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

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Annotated which they amend and the tabular index contains a list of Code sections which have been amended, enacted, or repealed.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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EDUCATION PROHIBIT SOLICITING OR ENTERING INTO TRANSACTIONS WITH STUDENT-ATHLETE WHICH WOULD SUBJECT STUDENT-ATHLETE TO SANCTIONS; RIGHT OF ACTION FOR POSTSECONDARY INSTITUTION.

No. 101 (House Bill No. 3).

AN ACT

To amend Part 14 of Article 6 of Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to other educational programs, so as to prohibit persons from entering into or soliciting a transaction with a student-athlete that would result in sanctions to the student-athlete; to provide for a right of action by a postsecondary institution; 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 14 of Article 6 of Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to other educational programs, is amended by revising Code Section 20-2-317, relating to inappropriate means of encouraging and rewarding student-athletes, as follows:
"20-2-317. (a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) 'Immediate family' means a student-athlete's spouse, child, parent, stepparent, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, nephew, niece, aunt, uncle, and first cousin and the spouses and guardians of any such individuals. (2) 'Person' means an individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, firm, or any other legal or commercial entity. (3) 'Student-athlete' means a student at any public or private institution of postsecondary education in this state or a student residing in this state who has applied, is eligible to apply, or may be eligible to apply in the future to a public or private institution of postsecondary education who engages in, is eligible to engage in, or may be eligible to engage in any intercollegiate sporting event, contest, exhibition, or program. (4) 'Transaction' means any action or set of actions occurring between two or more persons for the sale or exchange of any property or services.

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(b) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this Code section, no person shall give, offer, promise, or attempt to give any money or other thing of value to a student-athlete or member of a student-athlete's immediate family:
(1) To induce, encourage, or reward the student-athlete's application, enrollment, or attendance at a public or private institution of postsecondary education in order to have the student-athlete participate in intercollegiate sporting events, contests, exhibitions, or programs at that institution; or (2) To induce, encourage, or reward the student-athlete's participation in an intercollegiate sporting event, contest, exhibition, or program. (b.1) No person shall enter into or solicit directly or through an agent a transaction with a student-athlete if such person has knowledge that the transaction would likely be cause for the student-athlete to permanently or temporarily lose athletic scholarship eligibility, the ability to participate on an intercollegiate athletic team, or the ability to participate in one or more intercollegiate sporting competitions as sanctioned by a national association for the promotion and regulation of intercollegiate athletics, by an athletic conference or other sanctioning body, or by the institution of postsecondary education itself as a reasonable self-imposed disciplinary action taken by such institution to mitigate sanctions likely to be imposed by such organizations as a result of such transaction or as a violation of such institution's own rules. (c) This Code section shall not apply to: (1) Any public or private institution of postsecondary education or to any officer or employee of such institution when the institution or officer or employee of such institution is acting in accordance with an official written policy of such institution which is in compliance with the bylaws of the National Collegiate Athletic Association; (2) Any intercollegiate athletic awards approved or administered by the student-athlete's institution; (3) Grants-in-aid or other full or partial scholarships awarded to a student-athlete or administered by an institution of postsecondary education; (4) Members of the student-athlete's immediate family; and (5) Money or things of value given by a person to a student-athlete or the immediate family of a student-athlete that do not exceed $250.00 in value in the aggregate on an annual basis. (d) Any person that violates the provisions of subsection (b) or (b.1) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. (e) Each public and private high school in this state shall advise in writing at the beginning of each sports season each student who participates in any athletic program sponsored by the school of the provisions of this Code section and shall provide each student with information concerning the effect of receiving money or other things of value on the student's future eligibility to participate in intercollegiate athletics. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to intermural athletic programs at such schools."

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SECTION 2. Said part is further amended by revising subsection (b) of Code Section 20-2-318, relating to intercollegiate athletics and remedies for improper activities, as follows:
"(b) Each public and private institution of postsecondary education located in this state that participates or engages in intercollegiate athletics shall have a right of action against any person who engages in any activity concerning student-athletes that results in:
(1) The institution being penalized, disqualified, or suspended from participation in intercollegiate athletics by a national association for the promotion and regulation of intercollegiate athletics, by an athletic conference or other sanctioning body, or by reasonable self-imposed disciplinary action taken by such institution to mitigate sanctions likely to be imposed by such organizations as a result of such activity; or (2) The student-athlete permanently or temporarily losing athletic scholarship eligibility, the ability to participate on an intercollegiate athletic team, or the ability to participate in one or more intercollegiate sporting competitions as sanctioned by a national association for the promotion and regulation of intercollegiate athletics, by an athletic conference or other sanctioning body, or by the institution itself as a reasonable self-imposed disciplinary action taken by such institution to mitigate sanctions likely to be imposed by such organizations as a result of engaging in such activity or as a violation of such institution's own rules. The institution shall be entitled to recover all damages which are directly related to or which flow from and are reasonably related to such improper activity and to such penalties, disqualifications, and suspensions. Damages shall include, but not be limited to, loss of scholarships, loss of television revenue, loss of bowl revenue, and legal and other fees associated with the investigation of the activity and the representation of the institution before the sanctioning organizations in connection with the investigation and resolution of such activity. If the institution is the prevailing party in its cause of action, it shall be entitled to an award of court costs, costs of litigation, and reasonable attorney's fees. The institution may also request and the court may enter an injunction against any person found liable from having any further contact with the institution, its student-athletes, and student-athletes who have expressed or might express an interest in attending the institution and from attending athletic contests, exhibitions, games, or other such events in which one or more of the institution's student-athletes is participating. The right of action and remedies under this Code section are in addition to all other rights of action which may be available to the institution."

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 May 6, 2015.

__________

MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC REVENUE AND TAXATION SPECIAL MOTOR VEHICLE LICENSE PLATES; MOTOR VEHICLE AD VALOREM TAX EXEMPTION FOR DISABLED VETERANS.

No. 104 (House Bill No. 48).

AN ACT

To amend Article 3 of Chapter 2 of Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to prestige license plates and special plates for certain persons and vehicles, so as to provide for a special and distinctive motor vehicle license plate for public safety first responders who have received a major injury in the line of duty; to provide for standards for the issuance of such license plates; to provide for applicable fees; to provide for authority to establish rules and regulations; to provide for a definition of "disabled veteran"; to provide for issuance of free motor vehicle license plates to disabled veterans; to provide for eligibility; to provide for revalidation of such license plates; to provide for the transfer of such license plates upon death; to provide for issuance of special and distinctive license plates for use on motorcycles; to extend eligibility to apply for such license plates to include a surviving spouse of a sibling of the service member; to provide for a minimum number of applicants prior to issuance of a new special license plate; to provide for a special and distinctive motor vehicle license plate for members of the Georgia State Defense Force; to amend Chapter 5 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to ad valorem taxation of property, so as to provide for a definition of "disabled veteran" for homestead exemption purposes; to provide for an exemption to motor vehicle ad valorem taxes for disabled veterans; 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 2 of Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to prestige license plates and special plates for certain persons and vehicles, is amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:

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"40-2-63.1. (a) Any law enforcement officer, firefighter, emergency medical services personnel, ambulance driver, or other similarly employed public safety first responder who has sustained a major injury through no fault of his or her own during the competent performance of his or her official duties shall, upon application therefor, be issued a special and distinctive motor vehicle license plate upon presentation of proof that such individual is entitled to receive such special license plate. Application for such license plates shall include payment of a manufacturing fee of $25.00. For purposes of this Code section, a major injury shall be one that was of sufficient seriousness as to require hospitalization or comparable medical treatment and which resulted in permanent disability or disfigurement of the body. (b) License plates issued pursuant to this Code section need not contain a place for the county name decal, and a county name decal need not be affixed to a license plate issued pursuant to this Code section. Special and distinctive license plates issued pursuant to this Code section shall be renewed annually, and revalidation decals shall be issued upon compliance with the laws relating to registration and licensing and upon payment of an additional registration fee of $35.00 which shall be collected by the county tag agent at the time for collection of other registration fees and shall be remitted to the state as provided in Code Section 40-2-34. The special license plates issued pursuant to this Code section shall be transferred to another vehicle as provided in Code Section 40-2-80. (c) The commissioner is authorized and directed to design the license plate, establish procedures, establish standards for proof of eligibility, and promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of this Code section."

SECTION 2. Said article is further amended by revising Code Section 40-2-69, relating to free license plates and revalidation decals for certain disabled veterans, as follows:
"40-2-69. (a) Any disabled veteran who is a citizen and resident of this state shall, upon application therefor, be issued a free motor vehicle license plate. As used in this Code section, the term 'disabled veteran' means any veteran who was discharged under honorable conditions and who has been adjudicated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs as being 100 percent totally disabled or as being less than 100 percent totally disabled but is compensated at the 100 percent level due to individual unemployability and is entitled to receive a statutory award from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs for:
(1) Loss or permanent loss of use of one or both feet; (2) Loss or permanent loss of use of one or both hands; (3) Loss of sight in one or both eyes; or (4) Permanent impairment of vision of both eyes of the following status: central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye, with corrective glasses, or central visual acuity of more than 20/200 if there is a field defect in which the peripheral field has contracted

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to such an extent that the widest diameter of visual field subtends on angular distance no greater than 20 degrees in the better eye. (b) Any disabled veteran shall, upon application therefor, be issued a free motor vehicle license plate upon presentation of proof that he or she qualifies as a disabled veteran. A disabled veteran who claims that his or her disability is permanent shall furnish proof of such permanent disability through a letter from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. (c)(1) Once a disabled veteran has established his or her eligibility to receive free motor vehicle license plates as a result of being permanently disabled, he or she shall be entitled to receive free plates or free revalidation decals in succeeding years on any automobile, private passenger pickup truck, motorcycle, station wagon, or van type vehicle of three-quarter tons or less that he or she may own or jointly with his or her spouse or minor child own or acquire in the future. (2) Once a disabled veteran has established his or her eligibility to receive free motor vehicle license plates but his or her disability has not been determined to be a permanent disability, he or she shall be entitled to receive free plates or free revalidation decals in succeeding years upon furnishing, on an annual basis, proof of his or her status as a disabled veteran through a letter from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Such free plates or free revalidation decals shall apply to any automobile, private passenger pickup truck, motorcycle, station wagon, or van type vehicle of three-quarter tons or less that he or she may own or jointly with his or her spouse or minor child own or acquire in the future.
(3)(A) Two license plates or revalidation decals each year shall be furnished for vehicles other than motorcycles to disabled veterans qualifying under this Code section unless the originals are lost. Such plates shall be fastened to both the front and the rear of the vehicle. (B) One license plate or revalidation decal each year shall be furnished for motorcycles to disabled veterans qualifying under this Code section unless the original is lost. Such plate shall be fastened to the rear of the vehicle. (4) In the event of the death of the person who received the special license plates pursuant to this Code section, upon complying with the motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles, his or her unremarried surviving spouse or minor child may continue to receive the free special license plates and revalidation decals until the remarriage of the surviving spouse or death of the surviving spouse or minor child."

SECTION 2.1. Said article is further amended by revising Code Section 40-2-81, which was previously reserved, as follows:
"40-2-81. (a) For purposes of this Code section, the term 'Georgia State Defense Force' means that organization established pursuant to Part 3 of Article 1 of Chapter 2 of Title 38.

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(b)(1) Motor vehicle and trailer owners who are members of the Georgia State Defense Force shall be eligible to receive special and distinctive vehicle license plates for private passenger cars, trucks, motorcycles, or recreational vehicles used for personal transportation. Such license plates shall be issued in compliance with the state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles as prescribed in Article 2 of this chapter.
(2)(A) Motor vehicle and trailer owners who are members of the Georgia State Defense Force shall be issued upon application for and upon compliance with the state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles a Georgia State Defense Force member license plate. One such license plate shall be issued without the requisite registration fee, manufacturing fee, or annual registration fee. (B) Each member of the Georgia State Defense Force shall be entitled to no more than one such free license plate at a time; provided, however, that upon payment of a manufacturing fee of $25.00, a member shall be entitled to one additional such license plate. For each additional license plate for which a $25.00 manufacturing fee is required, there shall be an additional annual registration fee of $25.00 which fee shall be collected by the county tag agent at the time of collection of other registration fees and shall be remitted to the state as provided in Code Section 40-2-34. (c) The commissioner shall design a Georgia State Defense Force member license plate. The commissioner shall promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to enforce compliance with all state license laws relating to the use and operation of private passenger cars, trucks, motorcycles, and trailers before issuing these license plates in lieu of the regular Georgia license plates. The manufacturing fee for such special and distinctive license plates shall be $25.00. The commissioner is specifically authorized to promulgate all rules and regulations necessary to ensure compliance in instances where such vehicles have been transferred or sold. Such plates shall be nontransferable. (d) The special and distinctive vehicle license plates shall be as prescribed in Article 2 of this chapter for private passenger cars, trucks, motorcycles, and trailers used for personal transportation. Such plates shall contain such words or symbols, in addition to the numbers and letters prescribed by law, so as to identify distinctively the owners as members of the Georgia State Defense Force. (e) The license plate issued pursuant to this Code section may be transferred between vehicles as provided in Code Section 40-2-80. (f) Special license plates issued under this Code section, except as provided in subparagraph (b)(2)(A) of this Code section, shall be renewed annually with a revalidation decal as provided in Code Section 40-2-31 without payment of an additional $25.00 annual registration fee. (g) Should a member of the Georgia State Defense Force who has been issued a license plate or license plates be discharged or otherwise separated from the Georgia State Defense Force, the member shall forward his or her Georgia State Defense Force member license plate or plates to the commissioner along with a certificate to the effect that such person has

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been discharged or otherwise separated from the Georgia State Defense Force, and thereupon the commissioner shall issue a regular license plate, at no additional charge, to such former member of the Georgia State Defense Force to replace the Georgia State Defense Force member plate or plates."

SECTION 3. Said article is further amended in Code Section 40-2-85.1, relating to special and distinctive license plates for veterans, by revising subsections (b), (c), and (d) as follows:
"(b)(1) Motor vehicle and trailer owners who are veterans of the armed forces of the United States, or who have received a military medal award, or persons who served during active military combat shall be eligible to receive special and distinctive vehicle license plates for private passenger cars, motorcycles, trucks, or recreational vehicles used for personal transportation. Such license plates shall be issued in compliance with the state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles as prescribed in Article 2 of this chapter.
(2)(A) Motor vehicle and trailer owners who are veterans or have received a military medal award or served during active military combat shall be issued upon application for and upon compliance with the state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles a veteran's license plate, military medal award recipient license plate, or commemorative service license plate for service during active military combat. One such license plate shall be issued without the requisite registration fee, manufacturing fee, or annual registration fee. (B) Each member or former member of the armed forces listed in this subsection shall be entitled to no more than one such free license plate at a time; provided, however, that upon payment of a manufacturing fee of $25.00, a member shall be entitled to one additional such license plate. For each additional license plate for which a $25.00 manufacturing fee is required, there shall be an additional annual registration fee of $25.00 which fee shall be collected by the county tag agent at the time of collection of other registration fees and shall be remitted to the state as provided in Code Section 40-2-34. (c) The commissioner shall design a veteran's license plate, a military medal award recipient license plate, and a license plate to commemorate service with the United States armed forces during active military combat. The commissioner shall promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to enforce compliance with all state license laws relating to the use and operation of private passenger cars, motorcycles, trucks, and trailers before issuing these license plates in lieu of the regular Georgia license plates. The manufacturing fee for such special and distinctive license plates shall be $25.00. The commissioner is specifically authorized to promulgate all rules and regulations necessary to ensure compliance in instances where such vehicles have been transferred or sold. Except as provided in subsection (e) of this Code section, such plates shall be nontransferable.

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(d) The special and distinctive vehicle license plates shall be as prescribed in Article 2 of this chapter for private passenger cars, motorcycles, trucks, and trailers used for personal transportation. Such plates shall contain such words or symbols, in addition to the numbers and letters prescribed by law, so as to identify distinctively the owners as veterans of the armed forces of the United States, recipients of a military medal award, or persons who served during active military combat and shall additionally identify distinctly the owner as a veteran of one of the following branches of the armed forces: Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, or Coast Guard."

SECTION 4. Said article is further amended in Code Section 40-2-85.3, relating to special license plates honoring family members of service members killed in action, by revising subsections (d) and (f) as follows:
"(d) Any motor vehicle owner who is a resident of Georgia, other than one registering under the International Registration Plan, upon complying with state laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles shall be issued such a special license plate upon application therefor. Special license plates issued under this Code section shall be renewed annually with a revalidation decal as provided in Code Section 40-2-31. Upon payment of all ad valorem taxes and other fees due at registration of a motor vehicle an eligible family member may apply for a Gold Star license plate. In order to qualify as an eligible family member for purposes of this Code section, the person must be related to the fallen service member as a spouse, mother, father, sibling, child, step-parent, or surviving spouse of such service member's sibling. One free license plate shall be allowed for the spouse, mother, and father, and they may purchase additional license plates for each motor vehicle they register in this state. Siblings, children, step-parents, or surviving spouses of siblings of service members may purchase Gold Star license plates for motor vehicles registered in this state. The cost of a Gold Star license plate shall be established by the department, but shall not exceed the cost of other specialty license plates. If a Gold Star license plate is lost, damaged, or stolen, the eligible family member must pay the reasonable cost, to be established by the department, but not to exceed the cost of other specialty license plates, to replace the Gold Star license plate." "(f) A free Gold Star license plate shall be issued only to the spouse, mother, and father of service members who resided in Georgia at the time of the death of the service member. However, an eligible family member, except for nonresident siblings or surviving spouses of such nonresident siblings, who was not a resident of Georgia at the time of the death of the service member may purchase a Gold Star license plate, at a cost to be established by the department, not to exceed the cost of other specialty license plates."

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SECTION 5. Said article is further amended in Code Section 40-2-86, relating to special license plates promoting certain beneficial projects and supporting certain worthy agencies, funds, or nonprofit corporations, by revising subsection (g) as follows:
"(g) On or after July 1, 2010, no special license plate authorized pursuant to subsections (l), (m), and (n) of this Code section shall be issued except upon the receipt by the department of at least 1,000 prepaid applications along with the manufacturing fees. The special license plate shall have an application period of two years after the date on which the application period becomes effective for payment of the manufacturing fee. After such time if the minimum number of applications is not met, the department shall not continue to accept the manufacturing fees, and all fees shall be refunded to applicants; provided, however, that once the department has received 1,000 prepaid applications along with the manufacturing fees, the sponsor shall not be entitled to a refund."

SECTION 6. Chapter 5 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to ad valorem taxation of property, is amended in Code Section 48-5-48, relating to eligibility and filing requirements for homestead extension for a qualified disabled veteran, by revising paragraph (1) of subsection (a) as follows:
"(1) Any veteran who was discharged under honorable conditions and who has been adjudicated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs as being 100 percent totally disabled or as being less than 100 percent totally disabled but is compensated at the 100 percent level due to individual unemployability and is entitled to receive a statutory award from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs for:
(A) Loss or permanent loss of use of one or both feet; (B) Loss or permanent loss of use of one or both hands; (C) Loss of sight in one or both eyes; or (D) Permanent impairment of vision of both eyes of the following status: central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye, with corrective glasses, or central visual acuity of more than 20/200 if there is a field defect in which the peripheral field has contracted to such an extent that the widest diameter of visual field subtends on angular distance no greater than 20 degrees in the better eye;"

SECTION 7. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 48-5-478, relating to constitutional exemption from ad valorem taxation for disabled veterans, as follows:
"48-5-478. (a) A motor vehicle owned by or leased to a disabled veteran who is a citizen and resident of this state and on which such disabled veteran actually places the free disabled veteran motor vehicle license plate he or she receives pursuant to Code Section 40-2-69 is hereby exempted from all ad valorem taxes for state, county, municipal, and school purposes. As

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used in this Code section, the term 'disabled veteran' means any veteran who was discharged under honorable conditions and who has been adjudicated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs as being 100 percent totally disabled or as being less than 100 percent totally disabled but is being compensated at the 100 percent level due to individual unemployability and is entitled to receive service connected benefits and any veteran who is receiving or who is entitled to receive a statutory award from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs for:
(1) Loss or permanent loss of use of one or both feet; (2) Loss or permanent loss of use of one or both hands; (3) Loss of sight in one or both eyes; or (4) Permanent impairment of vision of both eyes of the following status: central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye, with corrective glasses, or central visual acuity of more than 20/200 if there is a field defect in which the peripheral field has contracted to such an extent that the widest diameter of visual field subtends on angular distance no greater than 20 degrees in the better eye. (b) Once a disabled veteran has established his or her eligibility for such ad valorem tax exemption by being 100 percent totally disabled, he or she shall be entitled to receive such ad valorem tax exemption in succeeding years thereafter. A disabled veteran who claims 100 percent total disability shall furnish proof of such disability through a letter from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. (c) Once a disabled veteran has established his or her eligibility for such ad valorem tax exemption but his or her disability has not been adjudicated a 100 percent total disability, he or she shall be entitled to such ad valorem tax exemption in succeeding years upon furnishing, on an annual basis, proof of his or her status as a disabled veteran through a letter from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. (d) In the event of the death of the disabled veteran who received such ad valorem tax exemption pursuant to this Code section, upon complying with the motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles, his or her unmarried surviving spouse or minor child may continue to receive the exemption."

SECTION 8. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved May 6, 2015.

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INSURANCE REQUIRE CERTAIN NOTICES OR POLICIES REGARDING AIRCRAFT.

No. 105 (House Bill No. 84).

AN ACT

To amend Chapter 24 of Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to insurance generally, so as to provide for conspicuous notice and clear exclusion notices and guidance; to provide for applicability; 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 revising Code Section 33-24-30, relating to excluding or denying coverage on basis of violation of civil air regulations, as follows:
"33-24-30. (a) No policy of insurance issued or delivered in this state covering any loss, expense, or liability arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of an aircraft shall exclude or deny coverage because the aircraft is operated in violation of civil air regulations pursuant to federal, state, or local laws or ordinances. (b) This Code section does not prohibit the use of specific exclusions or conditions in any such policy which relates to any of the following:
(1) Certification of an aircraft in a stated category by the Federal Aviation Administration; (2) Certification of a pilot in a stated category by the Federal Aviation Administration; (3) Establishing requirements for pilot experience; or (4) Establishing limitations on the use of the aircraft. (c) Any policy of insurance containing one, all, or any combination of the specific exclusions or conditions in the categories permitted in subsection (b) of this Code section shall include conspicuous notice advising the insured that the policy contains such exclusions or conditions and provide specific instructions as to what actions the insured shall undertake in order to protect and preserve his or her rights and coverages under the policy."

SECTION 2. This Act shall be applicable to policies issued on or renewed after July 1, 2015.

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

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REVENUE AND TAXATION AD VALOREM TAXES; MOTOR VEHICLES AND MOTOR HOMES; EXEMPT CERTAIN PERSONS FROM PENALTIES FOR FAILURE TO PAY TIMELY.

No. 107 (House Bill No. 94).

AN ACT

To amend Part 1 of Article 10 of Chapter 5 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions regarding the ad valorem taxation of motor vehicles and motor homes, so as to exempt certain persons from penalties for failure to timely pay the ad valorem tax; 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 10 of Chapter 5 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions regarding the ad valorem taxation of motor vehicles and motor homes, is amended by revising Code Section 48-5-451, relating to the penalty for failure to make return or pay tax on a motor vehicle or mobile home, as follows:
"48-5-451. (a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this Code section, every owner of a motor vehicle or a mobile home, in addition to the ad valorem tax due on the motor vehicle or mobile home, shall be liable for a penalty of 10 percent of the tax due or $5.00, whichever is greater, for the failure to make the return or pay the tax in accordance with this article. (b) Any Georgia resident who voluntarily cancels the registration of his or her motor vehicle pursuant to Code Section 40-2-10 shall not be assessed any penalty for failure to pay the tax due on a motor vehicle under subsection (a) of this Code section for any such period of time. Any such person shall remain liable for the ad valorem tax due on a motor vehicle he or she owns. This subsection shall not apply to motor vehicles subject to Code

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Section 48-5-441.1. The commissioner shall promulgate any necessary rules and forms to implement the provisions of this subsection."

SECTION 2. This Act shall become effective on July 1, 2015, and shall be applicable to any penalties assessed on or after that date. Any proceedings instituted for the collection of penalties under the law in existence prior to July 1, 2015, shall not be affected by the enactment of this Act.

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

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LOCAL GOVERNMENT LOCAL GOVERNMENT INVESTMENT POOL; TRUST FUND MANAGED
BY STATE TREASURER.

No. 108 (House Bill No. 95).

AN ACT

To amend Code Section 36-83-8 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the local government investment pool, so as to provide for a trust fund managed by the state treasurer; 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 36-83-8 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the local government investment pool, is amended by revising subsection (k) as follows:
"(k) Funds in the local government investment pool may be consolidated with state funds under the control of the state treasurer for investment purposes, if accurate and detailed accounting records are maintained for the funds of each participating local government and a proportionate amount of interest earned is credited to the local government investment pool and the accounts therein. The state treasurer may also place the funds in a separate trust fund to be administered by the state treasurer pursuant to policies established by the State Depository Board."

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

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PROPERTY CONVERSION OF JOINT TENANCY WITH RIGHT OF SURVIVORSHIP INTO TENANCY IN COMMON IN CASE OF DIVORCE OR ANNULMENT.

No. 109 (House Bill No. 99).

AN ACT

To amend Article 8 of Chapter 6 of Title 44 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to joint tenancy with survivorship, so as to provide a procedure for tenancy in common when joint tenants divorce or have their marriage annulled, under certain circumstances; 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 8 of Chapter 6 of Title 44 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to joint tenancy with survivorship, is amended by revising Code Section 44-6-190, relating to creating joint tenancy with right of survivorship and severance, as follows:
"44-6-190. (a)(1) Deeds and other instruments of title, including any instrument in which one person conveys to himself or herself and one or more other persons, any instrument in which two or more persons convey to themselves or to themselves and another or others, and wills, taking effect after January 1, 1977, may create a joint interest with survivorship in two or more persons. (2) Any instrument of title in favor of two or more persons shall be construed to create interests in common without survivorship between or among the owners unless the instrument expressly refers to the takers as 'joint tenants,' 'joint tenants and not as tenants in common,' or 'joint tenants with survivorship' or as taking 'jointly with survivorship.' (3) Any instrument of title using one of the forms of expression referred to in paragraph (2) of this subsection or language essentially the same as one of these forms of expression shall create a joint tenancy estate or interest that may be severed as to the

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interest of any owner by the recording of an instrument which results in his or her lifetime transfer of all or a part of his or her interest; provided, however, that, if all persons owning joint tenant interests in a property join in the same recorded lifetime transfer, no severance shall occur. (4) Unless the joint tenancy with the right of survivorship is otherwise disposed of in a final order of divorce or annulment, if either party to an instrument of title creating a joint tenancy with the right of survivorship files an affidavit in the real property records maintained by the clerk of superior court of the county in which the real property is located averring that the parties have been lawfully divorced or their marriage has been annulled that the party intends to terminate the joint tenancy, identifies the book and page of recordation of the deed creating the joint tenancy and attaches a copy of the final order of divorce or annulment and a legal description of the property, the party's interests shall be converted into tenants in common. (b) Neither this Code section nor Code Section 44-6-120 shall: (1) Be construed to repeal, modify, or limit in any way:
(A) Code Section 14-5-8; or (B) Article 8 of Chapter 1 of Title 7 or any other law relative to multiple-party accounts in financial institutions; or (2) Apply to any document, transaction, or right to which Code Section 14-5-8 applies or to multiple-party deposit accounts in any financial institution."

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

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STATE GOVERNMENT APPLICABILITY OF PUBLIC BIDDING PROCESSES FOR CERTAIN CONVEYANCES.

No. 112 (House Bill No. 104).

AN ACT

To amend Article 2 of Chapter 16 of Title 50 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the "State Properties Code," so as to clarify applicability of public bidding processes for certain conveyances; to correct cross-references; 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 2 of Chapter 16 of Title 50 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the "State Properties Code," is amended in Code Section 50-16-39, relating to public competitive bidding procedure for sales and leases of public property, by revising subsection (a) as follows:
"(a) Subject to authorization by the General Assembly as provided in Code Section 50-16-40, any conveyance, other than a grant of easement, lease, or exchange of real property, shall be initiated and carried out in accordance with this Code section."

SECTION 2. Said article is further amended in Code Section 50-16-41, relating to authorization of rental agreements without competitive bidding, by revising subsection (a) as follows:
"(a) Notwithstanding any provisions and requirements of law to the contrary, the commission is authorized to negotiate, prepare, and enter into in its own name rental agreements whereby a part of the property is rented, without public competitive bidding, to a person for a length of time not to exceed one year and for adequate monetary consideration (in no instance to be less than a rate of $250.00 per year), which shall be determined by the commission, and pursuant to such terms and conditions as the commission shall determine to be in the best interest of the state. The same property or any part thereof shall not be the subject matter of more than one such rental agreement to the same person unless the commission shall determine that there are extenuating circumstances present which would make additional one-year rental agreements beneficial to the state; provided, however, the same property or any part thereof shall not after April 24, 1975, be the subject matter of more than a total of three such one-year rental agreements to the same person."

SECTION 3. Said article is further amended in Code Section 50-16-42, relating to authorization of revocable license agreements without competitive bidding, by revising subsection (a) as follows:
"(a) Notwithstanding any provisions and requirements of law to the contrary, the commission shall have the exclusive power to negotiate, prepare, and grant in its own name, without public competitive bidding, a revocable license to any person to enter upon, extend from, cross through, over, or under, or otherwise to encroach upon any of the property under the custody and control of the commission or under the custody and control of any state agency which is subject to the requirements of Code Section 50-16-38."

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GENERAL ACTS AND RESOLUTIONS, VOL. I

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

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LABOR AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION; DEFINITION; BENEFITS; ADJUSTMENTS AND REFUNDS; OVERPAYMENTS.

No. 113 (House Bill No. 117).

AN ACT

To amend Chapter 8 of Title 34 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to employment security, so as to change certain provisions relating to employment security; to modify the definition of the term "most recent employer"; to change certain provisions relating to charging regular benefits paid against the experience rating account; to change certain provisions relating to applications for adjustment or refund; to change certain provisions relating to grounds for disqualification of benefits; to correct a cross-reference; to change certain provisions relating to overpayments; 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 34 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to employment security, is amended by revising Code Section 34-8-43, relating to most recent employer, as follows:
"34-8-43. (a) As used in this chapter and except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this Code section, the term 'most recent employer' means, for claims with benefit years that begin on or after July 1, 2015, the last employer for whom an individual worked. (b) As used in this chapter and except as otherwise provided in subsection (a) of this Code section, the term 'most recent employer' means, for claims with benefit years that begin on or before June 30, 2015, the last liable employer for whom an individual worked and:
(1) The individual was separated from work for a disqualifying reason;

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(2) The individual was released or separated from work under nondisqualifying conditions and earned wages of at least ten times the weekly benefit amount of the claim; or (3) The employer files the claim for the individual by submitting such reports as authorized by the Commissioner. (c) Where no employer in subsection (b) of this Code section meets the definition of most recent employer from the beginning of the base period to the date the claim is filed, the last liable employer for whom the individual worked shall be considered as the most recent employer for determining eligibility for benefits. (d) Where periods of employment with the same liable employer fail, independently, to meet the definition of most recent employer in subsection (a) or (b) of this Code section, such periods of employment may be used cumulatively to determine the most recent employer and eligibility for benefits shall be determined by the reason for separation from the last employment with such employer."

SECTION 2. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 34-8-157, relating to charging regular benefits paid against the experience rating account, as follows:
"34-8-157. (a) Regular benefits paid with respect to all benefit years that begin on or after January 1, 1992, but prior to July 1, 2015, shall be charged against the experience rating account or reimbursement account of employers in the following manner:
(1) Benefits paid shall be charged to the account of the most recent employer, as that term is defined in Code Section 34-8-43, including benefits paid based upon insured wages which were earned to requalify following a period of disqualification as provided in Code Section 34-8-194;
(2)(A) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection, benefits charged to the account of an employer shall not exceed the amount of wages paid by such employer during the period beginning with the base period of the individual's claim and continuing through the individual's benefit year. (B) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection, benefits shall not be charged to the account of an employer when an individual's overpayment is waived pursuant to Code Section 34-8-254. (C) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection, for the purposes of calculating an employer's contribution rate, an account of an employer shall not be charged for benefits paid to an individual for unemployment that is directly caused by a presidentially declared natural disaster; (3)(A) An employer shall respond in a timely and adequate manner to a notice of a claim filing or a written request by the department for information relating to a claim for benefits as specified in the rules or regulations prescribed by the Commissioner.

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GENERAL ACTS AND RESOLUTIONS, VOL. I

(B) Any violation of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph by an employer or an officer or agent of an employer absent good cause may result in the employer's account being charged for overpayment of benefits paid due to such violation even if the determination is later reversed; provided, however, that upon the finding of three violations of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph within a calendar year resulting in an overpayment of benefits, an employer's account shall be charged for any additional overpayment and shall not be relieved of such charges unless good cause is shown; and (4) Benefits paid to individuals shall be charged against the Unemployment Trust Fund when benefits are paid but not charged against an employer's experience rating account as provided in this Code section. (b)(1) Regular benefits paid with respect to all benefit years that begin on or after July 1, 2015, shall be charged against the experience rating account or reimbursement account of the most recent employer as defined in subsection (a) of Code Section 34-8-43, provided that: (A) The most recent employer is a liable employer, as provided in Code Section 34-8-42; and
(B)(i) The most recent employer separated the individual from work under nondisqualifying conditions, or files the claim for the individual by submitting such reports as authorized by the Commissioner; or (ii) The individual separated from the most recent employer under nondisqualifying conditions. (2) Regular benefits to be charged against the experience rating account or reimbursement account of the most recent employer pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be charged in the following manner: (A) Benefits paid shall be charged to the account of the most recent employer as defined in Code Section 34-8-43, including those benefits paid based upon insured wages which were earned to requalify following a period of disqualification as provided in Code Section 34-8-194; (B) Except as otherwise provided in subparagraph (E) of this paragraph, benefits charged to the account of an employer shall not exceed the amount of wages paid by such employer during the period beginning with the base period of the individual's claim and continuing though the individual's benefit year; (C) Except as otherwise provided in subparagraph (E) of this paragraph, benefits shall not be charged to the account of an employer when an individual's overpayment is waived pursuant to Code Section 34-8-254; (D) Except as otherwise provided in subparagraph (E) of this paragraph, for the purposes of calculating an employer's contribution rate, an account of an employer shall not be charged for benefits paid to an individual for unemployment that is directly caused by a presidentially declared natural disaster;

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(E)(i) An employer shall respond in a timely and adequate manner to a notice of a claim filing or a written request by the department for information relating to a claim for benefits as specified in the rules or regulations prescribed by the Commissioner. (ii) Any violation of division (i) of this subparagraph by an employer or an officer or agent of an employer absent good cause may result in the employer's account being charged for overpayment of benefits paid due to such violation even if the determination is later reversed; provided, however, that upon the finding of three violations of division (i) of this subparagraph within a calendar year resulting in an overpayment of benefits, an employer's account shall be charged for any additional overpayment and shall not be relieved of such charges unless good cause is shown; and (F) Benefits paid to individuals shall be charged against the Unemployment Trust Fund when benefits are paid but not charged against an employer's experience rating account as provided in this Code section or when the employer is not a liable employer as provided in Code Section 34-8-42. (c)(1) Payments of extended benefits as provided in Code Section 34-8-197 shall be charged to an employer's experience rating account in the same proportion as regular benefits are charged, except an employer shall be charged for only 50 percent of its portion of the extended benefits paid for all weeks after the first week of extended benefits; provided, however, that benefits paid that are attributable to service in the employ of any governmental entity as described in subsection (h) of Code Section 34-8-35 shall be financed in their entirety by such governmental entity which is charged as provided in this Code section. (2) As provided by 26 U.S.C. Section 3304, only 50 percent of extended benefits paid shall be charged to the individual's employers as described in paragraph (1) of this subsection. However, if the federal government does not reimburse the 50 percent for the first week of extended benefits paid, employers shall be charged 100 percent of such first week of extended benefits paid. When employers have been determined to be relieved from charges, such payments shall be charged against the Unemployment Trust Fund in the appropriate amount. (d) The Commissioner shall by regulation provide for the notification of each employer of charges made against its account at intervals not less frequent than semiannually. The charges in such notification shall be binding upon each employer for all purposes unless the employer files a request for review and redetermination in writing. Such request must set forth the charges to which the employer objects and the basis of the objection. The request must be made within 15 days of the prescribed notification. Upon such request being filed, the employer shall be granted an opportunity for a fair hearing. However, no employer shall have standing in any proceeding to contest the chargeability to its account of any benefit paid in accordance with a determination, redetermination, or decision pursuant to Articles 7 and 8 of this chapter, except upon the ground that the services upon which such benefits were found to be chargeable did not constitute services performed in employment for the employer and only in the event that the employer was not a party to such determination,

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redetermination, or decision, or to any other proceedings under this chapter in which the character of such services was determined. The employer shall be promptly notified of the Commissioner's redetermination. The redetermination shall become final unless a petition for judicial review is filed within 15 days after notice of redetermination. Such notice shall be mailed or otherwise delivered to the employer's last known address. The petition for judicial review shall be filed in the Superior Court of Fulton County or in the superior court of the county of residence of the petitioner. In any proceeding under this Code section, the findings of the Commissioner as to the facts, if supported by evidence and in the absence of fraud, shall be conclusive, and the jurisdiction of the court shall be confined to questions of law. No additional evidence shall be received by the court, but the court may order additional evidence to be taken before the Commissioner. The Commissioner may, after hearing such additional evidence, modify the determination and file such modified determination, together with a transcript of the additional record, with the court. Such proceedings shall be heard in a summary manner and shall be given precedence over all other civil cases except cases arising under Articles 7 and 8 of this chapter and Chapter 9 of this title. An appeal may be taken from the decision of the Superior Court of Fulton County or the superior court of the county of residence of the petitioner to the Court of Appeals of Georgia in the same manner as is provided in civil cases."

SECTION 3. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 34-8-164, relating to applications for adjustment or refund, as follows:
"34-8-164. Applications for an adjustment or a refund of contributions, payments in lieu of contributions, or interest thereon, shall be submitted no later than three years from the date such amounts were assessed. Applications must be in writing. The Commissioner shall determine what amounts, if any, were erroneously collected. Adjustments shall be made against subsequent payments. Refunds will be issued, without interest thereon, when adjustments cannot be made. At the option of the Commissioner, the Commissioner may make any adjustments or refunds deemed appropriate for any amounts erroneously collected where no written request for a refund or an adjustment has been received, provided such amounts were assessed within the last seven years. Amounts shall be refunded from the fund into which they were deposited."

SECTION 4. Said chapter is further amended by revising paragraph (1) of Code Section 34-8-194, relating to grounds for disqualification of benefits, as follows:
"(1)(A) For the week or fraction thereof in which the individual has filed an otherwise valid claim for benefits after such individual has left the most recent employer voluntarily without good cause in connection with the individual's most recent work.

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(B) Good cause in connection with the individual's most recent work shall be determined by the Commissioner according to the circumstances in the case; provided, however, that the following circumstances shall be deemed to establish such good cause and the employer's account shall not be charged for any benefits paid out to an individual who leaves an employer:
(i) To accompany a spouse who has been reassigned from one military assignment to another; or (ii) Due to family violence verified by reasonable documentation demonstrating that:
(I) Leaving the employer was a condition of receiving services from a family violence shelter; (II) Leaving the employer was a condition of receiving shelter as a resident of a family violence shelter; or (III) Such family violence caused the individual to reasonably believe that the claimant's continued employment would jeopardize the safety of the claimant or the safety of any member of the claimant's immediate family. For purposes of this subparagraph, the term 'family violence' shall have the same meaning as in Code Section 19-13-1 and the term 'family violence shelter' shall have the same meaning as in Code Section 19-13-20. (C) To requalify following a disqualification, an individual must secure subsequent employment for which the individual earns insured wages equal to at least ten times the weekly benefit amount of the claim and then becomes unemployed through no fault on the part of the individual. (D) When voluntarily leaving an employer, the burden of proof of good cause in connection with the individual's most recent work shall be on the individual. (E) Benefits shall not be denied under this paragraph to an individual for separation from employment pursuant to a labor management contract or agreement or pursuant to an established employer plan, program, policy, layoff, or recall which permits the individual, because of lack of work, to accept a separation from employment;"

SECTION 5. Said chapter is further amended by revising paragraph (1) of Code Section 34-8-159, relating to specific provisions for payments in lieu of contributions, as follows:
"(1) Date payment due. Upon approval by the Commissioner, at the end of each calendar quarter or at the end of such other period as determined by the Commissioner, each organization or group of organizations shall be billed for payments in lieu of contributions charged to it during such quarter or other prescribed period in accordance with Code Section 34-8-158. Provisions applicable to contributing employers in Code Section 34-8-157 under which employers may not be charged do not apply to employers who make payments in lieu of contributions;"

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SECTION 6. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 34-8-254, relating to overpayments, by adding a new subsection to read as follows:
"(e) Any action to recover an overpayment shall be brought by the Commissioner or an authorized representative of the Commissioner within seven years from the release date of the notice of determination and overpayment by the department."

SECTION 7. This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval.

SECTION 8. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved May 6, 2015.

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MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC INITIAL TWO-YEAR REGISTRATION FOR CERTAIN VEHICLES.

No. 115 (House Bill No. 147).

