional education as provided in this Code section, provided that the board may relax or suspend requirements of continuing professional education in instances where an applicant's health requires it or in instances of individual hardship."

SECTION 10. Said chapter is further amended by revising subsection (a) and adding two new subsections to Code Section 43-3-20, relating to investigations, to read as follows:
"(a) The executive director shall be vested with the power and authority to make, or cause to be made through employees or agents of the board, such investigations as the board may deem necessary or proper for the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter. Any person

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properly conducting an investigation on behalf of the board shall have access to and may examine any writing, document, electronically stored information, or other material relating to the fitness of any licensee or applicant. The executive director or his or her appointed representative may issue subpoenas to compel access to any writing, document, electronically stored information, or other material upon a determination that reasonable grounds exist for the belief that a violation of this chapter or any other law relating to the practice of public accountancy may have occurred." "(j) Regulation by the board under this chapter shall not exempt the practice of public accountancy from regulation pursuant to any other applicable law, including but not limited to Part 2 of Article 15 of Chapter 1 of Title 10, the 'Fair Business Practices Act of 1975.' (k) For purposes of this Code section, the board may obtain, through subpoena by the executive director, upon reasonable grounds, any and all records relating to the mental or physical condition of a licensee or applicant, and such records shall be admissible in any hearing before the board."

SECTION 11. Said chapter is further amended by revising subsection (a) of Code Section 43-3-21, relating to revocation, suspension, or refusal to renew license, as follows:
"(a) The board may refuse to grant a license to an applicant, revoke any license issued by the board, discipline a licensee, or forbid an individual from exercising the substantial equivalency practice privileges for any one or any combination of the following causes:
(1) Failed to demonstrate the qualifications or standards for a license contained in this chapter, or under the laws, rules, or regulations under which licensure is sought or held; it shall be incumbent upon the applicant to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the board that he or she meets all the requirements for the issuance of a license, and, if the board is not satisfied as to the applicant's qualifications or standards, it may deny a license without a prior hearing; provided, however, that the applicant shall be allowed to appear before the board if he or she so desires; (2) Knowingly made misleading, deceptive, untrue, or fraudulent representations in the practice of public accountancy or on any document connected therewith; practiced fraud or deceit or intentionally made any false statement in obtaining a license to practice public accountancy; made a false statement or deceptive registration with the board; or engaged in dishonesty, fraud, or gross negligence in the practice of public accountancy; (3) Had been convicted of any felony or crime involving moral turpitude in the courts of this state, any other state, a territory, or a country or in the courts of the United States. As used in this paragraph, the term:
(A) 'Conviction' means and includes a finding or verdict of guilty or a plea of guilty, regardless of whether an appeal of the conviction has been sought; (B) 'Felony' means and includes any offense which, if committed in this state, would be deemed a felony, without regard to its designation elsewhere.

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(4)(A) Had been arrested, charged, and sentenced for the commission of any felony or crime involving moral turpitude when:
(i) First offender treatment without adjudication of guilt pursuant to the charge was granted; or (ii) An adjudication of guilt or sentence was otherwise withheld or not entered on the charge, except with respect to a plea of nolo contendere. (B) An order entered pursuant to the provisions of Article 3 of Chapter 8 of Title 42 or other first offender treatment shall be conclusive evidence of arrest and sentencing for such crime. (C) As used in this paragraph, the term 'felony' shall include any offense which, if committed in this state, would be deemed a felony, without regard to its designation elsewhere; (5) Had his or her license to practice public accountancy revoked, suspended, or annulled by any lawful licensing authority other than the board; had other disciplinary action taken against him or her by any such lawful licensing authority other than the board; was denied a license by any such lawful licensing authority other than the board, pursuant to disciplinary proceedings; or was refused the renewal of a license by any such lawful licensing authority other than the board, pursuant to disciplinary proceedings; (6) Engaged in any unprofessional, immoral, unethical, deceptive, or deleterious conduct or practice harmful to the public, which conduct or practice materially affects the fitness of the licensee or applicant to practice public accountancy under this chapter, or of a nature likely to jeopardize the interest of the public, which conduct or practice need not result in actual injury to any person or be directly related to the practice of public accountancy but shows that the licensee or applicant has committed any act or omission which is indicative of bad moral character or untrustworthiness; unprofessional conduct shall also include any departure from, or the failure to conform to, the minimal reasonable standards of acceptable and prevailing practice of public accountancy; (7) Knowingly performed any act which in any way aids, assists, procures, advises, or encourages any unlicensed person or any licensee whose license has been suspended or revoked by the board to practice public accountancy or to practice outside the scope of any disciplinary limitation placed upon the licensee by the board; (8) Violated a law or any rule or regulation of the board, this state, any other state, the United States, or any other lawful authority, without regard to whether the violation is criminally punishable, which law or rule or regulation relates to or in part regulates the practice of public accountancy, when the licensee or applicant knows or should have known that such action is violative of such law or rule; or violated a lawful order of the board previously entered by the board in a disciplinary hearing, consent decree, or license reinstatement; (9) Had been adjudged mentally incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction within or outside this state; any such adjudication shall automatically suspend the license of any

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such person and shall prevent the reissuance or renewal of any license so suspended so long as the adjudication of incompetence is in effect; (10) Displayed an inability to practice under this chapter with reasonable skill and safety to the public or has become unable to practice public accountancy with reasonable skill and safety to the public by reason of illness or use of alcohol, drugs, narcotics, chemicals, or any other type of material; (11) Failed to comply with an order for child support pursuant to Code Section 19-11-9.3; it shall be incumbent upon the applicant or licensee to supply a notice of release to the board from the child support agency within the Department of Human Services indicating that the applicant or licensee has come into compliance with an order for child support so that a license may be issued or granted if all other conditions for licensure are met; (12) Suspension or revocation of the right to practice any profession before any state or federal agency; (13) Failure to furnish evidence of satisfaction of requirements of continuing professional education as required by the board pursuant to Code Section 43-3-19 or to meet any conditions with respect to continuing professional education which the board may have ordered under Code Section 43-3-19; (14) Conduct which discredits the accounting profession; or (15) Failure of such holder's firm to renew its license under Code Sections 43-3-16 and 43-3-17 or the failure of such firm to comply with any of the provisions of Code Section 43-3-17."

SECTION 12. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 43-3-24, relating to sanctions, as follows:
"43-3-24. (a) After notice and hearing as provided in Code Section 43-3-23, the board may impose any one or more of the following sanctions in addition to the actions described in Code Sections 43-3-21, 43-3-22, and 43-3-25 for any of the causes described in Code Sections 43-3-21, 43-3-22, and 43-3-25:
(1) Refuse to grant or renew a license to an applicant; (2) Administer a public or private reprimand, provided that a private reprimand shall not be disclosed to any person except the licensee; (3) Suspend any license for a definite period or for an indefinite period in connection with any condition that may be attached to the restoration of such license; (4) Limit or restrict any license as the board deems necessary for the protection of the public; (5) Revoke any license; (6) Condition the penalty upon, or withhold formal disposition pending, the applicant's or licensee's submission to such care, counseling, or treatment as the board may direct;

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(7) Impose on a licensee or applicant fees or charges in an amount necessary to reimburse the board for the administrative and legal costs incurred by the board in conducting an investigative or disciplinary proceeding; (8) Require the licensee to complete successfully the specific courses or types of continuing professional education as specified by the board in accordance with Code Section 43-3-19 or pass special examinations as specified by the board, all at the cost and expense of the licensee; (9) Require the licensee or firm holding a license to submit to a preissuance review prior to the issuance of any future reports, in a manner and for a duration as set by the board by a reviewer selected by the board at the licensee's cost and expense; (10) Require a licensee or firm holding a license to submit to a peer review of its accounting and auditing practices upon such terms and conditions as shall be determined by the board at the cost and expense of such licensee; or (11) Impose a civil penalty pursuant to Code Section 43-3-25. (b) In addition to and in conjunction with the actions described in subsection (a) of this Code section, the board may make a finding adverse to the licensee or applicant but withhold imposition of judgment and penalty or it may impose the judgment and penalty but suspend enforcement thereof and place the licensee on probation, which may be vacated upon noncompliance with such reasonable terms as the board may impose."

SECTION 13. Said chapter is further amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"43-3-24.1. (a) Notwithstanding any other provisions of the law to the contrary, after notice and hearing, the board may issue a cease and desist order prohibiting any person from violating the provisions of this chapter by engaging in the practice of public accountancy without a license. (b) The violation of any cease and desist order of the board issued under subsection (a) of this Code section shall subject the person violating the order to further proceedings before the board, and the board shall be authorized to impose a fine not to exceed $500.00 for each transaction constituting a violation thereof. Each day that a person practices in violation of this chapter shall constitute a separate violation. (c) Initial judicial review of the decision of the board entered pursuant to this Code section shall be available solely in the superior court of the county of domicile of the board. (d) Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to prohibit the board from seeking remedies otherwise available by law without first seeking a cease and desist order in accordance with the provisions of this Code section."

SECTION 14. Said chapter is further amended by revising subsection (a) of Code Section 43-3-25.1, relating to confidentiality of applicant information, as follows:

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"(a) The following shall be available to the board and the board's employees and agents, but shall be treated as confidential, not subject to Article 4 of Chapter 18 of Title 50, and shall not be disclosed without the approval of the board:
(1) Applications and other personal information submitted by applicants, except to the applicant; (2) Information, favorable or unfavorable, submitted by a reference source concerning an applicant; and (3) Examination questions and other examination materials."

SECTION 15. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 43-3-28, relating to reinstatement of certification or registration, as follows:
"43-3-28. Upon written application after a hearing pursuant to Chapter 13 of Title 50, the 'Georgia Administrative Procedure Act,' the board may recertificate a certified public accountant whose certification has been revoked or may reissue or modify the suspension of a license or substantial equivalency practice privileges which have been revoked or suspended."

SECTION 16. Said chapter is further amended by revising subsections (a), (c), (d), and (e) of Code Section Code Section 43-3-31, relating to use of titles or devices, as follows:
"(a) No individual shall assume or use the title or designation 'certified public accountant' or the abbreviation 'CPA' or any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviation, sign, card, or device tending to indicate that such individual is a certified public accountant unless such individual has received a certificate as a certified public accountant under this chapter, holds a license, and all of such individual's physical offices in this state are maintained and licensed as required under Code Sections 43-3-16 and 43-3-17." "(c) No individual or firm shall assume or use:
(1) Any title or designation likely to be confused with 'certified public accountant,' including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, 'certified accountant,' 'enrolled accountant,' 'licensed accountant,' 'licensed public accountant,' or 'registered accountant'; or (2) Any abbreviation likely to be confused with 'CPA,' including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, 'C.A.,' 'E.A.,' 'R.A.,' 'L.A.,' or 'L.P.A.' (d) No individual shall sign or affix his or her name or any trade assumed name used by him or her in his or her profession or business to any report or compiled financial statement that states or implies assurance as to the reliability of any representation or estimate in regard to any person or organization embracing financial or attested information or facts respecting compliance with conditions established by law or contract, including but not limited to statutes, ordinances, rules, regulations, grants, loans, and appropriations, together with any wording accompanying, contained in, or affixed on such report or compiled

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financial statement, which indicates that he or she has expert knowledge in accounting or auditing unless he or she holds a license and all of his or her physical offices in this state are maintained and licensed under Code Sections 43-3-16 and 43-3-17, provided that this subsection shall not prohibit any officer, employee, partner, member, or principal of any organization from affixing his or her signature to any statement or report in reference to the affairs of such organization with any wording designating the position, title, or office which he or she holds in such organization, nor shall this subsection prohibit any act of a public official or public employee in the performance of his or her duties as such. (e) No individual shall sign or affix, or cause to be signed or affixed, a firm name to any report or compiled financial statement that states or implies assurance as to the reliability of any representation or estimate in regard to any person or organization embracing financial or attested information or facts respecting compliance with conditions established by law or contract, including but not limited to statutes, ordinances, regulations, rules, grants, loans, and appropriations, together with any wording accompanying or contained in such report or compiled financial statement, which indicates that such firm is composed of or employs individuals having expert knowledge in accounting or auditing unless the firm holds a license and all of its physical offices in this state are maintained and licensed as required under Code Sections 43-3-16 and 43-3-17."

SECTION 17. Said chapter is further amended by revising subsection (a) of Code Section 43-3-32, relating to exceptions to operation of chapter, as follows:
"(a) Nothing contained in this chapter shall prohibit any individual who is not a certified public accountant from serving as an employee of or an assistant to a certified public accountant or firm of certified public accountants holding a license, provided that such employee or assistant shall not issue or attest to any accounting or financial statement over his or her name."

SECTION 18. Chapter 5B of Title 50 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the State Accounting Office, is amended by revising Code Section 50-5B-2, relating to administrative units, as follows:
"50-5B-2. (a) The state accounting officer shall establish such units within the State Accounting Office as he or she deems proper for its administration, including The Council of Superior Court Judges of Georgia and the Prosecuting Attorneys' Council of the State of Georgia as separate units with distinct accounting functions, and shall designate persons to be directors and assistant directors of such units to exercise such authority as he or she may delegate to them in writing. (b) The state accounting officer shall have the authority, within budgetary limitations, to employ as many persons as he or she deems necessary for the administration of the office

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and for the discharge of the duties of the office. The state accounting officer shall issue all necessary directions, instructions, orders, and rules applicable to such persons. He or she shall have authority, as he or she deems proper, to employ, assign, compensate, and discharge employees of the office within the limitations of the office's appropriation, the requirements of the state system of personnel administration provided for in Chapter 20 of Title 45, and restrictions set forth by law."

SECTION 19. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved May 5, 2015.

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HEALTH REVISE DEFINITION OF PRIVATE HOME CARE PROVIDER.

No. 60 (House Bill No. 183).

AN ACT

To amend Article 13 of Chapter 7 of Title 31 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to private home care providers, so as to revise the definition of private home care provider; to provide for a short title; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. This Act shall be known and may be cited as the "Home Care Patient Protection Act."

SECTION 2. Article 13 of Chapter 7 of Title 31 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to private home care providers, is amended by revising paragraph (4) of Code Section 31-7-300, relating to definitions, as follows:
"(4) 'Private home care provider' means any person, business entity, corporation, or association, whether operated for profit or not for profit, that directly provides or makes provision for private home care services through:
(A) Its own employees who provide nursing services, personal care tasks, or companion or sitter tasks;

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(B) Contractual arrangements with independent contractors who are health care professionals licensed pursuant to Title 43; or (C) Referral of other persons to render home care services, when the individual making the referral has ownership or financial interest in the delivery of those services by those other persons who would deliver those services."

SECTION 3. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved May 5, 2015.

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FOOD, DRUGS, AND COSMETICS INSURANCE PHARMACY AUDIT BILL OF RIGHTS REVISIONS; MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE COST PRICING BY PHARMACY BENEFITS MANAGERS.

No. 61 (House Bill No. 470).

AN ACT

To amend Article 6 of Chapter 4 of Title 26 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to pharmacies, so as to change certain provisions relating to "The Pharmacy Audit Bill of Rights"; to amend Chapter 64 of Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to regulation and licensure of pharmacy benefits managers, so as to define certain terms; to impose certain requirements for the use of maximum allowable cost pricing by pharmacy benefits managers; to provide for enforcement of such requirements; to provide for related matters; to provide for effective dates; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Article 6 of Chapter 4 of Title 26 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to pharmacies, is amended by revising Code Section 26-4-118, relating to "The Pharmacy Audit Bill of Rights," as follows:
"26-4-118. (a) This Code section shall be known and may be cited as 'The Pharmacy Audit Bill of Rights.'

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(b) Notwithstanding any other law, when an audit of the records of a pharmacy is conducted by a managed care company, insurance company, third-party payor, pharmacy benefits manager, any entity licensed by the Department of Insurance, the Department of Community Health under Article 7 of Chapter 4 of Title 49, any entity that represents such companies, groups, or department, or a private person bringing a claim pursuant to Article 7B of Chapter 4 of Title 49, it shall be conducted in accordance with the following bill of rights:
(1) The entity conducting the initial on-site audit must give the pharmacy notice at least 14 days prior to conducting the initial on-site audit for each audit cycle and include in such notice a comprehensive list of claims by prescription number to be audited, although the final two digits may be omitted; (2) Any audit which involves clinical or professional judgment must be conducted by or in consultation with a pharmacist; (3) Any clerical or record-keeping error, including but not limited to a typographical error, scrivener's error, or computer error, regarding a required document or record shall not in and of itself constitute fraud. No such claim shall be subject to criminal penalties without proof of intent to commit fraud. No recoupment of the cost of drugs or medicinal supplies properly dispensed shall be allowed if such error has occurred and been resolved in accordance with paragraph (4) of this subsection; provided, however, that recoupment shall be allowed to the extent that such error resulted in an overpayment, though recoupment shall be limited to the amount overpaid; (4) A pharmacy shall be allowed at least 30 days following the conclusion of an on-site audit or receipt of the preliminary audit report in which to correct a clerical or record-keeping error or produce documentation to address any discrepancy found during an audit, including to secure and remit an appropriate copy of the record from a hospital, physician, or other authorized practitioner of the healing arts for drugs or medicinal supplies written or transmitted by any means of communication if the lack of such a record or an error in such a record is identified in the course of an on-site audit or noticed within the preliminary audit report; (5) A pharmacy may use the records of a hospital, physician, or other authorized practitioner of the healing arts for drugs or medicinal supplies written or transmitted by any means of communication for purposes of validating the pharmacy record with respect to orders or refills of a legend or narcotic drug; (6) A finding of an overpayment or underpayment may be a projection based on the number of patients served having a similar diagnosis or on the number of similar orders or refills for similar drugs; however, recoupment of claims must be based on the actual overpayment or underpayment unless the projection for overpayment or underpayment is part of a settlement as agreed to by the pharmacy; (7) Each pharmacy shall be audited under the same standards and parameters as other similarly situated pharmacies audited by the entity;