AN ACT

To amend Chapter 2 of Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles, so as to provide for an initial two-year registration period for certain vehicles; to provide for certain fees; 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 2 of Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles, is amended by revising Code Section 40-2-20, relating to registration and license requirements, as follows:
"40-2-20. (a)(1)(A) Except as provided in subsections (b) and (d) of this Code section and subsection (a) of Code Section 40-2-47, every owner of a motor vehicle, including a tractor or motorcycle, and every owner of a trailer shall, during the owner's registration

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period in each year, register such vehicle as provided in this chapter and obtain a license to operate it for the 12 month period until such person's next registration period.
(B)(i) The purchaser or other transferee owner of every new or used motor vehicle, including tractors and motorcycles, or trailer shall register such vehicle as provided in Code Section 40-2-8 and obtain or transfer as provided in this chapter a license to operate it for the period remaining until such person's next registration period which immediately follows such initial registration period, without regard to whether such next registration period occurs in the same calendar year as the initial registration period or how soon such next registration period follows the initial registration period; provided, however, that this registration and licensing requirement does not apply to a dealer which acquires a new or used motor vehicle and holds it for resale. The commissioner may provide by rule or regulation for one 30 day extension of such initial registration period which may be granted by the county tag agent if the transferor has not provided such purchaser or other transferee owner with a title to the motor vehicle more than five business days prior to the expiration of such initial registration period. The county tag agent shall grant an extension of the initial registration period when the transferor, purchaser, or transferee can demonstrate by affidavit in a form provided by the commissioner that title has not been provided to the purchaser or transferee due to the failure of a security interest or lienholder to timely release a security interest or lien in accordance with Code Section 40-3-56. (ii) No person, company, or corporation, including, but not limited to, used motor vehicle dealers and auto auctions, shall sell or transfer a motor vehicle without providing to the purchaser or transferee of such motor vehicle the last certificate of registration on such vehicle at the time of such sale or transfer; provided, however, that in the case of a salvage motor vehicle or a motor vehicle which is stolen but subsequently recovered by the insurance company after payment of a total loss claim, the salvage dealer or insurer, respectively, shall not be required to provide the certificate of registration for such vehicle; and provided, further, that in the case of a repossessed motor vehicle or a court ordered sale or other involuntary transfer, the lienholder or the transferor shall not be required to provide the certificate of registration for such vehicle but shall, prior to the sale of such vehicle, surrender the license plate of such vehicle to the commissioner or the county tag agent by personal delivery or by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery for cancellation. (2) An application for the registration of a motor vehicle may not be submitted separately from the application for a certificate of title for such motor vehicle, unless a certificate of title has been issued in the owner's name, has been applied for in the owner's name, or the motor vehicle is not required to be titled. An application for a certificate of title for a motor vehicle may be submitted separately from the application for the registration of such motor vehicle. (b) Subsection (a) of this Code section shall not apply:

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(1) To any motor vehicle or trailer owned by the state or any municipality or other political subdivision of this state and used exclusively for governmental functions except to the extent provided by Code Section 40-2-37; (2) To any tractor or three-wheeled motorcycle used only for agricultural purposes; (2.1) To any vehicle or equipment used for transporting cargo or containers between and within wharves, storage areas, or terminals within the facilities of any port under the jurisdiction of the Georgia Ports Authority when such vehicle or equipment is being operated upon any public road not part of The Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways by the owner thereof or his or her agent within a radius of ten miles of the port facility of origin and accompanied by an escort vehicle equipped with one or more operating amber flashing lights that are visible from a distance of 500 feet; (3) To any trailer which has no springs and which is being employed in hauling unprocessed farm products to their first market destination; (4) To any trailer which has no springs, which is pulled from a tongue, and which is used primarily to transport fertilizer to a farm; (5) To any electric powered personal transportation vehicle; (6) To any moped; or (7) To any golf car. (c) Any person who fails to register a new or used motor vehicle as required in subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $100.00. (d) Upon the payment of the requisite fee, the purchaser of a new motor vehicle passenger car, as such terms are defined in paragraphs (34) and (41) of Code Section 40-1-1, for which such purchaser has paid state and local title ad valorem taxes may choose to register such passenger car for an initial period of two years instead of the annual registration provided for in this Code section provided that the motor vehicle owner does not elect a prestige or special license plate. Thereafter, such passenger car shall be subject to the annual registration requirements of this Code section."

SECTION 2. Said chapter is further amended by adding a new subsection to Code Section 40-2-151, relating to annual license fees for operation of vehicles and fee for permanent licensing of certain trailers, to read as follows:
"(c) The fee for a new passenger car for which the purchaser has paid state and local title ad valorem taxes and that is being registered as provided in subsection (d) of Code Section 40-2-20 shall be $40.00 for the two-year registration period."

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

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INSURANCE SELF-EVALUATIONS.

No. 117 (House Bill No. 162).

AN ACT

To amend Chapter 2 of Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the department and Commissioner of Insurance, so as to provide for insurance compliance self-evaluative privilege; to provide for intent; to provide for definitions; to provide for an insurance compliance self-evaluative audit document as privileged information; to provide for inadmissibility in certain legal actions; to provide for applications and exceptions; to provide for the burden of proof; to provide for applicability; 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 2 of Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the department and Commissioner of Insurance, is amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"33-2-34. (a) To encourage insurance companies and persons conducting activities regulated under this title, both to conduct voluntary internal audits of their compliance programs and management systems and to assess and improve compliance with state and federal statutes, rules, and orders, an insurance compliance self-evaluative privilege is recognized to protect the confidentiality of communications relating to voluntary internal compliance audits. The General Assembly hereby finds and declares that protection of insurance consumers is enhanced by companies' voluntary compliance with this state's insurance and other laws and that the public will benefit from incentives to identify and remedy insurance and other compliance issues. It is further declared that limited expansion of the protection against disclosure will encourage voluntary compliance and improve insurance market conduct quality and that the voluntary provisions of this Code section will not inhibit the exercise of the regulatory authority by those entrusted with protecting insurance consumers. (b) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) 'Insurance compliance audit' means a voluntary, internal evaluation, review, assessment, or audit not otherwise expressly required by law of an insurer or an activity regulated under this title, or other state or federal law applicable to an insurer, or of management systems related to the insurer or activity, that is designed to identify and prevent noncompliance and to improve compliance with those statutes, rules, or orders. An insurance compliance audit may be conducted by the insurer, its employees, or independent contractors.

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(2) 'Insurance compliance self-evaluative audit document' means any document prepared as a result of or in connection with and not prior to an insurance compliance audit. An insurance compliance self-evaluative audit document may include a written response to the findings of an insurance compliance audit. An insurance compliance self-evaluative audit document may include, but is not limited to, as applicable, field notes and records of observations, findings, opinions, suggestions, conclusions, drafts, memoranda, drawings, photographs, computer generated or electronically recorded information, phone records, maps, charts, graphs, and surveys, provided that this supporting information is collected or developed for the primary purpose and in the course of an insurance compliance audit. An insurance compliance self-evaluative audit document may also include any of the following:
(A) An insurance compliance audit report prepared by an auditor, who may be an employee of the insurer or an independent contractor, which may include the scope of the audit, the information gained in the audit, and conclusions and recommendations, with exhibits and appendices; (B) Memoranda and documents analyzing portions or all of the insurance compliance audit report and discussing potential implementation issues; (C) An implementation plan that addresses correcting past noncompliance, improving current compliance, and preventing future noncompliance; or (D) Analytic data generated in the course of conducting the insurance compliance audit. (c)(1) An insurance compliance self-evaluative audit document is privileged information and is not admissible as evidence in any legal action in any civil, criminal, or administrative proceeding, except as provided in subsections (d) and (e) of this Code section. Documents, communications, data, reports, or other information created as a result of a claim involving personal injury or workers' compensation made against an insurance policy are not insurance compliance self-evaluative audit documents and are admissible as evidence in civil proceedings as otherwise provided by applicable rules of evidence or civil procedure, subject to any applicable statutory or common law privilege, including, but not limited to, the work product doctrine, the attorney-client privilege, or the subsequent remedial measures exclusion. (2) If any insurer, person, or entity performs or directs the performance of an insurance compliance audit, an officer or employee involved with the insurance compliance audit, or any consultant who is hired for the purpose of performing the insurance compliance audit, shall not be examined in any civil, criminal, or administrative proceeding as to the insurance compliance audit or any insurance compliance self-evaluative audit document, as defined in this Code section. This paragraph shall not apply if the privilege set forth in paragraph (1) of this subsection is determined under subsection (d) or (e) of this Code section not to apply. (3) An insurer may voluntarily submit, in connection with examinations conducted under this Code section, an insurance compliance self-evaluative audit document to the Commissioner, or his or her designee, as a confidential document under subsection (g) of

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Code Section 33-2-14 without waiving the privilege set forth in this Code section to which the insurer would otherwise be entitled. However, the provision permitting the Commissioner to provide access to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners shall not apply to the insurance compliance self-evaluative audit document so voluntarily submitted. Nothing contained in this subsection shall give the Commissioner any authority to compel an insurer to disclose involuntarily or otherwise provide an insurance compliance self-evaluative audit document. (d)(1) The privilege set forth in subsection (c) of this Code section shall not apply to the extent that it is expressly waived by the insurer that prepared or caused to be prepared the insurance compliance self-evaluative audit document. (2) In a civil or administrative proceeding, a court of record may, after an in camera review, require disclosure of material for which the privilege set forth in subsection (c) of this Code section is asserted, if the court determines that:
(A) The privilege is asserted for a fraudulent purpose; (B) The material is not subject to the privilege; or (C) Even if subject to the privilege, the material shows evidence of noncompliance with state or federal statutes, rules, and orders and the insurer failed to undertake reasonable corrective action or eliminate the noncompliance within a reasonable time. (3) In a criminal proceeding, a court of record may, after an in camera review, require disclosure of material for which the privilege described in subsection (c) of this Code section is asserted, if the court determines that: (A) The privilege is asserted for a fraudulent purpose; (B) The material is not subject to the privilege; (C) Even if subject to the privilege, the material shows evidence of noncompliance with state or federal statutes, rules, and orders and the insurer failed to undertake reasonable corrective action or eliminate such noncompliance within a reasonable time; or (D) The material contains evidence relevant to the commission of a criminal offense under this title and:
(i) The Commissioner has a compelling need for the information; (ii) The information is not otherwise available; and (iii) The Commissioner is unable to obtain the substantial equivalent of the information by any means without incurring unreasonable cost and delay. (e)(1) Within 30 days after the Commissioner makes a written request by certified mail for disclosure of an insurance compliance self-evaluative audit document under this subsection, the insurer that prepared or caused the document to be prepared may file with the appropriate court a petition requesting an in camera hearing on whether the insurance compliance self-evaluative audit document or portions of the document are privileged under this Code section or subject to disclosure. The court has jurisdiction over a petition filed by an insurer under this subsection requesting an in camera hearing on whether the insurance compliance self-evaluative audit document or portions of the document are

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privileged or subject to disclosure. Failure by the insurer to file a petition waives the privilege. (2) An insurer asserting the insurance compliance self-evaluative privilege in response to a request for disclosure under this subsection shall include in its petition for an in camera hearing all of the information set forth in paragraph (5) of this subsection. (3) Upon the filing of a petition under this subsection, the court shall issue an order scheduling, within 45 days after the filing of the petition, an in camera hearing to determine whether the insurance compliance self-evaluative audit document or portions of the document are privileged under this Code section or subject to disclosure. (4) The court, after an in camera review, may require disclosure of material for which the privilege in subsection (c) of this Code section is asserted if the court determines, based upon its in camera review, that any one of the conditions set forth in paragraph (2) of subsection (d) of this Code section is applicable as to a civil or administrative proceeding or that any one of the conditions set forth in paragraph (3) of subsection (d) of this Code section is applicable as to a criminal proceeding. Upon making such a determination, the court may only compel the disclosure of those portions of an insurance compliance self-evaluative audit document relevant to issues in dispute in the underlying proceeding. Any compelled disclosure will not be considered to be a public document or be deemed to be a waiver of the privilege for any other civil, criminal, or administrative proceeding. A party unsuccessfully opposing disclosure may apply to the court for an appropriate order protecting the document from further disclosure. (5) An insurer asserting the insurance compliance self-evaluative privilege in response to a request for disclosure under this subsection shall provide to the Commissioner at the time of filing any objection to the disclosure:
(A) The date of the insurance compliance self-evaluative audit document; (B) The identity of the entity conducting the audit; (C) The general nature of the activities covered by the insurance compliance audit; and (D) An identification of the portions of the insurance compliance self-evaluative audit document for which the privilege is being asserted. (f)(1) An insurer asserting the insurance compliance self-evaluative privilege set forth in subsection (c) of this Code section has the burden of demonstrating the applicability of the privilege. Once an insurer has established the applicability of the privilege, a party seeking disclosure under paragraph (2) or (3) of subsection (d) of this Code section has the burden of proving that the privilege is asserted for a fraudulent purpose or that the insurer failed to undertake reasonable corrective action or eliminate the noncompliance within a reasonable time. The Commissioner, in seeking disclosure under paragraph (3) of subsection (d) of this Code section, has the burden of proving the elements set forth in paragraph (3) of subsection (d) of this Code section. (2) The parties may at any time stipulate in proceedings under subsection (d) or (e) of this Code section to entry of an order directing that specific information contained in an

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insurance compliance self-evaluative audit document is or is not subject to the privilege provided under subsection (c) of this Code section. (g) The privilege set forth in subsection (c) of this Code section shall not extend to: (1) Documents, communications, data, reports, or other information required to be collected, developed, maintained, reported, or otherwise made available to a regulatory agency pursuant to this title or other federal or state law, rule, or order; (2) Information obtained by observation or monitoring by any regulatory agency; or (3) Information obtained from a source independent of the insurance compliance audit. (h) Nothing in this Code section shall limit, waive, or abrogate the scope or nature of any statutory or common law privilege including, but not limited to, the work product doctrine, the attorney-client privilege, or the subsequent remedial measures exclusion. (i) This Code section shall apply to self-evaluative audits completed before June 30, 2018, but shall not apply to any such audits completed on or after July 1, 2018, unless authorized by the General Assembly prior to that date."

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

__________

EDUCATION EXTEND SUSPENSION OF PROFESSIONAL LEARNING REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTIFICATION RENEWAL; EXTEND TIMELINE FOR
REVISION OF CERTIFICATION RENEWAL RULES.

No. 118 (House Bill No. 164).

AN ACT

To amend Code Section 20-2-200 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the regulation of certificated professional personnel by the Professional Standards Commission, so as to extend the suspension of professional learning requirements for certification renewal; to extend the timeline for revision of certification renewal rules 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:

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SECTION 1. Code Section 20-2-200 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the regulation of certificated professional personnel by the Professional Standards Commission, is amended by revising paragraphs (4) and (4.1) of subsection (b) as follows:
"(4) Requirements for certification renewal shall be established to foster ongoing professional learning, enhance student achievement, and verify standards of ethical conduct; provided, however, that from July 1, 2010, through June 30, 2017, no professional learning requirements shall be required for certificate renewal for clear renewable certificates for certificated personnel or for certificate renewal for paraprofessionals. Such requirements may include, but are not limited to, professional learning related to school improvement plans or the applicant's field of certification and background checks. Should the Professional Standards Commission include a requirement to demonstrate computer skill competency, the rules and regulations shall provide that a certificated educator may elect to meet the requirement by receiving satisfactory results on a test in basic computer skill competency. If a certificated educator elects to take such test pursuant to this paragraph, the local school system by which such educator is employed shall make available the opportunity to take the test on site at the school in which the educator is assigned. Each principal shall identify an administrator on site at each school to serve as a proctor for individuals taking the test pursuant to this paragraph. Individuals holding a valid Georgia life certificate or a valid National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certificate shall be deemed to have met state renewal requirements except those related to background checks. (4.1) Prior to July 1, 2017, the Professional Standards Commission shall revise its certification renewal rules established pursuant to paragraph (4) of this subsection, to require demonstration of the impact of professional learning on educator performance and student learning for purposes of certification renewal. Such revised rules shall be effective beginning July 1, 2017. As part of the revision process, the Professional Standards Commission shall establish a task force to determine the level of evidence necessary for educators to demonstrate the impact of professional learning and how such evidence will be collected and submitted for purposes of certificate renewal."

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

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SOCIAL SERVICES SCHOOL PERSONNEL; NOTIFICATION OF RECEIPT OF CHILD ABUSE REPORT AND COMPLETION OF INVESTIGATION.

No. 119 (House Bill No. 177).

AN ACT

To amend Article 2 of Chapter 5 of Title 49 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to child abuse and deprivation records, so as to provide that certain school personnel who are required to report child abuse shall be notified upon receipt of such report and upon completion of its investigation; to provide for definitions; 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 2 of Chapter 5 of Title 49 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to child abuse and deprivation records, is amended by revising subsection (a) of Code Section 49-5-41, relating to persons and agencies permitted access to records, by adding a new paragraph to read as follows:
"(5.1)(A) As used in this paragraph, the term: (i) 'Entity' means a child welfare agency providing protective services as designated by the department, or in the absence of such agency, a law enforcement agency or prosecuting attorney. (ii) 'School' shall have the same meaning as set forth in Code Section 19-7-5.
(B) Within 24 hours of a school employee making a report of suspected child abuse pursuant to Code Section 19-7-5, the entity that received such report shall acknowledge, in writing, the receipt of such report to the reporting individual. Within five days of completing the investigation of the suspected child abuse, such entity shall disclose, in writing, to the school counselor for the school such child was attending at the time of the reported child abuse, advising as to whether the suspected child abuse was confirmed or unconfirmed. If a school does not have a school counselor, such disclosure shall be made to the principal;"

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

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GENERAL ACTS AND RESOLUTIONS, VOL. I

INSURANCE COMPREHENSIVE REVISION OF STANDARD VALUATION LAW.

No. 120 (House Bill No. 185).

AN ACT

To amend Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to insurance, so as to extensively revise the "Standard Valuation Law"; to provide for definitions; to provide for reserve valuation; to provide for actuarial opinion of reserves; to provide for computation of minimum standard; to provide for computation of minimum standard for annuities; to provide for computation of minimum standard by calendar year of issue; to provide for reserve valuation method for life insurance and endowment benefits; to provide for reserve valuation method of annuity and pure endowment benefits; to provide for minimum reserves; to provide for optional reserve calculations; to provide for reserve calculation for valuation of net premium exceeding the gross premium charged; to provide for reserve calculation of indeterminate premium plans; to provide for minimum standards for accident and health insurance contracts; to provide for valuation manual for policies issued on or after the operative date of the valuation manual; to provide for requirements of a principle-based valuation; to provide for experience reporting for polices in force on or after the operative date of the valuation manual; to provide for confidentiality; to provide for single state exemption; to provide a short title; to define certain terms; to provide for reorganization of mutual insurers and formation of mutual insurance holding companies; to provide that capital stock of the reorganized stock insurer shall be issued to the mutual insurance holding company or to an intermediate stock holding company; to provide for the requirements of any reorganization plan; to provide for mergers of mutual insurers or other entities with mutual insurance holding companies; to provide that capital stock of the merged insurer shall be issued to the mutual insurance holding company or to an intermediate stock holding company; to provide for approval of the reorganization plan or merger plan by the Commissioner of Insurance; to provide for domestication of foreign mutual insurers; to provide for applicability of certain provisions and dissolution and liquidation; to provide for demutualization of mutual insurance holding companies; to provide that certain membership interests shall not be deemed securities; to provide restrictions on voting stock of reorganized stock insurers; to provide for approval of any reorganization plan or merger plan by policyholders; to provide for powers of mutual insurance holding companies and restrictions on voting stock; to provide that the formation of a mutual insurance holding company shall not increase the Georgia tax burden of the mutual insurance holding company system; 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. Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to insurance, is amended by repealing in its entirety Code Section 33-10-13, relating to the valuation of reserves, and by enacting a new Code Section 33-10-13 to read as follows:
"33-10-13. (a) This Code section shall be known and may be cited as the 'Standard Valuation Law.' (b) For the purposes of this Code section, the following definitions shall apply on or after the operative date of the valuation manual:
(1) The term 'accident and health insurance' means contracts that incorporate morbidity risk and provide protection against economic loss resulting from accident, sickness, or medical conditions and as may be specified in the valuation manual. (2) The term 'appointed actuary' means a qualified actuary who is appointed in accordance with the valuation manual to prepare the actuarial opinion required in paragraph (2) of subsection (d) of this Code section. (3) The term 'company' means an entity, which (a) has written, issued, or reinsured life insurance contracts, accident and health insurance contracts, or deposit-type contracts in this State and has at least one such policy in force or on claim or (b) has written, issued, or reinsured life insurance contracts, accident and health insurance contracts, or deposit-type contracts in any state and is required to hold a certificate of authority to write life insurance, accident and health insurance, or deposit-type contracts in this State. (4) The term 'deposit-type contract' means contracts that do not incorporate mortality or morbidity risks and as may be specified in the valuation manual. (5) The term 'life insurance' means contracts that incorporate mortality risk, including annuity and pure endowment contracts, and as may be specified in the valuation manual. (6) The term 'NAIC' means the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. (7) The term 'policyholder behavior' means any action a policyholder, contract holder, or any other person with the right to elect options, such as a certificate holder, may take under a policy or contract subject to this Code section, including, but not limited to, lapse, withdrawal, transfer, deposit, premium payment, loan, annuitization, or benefit elections prescribed by the policy or contract but excluding events of mortality or morbidity that result in benefits prescribed in their essential aspects by the terms of the policy or contract. (8) The term 'principle-based valuation' means a reserve valuation that uses one or more methods or one or more assumptions determined by the insurer and is required to comply with subsection (p) of this Code section as specified in the valuation manual. (9) The term 'qualified actuary' means an individual who is qualified to sign the applicable statement of actuarial opinion in accordance with the American Academy of Actuaries qualification standards for actuaries signing such statements and who meets the requirements specified in the valuation manual. (10) The term 'tail risk' means a risk that occurs either where the frequency of low probability events is higher than expected under a normal probability distribution or where there are observed events of very significant size or magnitude.

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(11) The term 'valuation manual' means the manual of valuation instructions adopted by the NAIC as specified in this Code section or as subsequently amended.
(c)(1)(A) The Commissioner shall annually value, or cause to be valued, the reserve liabilities (hereinafter called reserves) for all outstanding life insurance policies and annuity and pure endowment contracts of every life insurance company doing business in this state issued on or after January 1, 1966, and prior to the operative date of the valuation manual. In calculating reserves, the Commissioner may use group methods and approximate averages for fractions of a year or otherwise. In lieu of the valuation of the reserves required of a foreign or alien company, the Commissioner may accept a valuation made, or caused to be made, by the insurance supervisory official of any state or other jurisdiction when the valuation complies with the minimum standard provided in this Code section. (B) The provisions set forth in subsections (e) through (n) of this Code section shall apply to all policies and contracts, as appropriate, subject to this Code section issued on or after January 1, 1966, and prior to the operative date of the valuation manual and the provisions set forth in subsections (o) and (p) of this Code section shall not apply to any such policies and contracts. (C) The minimum standard for the valuation of such policies and contracts issued prior to January 1, 1966, shall be as required under the laws in effect immediately prior to January 1, 1966, or the minimum provided in subsection (e) of this Code section if less. (2)(A) The Commissioner shall annually value, or cause to be valued, the reserve liabilities (hereinafter called reserves) for all outstanding life insurance contracts, annuity and pure endowment contracts, accident and health contracts, and deposit-type contracts of every company issued on or after the operative date of the valuation manual. In lieu of the valuation of the reserves required of a foreign or alien company, the Commissioner may accept a valuation made, or caused to be made, by the insurance supervisory official of any state or other jurisdiction when the valuation complies with the minimum standard provided in this Code section. (B) The provisions set forth in subsections (o) and (p) of this Code section shall apply to all policies and contracts issued on or after the operative date of the valuation manual. (d)(1)(A) Prior to the operative date of the valuation manual, every life insurance company doing business in this state shall annually submit the opinion of a qualified actuary as to whether the reserves and related actuarial items held in support of the policies and contracts specified by the Commissioner by regulation are computed appropriately, are based on assumptions that satisfy contractual provisions, are consistent with prior reported amounts, and comply with applicable laws of this state. The Commissioner shall define by regulation the specifics of this opinion and add any other items deemed to be necessary to its scope.
(B)(i) Every life insurance company, except as exempted by regulation, shall also annually include in the opinion required by subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, an opinion of the same qualified actuary as to whether the reserves and related actuarial

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items held in support of the policies and contracts specified by the Commissioner by regulation, when considered in light of the assets held by the company with respect to the reserves and related actuarial items, including but not limited to the investment earnings on the assets and the considerations anticipated to be received and retained under the policies and contracts, make adequate provision for the company's obligations under the policies and contracts, including but not limited to the benefits under and expenses associated with the policies and contracts. (ii) The Commissioner may provide by regulation for a transition period for establishing any higher reserves that the qualified actuary may deem necessary in order to render the opinion required by this subsection. (C) Each opinion required by subparagraph (B) of this paragraph shall be governed by the following provisions: (i) A memorandum, in form and substance acceptable to the Commissioner as specified by regulation, shall be prepared to support each actuarial opinion; and (ii) If the insurance company fails to provide a supporting memorandum at the request of the Commissioner within a period specified by regulation or the Commissioner determines that the supporting memorandum provided by the insurance company fails to meet the standards prescribed by the regulations or is otherwise unacceptable to the Commissioner, the Commissioner may engage a qualified actuary at the expense of the company to review the opinion and the basis for the opinion and prepare the supporting memorandum required by the Commissioner. (D) Every opinion required by this subsection shall be governed by the following provisions: (i) The opinion shall be submitted with the annual statement reflecting the valuation of such reserve liabilities for each year ending on or after December 31, 1994; (ii) The opinion shall apply to all business in force including individual and group health insurance plans, in form and substance acceptable to the Commissioner as specified by regulation; (iii) The opinion shall be based on standards adopted from time to time by the Actuarial Standards Board and on such additional standards as the Commissioner may by regulation prescribe; (iv) In the case of an opinion required to be submitted by a foreign or alien company, the Commissioner may accept the opinion filed by that company with the insurance supervisory official of another state if the Commissioner determines that the opinion reasonably meets the requirements applicable to a company domiciled in this state; (v) For the purposes of this subsection, the term 'qualified actuary' means a member in good standing of the American Academy of Actuaries who meets the requirements set forth in the regulation; (vi) Except in cases of fraud or willful misconduct, the qualified actuary shall not be liable for damages to any person, other than the insurance company and the

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Commissioner, for any act, error, omission, decision or conduct with respect to the actuary's opinion; (vii) Disciplinary action by the Commissioner against the company or the qualified actuary shall be defined in regulations by the Commissioner; (viii) Except as provided in divisions (xii), (xiii), and (xiv) of this subparagraph, documents, materials, or other information in the possession or control of the department that are a memorandum in support of the opinion, and any other material provided by the company to the Commissioner in connection with the memorandum, shall be confidential by law and privileged, shall not be subject to Article 4 of Chapter 18 of Title 50, relating to open records, shall not be subject to subpoena, and shall not be subject to discovery or admissible in evidence in any private civil action. However, the Commissioner is authorized to use the documents, materials, or other information in the furtherance of any regulatory or legal action brought as a part of the Commissioner's official duties; (ix) Neither the Commissioner nor any person who received documents, materials, or other information while acting under the authority of the Commissioner shall be permitted or required to testify in any private civil action concerning any confidential documents, materials, or information subject to division (viii) of this subparagraph; (x) In order to assist in the performance of the Commissioner's duties, the Commissioner:
(I) May share documents, materials, or other information, including the confidential and privileged documents, materials, or information subject to division (viii) of this subparagraph with other state, federal, and international regulatory agencies, with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and its affiliates and subsidiaries, and with state, federal, and international law enforcement authorities, provided that the recipient agrees to maintain the confidentiality and privileged status of the document, materials, or other information; (II) May receive documents, materials, or information, including otherwise confidential and privileged documents, materials, or information, from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and its affiliates and subsidiaries, and from regulatory and law enforcement officials of other foreign or domestic jurisdictions, and shall maintain as confidential or privileged any document, material, or information received with notice or the understanding that it is confidential or privileged under the laws of the jurisdiction that is the source of the document, material, or information; and (III) May enter into agreements governing sharing and use of information consistent with divisions (viii) through (x) of this subparagraph; (xi) No waiver of any applicable privilege or claim of confidentiality in the documents, materials, or information shall occur as a result of disclosure to the Commissioner under this subsection or as a result of sharing as authorized in division (x) of this subparagraph;

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(xii) A memorandum in support of the opinion, and any other material provided by the company to the Commissioner in connection with the memorandum, may be subject to subpoena for the purpose of defending an action seeking damages from the actuary submitting the memorandum by reason of an action required by this subsection or by regulations promulgated hereunder; (xiii) The memorandum or other material may otherwise be released by the Commissioner with the written consent of the company or to the American Academy of Actuaries upon request stating that the memorandum or other material is required for the purpose of professional disciplinary proceedings and setting forth procedures satisfactory to the Commissioner for preserving the confidentiality of the memorandum or other material; and (xiv) Once any portion of the confidential memorandum is cited by the company in its marketing or is cited before a governmental agency other than a state insurance department or is released by the company to the news media, all portions of the confidential memorandum shall be no longer confidential. (2)(A) On and after the operative date of the valuation manual, every company with outstanding life insurance contracts, accident and health insurance contracts, or deposit-type contracts in this state and subject to regulation by the Commissioner shall annually submit the opinion of the appointed actuary as to whether the reserves and related actuarial items held in support of the policies and contracts are computed appropriately, are based on assumptions that satisfy contractual provisions, are consistent with prior reported amounts and comply with applicable laws of this state. The valuation manual will prescribe the specifics of this opinion including any items deemed to be necessary to its scope. (B) Every company with outstanding life insurance contracts, accident and health insurance contracts, or deposit-type contracts in this state and subject to regulation by the Commissioner, except as exempted in the valuation manual, shall also annually include in the opinion required by subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, an opinion of the same appointed actuary as to whether the reserves and related actuarial items held in support of the policies and contracts specified in the valuation manual, when considered in light of the assets held by the company with respect to the reserves and related actuarial items, including but not limited to the investment earnings on the assets and the considerations anticipated to be received and retained under the policies and contracts, make adequate provision for the company's obligations under the policies and contracts, including but not limited to the benefits under and expenses associated with the policies and contracts. (C) Each opinion required by subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2) of this subsection shall be governed by the following provisions: (i) A memorandum, in form and substance as specified in the valuation manual, and acceptable to the Commissioner, shall be prepared to support each actuarial opinion; and

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(ii) If the insurance company fails to provide a supporting memorandum at the request of the Commissioner within a period specified in the valuation manual or the Commissioner determines that the supporting memorandum provided by the insurance company fails to meet the standards prescribed by the valuation manual or is otherwise unacceptable to the Commissioner, the Commissioner may engage a qualified actuary at the expense of the company to review the opinion and the basis for the opinion and prepare the supporting memorandum required by the Commissioner. (D) Every opinion required by paragraph (2) of this subsection shall be governed by the following provisions: (i) The opinion shall be in form and substance as specified in the valuation manual and acceptable to the Commissioner; (ii) The opinion shall be submitted with the annual statement reflecting the valuation of such reserve liabilities for each year ending on or after the operative date of the valuation manual; (iii) The opinion shall apply to all policies and contracts subject to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2) of this subsection, plus other actuarial liabilities as may be specified in the valuation manual; (iv) The opinion shall be based on standards adopted from time to time by the Actuarial Standards Board or its successor, and on such additional standards as may be prescribed in the valuation manual; (v) In the case of an opinion required to be submitted by a foreign or alien company, the Commissioner may accept the opinion filed by that company with the insurance supervisory official of another state if the Commissioner determines that the opinion reasonably meets the requirements applicable to a company domiciled in this state; (vi) Except in cases of fraud or willful misconduct, the appointed actuary shall not be liable for damages to any person, other than the insurance company and the Commissioner, for any act, error, omission, decision or conduct with respect to the appointed actuary's opinion; and (vii) Disciplinary action by the Commissioner against the company or the appointed actuary shall be defined in regulations by the Commissioner. (e)(1) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection and subsection (f) of this Code section, the minimum standards for the valuation of all life insurance policies and annuity or pure endowment contracts issued on or after January 1, 1966, shall be the Commissioner's reserve valuation methods defined in subsections (g), (h), and (i) of this Code section and the following interest rates and tables: (A) Three and one-half percent interest or, in the case of policies and contracts other than annuity and pure endowment contracts issued on or after July 1, 1973, 4 percent interest for such policies issued prior to July 1, 1979, 5 1/2 percent interest for single premium life insurance policies, and 4 1/2 percent interest for all other such policies issued on or after July 1, 1979;

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(B) For all ordinary policies of life insurance issued on the standard basis, excluding any disability and accidental death benefits in such policies, the Commissioners 1958 Standard Ordinary Mortality Tables for such policies issued prior to the operative date of subsection (e) of Code Section 33-25-4 as amended, except that for any category of such policies issued on female risk modified net premiums and present values, referred to in subsection (g) of this Code section, may be calculated at the insurer's option and with the Commissioner's approval according to an age not more than six years younger than the actual age of the insured; and for such policies issued on or after the operative date of subsection (e) of Code Section 33-25-4, (i) the Commissioners 1980 Standard Ordinary Mortality Table or, (ii) at the election of the insurer for any one or more specified plans of life insurance, the Commissioners 1980 Standard Ordinary Mortality Table with Ten-Year Select Mortality Factors, or (iii) any ordinary mortality table, adopted after 1980 by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, that is approved by regulation promulgated by the Commissioner for use in determining the minimum standard of valuation for such policies; (C) For all industrial life insurance policies issued on the standard basis, excluding any disability and accidental death benefits in such policies, the 1941 Standard Industrial Mortality Table; for such policies issued prior to the date on which the Commissioners 1961 Standard Industrial Mortality Table becomes applicable in accordance with subsection (d) of Code Section 33-25-4 and for such policies issued on or after such date the Commissioners 1961 Standard Industrial Mortality Table or any industrial mortality table, adopted after 1980 by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, that is approved by regulation promulgated by the Commissioner for use in determining the minimum standard of valuation for such policies; (D) For individual annuity and pure endowment contracts, excluding any disability and accidental death benefits in such policies, the 1937 Standard Annuity Mortality Table or, at the option of the insurer, the Annuity Mortality Table for 1949, ultimate, or any modification of either of these tables approved by the Commissioner; (E) For group annuity and pure endowment contracts, excluding any disability and accidental death benefits in such policies, the Group Annuity Mortality Table for 1951, any modification of such table approved by the Commissioner or, at the option of the insurer, any of the tables or modifications of tables specified for individual annuity and pure endowment contracts; (F) For total and permanent disability benefits in or supplementary to ordinary policies or contracts, for policies or contracts issued on or after January 1, 1966, the tables of Period 2 disablement rates and the 1930 to 1950 termination rates of the 1952 Disability Study of the Society of Actuaries, with due regard to the type of benefit or any tables of disablement rates and termination rates, adopted after 1980 by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, that are approved by regulation promulgated by the Commissioner for use in determining the minimum standard of valuation for such policies; for policies or contracts issued prior to January 1, 1966, either such tables or,

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GENERAL ACTS AND RESOLUTIONS, VOL. I

at the option of the insurer, the Class (3) Disability Table (1926). Any such table shall, for active lives, be combined with a mortality table permitted for calculating the reserves for life insurance policies; (G) For accidental death benefits in or supplementary to policies, for policies issued on or after January 1, 1966, the 1959 Accidental Death Benefits Table or any accidental death benefits table, adopted after 1980 by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, that is approved by regulation promulgated by the Commissioner for use in determining the minimum standard of valuation for such policies; for policies issued prior to January 1, 1966, either such table or, at the option of the insurer, the Inter-Company Double Indemnity Mortality Table. Either table shall be combined with a mortality table permitted for calculating the reserves for life insurance policies; and (H) For group life insurance, life insurance issued on the substandard basis, and other special benefits such tables or appropriate modifications of such tables as may be approved by the Commissioner as being sufficient with relation to the benefits provided by those policies. (2) Except as provided in paragraphs (3) through (7) of this subsection, the minimum standard for the valuation of all individual annuity and pure endowment contracts issued on or after the operative date of this paragraph, as defined in this paragraph, and for all annuities and pure endowments purchased on or after the operative date under group annuity and pure endowment contracts, shall be the Commissioner's reserve valuation methods defined in subsections (g) and (h) of this Code section and the following tables and interest rates: (A) For individual annuity and pure endowment contracts issued prior to July 1, 1979, excluding any disability and accidental death benefits in such contracts, the 1971 Individual Annuity Mortality Table or any modification of this table approved by the Commissioner and 6 percent interest for single premium immediate annuity contracts and 4 percent interest for all other individual annuity and pure endowment contracts; (B) For individual single premium immediate annuity contracts issued on or after July 1, 1979, excluding any disability and accidental death benefits in such contracts, the 1971 Individual Annuity Mortality Table or any individual annuity mortality table, adopted after 1980 by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners that is approved by regulation promulgated by the Commissioner for use in determining the minimum standard of valuation for such contracts or any modification of these tables approved by the Commissioner and 7 1/2 percent interest; (C) For individual annuity and pure endowment contracts issued on or after July 1, 1979, other than single premium immediate annuity contracts, excluding any disability and accidental death benefits in such contracts, the 1971 Individual Annuity Mortality Table or any individual annuity mortality table, adopted after 1980 by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, that is approved by regulation promulgated by the Commissioner for use in determining the minimum standard of valuation for such contracts or any modification of these tables approved by the Commissioner and 5 1/2

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percent interest for single premium deferred annuity and pure endowment contracts and 4 1/2 percent interest for all other such individual annuity and pure endowment contracts; (D) For all annuities and pure endowments purchased prior to July 1, 1979, under group annuity and pure endowment contracts, excluding any disability and accidental death benefits purchased under such contracts, the 1971 Group Annuity Mortality Table or any modification of this table approved by the Commissioner and 6 percent interest; and (E) For all annuities and pure endowments purchased on or after July 1, 1979, under group annuity and pure endowment contracts, excluding any disability and accidental death benefits purchased under such contracts, the 1971 Group Annuity Mortality Table or any group annuity mortality table, adopted after 1980 by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, that is approved by regulation promulgated by the Commissioner for use in determining the minimum standard of valuation for such annuities and pure endowments or any modification of these tables approved by the Commissioner and 7 1/2 percent interest. After July 1, 1973, any insurer may file with the Commissioner a written notice of its election to comply with this paragraph after a specified date before January 1, 1979, which shall be the operative date of this paragraph for such insurer, provided that if an insurer makes no such election, the operative date of this paragraph for such insurer shall be January 1, 1979. (f)(1) The interest rates used in determining the minimum standard for the valuation of: (A) All life insurance policies issued in a particular calendar year, on or after the operative date of subsection (e) of Code Section 33-25-4; (B) All individual annuity and pure endowment contracts issued in a particular calendar year on or after January 1, 1994; (C) All annuities and pure endowments purchased in a particular calendar year on or after January 1, 1994, under group annuity and pure endowment contracts; and (D) The net increase, if any, in a particular calendar year after January 1, 1994, in amounts held under guaranteed interest contracts shall be the calendar year statutory valuation interest rates as defined in paragraphs (2) through (5) of this subsection. (2) The calendar year statutory valuation interest rates, I, shall be determined as follows and the results rounded to the nearer one-quarter of 1 percent: (A) For life insurance: I = .03 + W(R1 - .03) + 1/2 W(R2 - .09); (B) For single premium immediate annuities and for annuity benefits involving life contingencies arising from other annuities with cash settlement options and from guaranteed interest contracts with cash settlement options: I = .03 + W(R - .03) where R1 is the lesser of R and .09, R2 is the greater of R and .09, R is the reference interest rate defined in paragraph (4) of this subsection, and W is the weighting factor defined in paragraph (3) of this subsection;

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(C) For other annuities with cash settlement options and guaranteed interest contracts with cash settlement options, valued on an issue year basis, except as stated in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, the formula for life insurance stated in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph shall apply to annuities and guaranteed interest contracts with guarantee durations in excess of ten years and the formula for single premium immediate annuities stated in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph shall apply to annuities and guaranteed interest contracts with guarantee duration of ten years or less; (D) For other annuities with no cash settlement options and for guaranteed interest contracts with no cash settlement options, the formula for single premium immediate annuities stated in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph shall apply; (E) For other annuities with cash settlement options and guaranteed interest contracts with cash settlement options, valued on a change in fund basis, the formula for single premium immediate annuities stated in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph shall apply; However, if the calendar year statutory valuation interest rate for any life insurance policies issued in any calendar year determined without reference to this sentence differs from the corresponding actual rate for similar policies issued in the immediately preceding calendar year by less than one-half of 1 percent, the calendar year statutory valuation interest rate for such life insurance policies shall be equal to the corresponding actual rate for the immediately preceding calendar year. For purposes of applying the immediately preceding sentence, the calendar year statutory valuation interest rate for life insurance policies issued in a calendar year shall be determined for 1980 (using the reference interest rate defined for 1979) and shall be determined for each subsequent calendar year regardless of when subsection (e) of Code Section 33-25-4 becomes operative. (3) The weighting factors referred to in the formulas stated above are given in the following tables: (A) Weighting Factors for Life Insurance:

Guarantee Duration Years

Weighting Factors

10 or less

.50

More than 10, but not more than 20

.45

More than 20

.35

For life insurance, the guarantee duration is the maximum number of years the life

insurance can remain in force on a basis guaranteed in the policy or under options to

convert to plans of life insurance with premium rates or nonforfeiture values or both

which are guaranteed in the original policy;

(B) Weighting factor for single premium immediate annuities and for annuity benefits

involving life contingencies arising from other annuities with cash settlement options

and guaranteed interest contracts with cash settlement options: .80;

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(C) Weighting factors for other annuities and for guaranteed interest contracts, except as stated in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, shall be as specified in Tables I, II, and III of this subparagraph, according to the rules and definitions in IV, V, and VI of this subparagraph:
I. For annuities and guaranteed interest contracts valued on an issue year basis:

Guarantee Duration (Years)

Weighting Factor for Plan Type AB C

5 or less:

.80 .60 .50

More than 5, but not more than 10:

.75 .60 .50

More than 10, but not more than 20:

.65 .50 .45

More than 20:

.45 .35 .35

II. For annuities and guaranteed interest contracts valued on a change in fund basis, the factors shown in Table I increased by:

Plan Type

AB C

.15 .25 .05 III. For annuities and guaranteed interest contracts valued on an issue year basis (other than those with no cash settlement options) which do not guarantee interest on considerations received more than one year after issue or purchase and for annuities and guaranteed interest contracts valued on a change in fund basis which do not guarantee interest rates on considerations received more than 12 months beyond the valuation date, the factors shown in Table I or derived in Table II increased by:
Plan Type

AB C

.05 .05 .05
IV. For other annuities with cash settlement options and guaranteed interest contracts with cash settlement options, the guarantee duration is the number of years for which the contract guarantees interest rates in excess of the calendar year statutory valuation interest rate for life insurance policies with guarantee duration in excess of 20 years. For other annuities with no cash settlement options and for guaranteed interest contracts with no cash settlement options, the guarantee duration is the number of years from the date of issue or date of purchase to the date annuity benefits are scheduled to commence;

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V. Plan type as used in the above tables is defined as follows: Plan Type A: At any time policyholder may withdraw funds only (1) with an adjustment to reflect changes in interest rates or asset values since receipt of the funds by the insurer, or (2) without such adjustment but in installments over five years or more, or (3) as an immediate life annuity, or (4) no withdrawal permitted; Plan Type B: Before expiration of the interest rate guarantee, policyholder may withdraw funds only (1) with adjustment to reflect changes in interest rates or asset values since receipt of the funds by the insurer, or (2) without such adjustment but in installments over five years or more, or (3) no withdrawal permitted. At the end of interest rate guarantee, funds may be withdrawn without such adjustment in a single sum or installments over less than five years; Plan Type C: Policyholder may withdraw funds before expiration of interest rate guarantee in a single sum or installments over less than five years either (1) without adjustment to reflect changes in interest rates or asset values since receipt of the funds by the insurer, or (2) subject only to a fixed surrender charge stipulated in the contract as a percentage of the fund;
VI. An insurer may elect to value guaranteed interest contracts with cash settlement options and annuities with cash settlement options on either an issue year basis or on a change in fund basis. Guaranteed interest contracts with no cash settlement options and other annuities with no cash settlement options must be valued on an issue year basis. As used in this subsection, an issue year basis of valuation refers to a valuation basis under which the interest rate used to determine the minimum valuation standard for the entire duration of the annuity or guaranteed interest contract is the calendar year valuation interest rate for the year of issue or year of purchase of the annuity or guaranteed interest contract, and the change in fund basis of valuation refers to a valuation basis under which the interest rate used to determine the minimum valuation standard applicable to each change in the fund held under the annuity or guaranteed interest contract is the calendar year valuation interest rate for the year of the change in the fund. (4) The reference interest rate referred to in paragraph (2) of this subsection shall be defined as follows: (A) For all life insurance, the lesser of the average over a period of 36 months and the average over a period of 12 months, ending on June 30 of the calendar year next preceding the year of issue, of Moody's Corporate Bond Yield Average -- Monthly Average Corporates, as published in Moody's Investors Service, Inc.; (B) For single premium immediate annuities and for annuity benefits involving life contingencies arising from other annuities with cash settlement options and guaranteed interest contracts with cash settlement options, the average over a period of 12 months, ending on June 30 of the calendar year of issue or year of purchase, of Moody's Corporate Bond Yield Average -- Monthly Average Corporates, as published by Moody's Investors Service, Inc.;