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(8) The period covered by an audit may not exceed two years from the date the claim was submitted to or adjudicated by a managed care company, insurance company, third-party payor, pharmacy benefits manager, any entity licensed by the Department of Insurance, the Department of Community Health under Article 7 of Chapter 4 of Title 49, any entity that represents such companies, groups, or department; (9) An audit may not be initiated or scheduled during the first seven calendar days of any month due to the high volume of prescriptions filled during that time unless otherwise consented to by the pharmacy; (10) The preliminary audit report must be delivered to the pharmacy within 120 days after conclusion of the audit. A final audit report shall be delivered to the pharmacy within six months after receipt of the preliminary audit report or final appeal, as provided for in subsection (c) of this Code section, whichever is later; and (11) The audit criteria set forth in this subsection shall apply only to audits of claims submitted for payment after July 1, 2006. Notwithstanding any other provision in this subsection, the agency conducting the audit shall not use the accounting practice of extrapolation in calculating recoupments or penalties for audits. (c) Recoupments of any disputed funds shall only occur after final internal disposition of the audit, including the appeals process as set forth in subsection (d) of this Code section. (d) Each entity conducting an audit shall establish an internal appeals process under which a pharmacy shall have at least 30 days from the delivery of the preliminary audit report to appeal an unfavorable preliminary audit report to the entity. If, following the appeal, the entity finds that an unfavorable audit report or any portion thereof is unsubstantiated, the entity shall dismiss the audit report or such portion without the necessity of any further proceedings. (e) Each entity conducting an audit shall provide a copy of the final audit report, after completion of any review process, to the plan sponsor at its request or in an alternate format. (f) This Code section shall not apply to any investigative audit which involves fraud, willful misrepresentation, or abuse, including without limitation investigative audits under Article 7 of Chapter 4 of Title 49, Code Section 33-1-16, or any other statutory provision which authorizes investigations relating to insurance fraud. (g) The provisions of paragraph (3) of subsection (b) of this Code section shall not apply to the Department of Community Health conducting audits under Article 7 of Chapter 4 of Title 49. (h) The entity conducting the audit may not pay the agent or employee who is conducting the audit based on a percentage of the amount recovered. (i) The Commissioner of Insurance shall have enforcement authority over this Code section and shall have the authority granted pursuant to Chapter 64 of Title 33, relating to the regulation and licensure of pharmacy benefits managers."

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SECTION 2. Chapter 64 of Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to regulation and licensure of pharmacy benefits managers, is amended by revising Code Section 33-64-1, relating to definitions, as follows:
"33-64-1. As used in this chapter, the term:
(1) 'Business entity' means a corporation, association, partnership, sole proprietorship, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, or other legal entity. (2) 'Commissioner' means the Commissioner of Insurance. (3) 'Covered entity' means an employer, labor union, or other group of persons organized in this state that provides health coverage to covered individuals who are employed or reside in this state. (4) 'Covered individual' means a member, participant, enrollee, contract holder, policy holder, or beneficiary of a covered entity who is provided health coverage by a covered entity. (5) 'Health system' means a hospital or any other facility or entity owned, operated, or leased by a hospital and a long-term care home. (6) 'Maximum allowable cost' means the per unit amount that a pharmacy benefits manager reimburses a pharmacist for a prescription drug, excluding dispensing fees and copayments, coinsurance, or other cost-sharing charges, if any. (7) 'Pharmacy' means a pharmacy or pharmacist licensed pursuant to Chapter 4 of Title 26 or another dispensing provider. (8) 'Pharmacy benefits management' means the service provided to a health plan or covered entity, directly or through another entity, including the procurement of prescription drugs to be dispensed to patients, or the administration or management of prescription drug benefits, including, but not limited to, any of the following:
(A) Mail order pharmacy; (B) Claims processing, retail network management, or payment of claims to pharmacies for dispensing prescription drugs; (C) Clinical or other formulary or preferred drug list development or management; (D) Negotiation or administration of rebates, discounts, payment differentials, or other incentives for the inclusion of particular prescription drugs in a particular category or to promote the purchase of particular prescription drugs; (E) Patient compliance, therapeutic intervention, or generic substitution programs; and (F) Disease management. (9) 'Pharmacy benefits manager' means a person, business entity, or other entity that performs pharmacy benefits management. The term includes a person or entity acting for a pharmacy benefits manager in a contractual or employment relationship in the performance of pharmacy benefits management for a covered entity. The term does not include services provided by pharmacies operating under a hospital pharmacy license. The term also does not include health systems while providing pharmacy services for

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their patients, employees, or beneficiaries, for indigent care, or for the provision of drugs for outpatient procedures. The term also does not include services provided by pharmacies affiliated with a facility licensed under Code Section 31-44-4 or a licensed group model health maintenance organization with an exclusive medical group contract and which operates its own pharmacies which are licensed under Code Section 26-4-110."

SECTION 3. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 33-64-7, relating to a limitation on the Commissioner to extend rules and regulations, as follows:
"33-64-7. The Commissioner may not enlarge upon or extend the provisions of this chapter through any act, rule, or regulation; provided, however, that the Commissioner is authorized to enforce any provision of this chapter."

SECTION 4. Said chapter is further amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"33-64-9. (a) Upon each contract execution or renewal between a pharmacy benefits manager and a pharmacy or between a pharmacy benefits manager and a pharmacy's contracting representative or agent, such as a pharmacy services administrative organization, a pharmacy benefits manager shall, with respect to such contract or renewal:
(1) Include in such contract or renewal the sources utilized to determine multi-source generic drug pricing, such as maximum allowable cost or any successive benchmark pricing formula, and update such pricing information at least every five business days, provided that such pricing information update shall be at least every 14 business days for those contracts pursuant to Article 7 of Chapter 4 of Title 49; and (2) Maintain a procedure to eliminate products from the multi-source generic list of drugs subject to such pricing or modify multi-source generic drug pricing within five business days when such drugs do not meet the standards and requirements of this Code section in order to remain consistent with pricing changes in the marketplace. (b) A pharmacy benefits manager shall reimburse pharmacies for drugs subject to multi-source generic drug pricing based upon pricing information which has been updated within five business days as set forth in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section. (c) A pharmacy benefits manager may not place a drug on a multi-source generic list unless there are at least two therapeutically equivalent, multi-source generic drugs, or at least one generic drug available from only one manufacturer, generally available for purchase by network pharmacies from national or regional wholesalers. (d) All contracts between a pharmacy benefits manager and a contracted pharmacy or between a pharmacy benefits manager and a pharmacy's contracting representative or agent, such as a pharmacy services administrative organization, shall include a process to

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internally appeal, investigate, and resolve disputes regarding multi-source generic drug pricing. The process shall include the following:
(1) The right to appeal shall be limited to 14 calendar days following reimbursement of the initial claim; and (2) A requirement that the health benefit plan issuer or pharmacy benefits manager shall respond to an appeal described in subsection (a) of this Code section no later than 14 calendar days after the date the appeal was received by such health benefit plan issuer or pharmacy benefits manager. (e) For appeals that are denied, the pharmacy benefits manager shall provide the reason for the denial and identify the national drug code of a drug product that may be purchased by contracted pharmacies at a price at or below the maximum allowable cost. (f) If the appeal is successful, the health benefit plan issuer or pharmacy benefits manager shall: (1) Adjust the maximum allowable cost price that is the subject of the appeal effective on the day after the date the appeal is decided; (2) Apply the adjusted maximum allowable cost price to all similarly situated pharmacists and pharmacies as determined by the health plan issuer or pharmacy benefits manager; and (3) Allow the pharmacist or pharmacy that succeeded in the appeal to reverse and rebill the pharmacy benefits claim giving rise to the appeal. (g) Appeals shall be upheld if: (1) The pharmacy being reimbursed for the drug subject to the multi-source generic drug pricing in question was not reimbursed as required in subsection (b) of this Code section; or (2) The drug subject to the multi-source generic drug pricing in question does not meet the requirements set forth in subsection (c) of this Code section. (h) The Commissioner shall have enforcement authority over this Code section."

SECTION 5. Sections 1 and 6 and this section of this Act shall become effective on July 1, 2015. Sections 2, 3, and 4 of this Act shall become effective on January 1, 2016.

SECTION 6. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved May 5, 2015.

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PROFESSIONS AND BUSINESSES PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS AND LAND SURVEYORS; EXEMPT DEFENSE, AVIATION, SPACE, AND AEROSPACE COMPANIES AND EMPLOYEES FROM LICENSURE.

No. 63 (House Bill No. 18).

AN ACT

To amend Chapter 15 of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to professional engineers and land surveyors, so as to exempt defense, aviation, space, or aerospace companies and those who work for them and who provide engineering for certain products or services from complying with the provisions of said chapter; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Chapter 15 of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to professional engineers and land surveyors, is amended by revising subsections (a) and (b) of Code Section 43-15-29, relating to exceptions to operation of chapter, as follows:
"(a) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as excluding a qualified architect registered in this state from such engineering practice as may be incident to the practice of his or her profession or as excluding a professional engineer from such architectural practice as may be incident to the practice of professional engineering. (b) The following persons shall be exempt from this chapter:
(1) A person working as an employee or a subordinate of a person holding a certificate of registration under this chapter or an employee of a person practicing lawfully under Code Section 43-15-21, provided such work does not include final design decisions and is done under the supervision of, and responsibility therefor is assumed by, a person holding a certificate of registration under this chapter or a person practicing lawfully under Code Section 43-15-21; (2) Officers and employees of the government of the United States while engaged within this state in the practice of professional engineering or land surveying for such government; (3) All elected officers of the political subdivisions of this state while in the practice of professional engineering or land surveying in the performance of their official duties;

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(4) Officers and employees of the Department of Transportation, except as required by Title 46, while engaged within this state in the practice of professional engineering or land surveying for such department; (5) Any defense, aviation, space, or aerospace company. As used in this paragraph, the term 'company' shall mean any sole proprietorship, firm, limited liability company, partnership, joint venture, joint stock association, corporation, or other business entity and any subsidiary or affiliate of such business entity; and (6) Any employee, contract worker, subcontractor, or independent contractor who works for a defense, aviation, space, or aerospace company that is not required to be licensed under the provisions of this chapter pursuant to paragraph (5) of this subsection and who provides engineering for aircraft, space launch vehicles, launch services, satellites, satellite services, missiles, rockets, or other defense, aviation, space, or aerospace-related products or services, or any components thereof."

SECTION 2. This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval.

SECTION 3. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved May 5, 2015.

__________

BANK AND FINANCE EXTENSIVE REVISION OF TITLE.

No. 64 (House Bill No. 184).

AN ACT

To amend Title 7 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to banking and finance, so to extensively revise said title; to provide for definitions relative to banking and finance; to provide for standards of notice for the Department of Banking and Finance; to provide for rules and regulations of the department; to provide for the granting of orders by the commissioner regarding banks and credit unions; to clarify that the administrative rule-making process does not apply to declaratory orders issued pursuant to the commissioner's parity power; to provide for agreements between the department and law enforcement or other regulatory agencies; to provide for the closing of financial institutions in certain instances; to provide for the submission of certain documents to the department;

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to provide for the type of bonds required to be held by banks and trust companies; to provide for a waiver of certain requirements relative to the merger of bank holding companies; to provide for a specific kind deposit insurance to be held by out-of-state credit unions; to provide for the appointment of a conservator for credit unions in certain instances; to provide for the powers and duties of such conservator; to provide for the payment of shares for initial subscribers of credit unions; to provide for membership and duties of boards of directors for credit unions; to provide for duties of supervisory committees for credit unions; to provide for the merger, consolidation, and conversion of credit unions; to provide for the revoking and granting of licenses for the sale of payment instruments; to provide for duties of a holder of a license for the sale of payment instruments; to provide for limitations on liability and prosecution in certain instances; to provide for procedures relative to licensing the cashing of payment instruments; to provide for duties of a holder of a license for the cashing of payment instruments; to provide for felonies and misdemeanors related to financial institutions; to provide for the licensing of mortgage brokers and mortgage lenders; to provide for definitions relative to merchant acquirer limited purpose banks; to provide for use of fees; to provide for standards for the approval of charters for merchant acquirer limited purpose banks; to prohibit those convicted of a felony from having certain associations with merchant acquirer limited purpose banks; to provide for the gathering of conviction data by the department in connection with charters of merchant acquirer limited purpose banks; to provide for the deposit of funds in merchant acquirer limited purpose banks; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Title 7 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to banking and finance, is amended in Code Section 7-1-4, relating to definitions, by revising paragraphs (21), (31), and (32) as follows:
"(21) 'Financial institution' means: (A) A bank; (B) A trust company; (C) A building and loan association; (D) A credit union; (E) A corporation licensed to engage in the business of selling payment instruments in this state on April 1, 1975, or so licensed pursuant to Article 4 of this chapter; (F) Business development corporations existing on April 1, 1975, pursuant to the former 'Georgia Business Development Corporation Act of 1972,' approved April 3, 1972 (Ga. L. 1972, p. 798), or organized pursuant to Article 6 of this chapter; (G) An international bank agency doing business in this state on April 1, 1975, pursuant to the former 'International Bank Agency Act,' approved April 6, 1972 (Ga.

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L. 1972, p. 1140), or authorized to do business in this state pursuant to Article 5 of this chapter; (H) In addition, as the context requires, a national bank, savings and loan association, or federal credit union for the purpose of the following provisions:
(i) Code Section 7-1-2, relating to findings of the General Assembly; (ii) Code Section 7-1-3, relating to objectives of this chapter; (iii) Code Section 7-1-8, relating to supplementary principles of law; (iv) Code Section 7-1-37, relating to restrictions on officials and personnel; (v) Code Section 7-1-70, relating to disclosure of information; (vi) Code Section 7-1-90, relating to judicial review of department action; (vii) Subsection (d) of Code Section 7-1-91, relating to orders to desist from conduct illegal under the laws and regulations of this state; (viii) Code Section 7-1-94, relating to the evidentiary results of examinations and investigations; (ix) Code Sections 7-1-111 and 7-1-112, relating to emergency closings; (x) Code Sections 7-1-110 and 7-1-294, relating to permissive closings; (xi) Code Section 7-1-133, relating to prohibited advertising; (xii) Paragraph (11) of Code Section 7-1-261, relating to additional operational powers of banks and trust companies; (xiii) Paragraph (3) of subsection (a) of Code Section 7-1-394, relating to criteria to be considered in approving new banks; (xiv) Code Section 7-1-658, relating to loans; (xv) Code Section 7-1-840, relating to criminal prosecutions; and (xvi) Code Section 7-1-841, relating to application of Title 16 provisions; (I) A bank holding company as defined in Code Section 7-1-605 for the purposes of Code Sections 7-1-61, 7-1-71, and 7-1-91; (J) Banks chartered by states other than Georgia for the purposes of paragraph (10) of Code Section 7-1-261, relating to agency relationships; and (K) Federal credit unions for the purposes of Part 6 of Article 2 of this chapter, relating to deposits, safe deposit agreements, and money received for transmission, and Article 8 of this chapter, relating to multiple party deposit accounts." "(31) 'Savings and loan association' means an association created pursuant to the Home Owners' Loan Act, 12 U.S.C. Sections 1461-1470, including a federal savings bank. (32) 'Savings bank' means a state chartered bank that has powers no greater than a state bank as provided in this chapter but that may lend and invest in commercial loans in an aggregate amount that does not exceed 50 percent of its total assets. Such bank may elect, subject to department approval, or the department may require that the savings bank comply with selected provisions of the Home Owners' Loan Act that in the judgment and discretion of the department would be consistent with the charter and purpose of the bank. For the purposes of this paragraph, the term 'commercial loan' means a loan for business, commercial, corporate, or agricultural purposes."

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SECTION 2. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 7-1-6, relating to notices and waivers of notices from the Department of Banking and Finance, as follows:
"7-1-6. Except as otherwise expressly provided:
(1) Any notice required to be given under this chapter may be delivered in person by first-class mail or statutory overnight delivery to the last known address of the person or corporation or to the registered office of the corporation. If the notice is sent by first-class mail or statutory overnight delivery, it shall be deemed to have been given when deposited in the United States mail or with a commercial firm regularly engaged in the business of document delivery; (2) In addition to the methods of notice provided for in paragraph (1) of this Code section, notice of meetings, including annual and special meetings, may be delivered by electronic transmission, including but not limited to e-mails, pursuant to Code Section 14-2-141; (3) If such notice is of a meeting, it shall specify the place, day, and hour of the meeting. Notice of a meeting of shareholders shall be given not less than ten nor more than 60 days before the meeting. Notice of a special meeting shall specify the general nature of the business to be transacted; (4) Any written notice required to be given under this chapter need not be given if there is a waiver thereof in writing signed by the person or on behalf of the corporation entitled to such notice or by their proxy, whether before or after the time when the notice would otherwise be required to be given, provided that no such waiver shall apply by its terms to more than one required notice; (5) Attendance of a person, either in person or by proxy, at any meeting shall constitute a waiver of notice of such meeting, except where a person attends a meeting for the express purpose of objecting at the beginning of the meeting to the transaction of any business because the meeting was not lawfully called or convened; and (6) If the language of a proposed resolution or a proposed plan requiring approval by shareholders is included in a written notice of a meeting of shareholders, the shareholders' meeting considering the resolution or plan may adopt it with such clarifying or other amendments as do not enlarge its original purpose without further notice to shareholders not present in person or by proxy."

SECTION 3. Said title is further amended in Code Section 7-1-61, relating to rules and regulations of the department, by revising subsection (e) as follows: See Compiler's Note, Page 369

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SECTION 4. Said title is further amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"7-1-61.1. (a) For purposes of this Code section, the term 'power' means any banking or corporate power, right, benefit, privilege, or immunity of a financial institution, the deposits of which are federally insured, as set forth in any federal statute or any regulation, ruling, circular, bulletin, order, or interpretation issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Credit Union Administration, or Federal Reserve System. (b) To provide parity with financial institutions whose deposits are federally insured, the commissioner may, by specific order directed to an individual bank or credit union or category of banks or credit unions, grant any power conferred upon a financial institution, subject to the supervision of the federal government, to:
(1) State chartered banks and credit unions to enable such banks and credit unions to compete; and (2) Subsidiaries of state chartered banks and credit unions to the same extent powers are granted to subsidiaries of national banks or federal credit unions to enable such subsidiaries of state chartered banks and credit unions to compete. (c) No order provided for in subsection (b) of this Code section shall be issued unless the commissioner determines that such activity will not present undue safety and soundness risks to the banks or credit unions involved. In making such determination, the commissioner shall consider the financial condition and regulatory safety and soundness ratings of the banks or credit unions affected and the ability of management to administer and supervise the activity. The department shall make any order issued pursuant to this Code section available for public review."