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(C) For other annuities with cash settlement options and guaranteed interest contracts with cash settlement options, valued on a year of issue basis, except as stated in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, with guarantee duration in excess of ten years, the lesser of the average over a period of 36 months and the average over a period of 12 months, ending on June 30 of the calendar year of issue or purchase, of Moody's Corporate Bond Yield Average -- Monthly Average Corporates, as published by Moody's Investors Service, Inc.; (D) For other annuities with cash settlement options and guaranteed interest contracts with cash settlement options, valued on a year of issue basis, except as stated in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, with guarantee duration of ten years or less, the average over a period of 12 months, ending on June 30 of the calendar year of issue or purchase, of Moody's Corporate Bond Yield Average -- Monthly Average Corporates, as published by Moody's Investors Service, Inc.; (E) For other annuities with no cash settlement options and for guaranteed interest contracts with no cash settlement options, the average over a period of 12 months, ending on June 30 of the calendar year of issue or purchase, of Moody's Corporate Bond Yield Average -- Monthly Average Corporates, as published by Moody's Investors Service, Inc.; and (F) For other annuities with cash settlement options and guaranteed interest contracts with cash settlement options, valued on a change in fund basis, except as stated in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, the average over a period of 12 months, ending on June 30 of the calendar year of the change in the fund, of Moody's Corporate Bond Yield Average -- Monthly Average Corporates, as published by Moody's Investors Service, Inc. (5) In the event that Moody's Corporate Bond Yield Average -- Monthly Average Corporates is no longer published by Moody's Investors Service, Inc., or, in the event that the National Association of Insurance Commissioners determines that Moody's Corporate Bond Yield Average -- Monthly Average Corporates as published by Moody's Investors Service, Inc., is no longer appropriate for the determination of the reference interest rate, then the alternative method for determination of the reference interest rate, which is adopted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and approved by regulation promulgated by the Commissioner, may be substituted. (g)(1) Except as otherwise provided in subsections (l) and (n) of this Code section, reserves according to the Commissioner's reserve valuation method, for the life insurance and endowment benefits of policies providing for a uniform amount of insurance and requiring the payment of uniform premiums, shall be the excess, if any, of the present value at the date of valuation of the future guaranteed benefits provided for by the policies over the then present value of any future modified net premiums therefor. The modified net premiums for the policy shall be the uniform percentage of the respective contract premiums for the benefits, excluding extra premiums on a substandard policy, that the present value at the date of issue of the policy of all the modified net premiums shall be

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equal to the sum of the then present value of the benefits provided for by the policy and the excess of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph over subparagraph (B) of this paragraph as follows:
(A) A net level annual premium equal to the present value at the date of issue of such benefits provided for after the first policy year, divided by the present value at the date of issue of an annuity of one per annum payable on the first and each subsequent anniversary of such policy on which a premium falls due; provided, however, that the net level annual premium shall not exceed the net level annual premium on the 19 year premium whole life plan for insurance of the same amount at an age one year higher than the age at issue of the policy; and (B) A net one-year term premium for the benefits provided for in the first policy year. Provided that for any life insurance policy issued on or after the effective date of subsection (h) of Code Section 33-25-4 for which the contract premium in the first policy year exceeds that of the second year and for which no comparable additional benefit is provided in the first year for such excess and which provides an endowment benefit or a cash surrender value or a combination thereof in an amount greater than such excess premium, the reserve according to the Commissioner's reserve valuation method as of any policy anniversary occurring on or before the assumed ending date defined in this subsection as the first policy anniversary on which the sum of any endowment benefit and any cash surrender value then available is greater than such excess premium shall, except as otherwise provided in subsection (l) of this Code section, be the greater of the reserve as of such policy anniversary calculated as described in the preceding paragraph and the reserve as of such policy anniversary calculated as described in that paragraph, but with (i) the value defined in subparagraph (A) of that paragraph being reduced by 15 percent of the amount of such excess first year premium, (ii) all present values of benefits and premiums being determined without reference to premiums or benefits provided for by the policy after the assumed ending date, (iii) the policy being assumed to mature on such date as an endowment, and (iv) the cash surrender value provided on such date being considered as an endowment benefit. In making the above comparison the mortality and interest bases stated in subsections (e) and (f) of this Code section shall be used. (2) Reserves according to the Commissioner's reserve valuation method for: (A) Life insurance policies providing for a varying amount of insurance or requiring the payment of varying premiums; (B) Group annuity and pure endowment contracts purchased under a retirement plan or plan of deferred compensation, established or maintained by an employer, including a partnership or sole proprietorship, or by an employee organization or by both, other than a plan providing individual retirement accounts or individual retirement annuities under Section 408 of the Internal Revenue Code as now or hereafter amended; (C) Disability and accidental death benefits in all policies and contracts; and

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(D) All other benefits, except life insurance and endowment benefits in life insurance policies and benefits provided by all other annuity and pure endowment contracts, shall be calculated by a method consistent with the principles of this subsection. (h) This subsection shall apply to all annuity and pure endowment contracts other than group annuity and pure endowment contracts purchased under a retirement plan or plan of deferred compensation established or maintained by an employer, including a partnership or sole proprietorship, or by an employee organization or by both, other than a plan providing individual retirement accounts or individual retirement annuities under Section 408 of the Internal Revenue Code. Reserves according to the Commissioner's annuity reserve method for benefits under annuity or pure endowment contracts, excluding any disability and accidental death benefits in the contracts, shall be the greatest of the respective excesses of the present values at the date of valuation of the future guaranteed benefits, including guaranteed nonforfeiture benefits provided for by the contracts at the end of each respective contract year, over the present value at the date of valuation of any future valuation considerations derived from future gross considerations required by the terms of the contract that become payable prior to the end of the respective contract year. The future guaranteed benefits shall be determined by using the mortality table, if any, and the interest rate or rates, specified in such contracts for determining guaranteed benefits. The valuation considerations are the portions of the respective gross considerations applied under the terms of the contracts to determine nonforfeiture values. (i) In no event shall an insurer's aggregate reserve for all life insurance policies, excluding disability and accidental death benefits issued on or after January 1, 1966, be less than the aggregate reserves calculated in accordance with the methods set forth in subsections (g), (h), (l), and (m) of this Code section and the mortality table or tables and rate or rates of interest used in calculating nonforfeiture benefits for the policies. In no event shall the aggregate reserves for all policies, contracts, and benefits be less than the aggregate reserves determined by the appointed actuary to be necessary to render the opinion required by subsection (d) of the Code section. (j)(1) Reserves for all policies and contracts issued prior to January 1, 1966, may be calculated, at the option of the insurer, according to any standards which produce greater aggregate reserves for all the policies and contracts than the minimum reserves required by the laws in effect immediately prior to that date. (2) For any category of policies, contracts, or benefits specified in subsection (e) of this Code section issued on or after January 1, 1966, reserves may be calculated, at the option of the insurer, according to any standard or standards which produce greater aggregate reserves for such category than those calculated according to the minimum standard provided in this Code section; but the rate or rates of interest used for policies and contracts, other than annuity and pure endowment contracts, shall not be higher than the corresponding rate or rates of interest used in calculating any nonforfeiture benefits provided for in the policies and contracts.

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GENERAL ACTS AND RESOLUTIONS, VOL. I

(k) An insurer that at any time had adopted any standard of valuation producing greater aggregate reserves than those calculated according to the minimum standard provided for in subsection (i) of this Code section may, with the approval of the Commissioner, adopt any lower standard of valuation but not lower than the minimum provided in this subsection; provided, however, that for the purposes of this subsection, the holding of additional reserves previously determined by a qualified actuary to be necessary to render the opinion required by subsection (d) of this Code section shall not be deemed to be the adoption of a higher standard of valuation. (l) If in any contract year the gross premium charged by any life insurer on any policy or contract issued on or after January 1, 1966, is less than the valuation net premium for the policy or contract calculated by the method used in calculating the reserve thereon but using the minimum valuation standards of mortality and rate of interest, the minimum reserve required for such policy or contract shall be the greater of either the reserve calculated according to the mortality table, rate of interest, and method actually used for such policy or contract or the reserve calculated by the method actually used for the policy or contract but using the minimum valuation standards of mortality and rate of interest and replacing the valuation net premium by the actual gross premium in each contract year for which the valuation net premium exceeds the actual gross premium. The minimum valuation standards of mortality and rate of interest referred to in this Code section are those standards stated in subsections (e) and (f) of this Code section. Provided that for any life insurance policy issued on or after the effective date of subsection (h) of Code Section 33-25-4 for which the gross premium in the first policy year exceeds that of the second year and for which no comparable additional benefit is provided in the first year for such excess and which provides as an endowment benefit or a cash surrender value or a combination thereof in an amount greater than such excess premium, the foregoing provisions of this subsection shall be applied as if the method actually used in calculating the reserve for such policy were the method described in subsection (g) of this Code section, ignoring the second paragraph of paragraph (1) of subsection (g) of this Code section. The minimum reserve at each policy anniversary of such a policy shall be the greater of the minimum reserve calculated in accordance with subsection (g) of this Code section, including the second paragraph of paragraph (1) of subsection (g) of this Code section, and the minimum reserve calculated in accordance with this subsection. (m) In the case of any plan of life insurance which provides for future premium determination, the amounts of which are to be determined by the insurer based on then estimates of future experience, or in the case of any plan of life insurance or annuity which is of such a nature that the minimum reserves cannot be determined by the methods described in subsections (e), (g), (h), and (l) of this Code section, the reserves which are held under any such plan must:
(1) Be appropriate in relation to the benefits and the pattern of premiums for that plan; and

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(2) Be computed by a method which is consistent with the principles of this Code section, the 'Standard Valuation Law,' as determined by regulations promulgated by the Commissioner. (n) For accident and health insurance contracts issued on or after the operative date of the valuation manual, the standard prescribed in the valuation manual is the minimum standard of valuation required under paragraph (2) of subsection (c) of this Code section. For disability, accident and sickness, accident, and health insurance contracts issued prior to the operative date of the valuation manual, the minimum standard of valuation is the standard adopted by the Commissioner by regulation. (o)(1) For policies issued on or after the operative date of the valuation manual, the standard prescribed in the valuation manual is the minimum standard of valuation required under paragraph (2) of subsection (c) of this Code section, except as provided under paragraphs (5) and (7) of this subsection. (2) The operative date of the valuation manual is January 1 of the first calendar year following the first July 1 as of which all of the following have occurred:
(A) The valuation manual has been adopted by the NAIC by an affirmative vote of at least 42 members, or three-fourths of the members voting, whichever is greater; (B) The Standard Valuation Law, as amended by the NAIC in 2009, or legislation including substantially similar terms and provisions, has been enacted by states representing greater than 75 percent of the direct premiums written as reported in the following annual statements submitted for 2008: life, accident and health annual statements; health annual statements; or fraternal annual statements; and (C) The Standard Valuation Law, as amended by the NAIC in 2009, or legislation including substantially similar terms and provisions, has been enacted by at least 42 of the following 55 jurisdictions: The 50 states of the United States, American Samoa, the American Virgin Islands, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico. (3) Unless a change in the valuation manual specifies a later effective date, changes to the valuation manual shall be effective on January 1 following the date when the change to the valuation manual has been adopted by the NAIC by an affirmative vote representing: (A) At least three-fourths of the members of the NAIC voting, but not less than a majority of the total membership; and (B) Members of the NAIC representing jurisdictions totaling greater than 75 percent of the direct premiums written as reported in the following annual statements most recently available prior to the vote in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph: life, accident and health annual statements, health annual statements, or fraternal annual statements. (4) The valuation manual must specify all of the following: (A) Minimum valuation standards for and definitions of the policies or contracts subject to paragraph (2) of subsection (c) of this Code section. Such minimum valuation standards shall be:
(i) The Commissioner's reserve valuation method for life insurance contracts, other than annuity contracts, subject to paragraph (2) of subsection (c) of this Code section;

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GENERAL ACTS AND RESOLUTIONS, VOL. I

(ii) The Commissioner's annuity reserve valuation method for annuity contracts subject to paragraph (2) of subsection (c) of this Code section; and (iii) Minimum reserves for all other policies or contracts subject to paragraph (2) of subsection (c) of this Code section; (B) Which policies or contracts or types of policies or contracts that are subject to the requirements of a principle-based valuation in paragraph (1) of subsection (p) of this Code section and the minimum valuation standards consistent with those requirements; (C) For policies and contracts subject to a principle-based valuation under subsection (p) of this Code section: (i) Requirements for the format of reports to the Commissioner under subparagraph (p)(2)(C) of this Code section and which shall include information necessary to determine if the valuation is appropriate and in compliance with this Code section; (ii) Assumptions shall be prescribed for risks over which the company does not have significant control or influence; and (iii) Procedures for corporate governance and oversight of the actuarial function, and a process for appropriate waiver or modification of such procedures; (D) For policies not subject to a principle-based valuation under subsection (p) of this Code section the minimum valuation standard shall either: (i) Be consistent with the minimum standard of valuation prior to the operative date of the valuation manual; or (ii) Develop reserves that quantify the benefits and guarantees, and the funding, associated with the contracts and their risks at a level of conservatism that reflects conditions that include unfavorable events that have a reasonable probability of occurring; (E) Other requirements, including, but not limited to, those relating to reserve methods, models for measuring risk, generation of economic scenarios, assumptions, margins, use of company experience, risk measurement, disclosure, certifications, reports, actuarial opinions and memorandums, transition rules, and internal controls; and (F) The data and form of the data required under subsection (q) of this Code section, with whom the data must be submitted, and may specify other requirements including data analyses and reporting of analyses. (5) In the absence of a specific valuation requirement or if a specific valuation requirement in the valuation manual is not, in the opinion of the Commissioner, in compliance with this Code section, then the company shall, with respect to such requirements, comply with minimum valuation standards prescribed by the Commissioner by regulation. (6) The Commissioner may engage a qualified actuary, at the expense of the company, to perform an actuarial examination of the company and opine on the appropriateness of any reserve assumption or method used by the company, or to review and opine on a company's compliance with any requirement set forth in this Code section. The

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Commissioner may rely upon the opinion, regarding provisions contained within this Code section, of a qualified actuary engaged by the commissioner of another state, district, or territory of the United States. As used in this paragraph, the term 'engage' includes employment and contracting. (7) The Commissioner may require a company to change any assumption or method that in the opinion of the Commissioner is necessary in order to comply with the requirements of the valuation manual or this Code section; and the company shall adjust the reserves as required by the Commissioner. The Commissioner may take other disciplinary action as permitted pursuant to this title. (p)(1) A company must establish reserves using a principle-based valuation that meets the following conditions for policies or contracts as specified in the valuation manual:
(A) Quantify the benefits and guarantees, and the funding, associated with the contracts and their risks at a level of conservatism that reflects conditions that include unfavorable events that have a reasonable probability of occurring during the lifetime of the contracts. For policies or contracts with significant tail risk, reflects conditions appropriately adverse to quantify the tail risk; (B) Incorporate assumptions, risk analysis methods and financial models and management techniques that are consistent with, but not necessarily identical to, those utilized within the company's overall risk assessment process, while recognizing potential differences in financial reporting structures and any prescribed assumptions or methods; (C) Incorporate assumptions that are derived in one of the following manners:
(i) The assumption is prescribed in the valuation manual; or (ii) For assumptions that are not prescribed, the assumptions shall:
(I) Be established utilizing the company's available experience, to the extent it is relevant and statistically credible; or (II) To the extent that company data is not available, relevant, or statistically credible, be established utilizing other relevant, statistically credible experience; and (D) Provide margins for uncertainty including adverse deviation and estimation error, such that the greater the uncertainty the larger the margin and resulting reserve. (2) A company using a principle-based valuation for one or more policies or contracts subject to this subsection as specified in the valuation manual shall: (A) Establish procedures for corporate governance and oversight of the actuarial valuation function consistent with those described in the valuation manual; (B) Provide to the Commissioner and the board of directors an annual certification of the effectiveness of the internal controls with respect to the principle-based valuation. Such controls shall be designed to assure that all material risks inherent in the liabilities and associated assets subject to such valuation are included in the valuation, and that valuations are made in accordance with the valuation manual. The certification shall be based on the controls in place as of the end of the preceding calendar year; and

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(C) Develop, and file with the Commissioner upon request, a principle-based valuation report that complies with standards prescribed in the valuation manual. (3) A principle-based valuation may include a prescribed formulaic reserve component. (q) A company shall submit mortality, morbidity, policyholder behavior, or expense experience and other data as prescribed in the valuation manual. (r)(1) For purposes of this subsection, the term 'confidential information' shall mean: (A) A memorandum in support of an opinion submitted under subsection (d) of this Code section and any other documents, materials, and other information, including, but not limited to, all working papers, and copies thereof, created, produced, or obtained by or disclosed to the Commissioner or any other person in connection with such memorandum; (B) All documents, materials, and other information, including, but not limited to, all working papers, and copies thereof, created, produced, or obtained by or disclosed to the Commissioner or any other person in the course of an examination made under paragraph (6) of subsection (o) of this Code section; provided, however, that if an examination report or other material prepared in connection with an examination made under Chapter 2 of this title is not held as private and confidential information under Chapter 2 of this title, an examination report or other material prepared in connection with an examination made under paragraph (6) of subsection (o) of this Code section shall not be confidential information to the same extent as if such examination report or other material had been prepared under Chapter 2 of this title; (C) Any reports, documents, materials, and other information developed by a company in support of, or in connection with, an annual certification by the company under subparagraph (p)(2)(B) of this Code section evaluating the effectiveness of the company's internal controls with respect to a principle-based valuation and any other documents, materials, and other information, including, but not limited to, all working papers, and copies thereof, created, produced, or obtained by or disclosed to the Commissioner or any other person in connection with such reports, documents, materials, and other information; (D) Any principle-based valuation report developed under subparagraph (p)(2)(C) of this Code section and any other documents, materials, and other information, including, but not limited to, all working papers, and copies thereof, created, produced, or obtained by or disclosed to the Commissioner or any other person in connection with such report; and (E) Any documents, materials, data, and other information submitted by a company under subsection (q) of this Code section (collectively, 'experience data') and any other documents, materials, data, and other information, including, but not limited to, all working papers, and copies thereof, created or produced in connection with such experience data, in each case that include any potentially company-identifying or personally identifiable information, that is provided to or obtained by the Commissioner (together with any 'experience data,' the 'experience materials') and any other documents,

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materials, data, and other information, including, but not limited to, all working papers, and copies thereof, created, produced, or obtained by or disclosed to the Commissioner or any other person in connection with such experience materials. (2)(A) Except as provided in this subsection, a company's confidential information is confidential by law and privileged, and shall not be subject to Article 4 of Chapter 18 of Title 50, shall not be subject to subpoena, and shall not be subject to discovery or admissible in evidence in any private civil action; provided, however, that the Commissioner is authorized to use the confidential information in the furtherance of any regulatory or legal action brought against the company as a part of the Commissioner's official duties. (B) Neither the Commissioner nor any person who received confidential information while acting under the authority of the Commissioner shall be permitted or required to testify in any private civil action concerning any confidential information. (C) In order to assist in the performance of the Commissioner's duties, the Commissioner may share confidential information (i) with other state, federal, and international regulatory agencies and with the NAIC and its affiliates and subsidiaries, and (ii) in the case of confidential information specified in subparagraphs (A) and (D) of paragraph (1) of this subsection only, with the Actuarial Board for Counseling and Discipline or its successor upon request stating that the confidential information is required for the purpose of professional disciplinary proceedings and with state, federal, and international law enforcement officials; in the case of (i) and (ii), provided that such recipient agrees, and has the legal authority to agree, to maintain the confidentiality and privileged status of such documents, materials, data, and other information in the same manner and to the same extent as required for the Commissioner. (D) The Commissioner may receive documents, materials, data, and other information, including otherwise confidential and privileged documents, materials, data, or information, from the NAIC and its affiliates and subsidiaries, from regulatory or law enforcement officials of other foreign or domestic jurisdictions, and from the Actuarial Board for Counseling and Discipline or its successor and shall maintain as confidential or privileged any document, material, data, or other information received with notice or the understanding that it is confidential or privileged under the laws of the jurisdiction that is the source of the document, material, or other information. (E) The Commissioner may enter into agreements governing sharing and use of information consistent with this paragraph. (F) No waiver of any applicable privilege or claim of confidentiality in the confidential information shall occur as a result of disclosure to the Commissioner under this subsection or as a result of sharing as authorized in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (2) of this subsection. (G) A privilege established under the law of any state or jurisdiction that is substantially similar to the privilege established under this paragraph shall be available and enforced in any proceeding in, and in any court of, this state.

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(H) In this subsection, the terms 'regulatory agency,' 'law enforcement agency,' and the 'NAIC' include, but are not limited to, their employees, agents, consultants and contractors. (3) Notwithstanding this paragraph, any confidential information specified in subparagraphs (A) and (D) of paragraph (1) of this subsection: (A) May be subject to subpoena for the purpose of defending an action seeking damages from the appointed actuary submitting the related memorandum in support of an opinion submitted under subsection (d) of this Code section or principle-based valuation report developed under subparagraph (p)(2)(C) of this Code section by reason of an action required by this Code section or by regulations promulgated hereunder; (B) May otherwise be released by the Commissioner with the written consent of the company; and (C) Once any portion of a memorandum in support of an opinion submitted under subsection (d) of this Code section or a principle-based valuation report developed under subparagraph (p)(2)(C) of this Code section is cited by the company in its marketing or is publicly volunteered to or before a governmental agency other than a state insurance department or is released by the company to the news media, all portions of such memorandum or report shall no longer be confidential. (s)(1) The Commissioner may exempt specific product forms or product lines of a domestic company that is licensed and doing business only in this state from the requirements of subsection (o) of this Code section, provided: (A) The Commissioner has issued an exemption in writing to the company and has not subsequently revoked the exemption in writing; and (B) The company computes reserves using assumptions and methods used prior to the operative date of the valuation manual in addition to any requirements established by the Commissioner and promulgated by regulation. (2) For any company granted an exemption under this subsection, subsections (d) through (n) of this Code section shall be applicable. With respect to any company applying this exemption, any reference to subsection (o) of this Code section in subsections (d) through (n) of this Code section shall not be applicable. (t)(1) An insurer that has less than $300 million of ordinary life premiums and that is licensed and doing business in this state and that is subject to the requirements of subsections (o) through (r) of this Code section is deemed to pass the exclusion tests associated with life insurance reserve requirements incorporated in the valuation manual, provided that: (A) If the insurer is a member of a group of life insurers, the group has combined ordinary life premiums of less than $600 million; (B) The insurer reported total adjusted capital of at least 450 percent of authorized control level risk based capital in the risk based capital report for the prior calendar year; (C) The appointed actuary has provided an unqualified opinion on the reserves for the prior calendar year; and

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(D) The insurer has provided a certification by a qualified actuary that any universal life policy with a secondary guarantee issued by the insurer after the operative date of the valuation manual meets the definition of a nonmaterial secondary guarantee universal life product as defined in the valuation manual. (2) For purposes of paragraph (1) of this subsection, ordinary life premiums are measured as direct premium plus reinsurance assumed from an unaffiliated company, as reported in the annual statement for the prior calendar year. (3) A company that meets the requirements under paragraph (1) of this subsection is also subject to the requirements of subsection (l) of this Code section. (4) A domestic company meeting all of the conditions provided in this subsection may file, prior to July 1 of the current calendar year, a statement with the Commissioner certifying that such conditions are met for the current calendar year based on premiums and other values from the financial statements for the prior calendar year. The Commissioner may reject such statement prior to September 1 and require a company to comply with the valuation manual requirements for life insurance reserves."

SECTION 2. Said title is further amended by revising subsection (e) of Code Section 33-25-4, relating to required nonforfeiture provisions, as follows:
"(e)(1) As used in this subsection, the term 'operative date of the valuation manual' means January 1 of the first calendar year that the valuation manual as defined in subsection (o) of Code Section 33-1-10 becomes effective. (1.1) This subsection shall apply to any life insurance policy issued on or after January 1, 1989, or such earlier date as may have been elected by the insurer with respect to such policy in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (11) of this subsection. Except as provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection, the adjusted premiums for any policy shall be calculated on an annual basis and shall be such uniform percentage of the respective premiums specified in the policy for each policy year, excluding amounts payable as extra premiums to cover impairments or special hazards and also excluding any uniform annual contract charge or policy fee specified in the policy in a statement of the method to be used in calculating the cash surrender values and paid-up nonforfeiture benefits, that the present value, at the date of issue of the policy, of all adjusted premiums shall be equal to the sum of (A) the then present value of the future guaranteed benefits provided for by the policy; (B) one percent of either the amount of insurance, if the insurance is uniform in amount, or the average amount of insurance at the beginning of each of the first ten policy years; and (C) 125 percent of the nonforfeiture net level premium as defined in this subsection; provided, however, that in applying the percentage specified in item (C) of this paragraph no nonforfeiture net level premium shall be deemed to exceed 4 percent of either the amount of insurance, if the insurance is uniform in amount, or the average amount of insurance at the beginning of each of the first ten policy years. The date of issue

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of a policy for the purpose of this subsection shall be the date as of which the rated age of the insured is determined. (2) The nonforfeiture net level premium shall be equal to the present value, at the date of issue of the policy, of the guaranteed benefits provided for by the policy divided by the present value, at the date of issue of the policy, of an annuity of one per annum payable on the date of issue of the policy and on each anniversary of such policy on which a premium falls due. (3) In the case of policies which cause on a basis guaranteed in the policy unscheduled changes in benefits or premiums or which provide an option for changes in benefits or premiums other than a change to a new policy, the adjusted premiums and present values shall initially be calculated on the assumption that future benefits and premiums do not change from those stipulated at the date of issue of the policy. At the time of any such change in the benefits or premiums the future adjusted premiums, nonforfeiture net level premiums and present values shall be recalculated on the assumption that the future benefits and premiums do not change from those stipulated by the policy immediately after the change. (4) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (7) of this subsection, the recalculated future adjusted premiums for any such policy shall be such uniform percentage of the respective future premiums specified in the policy for each policy year, excluding amounts payable as extra premiums to cover impairments and special hazards and also excluding any uniform annual contract charge or policy fee specified in the policy in a statement of the method to be used in calculating the cash surrender values and paid-up nonforfeiture benefits, that the present value, at the time of change to the newly defined benefits or premiums, of all such future adjusted premiums shall be equal to the excess of (A) the sum of (i) the then present value of the then future guaranteed benefits provided for by the policy and (ii) the additional expense allowance, if any, over (B) the then cash surrender value, if any, or present value of any paid-up nonforfeiture benefit under the policy. (5) The additional expense allowance, at the time of the change to the newly defined benefits or premiums, shall be the sum of (A) 1 percent of the excess, if positive, of the average amount of insurance at the beginning of each of the first ten policy years subsequent to the change over the average amount of insurance prior to the change at the beginning of each of the first ten policy years subsequent to the time of the most recent previous change, or, if there has been no previous change, the date of issue of the policy; and (B) 125 percent of the increase, if positive, in the nonforfeiture net level premium. (6) The recalculated nonforfeiture net level premium shall be equal to the result obtained by dividing (A) by (B) where:
(A) Equals the sum of: (i) The nonforfeiture net level premium applicable prior to the change times the present value of an annuity of one per annum payable on each anniversary of the policy on or subsequent to the date of the change on which a premium would have fallen due had the change not occurred; and

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(ii) The present value of the increase in future guaranteed benefits provided for by the policy; and (B) Equals the present value of an annuity of one per annum payable on each anniversary of the policy on or subsequent to the date of change on which a premium falls due. (7) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this subsection to the contrary, in the case of a policy issued on a substandard basis which provides reduced graded amounts of insurance so that, in each policy year, such policy has the same tabular mortality cost as an otherwise similar policy issued on the standard basis which provides higher uniform amounts of insurance, adjusted premiums and present values for such substandard policy may be calculated as if it were issued to provide such higher uniform amounts of insurance on the standard basis. (8) All adjusted premiums and present values referred to in this Code section shall for all policies of ordinary insurance be calculated on the basis of (A) the Commissioners 1980 Standard Ordinary Mortality Table or (B) at the election of the insurer for any one or more specified plans of life insurance, the Commissioners 1980 Standard Ordinary Mortality Table with Ten-Year Select Mortality Factors; shall for all policies of industrial insurance be calculated on the basis of the Commissioners 1961 Standard Industrial Mortality Table; and shall for all policies issued in a particular calendar year be calculated on the basis of a rate of interest not exceeding the nonforfeiture interest rate as defined in this subsection for policies issued in that calendar year; provided, however, that: (A) At the option of the insurer, calculations for all policies issued in a particular calendar year may be made on the basis of a rate of interest not exceeding the nonforfeiture interest rate, as defined in this subsection, for policies issued in the immediately preceding calendar year; (B) Under any paid-up nonforfeiture benefit, including any paid-up dividend additions, any cash surrender value available, whether or not required by subsection (a) of this Code section, shall be calculated on the basis of the mortality table and rate of interest used in determining the amount of such paid-up nonforfeiture benefit and paid-up dividend additions, if any; (C) An insurer may calculate the amount of any guaranteed paid-up nonforfeiture benefit including any paid-up additions under the policy on the basis of an interest rate no lower than that specified in the policy for calculating cash surrender values; (D) In calculating the present value of any paid-up term insurance with accompanying pure endowment, if any, offered as a nonforfeiture benefit, the rates of mortality assumed may be not more than those shown in the Commissioners 1980 Extended Term Insurance Table for policies of ordinary insurance and not more than the Commissioners 1961 Industrial Extended Term Insurance Table for policies of industrial insurance;

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(E) For insurance issued on a substandard basis, the calculation of any such adjusted premiums and present values may be based on appropriate modifications of the aforementioned tables; (F) For policies issued prior to the operative date of the valuation manual, any Commissioners standard ordinary mortality tables adopted after 1980 by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners that are approved by regulation promulgated by the Commissioner for use in determining the minimum nonforfeiture standard may be substituted for the Commissioners 1980 Standard Ordinary Mortality Table with or without Ten-Year Select Mortality Factors or for the Commissioners 1980 Extended Term Insurance Table. For policies issued on or after the operative date of the valuation manual, the valuation manual shall provide the Commissioners standard mortality table for use in determining the minimum nonforfeiture standard that may be substituted for the Commissioners 1980 Standard Ordinary Mortality Table with or without Ten-Year Select Mortality Factors or for the Commissioners 1980 Extended Term Insurance Table. If the Commissioner approves by regulation any Commissioners standard ordinary mortality table adopted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for use in determining the minimum nonforfeiture standard for policies issued on or after the operative date of the valuation manual, then that minimum nonforfeiture standard supersedes the minimum nonforfeiture standard provided by the valuation manual; and (G) For policies issued prior to the operative date of the valuation manual, any Commissioners standard industrial mortality tables adopted after 1980 by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners that are approved by regulation promulgated by the Commissioner for use in determining the minimum nonforfeiture standard may be substituted for the Commissioners 1961 Standard Industrial Mortality Table or the Commissioners 1961 Industrial Extended Term Insurance Table. For policies issued on or after the operative date of the valuation manual, the valuation manual shall provide the Commissioners standard mortality table for use in determining the minimum nonforfeiture standard that may be substituted for the Commissioners 1961 Standard Industrial Mortality Table or the Commissioners 1961 Industrial Extended Term Insurance Table. If the Commissioner approves by regulation any Commissioners standard industrial mortality table adopted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for use in determining the minimum nonforfeiture standard for policies issued on or after the operative date of the valuation manual, then that minimum nonforfeiture standard supersedes the minimum nonforfeiture standard provided by the valuation manual. (9) The nonforfeiture interest rate is defined as follows: (A) For policies issued prior to the operative date of the valuation manual, the nonforfeiture interest rate per annum for any policy issued in a particular calendar year shall be equal to 125 percent of the calendar year statutory valuation interest rate for such policy as defined in Code Section 33-10-13, the Standard Valuation Law, rounded

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to the nearer one quarter of 1 percent; provided, however, that the nonforfeiture interest rate shall not be less than 4.00 percent. (B) For policies issued on and after the operative date of the valuation manual, the nonforfeiture interest rate per annum for any policy issued in a particular calendar year shall be provided by the valuation manual. (10) Notwithstanding any other provision in this title to the contrary, any refiling of nonforfeiture values or their methods of computation for any previously approved policy form which involves only a change in the interest rate or mortality table used to compute nonforfeiture values shall not require refiling of any other provisions of that policy form. (11) After November 1, 1982, any insurer may file with the Commissioner a written notice of its election to comply with the provisions of this subsection with respect to specified policy forms after a specified date before January 1, 1989, which shall be the operative date of this subsection for such specified policy forms. If an insurer makes no such election, the operative date of this subsection for such insurer shall be January 1, 1989."

SECTION 3. Said title is further amended by adding a new Chapter 13A to read as follows:

"CHAPTER 13A

33-13A-1. This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the 'Mutual Insurance Holding Company Act.'

33-13A-2. As used in this chapter, the term:
(1) 'Intermediate stock holding company' means one or more stock corporations that own all of the shares of voting stock of one or more reorganized stock insurers after a reorganization under Code Section 33-13A-3 or a merger under Code Section 33-13A-4. (2) 'Majority of the voting stock of the reorganized stock insurer' means shares of the capital stock of the reorganized stock insurer that carry the right to cast a majority of the votes entitled to be cast by all of the outstanding shares of the capital stock of the reorganized stock insurer for the election of directors and on all other matters submitted to a vote of the shareholders of the reorganized stock insurer. The ownership of a majority of the voting stock of the reorganized stock insurer that is required pursuant to this chapter to be at all times owned by a mutual insurance holding company includes indirect ownership through one or more intermediate stock holding companies in a corporate structure approved by the Commissioner. However, indirect ownership through one or more intermediate stock holding companies shall not result in the mutual insurance holding company owning less than the equivalent of a majority of the voting stock of the

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reorganized stock insurer. The Commissioner shall have jurisdiction over an intermediate stock holding company as if it were a mutual insurance holding company. (3) 'Member' means a person who obtains a membership interest in a mutual insurance holding company by virtue of being a policyholder of a mutual insurer that is the subject of a reorganization plan under Code Section 33-13A-3 or a merger plan under Code Section 33-13A-4. (4) 'Merger plan' means a plan approved by a mutual insurer's board of directors under Code Section 33-13A-4 which proposes to merge a domestic or foreign mutual insurer into an existing mutual insurance holding company or into an intermediate stock holding company, thereby converting the domestic or foreign mutual insurer into a stock insurer. (5) 'Mutual insurance holding company' means a domestic corporation incorporated pursuant to a reorganization plan under Code Section 33-13A-3 or a merger plan under Code Section 33-13A-4, which company is the ultimate parent of a reorganized stock insurer and which may be the parent company of one or more intermediate stock holding companies. (6) 'Policyholder' means a person who is insured under one or more insurance policies or annuity contracts by a mutual insurer at the time of a reorganization under Code Section 33-13A-3 or a merger under Code Section 33-13A-4. (7) 'Reorganization plan' means a reorganization plan adopted by a mutual insurer's board of directors in accordance with Code Section 33-13A-3 or 33-13A-4 which proposes to convert the domestic or foreign mutual insurer into a stock insurer. (8) 'Reorganized stock insurer' means the domestic or foreign stock insurer resulting from a domestic or foreign mutual insurer's reorganization under Code Section 33-13A-3 or merger under Code Section 33-13A-4. (9) 'Voting stock' means securities of any class or any ownership interest having voting power for the election of directors, trustees, or management of a corporation. Voting stock shall also mean any security convertible into or evidencing a right to acquire a voting security.

33-13A-3. (a) A domestic mutual insurer, upon approval of the Commissioner, may reorganize by forming an insurance holding company system, which shall be designated as a mutual insurance holding company, based upon a reorganization plan and continuing the corporate existence of the reorganizing insurer as a stock insurer. Such a reorganization plan must be adopted by the affirmative vote of not less than two-thirds of the mutual insurer's board of directors. The Commissioner, after a public hearing as provided in paragraph (2) of subsection (d) of Code Section 33-13-3, if satisfied that the interests of the policyholders are properly protected and that the reorganization plan is fair and equitable to the policyholders, may approve the proposed reorganization plan and may require as a condition of approval such modifications of the reorganization plan as the Commissioner finds necessary for the protection of the policyholders' interests. A reorganization pursuant to this

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Code section is subject to the requirements of Code Section 33-13-3. The Commissioner shall retain jurisdiction over a mutual insurance holding company organized pursuant to this Code section to ensure that policyholder interests are protected. (b) All of the initial shares of the capital stock of the reorganized stock insurer shall be issued to the mutual insurance holding company or to an intermediate stock holding company. The membership interests of the policyholders of the reorganized stock insurer shall become membership interests in the mutual insurance holding company. Policyholders of the reorganized stock insurer shall be members of the mutual insurance holding company in accordance with the articles of incorporation and bylaws of the mutual insurance holding company. The mutual insurance holding company shall at all times own a majority of the voting stock of the reorganized stock insurer or an intermediate stock holding company. (c) The reorganization plan shall provide that all of the initial shares of capital stock of the reorganized stock insurer shall be issued to the mutual insurance holding company or to an intermediate stock holding company. The reorganization plan shall provide that the mutual insurance holding company shall at all times own a majority of the voting stock of the reorganized stock insurer or, alternatively, that the mutual insurance holding company shall at all times own the majority of voting stock in an intermediate stock holding company, which intermediate stock holding company shall at all times own all of the voting stock of the reorganized stock insurer. The shares of voting stock required to be owned by the mutual insurance holding company or by an intermediate stock holding company shall not be pledged, hypothecated, or in any way encumbered with regard to any obligation, guaranty, or commitment undertaken by or on behalf of the mutual insurance holding company or the intermediate stock holding company, if any. The reorganization plan shall also provide that the board of directors of the mutual insurance holding company will be elected by the members. (d) The reorganization plan shall provide that membership interests of the policyholders of the mutual insurer shall automatically convert to membership interests in the mutual insurance holding company so long as the policy is in force as of the date the reorganization plan was adopted by the board of directors of the mutual insurer and that, concurrently upon the effective date of the reorganization, the policyholder's membership interests in the mutual insurer shall be extinguished.

33-13A-4. (a) A domestic mutual insurer, upon the approval of the Commissioner, may reorganize by merging its policyholders' membership interests into a mutual insurance holding company formed pursuant to Code Section 33-13A-3 and continuing the corporate existence of the reorganizing insurer as a stock insurer subsidiary of the mutual insurance holding company or an intermediate stock holding company. The Commissioner, after a public hearing as provided in paragraph (2) of subsection (d) of Code Section 33-13-3, if satisfied that the interests of the policyholders are properly protected and that the merger plan is fair and equitable to the policyholders, may approve the merger plan and may require as a condition

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of approval such modifications of the merger plan as the Commissioner finds necessary for the protection of the policyholders' interests. The Commissioner shall retain jurisdiction over the mutual insurance holding company organized pursuant to this Code section to ensure that policyholder interests are protected. (b) All of the initial shares of the capital stock of the reorganized stock insurer shall be issued to the mutual insurance holding company or to an intermediate stock holding company. The membership interests of the policyholders of the reorganized stock insurer shall become membership interests in the mutual insurance holding company. Policyholders of the reorganized stock insurer shall be members of the mutual insurance holding company in accordance with the articles of incorporation and bylaws of the mutual insurance holding company. The mutual insurance holding company shall at all times own a majority of the voting stock of the reorganized stock insurer or an intermediate stock holding company. A merger of policyholders' membership interests in a mutual insurer into a mutual insurance holding company shall be deemed to be the acquisition of an insurance control company pursuant to Code Section 33-13-3 and is subject to the requirements of Code Section 33-13-3. (c) A foreign mutual insurer which, if a domestic mutual insurer, would be organized under Chapter 14 of this title may reorganize upon the approval of the Commissioner and in compliance with the requirements of any law or rule applicable to the foreign mutual insurer by merging its policyholders' membership interests into a mutual insurance holding company formed pursuant to Code Section 33-13A-3 and continuing the corporate existence of the reorganizing foreign mutual insurer as a foreign stock insurer subsidiary of the mutual insurance holding company or one or more intermediate stock holding companies. The Commissioner, after a public hearing as provided in paragraph (2) of subsection (d) of Code Section 33-13-3, may approve the proposed merger. The reorganizing foreign mutual insurer may remain a foreign company or foreign corporation after the merger and may be admitted to do business in this state, upon approval by the Commissioner. A foreign mutual insurer that is a party to the merger may at the same time redomesticate in this state by complying with the applicable requirements of this state and its state of domicile. The provisions of subsection (b) of this Code section shall apply to a merger authorized under this subsection.

33-13A-5. A mutual insurance holding company resulting from the reorganization of a domestic mutual insurer and the reorganized stock insurer shall be incorporated and governed pursuant to Chapter 14 of this title and subject to Chapter 13 of this title. This requirement shall supersede any conflicting provisions of Chapter 2 of Title 14. The articles of incorporation and any amendments to such articles of the mutual insurance holding company shall be subject to approval of the Commissioner in the same manner as those of an insurer. An intermediate stock holding company shall be incorporated and governed pursuant to Chapter 2 of Title 14.

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33-13A-6. A mutual insurance holding company is deemed to be an insurer subject to this title and shall automatically be a party to any proceeding under this title involving an insurer that, as a result of a reorganization pursuant to Code Section 33-13A-3 or a merger pursuant to Code Section 33-13A-4, is a subsidiary of the mutual insurance holding company or one or more intermediate stock holding companies. In any proceeding involving the reorganized stock insurer, the assets of the mutual insurance holding company are deemed to be assets of the estate of the reorganized stock insurer for purposes of satisfying the claims of the reorganized stock insurer's policyholders. A mutual insurance holding company shall not be dissolved or liquidated without the prior approval of the Commissioner.

33-13A-7. (a) Code Section 33-14-76 is not applicable to a reorganization or merger pursuant to this chapter. (b) The demutualization of a mutual insurance holding company is subject to the requirements of Code Section 33-14-76.

33-13A-8. A membership interest in a mutual insurance holding company shall not constitute a security as such term is defined in Code Section 11-8-102.

33-13A-9. (a) The offerings of voting stock by a reorganized stock insurer or intermediate stock holding company to any person other than the mutual insurance holding company or a wholly owned subsidiary thereof, which offering is to occur in connection with the reorganization or merger or is the first to occur after the effective date of the reorganization or merger, shall be made only in accordance with such provisions as the reorganization plan or merger plan may contain governing such an initial offering or with the prior approval of the Commissioner after submission of an application by the proposed issuer. The reorganization plan or merger plan shall describe the terms on which members, officers, and directors of the mutual insurance holding company, as well as any other persons, may participate in such offering. The Commissioner may approve any such application unless the Commissioner finds that the offering would be prejudicial to the members of the mutual holding company. (b) The Commissioner may retain any attorneys, actuaries, accountants, and other experts not otherwise a part of the Commissioner's staff as may be reasonably necessary to assist the Commissioner in reviewing an application submitted pursuant to this Code section, the cost of which shall be borne by the proposed issuer submitting such application.