SECTION 5. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 7-1-78, relating to agreements by the department with other regulatory authorities, as follows:
"7-1-78. (a) The department may, at its discretion, enter into cooperative or reciprocal agreements with other supervisory or regulatory authorities or law enforcement and may furnish to such entities information contained in the examinations, reports, and institution files, provided that the information is to be used for confidential, regulatory purposes. (b) Furnishing information as permitted by this Code section shall not be deemed to change the confidential character of the information furnished. (c) The department may accept reports of examination and other records from such entities in lieu of conducting its own examination. (d) Any examination reports, reports of investigation, or other information obtained from such entities shall be deemed the property of the providing entity and not available for public review. Any requests for such information shall be made to the providing entity.

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(e) The department may take such actions as are reasonably necessary, either independently or with such entities, to facilitate the regulation of financial services providers doing business in this state."

SECTION 6. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 7-1-111, relating to emergency closings of financial institutions, as follows:
"7-1-111. Whenever it appears to the Governor that the welfare of this state or any region thereof or the welfare and security of any financial institution or the lives of the employees of the financial institution or the safety of the funds of depositors and property of the shareholders are endangered or placed in jeopardy by any impending or existing emergency or other catastrophe, including, but not limited to, economic crises, hurricanes, tornadoes, fire hazards, disruption or failure of utility, transportation, communication, or information systems, or civil disorders, the Governor may proclaim that an emergency exists, which shall authorize the emergency closing of any impacted financial institutions. The Governor may also proclaim that any financial institution or type of financial institution shall be subject to special regulation as herein provided until the Governor, by a like proclamation, declares the period of such emergency to have terminated. The department may declare emergencies in specific cases for cause shown, and its declaration shall remain in effect until terminated by the Governor or the commissioner, whichever occurs first."

SECTION 7. Said title is further amended in Code Section 7-1-113, relating to voluntary dissolution of financial institutions prior to the commencement of business, by revising subsections (b) and (c) as follows:
"(b) The articles of dissolution shall be delivered to the department together with the filing fee required by Code Section 7-1-862. If the department is satisfied that the financial institution has not conducted any business other than organizational business and if it finds that the articles of dissolution satisfy the requirements of this chapter, it shall deliver them with its written approval to the Secretary of State and notify the financial institution of its action. If the department shall disapprove the articles of dissolution, it shall give written notice to the financial institution of its disapproval and a general statement of the reasons for its decision. The decision of the department shall be conclusive, except as it may be subject to judicial review under Code Section 7-1-90. (c) If the department determines that a financial institution has not conducted any business other than organizational business and if articles of dissolution satisfying the requirements of this chapter are not delivered to the department together with the filing fee as required by Code Section 7-1-862, the department may make written demand upon the financial institution to immediately provide articles of dissolution or to provide cause why such dissolution should not be pursued directly by the department. If the financial institution

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fails to provide articles of dissolution as required within 60 days from the date of demand by the department, the department may seek dissolution of the financial institution in organization directly from the Secretary of State's office."

SECTION 8. Said title is further amended in Code Section 7-1-116, relating to the articles of dissolution of financial institutions after the commencement of business, by revising subsection (b) as follows:
"(b) The articles of dissolution shall be delivered to the department together with the filing fee required by Code Section 7-1-862. If the department finds that the articles satisfy the requirements of this chapter, it shall deliver its written approval to the Secretary of State with a copy of the articles of dissolution attached."

SECTION 9. Said title is further amended in Code Section 7-1-392, relating to articles of incorporation for banks and trust companies, by revising subsection (c) as follows:
"(c) The incorporators shall file with the department the articles, together with the fee required by Code Section 7-1-862. Such filing shall constitute an application for a certificate of incorporation. Immediately upon the filing of the articles, the department shall certify a copy thereof and return it to the applicants, who shall, in conformity with Code Section 7-1-7 and on the next business day following the filing of the articles, transmit for publication a copy of the articles or, in lieu thereof, a statement in substantially the following form:
'An application for a certificate of incorporation of a (bank, trust company, or bank and trust company) to be known as the _______________________ and to be located at _______________________ in __________ County, Georgia, will be made to the Secretary of State of Georgia by (names and addresses of incorporators) in accordance with Chapter 1 of Title 7 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, the "Financial Institutions Code of Georgia." A copy of the articles of incorporation of such proposed (bank, trust company, or bank and trust company) and the application have been filed with the Department of Banking and Finance. The following persons have been proposed as the initial directors: (names and addresses of proposed directors).' to the newspaper which is the official organ of the county where the main office will be located. The articles or statement must be published once a week for two consecutive weeks with the first publication occurring within ten days of receipt by the newspaper of the articles or statement."

SECTION 10. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 7-1-489, relating to bonds for banks and trust companies, as follows:

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"7-1-489. Any director who is authorized to handle money or negotiable assets on behalf of a bank or trust company and all officers and employees of a bank or trust company shall be bonded by a regularly incorporated surety company authorized to do business in this state, and the bank or trust company may pay the cost of such fidelity bonds. The form, amount, and surety of such fidelity bonds shall be such as are approved by the board of directors; but the department may require an additional amount or new or additional surety."

SECTION 11. Said title is further amended in Code Section 7-1-512, relating to the execution and filing of articles of amendment for banks and trust companies, by revising subsection (b) as follows:
"(b) The articles of amendment shall be filed with the department together with: (1) The fee required by Code Section 7-1-862; and (2) As soon as possible, a publisher's affidavit as proof of publication of the advertisement required by Code Section 7-1-513."

SECTION 12. Said title is further amended in Code Section 7-1-532, relating to filing of articles of merger, share exchange, or consolidation for banks and trust companies, by revising subsections (a) and (f) as follows:
"(a) Upon adoption of the plan of merger, share exchange, or consolidation as provided in Code Section 7-1-531, the parties to the merger, share exchange, or consolidation shall file with the department articles of a merger, share exchange, or consolidation as required by this Code section, together with the fee required by Code Section 7-1-862." "(f) In the event the plan is amended as provided in Code Section 7-1-531, the parties shall promptly file with the department an amendment to the articles of consolidation, share exchange, or merger reflecting such amendment of the plan."

SECTION 13. Said title is further amended in Code Section 7-1-551, relating to filing of articles of conversion, merger, or consolidation from a national bank to a state bank or trust company, by revising subsection (a) as follows:
"(a) The party or parties desiring to consummate a conversion, merger, or consolidation authorized by Code Section 7-1-550 shall, upon requisite approval of the plan by their directors and shareholders, file with the department articles of conversion, merger, or consolidation, together with the fee required by Code Section 7-1-862."

SECTION 14. Said title is further amended in Code Section 7-1-608, relating to acquisitions, formations, and mergers of bank holding companies, by adding a new subsection to read as follows:

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"(d) The commissioner may waive the three-year age requirement contained in paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of this Code section if the commissioner determines that the proposed acquisition will result in material improvement of the safety and soundness of an institution that is in less than satisfactory condition at the time of the proposed acquisition. No such waiver will be authorized unless the commissioner determines that the proposed acquisition will not present undue safety and soundness risks to the financial institutions involved. In making such determination, the commissioner shall consider the financial condition and regulatory safety and soundness ratings of the institutions affected and the ability of management to administer and supervise the resulting institution."

SECTION 15. Said title is further amended in Code Section 7-1-628.3, relating to prohibited interstate merger transactions, by revising subsection (b) as follows:
"(b) An interstate merger transaction shall not be permitted under this part unless the Georgia bank shall have been in existence and continuously operating or incorporated as a bank on the date of such merger or acquisition for a period of at least three years, subject to any applicable exception contained in Code Section 7-1-608."

SECTION 16. Said title is further amended in Code Section 7-1-630, relating to the filing of articles of incorporation by a credit union, by revising subsections (c) and (e) as follows:
"(c) The subscribers shall file the articles with the department together with the fee specified in Code Section 7-1-862. The department shall certify a copy of the articles and return it to the subscribers." "(e) The subscriber shall file with the department a copy of the proposed bylaws setting forth the following:
(1) The date of the annual meeting, the manner of conducting the same, the number of members constituting a quorum and regulations as to voting, and the manner of notification of the meeting, which shall comply with Code Section 7-1-6, except that, if the credit union maintains an office and the board of directors so determines, notice of the annual meeting or of any special meeting may be given by posting such notice in a conspicuous place in the office of the credit union at least ten days prior to such meeting; (2) The number of directors, which must be not less than five nor more than 25, all of whom must be members, and their powers and duties, together with the duties of the officers elected by the board of directors; (3) The qualifications for membership of those coming within the initial common bond as required by this article; (4) The conditions under which shares may be issued, paid for, transferred, and withdrawn; deposits received and withdrawn; loans made and repaid; and funds otherwise invested; and

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(5) The charges which shall be made, if any, for failure to meet obligations punctually; whether or not the credit union shall have the power to borrow; the method of receipting for money; the manner of accumulating a reserve; the manner of determining and paying interest and dividends; and such other matters consistent with this article as may be requisite to the organization and operation of the proposed credit union."

SECTION 17. Said title is further amended in Code Section 7-1-634, relating to the filing of amendments to articles of incorporation by a credit union, by revising subsection (b) as follows:
"(b) Every proposed amendment of the articles shall be filed with the department together with the fee specified in Code Section 7-1-862. Proposed amendments of the bylaws shall be filed with the department."

SECTION 18. Said title is further amended in Code Section 7-1-635.1, relating to out-of-state credit unions, by revising paragraph (3) of subsection (a) as follows:
"(3) Has deposit insurance issued by a federal public body that is comparable to that required for credit unions chartered in this state."

SECTION 19. Said title is further amended by designating Part 2 of Article 3 of Chapter 1, relating to the operation and regulation of credit unions, as Part 3 and adding a new part to read as follows:

"Part 2

7-1-640. (a) The department may, in its discretion, appoint itself or a third party as conservator for a credit union when the credit union:
(1) Is insolvent or in an unsafe and unsound condition; (2) Has suspended payment of obligations without authority of law; (3) Has violated its articles or an order, statute, rule, or regulation and the department determines that its continued control of its own affairs threatens injury to the public, the financial community, members, or creditors; or (4) Requests the department, by its board of directors, to appoint a conservator for the benefit of members or creditors. (b) The right of the department to act as conservator of a credit union shall be in addition to all other rights, remedies, and powers of the department. (c) The department may, in its discretion, before or after taking conservatorship, petition the principal court of a credit union for the appointment of a conservator pursuant to Code Section 7-1-643.

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(d) The conservator shall conduct the business of the credit union and take steps toward the removal of the causes and conditions that have necessitated the appointment of a conservator. The conservator shall be immediately authorized to:
(1) Assume all powers of the members, directors, officers, and committees of the credit union; (2) Take charge of the credit union and all of its property, books, records, and effects; (3) Take any and all actions to operate the credit union in its own name or to conserve its assets as directed by the department, including, but not limited to, terminating or adopting any executory contracts to which the credit union may be a party; (4) Take all necessary measures to preserve, protect, and recover any assets or property of the credit union, including any claim or cause of action belonging to or which may be asserted by the credit union, and administer the same in its own name as conservator; (5) File, prosecute, and defend any suit that has been filed or may be filed by or against the credit union that is deemed by the conservator to be necessary to protect all interested parties or any property affected thereby; (6) Exercise all rights, powers, and duties conferred on the credit union by this chapter; and (7) Take any other actions that are necessary or incidental to carrying out the role of conservator. (e) The conservator shall make reports to the department from time to time as may be required by the department.

7-1-641. (a) The department shall, immediately after appointing a conservator, file with the principal court of a credit union a certificate to be known as a certificate of appointment. (b) The certificate of appointment shall set forth the basis for the department's appointment of a conservator and state the name of the conservator. (c) If the department does not appoint a conservator prior to the date of the filing of the certificate of appointment or it appoints a new or additional conservator, the department shall file a supplement to the certificate of appointment setting forth such facts. (d) The certificate of appointment and any supplement will be listed in the judgment index in the name of the credit union as defendant and the department as plaintiff.

7-1-642. (a) All costs incident to conservatorship will be charged against the assets of the credit union to be allowed and paid as the department may determine. (b) The department, its employees, and third parties acting as conservators are not subject to liability for actions related to a conservatorship, including, but not limited to, the appointment of a conservator, and no department funds shall be required to be expended on behalf of the credit union, its creditors, employees, or members, or any other party or entity.

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7-1-643. (a) Whenever any court, upon the initiation of the department or other person entitled by law to institute such proceedings, determines that a conservator should be appointed, for any reason whatsoever, it shall appoint the department as conservator. Except as provided in subsection (c) of this Code section, such court shall appoint only the department as conservator of a credit union. (b) When appointed conservator by a court, the department shall serve in the same manner and with the same limitations and shall have the same rights, powers, and duties as if it were to become conservator without appointment by a court pursuant to Code Section 7-1-640. No court shall impose upon the department as conservator any duties or restrictions in conflict with this chapter.
(c)(1) In any proceeding for the appointment of a conservator of a credit union whose shares are insured by a public body of the United States, the court may, upon the recommendation of the department, whether or not the department is a party, appoint such public body as conservator. (2) If a public body accepts the appointment, it shall have all the rights, powers, and duties of the department as conservator under this chapter and all the rights, powers, and duties as conferred by other applicable law. (3) The posting of a bond shall not be required when a public body acts as conservator.

7-1-644. (a) If the department appoints a conservator other than a public body of the United States that insures the shares of a credit union, an employee of the department, or the department itself, the conservator and any assistants shall provide a bond, payable to the credit union and executed by a surety company authorized to do business in this state. (b) The amount of such bond shall be approved by the department and be in an amount to ensure the faithful discharge of duties in connection with the conservatorship and take into account the amount of money under the control of the conservator. (c) The cost of such bond shall be paid from the assets of the credit union. (d) Any person injured by a breach of the conditions on such bond has a right to bring a civil remedy in order to seek to collect on such bond. (e) A bond of a credit union shall be deemed satisfactory if the department determines it covers a conservator and any assistants.

7-1-645. (a) No later than ten days after the date a conservator is appointed pursuant to Code Section 7-1-640, a credit union may apply to its principal court for an order requiring the department to show cause why it should not be enjoined from continuing the conservatorship.

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(b) If at any time the department determines that a credit union is not in a condition to continue business under a conservator, the department may appoint a receiver in accordance with Code Section 7-1-150. (c) A conservator may conduct the business of a credit union and take steps toward the removal of the causes and conditions that have necessitated the appointment of a conservator until such time as:
(1) The department shall permit such credit union to continue business subject to such terms and conditions as may be imposed by the department; (2) Such credit union is liquidated in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b) of this Code section; or (3) Otherwise ordered by the principal court of such credit union. (d) Except as provided in this chapter, no court shall take any action, except at the request of the department, to restrain or affect the exercise of powers or functions of a conservator."

SECTION 20. Said title is further amended in Code Section 7-1-651, relating to membership and shares of credit unions, by revising subsection (a) as follows:
"(a) The membership of the credit union shall consist of the initial subscribers and such other persons within the field of membership as may have subscribed to one share, which has been paid by a person or the credit union, together with the required entrance fee and complied with all other requirements contained in the bylaws. No subscriber or other member shall hold more than one share out of any class of shares. The bylaws may provide for separate classes of shares for borrowers and depositors and for the par value of each share for each class, but in no event shall the par value be less than $1.00."

SECTION 21. Said title is further amended in Code Section 7-1-655, relating to the boards of directors, credit and supervisory committees, and executive directors for credit unions, by revising subsection (a) as follows:
"(a) At the first annual meeting, the members shall elect from among their number a board of directors of no less than five nor more than 25 and at each annual meeting thereafter shall elect successors to the members of the board of directors whose terms of office expire at such annual meeting."

SECTION 22. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 7-1-656, relating to duties of directors of credit unions, as follows:
"7-1-656. (a) The board of directors shall be responsible for the affairs, funds, and records of the credit union and shall meet as often as necessary, but at least once during ten different

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months of each calendar year. Unless the bylaws specifically reserve any or all of the duties to the members, it shall be the special duty of the directors:
(1) To act upon all applications for membership or approve the actions of an officer without loan granting authority, designated by the board of directors to approve applications for membership; (2) To determine from time to time rates of interest and dividends which shall be allowed on deposits and charged on loans consistent with this article and other applicable laws and to authorize any interest refunds on such classes of loans and under such conditions as the board prescribes; (3) To fix the amount of the fidelity bond which shall be required of all officers, employees, agents, or members having custody of funds, properties, or records; provided, however, that the amount of such fidelity bond shall not be less than such minimum requirements as shall be prescribed by regulation of the department and shall be in such form as may from time to time be approved by the department; (4) To fix within the restrictions imposed by statute the maximum amount of deposits which may be made by and the maximum amount that may be loaned to any one member; (5) To fill vacancies on the board of directors, credit committee, and supervisory committee until the election and qualification of a successor; (6) To have charge of the investment of funds of the credit union other than loans to members within the restrictions imposed by statute or delegate investment authority to a qualified committee or officer as designated by the board of directors; (7) To appoint any committees deemed necessary; and (8) To perform such other duties as the members may from time to time authorize. (b) Unless otherwise provided in the articles or bylaws of a credit union: (1) A majority of all directors shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business and actions of a majority of those present at a meeting at which a quorum is present shall be deemed as actions of the board of directors; (2) The board of directors may designate three or more of its number to constitute a credit committee, supervisory committee, or other committees which, to the extent provided in a resolution, shall have and exercise the authority of the board of directors with regard to the business of a credit union; and (3) Any action authorized to be taken at a meeting of the board of directors or a credit, supervisory, or other committee may be taken without a meeting if the action is set forth in writing and approved and signed by all directors or all members of the credit, supervisory, or other committee entitled to vote with respect to the underlying subject matter. (c) No director, officer, or committee member of a credit union shall: (1) Receive anything of value for procuring or attempting to procure any loan from or investment by such credit union;

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(2) Purchase, or directly or indirectly be interested in purchasing, from the credit union a promissory note or other evidence of indebtedness issued by the credit union for less than face value; or (3) Purchase or sell any other asset to the credit union except:
(A) Upon terms not less than favorable to the credit union than those offered other persons or corporations; and (B) With prior approval of the board of directors or a committee thereof authorized to act for the board, unless the transaction is made in the regular course of business. (d) No director shall be eligible to vote concerning any purchase or sale when such director is or would be a party to the transaction. (e) The provisions of Code Section 7-1-490 relative to the responsibilities of directors and officers and the delegation of investment decisions shall be applicable to the duties of directors, credit and supervisory committee members, and officers of credit unions."