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33-13A-10. (a) Within 45 days after the date of the Commissioner's approval of a reorganization plan or merger plan pursuant to this chapter, unless extended by the Commissioner for good cause, the mutual insurer shall hold a meeting of its policyholders to vote upon such plan. The mutual insurer shall give notice at least 30 days before the time fixed for the meeting, by first-class mail to the last known address of each policyholder, that the reorganization plan or merger plan will be voted upon at a regular or special meeting of the policyholders. The notice shall include a brief description of the reorganization plan or merger plan and a statement that the Commissioner has approved such plan. The notice shall also include information regarding where the policyholder can obtain copies of the full reorganization plan or merger at no cost to the policyholder. The notice to each policyholder shall also include a written proxy permitting the policyholder to vote for or against the reorganization plan or merger plan. A reorganization plan or merger plan shall be approved only if not less than two-thirds of the policyholders voting in person or by proxy at the meeting vote in favor of such plan. Each policyholder shall be entitled to only one vote regardless of the number of policies owned by the policyholder. (b) If a mutual insurer complies substantially and in good faith with the notice requirements of this Code section, the mutual insurer's failure to give any policyholder any required notice does not impair the validity of any action taken under this Code section. (c) For purposes of voting, policyholder means a person who is eligible to vote under the mutual insurer's articles of incorporation or bylaws and who is also a policyholder of the mutual insurer as of the date on which the reorganization plan or merger plan is initially approved by the board of directors of the mutual insurer.

33-13A-11. The majority of the voting stock of the reorganized stock insurer, which is required by this Code section to be at all times owned by a mutual insurance holding company, shall not be conveyed, transferred, assigned, pledged, subject to a security interest or lien, encumbered, or otherwise hypothecated or alienated by the mutual insurance holding company or intermediate stock holding company. Any conveyance, transfer, assignment, pledge, security interest, lien, encumbrance, hypothecation, or alienation of, in or on the majority of the voting stock of the reorganized stock insurer that is required by this Code section to be at all times owned by a mutual insurance holding company, is in violation of the provisions of this Code section and shall be void in inverse chronological order of the date of such conveyance, transfer, assignment, pledge, security interest, lien, encumbrance, hypothecation, or alienation as to the shares necessary to constitute a majority of such voting stock. The majority of the voting stock of the reorganized stock insurer that is required by this Code section to be at all times owned by a mutual insurance holding company shall not be subject to execution and levy. The shares of the capital stock of the surviving or new company resulting from a merger or consolidation of two or more reorganized stock insurers or two or more intermediate stock holding companies that were

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subsidiaries of the same mutual insurance holding company are subject to the same requirements, restrictions, and limitations as provided in this Code section to which the shares of the merging or consolidating reorganized stock insurers or intermediate stock holding companies were subject as provided in this Code section prior to the merger or consolidation.

33-13A-12. It is the intent of the General Assembly that the formation of a mutual insurance holding company shall not increase the Georgia tax burden of the mutual insurance holding company system and that a reorganized stock insurer shall continue to be subject to Georgia insurance premium taxation in lieu of all other taxes except as provided in Chapter 8 of this title.

33-13A-13. The Commissioner shall have the authority to promulgate rules and regulations to implement and enforce the provisions of this chapter."

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

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CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES NOTICE OF TIMBER HARVESTING; BONDS; ADMINISTRATIVE FEES PROHIBITED.

No. 124 (House Bill No. 199).

AN ACT

To amend Part 1A of Article 1 of Chapter 6 of Title 12 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to timber harvesting and removal requirements, so as to require notice of timber harvesting only in an approved form; to provide that one bond shall be required for each county or municipality; to provide that no county may require an administrative fee for receiving a notice of timber harvesting; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

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SECTION 1. Part 1A of Article 1 of Chapter 6 of Title 12 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to timber harvesting and removal requirements, is amended by revising Code Section 12-6-24, relating to notice of timber harvesting operations, as follows:
"12-6-24. (a)(1) A county governing authority may by ordinance or resolution require all persons or firms harvesting standing timber in any unincorporated area of such county for delivery as pulpwood, logs, poles, posts, or wood chips to any woodyard or processing plant located inside or outside this state to provide notice of such harvesting operations to the county governing authority or the designated agent thereof prior to entering onto the property if possible, but in no event later than 24 hours after entering onto the property. Further, such persons shall give notice of cessation of cutting within 24 hours after the job is completed. (2) A municipal governing authority may by ordinance or resolution require all persons or firms harvesting standing timber in any incorporated area of such municipality for delivery as pulpwood, logs, poles, or wood chips to any woodyard or processing plant located inside or outside this state to provide notice of such harvesting operations to the municipal governing authority or the designated agent thereof prior to entering onto the property if possible, but in no event later than 24 hours after entering onto the property. Further, such persons shall give notice of cessation of cutting within 24 hours after the job is completed.
(b) Any ordinance or resolution adopted pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section shall conform to the following requirements:
(1) Prior written notice shall be required of any person or firm harvesting such timber for each separate tract to be harvested thereby, shall be made only in such form as prescribed by rule or regulation of the director, and shall be limited to the following:
(A) A map of the area which identifies the location of the tract to be harvested and, as to those trucks which will be traveling to and from such tract for purposes of picking up and hauling loads of cut forest products, the main point of ingress to such tract from a public road and, if different, the main point of egress from such tract to a public road; (B) A statement as to whether the timber will be removed pursuant to a lump sum sale, per unit sale, or owner harvest for purposes of ad valorem taxation under Code Section 48-5-7.5; (C) The name, address, and daytime telephone number of the timber seller if the harvest is pursuant to a lump sum or per unit sale or of the timber owner if the harvest is an owner harvest; and (D) The name, business address, business telephone number, and nighttime or emergency telephone number of the person or firm harvesting such timber; (2) Notice may be submitted in person, by transmission of an electronic record via telefacsimile, e-mail, or such other means as approved by the governing authority, or by mail;

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(3) The governing authority may require persons or firms subject to such notice requirement to deliver a bond or letter of credit as provided by this paragraph, in which case notice shall not be or remain effective for such harvesting operations unless and until the person or firm providing such notice has delivered to the governing authority or its designated agent a valid surety bond, executed by a surety corporation authorized to transact business in this state, protecting the county or municipality, as applicable, against any damage caused by such person or firm in an amount specified by the governing authority not exceeding $5,000.00 or, at the option of the person or firm harvesting timber, a valid irrevocable letter of credit issued by a bank or savings and loan association, as defined in Code Section 7-1-4, in the amount of and in lieu of such bond. Each county or municipality shall require no more than one bond from each person or firm harvesting timber regardless of the number of tracts harvested in such county or municipality by each such person or firm so long as the bond remains in effect. Otherwise, a valid replacement bond must be obtained and delivered to the governing authority of such county or municipality or its designated agent no later than the close of business on the fifth business day following the day that such governing authority filed a claim to recover damages against the then-existing bond. Upon filing such claim, such governing authority shall immediately provide notice thereof, including the date such claim was filed, to the person or firm causing the damage. Such notice may be given in person, by transmission of an electronic record via telefacsimile, or by e-mail. For purposes of this paragraph, any such surety bond or letter of credit shall be valid only for the calendar year in which delivered; (4) Notice shall be effective for such harvesting operation on such tract within such unincorporated area of the county or incorporated area of the municipality upon receipt of the same by the applicable governing authority or its designated agent and, if applicable, compliance with the requirements of paragraph (3) of this subsection and until such time as the person or firm giving such notice has completed the harvesting operation for such tract; provided, however, that any subsequent change in the facts required to be provided for purposes of such notice shall be reported to the governing authority or its designated agent within three business days after such change; (5) Notice requirements shall be applicable to any such timber harvested on or after the effective date of the ordinance or resolution adopted pursuant to this Code section; and (6) Violation of the notice requirements of any ordinance or resolution adopted pursuant to this Code section shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding $500.00. (c) The director shall promulgate such rules and regulations as are reasonable and necessary for purposes of the standard form required by paragraph (1) of subsection (b) of this Code section. (d) Any municipal governing authority or designated agent thereof which receives a notice required by ordinance or resolution adopted pursuant to this Code section regarding timber harvesting operations to be conducted in whole or in part within the corporate limits of such municipality shall transmit a copy of such notice to the governing authority of the county or the designated agent thereof.

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(e)(1) No county, municipality, or other political subdivision in this state shall require any person or firm harvesting standing timber therein for delivery as pulpwood, logs, poles, posts, or wood chips to any woodyard or processing plant located inside or outside this state to provide any notice of or plan or security for such harvesting or hauling of forest products except as provided by this Code section. (2) No county, municipality, or other political subdivision in this state shall require any person or firm harvesting standing timber therein for delivery as pulpwood, logs, poles, posts, or wood chips to any woodyard or processing plant located inside or outside this state to obtain any permit for such harvesting or hauling of forest products, including without limitation any permit for any new driveway in connection with timber harvesting operations; provided, however, that this paragraph shall not otherwise limit the authority of a county or municipality to regulate roads or streets under its jurisdiction in accordance with Title 32. (3) The provisions of paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection shall not preclude counties, municipalities, and other political subdivisions from enacting and enforcing tree ordinances, landscape ordinances, or streamside buffer ordinances; provided, however, such ordinances shall not apply to timber harvesting as described in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (4) of this subsection or in unzoned tracts as described in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (4) of this subsection.
(4)(A) The limitations on the regulatory authority of counties, municipalities, or other political subdivisions provided by paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of this subsection shall apply only to timber harvesting operations which qualify as forestry land management practices or agricultural operations under Code Section 12-7-17, not incidental to development, on tracts which are zoned for or used for forestry, silvicultural, or agricultural purposes. (B) The limitations on the regulatory authority of counties, municipalities, or other political subdivisions provided by paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of this subsection shall also apply to tracts which are unzoned. (5) No county or municipality shall require a fee of any kind for receiving a notification of a timber harvest."

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

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CRIMES AND OFFENSES REVISE SCHEDULES OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES AND DANGEROUS DRUGS; LABELING OF PRESCRIPTION CONTAINERS.

No. 125 (House Bill No. 211).

AN ACT

To amend Chapter 13 of Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to controlled substances, so as to change certain provisions relating to Schedules I, III, and IV controlled substances; to change certain provisions relating to the definition of "dangerous drug"; to revise provisions relating to labeling prescription containers of dangerous drugs; 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 13 of Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to controlled substances, is amended by adding new subparagraphs to paragraph (3) of Code Section 16-13-25, relating to Schedule I controlled substances, to read as follows:
"(UUU)3-(1,3-benzenodioxol-5-yl)-N,2-dimethylpropan-1-amine (3,4-methylenediox ymethamphetamine methyl homolog); (VVV) (2-aminopropyl)-2,3-dihydrobenzofuran (APDB); (WWW) 4-methyl-2,5-dimethoxy-N-[(2-methoxyphenyl)methyl]-benzeneethanamine (25D-NBOMe); (XXX) 2-chloro-4,5-methylenedioxymethamphetamine; (YYY) 4-hydroxy-N-methyl-N-ethyltryptamine (4-HO-MET); (ZZZ) 2-bromo-4,5-methylenedioxymethamphetamine; (AAAA) 2-(2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)ethanamine (25H-NBOMe);"

SECTION 2. Said chapter is further amended in Code Section 16-13-25, relating to Schedule I controlled substances, by substituting the "." at the end of subparagraph (Z) with a ";" and by adding a new subparagraphs to paragraph (12), to read as follows:
"(AA) Naphthalene-1-yl 1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indole-3-carboxylate (NM2201); (BB) (1-(4-fluorobenzyl)-1H-indol-3-yl)(2,2,3,3-tetramethylcyclopropyl)methanone (FUB-144); (CC) N-(1-amino-3-methyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indole-3-carbox amide (5-fluoro-ABICA); (DD) 1-naphthalenyl(1-pentyl-1H-indazol-3-yl)-methanone (THJ 018)."

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SECTION 3. Said chapter is further amended in Code Section 16-13-27, relating to Schedule III controlled substances, by revising paragraph (4) as follows:
"(4) Unless specifically excepted or unless listed in another schedule, any material, compound, mixture, or preparation containing limited quantities of the following narcotic drugs, or any salts thereof:
(A) Not more than 1.8 grams of codeine, or any of its salts, per 100 milliliters or not more than 90 milligrams per dosage unit, with an equal or greater quantity of an isoquinoline alkaloid of opium; (B) Not more than 1.8 grams of codeine, or any of its salts, per 100 milliliters or not more than 90 milligrams per dosage unit, with one or more active, nonnarcotic ingredients in recognized therapeutic amounts; (C) Reserved; (D) Reserved; (E) Not more than 1.8 grams of dihydrocodeine, or any of its salts, per 100 milliliters or not more than 90 milligrams per dosage unit, with one or more active, nonnarcotic ingredients in recognized therapeutic amounts; (F) Not more than 300 milligrams of ethylmorphine, or any of its salts, per 100 milliliters or not more than 15 milligrams per dosage unit, with one or more active, nonnarcotic ingredients in recognized therapeutic amounts; (G) Not more than 500 milligrams of opium per 100 milliliters or per 100 grams, or not more than 25 milligrams per dosage unit, with one or more active, nonnarcotic ingredients in recognized therapeutic amounts; (H) Not more than 50 milligrams of morphine, or any of its salts, per 100 milliliters or per 100 grams with one or more active, nonnarcotic ingredients in recognized therapeutic amounts;"

SECTION 4. Said chapter is further amended by adding new paragraphs to subsection (a) of Code Section 16-13-28, relating to Schedule IV controlled substances, to read as follows:
"(0.5) Alfaxalone;" "(13.15) Etizolam;" "(27.5) Phenazepam;" "(30.5) Suvorexant;"

SECTION 5. Said chapter is further amended in Code Section 16-13-71, relating to the definition of a dangerous drug, by revising paragraphs (402.7) and (931.35) of subsection (b) and by adding new paragraphs to subsection (b), to read as follows:
"(17.6) Albiglutide;" "(19.58) Alemtuzumab;"

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"(62.38) Apremilast;" "(78.7) Belinostat;" "(104.3) Blinatumomab;" "(153.7) Ceftolozane;" "(159.7) Ceritinib;" "(237.05) Dalbavancin;" "(239.4) Dapagliflozin;" "(240.8) Dasabuvir;" "(325.43) Droxidopa;" "(325.44) Dulaglutide;" "(331.04) Efinaconazole;" "(331.055) Eliglustat;" "(331.058) Elosulfase;" "(331.071) Empagliflozin;" "(386.6) Finafloxacin;" "(402.7) Fluticasone See exceptions;" "(464.2) Idelalisib;" "(513.3) Ledipasvir;" "(611.5) Metreleptin;" "(617.7) Miltefosine;" "(634.7) Naloxegol;" "(640.35) Netupitant;" "(644.6) Nintedanib;" "(648.5) Nivolumab;" "(661.9) Olaparib;" "(663.15) Olodaterol;" "(663.37) Ombitasvir;" "(663.73) Oritavancin;" "(691.7) Paritaprevir;" "(692.28) Pasireotide;" "(692.53) Pembrolizumab;" "(703.42) Peramivir;" "(740.07) Pirfenidone;" "(831.06) Ramucirumab;" "(855.95) Siltuximab;" "(931.2) Tasimelteon;" "(931.21) Tavaborole;" "(931.35) Tazobactam;" "(931.52) Tedizolid;" "(1018.8) Umeclidinium;" "(1027.2) Vedolizumab;"

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"(1037.3) Vorapaxar;"

SECTION 6. Said chapter is further amended by adding a new paragraph to subsection (c) of Code Section 16-13-71, relating to the definition of a dangerous drug, to read as follows:
"(9.75) Fluticasone when available in a device that delivers a metered spray of 0.05 mg and to be used for the temporary relief of symptoms due to hay fever or other upper respiratory allergies;"

SECTION 7. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 16-13-73, relating to labeling prescription containers of dangerous drugs, as follows:
"16-13-73. (a) Whenever a pharmacist dispenses a dangerous drug, he shall, in each case, place upon the container the following information:
(1) Name of the patient; (2) Name of the practitioner prescribing the drug; (3) The expiration date, if any, of the drug; (4) Name and address of the pharmacy from which the drug was dispensed; and (5) The date of the prescription. (b) Any pharmacist who dispenses a dangerous drug and fails to place the label required by subsection (a) of this Code section upon the container of such drug shall be guilty of a misdemeanor."

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 May 6, 2015.

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RETIREMENT AND PENSIONS PUBLIC RETIREMENT SYSTEMS INVESTMENTS.

No. 126 (House Bill No. 217).

AN ACT

To amend Code Section 47-20-83 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to certificated or uncertificated forms of investments and real estate investments, so as to authorize public retirement systems to invest in mutual funds, commingled funds, collective investment funds, common trusts, and group trusts; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Code Section 47-20-83 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to certificated or uncertificated forms of investments and real estate investments, is amended in subsection (a) by deleting "and" at the end of paragraph (21), by replacing the period at the end of paragraph (22) with a semicolon, and by adding two new paragraphs to read as follows:
"(23) Shares of mutual funds registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended; and (24) Commingled funds and collective investment funds regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency of the United States Department of the Treasury, including common and group trusts, and, to the extent the funds are invested in such collective investment funds, the funds shall adopt the terms of the instruments establishing any group trust in accordance with applicable United States Internal Revenue Service Revenue Rulings."

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

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REVENUE AND TAXATION DAYS IN WHICH FEDERAL RESERVE BANK IS CLOSED EXCUSE LATE FILING OR PAYMENT OF TAXES.

No. 127 (House Bill No. 234).

AN ACT

To amend Article 2 of Chapter 2 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to administration and enforcement of tax collection, so as to include days on which the Federal Reserve Bank is closed in the list of days that excuse late filing or payment; 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 2 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to administration and enforcement of tax collection, is amended by revising Code Section 48-2-39, relating to times when the date for payment of taxes or filing of returns falls on a holiday, as follows:
"48-2-39. When the date prescribed by or imposed pursuant to law for the making of any return, the filing of any paper or document, or the payment of any tax or license fee pursuant to this title or any law relating to the taxation and licensing of automobiles, trucks, or trailers falls on a Saturday, Sunday, legal holiday, or day on which the Federal Reserve Bank is closed, the making of the return, the filing of the paper or document, or the payment of the tax or license fee shall be postponed by the person required to take such action until the first day following which is not a Saturday, Sunday, legal holiday, or day on which the Federal Reserve Bank is closed."

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 6, 2015.

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PROPERTY CONDOMINIUMS; SPECIAL ASSESSMENT FEES.

No. 128 (House Bill No. 245).

AN ACT

To amend Article 3 of Chapter 3 of Title 44 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to condominiums, so as to change the amount permissible as a special assessment fee; 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. Article 3 of Chapter 3 of Title 44 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to condominiums, is amended by revising subsection (g) of Code Section 44-3-80, relating to liability for common expenses and how assessments are made, as follows:
"(g) A condominium instrument recorded on or after July 1, 2015, shall not authorize the board of directors to impose:
(1) Except as provided in subsections (a) and (b) of this Code section and subsections (a) and (b) of Code Section 44-3-109, a special assessment fee per unit in excess of one-sixth of the annual common expense assessment for the unit levied pursuant to subsection (c) of this Code section per fiscal year without the approval of a majority of the unit owners; or (2) A monthly maintenance fee increase in excess of the percentage equal to the annual rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for the immediately preceding 12 month period may be disapproved by unit owners holding a majority of the association vote."

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 6, 2015.

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COURTS DOMESTIC RELATIONS LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS AND AGENCIES SOCIAL SERVICES ALLOW CRIMINAL JUSTICE
COORDINATING COUNCIL TO RECEIVE AND DISTRIBUTE CERTAIN GRANTS; ADVISORY BOARD ON JUVENILE JUSTICE ISSUES; TRANSFER OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR FAMILY VIOLENCE SHELTERS; ASSIGNMENT OF DUTIES WITH REGARD TO ROOSEVELT WARM SPRINGS INSTITUTE FOR REHABILITATION.

No. 132 (House Bill No. 263).

AN ACT

To amend Chapter 6A of Title 35, Chapter 11 of Title 15, Article 2 of Chapter 13 of Title 19, and Title 49 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, the Juvenile Code, family violence shelters, and social services, respectively, so as to allow the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council to receive and distribute federal Department of Justice grants; to provide for an advisory board to the council for juvenile justice issues; to provide for the membership of the board; to provide for the board's duties; to provide that certain entities and agencies share information with the council; to remove the responsibility and duties of the Department of Human Resources for such shelters and require the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council to have such responsibility and duties; to change provisions relating to the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation; 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 6A of Title 35 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, is amended by revising Code Section 35-6A-7, relating to the functions and the authority of the council, as follows:
"35-6A-7. The council is vested with the following functions and authority:
(1) To cooperate with and secure cooperation of every department, agency, or instrumentality in the state government or its political subdivisions in the furtherance of the purposes of this chapter; (2) To prepare, publish in print or electronically, and disseminate fundamental criminal justice information of a descriptive and analytical nature to all components of the criminal

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justice system of this state, including law enforcement agencies, the courts, juvenile justice agencies, and correctional agencies; (3) To serve as the state-wide clearing-house for criminal justice information and research; (4) To maintain a research program in order to identify and define significant criminal justice problems and issues and effective solutions and to publish in print or electronically special reports as needed; (5) In coordination and cooperation with all components of the criminal justice system of this state, to develop criminal justice legislative proposals and executive policy proposals reflective of the priorities of the entire criminal justice system of this state; (6) To serve in an advisory capacity to the Governor on issues impacting the criminal justice system of this state; (7) To coordinate high visibility criminal justice research projects and studies with a state-wide impact, which studies and projects cross traditional system component lines; (8) To convene periodically state-wide criminal justice conferences involving key executives in the criminal justice system of this state and elected officials for the purpose of developing, prioritizing, and publicizing a policy agenda for the criminal justice system of this state; (9) To provide for the interaction, communication, and coordination of all components of the criminal justice system of this state for the purpose of improving this state's response to crime and its effects; (10) To administer gifts, grants, and donations for the purpose of carrying out this chapter; (11) To promulgate rules governing the approval of victim assistance programs as provided for in Article 8 of Chapter 21 of Title 15; (12) To supervise the preparation, administration, and implementation of the three-year juvenile justice plan as provided by this chapter; and (13) To do any and all things necessary and proper to enable it to perform wholly and adequately its duties and to exercise the authority granted to it."

SECTION 2. Said chapter is further amended by adding two new Code sections to read as follows:
"35-6A-11. (a) There is established an advisory board to the council which shall consist of at least 15 and not more than 33 members appointed by the Governor who have training, experience, or special knowledge concerning the prevention and treatment of juvenile delinquency, the administration of juvenile justice, or the reduction of juvenile delinquency and shall be composed of:
(1) At least three members of the council, two of whom are not full-time government employees or elected officials; (2) At least one locally elected official representing general purpose local government;

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(3) Representatives of law enforcement and juvenile justice agencies, including juvenile and family court judges, prosecuting attorneys, attorneys for children and youth, and probation workers; (4) Representatives of public agencies concerned with delinquency prevention or treatment, such as welfare, social services, mental health, education, special education, recreation, and youth services; (5) Representatives of private nonprofit organizations, including individuals with a special focus on preserving and strengthening families, parent groups and parent self-help groups, youth development, delinquency prevention and treatment, neglected or dependent children, the quality of juvenile justice, education, and social services for children; (6) Volunteers who work with delinquent children or potential delinquent children; (7) Youth workers involved with programs that are alternatives to incarceration, including programs providing organized recreation activities; (8) Individuals with special experience and competence in addressing problems related to school violence and vandalism and alternatives to suspension and expulsion; and (9) Individuals with special experience and competence in addressing problems related to learning disabilities, emotional difficulties, child abuse and neglect, and youth violence. (b)(1) A majority of the members of the advisory board, including the chairperson, shall not be full-time employees of the federal, state, or local government. (2) At least one-fifth of the members of the advisory board shall be under 24 years of age at the time of their appointment. (3) At least three members shall have been or shall currently be under the jurisdiction of the juvenile justice system of this state. (c) Membership on the advisory board shall not constitute public office and no member shall be disqualified from holding public office by reason of his or her membership. (d) The advisory board shall elect a chairperson from among its membership who must also be a member of the council. The advisory board may elect such other officers and committees as it considers appropriate. (e) Members of the advisory board shall serve without compensation, although each member of the advisory board shall be reimbursed for actual expenses incurred in the performance of his or her duties from funds available to the office. Such reimbursement shall be limited to all travel and other expenses necessarily incurred through service on the advisory board, in compliance with this state's travel rules and regulations. However, in no case shall a member of the advisory board be reimbursed for expenses incurred in the member's capacity as the representative of another state agency.

35-6A-12. The advisory board shall:
(1) Meet at such times and places as it shall determine necessary or convenient to perform its duties. The advisory board shall also meet on the call of the chairperson, the director of the council, the chairperson of the council, or the Governor;

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(2) Maintain minutes of its meetings; (3) Participate in the development and review of this state's juvenile justice plan prior to submission to the council for final action; (4) Be afforded the opportunity to review and comment, not later than 30 days after their submission to the advisory board, on all juvenile justice and delinquency prevention grant applications submitted to the council; (5) Using the combined expertise and experience of its members, provide regular advice and counsel to the director of the council to enable the council to carry out its statutory duties under this article; and (6) Carry out such duties that may be required by federal law or regulation so as to enable this state to receive and disburse federal funds for juvenile delinquency prevention and treatment."

SECTION 3. Chapter 11 of Title 15 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the Juvenile Code, is amended by revising subsection (f) of Code Section 15-11-504, relating to place of detention and data on child detained, as follows:
"(f) All facilities shall maintain data on each child detained and such data shall be recorded and retained by the facility for three years and shall be made available for inspection during normal business hours by any court exercising juvenile court jurisdiction, by DJJ, by the Governor's Office for Children and Families, by the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, by the Administrative Office of the Courts, and by the Council of Juvenile Court Judges. Such data shall be used by the inspecting agency for official purposes and shall not be subject to release by such agency pursuant to Article 4 of Chapter 18 of Title 50, nor subject to subpoena. The required data are each detained child's:
(1) Name; (2) Date of birth; (3) Sex; (4) Race; (5) Offense or offenses for which such child is being detained; (6) Date of and authority for confinement; (7) Location of the offense and the name of the school if the offense occurred in a school safety zone, as defined in Code Section 16-11-127.1; (8) The name of the referral source, including the name of the school if the referring source was a school; (9) The score on the detention assessment; (10) The basis for detention if such child's detention assessment score does not in and of itself mandate detention; (11) The reason for detention, which may include, but shall not be limited to, preadjudication detention, detention while awaiting a postdisposition placement, or serving a short-term program disposition;

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(12) Date of and authority for release or transfer; and (13) Transfer or to whom released."

SECTION 4. Said chapter is further amended by revising subsection (d) of Code Section 15-11-704, relating to public inspection of court files and records, as follows:
"(d) A judge shall permit authorized representatives of DJJ, the Governor's Office for Children and Families, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, the Administrative Office of the Courts, and the Council of Juvenile Court Judges to inspect and extract data from any court files and records for the purpose of obtaining statistics on children and to make copies pursuant to the order of the court. Such data shall be used by the inspecting agency for official purposes and shall not be subject to release by such agency pursuant to Article 4 of Chapter 18 of Title 50, nor subject to subpoena."

SECTION 5. Said chapter is further amended by revising subsection (d) of Code Section 15-11-708, relating to separation of juvenile and adult records for law enforcement, as follows:
"(d) The court shall allow authorized representatives of DJJ, the Governor's Office for Children and Families, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, the Administrative Office of the Courts, and the Council of Juvenile Court Judges to inspect and copy law enforcement records for the purpose of obtaining statistics on children. Such data shall be used by the inspecting agency for official purposes and shall not be subject to release by such agency pursuant to Article 4 of Chapter 18 of Title 50, nor subject to subpoena."

SECTION 6. Title 49 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to social services, is amended by revising paragraph (3) of subsection (b) of Code Section 49-4A-2, relating to the duties and responsibilities of the Board of Juvenile Justice, as follows:
"(3) Ensure that detention assessment, risk assessment, and risk and needs assessment instruments that are utilized by intake personnel and courts are developed in consultation with the Governor's Office for Children and Families, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, and the Council of Juvenile Court Judges and ensure that such instruments are validated at least every five years;"

SECTION 7. Said title is further amended by revising subsection (n) of Code Section 49-4A-8, relating to commitment of delinquent children and records, as follows:
"(n)(1) The department shall conduct a continuing inquiry into the effectiveness of treatment methods it employs in seeking the rehabilitation of maladjusted children. To this end, the department shall maintain a statistical record of arrests and commitments of its wards subsequent to their discharge from the jurisdiction and control of the department

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and shall tabulate, analyze, and publish in print or electronically annually these data so that they may be used to evaluate the relative merits of methods of treatment. The department shall cooperate and coordinate with courts, juvenile court clerks, the Governor's Office for Children and Families, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, and public and private agencies in the collection of statistics and information regarding:
(A) Juvenile delinquency; (B) Arrests made; (C) Detentions made, the offense for which such detention was authorized, and the reason for each detention; (D) Complaints filed; (E) Informations filed; (F) Petitions filed; (G) The results of complaints, informations, and petitions, including whether such filings were dismissed, diverted, or adjudicated; (H) Commitments to the department, the length of such commitment, and releases from the department; (I) The department's placement decisions for commitments; (J) Placement decisions to institutions, camps, or other facilities for delinquent children operated under the direction of courts or other local public authorities; (K) Community programs utilized and completion data for such programs; (L) Recidivism; (M) Data collected by juvenile court clerks pursuant to Code Section 15-11-64; and (N) Other information useful in determining the amount and causes of juvenile delinquency in this state. (2) In order to facilitate the collection of the information required by paragraph (1) of this subsection, the department shall be authorized to inspect and copy all records of the court and law enforcement agencies pertaining to juveniles and collect data from juvenile court clerks."

SECTION 8. Said title is further amended by revising subsection (b) of Code Section 49-5-155, relating to the effect of Article 6 on the Department of Juvenile Justice office as recipient entity for federal grants, as follows:
"(b) Other than the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Governor's Office for Children and Families created pursuant to Code Section 49-5-132 and the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council shall be the only other authorized controlling recipient entity for grants under the United States Department of Justice Juvenile Justice Delinquency and Prevention Grants."

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GENERAL ACTS AND RESOLUTIONS, VOL. I

SECTION 9. Article 2 of Chapter 13 of Title 19 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to family violence shelters, is amended by revising paragraphs (1) and (5) of Code Section 19-13-20, relating to definitions, as follows:
"(1) 'Council' means the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council." "(5) 'Family violence shelter' means a facility approved by the council for the purpose of receiving, on a temporary basis, persons who are subject to family violence. Family violence shelters are distinguished from shelters operated for detention or placement of children only, as provided in subsection (c) of Code Section 15-11-135 and subsection (a) of Code Section 15-11-504."

SECTION 10. Said article is further amended by revising Code Section 19-13-21, relating to the powers and duties of the department, as follows:
"19-13-21. (a) It shall be the duty of the council:
(1) To establish minimum standards for an approved family violence shelter to enable such shelter to receive state funds; (2) To receive applications for the development and establishment of family violence shelters; (3) To approve or reject each application within 60 days of receipt of the application; (4) To distribute funds to an approved shelter as funds become available; (5) To fund other family violence programs as funds become available, provided that such programs meet standards established by the council; and (6) To evaluate annually each family violence shelter for compliance with the minimum standards. (b) Without using designated shelter funds, the council may: (1) Formulate and conduct a research and evaluation program on family violence and cooperate with and assist and participate in programs of other properly qualified agencies, including any agency of the federal government, schools of medicine, hospitals, and clinics, in planning and conducting research on the prevention of family violence and the care, treatment, and rehabilitation of persons engaged in or subject to family violence; (2) Serve as a clearing-house for information relating to family violence; (3) Carry on educational programs on family violence for the benefit of the general public, persons engaged in or subject to family violence, professional persons, or others who care for or may be engaged in the care and treatment of persons engaged in or subject to family violence; and (4) Enlist the assistance of public and voluntary health, education, welfare, and rehabilitation agencies in a concerted effort to prevent family violence and to treat persons engaged in or subject to family violence."

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SECTION 11. Said article is further amended by revising Code Section 19-13-22, relating to eligibility for licensing and funding, as follows:
"19-13-22. (a) In order to be approved and funded under this article, each shelter shall:
(1) Provide a facility which will serve as a shelter to receive or house persons who are family violence victims; (2) Receive the periodic written endorsement of local law enforcement agencies; (3) Receive a minimum of 25 percent of its funding from other sources. Contributions in kind, whether materials, commodities, transportation, office space, other types of facilities, or personal services, may be evaluated and counted as part of the required local funding; and (4) Meet the minimum standards of the council for approving family violence shelters; provided, however, that facilities not receiving state funds shall not be required to be approved. (b) The council shall provide procedures whereby local organizations may apply for approval and funding. Any local agency or organization may apply to participate. (c) Each approved family violence shelter shall be designated to serve as a temporary receiving facility for the admission of persons subject to family violence. Each shelter shall refer such persons and their spouses to any public or private facility, service, or program providing treatment or rehabilitation services, including, but not limited to, the prevention of such violence and the care, treatment, and rehabilitation of persons engaged in or subject to family violence. (d) Family violence shelters and family violence programs may be established throughout the state as private, local, state, or federal funds are available. Any county or municipality in this state is authorized to make grants of county or municipal funds, respectively, to any family violence center approved as such in accordance with the minimum standards of the council. (e) The family violence shelters shall establish procedures pursuant to which persons subject to family violence may seek admission to these shelters on a voluntary basis. (f) Each family violence shelter shall have a board composed of at least three citizens, one of whom shall be a member of a local, municipal, or county law enforcement agency."

SECTION 12. Title 49 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to social services, is amended by revising paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 49-9-4, relating to the creation of the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency, and by adding a new subsection to read as follows:
"(a)(1) The Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency is created and established to perform the functions and assume the duties, powers, and authority exercised on June 30, 2012, by the Division of Rehabilitation Services within the Department of Labor including

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the disability adjudication section, and such division shall be reconstituted as the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency effective July 1, 2012." "(l) The duties, powers, and authority to manage and operate the long-term acute care and the inpatient rehabilitation hospitals at the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation shall be transferred to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia effective July 1, 2015, and the remaining duties, powers, and authority to manage and operate the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation shall remain vested with the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency."

SECTION 13. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved May 6, 2015.

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RETIREMENT AND PENSIONS INVESTMENT AUTHORITY OF LOCAL RETIREMENT SYSTEMS; GEORGIA MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES BENEFIT SYSTEM; DEFINITIONS; RETURN OF CONTRIBUTIONS; MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD; ACTIVE MEMBERS; BENEFICIARIES.

No. 133 (House Bill No. 266).

AN ACT

To amend Title 47 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to retirement and pensions, so as to correct certain provisions relative to the investment authority of local retirement systems; to correct the name of a certain council; to modify a definition related to the Georgia Municipal Employees Benefit System; to modify provisions related to the return of mandatory employee contributions in the Georgia Municipal Employees Benefit System; to provide new definitions; to change a term for membership of the board; to provide for a break in employment for certain members; to clarify provisions related to leaves of absence, withdrawal of dues, and application for reinstatement as an active member; to clarify provisions for failure to pay dues and the reinstatement process; to permit selection of up to five beneficiaries to receive equal portions of certain benefits upon the death of certain members; to provide for certain penalties for false statements or falsified records; 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. Title 47 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to retirement and pensions, is amended in Chapter 1, relating to investment and reinvestment of assets of local retirement system, valuation and limitation on investments, and duties of the state auditor, by revising subsection (a) of Code Section 47-1-12, relating to investment and reinvestment of assets of local retirement system, as follows:
"(a) The board of trustees of any local retirement system shall have full power to invest and reinvest assets of the retirement system and to purchase, hold, sell, assign, transfer, and dispose of any securities and other investments in which assets of the retirement system have been invested, any proceeds of any investments, and any money belonging to the retirement system; provided, however, that, except as otherwise provided in this Code section, such power shall be subject to all terms, conditions, limitations, and restrictions imposed by Article 7 of Chapter 20 of this title in making and disposing of their investments."

SECTION 2. Said title is further amended in Chapter 2, relating to the Employees' Retirement System of Georgia, by revising paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 47-2-323, relating to membership in retirement system of employees of the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council, creditable service, and contributions, as follows:
"(1) 'Council' means the Georgia Public Defender Council established by Code Section 17-12-3."

SECTION 3. Said title is further amended in Chapter 5, relating to the Georgia Municipal Employees Benefit System, by revising paragraph (6) of Code Section 47-5-2, relating to definitions, as follows:
"(6) 'Employee' means any full-time salaried or hourly rated person in the active service of an employer and any employees of the board of trustees. Notwithstanding any laws to the contrary, the term also includes any appointed or elected member of the governing authority of a municipal corporation of this state or of an employer created pursuant to the charter of a municipal corporation of this state, the chief legal officer or any associate legal officer of a municipal corporation, and any municipal officer elected or appointed to preside over the court of a municipal corporation. Said term shall also include part-time employees of an employer for the purposes of participating in employee benefit plans."

SECTION 4. Said title is further amended in said chapter by revising Code Section 47-5-47, relating to return of contributions to employee or employee's estate, as follows:

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GENERAL ACTS AND RESOLUTIONS, VOL. I

"47-5-47. Except as otherwise provided with respect to the provision of death benefits under a plan, plans providing for retirement benefits established under this chapter shall provide that mandatory contributions made by a participating employee shall be returned to such employee's surviving spouse or to the estate of the participant or the participant's pre-retirement beneficiary in the event of death before retirement. If the employee is separated from employment prior to the time he or she is eligible for retirement benefits, such contributions shall be returned unless the employee chooses to claim his or her vested benefits, in which case the employee contributions shall remain with the fund until such time as the employee becomes eligible for the vested benefits. Such contributions may be returned without interest or with such interest as is provided in the plan."

SECTION 5. Said title is further amended in Chapter 7, relating to the Georgia Firefighters' Pension Fund, by adding new paragraphs to Code Section 47-7-1, relating to definitions, as follows:
"47-7-1. As used in this chapter, the term:
(1) 'Active member' means an individual who has been granted membership in the fund in accordance with the rules of this chapter and who is not an inactive member, a suspended member, a retired member, or a withdrawn member. (2) 'Board' means the Board of Trustees of the Georgia Firefighters' Pension Fund. (3) 'Fire department' means a full-time fire department or volunteer fire department or a combination full-time and volunteer fire department which satisfies the following criteria:
(A) The fire department holds a valid certificate of compliance issued by the Georgia Firefighter Standards and Training Council pursuant to Article 2 of Chapter 3 of Title 25; and (B) The public fire suppression facilities of the fire department are ratable not less favorably than a class nine rating under standards set forth in the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule, Section I, Public Fire Suppression, Edition 6-80, Copyright 1980, published by the Insurance Services Office, a rating organization licensed by the Commissioner of Insurance, which schedule is maintained on file with the Commissioner of Insurance as required by general law and which has not been disapproved by the Commissioner, or less than a rating which the board by regulation determines is substantially equivalent under rating standards published by a rating organization licensed by the Commissioner of Insurance performing similar rating functions which standards are maintained on file with the Commissioner of Insurance and which have not been disapproved by the Commissioner. The board may require annual certification by the chief of a fire department of the satisfaction of such requirements as a condition to the eligibility of firefighters and volunteer firefighters to become members of the fund to obtain creditable service with the fund.

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(4) 'Firefighter' means a person who is: (A) A permanent, compensated employee of a fire department who in the course of his or her employment by and within a department either is a candidate for or holds a current firefighter's certificate issued under Article 1 of Chapter 4 of Title 25 and has as incident to his or her position of employment the principal duty of, and actually performs the function of, preventing and suppressing fires and who works at least 1,040 hours per year; provided, however, that such term shall not include persons whose primary responsibility is the performance of emergency medical services; or (B) Appointed and regularly enrolled as a volunteer with a volunteer fire department or combination full-time and volunteer fire department which satisfies the requirements specified in subparagraph (a)(1)(D) of Code Section 25-3-23 and who, as a volunteer firefighter, has and primarily performs the principal responsibility of preventing or suppressing fires.
(5) 'Full-time fire department' means a full-time department, bureau, division, or other organizational unit, separately organized and administered as such, of this state or any municipality or other political subdivision thereof, which organizational unit:
(A) Has, as an organizational unit, the principal responsibility to prevent and suppress fires; and (B) Is financed by public appropriation or subscription and is not privately owned. A full-time fire department includes the fire chief or chief operating officer of the organizational unit and only those employees who are under the direction and supervision of the fire chief or chief operating officer. (6) 'Fund' means the Georgia Firefighters' Pension Fund. (7) 'Inactive member' means an individual who was an active member of the fund who obtained a leave of absence in accordance with Code Section 47-7-41 and who has not withdrawn his or her dues pursuant to Code Section 47-7-60. (8) 'Part-time employment' means working at a permanent job position for less than 40 hours a week but at least 1,040 hours a year. (9) 'Retired member' means an individual who was an active member of the fund who has commenced receipt of benefits pursuant to Article 6 of this chapter or pursuant to Code Section 47-7-102. (10) 'Suspended member' means an individual who was an active member of the fund who owes at least six months of dues payments pursuant to Code Section 47-7-60. (11) 'Volunteer fire department' means a volunteer fire department staffed by firefighters, volunteer firefighters, or a combination of firefighters and volunteer firefighters, separately organized and administered as such, of this state or any municipality or other political subdivision of this state or serving any fire district therein, which: (A) Has the principal responsibility to prevent and suppress fires; (B) Is financed by public appropriation or subscription and is not privately owned; (C) Holds drills and meetings of not less than eight hours monthly; and (D) Meets the requirements imposed by Code Section 47-7-81.

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(12) 'Volunteer firefighter' means an individual who is appointed and regularly enrolled as a volunteer, with or without compensation, with a fire department; who, as a volunteer firefighter, has and primarily performs the principal responsibility of preventing or suppressing fires; and who satisfies the requirements specified in subparagraph (a)(1)(D) of Code Section 25-3-23. (13) 'Withdrawn member' means an individual who was an active member of the fund who has had his or her moneys refunded pursuant to Code Section 47-7-105."

SECTION 6. Said title is further amended in said chapter by revising paragraph (4) of subsection (a) of Code Section 47-7-20, relating to membership of the board, manner of election, and compensation and expenses, as follows:
"(4) One retired member of the fund appointed by the Governor."

SECTION 7. Said title is further amended in said chapter by revising subsection (d) of Code Section 47-7-40, relating to eligibility to apply for membership and transfer of Georgia Class Nine Fire Department Pension Fund, as follows:
"(d) Any person who, on June 30, 2006, was an active member of the fund by virtue of holding a position other than as a firefighter, in accordance with the qualifications for membership in effect on that date, shall be entitled to remain a member of the fund; provided, however, that if such person has a break in such position that qualified him or her for membership on June 30, 2006, or any other eligible employment provided by this Code section, for greater than 30 days, that member shall be deemed a suspended member, and any future membership shall be subject to laws and regulations in effect when that member's application for reinstatement as an active member is approved."

SECTION 8. Said title is further amended in said chapter by revising Code Section 47-7-41, relating to effect of withdrawal of contributions or termination of employment, eligibility for reinstatement, credit for time spent on leave of absences and resumption of payments to fund upon return of service, as follows:
"47-7-41. (a)(1) Any active member who leaves work as a firefighter or volunteer firefighter, and who elects to leave in the fund during such leave from work as a firefighter or voluntary firefighter the dues which the member has theretofore paid, shall, upon application to the board, be entitled to obtain a leave of absence from the fund for a period of not more than two years and shall be deemed an inactive member. An inactive member may apply for additional leaves of absence from the fund every two years. If an inactive member fails to apply for and maintain in effect a leave of absence, the board may treat such failure as

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an election to withdraw from membership in the fund as provided in subsection (b) of this Code section and Code Section 47-7-105. (2) An inactive member shall, upon application to the board, be entitled to reinstatement as an active member; provided, however, that upon such application, the applicant meets the requirements set forth in Code Section 47-7-40 as a prerequisite to reinstated active membership. Such a reinstated active member shall be entitled to credit for service rendered before obtaining a leave of absence and after reinstatement but shall not be entitled to credit for any period during such leave of absence. (b) Any member may at any time elect to withdraw from membership in the fund and upon such withdrawal shall be entitled to a refund of moneys as provided in Code Section 47-7-105, and such member shall be deemed a withdrawn member. Any withdrawn member shall not thereafter be eligible for membership or benefits except upon reinstatement to active membership in accordance with this subsection. Any withdrawn member may make application to the board for reinstatement as an active member. Upon making such application, the applicant must pay to the fund a reinstatement fee of $100.00. An applicant for reinstatement of membership in the fund as provided in this subsection shall not be entitled to such reinstatement unless at the time of such application the applicant meets the requirements set forth in Code Section 47-7-40. Upon reinstatement, such reinstated active member shall be entitled to credit for service rendered after reinstatement as an active member but not for service prior to the date of reinstatement. Any such applicant who fails to satisfy the requirements of reinstatement shall not be entitled to reinstatement as an active member."

SECTION 9. Said title is further amended in said chapter by revising Code Section 47-7-60, relating to dues required of members and effect of failure to pay dues in timely manner, as follows:
"47-7-60. (a) Each active member shall pay to the fund the sum of $25.00 for each month of service as a firefighter or volunteer firefighter in a fire department. Such monthly payments shall be due on or before the tenth day of each month of service.
(b)(1) Any active member who becomes six months in arrears in making such payments shall be deemed a suspended member. (2) A suspended member may make application to the board for reinstatement as an active member. As a condition of such reinstatement, the applicant must pay to the fund a reinstatement fee of $100.00. Upon such reinstatement as an active member, such member shall be entitled to credit for service rendered after reinstatement. If such member has not withdrawn the dues he or she paid to the fund prior to becoming a suspended member, then he or she shall be entitled to creditable service for service rendered prior to his or her becoming a suspended member.

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A suspended member who applies for reinstatement as an active member shall not be entitled to reinstatement unless at the time of such application the applicant meets the requirements set forth in Code Section 47-7-40. (c) If a suspended member who has attained the minimum service credits required for a normal retirement benefit under Code Section 47-7-100 is not reinstated as an active member, then, provided that such member does not withdraw dues paid to the fund, such member shall be entitled to a normal retirement benefit payable under Code Section 47-7-100. The normal retirement benefit to which such member may thereafter become entitled upon termination of service shall be calculated as of the date of the member's suspension from the fund, using the service credits and age the member had attained on the date of suspension, which shall be deemed to be the youngest age at which early retirement benefits may commence or such greater age as the member has actually attained on that date, and the maximum monthly benefit in effect on such date of becoming a suspended member."

SECTION 10. Said title is further amended in said chapter by revising paragraph (2) of subsection (d) and paragraph (2) of subsection (h) of Code Section 47-7-100, relating to eligibility for full pension benefits, eligibility for partial benefits, optional pension benefits, vesting of rights to pension benefits, and early retirement provisions, as follows:
"(2) Option B, the ten years' certain and life option, shall consist of a decreased retirement benefit payable to the member during the member's lifetime; and, in the event of the member's death within ten years after the member's retirement, the same monthly benefits shall be payable to the member's selected beneficiary, or, if the member so elects, the total monthly benefit may be divided equally among up to five selected beneficiaries, for the balance of such ten-year period." "(2) If any member who has not elected an option under subsection (d) of this Code section dies after accruing at least 15 years of creditable service but before applying for retirement as provided in this Code section, and such member is not survived by a spouse, up to five selected beneficiaries shall be entitled to receive a benefit, equally apportioned among the selected beneficiaries, as if the member had elected to receive Option B as provided in paragraph (2) of subsection (d) of this Code section."

SECTION 11. Said title is further amended in said chapter by revising Code Section 47-7-103, relating to benefits payable to a named beneficiary upon death of a member before benefits have commenced or before benefits equal to the member's dues have been paid, as follows:
"47-7-103. (a) In the event of the death of an active member who has not commenced receiving any benefits under this chapter, up to five selected beneficiaries of such deceased member shall be entitled to be paid the amount of $5,000.00 split equally among the selected beneficiaries,

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upon any selected beneficiary making proper application to the executive director of the fund. Such application shall be accompanied by a certified copy of the death certificate of the deceased member and such other information as may be required by the board. (b) In the event of the death of a retired member of the fund who has not elected survivor benefits under Option A or B as provided for in subsection (d) of Code Section 47-7-100 and who has commenced receiving benefits under this chapter, but who has not received total benefits in an amount equal to $5,000.00, up to five beneficiaries selected by the member shall be entitled to receive an equally apportioned amount from the difference between $5,000.00 and the amount of benefits received by such deceased member, upon making application as provided for in subsection (a) of this Code section."

SECTION 12. Said title is further amended in said chapter by revising Code Section 47-7-126, relating to penalty for false statements or falsified records and correction of errors by the board, as follows:
"47-7-126. (a) Any person who knowingly makes any false statements or falsifies or permits to be falsified any records of the fund in an attempt to defraud the fund shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $2,000.00, imprisonment for up to 12 months, or both. (b) On and after July 1, 2015, if the board finds, after notice and opportunity for a hearing conducted in accordance with the procedure for contested cases under Chapter 13 of Title 50, the 'Georgia Administrative Procedure Act,' that any person on or after July 1, 2015, has knowingly:
(1) Made a material false statement or falsified or permitted to be falsified any records of the fund or documents of the fund in an attempt to defraud the fund; (2) Obtained or continued membership in the fund while not eligible to become or remain a member of the fund; (3) Obtained benefits that he or she is not entitled to receive; or (4) Obtained benefits in an amount greater than he or she is entitled to receive, the board may order that such person shall forfeit all rights and benefits that he or she may be entitled to under the fund. Any person who is aggrieved or adversely affected by a final action of the board under this subsection shall have the right of judicial review in the superior courts. (c) If any change or error in the records of the fund results in any member or beneficiary receiving from it more or less than such member or beneficiary would have been entitled to receive had the records been correct, the board shall have the power to correct such error and to adjust the payments as far as is practicable and in such manner that the actuarial equivalent of any additional benefit to which such member or beneficiary was correctly entitled shall be paid or in such manner that any excess payment shall be recovered."

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GENERAL ACTS AND RESOLUTIONS, VOL. I

SECTION 13. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved May 6, 2015.

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DOMESTIC RELATIONS CHILD ABUSE; REPORTING.

No. 134 (House Bill No. 268).

AN ACT

To amend Code Section 19-7-5 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to reporting of child abuse and when it is mandated or authorized, so as to change provisions relating to mandatory reporters; to provide for procedure; to provide for consistent usage of defined terms; 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 19-7-5 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to reporting of child abuse and when it is mandated or authorized, is amended by revising subsections (a), (c), (d), and (e) as follows:
"(a) The purpose of this Code section is to provide for the protection of children. It is intended that mandatory reporting will cause the protective services of the state to be brought to bear on the situation in an effort to prevent abuses, to protect and enhance the welfare of children, and to preserve family life wherever possible. This Code section shall be liberally construed so as to carry out the purposes thereof."
"(c)(1) The following persons having reasonable cause to believe that suspected child abuse has occurred shall report or cause reports of such abuse to be made as provided in this Code section:
(A) Physicians licensed to practice medicine, physician assistants, interns, or residents; (B) Hospital or medical personnel; (C) Dentists; (D) Licensed psychologists and persons participating in internships to obtain licensing pursuant to Chapter 39 of Title 43; (E) Podiatrists;

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(F) Registered professional nurses or licensed practical nurses licensed pursuant to Chapter 26 of Title 43 or nurse's aides; (G) Professional counselors, social workers, or marriage and family therapists licensed pursuant to Chapter 10A of Title 43; (H) School teachers; (I) School administrators; (J) School counselors, visiting teachers, school social workers, or school psychologists certified pursuant to Chapter 2 of Title 20; (K) Child welfare agency personnel, as such agency is defined in Code Section 49-5-12; (L) Child-counseling personnel; (M) Child service organization personnel; (N) Law enforcement personnel; or (O) Reproductive health care facility or pregnancy resource center personnel and volunteers. (2) If a person is required to report child abuse pursuant to this subsection because such person attends to a child pursuant to such person's duties as an employee of or volunteer at a hospital, school, social agency, or similar facility, such person shall notify the person in charge of such hospital, school, agency, or facility, or the designated delegate thereof, and the person so notified shall report or cause a report to be made in accordance with this Code section. An employee or volunteer who makes a report to the person designated pursuant to this paragraph shall be deemed to have fully complied with this subsection. Under no circumstances shall any person in charge of such hospital, school, agency, or facility, or the designated delegate thereof, to whom such notification has been made exercise any control, restraint, or modification or make any other change to the information provided by the reporter, although each of the aforementioned persons may be consulted prior to the making of a report and may provide any additional, relevant, and necessary information when making the report. (3) When a person identified in paragraph (1) of this subsection has reasonable cause to believe that child abuse has occurred involving a person who attends to a child pursuant to such person's duties as an employee of or volunteer at a hospital, school, social agency, or similar facility, the person who received such information shall notify the person in charge of such hospital, school, agency, or facility, or the designated delegate thereof, and the person so notified shall report or cause a report to be made in accordance with this Code section. An employee or volunteer who makes a report to the person designated pursuant to this paragraph shall be deemed to have fully complied with this subsection. Under no circumstances shall any person in charge of such hospital, school, agency, or facility, or the designated delegate thereof, to whom such notification has been made exercise any control, restraint, or modification or make any other change to the information provided by the reporter, although each of the aforementioned persons may be consulted prior to the making of a report and may provide any additional, relevant, and necessary information when making the report.

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(d) Any other person, other than one specified in subsection (c) of this Code section, who has reasonable cause to believe that suspected child abuse has occurred may report or cause reports to be made as provided in this Code section. (e) With respect to reporting required by subsection (c) of this Code section, an oral report by telephone or other oral communication or a written report by electronic submission or facsimile shall be made immediately, but in no case later than 24 hours from the time there is reasonable cause to believe that suspected child abuse has occurred. When a report is being made by electronic submission or facsimile to the Division of Family and Children Services of the Department of Human Services, it shall be done in the manner specified by the division. Oral reports shall be followed by a later report in writing, if requested, to a child welfare agency providing protective services, as designated by the Division of Family and Children Services of the Department of Human Services, or, in the absence of such agency, to an appropriate police authority or district attorney. If a report of child abuse is made to the child welfare agency or independently discovered by the agency, and the agency has reasonable cause to believe such report is true or the report contains any allegation or evidence of child abuse, then the agency shall immediately notify the appropriate police authority or district attorney. Such reports shall contain the names and addresses of the child and the child's parents or caretakers, if known, the child's age, the nature and extent of the child's injuries, including any evidence of previous injuries, and any other information that the reporting person believes might be helpful in establishing the cause of the injuries and the identity of the perpetrator. Photographs of the child's injuries to be used as documentation in support of allegations by hospital employees or volunteers, physicians, law enforcement personnel, school officials, or employees or volunteers of legally mandated public or private child protective agencies may be taken without the permission of the child's parent or guardian. Such photographs shall be made available as soon as possible to the chief welfare agency providing protective services and to the appropriate police authority."

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

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REVENUE AND TAXATION INCOME TAXES; DEFINITION OF CLAIMANT AGENCY.

No. 135 (House Bill No. 275).

AN ACT

To amend Article 7 of Chapter 7 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to setoff debt collection relative to income taxes, so as to revise the definition of the term "claimant agency"; 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 7 of Chapter 7 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to setoff debt collection relative to income taxes, is amended by revising paragraph (1) of Code Section 48-7-161, relating to definitions, as follows:
"(1) 'Claimant agency' means and includes, in the order of priority set forth below: (A) The Department of Human Services and the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities with respect to collection of debts under Article 1 of Chapter 11 of Title 19, Code Section 49-4-15, and Chapter 9 of Title 37; (B) The Georgia Student Finance Authority with respect to the collection of debts arising under Part 3 of Article 7 of Chapter 3 of Title 20; (C) The Georgia Higher Education Assistance Corporation with respect to the collection of debts arising under Part 2 of Article 7 of Chapter 3 of Title 20; (D) The Georgia Board for Physician Workforce with respect to the collection of debts arising under Part 6 of Article 7 of Chapter 3 of Title 20; (E) The Department of Labor with respect to the collection of debts arising under Code Sections 34-8-254 and 34-8-255 and Article 5 of Chapter 8 of Title 34, with the exception of Code Sections 34-8-158 through 34-8-161; provided, however, that the Department of Labor establishes that the debtor has been afforded required due process rights by such Department of Labor with respect to the debt and all reasonable collection efforts have been exhausted; (F) The Department of Corrections with respect to probation fees arising under Code Section 42-8-34 and restitution or reparation ordered by a court as a part of the sentence imposed on a person convicted of a crime who is in the legal custody of the department; (G) The State Board of Pardons and Paroles with respect to restitution imposed on a person convicted of a crime and subject to the jurisdiction of the board; (H) The Department of Juvenile Justice with respect to restitution imposed on a juvenile for a delinquent act which would constitute a crime if committed by an adult; and

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(I) The Georgia Lottery Corporation with respect to proceeds arising under Code Section 50-27-21."

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 6, 2015.

__________

REVENUE AND TAXATION VALUE ALL FLOORING SAMPLES AT SAME RATE FOR FAIR MARKET VALUE FOR SALES AND USE TAXES.

No. 136 (House Bill No. 277).

AN ACT

To amend Part 2 of Article 1 of Chapter 8 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to imposition, rate, collection, and assessment of state sales and use taxes, so as to value all flooring samples at the same rate for purposes of fair market value; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Part 2 of Article 1 of Chapter 8 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to imposition, rate, collection, and assessment of state sales and use taxes, is amended by revising subparagraph (b)(1)(B) of Code Section 48-8-39, relating to the effect of using property for other than retention, demonstration, or display, as follows:
"(B)(i) As used in this subparagraph, the term 'total raw material cost' means the manufactured cost of floor covering samples; supplies used in the manufacturing of floor covering samples such as binding, grommets, and similar items; floor covering sample display devices such as racks, binders, and similar items; and inbound freight charges. Such term does not mean or include labor or overhead for assembling or producing samples from finished floor covering and does not mean or include

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outbound freight charges which may be charged to the expense account for floor covering samples. (ii) As used in this subparagraph, the term 'floor covering sample' or 'floor covering samples' includes, but is not limited to, samples of carpet floor covering, hardwood floor covering, engineered hardwood floor covering, laminate floor covering, stone floor covering, tile floor covering, vinyl floor covering, resilient floor covering, linoleum floor covering, and other floor coverings. (iii) For purposes of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, the fair market value of any floor covering sample shall be equal to 21.9 percent of the total raw material cost of the sample, except that the fair market value of a sample of any floor covering that is manufactured exclusively for commercial use shall be equal to 1 percent of the total raw material cost of the sample."

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

__________

PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES TRANSFER RESPONSIBILITIES UNDER PUBLIC EMPLOYEE HAZARDOUS CHEMICAL PROTECTION
AND RIGHT TO KNOW ACT OF 1988 TO STATE FIRE COMMISSIONER; DEFINITIONS; RULES AND REGULATIONS; PROVISION OF INFORMATION; GRIEVANCES AND JUDICIAL REVIEW.

No. 137 (House Bill No. 278).

AN ACT

To amend Chapter 22 of Title 45 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, the "Public Employee Hazardous Chemical Protection and Right to Know Act of 1988," so as to transfer responsibility under such chapter to the Safety Fire Commissioner; to define certain terms; to provide for rules and regulations; to provide for the provision of certain information relative to hazardous materials to the commissioner; to provide for grievances and judicial review; to provide an effective date; 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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GENERAL ACTS AND RESOLUTIONS, VOL. I

SECTION 1. Chapter 22 of Title 45 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, the "Public Employee Hazardous Chemical Protection and Right to Know Act of 1988," is amended by revising Code Section 45-22-2, relating to definitions, as follows:
"45-22-2. As used in this chapter, the term:
(1) 'Appointing authority' means a person or group of persons authorized by law or delegated authority to make appointments to fill employee positions in the legislative, judicial, or executive branch of state government. (2) 'Article' means a finished product or manufactured item:
(A) Which is formed to a specific shape or design during manufacture; (B) Which has end use functions dependent in whole or in part upon its shape or design during end use; and (C) Which has either no change of chemical composition during end use or only those changes of composition which have no commercial purpose separate from that of the article. (3) 'Chemical name' means the scientific designation of a chemical in accordance with the nomenclature system developed by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry or the system developed by the Chemical Abstracts Service. (4) 'Common name' means any designation or identification such as a code name, code number, trade name, or brand name used to identify a chemical other than by its chemical name. (5) 'Contractor,' 'independent contractor,' or 'public contractor' means any person under a contract or agreement to provide labor or services to a public employer. (6) 'Department' means the office of the Safety Fire Commissioner. (7) 'Distributor' means an individual or employer, other than the manufacturer or importer, who supplies hazardous chemicals directly to users or to other distributors. (8) 'Employee' or 'public employee' means any person who is employed by any branch, department, board, bureau, commission, authority, or other agency of the state and any inmate under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections performing a work assignment which requires the handling of any hazardous chemicals. Such term shall not include those employees of the Environmental Protection Division of the Department of Natural Resources who are responsible for on-site response and assistance in the case of environmental emergencies while such employees are engaged in responding to such emergencies. (9) 'Employer' or 'public employer' means any branch, department, board, bureau, commission, authority, or other agency of the state which employs or appoints an employee or employees. An independent contractor or subcontractor shall be deemed the sole employer of its employees, even when such employees are performing work at the workplace of another employer.

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(10) 'Exposed' or 'exposure' means that an employee is required by a public employer to be subjected to a hazardous chemical in the course of employment through any route of entry, including but not limited to, inhalation, ingestion, skin contact, or absorption and includes potential or accidental exposure. (11) 'Hazardous chemical' means any chemical which is a physical hazard or a health hazard. (12) 'Health hazard' means a chemical for which there is statistically significant evidence based on at least one study conducted in accordance with established scientific principles that acute or chronic health effects may occur in exposed employees and shall include all examples of hazardous chemicals to which reference is made in the definition of 'health hazard' under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration standard, 29 CFR Section 1910.1200 (1987). (13) 'Importer' means the first individual or employer within the Customs Territory of the United States who receives hazardous chemicals produced in other countries for the purpose of supplying them to distributors or users within the United States. (14) 'Manufacturer' means a person who produces, synthesizes, extracts, or otherwise makes hazardous chemicals. (15) 'Material safety data sheet' means the document prepared by manufacturers in accordance with the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration standard, 29 CFR Sections 1910.0000 through 1910.1500 (1987) and containing the following information:
(A) The chemical name and the common name of the hazardous chemical; (B) The hazards or other risks in the use of the hazardous chemical, including:
(i) The potential for fire, explosion, corrosivity, and reactivity; (ii) The known acute and chronic health effects of risks from exposure, including the medical conditions which are generally recognized as being aggravated by exposure to the hazardous chemical; and (iii) The primary routes of entry and the symptoms of overexposure; (C) The proper precautions, handling practices, necessary personal protective equipment, and other safety precautions in the use of or exposure to the hazardous chemicals, including appropriate emergency treatment in case of overexposure; (D) The emergency procedures for spills, fire, disposal, and first aid; (E) A description in lay terms of the known specific potential health risks posed by the hazardous chemical intended to alert any person reading this information; and (F) The year and month, if available, that the information was compiled and the name, address, and emergency telephone number of the manufacturer responsible for preparing the information. (16) 'Mixture' means any combination of two or more chemicals, if the combination is not, in whole or in part, the result of a chemical reaction.

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(17) 'Occupational Safety and Health Administration standard' means the Hazard Communication Standard issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 29 CFR Sections 1910.0000 through 1910.1500 (1987). (18) 'Person' means any individual, natural person, public or private corporation, incorporated association, government, government agency, partnership, or unincorporated association. (19) 'Physical hazard' means a chemical for which there is scientifically valid evidence that it is a combustible liquid, a compressed gas, explosive, flammable, an organic peroxide, an oxidizer, pyrophoric, unstable (reactive), or water reactive. (20) 'Produce' means to manufacture, process, formulate, or repackage. (21) 'Work area' means a room inside a building or structure, an outside area, or other defined space in a workplace where hazardous chemicals are produced, stored, or used and where employees are present in the course of their employment. (22) 'Workplace' means an establishment or business at one geographic location at which work is performed by a state employee and which contains one or more work areas. In the case of an independent contractor or subcontractor, the workplace shall be defined as all work areas wholly owned or controlled by such independent contractor or subcontractor."

SECTION 2. Said chapter is further amended in Code Section 45-22-5, relating to exclusions from chapter, exclusions from labeling requirements, and dissemination of information, by revising subsection (c) as follows: See Compiler's Note, Page 918.

SECTION 3. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 45-22-6, relating to assistance of the Governor's Employment and Training Council in reviewing and preparing rules and regulations, as follows:
"45-22-6. (a) The department shall promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to administer this chapter. (b) The department shall consult with persons knowledgeable in the field of hazardous chemicals to assist the department in carrying out its duties under this chapter."

SECTION 4. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 45-22-7, relating to material safety data sheets, notice to employees, and rights of employees, as follows:
"45-22-7. (a) The manufacturer, importer, or distributor of any hazardous chemical shall prepare a material safety data sheet which, to the best knowledge of the manufacturer, importer, or distributor, is current, accurate, and complete, based on information then reasonably

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available to the manufacturer, importer, or distributor, and provide a copy of the material safety data sheet to employers who purchase such hazardous chemicals and an electronic copy to the department annually. (b) Any person who produces a mixture may, for the purposes of this Code section, prepare and use a mixture material safety data sheet, subject to the provisions of subsection (j) of this Code section. (c) A manufacturer, importer, distributor, or employer may provide the information required by this Code section on an entire mixture, instead of on each hazardous chemical in it, when all of the following conditions exist:
(1) Toxicity test information exists on the mixture itself or adequate information exists to form a valid judgment of the hazardous properties of the mixture itself and the material safety data sheet indicates that the information presented and the conclusions drawn are from some source other than direct test data on the mixture itself, and that a material safety data sheet on each constituent hazardous chemical identified on the material safety data sheet is available upon request; (2) Provision of information on the mixture will be as effective in protecting employee health as information on the ingredients; (3) The hazardous chemicals in the mixture are identified on the material safety data sheet unless it is unfeasible to describe all the ingredients in the mixture, provided that the reason why the hazardous chemicals in the mixture are not identified shall be stated on the material safety data sheet; and (4) A single mixture material safety data sheet may be provided for more than one formulation of a product mixture if the information provided does not vary for the formulation. (d) A manufacturer, importer, or distributor who is responsible for preparing and transmitting a material safety data sheet under the provisions of this Code section shall revise such material safety data sheet on a timely basis, as appropriate to the importance of any new information which would affect the contents of the existing material safety data sheet, and in any event within three months of such information becoming available to the manufacturer, importer, or distributor. Each such manufacturer, importer, or distributor shall provide a copy of the material safety data sheet to employers who have purchased such hazardous chemicals and an electronic copy to the department. (e) Any person subject to the provisions of this Code section shall be relieved of the obligation to provide a direct purchaser of a hazardous chemical with a material safety data sheet if: (1) He or she has a record of having provided the direct purchaser with the most recent version of the material safety data sheet; (2) The chemical is labeled pursuant to:
(A) The federal Atomic Energy Act; or (B) The federal Resource Conservation Recovery Act; or

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GENERAL ACTS AND RESOLUTIONS, VOL. I

(3) The article is one sold at retail and is incidentally sold to an employer or the employer's employees in the same form, approximate amount, concentration, and manner as it is sold to consumers, and, to the seller's knowledge, employee exposure to the article is not significantly greater than the consumer exposure occurring during the principal consumer use of the article. (f) If an employer is not supplied with a material safety data sheet by a manufacturer, importer, or distributor for a hazardous chemical subject to this Code section, such employer shall, within a reasonable amount of time after discovering that a material safety data sheet has not been supplied, use diligent efforts to obtain such material safety data sheet from the manufacturer, importer, or distributor. For purposes of this subsection, 'diligent efforts' shall mean a prompt inquiry by the employer to the manufacturer, importer, or distributor of the hazardous chemicals; provided, however, that an independent contractor or subcontractor shall be responsible for obtaining the material safety data sheet for his employees in the workplace of another. (g) If after having used diligent efforts, an employer still fails to obtain a material safety data sheet, such employer shall notify the department of the employer's inability to obtain such material safety data sheet. (h) An employer who has used diligent efforts and who has made a documented notification to the department pursuant to this Code section shall not be found in violation of this Code section with respect to the material safety data sheet which was not supplied by the manufacturer, importer, or distributor as required by this Code section. (i) Every employer who manufactures, produces, uses, applies, or stores hazardous chemicals in the workplace shall post a notice as prescribed by rule or regulation promulgated by the department in a place where notices are normally posted, informing employees of their rights under this chapter. (j) Every employer who manufactures, produces, uses, applies, or stores hazardous chemicals in the workplace shall maintain a material safety data sheet for each hazardous chemical which is present in such workplace. All material safety data sheets shall be readily available in the workplace; provided, however, that employers who maintain one or more work areas which are not fixed at specific geographic locations shall be authorized to maintain material safety data sheets for each hazardous chemical used in such work area at a central location. (k)(1) A material safety data sheet may be kept in any form, including operations procedures, and may be designed to cover groups of hazardous chemicals in a work area where it may be appropriate to address the hazards of a process rather than individual hazardous chemicals. The employer shall ensure that in all cases the required information is provided for each hazardous chemical, and is readily accessible during each workshift to employees when they are in their work area; provided, however, that employers who maintain one or more work areas which are not fixed at specific geographic locations shall be authorized to maintain material safety data sheets for each hazardous chemical used in such work area at a central location.

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(2) Any employee may request in writing and shall have the right to examine and obtain the material safety data sheets for the hazardous chemicals to which he is, has been, or may be exposed. The employer shall provide any material safety data sheet within its possession within five of the requesting employee's working days, subject to the provisions of subsection (g) of this Code section. The employer may adopt reasonable procedures for acting upon such requests to avoid interruption of normal work operations. (3) An independent contractor or subcontractor working in the workplace of another employer may request in writing and shall have the right to examine the material safety data sheets for the hazardous chemicals to which he or his employees are, have been, or may be exposed. The employer shall provide any material safety data sheet within its possession within five of the requesting independent contractor's or subcontractor's working days, subject to the provisions of subsection (g) of this Code section. The employer may adopt reasonable procedures for acting upon such requests to avoid interruption of normal work operations. (4) If an employee who has requested a material safety data sheet pursuant to this chapter has not received such material safety data sheet within five of the requesting employee's working days, subject to the provisions of subsection (g) of this Code section, that employee may refuse to work with the chemical for which he has requested the material safety data sheet until such material safety data sheet is provided by the employer; provided, however, that nothing contained in this paragraph shall be construed to permit any employee to refuse to perform essential services, as such term is defined by rule or regulation; provided, further, that nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to interfere with the right of the employer to transfer an employee who so refuses to work to other duties until such material safety data sheet is provided, such a transfer not to be considered as a discriminatory act under Code Section 45-22-10. No pay, position, seniority, or other benefits shall be lost for exercise of any right provided by this chapter as a result of such a transfer. (l) No employer shall discharge or otherwise discriminate against an employee for the employee's assertion of the employee's rights under this chapter. (m) For the purposes of this Code section, an employer, independent contractor, or subcontractor shall maintain material safety data sheets for their own workplaces only; provided, however, that employees of such independent contractor or subcontractor, insofar as they are exposed in the course of their employment to hazardous chemicals in other workplaces, shall have the right to examine material safety data sheets for those chemicals to which they are exposed from the workplace employer through a written request to their own employer as provided in paragraph (2) of subsection (k) of this Code section. Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to require an employer to conduct studies to develop new information."

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GENERAL ACTS AND RESOLUTIONS, VOL. I

SECTION 5. Said chapter is further amended in Code Section 45-22-8, relating to information and training standards, by revising subsection (c) as follows:
"(c) The department shall by rule or regulation establish minimum information and training standards for compliance with this Code section."

SECTION 6. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 45-22-11, relating to filing of employee grievances, termination of contract by employer for violation of Code Section 45-22-4, ability of employers to dismiss or discipline employees, and judicial review of grievances, as follows:
"45-22-11. (a) In order to enforce the provisions of this chapter, any employee adversely affected by a violation of this chapter by that employee's employer may file a grievance in accordance with the employer's established grievance procedures. Appointing authorities shall pursue all complaints concerning occupational exposure to hazardous chemicals. (b) Upon any violation of Code Section 45-22-4 by a contractor, the employer under agreement with such contractor shall have the right to terminate the contract without liability. (c) Nothing in this chapter shall change or modify the right or ability of employers to dismiss or discipline employees in accordance with the laws of this state. (d) Any employee dissatisfied with a final decision of an appointing authority with regard to a grievance filed pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section shall be entitled to judicial review in the same manner as provided for judicial review of contested cases in Chapter 13 of Title 50, the 'Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.'"

SECTION 7. This Act shall become effective on January 1, 2016.

SECTION 8. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Compiler's Note - Section 2 revised subsection (c) of Code Section 45-22-5. The stricken text reads as follows:
"(c) The department shall be responsible for the dissemination of appropriate information available on the nature and hazards of hazardous chemicals. The department shall promptly assist employers and employees with inquiries concerning the hazardous nature of such chemicals."

Approved May 6, 2015.

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COURTS CRIMINAL PROCEDURE PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES COMPENSATION OF SUPREME COURT JUSTICES, COURT OF APPEALS JUDGES, SUPERIOR COURT JUDGES, DISTRICT ATTORNEYS, AND CIRCUIT PUBLIC DEFENDERS; ADDITIONAL COURT OF APPEALS JUDGES; ADDITIONAL JUDGE FOR WESTERN JUDICIAL CIRCUIT; CREATE JUDICIAL, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, AND CIRCUIT PUBLIC DEFENDER COMPENSATION COMMISSION.

No. 138 (House Bill No. 279).

AN ACT

To amend Title 15, Article 2 of Chapter 12 of Title 17, and Code Section 45-7-4 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to courts, public defenders, and annual salaries of certain state officials, respectively, so as to provide daily expense allowances to Supreme Court Justices and Court of Appeals Judges in certain circumstances; to increase the number of Court of Appeals Judges; to change provisions relating to a quorum; to provide for the Judges' appointment and election; to change provisions relating to the compensation of superior court judges, district attorneys, circuit public defenders, Supreme Court Justices, and Court of Appeals Judges; to provide for accountability court salary supplements for judicial officers serving in circuits with drug court, mental health court, and veterans court divisions; to change provisions relating to county salary supplements for superior court judges, district attorneys, and circuit public defenders; to provide for a fourth judge of the superior courts of the Western Judicial Circuit; to provide for the appointment of such additional judge by the Governor; to provide for the election of successors to the judge initially appointed; to prescribe the powers of such judge; to prescribe the compensation, salary, and expense allowance of such judge to be paid by the State of Georgia and the counties comprising said circuit; to provide for the selection of a chief judge; to authorize the judges of such circuit to divide and allocate the work and duties thereof; to provide for the manner of impaneling jurors; to provide for an additional court reporter for such circuit; to authorize the governing authority of the counties that comprise the Western Judicial Circuit to provide facilities, office space, supplies, equipment, and personnel for such judges; to declare inherent authority; to create the Judicial, District Attorney, and Circuit Public Defender Compensation Commission; to provide for the purpose, membership, terms, chairperson, other officers, committees, staffing, and funding for the commission; to provide for meetings and members' expenses; to provide for the duties, powers, reporting, and responsibilities of the commission; to provide for automatic repeal of the commission; to provide for related matters; to provide for a contingent effective date and effective dates; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

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BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

PART I SECTION 1-1.

Title 15 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to courts, is amended by adding a new paragraph to subsection (b) of Code Section 15-2-3, relating to oath of Justices and compensation, as follows:
"(3) If a Justice resides 50 miles or more from the judicial building in Atlanta, such Justice shall also receive the same daily expense allowance as members of the General Assembly receive, as set forth in Code Section 28-1-8, for not more than 30 days during each term of court. Such days shall be utilized only when official court business is being conducted. All allowances provided for in this paragraph shall be paid upon the submission of proper vouchers."

SECTION 1-2. Said title is further amended by revising subsections (a) and (e) of Code Section 15-3-1, relating to composition of the Court of Appeals and quorum, as follows:
"(a) Composition. The Court of Appeals shall consist of 15 Judges who shall elect one of their number as Chief Judge, in such manner and for such time as may be prescribed by rule or order of the court." "(e) Quorum. When all the members of the court are sitting together as one court, eight Judges shall be necessary to constitute a quorum. In all cases decided by such court as a whole by less than 15 Judges, the concurrence of at least eight shall be essential to the rendition of a judgment."

SECTION 1-2A. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 15-3-4, relating to election and term of office of Judges of Court of Appeals, as follows:
"15-3-4. (a) The Judges of the Court of Appeals shall be elected at the general primary in each even-numbered year in the manner in which Justices of the Supreme Court are elected. The election of the Judges shall be as follows:
(1) Successors to the Judges serving in judgeships which existed prior to 1999 shall be elected as follows:
(A) Successors to any Judges whose terms expired at the end of 1998 shall be elected at the general election in 2004 and each sixth year thereafter; (B) Successors to any Judges whose terms expire at the end of 2000 shall be elected at the general election in 2000 and each sixth year thereafter; (C) Successors to any Judges whose terms expire at the end of 2002 shall be elected at the general election in 2002 and each sixth year thereafter; and

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(D) Successors to any Judges whose terms expire at the end of 2004 shall be elected at the general election in 2004 and each sixth year thereafter; and (2) Successors to the two Judges serving in the judgeships created in 1999 shall be elected at the 2000 general election and each sixth year thereafter. The terms of the Judges shall begin on January 1 following their election and, except as provided above, shall continue for six years and until their successors are qualified. They shall be commissioned accordingly by the Governor. (b) The additional judgeships created in 2015 shall be appointed by the Governor for a term beginning January 1, 2016, and continuing through December 31, 2018, and until their successors are elected and qualified. Their successors shall be elected in the manner provided by law for the election of Judges of the Court of Appeals at the nonpartisan judicial election in 2018, for a term of six years beginning on January 1, 2019, and until their successors are elected and qualified. Future successors shall be elected at the nonpartisan judicial election each sixth year after such election for terms of six years and until their successors are elected and qualified. They shall take office on the first day of January following the date of the election."

SECTION 1-2B. Said title is further amended by adding a new paragraph to subsection (b) of Code Section 15-3-5, relating to oath of Judges and compensation, to read as follows:
"(3) If a Judge resides 50 miles or more from the judicial building in Atlanta, such Judge shall also receive the same daily expense allowance as members of the General Assembly receive, as set forth in Code Section 28-1-8, for not more than 30 days during each term of court. Such days shall be utilized only when official court business is being conducted. All allowances provided for in this paragraph shall be paid upon the submission of proper vouchers."

SECTION 1-3. Said title is further amended by revising subsections (a) and (b) of Code Section 15-6-29, relating to the salary of superior court judges, as follows:
"(a) The annual salary of the judges of the superior courts shall be as provided in Code Section 45-7-4 and may be as provided in Code Section 15-6-29.1. The annual salary provided by Code Section 45-7-4 shall be paid by The Council of Superior Court Judges of Georgia in 12 equal monthly installments. (b) The annual salary shall be the total compensation to be paid by the state to the superior court judges and shall be in lieu of any and all other amounts to be paid from The Council of Superior Court Judges of Georgia, except as provided in Code Sections 15-6-29.1, 15-6-30, and 15-6-32."

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SECTION 1-4. Said title is further amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"15-6-29.1. (a) Whenever a circuit has implemented a drug court division, mental health court division, or veterans court division, then on and after January 1, 2016, the state shall pay each superior court judge in such circuit an annual accountability court supplement of $6,000.00. Such supplement shall be paid from state funds by The Council of Superior Court Judges of Georgia in equal monthly installments as regular compensation. (b) When a local law provides for a salary to be paid based on a percentage of, total compensation for, or similar mathematical relationship to a superior court judge's salary, the accountability court salary supplement paid pursuant to this Code section shall not be included in the calculation of compensation to be paid by a county, municipality, or consolidated government. (c) Notwithstanding subsection (c) of Code Section 15-6-29, on and after January 1, 2016, no county or counties comprising the circuit shall increase an aggregate county salary supplement paid to a superior court judge, if such supplement is $50,000.00 or more."

SECTION 1-5. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 15-18-10, relating to compensation of district attorneys, as follows:
"15-18-10. (a) Each district attorney shall receive an annual salary from state funds as prescribed by law. Such salary shall be paid as provided in Code Sections 15-18-10.1 and 15-18-19. (b) The county or counties comprising the judicial circuit may supplement the salary of the district attorney in such amount as is or may be authorized by local Act or in such amount as may be determined by the governing authority of such county or counties, whichever is greater. (c) The clerk of court shall collect any such fees, fines, forfeitures, costs, and emoluments and remit the same to the county treasury by the fifteenth day of each month. (d) No district attorney receiving an annual salary under this Code section shall engage in the private practice of law."

SECTION 1-6. Said title is further amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"15-18-10.1. (a) Whenever a circuit has implemented a drug court division, mental health court division, or veterans court division, then on and after January 1, 2016, the state shall pay the district attorney in such circuit an annual accountability court supplement of $6,000.00. Such supplement shall be paid from state funds by the Prosecuting Attorneys' Council of the State of Georgia in equal monthly installments as regular compensation.

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(b) Notwithstanding Code Sections 15-18-14 and 15-18-14.2, the accountability court salary supplement paid pursuant to this Code section shall not be included in any calculation of compensation paid to assistant district attorneys or victim assistance coordinators that is measured as a percentage of a district attorney's salary. (c) When a local law provides for a salary to be paid based on a percentage of, total compensation for, or similar mathematical relationship to a district attorney's salary, the accountability court salary supplement paid pursuant to this Code section shall not be included in the calculation of compensation to be paid by a county, municipality, or consolidated government. (d) Notwithstanding subsection (b) of Code Section 15-18-10 and Code Section 15-18-19, on or after January 1, 2016, no county or counties comprising the circuit shall increase an aggregate county salary supplement paid to the district attorney or a state-paid position appointed pursuant to this article, if such supplement is $50,000.00 or more."

SECTION 1-7. Article 2 of Chapter 12 of Title 17 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to public defenders, is amended by revising subsection (a) of Code Section 17-12-25, relating to the salary of the public defender, as follows:
"(a) Each circuit public defender shall receive an annual salary of $99,526.00, and cost-of-living adjustments may be given by the General Assembly in the General Appropriations Act by a percentage not to exceed the average percentage of the general increase in salary as may from time to time be granted to employees of the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of government; provided, however, that any increase for such circuit public defender shall not include within-grade step increases for which classified employees as defined by Code Section 45-20-2 are eligible. Any increase granted pursuant to this subsection shall become effective at the same time that funds are made available for the increase for such employees. The Office of Planning and Budget shall calculate the average percentage increase. Each circuit public defender may also be entitled to an accountability court salary supplement as set forth in Code Section 17-12-25.1."

SECTION 1-8. Said article is further amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"17-12-25.1. (a) Whenever a circuit has implemented a drug court division, mental health court division, or veterans court division, then on and after January 1, 2016, the state shall pay the circuit public defender in such circuit an annual accountability court supplement of $6,000.00. Such supplement shall be paid from state funds by the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council in equal monthly installments as regular compensation. (b) Notwithstanding Code Sections 17-12-27 and 17-12-28, the accountability court salary supplement paid pursuant to this Code section shall not be included in any calculation of

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compensation paid to assistant circuit public defenders or investigators that is measured as a percentage of a circuit public defender's salary. (c) When a local law provides for a salary to be paid based on a percentage of, total compensation for, or similar mathematical relationship to a circuit public defender's salary, the accountability court salary supplement paid pursuant to this Code section shall not be included in the calculation of compensation to be paid by a county, municipality, or consolidated government. (d) Notwithstanding subsection (b) of Code Section 17-12-25 and Code Section 17-12-30, on and after January 1, 2016, no county or counties comprising the circuit shall increase an aggregate county salary supplement paid to the circuit public defender or a state-paid position appointed pursuant to this article, if such supplement is $50,000.00 or more."

SECTION 1-9. Code Section 45-7-4 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to annual salaries of certain state officials and cost-of-living adjustments, is amended by revising paragraphs (18) through (21) of subsection (a) as follows:
"(18) Each Justice of the Supreme Court.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175,600.00
(19) Each Judge of the Court of Appeals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174,500.00
(20) Each superior court judge. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126,265.00
(21) Each district attorney. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120,072.00 "

PART II SECTION 2-2.
Code Section 15-6-2 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the number of judges of superior courts, is amended by revising paragraph (42) as follows:
"(42) Western Circuit.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4"

SECTION 2-2. One additional judge of the superior courts is added to the Western Judicial Circuit, thereby increasing to four the number of judges of said circuit.

SECTION 2-3. Said additional judge shall be appointed by the Governor for a term beginning April 1, 2016, and continuing through December 31, 2018, and until his or her successor is elected and qualified. His or her successor shall be elected in the manner provided by law for the election of judges of the superior courts of this state at the nonpartisan judicial election in 2018, for a term of four years beginning on January 1, 2019, and until his or her successor is elected and qualified. Future successors shall be elected at the nonpartisan judicial election each four

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years after such election for terms of four years and until their successors are elected and qualified. They shall take office on the first day of January following the date of the election.

SECTION 2-4. The additional judge of the superior courts of the Western Judicial Circuit shall have and may exercise all powers, duties, dignity, jurisdiction, privileges, and immunities of the present judges of the superior courts of this state. Any of the judges of the Western Judicial Circuit may preside over any cause, whether in their own or in other circuits, and perform any official act as judge thereof, including sitting on appellate courts as provided by law.

SECTION 2-5. The qualifications of such additional judge and his or her successors shall be the same as are now provided by law for all other superior court judges, and his or her compensation, salary, and expense allowance from the State of Georgia and from the counties comprising the Western Judicial Circuit shall be the same as are now provided by law for the other superior court judges of such circuit. The provisions, if any, enacted for the supplementation by the counties of such circuit of the salary of the judges of the superior courts of the Western Judicial Circuit shall also be applicable to the additional judge provided for by this Act.