SECTION 23. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 7-1-657, relating to duties of supervisory committees and comprehensive annual audits of credit unions, as follows:
"7-1-657. (a) The supervisory committee shall be responsible for securing a comprehensive audit of the credit union at least once each year. Except as provided for in subsection (c) of this Code section, the committee shall employ the services of a licensed, independent public accountant or firm of such accountants to make such comprehensive audit. The results of the audit shall be submitted to the board, and the committee shall present a summary of the results of the audit to the membership. The committee shall make recommendations to the board for the correction of any deficiencies disclosed by the audit. The annual audit shall include a confirmation of the share, deposit, and loan accounts of the members and such other procedures as the department might require. The annual audit shall be preserved with the records of the credit union, and a copy of such audit shall be filed with the department. (b) The supervisory committee, from time to time, may conduct or cause to be conducted other audit functions or reviews of operations or may make or cause to be made an inspection of the assets and the liabilities of the credit union. The committee shall report the results of any such reviews to the board of directors and shall be responsible for making specific recommendations to the board regarding any unsafe, unsound, or unauthorized activities discovered. (c) If a credit union has assets of less than $15 million, the supervisory committee may employ the services of any independent accountant or firm of such accountants or the internal auditors of any sponsoring group, concern, or association of credit unions approved by the department to conduct the audit mandated by subsection (a) of this Code section."

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SECTION 24. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 7-1-667, relating to mergers of credit unions, as follows:
"7-1-667. (a) A credit union may, with the approval of the department and in accordance with such uniform rules and regulations as it shall make and promulgate, be merged with another credit union under the articles of such credit union. Such merger may occur regardless of whether the credit unions serve the same field of membership, so long as there is adopted a plan agreed upon by the majority of the board of each credit union joining the merger and approved by not less than a majority of the members of each credit union present and eligible to vote at meetings called for that purpose. The department may allow waiver of the member vote if, in its judgment, the merger is necessary to protect the safety and soundness of either or both credit unions. All property, property rights, and interests of the merging credit union shall, upon merger, be transferred to and vested in the continuing credit union without deed, endorsement, or other instrument of transfer; and the debts and obligations of the merging credit union shall be deemed to have been assumed by the continuing credit union; and thereafter the articles of the merging credit union shall be void. (b) The provisions of Article 8 of Chapter 4 of Title 14, relating to merger and consolidation, shall no longer be applicable to credit unions. (c) For purposes of this Code section, the term 'credit union' shall include a federal credit union. (d) When a credit union merges with another credit union, one shall be designated as the continuing credit union by the credit unions participating in the merger. The participating credit union that is not the continuing credit union shall be designated as the merging credit union. (e) The department may disapprove of a merger if it finds the merger would not be consistent with safe and sound practices. (f) The department shall, in its discretion, approve or disapprove a merger on the basis of its investigation and the criteria set forth in subsections (a) and (e) of this Code section. The department shall give written notice to:
(1) The Secretary of State of its approval of a merger along with a copy of the notice of merger; and (2) The parties to the plan of its decision and, in the event of disapproval, a statement in general of the reasons for its decision. (g) The rights and privileges of the members of each merging credit union shall remain intact, provided that, if any person is a member of more than one of the participating credit unions, such person shall only be entitled to one set of membership rights in the continuing credit union."

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SECTION 25. Said title is further amended in Code Section 7-1-668, relating to conversion of credit unions, by revising subsection (d) as follows:
"(d)(1) Conversions by state chartered credit unions to financial institutions other than credit unions or financial institutions other than credit unions to state chartered credit unions shall be effected by approval of the department and compliance with any other applicable law. The department may prescribe other requirements in order to protect the rights of members or the funds invested. (2) In conversions by state chartered credit unions to financial institutions other than credit unions, procedures provided in subsection (b) of this Code section shall be followed for obtaining approval from the department and effecting such conversions, provided that two-thirds of the members voting shall be required to approve a proposed conversion. (3) In conversions by financial institutions other than credit unions to state chartered credit unions, the department shall prescribe procedures for financial institutions to seek approval from the department to convert to a credit union. Such procedures shall include:
(A) The procedures provided in subsection (b) of this Code section; (B) The submission of a conversion plan by the converting financial institution. A conversion plan shall include the following, where applicable:
(i) How the converting financial institution will comply with credit union membership requirements; (ii) Plans for the divestment of its board of directors of stock options; (iii) Plans for the divestment of capital stock; (iv) Plans for the phase out of all impermissible investments; (v) Plans for compliance with credit union business loan limitations; and (vi) Any other such information as required by the department; and (C) The converting financial institution shall perform a complete policy review to address appraisal restrictions, lending restrictions, investment restrictions, corporate structure restrictions, and power structure in order to ensure compliance with this article and regulations of the department. (4) The department may authorize a credit union resulting from a charter conversion under this Code section to do the following: (A) Complete any activities that the converting financial institution legally engaged in at the effective time of the charter conversion but that otherwise are not permitted for credit unions, provided that the transitional period during which such activities are carried out does not exceed five years after the effective date of the charter conversion; and (B) Retain for the transitional period any assets that the converting financial institution legally held at the effective time of the charter conversion that otherwise may not be held by credit unions, provided that such transitional period during which such assets

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are retained does not exceed five years after the effective date of the charter conversion."

SECTION 26. Said title is further amended in Code Section 7-1-684, relating to investigations and background checks for the granting and revoking of licensing for the sale of payment instruments, by repealing subsection (h) in its entirety.

SECTION 27. Said title is further amended in Code Section 7-1-686, relating to the display, nonassignability, and notifications relative to licenses for the sale of payment instruments, by revising subsection (d) as follows:
"(d) A licensee shall give written notice to the department of its intent to operate any new or additional locations, including, but not limited to, locations operated by an authorized agent, not reported in either its original or renewal application. The required notice shall be in such form and contain such information as required by the department."

SECTION 28. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 7-1-697, relating to no limitation on common law liability or state prosecution, as follows:
"7-1-697. Nothing in this article shall limit any statutory or common law right of any person to bring any action in any court for any act involved in the transmission of money or selling of payment instruments or the right of the state to punish any person for any violation of any law."

SECTION 29. Said title is further amended in Code Section 7-1-703, relating to investigation and licensure for the cashing of payment instruments, by repealing subsection (g) in its entirety.

SECTION 30. Said title is further amended in Code Section 7-1-704.1, relating to the posting and ability to transfer licenses to cash payment instruments, by revising subsection (d) as follows:
"(d) A licensee shall give written notice to the department prior to the operation of any new or additional locations not reported in either its original or renewal application which notice shall be in such form and contain such information as required by the department."

SECTION 31. Said title is further amended in Code Section 7-1-715, relating to applications for licenses for international banking corporations, by revising subsection (a) as follows:

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"(a) Every international banking corporation, before being licensed by the department to transact a banking business in this state or before maintaining in this state any office to carry on such business or any part thereof, shall subscribe and acknowledge and submit to the department at its office a separate application which shall state:
(1) The name of such international banking corporation; (2) The location by street and post office address and county where its business is to be transacted in this state and the name of the person who shall be in charge of the business and affairs of the international bank agency; (3) The location where its initial registered office will be located in this state; (4) The amount of its capital actually paid in and the amount subscribed for and unpaid; and (5) The actual value of the assets of such international banking corporation, which must be at least $50 million in excess of its liabilities, and a complete and detailed statement of its financial condition as of a date within 60 days prior to the date of such application, provided that the department, in its discretion, may, when necessary or expedient, accept such statement of financial condition as of a date within 120 days prior to the date of such application."

SECTION 32. Said title is further amended in Code Section 7-1-845, relating to felonies and misdemeanors relative to financial institutions, by revising subsection (a) as follows:
"(a) Any person or corporation, including any financial institution or its directors, officers, agents, or employees, who shall perform the following acts or deeds shall be guilty of a felony:
(1) Publishes or causes to be published any false statement, expressed either by printing or writing or by signs, pictures, or the like, of or concerning any financial institution as to the assets or liabilities of such financial institution or as to its solvency or ability to meet its obligations or as to its soundness or who shall publish or cause to be published any other false statement so expressed, calculated to affect the credit or standing of such financial institution or to cast suspicion upon its solvency, soundness, or ability to meet its deposits or other obligations in due course; (2) Falsely circulates any report or makes any false oral statement as to the assets or liabilities of a financial institution or as to its solvency or ability to meet its obligations or as to its soundness or who shall make any other false oral statement calculated to affect the credit or standing of such financial institution or to cast suspicion upon its solvency, soundness, or ability to meet its deposits or other obligations in due course; (3) Willfully engages in the business of:
(A) A bank in violation of Code Section 7-1-241; (B) A trust company in violation of Code Section 7-1-242; (C) A credit union in violation of Code Section 7-1-633;

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(D) Selling payment instruments before receiving a license as required by Code Section 7-1-681; (E) An international bank agency before receiving the license required by Code Section 7-1-713; (F) A business development corporation before approval of the department is granted under Code Section 7-1-743; (G) A building and loan association before its articles are approved; or (H) Transacting business either directly or indirectly as a mortgage loan originator, mortgage broker, or mortgage lender unless licensed by the department or exempt from licensing pursuant to Code Section 7-1-1001; or (4) Being an agent of a licensee or such agent's employee who is authorized to sell or issue payment instruments on behalf of a licensee, issues payment instruments directly or indirectly to or for his or her own benefit, or sells or issues payment instruments without accepting funds therefor or sells or issues payment instruments and willfully fails to remit to the licensee the proceeds from the sale or issuance of such payment instruments within five business days from the date of such sale or issuance."