SECTION 2-6. All writs and processes in the superior courts of the Western Judicial Circuit shall be returnable to the terms of such superior courts as they are now fixed and provided by law, or as they may hereafter be fixed or determined by law, and all terms of such courts shall be held in the same manner as though there were but one judge, it being the intent and purpose of this Act to provide four judges equal in jurisdiction and authority to attend and perform the functions, powers, and duties of the judges of such superior courts and to direct and conduct all hearings and trials in such courts.

SECTION 2-7. The chief judge shall be selected by majority vote of the judges of the superior courts of the Western Judicial Circuit. In the event of a tie vote, the judge nominated for the position most senior in point of service shall be the chief judge for the ensuing term. The term of the chief judge shall be for two years, or until the person serving as chief judge resigns the position or leave the court, whichever time is shorter. The chief judge shall be eligible to succeed himself or herself for one additional term.

SECTION 2-8. Upon and after qualification of the additional judge of the superior courts of the Western Judicial Circuit, the four judges of such circuit may adopt, promulgate, amend, and enforce such rules of practice and procedure in consonance with the Constitution and laws of the State of Georgia as they deem suitable and proper for the effective transaction of the business of

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the court; and, in transacting the business of the court and in performing their duties and responsibilities, they shall share, divide, and allocate the work and duties to be performed by each. In the event of a disagreement among the judges in respect hereof, the decision of the chief judge shall be controlling. The four judges of the superior courts of the Western Judicial Circuit shall have and are clothed with full power, authority, and discretion to determine from time to time and term to term the manner of calling the dockets, fixing the calendars, and order of business in such courts. They may assign to one of such judges the hearing of trials by jury for a term and the hearing of all other matters not requiring a trial by jury to the other judges, and they may rotate such order of business at the next term. They may conduct trials by jury at the same time in the same county or otherwise within such circuit, or they may hear chambers business and motion business at the same time at any place within such circuit. They may provide in all respects for holding the superior courts of such circuit so as to facilitate the hearing and determination of all the business of such courts at any time pending and ready for trial or hearing. In all such matters relating to the fixing, arranging for, and disposing of the business of such courts and making appointments as authorized by law where the judges thereof cannot agree or shall differ, the opinion or order of the chief judge as provided for in this Act shall control.

SECTION 2-9. The drawing and impaneling of all jurors, whether grand, petit, or special, may be by any of the judges of the superior courts of such circuit; and they, or any one of them, shall have full power and authority to draw and impanel jurors for service in such courts so as to have jurors for the trial of cases before any of such judges separately or before each of them at the same time.

SECTION 2-10. The four judges of the superior courts of the Western Judicial Circuit shall be authorized and empowered to appoint an additional court reporter for such circuit, whose compensation shall be as now or hereafter provided by law.

SECTION 2-11. All writs, processes, orders, subpoenas, and any other official paper issuing out of the superior courts of the Western Judicial Circuit may bear teste in the name of any judge of the Western Judicial Circuit and, when issued by and in the name of any judge of such circuit, shall be fully valid and may be heard and determined before the same or any other judge of such circuit. Any judge of such circuit may preside over any case therein and perform any official act as judge thereof.

SECTION 2-12. Upon request of any judge of the circuit, the governing authorities of the counties comprising the Western Judicial Circuit shall be authorized to furnish the judges of such circuit with

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suitable courtrooms and facilities, office space, telephones, furniture, office equipment, supplies, and such personnel as may be considered necessary by the court to the proper function of the court. All of the expenditures authorized in this Act are declared to be an expense of the court and payable out of the county treasury as such.

SECTION 2-13. Nothing in this part shall be deemed to limit or restrict the inherent powers, duties, and responsibilities of superior court judges provided by the Constitution and statutes of the State of Georgia.

PART III SECTION 3-1.

Title 15 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to courts, is amended by revising Chapter 22, currently designated as reserved, as follows:

"CHAPTER 22

15-22-1. (a) There is created the Judicial, District Attorney, and Circuit Public Defender Compensation Commission for the purpose of conducting periodic comprehensive reviews of all aspects of compensation paid to justices, judges, district attorneys, and circuit public defenders. (b) As used in this chapter, the term 'commission' means the Judicial, District Attorney, and Circuit Public Defender Compensation Commission.

15-22-2. (a) The commission shall consist of five members. The Governor shall appoint two citizen members, one of whom shall have experience in executive compensation who is not an attorney. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall appoint one member who shall be currently serving or be retired from serving as a judge or justice in this state. The Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall each appoint one member, neither of whom shall be attorneys. The chairperson of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the chairperson of the House Committee on Appropriations shall serve as ex officio nonvoting members of the commission. (b) Each member of the commission shall be appointed to serve for a term of four years or until his or her successor is duly appointed. A member may be appointed to succeed himself or herself on the commission. If a member of the commission is an elected or appointed official, the member shall be removed from the commission if the member no longer serves as such elected or appointed official.

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(c) Vacancies on the commission shall be filled by appointment in the same manner as the original appointment. An appointment to fill a vacancy, other than by expiration of a term of office, shall be for the balance of the unexpired term. (d) The Governor shall designate the chairperson of the commission. The commission may elect other officers as it deems necessary. The chairperson of the commission may designate and appoint committees from among the membership of the commission as well as appoint other persons to perform such functions as he or she may determine to be necessary as relevant to and consistent with this chapter. The chairperson shall only vote to break a tie. (e) The commission shall be attached for administrative purposes only to the Criminal Justice Coordinating Commission. The Criminal Justice Coordinating Commission shall provide staff support for the commission and shall use any funds specifically appropriated to it to support the work of the commission.

15-22-3. (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. The commission shall meet not less than twice every year. (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 they shall be reimbursed for expenses incurred by them in the performance of their duties as members of the commission in the same manner as they are reimbursed for expenses in their capacities 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. All other funds necessary to carry out this subsection shall come from funds appropriated to the Senate and the House of Representatives.

15-22-4. (a) The commission shall have the following duties:
(1) To review the conditions, needs, issues, and problems related to the efficient use of resources and caseload balance of the justice system in this state and the compensation paid to justices, judges, district attorneys, and circuit public defenders; issue a report on

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the same 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, and the Senate Judiciary Committee; and recommend any action or proposed legislation which the commission deems necessary or appropriate. Nothing contained in the commission's report shall be considered to authorize or require a change in any law without action by the General Assembly. The commission shall issue its first report on or before December 15, 2015, its second report on or before December 15, 2016, and thereafter at least every two years; and (2) To evaluate and consider:
(A) Whether the compensation structure of this state is adequate to ensure that the most highly qualified attorneys in this state, drawn from diverse life and professional experiences, are not deterred from serving or continuing to serve in the state judiciary, as district attorneys, and as circuit public defenders and do not become demoralized during service because of compensation levels; (B) The compensation paid as a county supplement to judges, district attorneys, circuit public defenders, and other staff associated with the courts; (C) The caseload demands of judicial officers, prosecuting attorneys, and public defenders and the allocation of such officials, including staffing resources and jurisdictional structure; (D) The skill and experience required of the particular judgeships or attorney positions at issue; (E) The time required of the particular judgeships or attorney positions at issue; (F) The value of compensable service performed by justices and judges, district attorneys, and circuit public defenders as determined by reference to compensation in other states and the federal government; (G) The value of comparable service performed in the private sector, including private judging, arbitration, and mediation, based on the responsibility and discretion required in the particular judgeship at issue and the demand for those services in the private sector; (H) The compensation of attorneys in the private sector; (I) The Consumer Price Index and changes in such index; (J) The overall compensation presently received by other public officials and employees; and (K) Any other factors that are normally or traditionally taken into consideration in the determination of compensation. (b) The commission shall have the following powers: (1) To make findings, conclusions, and recommendations as to the proper salary and benefits for all justices and judges, district attorneys, and circuit public defenders of this state; (2) To make findings, conclusions, and recommendations as to the efficient use of resources and caseload balance of the justice system in this state;

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(3) To request and receive data from and review the records of appropriate state agencies, local governments, and courts to the greatest extent allowed by state and federal law; (4) To accept public or private grants, devises, and bequests; (5) To authorize entering into contracts or agreements through the commission's chairperson necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties; (6) To establish rules and procedures for conducting the business of the commission; and (7) To conduct studies, hold public meetings, collect data, or take any other action the commission deems necessary to fulfill its responsibilities. (c) 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.

15-22-5. This chapter shall be repealed effective June 30, 2020, unless continued in effect by the General Assembly prior to that date."

PART IV SECTION 4-1.

(a) Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, this Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval.
(b)(1) Part I of this Act shall become effective only if funds are appropriated for purposes of Part I of this Act in an appropriations Act enacted at the 2015 regular session of the General Assembly. (2) If funds are so appropriated, then Part I of this Act shall become effective on July 1, 2015, for purposes of making the initial appointments of the Court of Appeals Judges created by Part I of this Act, and for all other purposes, Part I of this Act shall become effective on January 1, 2016. (3) If funds are not so appropriated, then Part I of this Act shall not become effective and shall stand repealed on July 1, 2015. (c)(1) For purposes of making the initial appointments of the judge to fill the superior court judgeship created by Part II of this Act, Part II of this Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or its becoming law without such approval. (2) For all other purposes, Part II of this Act shall become effective on April 1, 2016.

SECTION 4-2. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved May 6, 2015.

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CONTRACTS CONVENIENCE FEES FOR ELECTRONIC PAYMENTS AND PURCHASES.

No. 140 (House Bill No. 299).

AN ACT

To amend Chapter 1 of Title 13 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions for contracts, so as to provide for definitions; to provide for the imposition of convenience fees upon payments for certain loans or purchases when paid by electronic means; to provide for notice of the imposition of convenience fees; to provide for exclusions and applicability; to provide for an effective date; 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 1 of Title 13 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions for contracts, is amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"13-1-15. (a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) 'Actual cost' means the amount paid by a third party for the processing of a payment made by electronic means. If a lender or merchant is a subsidiary of an entity that processes payments made by electronic means, the parent entity shall be considered a third party. (2) 'Payment by electronic means' means the remittance of an amount owed through the use of a credit card, debit card, electronic funds transfer, electronic check, or other electronic method. (b) In addition to any other charges, interest, and fees permitted by law and subject to the terms and conditions of the debit card or credit card acceptance agreement, a lender or merchant may collect a nonrefundable convenience fee from any person electing to utilize an option of payment by electronic means. Such convenience fee shall be in an amount that represents the actual cost to a lender or merchant; provided, however, that in lieu of the actual cost, a lender or merchant may collect a convenience fee which does not exceed the average of the actual cost incurred for a specific type of payment made by electronic means for which such lender or merchant imposes a convenience fee. (c) No convenience fee shall be charged unless a lender or merchant also provides a direct payment option by check, cash, or money order in which no convenience fee is imposed. (d) Any lender or merchant imposing a convenience fee as provided for in this Code section shall provide clear disclosure of such fee prior to imposition. Such notice shall include the

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dollar amount of such fee, a statement that such fee is nonrefundable, and a statement that such fee is charged for payment by electronic means. (e) This Code section shall apply only to industrial loans made pursuant to Chapter 3 of Title 7, retail installment and home solicitation sales contracts entered into pursuant to Article 1 of Chapter 1 of Title 10, motor vehicle sales financing contracts entered into pursuant to Article 2 of Chapter 1 of Title 10, and insurance premium finance agreements entered into pursuant to Chapter 22 of Title 33; provided, however, that a convenience fee authorized under this Code section shall not constitute interest, an additional charge, a time price differential, a finance charge, or a service charge within the meaning of Code Section 7-3-15, 10-1-4, 10-1-33, or 33-22-9. (f) Nothing contained in Code Section 7-4-18 shall be construed to amend or modify the provisions of 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 May 6, 2015.

__________

REVENUE AND TAXATION REMOVE CERTAIN BONDING REQUIREMENTS PERTAINING TO MANUFACTURERS AND IMPORTERS OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS.

No. 142 (House Bill No. 312).

AN ACT

To amend Code Section 48-11-4 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the licensing of persons engaged in tobacco business, initial and annual fees, suspension and revocation, registration and inspection of vending machines, bond by distributor, jurisdiction, and licensing of promotional activities, so as to remove certain bonding requirements pertaining to manufacturers and importers of tobacco products; 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. Code Section 48-11-4 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the licensing of persons engaged in tobacco business, initial and annual fees, suspension and revocation, registration and inspection of vending machines, bond by distributor, jurisdiction, and licensing of promotional activities, is amended by revising subsection (e) as follows:
"(e) The manufacturer's, importer's, distributor's, or dealer's license shall be exhibited in the place of business for which it is issued in the manner prescribed by the commissioner. The commissioner shall require each licensed distributor to file with the commissioner a bond in an amount of not less than $1,000.00 to guarantee the proper performance of the distributor's duties and the discharge of the distributor's liabilities under this chapter. The bond shall run concurrently with the distributor's license but shall remain in full force and effect for a period of one year after the expiration or revocation of the distributor's license unless the commissioner certifies that all obligations due the state arising under this chapter have been paid."

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 6, 2015.

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PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES LIMITED PAID LEAVE FOR PURPOSE OF PROMOTING EDUCATION.

No. 143 (House Bill No. 313).

AN ACT

To amend Article 2 of Chapter 20 of Title 45 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to leaves of absence for certain public employees, so as to authorize the application for limited paid leave for the purpose of promoting education in this state; 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 2 of Chapter 20 of Title 45 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to leaves of absence for certain public employees, is amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"45-20-32. Each full-time, nontemporary employee of the State of Georgia or of any branch, department, board, bureau, or commission thereof shall be entitled to apply for up to eight hours of paid leave per calendar year for the purpose of promoting education in this state. The State Personnel Board shall submit to the Governor for approval rules and regulations which shall effectuate the purpose and govern the administration of this Code section. Such rules and regulations shall require that paid leave only be authorized for activities directly related to student achievement and academic support and shall prohibit the use of such leave for political purposes or agendas."

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

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EDUCATION GEORGIA STUDENT FINANCE COMMISSION; GEORGIA HIGHER EDUCATION ASSISTANCE CORPORATION; GEORGIA STUDENT FINANCE AUTHORITY; CONFIDENTIALITY OF RECORDS; COLLECTION OF FUNDS OWED.

No. 144 (House Bill No. 320).

AN ACT

To amend Article 7 of Chapter 3 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to scholarships, loans, and grants, so as to provide that public disclosure of certain records held by the Georgia Student Finance Commission, the Georgia Higher Education Assistance Corporation, and the Georgia Student Finance Authority is not required; to provide, without judicial action, for the garnishment of pay, loss of a professional license, offset of lottery winnings, and offset of a state tax refund for amounts owed to the Georgia Student Finance Commission and the Georgia Student Finance Authority; to provide for definitions; 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 7 of Chapter 3 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to scholarships, loans, and grants, is amended in Code Section 20-3-236, relating to the powers and duties of the Georgia Student Finance Commission, by designating the existing text as subsection (a) and by adding two new subsections to read as follows:
"(b) Pursuant to Code Section 50-18-70, the commission shall not disclose and shall keep confidential, in each case unless identifying information has been redacted:
(1) Records that include information identifying a student or former student by name, address except for ZIP Code, telephone number, or emergency contact; and (2) Records that reveal an individual's social security number, mother's birth name, credit card information, debit card information, bank account information, account number, utility account number, password used to access his or her account, financial data or information, insurance or medical information in all records, unlisted telephone number if so designated in a public record, personal e-mail address or cellular telephone number, or month and day of birth. (c) Except as prohibited by federal or state law, individuals who owe any amount to the commission relating to any scholarship or grant made by the commission, including repayments and refunds, are, without judicial action, subject to garnishment of their pay, loss of a professional license, offset of lottery winnings, and offset of a state tax refund in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the commission. As used in this subsection, the term 'refund' means scholarship and grant amounts paid to or on behalf of

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individuals, in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the commission, subsequently determined to be ineligible to receive such scholarship and grant amounts. The remedies set forth in this subsection shall be in addition to all other remedies available at law and in equity."

SECTION 2. Said article is further amended in Code Section 20-3-266, relating to the powers and duties of the Georgia Higher Education Assistance Corporation, by designating the existing text as subsection (a) and by adding a new subsection to read as follows:
"(b) Pursuant to Code Section 50-18-70, the corporation shall not disclose and shall keep confidential, in each case unless identifying information has been redacted:
(1) Records that include information identifying a student or former student by name, address except for ZIP Code, telephone number, or emergency contact; and (2) Records that reveal an individual's social security number, mother's birth name, credit card information, debit card information, bank account information, account number, utility account number, password used to access his or her account, financial data or information, insurance or medical information in all records, unlisted telephone number if so designated in a public record, personal e-mail address or cellular telephone number, or month and day of birth."

SECTION 3. Said article is further amended in Code Section 20-3-316, relating to the powers and duties of the Georgia Student Finance Authority, by designating the existing text as subsection (a) and by adding two new subsections to read as follows:
"(b) Pursuant to Code Section 50-18-70, the authority shall not disclose and shall keep confidential, in each case unless identifying information has been redacted:
(1) Records that include information identifying a student or former student by name, address except for ZIP Code, telephone number, or emergency contact; and (2) Records that reveal an individual's social security number, mother's birth name, credit card information, debit card information, bank account information, account number, utility account number, password used to access his or her account, financial data or information, insurance or medical information in all records, unlisted telephone number if so designated in a public record, personal e-mail address or cellular telephone number, or month and day of birth. (c) Except as prohibited by federal or state law, individuals who owe any amount to the authority relating to any loan, scholarship, or grant made by the authority, including loan repayments and refunds, are, without judicial action, subject to garnishment of their pay, loss of a professional license, offset of lottery winnings, and offset of a state tax refund in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the authority. As used in this subsection, the term 'refund' means scholarship and grant amounts paid to or on behalf of individuals, in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the authority,

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subsequently determined to be ineligible to receive such scholarship and grant amounts. The remedies set forth in this subsection shall be in addition to all other remedies available at law and in equity."

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

__________

PROPERTY WITNESSING DEEDS, MORTGAGES, AND BILLS OF SALE; PROCEDURE FOR CLAIMING CERTAIN UNITED STATES SAVINGS BONDS; FILING OF DEED AFTER FORECLOSURE SALE; LATE FILING FEES.

No. 145 (House Bill No. 322).

AN ACT

To amend Title 44 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to property, so as to change and clarify provisions relating to the witnessing requisites of deeds, mortgages, and bills of sale; to provide a procedure for claiming certain United States savings bonds; to provide for the filing of deeds under power within a certain time after a foreclosure sale; to provide for the assessment and collection of a late filing fee; to provide for the remittance of sums collected from such late filing fees; 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 44 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to property, is amended by revising Code Section 44-5-30, relating to the requisites of deed to land, as follows:
"44-5-30. Except for documents electronically filed as provided for in Chapter 12 of Title 10 and Part 1 of Article 1 of Chapter 2 of this title, a deed to lands shall be an original document, in writing, signed by the maker, attested by an officer as provided in Code Section 44-2-15, and attested by one other witness. It shall be delivered to the purchaser or his or her representative and be made on a good or valuable consideration. The consideration of a deed may always be inquired into when the principles of justice require it."

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SECTION 2. Said title is further amended by inserting two new Code sections, to read as follows:
"44-12-237. (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of Code Section 44-12-216, United States savings bonds which are unclaimed property and subject to the provisions of Code Section 44-12-190, et seq., the 'Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act,' shall escheat to the State of Georgia three years after becoming unclaimed property and subject to the provisions of Code Section 44-12-190, et seq., and all property rights to such United States savings bonds or proceeds from such bonds shall vest solely in the State of Georgia. (b) If, within 180 days after the passage of three years pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section, no claim has been filed in accordance with the provisions of Code Section 44-12-190, et seq., for such United States savings bonds, the commissioner shall commence a civil action in the Superior Court of Fulton County for a determination that such United States savings bonds shall escheat to the state. The commissioner may postpone the bringing of such action until sufficient United States savings bonds have accumulated in the commissioner's custody to justify the expense of such proceedings. (c) If no person shall file a claim or appear at the hearing to substantiate a claim or if the court shall determine that a claimant is not entitled to the property claimed, then the court, if satisfied by evidence that the commissioner has substantially complied with the laws of this state, shall enter a judgment that the subject United States savings bonds have escheated to the state. (d) The commissioner shall redeem such United States savings bonds, and the proceeds shall be deposited in the state general fund in accordance with the provisions of Code Section 44-12-218.

44-12-238. Any person making a claim for the United States savings bonds escheated to the state under Code Section 44-12-237, or for the proceeds from such bonds, may file a claim in accordance with the provisions of Code Section 44-12-190, et seq., the 'Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act.' Upon providing sufficient proof of the validity of such person's claim, the commissioner may pay such claim in accordance with the provisions of Code Section 44-12-190, et seq."

SECTION 3. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 44-14-33, relating to attestation or acknowledgment of mortgage, as follows:
"44-14-33. In order to admit a mortgage to record, it shall be signed by the maker, attested by an officer as provided in Code Section 44-2-15, and attested by one other witness. In the absence of fraud, if a mortgage is duly signed, witnessed, filed, recorded, and indexed on the

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appropriate county land records, such recordation shall be deemed constructive notice to subsequent bona fide purchasers."

SECTION 4. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 44-14-34, relating to attestation and acknowledgment or probation of mortgages executed outside of this state, as follows:
"44-14-34. When executed outside this state, mortgages shall be signed by the maker, attested by an officer as provided in Code Section 44-2-15, and attested by one other witness."

SECTION 5. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 44-14-37, relating to the effect of the failure to record a mortgage, as follows:
"44-14-37. Reserved."

SECTION 6. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 44-14-61, relating to attestation of deeds to secure debt and bills of sale, generally, as follows:
"44-14-61. In order to admit deeds to secure debt or bills of sale to secure debt to record, they shall be signed by the maker, attested by an officer as provided in Code Section 44-2-15, and attested by one other witness."

SECTION 7. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 44-14-62, relating to attestation of deeds to secure debt and bills of sale executed outside of this state, as follows:
"44-14-62. When executed outside this state, deeds to secure debt and bills of sale to secure debt shall be signed by the maker, attested by an officer as provided in Code Section 44-2-15, and attested by one other witness."

SECTION 8. Said title is further amended by revising subsection (a) of Code Section 44-14-63, relating to recording of deeds to secure debt and bills of sale to secure debt, as follows:
"(a) Every deed to secure debt shall be recorded in the county where the land conveyed is located. Every bill of sale to secure debt shall be recorded in the county where the maker, if a resident of this state, resided at the time of its execution and, if a nonresident, in the county where the personalty conveyed is located. Deeds to secure debt or bills of sale to secure debt not recorded shall remain valid against the persons executing them."

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SECTION 9. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 44-14-160, relating to recording of foreclosure sales and deeds under power, as follows:
"44-14-160. (a) Within 90 days of a foreclosure sale, all deeds under power shall be filed by the holder of a deed to secure debt or a mortgage with the clerk of the superior court of the county or counties in which the foreclosed property is located. The clerk shall record and cross reference the deed under power to the deed to secure debt or mortgage foreclosed upon. The deed under power shall be indexed pursuant to standards promulgated by the Georgia Superior Court Clerks' Cooperative Authority. (b) In the event the deed under power is not filed within 30 days after the time period set forth in subsection (a) of this Code section, the holder shall be required to pay a late filing penalty of $500.00 upon filing in addition to the required filing fees provided for in subsection (f) of Code Section 15-66-77. Such late filing penalty shall be collected by the clerk of the superior court before filing. (c) The sums collected as a late filing penalty under subsection (b) of this Code section shall be remitted to the governing authority of the county. If the foreclosed property is located within a municipality, the governing authority of the county shall remit the late filing penalty for such property to the governing authority of such municipality within 30 days of its receipt of the penalty. For each late filing penalty for property located within the corporate limits of a municipality, the governing authority of the county may withhold a 5 percent administrative processing fee from the remittance to such municipality."

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

__________

MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC SAFETY BELTS; DEFINITION OF PASSENGER VEHICLE.

No. 146 (House Bill No. 325).

AN ACT

To amend Code Section 40-8-76.1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to use of safety belts in passenger vehicles, so as to modify the definition of the term "passenger

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vehicle" to which the safety belt law applies; 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 40-8-76.1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to use of safety belts in passenger vehicles, is amended by revising subsection (a) as follows:
"(a) As used in this Code section, the term 'passenger vehicle' means every motor vehicle, including, but not limited to, pickup trucks, vans, and sport utility vehicles, designed to carry 15 passengers or fewer and used for the transportation of persons; provided, however, that such term shall not include motorcycles; motor driven cycles; or off-road vehicles or pickup trucks being used by an owner, driver, or occupant 18 years of age or older in connection with agricultural pursuits that are usual and normal to the user's farming operation; and provided, further, that such term shall not include motor vehicles designed to carry 11 to 15 passengers which were manufactured prior to July 1, 2015, and which, as of such date, did not have manufacturer installed seat safety belts."

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

__________

BUILDINGS AND HOUSING CERTIFICATION OF CERTAIN QUALIFIED INSPECTORS.

No. 148 (House Bill No. 341).

AN ACT

To amend Code Section 8-2-26.1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to definitions and requirements regarding state building, plumbing, and electrical codes, so as to provide that certain qualified inspectors may be certified by the Building Officials Association of Georgia; 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. Code Section 8-2-26.1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to definitions and requirements regarding state building, plumbing, and electrical codes, is amended by revising paragraph (2) of subsection (a) as follows:
"(2) 'Qualified inspector' means: (A) A person inspecting for compliance with the International Building Code or the building portion of the International Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings who holds a certification from the ICC as a building inspector; (B) A person inspecting for the compliance of residential buildings with the National Electrical Code or the electrical portion of the International Residential Code for Oneand Two-Family Dwellings who holds a certification from the ICC as a residential electrical inspector or an electrical contractor license from the State Construction Industry Licensing Board; (C) A person inspecting for the compliance of nonresidential buildings with the National Electrical Code who holds a certification from the ICC as a commercial electrical inspector or an electrical contractor license from the State Construction Industry Licensing Board; (D) A person inspecting for compliance with the International Fuel Gas Code who holds a certification from the ICC as a mechanical inspector or plumbing inspector or a conditioned air contractor, journeyman plumber, or master plumber license from the State Construction Industry Licensing Board; (E) A person inspecting for compliance with the International Mechanical Code or the mechanical portion of the International Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings who holds a certification from the ICC as a mechanical inspector or a conditioned air contractor license from the State Construction Industry Licensing Board; (F) A person inspecting for compliance with the International Plumbing Code or the plumbing portion of the International Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings who holds a certification from the ICC as a plumbing inspector or a journeyman plumber or master plumber license from the State Construction Industry Licensing Board; (G) A person inspecting for compliance with any portion of the International Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings who holds a certification from the ICC as a one and two-family dwelling inspector; (H) A person inspecting for compliance with the International Energy Conservation Code for Buildings who has completed eight hours of training that is conducted or approved by the department; or (I) A person inspecting for compliance with any of the codes listed in subparagraphs (A) through (H) of this paragraph who holds: (i) A certificate of registration as a professional engineer issued under Chapter 15 of Title 43 and is practicing within the scope of his or her branch of engineering expertise while conducting such inspection;

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(ii) A level II, III, IV, or V certification from the Building Officials Association of Georgia, provided that such levels of certification require work experience and an examination by the ICC or a testing agency approved by the Building Officials Association of Georgia; or (iii) A level II, III, IV, or V certification from the Building Officials Association of Georgia on the effective date of this Code section."

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

__________

MINORS STATE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYMENT OF MINORS.

No. 150 (House Bill No. 366).

AN ACT

To amend Chapter 2 of Title 39 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to regulation of employment of minors, so as to change certain provisions related to the employment of minors; to change certain provisions relating to the issuance of employment certificates for minors; to change certain provisions related to identification cards required for the employment of minors; to provide for gender neutrality; to amend Code Section 50-18-72 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to when public disclosure is not required, so as to provide that certain documents relating to the employment of minors as actors or performers shall be exempt from such disclosure; 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 2 of Title 39 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to regulation of employment of minors, is amended by revising Code Section 39-2-11, relating to required employment certificates and the requirements for issuance of such certificates, as follows:
"39-2-11. (a) Minors who are at least 12 years of age but less than 16 years of age shall not be employed by or permitted to work for any person, firm, or corporation unless an employment certificate, showing the true age of such minor and that such minor is not less

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than 12 years of age and is physically fit to engage in the employment sought to be obtained, is issued in writing by an appropriate issuing officer who shall be one of the following:
(1) If enrolled in a public school, the school superintendent or some member of his or her staff authorized by him or her, in the county or city where the minor resides; (2) If enrolled in a licensed private school, the principal administrative officer thereof or some member of his or her staff authorized by him or her; or (3) If enrolled in a home study program, the person, parent, or guardian providing the home study program. (b) No employment certificate shall be issued to any minor until the minor shall have submitted to the issuing officer: (1) A certified copy of a birth certificate or birth registration card; and (2) A statement from the prospective employer describing the type of employment offered; and indicating that if furnished with a certificate from the appropriate issuing officer as required in subsection (a) of this Code section, such prospective employer could employ the minor immediately. It shall be understood that the prospective employer, by furnishing such statement, does not undertake to employ the minor for any specific period of time. (c)(1) The employment certificate provided for in subsection (a) of this Code section shall be accompanied by a letter from the appropriate issuing officer indicating that the minor is enrolled in a school or a home study program full-time and has an attendance record in good standing for the current academic year. The employer of a minor shall maintain a copy of such certificate and letter in the minor's employment file. Such letter shall be updated in January of each subsequent academic year during which the minor maintains his or her employment until such minor reaches the age of 16 years. Any employer failing to comply with this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $1,000.00, up to 12 months' imprisonment, or both, for each violation. (2) The State Board of Education shall promulgate rules and regulations to provide for the issuance of a waiver or exemption from the provisions of this subsection to a minor, upon such minor's petition, if there is clear and convincing evidence that the enforcement of the provisions of this subsection upon such minor would create an undue hardship upon the minor or the minor's family or if there is clear and convincing evidence that the enforcement of the provisions of this subsection would act as a detriment to the health or welfare of the minor."

SECTION 2. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 39-2-11.1, relating to employment of minors 14 years of age or older during school vacation months for care of lawns, gardens, and shrubbery, as follows:

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"39-2-11.1. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter or any rule or regulation of the Commissioner of Labor adopted pursuant to the provisions of Code Section 39-2-2 to the contrary, a minor 14 years of age or over may be employed during the months of vacation from school in the care and maintenance of lawns, gardens, and shrubbery owned or leased by the employer of such minor, including the operation of equipment in connection therewith, provided that the minor is covered by an accident and sickness insurance plan or a workers' compensation insurance policy or plan provided by the employer; that the minor presents the employer with the employment certificate required by Code Section 39-2-11; and that the minor is permitted by the employer to care for and maintain only those lawns, gardens, and shrubbery owned or leased by the employer. The work authorized by this Code section includes the care and maintenance of lawns, gardens, and shrubbery on the grounds of mills or factories described in Code Section 39-2-1 and on the grounds of any other factory, mill, or business where employment of the minor within the factory, mill, or business might be prohibited by this chapter or by rules and regulations of the Commissioner of Labor."

SECTION 3. Said chapter is further amended by revising subsection (b) of Code Section 39-2-12, relating to the contents of employment certificates, the furnishing of blank forms of employment certificates and identification cards, and the filing of duplicate copies, as follows:
"(b) Blank forms of employment certificates shall be made available by the Commissioner of Labor to school superintendents of public schools in the respective cities and counties, to principal administrative officers of private schools, and to persons, parents, or guardians providing home study programs."

SECTION 4. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 39-2-14, relating to revocation of employment certificates by the Commissioner of Labor, as follows:
"39-2-14. The Commissioner of Labor may at any time revoke any employment certificate if in his or her judgment the employment certificate was improperly issued. The Commissioner shall be authorized to investigate the true age of any minor employed, hear evidence, and require the production of relevant books or documents. If the employment certificate of a minor is revoked, the employer of the minor at the time of the revocation shall be notified and the minor shall not be employed or permitted to work thereafter until a new and valid employment certificate shall have been obtained."

SECTION 5. Code Section 50-18-72 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to when public disclosure is not required, is amended in subsection (a) by striking "or" at the end of

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paragraph (47), by replacing the period at the end of paragraph (48) with "; or", and by adding a new paragraph to read as follows:
"(49) Data, records, or information acquired by the Commissioner of Labor or the Department of Labor as part of any investigation required pursuant to Code Section 39-2-18, relating to minors employed as actors or performers."

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

__________

BUILDINGS AND HOUSING REPEAL PROVISIONS REGARDING GLASS INSTALLATION.

No. 151 (House Bill No. 368).

AN ACT

To amend Article 1 of Chapter 2 of Title 8 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to buildings relative to the standards and requirements for construction, alteration, and other matters, so as to repeal and reserve Part 5 of said article, relating to glass installations; 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 1 of Chapter 2 of Title 8 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to buildings relative to the standards and requirements for construction, alteration, and other matters, is amended by repealing and reserving Part 5, relating to glass installations, as follows:

"Part 5

8-2-90. Reserved."

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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 6, 2015.

__________

REVENUE AND TAXATION AD VALOREM TAXATION OF CERTAIN FARM EQUIPMENT.

No. 153 (House Bill No. 374).

AN ACT

To amend Part 1 of Article 2 of Chapter 5 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to exemptions from ad valorem taxation, so as to clarify an exemption for certain leased farm equipment; to amend Part 5 of Article 10 of Chapter 5 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to an exemption from ad valorem taxation for certain farm equipment held for sale in dealer inventory, so as to provide for additional qualifications; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Part 1 of Article 2 of Chapter 5 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to exemptions from ad valorem taxation, is amended by revising subsection (c) of Code Section 48-5-41.1, relating to an exemption for qualified farm products, as follows:
"(c)(1) As used in this subsection, the term 'lease purchase agreement' means a financing agreement under which:
(A) A family owned qualified farm products producer has possession and control of farm tractors, combines, or other farm equipment other than motor vehicles equipment and uses such farm equipment directly in the production of agricultural products; and (B) The payments made pursuant to such financing agreement are credited towards the purchase of such farm equipment. (2) Farm tractors, combines, and all other farm equipment other than motor vehicles, whether fixed or mobile, which are owned by or held under a lease purchase agreement

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GENERAL ACTS AND RESOLUTIONS, VOL. I

and directly used in the production of agricultural products by family owned qualified farm products producers shall be exempt from all ad valorem property taxes in this state."

SECTION 2. Part 5 of Article 10 of Chapter 5 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to an exemption from ad valorem taxation for certain farm equipment held for sale in dealer inventory, is amended by revising Code Section 48-5-504, relating to self-propelled farm equipment as a subclassification of motor vehicle for ad valorem taxation purposes, as follows:
"48-5-504. (a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) 'Dealer' means any person who is engaged in the business of selling farm equipment at retail. (2) 'Farm equipment' means any vehicle as defined in Code Section 40-1-1 which is self-propelled and which is designed and used primarily for agricultural, horticultural, forestry, or livestock raising operations. (b) Self-propelled farm equipment which is owned by a dealer and held in inventory for sale or resale shall constitute a separate subclassification of motor vehicle within the motor vehicle classification of tangible property for ad valorem taxation purposes. The procedures prescribed in this chapter for returning self-propelled farm equipment for ad valorem taxation, determining the application rates for taxation, and collecting the ad valorem taxes imposed on self-propelled farm equipment do not apply to self-propelled farm equipment which is owned by a dealer and held in inventory for sale or resale. Such self-propelled farm equipment which is owned by a dealer and held in inventory for sale or resale shall not be returned for ad valorem taxation, shall not be taxed, and no taxes shall be collected on such self-propelled farm equipment until it is transferred and then otherwise, if at all, becomes subject to taxation as provided in this chapter."

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

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INSURANCE TRANSFER DETERMINATION OF ANNUAL COST ADJUSTMENT FOR PROVIDING MEDICAL RECORDS FROM OFFICE OF PLANNING AND BUDGET TO DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY HEALTH.

No. 156 (House Bill No. 385).

AN ACT

To amend Code Section 31-33-3 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to costs of copying and mailing and patient's rights as to records, so as to move responsibility for determining the annual cost adjustment for providing medical records from the Office of Planning and Budget to the Department of Community Health; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Code Section 31-33-3 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to costs of copying and mailing and patient's rights as to records, is amended by revising subsection (a) as follows:
"(a) The party requesting the patient's records shall be responsible to the provider for the costs of copying and mailing the patient's record. A charge of up to $20.00 may be collected for search, retrieval, and other direct administrative costs related to compliance with the request under this chapter. A fee for certifying the medical records may also be charged not to exceed $7.50 for each record certified. The actual cost of postage incurred in mailing the requested records may also be charged. In addition, copying costs for a record which is in paper form shall not exceed $.75 per page for the first 20 pages of the patient's records which are copied; $.65 per page for pages 21 through 100; and $.50 for each page copied in excess of 100 pages. All of the fees allowed by this Code section may be adjusted annually in accordance with the medical component of the consumer price index. The Department of Community Health shall be responsible for calculating this annual adjustment, which will become effective on July 1 of each year. To the extent the request for medical records includes portions of records which are not in paper form, including but not limited to radiology films, models, or fetal monitoring strips, the provider shall be entitled to recover the full reasonable cost of such reproduction. Payment of such costs may be required by the provider prior to the records being furnished. This subsection shall not apply to records requested in order to make or complete an application for a disability benefits program."

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

__________

HIGHWAYS, BRIDGES, AND FERRIES ABOLISH GEORGIA COORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR RURAL AND HUMAN SERVICES TRANSPORTATION.

No. 157 (House Bill No. 386).

AN ACT

To amend Title 32 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to highways, bridges, and ferries, so as to repeal Chapter 12, relating to the Georgia Coordinating Committee for Rural and Human Services Transportation; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Title 32 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to highways, bridges, and ferries, is amended by repealing in its entirety Chapter 12, relating to the Georgia Coordinating Committee for Rural and Human Services Transportation.

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

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951

COMMERCE AND TRADE EXCEPTION TO RESTRICTIONS ON OWNERSHIP, OPERATION, AND CONTROL OF MOTOR VEHICLE DEALERSHIPS.

No. 159 (House Bill No. 393).

AN ACT

To amend Part 5 of Article 22 of Chapter 1 of Title 10 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to motor vehicle fair practices, so as to provide for definitions; to provide for an exception to restrictions on the ownership, operation, or control of dealerships by manufacturers and franchisors; 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 5 of Article 22 of Chapter 1 of Title 10 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to motor vehicle fair practices, is amended in Code Section 10-1-622, relating to definitions, by revising paragraph (11) as follows:
"(11) 'New motor vehicle' means a motor vehicle on which the original motor vehicle title has not been issued."

SECTION 2. Said part is further amended in Code Section 10-1-664.1, relating to restrictions on the ownership, operation, or control of dealerships by manufacturers and franchisors, by revising subsections (a) and (b) as follows:
"(a) It shall be unlawful for any manufacturer or franchisor or any parent, affiliate, wholly or partially owned subsidiary, officer, or representative of a manufacturer or franchisor to own, operate, or control or to participate in the ownership, operation, or control of any new motor vehicle dealer in this state within a 15 mile radius of an existing dealer of such manufacturer or franchisor; to own, operate, or control, directly or indirectly, more than a 45 percent interest in a dealer or dealership in this state; to establish in this state an additional dealer or dealership in which such person or entity has any interest; or to own, operate, or control, directly or indirectly, any interest in a dealer or dealership in this state unless such person or entity has acquired such interest from a dealer or dealership which has been in operation for at least five years prior to such acquisition; provided, however, that this subsection shall not be construed to prohibit:
(1) The ownership, operation, or control by a manufacturer or franchisor of a new motor vehicle dealer for a temporary period, not to exceed one year, during the transition from one owner or operator to another;

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GENERAL ACTS AND RESOLUTIONS, VOL. I

(2) The ownership, operation, or control of a new motor vehicle dealer by a manufacturer or franchisor during a period in which such new motor vehicle dealer is being sold under a bona fide contract, shareholder agreement, or purchase option to the operator of the dealership; (3) The ownership, operation, or control of a new motor vehicle dealer by a manufacturer or franchisor at the same location at which such manufacturer or franchisor has been engaged in the retail sale of new motor vehicles as the owner, operator, or controller of such dealership for a continuous two-year period of time immediately prior to April 1, 1999, where there is no prospective new motor vehicle dealer available to own or operate the dealership in a manner consistent with the public interest; (4) The ownership, operation, or control by a manufacturer which manufactures only motorcycles or motor homes of a retail sales operation engaged in the retail sale of motorcycles or motor homes; (5) The ownership, operation, or control by a manufacturer which is selling motor vehicles directly to the public at an established place of business on January 1, 1999, and which has never sold its line make of new motor vehicles in this state through a franchised new motor vehicle dealer unless and until such manufacturer is wholly or partially acquired by another manufacturer or franchisor; (6) The ownership, operation, or control by a manufacturer which manufactures trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of 12,500 pounds or more of a new motor vehicle dealer which only sells trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of 12,500 pounds or more at the same location at which such manufacturer has been engaged in the retail sale of such trucks as the owner, operator, or controller of such dealership for a continuous two-year period of time immediately prior to April 1, 1999, or at one additional location which is not located within the relevant market area of an existing dealer of the same line make of trucks; provided, however, this exemption shall apply to a manufacturer described in this paragraph only until such manufacturer is wholly or partially acquired by another manufacturer or distributor; (7) A manufacturer from selling new motor vehicles to customers if such vehicles are manufactured or assembled in accordance with custom design specifications of the customer and such sales are limited to no more than 150 vehicles per year; or (8) The ownership, operation, or control by a manufacturer of not more than five locations licensed as new motor vehicle dealerships for the sale of new motor vehicles and any number of locations that engage exclusively in the repair of such manufacturer's line make of motor vehicles, provided that such manufacturer was selling or otherwise distributing its motor vehicles at an established place of business in this state as of January 1, 2015, and:
(A) The manufacturer manufactures or assembles zero emissions motor vehicles exclusively and has never sold its line make of motor vehicles in this state through a franchised new motor vehicle dealer; and

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(B) The manufacturer has not acquired a controlling interest in a franchisor or a subsidiary or other entity controlled by such franchisor, or sold or transferred a controlling interest in such manufacturer to a franchisor or subsidiary or other entity controlled by such franchisor. (b) It shall be unlawful for a manufacturer or franchisor or any parent, affiliate, wholly or partially owned subsidiary, officer, or representative of a manufacturer or franchisor to compete unfairly with a new motor vehicle dealer of the same line make, operating under a franchise, in the State of Georgia, and, except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the mere ownership, operation, or control of a new motor vehicle dealer by a manufacturer or franchisor under the conditions set forth in paragraphs (1) through(8) of subsection (a) of this Code section shall not constitute a violation of this subsection. For purposes of this Code section, a manufacturer or franchisor or any parent, affiliate, wholly or partially owned subsidiary, officer, or representative of a manufacturer or franchisor shall be conclusively presumed to be competing unfairly if it gives any preferential treatment to a dealer or dealership of which any interest is directly or indirectly owned, operated, or controlled by such manufacturer or franchisor or any partner, affiliate, wholly or partially owned subsidiary, officer, or representative of such manufacturer or franchisor, expressly including, but not limited to, preferential treatment regarding the direct or indirect cost of vehicles or parts, the availability or allocation of vehicles or parts, the availability or allocation of special or program vehicles, the provision of service and service support, the availability of or participation in special programs, the administration of warranty policy, the availability and use of after warranty adjustments, advertising, floor planning, financing or financing programs, or factory rebates."

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

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PROFESSIONS AND BUSINESSES LICENSURE OF REGISTERED PROFESSIONAL NURSES AND LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSES; POWERS AND DUTIES OF GEORGIA BOARD OF NURSING.

No. 160 (House Bill No. 394).

AN ACT

To amend Chapter 26 of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to nurses, so as to revise various provisions relating to the licensure of registered professional nurses and licensed practical nurses; to revise provisions relating to the powers and duties of the Georgia Boar d of Nursing; to provide for acceptance of nursing education programs located outside the United States; to provide for a time period for applicants who do not pass the licensing examination; to revise provisions relating to renewal of licensure; 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 26 of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to nurses, is amended in Code Section 43-26-5, relating to general powers and responsibilities of the Georgia Board of Nursing, by revising subsection (a) as follows:
"(a) The board shall: (1) Be responsible for the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter and shall be specifically granted all of the necessary duties, powers, and authority to carry out this responsibility; (2) Be authorized to draft, adopt, amend, repeal, and enforce such rules as it deems necessary for the administration and enforcement of this chapter in the protection of public health, safety, and welfare; (3) Enforce qualifications for licensure under this article or Article 2 of this chapter; (4) Develop and enforce reasonable and uniform standards for nursing education and nursing practice; (5) Periodically evaluate nursing education programs and approve such programs as meet the board's requirements; (6) Deny or withdraw approval from noncompliant nursing education programs; (7) License duly qualified applicants under this article or Article 2 of this chapter by examination, endorsement, or reinstatement;

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(8) Be authorized to issue temporary permits; (9) Renew licenses of registered professional nurses, licensed undergraduate nurses, and licensed practical nurses in accordance with this article or Article 2 of this chapter; (10) Be authorized to set standards for competency of licensees under this article or Article 2 of this chapter continuing in or returning to practice; (11) Set standards for and regulate advanced nursing practice; (12) Be authorized to enact rules and regulations for registered professional nurses in their performing acts under a nurse protocol as authorized in Code Section 43-34-23 and enact rules and regulations for advanced practice registered nurses in performing acts as authorized in Code Section 43-34-25; (13) Implement the disciplinary process; (14) Be authorized to issue orders when a license under this article or Article 2 of this chapter is surrendered to the board while a complaint, investigation, or disciplinary action against such license is pending; (15) Issue a limited license to practice nursing or licensed practical nursing subject to such terms and conditions as the board may impose; (16) Provide consultation and conduct conferences, forums, studies, and research on nursing education and nursing practice; (17) Approve the selection of a qualified person to serve as executive director; (18) Be authorized to appoint standing or ad hoc committees as necessary to inform and make recommendations to the board about issues and concerns and to facilitate communication amongst the board, licensees under this article or Article 2 of this chapter, and the community; (19) Maintain membership in the national organization which develops and regulates the nursing licensing examination and the practical nursing licensing examination; (20) Be authorized to collect data regarding existing nursing and licensed practical nursing resources in Georgia and coordinate planning for nursing education and nursing practice; (21) Determine fees; (22) Adopt a seal which shall be in the care of the executive director and shall be affixed only in such a manner as prescribed by the board; and (23) Be authorized to enforce all investigative and disciplinary orders issued by the former Georgia Board of Examiners of Licensed Practical Nurses."

SECTION 2. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 43-26-7, relating to requirements for licensure as registered professional nurse and requirements for nontraditional nursing education programs, as follows:
"43-26-7. (a) Any applicant who meets the requirements of this Code section shall be eligible for licensure as a registered professional nurse.

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(b) An applicant for licensure by examination shall: (1) Submit a completed written application and fee; (2)(A) Have graduated from an approved nursing education program, as defined in Code Section 43-26-3; (B)(i) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, have graduated from a nontraditional nursing education program approved by the board which meets the requirements in subsection (e) of this Code section; and (ii)(I) If the applicant entered the nontraditional nursing education program as a licensed practical nurse and had an academic education as a licensed practical nurse that included clinical training in pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, medical-surgical, and mental illness, have at least two years of clinical experience in the five years preceding the date of the application in an acute care inpatient facility or a long-term acute care facility as a licensed practical nurse, as approved by the board. Such clinical experience shall be documented in writing by the applicant's immediate supervisor stating that, in his or her opinion, the applicant has exhibited the critical thinking abilities, clinical skills, and leadership abilities that would indicate the ability to work as a beginning registered professional nurse; (II) If the applicant entered the nontraditional nursing education program as a licensed practical nurse, had an academic education as a licensed practical nurse that included clinical training in pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, medical-surgical, and mental illness, and has at least two years of experience as a licensed practical nurse in any setting, although such experience shall be exclusive of night duty in a skilled nursing facility, but less than two years of experience in the five years preceding the date of the application in an acute care inpatient facility or a long-term acute care facility, as approved by the board, have completed a 320 hour postgraduate preceptorship. If the applicant can show that he or she cannot find a preceptorship in an acute care inpatient facility or a long-term acute care facility, the board may authorize a preceptorship pursuant to this subdivision in a skilled nursing facility, if such facility has 100 beds or more and such facility ensures to the board that the applicant will be providing health care to patients with similar health care needs as those patients in a long-term acute care facility; (III) If the applicant entered the nontraditional nursing education program as (1) a paramedic with at least two years of experience as a paramedic or (2) a licensed practical nurse with less than two years of clinical experience in the five years preceding the date of the application in an acute care inpatient facility or a long-term acute care facility as a licensed practical nurse whose academic training as a licensed practical nurse did not include clinical training in pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, medical-surgical, and mental illness, have completed a 480 hour postgraduate preceptorship. Such preceptorship shall be in the area or areas as determined by the board on a case-by-case basis, which may include pediatrics,

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obstetrics and gynecology, medical-surgical, mental illness, and transition into the role of a registered professional nurse; (IV) If the applicant entered the nontraditional nursing education program as a military medical corpsman and has at least two years of experience as a military medical corpsman, have completed a postgraduate preceptorship of at least 480 hours but not more than 640 hours, as determined by the board; or (V) If the applicant does not meet the requirements of subdivision (I), (II), (III), or (IV) of this division and the applicant entered a nontraditional nursing education program before July 1, 2008, which meets the requirements of subsection (e) of this Code section and completes such program no later than June 30, 2015, have completed a 640 hour postgraduate preceptorship arranged by the applicant under the supervision of a registered professional nurse. The preceptorship shall have prior approval of the board, and successful completion of the preceptorship shall be verified in writing by the preceptor. The preceptorship shall be in an acute care inpatient facility or a long-term acute care facility; provided, however, that the board may authorize a preceptorship pursuant to this subdivision in other facilities to obtain specialized experience in certain areas. All preceptorships required pursuant to this division shall be arranged by the applicant under the close supervision of a registered professional nurse where such applicant is transitioned into the role of a registered professional nurse and the applicant performs duties typically performed by registered professional nurses. Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (II) of this division, a preceptorship shall be in an acute care inpatient facility or a long-term acute care facility; provided, however, that the board may authorize a preceptorship in other facilities to obtain specialized experience in certain areas. The preceptorship shall have prior approval of the board, and successful completion of the preceptorship shall be documented in writing by the preceptor stating that, in his or her opinion, the applicant has exhibited the critical thinking abilities, clinical skills, and leadership abilities necessary to practice as a beginning registered professional nurse. No later than August 1, 2011, the board shall develop and make available one or more standard forms for use by and assistance to applicants in securing and completing preceptorships. Such form or forms shall include information relating to the specific requirements for preceptorships, including the minimum qualifications of the preceptor, the type of training required, and the documentation required upon completion of the preceptorship. The board shall make the determinations required by this division in accordance with its established guidelines; or (C) Have graduated from a nursing education program located outside of the United States that is determined by the board to be equivalent to and not less stringent than an approved nursing education program as defined in Code Section 43-26-3; (3) Pass a board recognized licensing examination; provided, however, that such examination may not be taken prior to graduation from the approved nursing education

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program. In no way shall the passage of such examination by a graduate of a nontraditional nursing education program who does not meet the other requirements of this subsection be construed to authorize such individual to practice nursing, to require the board to license such individual as a registered professional nurse other than to issue in its sole discretion a temporary permit pursuant to Code Section 43-26-8, or to be endorsed from another state as a registered professional nurse; (4) Have satisfactory results from a fingerprint record check report conducted by the Georgia Crime Information Center and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as determined by the board. Application for a license under this Code section shall constitute express consent and authorization for the board or its representative to perform a criminal background check. Each applicant who submits an application to the board for licensure by examination agrees to provide the board with any and all information necessary to run a criminal background check, including, but not limited to, classifiable sets of fingerprints. The applicant shall be responsible for all fees associated with the performance of such background check; (5) Complete further education and training if the applicant has not passed the examination within a time period established by the board, which shall not exceed three years. Such education and training may include the successful completion of an approved nursing education program as defined in Code Section 43-26-3; and (6) Meet such other criteria as established by the board. (c) An applicant for licensure by endorsement shall: (1) Submit a completed written application and fee;
(2)(A) Have passed a board recognized licensing examination following graduation from an approved nursing education program, as defined in Code Section 43-26-3; or (B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, have graduated from a nontraditional nursing education program approved by the board which meets the requirements in subsection (e) of this Code section; (3) Submit verification of initial and current licensure in any other licensing jurisdiction administering a board recognized licensing examination; (4)(A) Meet continuing competency requirements as established by the board; (B) If the applicant entered a nontraditional nursing education program as a licensed practical nurse whose academic education as a licensed practical nurse included clinical training in pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, medical-surgical, and mental illness, have practiced nursing as a registered professional nurse in a health care facility for at least one year in the three years preceding the date of the application, and such practice is documented by the applicant and approved by the board; provided, however, that for an applicant who does not meet the experience requirement of this subparagraph, the board shall require the applicant to complete a 320 hour postgraduate preceptorship arranged by the applicant under the oversight of a registered nurse where such applicant is transitioned into the role of a registered professional nurse. The preceptorship shall

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have prior approval of the board, and successful completion of the preceptorship shall be verified in writing by the preceptor; or (C) If the applicant entered a nontraditional nursing education program as anything other than a licensed practical nurse whose academic education as a licensed practical nurse included clinical training in pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, medical-surgical, and mental illness, have graduated from such program and practiced nursing as a registered professional nurse in a health care facility for at least two years in the five years preceding the date of the application, and such practice is documented by the applicant and approved by the board; provided, however, that for an applicant who does not meet the experience requirement of this subparagraph, the board shall require the applicant to complete a postgraduate preceptorship of at least 480 hours but not more than 640 hours, as determined by the board, arranged by the applicant under the oversight of a registered professional nurse where such applicant is transitioned into the role of a registered professional nurse. The preceptorship shall have prior approval of the board, and successful completion of the preceptorship shall be verified in writing by the preceptor. For purposes of this paragraph, the term 'health care facility' means an acute care inpatient facility, a long-term acute care facility, an ambulatory surgical center or obstetrical facility as defined in Code Section 31-6-2, and a skilled nursing facility, so long as such skilled nursing facility has 100 beds or more and provides health care to patients with similar health care needs as those patients in a long-term acute care facility; (5) Have satisfactory results from a fingerprint record check report conducted by the Georgia Crime Information Center and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as determined by the board. Application for a license under this Code section shall constitute express consent and authorization for the board or its representative to perform a criminal background check. Each applicant who submits an application to the board for licensure by examination agrees to provide the board with any and all information necessary to run a criminal background check, including, but not limited to, classifiable sets of fingerprints. The applicant shall be responsible for all fees associated with the performance of such background check; and (6) Meet such other criteria as established by the board. (d) An applicant for reinstatement who has previously held a valid license in Georgia shall: (1) Submit a completed written application and fee; (2) Meet continuing competency requirements as established by the board; (3) Have satisfactory results from a fingerprint record check report conducted by the Georgia Crime Information Center and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as determined by the board. Application for a license under this Code section shall constitute express consent and authorization for the board or its representative to perform a criminal background check. Each applicant who submits an application to the board for licensure by examination agrees to provide the board with any and all information necessary to run a criminal background check, including, but not limited to, classifiable sets of fingerprints.

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The applicant shall be responsible for all fees associated with the performance of such background check; and (4) Meet such other criteria as established by the board. (e) A nontraditional nursing education program shall meet the following requirements: (1) Is part of an institution of higher education that is approved by the appropriate regulatory authorities of its home state; (2) Holds regional and specialty accreditation by an accrediting body or bodies recognized by the United States Secretary of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation; (3) Requires its students to pass faculty determined program outcomes, including competency based assessments of nursing knowledge and a summative performance assessment of clinical competency of a minimum of 2 1/2 days developed by faculty subject matter experts that follows nationally recognized standards for educational testing; and (4) Its graduates pass a board recognized licensing examination at a rate equivalent to the minimum rate required for board approved traditional nursing education programs."

SECTION 3. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 43-26-33, relating to use of titles and abbreviations by licensed practical nurses and applicants, as follows:
"43-26-33. (a) Any person who is licensed as a practical nurse shall have the right to use the title 'Licensed Practical Nurse' and the abbreviation 'L.P.N.' and shall identify that he or she is so licensed by displaying either such title or abbreviation on a name tag or similar form of identification during times when such person is providing direct patient care. No other person shall assume such title or use such abbreviation or any other words, letters, signs, or symbols to indicate that such person is a licensed practical nurse in Georgia. (b) No person shall use the title 'nurse' or any other title or abbreviation that would represent to the public that a person is authorized to practice nursing unless the person is licensed or otherwise authorized under this article or Article 1 of this chapter."

SECTION 4. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 43-26-36, relating to application for licensure, examination, and temporary permits, as follows:
"43-26-36. (a) All applicants for a license to practice as a licensed practical nurse shall make application through the board. An applicant for licensure who has not been duly examined according to the prescribed examination approved by the board and who does not otherwise qualify for licensure under this article must apply by examination. Such applicants shall submit to the board a designated fee and written evidence verifying that the applicant:

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(1) Is at least 18 years of age; (2) Has graduated from high school or the equivalent thereof; (3) Has graduated from an approved nursing education program, as defined in Code Section 43-26-32 or from a nursing education program located outside of the United States that is determined by the board to be equivalent to and not less stringent than an approved nursing education program as defined in Code Section 43-26-32; (4) Is in good physical and mental health; (5) In the case of an applicant who has graduated from a program conducted in a foreign country, has demonstrated the ability to speak, write, and understand the English language; and (6) Meets such other criteria as established by the board. (b) A person who is at least 17 years of age and meets all of the criteria set forth in subsection (a) of this Code section may apply to the board for special consideration to take the examination for licensure."

SECTION 5. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 43-26-37, relating to issuance of license upon passing examination and requirements for admission to subsequent examination, as follows:
"43-26-37. (a) Any applicant who meets the license requirements stated in Code Section 43-26-36 or subsection (b) of Code Section 43-26-38 and passes the required exam may be issued a license to practice as a licensed practical nurse. (b) An applicant who has not passed the examination within a time period established by the board, which shall not exceed three years, shall be required to complete further education and training which may include the successful completion of an approved nursing education program as defined in Code Section 43-26-32."

SECTION 6. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 43-26-38, relating to license by endorsement and temporary permits, as follows:
"43-26-38. (a) The board, at its discretion, may issue a license to practice as a licensed practical nurse, without examination, to any person who has a high school diploma or general educational development (GED) diploma and has been duly licensed or registered as a practical or vocational nurse or who is entitled to perform similar service under a different designation under the laws of another state or territory of the United States if the license or registration in that other state or territory is current and in good standing and was issued based upon completion of an approved nursing education program, as defined in Code Section 43-26-32, and passage of an examination, which examination has been determined by the board to be substantially equal to or greater than the requirements for licensure as a

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licensed practical nurse in this state, and if such person has met continuing competency requirements as established by the board. (b) The board, at its discretion, may issue a license to practice as a licensed practical nurse, with examination, to any person who has a high school diploma or general educational development (GED) diploma and has been duly licensed or registered as a practical or vocational nurse or who is entitled to perform similar service under a different designation under the laws of another state or territory of the United States if the license or registration in that other state or territory is current and in good standing and was issued based upon completion of an approved nursing education program, as defined in Code Section 43-26-32, except however, such applicant has not been duly examined according to the prescribed examination approved by this board and if such person meets continuing competency requirements as established by the board. (c) Applicants for endorsement who have not been engaged in the active practice of practical nursing as licensed practical nurses for a period which exceeds a period of time established by the board shall be required to complete additional education and training as provided in the rules and regulations of the board, which may include but not be limited to returning to school for full training and taking the licensing examination. (d) The approval or denial of a license by endorsement under this Code section shall be in the sole discretion of the board, and a denial thereof shall not be considered to be a contested case within the meaning of Chapter 13 of Title 50, the 'Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.' The applicant shall be allowed to appear before the board if the applicant so desires. (e) Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to prevent an applicant who is denied a license by endorsement from taking the examination for licensure, provided that such applicant is otherwise eligible to take the examination and meets the requirements specified. (f) The board may issue a temporary permit to qualified applicants under such terms and conditions as specified in the rules and regulations of the board, but in no event shall such a temporary permit be issued to an applicant who has failed to pass the required examination."

SECTION 7. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 43-26-39, relating to license renewal, voluntary surrender, application for reinstatement, and temporary permits, as follows:
"43-26-39. (a) Licenses issued under this article shall be renewed biennially prior to the expiration of the license according to schedules and fees decided by the board and approved by the division director. (b) A license shall be renewed for any licensed practical nurse who remits the required fee and complies with the requirements established by the board.

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(b.1) Beginning with the 2017 license renewal cycle, an applicant for license renewal under this article shall meet one of the following continuing competency requirements during the previous licensure period:
(1) Completion of 20 continuing education hours by a board approved provider; or (2) Completion of an accredited academic program of study in registered professional nursing, as recognized by the board. Failure to meet the minimum continuing competency requirement for renewal of a license shall be grounds for denial of a renewal application. The board may waive or modify the requirements contained in this subsection in cases of hardship, disability, or illness or under such other circumstances as the board, in its discretion, deems appropriate. An applicant who is renewing a license for the first time shall not be required to meet the requirements of this subsection until the time of the second renewal if the applicant's initial license period is six months or less. (c) The voluntary surrender of a license or the failure to renew a license by the end of an established renewal period shall have the same effect as revocation of said license, subject to reinstatement at the discretion of the board. The board may restore and reissue a license and, as a condition thereof, may impose any disciplinary sanction provided by Code Section 43-1-19 upon such grounds as specified in Code Sections 43-1-19 and 43-26-40. (d) Any license that is not renewed by the end of the renewal period may not thereafter be renewed, and the licensee must apply for reinstatement. Applicants for reinstatement shall meet continuing competency requirements as established by the board. (e) The board may issue a temporary permit to qualified applicants under such terms and conditions as specified in the rules and regulations of the board, but in no event shall such a temporary permit be issued to an applicant who has failed to pass the required examination. (f) Other criteria for reinstatement may be determined by the rules of the board, including, but not limited to, additional coursework, a refresher course, supervised clinical practice, or examination by the board."

SECTION 8. Said chapter is further amended by revising paragraph (6) of subsection (a) of Code Section 43-26-40, relating to refusal to grant license, revocation of license, and disciplining of licensees, as follows:
"(6) Displayed an inability to practice nursing as a licensed practical nurse with reasonable skill and safety due to illness, use of alcohol, drugs, narcotics, chemicals, or any other types of material, or as a result of any mental or physical condition:
(A) In enforcement of this paragraph, the board may, upon reasonable grounds, require a licensee or applicant to submit to a mental or physical examination by a board approved health care professional. 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

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contrary law or rule. Every person who is licensed to practice practical nursing as a licensed practical nurse in this state, or an applicant for examination, endorsement, or reinstatement, shall be deemed to have given such person's 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 to such an examination when properly directed to do so by the board, unless such failure was due to circumstances beyond that person's 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 under this paragraph shall at reasonable intervals be afforded an opportunity to demonstrate to the board that such person can resume or begin to practice practical nursing as a licensed practical nurse with reasonable skill and safety; and (B) In enforcement 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; such records shall be admissible in any hearing before the board, notwithstanding any privilege under a contrary rule, law, or statute. Every person who is licensed in this state or who shall file an application for said license shall be deemed to have given such person's consent to the board's obtaining 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."

SECTION 9. Said chapter is further amended by revising paragraph (4) of Code Section 43-26-42, relating to criminal violations, as follows:
"(4) Use any words, abbreviations, figures, letters, title, sign, card, or device implying that such person is a licensed practical nurse unless such person is duly licensed to practice under the provisions of this article;"

SECTION 10. This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval.

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

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CRIMES AND OFFENSES EDUCATION FIRE PROTECTION AND SAFETY POWERS AND AUTHORITY OF DEPARTMENT OF EARLY CARE AND LEARNING; LICENSING AND REGULATION OF EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION PROGRAMS; CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR EMPLOYEES OF CHILD CARE LEARNING CENTERS AND FAMILY CHILD CARE LEARNING HOMES.

No. 163 (House Bill No. 401).

AN ACT

To amend Chapter 1A of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to early care and learning, so as to provide for criminal background checks of potential employees of child care learning centers and family child care learning homes; to provide for powers and authority of the Department of Early Care and Learning; to revise provisions relating to the licensing, commissioning, permitting, and registration of early care and education programs; to amend Code Section 16-12-1.1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to restrictions on persons with criminal records with regard to child, family, or group-care facilities, so as to revise terminology; to amend Code Section 25-2-13 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to regulation of fire and other hazards in buildings presenting special hazards to persons or property, so as to revise terminology; 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 1A of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to early care and learning, is amended by revising Article 1, relating to general provisions, as follows:

"ARTICLE 1

20-1A-1. The Department of Early Care and Learning is created as a department of the executive branch of state government and shall have the duties, responsibilities, functions, powers, and authority set forth in this chapter and otherwise provided by law. The Department of Early Care and Learning is the successor to the Office of School Readiness and shall have the duties, responsibilities, functions, powers, authority, employees, office equipment, furniture, and other assets formerly held by the Office of School Readiness. The Department of Early Care and Learning shall be a separate budget unit.

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20-1A-2. As used in this chapter, the term:
(1) 'Board' means the Board of Early Care and Learning. (2) 'Change of ownership applicant' means any licensed or commissioned early care and education program applying for a new license or commission to operate an early care and education program. (3) 'Child care learning center' means any place operated by a person, society, agency, corporation, institution, or group wherein are received for pay for group care for less than 24 hours per day, without transfer of legal custody, seven or more children under 18 years of age; provided, however, that this term shall not include a private school which provides kindergarten through grade 12 education, meets the requirements of Code Section 20-2-690, and is accredited by one or more of the entities listed in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (6) of Code Section 20-3-519 and which provides care before, after, or both before and after the customary school day to its students as an auxiliary service to such students during the regular school year only. (4) 'Commissioner' means the commissioner of early care and learning. (5) 'Department' means the Department of Early Care and Learning. (6) 'Early care and education programs' include all family day-care homes, support centers, family child care learning homes, and care learning centers, regardless of whether such homes or centers offer education. (7) 'Early childhood' means the period of childhood from birth to age six. (8) 'Family child care learning home' means a private residence operated by any person who receives therein for pay for supervision and care fewer than 24 hours per day, without transfer of legal custody, at least three but not more than six children under 13 years of age who are not related to such person and whose parents or guardians are not residents in the same private residence; provided, however, that the total number of unrelated children cared for in such home, for pay and not for pay, may not exceed six children under 13 years of age at one time. (9) 'License' means the document issued by the department authorizing the operation of a family child care learning home or child care learning center. (10) 'Permit' means the temporary document issued by the department authorizing a family child care learning home or child care learning center to operate without a license for a limited term to be determined by the department. (11) 'Registration' means the document issued by the department to any business entity operating as a support center. (12) 'Support center' means any business entity registered with the department that makes available potential employees for family child care learning homes or child care learning centers and that receives no children for care. Such term shall include but not be limited to a temporary staffing agency, a university, or an independent contractor.

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20-1A-3. (a) There is created a Board of Early Care and Learning and a commissioner of early care and learning. (b) The board shall consist of one member from each congressional district appointed by the Governor. In as far as it is practical, the members of the board shall be representative of all areas and functions encompassed within the early childhood care and education community. In appointing members to their initial terms, the Governor shall designate five members for two-year terms, four members for three-year terms, and four members for five-year terms. Subsequent appointments shall be for five-year terms. Members shall serve until their successors are appointed. In the event of a vacancy on the board for any reason other than expiration of a term, the Governor shall appoint a person from the same congressional district to fill the vacancy for the unexpired term. (c) The board shall elect from its members a chairperson and such other officers as the board considers necessary. The board shall adopt bylaws for the conduct of its activities. The members of the board shall receive per diem and expense reimbursement as shall be determined and approved by the Office of Planning and Budget in conformity with rates and allowances determined for members of other state boards. (d) The board shall determine policies and promulgate rules and regulations for the operation of the department including:
(1) Functions formerly performed by the Office of School Readiness, including, but not limited to, Even Start; (2) Functions transferred to the department from the Department of Human Resources (now known as the Department of Human Services) relating to day-care centers (now known as child care learning centers), group day-care homes (now known as child care learning centers), family day-care homes (now known as family child care learning homes), and other functions as agreed upon by the department and the Department of Human Resources (now known as the Department of Human Services) in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-8; (3) Functions transferred to the department from the Georgia Child Care Council pursuant to Code Section 20-1A-63; and (4) Functions relating to early childhood education programs transferred from the Department of Education by agreement in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-17. (e) The board shall oversee the budget of the department and shall submit an annual request for funding to the Office of Planning and Budget in accordance with Code Section 45-12-78. (f) The commissioner shall be the chief administrative and executive officer of the department. The commissioner shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The commissioner shall be in the unclassified service as defined by Code Section 45-20-2 and shall receive a salary to be determined by the Governor. (g) The commissioner shall have the authority to employ all personnel of the department, subject to the provisions of this chapter, all applicable provisions of other laws governing public employment, and the policies, procedures, rules, and regulations of the board.

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20-1A-4. The Department of Early Care and Learning shall have the following powers and duties:
(1) To administer such programs and services as may be necessary for the operation and management of voluntary pre-kindergarten, which shall be known as 'Georgia's Pre-K Program'; (2) To administer such programs and services as may be necessary for the operation and management of preschool and child development programs, such as Even Start and child care regulation and food programs; (3) To act as the agent of the federal government in conformity with this chapter and the administration of any federal funds granted to the state to aid in the furtherance of any functions of the department; (4) To assist local units of administration in this state so as to assure the proliferation of services under this chapter; (5) To regulate early care and education programs in accordance with this chapter; (6) To perform the functions set out in Code Section 20-1A-64, relating to improvement of the quality, availability, and affordability of child care in this state; (7) To serve as the Head Start state collaboration office; (8) To establish and collect annual fees for licensure, registration, or commission of early care and education programs. Such fees so established shall be reasonable and shall be determined in such a manner that the total amount of fees established shall help defray the direct and indirect costs to the department in performing such function. The department shall remit all fees collected to the general fund of the state; (9) To recommend in writing to the owner of any early care and education program licensed by the department that such program carry liability insurance coverage sufficient to protect its clients. Any such program which after receiving such recommendation is not covered by liability insurance shall post that fact in a conspicuous place in the program and shall notify the parent or guardian of each child under the care of the program in writing. Such notice shall be in at least 1/2 inch letters. Each such parent or guardian must acknowledge receipt of such notice in writing and a copy of such acknowledgment shall be maintained on file at the program at all times while the child attends the program and for 12 months after the child's last date of attendance. Failure to do so may subject the owner of the program to a civil fine of $1,000.00 for each such infraction; (10) To administer any programs assigned to it administratively by the Governor pursuant to his or her powers or any programs for which the Governor designates the department as the lead agency in the state for a federal program; (11) To perform any other functions as agreed upon between the department and the Department of Human Resources (now known as the Department of Human Services), pursuant to Code Section 20-1A-8; (12) To perform any other functions as agreed upon between the department and the Department of Education, in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-17;

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(13) To exercise the powers reasonably necessary to accomplish the purposes of this chapter, including, but not limited to, contracting for services; and (14) To solicit and accept donations, contributions, grants, bequests, gifts of money and property, facilities, or services, with or without consideration, from any person, firm, or corporation or from any state, county, municipal corporation, local government, or governing body, or from the federal government to enable it to carry out its functions and purpose.

20-1A-5. This chapter shall not be construed to impair or affect the rights of persons previously transferred to the Office of School Readiness who were members of the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia created in Chapter 3 of Title 47 and who elected to continue membership in such retirement system in accordance with previous law.

20-1A-6. The department shall succeed to all rules, regulations, policies, procedures, and pending and finalized administrative orders of the Office of School Readiness which are in effect on September 30, 2004. Such rules, regulations, policies, and procedures shall remain in effect until amended, repealed, superseded, or nullified by the board or commissioner, as applicable.

20-1A-7. Each newly printed publication, poster, banner, or sign created for the pre-kindergarten program by the department or a provider of pre-kindergarten services shall refer to the program as 'Georgia's Pre-K Program.'

20-1A-8. (a) Effective October 1, 2004, the department shall carry out all of the functions and exercise all of the powers formerly held by the Department of Human Resources (now known as the Department of Human Services) for the regulation and licensure of early care and education programs and any other functions as agreed upon by the department and the Department of Human Resources. Subject to subsection (c) of this Code section, all persons employed by and positions authorized for the Department of Human Resources to perform functions relating to the licensure and certification of early care and education programs and any other functions as agreed upon by the department and the Department of Human Resources on September 30, 2004, shall on October 1, 2004, be transferred to the department. All office equipment, furniture, and other assets in possession of the Department of Human Resources which are used or held exclusively or principally by personnel transferred under this subsection shall be transferred to the department on October 1, 2004.

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(b) Effective October 1, 2004, notwithstanding the advisory functions of the Georgia Child Care Council included in Code Section 20-1A-63, the department shall carry out the functions and exercise the powers formerly held by the Georgia Child Care Council under former Article 11 of Chapter 5 of Title 49. Subject to subsection (c) of this Code section, all persons employed by and positions authorized for the Georgia Child Care Council to perform functions relating to the recommendation of measures to improve the quality, availability, and affordability of child care in this state on September 30, 2004, shall on October 1, 2004, be transferred to the department. All office equipment, furniture, and other assets in possession of the Georgia Child Care Council or the Department of Human Resources, (now known as the Department of Human Services) which are used or held exclusively or principally by personnel transferred under this subsection shall be transferred to the department on October 1, 2004. (c) All transfers of employees and assets provided for in subsections (a) and (b) of this Code section shall be subject to the approval of the commissioner, and such personnel or assets shall not be transferred if the commissioner determines that a specific employee or asset should remain with the transferring agency. (d) Employees of the department shall serve in the unclassified service as defined by Code Section 45-20-2. Persons who have transferred to the department pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) of this Code section who are in the classified service as defined by Code Section 45-20-2 at the time of the transfer may elect to remain in such classified service and be governed by the provisions thereof; provided, however, that if any such person accepts a promotion or transfers to another position, that person shall become an employee in the unclassified service. (e) All rights, credits, and funds in the Employees' Retirement System of Georgia created in Chapter 2 of Title 47 which are possessed by state personnel transferred by provisions of this Code section to the department, or otherwise held by persons at the time of employment with the department, are continued and preserved, it being the intention of the General Assembly that such persons shall not lose any rights, credits, or funds to which they may be entitled prior to becoming employees of the department. No employment benefit of any employee transferring to the department shall be impaired. (f) Funding for functions and positions transferred to the department under this Code section shall be transferred as provided in Code Section 45-12-90.

20-1A-9. The department shall succeed to all rights and responsibilities relating to licensure and regulation of day-care centers (now known as child care learning centers), group day-care homes (now known as child care learning centers), and family day-care homes (now known as family child care learning homes), including such rules, regulations, policies, procedures, and pending and finalized administrative orders of the Department of Human Resources (now known as the Department of Human Services), the Georgia Child Care Council, and the Office of State Administrative Hearings, where applicable, which are in effect on

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September 30, 2004, and which relate to the functions transferred to the department pursuant to Code Section 20-1A-8. Such rights, responsibilities, licenses issued pursuant to previous law, procedures, and orders shall remain in effect until amended, repealed, superseded, or nullified by the commissioner. Such rules, regulations, and policies shall remain in effect until amended, repealed, superseded, or nullified by the board.

20-1A-10. (a) The department is authorized and empowered to establish, maintain, extend, and improve throughout the state, within the limits of funds appropriated for such purposes, the regulation of early care and education programs by providing consultation and making recommendations concerning establishment and implementation of such programs and by licensing and inspecting periodically all such programs to ensure their adherence to this chapter and rules and regulations promulgated by the board. An early care and education program registered as a support center shall be subject only to paragraph (3) of subsection (m) of this Code section, paragraphs (1), (3), and (6) of subsection (b) and paragraphs (1), (4), and (5) of subsection (c) of Code Section 20-1A-12, Article 2 of this chapter, and the rules and regulations promulgated by the board regarding criminal records checks; provided, however, that adverse action taken against the registration of a support center shall constitute a contested case within the meaning of Chapter 13 of Title 50, the 'Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.' (b) Child care learning centers operated as part of a local church ministry or a nonprofit religious school or a nonprofit religious charitable organization may notify the department annually and be commissioned in lieu of being licensed upon request for commission. Commissioned child care learning centers shall operate in accordance with the same procedures, standards, rules, and regulations which are established by the board for the operation of licensed child care learning centers. Any child care learning center operated as part of a local church ministry or a nonprofit religious school or a nonprofit religious charitable organization may elect to apply for a commission as provided for in subsection (c) of this Code section. (c) All early care and education programs that care for children shall be licensed or commissioned annually, and all licenses and commissions issued by the department shall be subject to annual renewal by the department in accordance with procedures, standards, rules, and regulations to be established by the board. (d) The department shall publish in print or electronically and make available to early care and education programs and interested persons a list of guidelines for quality child care. (e) After an early care and education program has been licensed, commissioned, permitted, or registered by the department as provided in this chapter, the program shall not be required to have a permit to operate a food service establishment as required in Code Section 26-2-371, provided that rules and regulations for food service have been incorporated in the regulations for licensing, commissioning, registering, or permitting such programs.

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(f) The department shall not be authorized to prescribe, question, or regulate the specific content of educational curriculum taught by an early care and education program, except to the extent that a program operates Georgia's Pre-K Program or any other voluntary educational program administered by the department. (g) Persons who operate licensed, commissioned, or permitted early care and education programs shall be required to post in a conspicuous place next to telephones in the home or center the telephone numbers of the nearest or applicable providers of emergency medical, police, and fire services. (h) Persons who operate licensed, commissioned, or permitted early care and education programs shall post signs prohibiting smoking to carry out the purposes of Chapter 12A of Title 31. (i) Child care learning centers shall provide a minimum of 35 square feet of usable space consisting of indoor play areas, rest areas, and dining facilities for each child present in the facility. Child care learning centers will be allowed to designate in writing to the department two one-hour periods daily during which 25 square feet of usable space per child for children aged three years and older may be provided. Notwithstanding the limitation to six children prescribed in Code Section 20-1A-2, a family child care learning home operator may care for two additional children aged three years and older for two designated one-hour periods daily. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, all other applicable rules and regulations shall apply. (j) The department shall assist applicants, license holders, registrants, commission holders, and permit holders in meeting applicable rules and regulations of the department for early care and education programs.
(k)(1) Application for a license, commission, registration, or permit for an early care and education program shall be made to the department upon forms furnished by the department. Upon receipt of an application for a license, commission, registration, or permit and upon presentation by the applicant of evidence that the early care and education program meets the rules and regulations prescribed by the department, the department shall issue such early care and education program a license, registration, commission, or permit in accordance with procedures, standards, rules and regulations established by the board. (2) The following annual fees shall apply to applications for any license or commission:
(A) Capacity of one to 25 children. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 50.00
(B) Capacity of 26 to 50 children. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100.00
(C) Capacity of 51 to 100 children. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150.00
(D) Capacity of 101 to 200 children. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200.00
(E) Capacity of more than 200 children. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 250.00

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(l)(1) If the department finds that an early care and education program that currently cares for children plans to undergo a change in ownership, the department may issue a permit to such program to facilitate such change of ownership without disruption of care. If such program complies with all licensing requirements prior to the expiration of the permit, the department may issue a license to such program in accordance with this Code section. (2) If the department finds that any early care and education program applicant does not meet rules and regulations prescribed by the department but is attempting to meet such rules and regulations, the department may, in its discretion, issue a temporary license, registration, or commission to such early care and education program, but such temporary license, registration, or commission shall not be issued for more than a one-year period. Upon presentation of satisfactory evidence that such program is making progress toward meeting prescribed rules and regulations of the department, the department may, in its discretion, reissue such temporary license, registration, or commission for one additional period not to exceed one year. As an alternative to a temporary license, registration, or commission, the department, in its discretion, may issue a restricted license, registration, or commission which states the restrictions on its face. (m) The department shall refuse to issue a license, commission, registration, or permit upon a showing of: (1) Noncompliance with the rules and regulations for family child care learning homes or child care learning centers which are designated in writing to the facilities as being related to children's health and safety; (2) Flagrant and continued operation of an unlicensed, uncommissioned, or unpermitted facility in contravention of the law; (3) Prior license, commission, registration, or permit denial or revocation within one year of application; or (4) Failure to pay the required annual license or commission fee. (n) All licensed, commissioned, or permitted early care and education programs shall prominently display the license, commission, or permit issued to such program by the department at some point near the entrance of the premises of such program that is open to view by the public. (o) The department's action revoking or refusing to renew or issue a license, commission, registration, or permit required by this Code section shall be preceded by notice and opportunity for a hearing and shall constitute a contested case within the meaning of Chapter 13 of Title 50, the 'Georgia Administrative Procedure Act,' except that only 30 days' notice in writing from the commissioner's designee shall be required prior to such revocation or refusal to renew and except that hearings held relating to such action by the department may be closed to the public if the hearing officer determines that an open hearing would be detrimental to the physical or mental health of any child who will testify at that hearing. (p) It shall be the duty of the department to inspect at regular intervals all licensed, commissioned, or permitted early care and education programs within the state. The

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department shall have right of entrance, privilege of inspection, and right of access to all children under the care and control of the license, commission, or permit holder. (q) If any abuses, derelictions, or deficiencies are made known to the department or its duly authorized agents during their inspection of any licensed, commissioned, or permitted early care and education program or if, at any time, such are reported to the department, the department shall immediately investigate such matters and take such action as conditions may require. (r) If any abuses, derelictions, or deficiencies are found in the operation and management of any early care and education program, including failure to pay the required annual license or commission fee, they shall be brought immediately to the attention of the management of such program; and if correctable, but not corrected within a reasonable time, the department shall revoke the license, commission, registration, or permit of such program in the manner prescribed in this Code section. (s) The department may require periodic reports from early care and education programs in such forms and at such times as the department may prescribe. (t) Any person who shall operate an early care and education program without a license, commission, registration, or permit shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $50.00 nor more than $200.00 or by imprisonment not exceeding 12 months, or both, for each such offense. Each day of operation without a license, commission, registration, or permit shall constitute a separate offense. (u) The department may, without regard to the availability of other remedies, including administrative remedies, seek an injunction against the continued operation of an early care and education program without a license, commission, registration, or permit or the continued operation of an early care and education program in willful violation of this chapter or of any regulation of the department or of any order of the department. (v) Each family child care learning home and child care learning center shall be required to obtain a separate license, commission, or permit for each facility and shall have a separate director for each facility.

20-1A-10.1. A determination by the department regarding payments and eligibility pursuant to any federal program or grant shall be preceded by notice and opportunity for a hearing and shall constitute a contested case within the meaning of Chapter 13 of Title 50, the 'Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.'

20-1A-11. (a) Any person who violates the provisions of Code Section 20-1A-10 or who hinders, obstructs, or otherwise interferes with any representative of the department in the discharge of that person's official duties in making inspections or in investigating complaints as provided in such Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

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(b)(1) Any person, license holder, commission holder, or permit holder who: (A) Violates any licensing, commissioning, or permitting provision of this chapter or any rule, regulation, or order issued under this chapter or any term, condition, or limitation of any license, commission, or permit issued under this chapter thereby subjecting a child in care to injury or a life-threatening situation; or (B) Commits any violation for which a license, commission, or permit may be revoked under rules or regulations issued pursuant to this chapter
may be subject to a civil penalty, to be imposed by the department, not to exceed $500.00. If any violation is a continuing one, each day of such violation shall constitute a separate violation for the purpose of computing the applicable civil penalty. (2) Whenever the department proposes to subject a person, license holder, commission holder, or permit holder to the imposition of a civil penalty under this subsection, it shall notify such person, license holder, commission holder, or permit holder in writing:
(A) Setting forth the date, facts, and nature of each act or omission with which the person, license holder, commission holder, or permit holder is charged; (B) Specifically identifying the particular provision or provisions of the Code section, rule, regulation, order, or license, commission, or permit requirement involved in the violation; and (C) Advising of each penalty which the department proposes to impose and its amount. Such written notice shall be sent by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery by the department to the last known address of such person, license holder, commission holder, or permit holder. The person, license holder, commission holder, or permit holder so notified shall be granted an opportunity to show in writing, within such reasonable period as the department shall by rule or regulation prescribe, why such penalty should not be imposed. The notice shall also advise such person, license holder, commission holder, or permit holder that, upon failure to pay the civil penalty subsequently determined by the department, if any, the penalty may be collected by civil action. Any person, license holder, commission holder, or permit holder upon whom a civil penalty is imposed may appeal such action pursuant to Chapter 13 of Title 50, the 'Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.' (3) A civil penalty finally determined under this Code section may be collected by civil action in the event that such penalty is not paid as required. On the request of the department, the Attorney General is authorized to institute a civil action to collect a penalty imposed pursuant to this subsection. The Attorney General shall have the exclusive power to compromise, mitigate, or remit such civil penalties as are referred to the Attorney General for collection. (4) All moneys collected from civil penalties shall be paid to the state for deposit in the general fund.