SECTION 33. Said title is further amended in Code Section 7-1-1003, relating to applications for licenses for mortgage brokers and mortgage lenders, by revising subsection (c) as follows:
"(c) All applications filed under this Code section shall be filed together with: (1) Investigation and supervision fees established by regulation; (2) The items required by Code Section 7-1-1003.2; and (3) Other information as may be required by the department."

SECTION 34. Said title is further amended in Code Section 7-1-1017, relating to mortgage broker education, by revising subsection (b) as follows:
"(b)(1) Notice of the department's intention to enter an order denying an application for a license or registration under this article or of an order suspending or revoking a license or registration under this article shall be given to the applicant, licensee, or registrant in writing, sent by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery addressed to the principal place of business of such applicant, licensee, or registrant. Within 20 days of the date of the notice of intention to enter an order of denial, suspension, or revocation under this article, the applicant, licensee, or registrant may request in writing a hearing to contest the order. If a hearing is not requested in writing within 20 days of the date of such notice of intention, the department shall enter a final order regarding the denial, suspension, or revocation. Any final order of the department denying, suspending, or revoking a license or registration shall state the grounds upon which it is based and shall be effective on the date of issuance. A copy thereof shall be forwarded promptly by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery addressed to the principal place

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of business of such applicant, licensee, or registrant. If a person refuses to accept service of the notice or order by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, the notice or order shall be served by the commissioner or the commissioner's authorized representative under any other method of lawful service; and the person shall be personally liable to the commissioner for a sum equal to the actual costs incurred to serve the notice or order. This liability shall be paid upon notice and demand by the commissioner or the commissioner's representative and shall be assessed and collected in the same manner as other fees or fines administered by the commissioner. (2) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection, the department may issue a notice of intent to suspend license to a mortgage loan originator when such mortgage loan originator is no longer sponsored by a licensed or registered mortgage broker or lender. If the mortgage loan originator is sponsored by a licensed or registered mortgage broker or lender within 30 days of the date of issuance of the notice of intent to suspend, such notice shall be rescinded. If the mortgage loan originator is not sponsored by a licensed or registered mortgage broker or lender within 30 days of the date of such issuance, the mortgage loan originator license shall automatically expire after 30 days and the person shall not act as a mortgage loan originator unless a new license application is submitted, all applicable fees are paid, and a license is issued by the department."

SECTION 35. Said title is further amended in Code Section 7-9-2, relating to definitions relative to merchant acquirer limited purpose banks, by adding two new subsections to read as follows:
"(1.1) 'Control person' means any individual who directs the affairs or controls or establishes policy for a merchant acquirer limited purpose bank." "(8.1) 'Merchant funds' means funds received by a merchant acquirer limited purpose bank as a result of its performance of clearing, settlement, or any other authorized activities which are ultimately payable to a merchant."

SECTION 36. Said title is further amended in Code Section 7-9-4, relating to applications, fees, and employees of merchant acquirer limited purpose banks, by revising subsection (b) as follows:
"(b) The department shall, by regulation, prescribe annual examination fees, charter fees, registration fees, and supervision fees to be paid by each merchant acquirer limited purpose bank. In addition, the department may, by regulation, prescribe reasonable application and related fees, special investigation fees, hearing fees, and fees to provide copies of any book, account, report, or other paper filed in its office or for any certification thereof or for processing any papers as required by this title. The department, in its discretion, may require the payment of such fees in any manner deemed to be efficient, including collection through automated clearing-house arrangements or other electronic means, so that the state receives funds no later than the date the payment is required to be made. The department

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is authorized to net the fees authorized in this subsection to recover any costs incurred by the department related to any investigation or examination of a merchant acquirer limited purpose bank."

SECTION 37. Said title is further amended in Code Section 7-9-5, relating to articles of incorporation and board of directors for merchant acquirer limited purpose banks, by revising subsection (c) as follows:
"(c) The applicant shall file with the department the articles of incorporation, together with any fee required by the department. Such filing shall constitute an application for a charter and approval to operate as a merchant acquirer limited purpose bank. Immediately upon the filing of the articles of incorporation, the department shall certify a copy of the articles and return it to the applicant, who shall, in conformity with Code Section 7-1-7 and on the next business day following the filing of the articles, transmit for publication in the newspaper which is the official organ of the county where the merchant acquirer limited purpose bank will be located a copy of the articles or, in lieu thereof, a statement that reads substantially as follows:
'An application for a charter to operate as a merchant acquirer limited purpose bank to be known as the _______ and to be located at ______________ in _____________ County, Georgia, will be made to the Secretary of State of Georgia in accordance with Chapter 9 of Title 7 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, the "Georgia Merchant Acquirer Limited Purpose Bank Act." A copy of the articles of incorporation of the proposed merchant acquirer limited purpose bank and the application have been filed with the Department of Banking and Finance.' The articles of incorporation or the statement must be published once a week for two consecutive weeks with the first publication occurring within ten days of receipt by the newspaper of the articles of incorporation or statement."

SECTION 38. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 7-9-7, relating to approval or disapproval of charter applications for merchant acquirer limited purpose banks, as follows:
"7-9-7. (a)(1) Upon receipt of the articles of incorporation and the filings and fees from the applicant as required under this chapter, the department shall conduct such investigation as it may deem necessary to ascertain whether it should approve the proposed merchant acquirer limited purpose bank. The department shall approve the charter of a merchant acquirer limited purpose bank if it determines in its discretion that: (A) The articles of incorporation and supporting items satisfy the requirements of this chapter;

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(B) The character and fitness of the applicant, directors, and proposed officers are such as to warrant the belief that the business of the proposed merchant acquirer limited purpose bank will be honestly and efficiently conducted; and (C) The capital structure of the merchant acquirer limited purpose bank is adequate in relation to the amount and character of the anticipated business of the merchant acquirer limited purpose bank. (2) Within 90 days after receipt of the articles of incorporation and the filings and fees from the applicant as required by this chapter, the department shall approve or disapprove the charter of the proposed merchant acquirer limited purpose bank. The department may impose conditions to be satisfied prior to the issuance of its approval of the charter of a merchant acquirer limited purpose bank. If the department, in its discretion, approves the charter of the proposed merchant acquirer limited purpose bank with or without conditions, it shall deliver its written approval of the articles of incorporation and charter to the Secretary of State and notify the applicant of its action. If the department, in its discretion, disapproves the charter of the proposed merchant acquirer limited purpose bank, it shall notify the applicant of its disapproval of the charter and state generally the unfavorable factors influencing its decision. The decision of the department shall be conclusive, except that it may be subject to judicial review as provided in Code Section 7-1-90. (b) No charter shall be issued if the department finds that the applicant, or any holding company, control person, director, officer, partner, or employee of the applicant, has been convicted of a felony in any jurisdiction or of a crime which, if committed within this state, would constitute a felony under the laws of this state. No control person, director, officer, partner, or employee of a merchant acquirer limited purpose bank shall have been convicted of a felony in any jurisdiction or of a crime which, if committed within this state, would constitute a felony under the laws of this state. For any merchant acquirer limited purpose bank that is transacting business under a charter approved by the department, the department shall have the suspension and removal powers provided for in Code Section 7-1-71 with respect to any control person, director, officer, partner, or employee of the merchant acquirer limited purpose bank who has been convicted of a felony in any jurisdiction or of a crime which, if committed within this state, would constitute a felony under the laws of this state. For the purposes of this article, a person shall be deemed to have been convicted of a crime if such person shall have pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to a charge thereof before a court or federal magistrate or shall have been found guilty thereof by the decision or judgment of a court or federal magistrate or by the verdict of a jury, irrespective of the pronouncement of sentence or the suspension thereof, and regardless of whether first offender treatment without adjudication of guilt pursuant to the charge was entered, or an adjudication or sentence was otherwise withheld or not entered on that charge, unless and until such plea of guilty or such decision, judgment, or verdict shall have been set aside, reversed, or otherwise abrogated by lawful judicial process or until probation, sentence, or both probation and sentence of a first offender have been

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successfully completed and documented, or unless the person convicted of the crime shall have received a pardon thereon from the President of the United States or the governor or other pardoning authority in the jurisdiction where the conviction occurred, or shall have received an official certification of pardon granted by the state's pardoning body where the conviction occurred which removes the legal disabilities resulting from such conviction and restores civil and political rights. (c) As used in this Code section, 'conviction data' means a record of a finding, verdict, or plea of guilty or plea of nolo contendere with regard to any crime, regardless of whether an appeal of the conviction has been sought. The department shall be authorized to obtain conviction data with respect to any applicant, holding company, merchant acquirer limited purpose bank, or person who is a control person, director, officer, partner, or employee of the applicant or merchant acquirer limited purpose bank. The department may directly submit to the Georgia Crime Information Center two complete sets of fingerprints of such person, together with the required records search fees and such other information as may be required. Fees for background checks that the department administers shall be sent to the department by applicants and merchant acquirer limited purpose banks together with such fingerprints. (d) Upon request by the department, each applicant, holding company, or merchant acquirer limited purpose bank or any person who is a control person, director, officer, partner, or employee of the applicant or merchant acquirer limited purpose bank shall submit to the department two complete sets of fing