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20-1A-12. (a) This Code section shall be applicable to any early care and education program which is subject to regulation by the department in accordance with this chapter. For purposes of this Code section, the term 'license' shall be used to refer to any license, commission, or permit issued by the department pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and the term 'licensing requirements' shall be used to refer to any conditions related to the issuance and retention of any license, commission, or permit pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. (b) The department shall have the authority to take any of the actions enumerated in subsection (c) of this Code section upon a finding that the applicant or holder of a license or registration has:
(1) Knowingly made any false statement of material information in connection with the application for a license or registration, or in statements made or on documents submitted to the department as part of an inspection, survey, or investigation, or in the alteration or falsification of records maintained by the early care and education program; (2) Failed or refused to provide the department with access to the premises subject to regulation or information pertinent to the initial or continued licensing of the program; (3) Failed to comply with the licensing requirements or registration requirements of this state; (4) Failed to pay the annual fee required by subsection (k) of Code Section 20-1A-10; or (5) Failed to comply with any provisions of this chapter. (c) When the department finds that any applicant or holder of a license or registration has violated any provision of subsection (b) of this Code section or laws, rules, regulations, or formal orders related to the initial or continued licensing of the program, the department, subject to notice and opportunity for hearing, may take any of the following actions: (1) Refuse to grant a license or registration; provided, however, that the department may refuse to grant a license or registration without holding a hearing prior to taking such action. The early care and education program shall have the right to appeal the denial in accordance with subsection (o) of Code Section 20-1A-10; provided, however, that the program shall remain closed until the appeal decision is issued; (2) Administer a public reprimand; (3) Suspend any license or registration for a definite period or for an indefinite period in connection with any condition which may be attached to the restoration of said license or registration; (4) Prohibit any applicant or holder of a license or registration from allowing a person who previously was involved in the management or control, as defined by rule, of any program which has had its license or registration revoked or denied within the past 12 months to be involved in the management or control of such program; (5) Revoke any license or registration; (6) Impose a fine, not to exceed a total of $25,000.00, of up to $500.00 per day for each violation of a law, rule, regulation, or formal order related to the initial or ongoing licensing requirement of any program;

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(7) Impose a late fee of up to $250.00 for failure of an early care and education program to pay the annual fee required by subsection (k) of Code Section 20-1A-10 within 30 days of the due date as established by the department; or (8) Limit or restrict any license as the department deems necessary for the protection of the public or enforcement of any law, rule, regulation, or formal order related to the licensing requirements of any program, including, but not limited to, restricting some or all services of or admissions into a program for a time certain. In taking any of the actions enumerated in this subsection, the department shall consider the seriousness of the violation, including the circumstances, extent, and gravity of the prohibited acts, and the hazard or potential hazard created to the health or safety of the public. (d) The department shall deny a license or registration or otherwise restrict a license or registration for any applicant who has had a license or registration denied, revoked, or suspended within one year of the date of an application or who has transferred ownership or governing authority of a program subject to regulation by the department within one year of the date of a new application when such transfer was made in order to avert denial, revocation, or suspension of such license or registration. (e) With regard to any contested case instituted by the department pursuant to this Code section or other provisions of law which may now or hereafter authorize remedial or disciplinary grounds and action, the department may, in its discretion, dispose of the action so instituted by settlement. In such cases, all parties, successors, and assigns to any settlement agreement shall be bound by the terms specified in such agreement and violation of such agreement thereof by any applicant or holder of a license shall constitute grounds for any action enumerated in subsection (c) of this Code section. (f) The department shall have the authority to make public or private investigations or examinations inside or outside of this state to determine whether the provisions of this Code section or any other law, rule, regulation, or formal order relating to any licensing requirement of a program has been violated. Such investigations may be initiated at any time, in the discretion of the department, and may continue during the pendency of any action initiated by the department pursuant to subsection (c) of this Code section. (g) For the purpose of conducting any investigation, inspection, or survey, the department shall have the authority to require the production of any books, records, papers, or other information related to any licensing requirement of any program. (h) Pursuant to the investigation, inspection, and enforcement powers given to the department by this Code section and other applicable laws, the department may assess against a program reasonable and necessary expenses incurred by the department pursuant to any administrative or legal action required by the failure of the program to fully comply with the provisions of any law, rule, regulation, or formal order related to the initial or continued licensing. Assessments shall not include attorney's fees and expenses of litigation, shall not exceed other actual expenses, and shall only be assessed if such

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investigations, inspections, or enforcement actions result in adverse findings, as finally determined by the department, pursuant to administrative or legal action. (i) For any action taken or any proceeding held under this Code section or under color of law, except for gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct, the department, when acting in its official capacity, shall be immune from liability and suit to the same extent that any judge of any court of general jurisdiction in this state would be immune. (j) In an administrative or legal proceeding under this Code section, a person or entity claiming an exemption or an exception granted by law, rule, regulation, or formal order has the burden of proving this exemption or exception. (k) This Code section and all actions resulting from its provisions shall be administered in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the 'Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.' (l) The provisions of this Code section shall be supplemental to and shall not operate to prohibit the department from acting pursuant to those provisions of law which may now or hereafter authorize remedial or disciplinary grounds and action for the department. In cases where those other provisions of law so authorize other disciplinary grounds and actions, but this Code section limits such grounds or actions, those other provisions shall apply. (m) The board is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this Code section.

20-1A-13. (a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) 'Emergency order' or 'order' means a written directive by the commissioner or the commissioner's designee placing a monitor in a program or providing notice of intended emergency closure of a program. (2) 'Monitor' means a person designated by the department to remain on site in a program as an agent of the department, observing conditions. (3) 'Preliminary hearing' means a hearing held by the Office of State Administrative Hearings as soon as possible after the order is entered at the request of a program which has been affected by an emergency order placing a monitor in the program or upon notice of intended emergency closure of a program in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the 'Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.' (4) 'Program' means a child care learning center or a family child care learning home. (b)(1) The commissioner or his or her designee may order the emergency placement of a monitor or monitors in a program upon a finding that rules and regulations of the department are being violated which threaten the health, safety, or welfare of children in the care of the program and when one or more of the following conditions are present:
(A) The program is operating without a license, commission, or permit; (B) The department has denied application for license, commission, or permit or has initiated action to revoke the existing license, commission, or permit of the program; or (C) Children are suspected of being subjected to injury or life-threatening situations or the health or safety of a child or children is in danger.

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(2) A monitor may be placed in a program for no more than ten consecutive calendar days, during which time the monitor shall observe conditions and regulatory compliance with any recommended remedial action of the department. Upon expiration of the ten-day period, should the conditions warrant, the initial ten-day period may be extended for an additional ten-day period. The monitor shall report to the department. The monitor shall not assume any administrative or child-caring responsibility within the program, nor shall the monitor be liable for any actions of the program. The salary and related costs and travel and subsistence allowance as defined by department policy of placing a monitor in a program shall be reimbursed to the department by the program, unless the order placing the monitor is determined to be invalid in a contested case or by final adjudication by a court of competent jurisdiction, in which event the cost shall be paid by the department. (c)(1) The commissioner or his or her designee may issue an order providing notice of intended emergency closure of a program:
(A) Upon the death of a minor at such program, unless such death was medically anticipated or no serious rule violations related to the death by the program were determined by the department; or (B) Where a child's safety or welfare is in imminent danger. (2) If a preliminary hearing is not requested pursuant to subsection (f) of this Code section, the commissioner shall immediately close such program for a period of not more than 21 days. If a preliminary hearing is requested pursuant to subsection (f) of this Code section, the commissioner may place a monitor in the program until the Office of State Administrative Hearings issues a decision, which shall be considered the final decision of the agency, on the emergency closure. If the Office of State Administrative Hearings finds that the emergency closure is warranted, the commissioner shall immediately close such program for a period of not more than 21 days. If the Office of State Administrative Hearings finds that the emergency closure is not warranted, the commissioner shall not order the emergency closure of the program, but may continue investigating the incident and may place a monitor in the program in accordance with this Code section. (3) Upon a closure, the program shall be required to immediately notify the parent or guardian of each child enrolled in the program. Upon a closure, the commissioner or his or her designee shall immediately conduct a review into the circumstances of the minor's death or the circumstances where a child's safety or welfare is in imminent danger. If the commissioner determines that the program where such minor's death occurred or where imminent danger exists fails to meet the specifications and requirements of this chapter, the commissioner shall immediately revoke such program's license, commission, or permit. The program shall have the right to appeal the revocation in accordance with subsection (o) of Code Section 20-1A-10; provided, however, that the program shall remain closed until the appeal decision is issued. If the commissioner determines that the administration or conditions of the program were not the cause of the minor's death or that a child's safety and welfare is not in imminent danger or if the department has not issued

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a revocation notice within the initial closure period, the commissioner shall immediately reopen the program for its continued operation. (d) An emergency order shall contain the following: (1) The scope of the order; (2) The reasons for the issuance of the order; (3) The effective date of the order if other than the date the order is issued; (4) The person to whom questions regarding the order are to be addressed; and (5) Notice of the right to a preliminary hearing. (e) Unless otherwise provided in the order, an emergency order shall become effective upon its service. Service of an emergency order may be made upon the owner of the facility, the director of the facility, or any other agent, employee, or person in charge of the facility at the time of the service of the order. (f) A request for a preliminary hearing shall be made in writing within 48 hours from the time of service, excepting weekends. The request shall be made to the representative of the department designated in the order and may be made in person, by facsimile, by e-mail, or by any other means designated in the order. (g) Upon receipt of a request for a preliminary hearing, the department shall immediately forward the request to the Office of State Administrative Hearings, which shall set and give notice of the date, time, and location of the preliminary hearing. The preliminary hearing shall be held as soon as possible after a request therefor but in no event later than 48 hours after such request, provided that a program may request that such hearing be held earlier and that in no event shall a hearing be held on a weekend or holiday. (h) If a hearing is requested, the preliminary hearing shall consist of a review of all oral and written evidence introduced at the hearing and any arguments made. A recording shall be made of the hearing. (i) The Office of State Administrative Hearings shall, where practicable, issue an immediate oral order and shall, in all instances, issue a written order within two business days after the close of the hearing. (j) Pending final appeal of the validity of any emergency order issued as provided in this Code section, such emergency order shall remain in full effect until vacated or rescinded by the commissioner or the commissioner's designee. (k) The department is not precluded from other actions permitted by other laws or regulations during the time an emergency order is in force.

20-1A-14. (a) The department upon application or petition may grant variances and waivers to specific rules and regulations which establish standards for early care and education programs regulated by the department as follows:
(1) The department may authorize departure from the literal requirements of a rule or regulation by granting a variance upon a showing by the applicant or petitioner that the particular rule or regulation that is the subject of the variance request should not be applied

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as written because strict application would cause undue hardship. The applicant or petitioner additionally must show that adequate standards affording protection of health, safety, and care exist and will be met in lieu of the exact requirements of the rule or regulation in question; (2) The department may dispense entirely with the enforcement of a rule or regulation by granting a waiver upon a showing by the applicant or petitioner that the purpose of the rule or regulation is met through equivalent standards affording equivalent protection of health, safety, and care; (3) The department may grant waivers and variances to allow experimentation and demonstration of new and innovative approaches to delivery of services upon a showing by the applicant or petitioner that the intended protections afforded by the rule or regulation which is the subject of the request are met and that the innovative approach has the potential to improve service delivery; (4) Waivers or variances which affect an entire class of programs may only be approved by the board and shall be for a time certain, as determined by the board. A notice of the proposed variance or waiver affecting an entire class of programs shall be made in accordance with the requirements for notice of rule making in Chapter 13 of Title 50, the 'Georgia Administrative Procedure Act'; or (5) Variances or waivers which affect only one program in a class may be approved or denied by the department and shall be for a time certain, as determined by the department. The department shall maintain a record of such action and shall make this information available to the board and all other persons who request it. (b) The department may exempt classes of programs from regulation when, in the department's judgment, regulation would not permit the purpose intended or the class of programs is subject to similar requirements under other rules and regulations. Such exemptions shall be provided in rules and regulations promulgated by the board.

20-1A-15. (a) As used in this chapter, the term 'inspection warrant' means a warrant authorizing a search or inspection of private property where such a search or inspection is one that is necessary for the enforcement of any of the provisions of laws authorizing licensure, inspection, or regulation by the department. (b) The commissioner or the commissioner's delegate, in addition to other procedures now or hereafter provided, may obtain an inspection warrant under the conditions specified in this Code section. Such warrant shall authorize the commissioner or the commissioner's agents to conduct a search or inspection of property, either with or without the consent of the person whose property is to be searched or inspected, if such search or inspection is one that is elsewhere authorized under the rules and regulations duly promulgated under this chapter or any provision of law which authorizes licensure, inspection, or regulation by the department.

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(c) Inspection warrants shall be issued only by a judge of a court of record whose territorial jurisdiction encompasses the property to be inspected. (d) The issuing judge shall issue the warrant when such judge is satisfied that the following conditions are met:
(1) The one seeking the warrant must establish under oath or affirmation that the property to be inspected is to be inspected as a part of a legally authorized program of inspection which includes that property or that there is probable cause for believing that there is a condition, object, activity, or circumstance which legally justifies such an inspection of that property; and (2) The issuing judge determines that the issuance of the warrant is authorized by this Code section. (e) The inspection warrant shall be validly issued only if it meets the following requirements: (1) The warrant is attached to the affidavit required to be made in order to obtain the warrant; (2) The warrant describes, either directly or by reference to the affidavit, the property upon which the inspection is to occur and is sufficiently accurate that the executor of the warrant and the owner or possessor of the property can reasonably determine from it the property of which the warrant authorizes an inspection; (3) The warrant indicates the conditions, objects, activities, or circumstances which the inspection is intended to check or reveal; and (4) The warrant refers, in general terms, to the statutory or regulatory provisions sought to be enforced. (f) No facts discovered or evidence obtained in an inspection conducted under authority of an inspection warrant issued pursuant to this chapter shall be competent as evidence in any criminal proceeding against any party.

20-1A-16. It shall be the duty of all other state departments, agencies, officers, and employees to assure the most effective coordination and use of state resources, personnel, and facilities for the benefit of children and youths and to assist the department in effectuating the purposes of this chapter by making available to the department upon request of the board or commissioner and to the extent permissible by law the services, resources, personnel, and facilities of their respective departments and agencies.

20-1A-17. The commissioner and the State School Superintendent, with the concurrence of the board for the department and the State Board of Education, are authorized to transfer programs relating to early childhood education from the Department of Education to the department, as long as such programs are not expressly assigned to the Department of Education by statute.

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20-1A-18. (a) Each child care learning center and family child care learning home shall, by September 1 of each year, provide to the parent or guardian of each child enrolled therein educational information on the influenza vaccine. Such information shall include, but not be limited to:
(1) The causes and symptoms of influenza and the means by which it is spread; (2) The risks associated with influenza; (3) The availability, effectiveness, and known contraindications of the influenza vaccine; and (4) Related recommendations issued by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including the recommended ages at which children receive the influenza vaccine. (b) Failure to comply with the provisions of this Code section shall not subject any such child care learning center or family child care learning home to any civil or criminal liability. (c) Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to require any child care learning center or family child care learning home to provide or pay for immunizations against influenza."

SECTION 2. Said chapter is further amended by revising Article 2, relating to background checks, as follows:

"ARTICLE 2

20-1A-30. As used in this article, the term:
(1) 'Conviction' means a finding or verdict of guilty or a plea of guilty regardless of whether an appeal of the conviction has been sought. (2) 'Crime' means:
(A) Any felony; (B) A violation of Code Section 16-5-23 when the victim is a minor; (C) A violation of Code Section 16-5-23.1 when the victim is a minor; (D) A violation of Code Section 16-12-1; (E) A violation of Chapter 6 of Title 16; (F) A violation of Code Section 16-4-1; or (G) Any other offenses committed in another jurisdiction which, if committed in this state, would be one of the enumerated crimes listed in this paragraph. (3) 'Criminal record' means: (A) Conviction of a crime; (B) Arrest, charge, and sentencing for a crime where:
(i) A plea of nolo contendere was entered to the charge;

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(ii) First offender treatment without adjudication of guilt pursuant to the charge was granted; provided, however, that this division shall not apply to a violation of Chapter 13 of Title 16, relating to controlled substances, or any other offense committed in another jurisdiction which, if it were committed in this state, would be a violation of Chapter 13 of Title 16 if such violation or offense constituted only simple possession; or (iii) Adjudication or sentence was otherwise withheld or not entered on the charge; provided, however, that this division shall not apply to a violation of Chapter 13 of Title 16, relating to controlled substances, or any other offense committed in another jurisdiction which, if it were committed in this state, would be a violation of Chapter 13 of Title 16 if such violation or offense constituted only simple possession; or (C) Arrest and being charged for a crime if the charge is pending, unless the time for prosecuting such crime has expired pursuant to Chapter 3 of Title 17. (4) 'Director' means the on-site manager of a facility designated by the legal owner who is responsible for the supervision, operation, and maintenance of an early care and education program and meets the minimum qualifications as determined by the department. (5) 'Employee' means any person, other than a director, who is 17 years of age or older and is employed by an early care and education program to perform any duties which involve personal contact between that person and any child being cared for at the facility and also includes any adult person who resides at the facility or who, with or without compensation, performs duties for the early care and education program which involve personal contact between that person and any child being cared for by the early care and education program; however, a parent or legal guardian of a child in care shall not be considered an employee unless such parent or legal guardian is deemed an employee by the early care and education program or either resides at the early care and education program or is compensated in any fashion by the early care and education program except through appropriate state or federal funds. (6) 'Employment history' means a record of where a person has worked for the past ten years. (7) 'Facility' means an early care and education program's real property at which children are received for care. (8) 'Fingerprint' means an inked fingerprint card or an electronic image of a person's fingerprint. (9) 'Fingerprint records check determination' means a satisfactory or unsatisfactory determination by the department based upon fingerprint-based national criminal history record information. (10) 'GCIC' means the Georgia Crime Information Center established under Article 2 of Chapter 3 of Title 35.

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(11) 'GCIC information' means criminal history record information, as defined in Code Section 35-3-30. (12) 'Preliminary records check determination' means a satisfactory or unsatisfactory determination by the director based only upon a comparison of GCIC information obtained solely from a law enforcement agency within the state with other than fingerprint information regarding the person upon whom the records check is being performed for purposes of this article. (13) 'Provisional employee' means an individual other than a director whose duties involve personal contact between that person and any child being cared for at the facility and who is hired for a limited period of employment. (14) 'Records check application' means a document created by the department to be completed and submitted to the department by every actual and potential director and employee that indicates such director's name, early care and education program name and type, and such other information as the department deems appropriate and which authorizes the department to receive and render a fingerprint records check determination pursuant to any criminal history record information pertaining to such individual from any local, state, or national criminal justice or law enforcement agency. (15) 'Satisfactory determination' means a written declaration that a person for whom a preliminary or fingerprint records check determination was performed was found to have no criminal record. (16) 'Unsatisfactory determination' means a written declaration that a person for whom a preliminary or fingerprint records check determination was performed was found to have a criminal record.

20-1A-31. (a) A support center may furnish to the department a records check application for each potential employee of any licensed, commissioned, or permitted early care and education program. Before a person affiliated with a support center may become an employee of any licensed, commissioned, or permitted early care and education program, such person shall obtain a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination. All potential employees, excluding students currently enrolled in an early education curriculum through an accredited school of higher education, may submit evidence, satisfactory to the department, that such potential employee received a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination that includes a records check clearance date that is no more than 12 months old, or that any employee whose fingerprint records check revealed a criminal record of any kind has either subsequently received a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination or has had the unsatisfactory determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43. A student currently enrolled in an early education curriculum through an accredited school of higher education may submit evidence, satisfactory to the department, that such student received a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination that includes a records check clearance date that is no more than 24 months old, or that such student whose fingerprint

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records check revealed a criminal record of any kind has either subsequently received a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination or has had the unsatisfactory determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43. The licensed, commissioned, or permitted early care and education program shall maintain documentation in the employee's personnel file, which is available to the department upon request, and which reflects that a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination was received before the employee is allowed to reside in an early care and education program or be present at an early care and education program while children are present for care. If the fingerprint records check determination for any potential employee reveals a criminal record of any kind, such potential employee shall not be allowed to reside in an early care and education program or be present at an early care and education program while children are present for care until such potential employee has either obtained a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination or has had the unsatisfactory fingerprint records check determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43. If the fingerprint records check determination is unsatisfactory, the licensed, commissioned, or permitted early care and education program shall, after receiving notification of such unsatisfactory determination, take such steps as are necessary so that such person no longer resides in the early care and education program and no longer is present at an early care and education program while children are present for care. (b) Notwithstanding the limited period of portability, every person affiliated with a support center as a potential employee of a licensed or commissioned early care and education program shall undergo additional fingerprint records checks such that the time between such additional fingerprint records checks and that person's previous fingerprint records check shall not exceed five years. (c) After the issuance of a registration, the department may require additional fingerprint records check determinations on any person affiliated with a support center during the course of a child abuse investigation involving such person or when the department has reason to believe such person has a criminal record that renders such person ineligible to reside at an early care and education program or be present at an early care and education program while children are present for care.

20-1A-32. (a) Accompanying any application for a new license or commission for an early care and education program, the applicant shall furnish to the department a records check application for the director and each employee. In lieu of such records check applications, the license applicant may submit evidence, satisfactory to the department, that such individual received a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination that includes a records check clearance date that is no more than 12 months old, or that any director or employee whose fingerprint records check revealed a criminal record of any kind has either subsequently received a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination or has had the unsatisfactory determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43. Either the department

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or the appropriate law enforcement agencies may charge reasonable and additional processing fees for performing fingerprint records checks as required by statute, regulation, or policy or by GCIC. (b) Each change of ownership applicant shall furnish to the department a records check application for the director and each employee. In lieu of such records check applications, the change of ownership applicant may submit evidence that the director and each employee at that facility received a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination that includes a records check clearance date that is no more than 60 months old, or that any director or employee whose fingerprint records check revealed a criminal record of any kind has either subsequently received a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination or has had the unsatisfactory determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43. Failure to comply with this provision shall prevent the department from issuing a license or commission. (c) Any change of ownership applicant that operates under a permit granted by the department shall verify and maintain evidence sufficient to the department that each employee and director who was employed under the former ownership and will continue to work during the permit period has a satisfactory records check determination. If the department determines a change of ownership applicant knows or should reasonably know that any such individual has a criminal record and allows the individual to reside at an early care and education program or be present at an early care and education program while children are present for care, the department shall revoke the permit to operate and deny the license or commission for that early care and education program. Notwithstanding the requirements of this subsection, all requirements for new and provisional employees hired after the issuance of a permit shall apply.

20-1A-33. After being furnished the required records check application under Code Section 20-1A-32, the department shall notify the license, commission, or change of ownership applicant and the fingerprint records check applicant in writing whether the department's determination as to a potential director or potential employee is satisfactory or unsatisfactory. If the fingerprint records check determination was satisfactory as to the potential director and each potential employee of a license applicant's facility, that applicant may be issued a license or commission for that facility if the applicant otherwise qualifies for a license or commission under Article 1 of this chapter. If the fingerprint records check for a potential director or any potential employee revealed a criminal record, such potential director or potential employee shall not be allowed to reside at an early care and education program or be present in the early care and education program while any child is present for care until he or she either has obtained a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination or has had the unsatisfactory determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43. The department shall revoke the license or commission of an early care and education

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program if the early care and education program fails to comply with the requirements of this Code section.

20-1A-34. (a) The department shall receive a records check application, as may be required by the department and allowed under federal law, for any individual that cares for children through a program that receives, either directly or indirectly, federal funds through the department for the care of children. Upon receipt of such records check application, the department shall comply with all rules of the GCIC and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the request and receipt of national fingerprint based criminal history reports. Such individuals shall also submit all necessary applications, fees, and acceptable fingerprints to the GCIC. Within ten days after receiving fingerprints acceptable to GCIC, the application, and fee, GCIC shall notify the department in writing of any derogatory finding, including but not limited to any criminal record, of the state fingerprint records check or if there is no such finding. The GCIC shall also conduct a search of Federal Bureau of Investigation records and fingerprints and notify the department in writing of the results of such search. Upon receipt of the bureau's report, the department shall make a national fingerprint records check determination. If the fingerprint records check determination is unsatisfactory for an individual, the department shall notify the provider and the employee of such determination in writing and no such individual shall be allowed to reside at the location or be present at the location when any child is present for care until he or she either has obtained a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination or has had the unsatisfactory determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43. The department shall cease to issue funds, either directly or indirectly, to any individual or program that fails to comply with the requirements of this Code section. (b) Every potential employee of the department or contractor performing duties on behalf of the department who may have any reason to be present at a licensed or commissioned early care and education program while any child is present for care must receive a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination or have had an unsatisfactory fingerprint records check determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43 prior to being present at a licensed or commissioned early care and education program while children are present for care. Every current employee of the department who may have any reason to be present at a licensed or commissioned early care and education program while any child is present for care must receive a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination or have had an unsatisfactory fingerprint records check determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43. Every employee of the department shall undergo additional fingerprint records checks such that the time between such additional fingerprint records checks and that employee's previous fingerprint records check shall not exceed five years. The department shall maintain documentation in the appropriate personnel file indicating that such person has obtained such current satisfactory fingerprint

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records check determination or has had an unsatisfactory fingerprint records check determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43.

20-1A-35. (a) Where there is need for a provisional employee to work at a licensed, commissioned, or permitted early care and education program facility, such early care and education program may utilize an individual as a provisional employee only after the director reviews a preliminary records check and makes a satisfactory determination in accordance with this article. No such provisional employee shall reside in an early care and education program or be present in the early care and education program while any child is present for care until such satisfactory preliminary records check determination has been made based upon GCIC information obtained from local law enforcement within the prior ten days. The board shall be authorized to define and enforce by regulations, including, but not limited to, the length of time a provisional employee may be present at a facility without a fingerprint records check determination. The department may revoke the license, commission, or permit of an early care and education program if the early care and education program fails to comply with the requirements of this Code section and allows a person with an unsatisfactory preliminary records check determination to reside in an early care and education program or be present at an early care and education program while children are present for care. (b) If the department determines a licensed, commissioned, or permitted early care and education program knows or should reasonably know that a provisional employee has a criminal record and allows the provisional employee to reside at an early care and education program or be present at an early care and education program while children are present for care, the department shall revoke the license, commission, or permit for that early care and education program.

20-1A-36. No licensed, commissioned, or permitted facility operated as an early care and education program or similar facility or any operator of such a facility shall allow any person who has been convicted of or who has entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to any offense specified in Code Section 16-12-1.1 to reside in an early care and education program or be present at an early care and education program while children are present for care or allow any such person to reside at or be domiciled at such facility in violation of Code Section 16-12-1.1. The department shall either deny the issuance of or revoke the license, commission, or registration of any such facility violating the provisions of this Code section. The powers and duties set forth in this Code section are cumulative and not intended to limit the powers and duties set forth throughout this article.

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20-1A-37. Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, an individual who resides in a family child care learning home, as defined by Code Section 20-1A-2, or at any program as determined by the department and allowed under federal law to receive, either directly or indirectly, federal funds through the department for the care of children shall be required to provide a fingerprint records check application to the department. Upon receipt of such records check application, the department shall comply with all the rules and regulations promulgated by the GCIC and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the request and receipt of national fingerprint based criminal history reports. Such individuals shall also submit all necessary applications, fees, and acceptable fingerprints to the GCIC. If the fingerprint records check determination is unsatisfactory, the department shall notify the provider and the employee of such determination in writing and no such individual shall be allowed to reside at the location or be present at the location when any child is present for care until he or she either has obtained a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination or has had the unsatisfactory determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43. The department shall revoke the license, commission, or permit of a family child care learning home if the family child care learning home fails to comply with the requirements of this Code section.

20-1A-38. (a) If the director of a licensed, commissioned, or permitted early care and education program ceases to be the director of that early care and education program, the license holder, commission holder, or permit holder shall thereupon designate a new director. After such change, the license holder, commission holder, or permit holder of that early care and education program shall notify the department of such change and of any additional information the department may require regarding the newly designated director of that early care and education program, including a fingerprint records check application. Such individuals shall also submit all necessary applications, fees, and acceptable fingerprints to the GCIC. If the department determines that such newly designated director has received a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination that includes a records check clearance date that is no more than 12 months old or had an unsatisfactory determination reversed pursuant to Code Section 20-1A-43 within the prior 12 months, such determination shall be deemed to be satisfactory for purposes of this article. (b) If the department determines under subsection (a) of this Code section that a licensed, commissioned, or permitted early care and education program knows or should reasonably know that the newly designated director has a criminal record or an unsatisfactory determination issued by the department that has not been reversed pursuant to Code Section 20-1A-43 and allows the director to reside at an early care and education program or be present at an early care and education program while children are present for care, then the license, commission, or permit for that facility shall be revoked.

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20-1A-39. (a) Before a person may become an employee of any early care and education program after that early care and education program has received a license or commission, that early care and education program shall require that person to obtain a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination. All potential employees, excluding students currently enrolled in an early education curriculum through an accredited school of higher education, may submit evidence, satisfactory to the department, that the potential employee received a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination that includes a records check clearance date that is no more than 12 months old, or that any potential employee whose fingerprint records check revealed a criminal record of any kind has either subsequently received a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination or has had the unsatisfactory determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43. A student currently enrolled in an early education curriculum through an accredited school of higher education may submit evidence, satisfactory to the department, that the student received a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination that includes a records check clearance date that is no more than 24 months old, or that such student whose fingerprint records check revealed a criminal record of any kind has either subsequently received a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination or has had the unsatisfactory determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43. The licensed or commissioned early care and education program shall maintain documentation in the employee's personnel file, which is available to the department upon request, which reflects that a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination was received before the employee is eligible to reside at an early care and education program or be present at a licensed or commissioned early care and education program while children are present for care. If the fingerprint records check determination for any potential employee reveals a criminal record of any kind, such potential employee shall be ineligible to reside at an early care and education program or be present at an early care and education program while children are present for care until such potential employee has either obtained a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination or has had the unsatisfactory fingerprint records check determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43. If the fingerprint records check determination is unsatisfactory, the licensed or commissioned early care and education program shall, after receiving notification of such unsatisfactory determination, take such immediate steps as are necessary so that such person no longer resides at the early care and education program or is no longer present at the early care and education program while children are present for care. The department shall revoke the license or commission of an early care and education program if the early care and education program fails to comply with the requirements of this Code section. (b) By no later than January 1, 2017, every current employee and director of any licensed or commissioned early care and education program shall obtain either a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination or shall have had an unsatisfactory fingerprint records check determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43. The early

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care and education program shall maintain such documentation in the appropriate personnel file, which is available to the department immediately upon request. If the fingerprint records check determination is unsatisfactory, the licensed or commissioned early care and education program shall, after receiving notification of the determination, take such steps as are necessary so that such person no longer resides at the early care and education program or is no longer present at the early care and education program while children are present for care. The department shall revoke the license or commission of an early care and education program if the early care and education program fails to comply with the requirements of this Code section. (c) Effective January 1, 2019, every employee and director of any licensed or commissioned early care and education program shall undergo additional fingerprint records checks such that the time between such additional fingerprint records checks and that employee's or director's previous fingerprint records check shall not exceed five years. The early care and education program shall maintain documentation in the appropriate personnel file, which is available to the department immediately upon request, indicating that such person has obtained such current satisfactory fingerprint records check determination or has had an unsatisfactory fingerprint records check determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43. The department shall revoke the license or commission of an early care and education program if the early care and education program fails to comply with the requirements of this Code section. (d) A license or commission shall be subject to suspension or revocation and the department may refuse to issue a license or commission if a director or employee does not undergo the fingerprint records check determination applicable to that director or employee and receive acceptable determinations. (e) After the issuance of a license, commission, or permit, the department may require additional fingerprint records check determinations on any director or employee when the department has reason to believe the director or employee has a criminal record that renders the director or employee ineligible to have contact with children in the early care and education program, or during the course of a child abuse investigation involving the director or employee. (f) No licensed or commissioned early care and education program may allow any person to reside at an early care and education program or be present at a licensed or permitted early care and education program while children are present for care as a director or an employee unless there is on file in the early care and education program an employment history and a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination or proof that an unsatisfactory determination has been reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43. The department shall revoke the license or commission of any early care and education program if the early care and education program fails to comply with the requirements of this Code section. (g) A license holder, commission holder, permit holder, or director of a licensed, commissioned, or permitted early care and education program having an employee or

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director whom such license holder, commission holder, permit holder, or director knows or should reasonably know to have a criminal record that renders the employee or director ineligible to have contact with children in the early care and education program shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

20-1A-40. (a) GCIC and law enforcement agencies which have access to GCIC information shall cooperate with the department in performing preliminary and fingerprint records check determinations required under this article and shall provide such information so required for such records checks notwithstanding any other law to the contrary and may charge reasonable fees therefor. (b) Any person who knowingly and under false pretenses requests, obtains, or attempts to obtain GCIC information otherwise authorized to be obtained pursuant to this article, or who knowingly communicates or attempts to communicate such information obtained pursuant to this article to any person or entity except in accordance with this article, or who knowingly uses or attempts to use such information obtained pursuant to this article for any purpose other than as authorized by this article shall be fined not more than $5,000.00, imprisoned for not more than two years, or both.

20-1A-41. (a) Neither GCIC, the department, any law enforcement agency, nor the employees of any such entities shall be responsible for the accuracy of information nor have any liability for defamation, invasion of privacy, negligence, or any other claim in connection with any dissemination of information or determination based thereon pursuant to this article. (b) An early care and education program, its director, and its employees shall have no liability for defamation, invasion of privacy, or any other claim based upon good faith action thereby pursuant to the requirements of this article.

20-1A-42. The requirements of this article are supplemental to any requirements for a license imposed by Article 1 of this chapter.

20-1A-43. A determination by the department regarding preliminary or fingerprint records checks under this article, or any action by the department revoking, suspending, or refusing to grant or renew a license based upon such determination, shall constitute a contested case for purposes of Chapter 13 of Title 50, the 'Georgia Administrative Procedure Act,' except that any hearing required to be held pursuant thereto may be held reasonably expeditiously after such determination or action by the department. It is expressly provided that upon motion from any party, the hearing officer may, in his or her discretion, consider matters in mitigation of any conviction only if all terms of probation have been successfully

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completed, provided that the hearing officer examines the circumstances of the case and makes an independent finding that no physical harm was done to a victim and also examines the character and employment history since the conviction and determines that there is no propensity for cruel behavior or behavior involving moral turpitude on the part of the person making a motion for an exception to sanctions normally imposed. If the hearing officer deems a hearing to be appropriate, he or she shall also notify at least 30 days prior to such hearing the office of the prosecuting attorney who initiated the prosecution of the case in question in order to allow such prosecutor to object to a possible determination that the conviction would not be a bar for the grant or continuation of a license or employment as contemplated within this chapter. If objections are made, the hearing officer shall take such objections into consideration in considering the case.

20-1A-44. The board is authorized to provide by regulation for the administration of this article."

SECTION 3. Code Section 16-12-1.1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to restrictions on persons with criminal records with regard to child, family, or group-care facilities, is amended by revising paragraph (1) of subsection (a) as follows:
"(1) 'Facility' means any child care learning center, family child care learning home, group-care facility, or similar facility at which any child who is not a member of an operator's family is received for pay for supervision and care, without transfer of legal custody, for fewer than 24 hours per day."

SECTION 4. Code Section 25-2-13 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to regulation of fire and other hazards in buildings presenting special hazards to persons or property, is amended by revising subparagraph (b)(1)(I) as follows:
"(I) Child care learning centers, as such term is defined in Code Section 20-1A-2. Fire safety standards adopted by rules of the Commissioner pursuant to Code Section 25-2-4 which are applicable to child care learning centers shall not require staff-to-child ratios; and"

SECTION 5. 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 6, 2015.

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COURTS REMOVE CERTAIN LIMITATIONS OVER JURISDICTION OF PROBATE COURTS OVER GAME AND FISH VIOLATIONS.

No. 166 (Senate Bill No. 62).

AN ACT

To amend Code Section 15-9-30.3 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to jurisdiction over Game and Fish Code misdemeanor violations, so as to remove certain limitations on the jurisdiction of the probate courts over game and fish violations; 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 15-9-30.3 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to jurisdiction over Game and Fish Code misdemeanor violations, is amended by revising subsection (a) as follows:
"(a) Subject to the provisions of subsection (b) of this Code section, in addition to any other jurisdiction vested in the probate courts, such courts shall have the right and power to conduct trials, receive pleas of guilty, and impose sentence upon defendants for violating any law specified in Title 27 which is punishable for its violation as a misdemeanor. Such jurisdiction shall be concurrent with other courts having jurisdiction over such violations."

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

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CIVIL PRACTICE COMMERCIAL CODE CRIMINAL PROCEDURE DEBTOR AND CREDITOR REUSE UNIFORM ACTS RELATING TO DEBTS AND OTHER OBLIGATIONS; REPEAL GEORGIA FOREIGN MONEY JUDGMENTS RECOGNITION ACT; REVISE CERTAIN PORTIONS OF UNIFORM COMMERCIAL CODE.

No. 167 (Senate Bill No. 65).

AN ACT

To amend Chapter 12 of Title 9, Title 11, and Chapter 2 of Title 18 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to verdict and judgment, the commercial code, and debtor and creditor relations, respectively, so as to change provisions in uniform Acts relating to debts and other obligations; to repeal the "Georgia Foreign Money Judgments Recognition Act" and enact the "Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act"; to provide for definitions; to provide for applicability; to provide for standards for recognition of foreign-country judgments; to provide for jurisdiction; to provide for procedure; to provide for the effect of recognition of foreign-country judgments; to provide for a stay of proceedings pending an appeal; to provide for uniformity; to provide for situations not covered by the "Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act"; to update and modernize various statutes in the commercial code relating to commercial transactions in order to maintain uniformity in this state's statutes governing commercial transactions as recommended by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws; to revise, add, and move defined terms; to reorganize Article 1, relating to general provisions, of the "Uniform Commercial Code"; to make conforming amendments to other articles of the "Uniform Commercial Code" to provide for accurate cross-references to the revised "Uniform Commercial Code"; to amend Titles 7, 10, 40, and 52 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to banking and finance, commerce and trade, motor vehicles and traffic, and waters of the state, ports, and watercraft, respectively, so as to make conforming cross-references to the revised "Uniform Commercial Code"; to repeal Article 6 of the Uniform Commercial Code, relating to bulk transfers, and make a conforming cross-reference; to revise the "Uniform Fraudulent Transfers Act" and enact the "Uniform Voidable Transactions Act"; to reform terminology and revise and add definitions; to provide the allocation of the burden of proof and define the standard of proof with respect to claims and defenses; to provide for governing law; to provide for the application to a series organization; to provide for uniformity of application and construction; to amend Article 3 of Chapter 3 of Title 9 and Code Section 17-14-17 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to limitations on recovery for deficiencies connected with improvements to realty and resulting injuries and fraudulent transfers, respectively, so as to correct cross-references to the "Uniform Voidable Transactions Act"; to amend Article 6 of Chapter 12 of Title 9 of the

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Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the "Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Law," so as to provide for applicability of certain provisions in Chapter 11 of Title 9, the "Georgia Civil Practice Act"; to amend Code Section 44-13-100 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to exemptions for the purposes of bankruptcy and intestate insolvent estates, so as to change provisions relating to an exemption; to provide for a short title; to provide for legislative intent; 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 SHORT TITLE SECTION 1-1.

(a) This Act shall be known and may be cited as the "Debtor-Creditor Uniform Law Modernization Act of 2015." (b) To promote consistency among the states, it is the intent of the General Assembly to modernize certain existing uniform laws promulgated by the Uniform Law Commission affecting debtor and creditor rights, responsibilities, and relationships and other federally recognized laws affecting such rights, responsibilities, and relationships.

PART II "UNIFORM FOREIGN-COUNTRY MONEY JUDGMENTS RECOGNITION ACT"
SECTION 2-1.

Chapter 12 of Title 9 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to verdict and judgment, is amended by revising Article 5, relating to the "Georgia Foreign Money Judgments Recognition Act," as follows:

"ARTICLE 5

9-12-110. This article shall be known and may be cited as the 'Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act.'

9-12-111. As used in this article, the term:
(1) 'Foreign country' means a government other than: (A) The United States;

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(B) Any state, district, commonwealth, territory, or insular possession of the United States; or (C) Any other government with regard to which the decision in this state as to whether to recognize a judgment of such government's court is initially subject to determination under the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution. (2) 'Foreign-country judgment' means any judgment of a court of a foreign country.

9-12-112. (a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this Code section, this article applies to any foreign-country judgment to the extent that such judgment:
(1) Grants or denies recovery of a sum of money; and (2) Under the law of the foreign country where rendered, is final, conclusive, and enforceable. (b) This article shall not apply to a foreign-country judgment, even if such judgment grants or denies recovery of a sum of money, to the extent that such judgment is: (1) A judgment for taxes; (2) A fine or other penalty; or (3) A judgment for divorce, support, or maintenance, or any other judgment rendered in connection with domestic relations. (c) A party seeking recognition of a foreign-country judgment has the burden of establishing that this article applies to such foreign-country judgment.

9-12-113. (a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this Code section, a court of this state shall recognize a foreign-country judgment meeting the requirements of Code Section 9-12-112. (b) A court of this state shall not recognize a foreign-country judgment if:
(1) The judgment was rendered under a judicial system that does not provide impartial tribunals or procedures compatible with the requirements of due process of law; (2) The foreign court did not have personal jurisdiction over the defendant; or (3) The foreign court did not have jurisdiction over the subject matter. (4) The defendant in the proceedings in the foreign court did not receive notice of the proceedings in sufficient time to enable the defendant to defend; (5) The judgment was obtained by fraud that deprived the losing party of an adequate opportunity to present its case; (6) The judgment or cause of action on which the judgment is based is repugnant to the public policy of this state or of the United States; (7) The judgment conflicts with another final and conclusive judgment; (8) The proceedings in the foreign court were contrary to an agreement between the parties under which the dispute in question was to be determined otherwise than by proceedings in such foreign court;

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(9) In the case of jurisdiction based only on personal service, the foreign court was a seriously inconvenient forum for the trial of the action; (10) The judgment was rendered in circumstances that raise substantial doubt about the integrity of the rendering court with respect to such judgment; or (11) The specific proceeding in the foreign court leading to the judgment was not compatible with the requirements of due process of law. (c) A party resisting recognition of a foreign-country judgment has the burden of establishing that a ground for nonrecognition stated in subsection (b) of this Code section exists.

9-12-114. (a) A foreign-country judgment shall not be refused recognition for lack of personal jurisdiction if:
(1) The defendant was served personally in the foreign country; (2) The defendant voluntarily appeared in the proceedings other than for the purpose of protecting property seized or threatened with seizure in the proceedings or of contesting the jurisdiction of the court over the defendant; (3) Prior to the commencement of the proceedings, the defendant had agreed to submit to the jurisdiction of the foreign court, with respect to the subject matter involved; (4) The defendant was domiciled in the foreign country when the proceedings were instituted or was a corporation or other form of business organization that had its principal place of business in or was organized under the laws of the foreign country; (5) The defendant had a business office in the foreign country and the proceedings in the foreign court involved a cause of action arising out of business done by the defendant through that office in the foreign country; or (6) The defendant operated a motor vehicle or airplane in the foreign country and the proceedings involved a cause of action arising out of such operation. (b) The courts of this state may recognize other bases of personal jurisdiction other than those listed in subsection (a) of this Code section.

9-12-115. (a) If recognition of a foreign-country judgment is sought as an original matter, the issue of recognition shall be raised by filing an action seeking recognition of such foreign-country judgment. (b) If recognition of a foreign-country judgment is sought in a pending action, the issue of recognition may be raised by counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim. (c) Chapter 11 of this title shall apply to any claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim for recognition of a foreign-country judgment.

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9-12-116. If the court in a proceeding under Code Section 9-12-115 finds that the foreign-country judgment is entitled to recognition under this article then, to the extent that the foreign-country judgment grants or denies recovery of a sum of money, the foreign-country judgment is:
(1) Conclusive between the parties to the same extent as the judgment of a sister state entitled to full faith and credit in this state would be conclusive; and (2) Enforceable in the same manner and to the same extent as a judgment rendered in this state.

9-12-117. If a party establishes that an appeal from a foreign-country judgment is pending or will be taken, the court may stay the proceedings with regard to the foreign-country judgment until the time for appeal expires or the appellant has had sufficient time to prosecute the appeal and has failed to do so.

9-12-118. In applying and construing this article, consideration shall be given to the need to promote uniformity of the law with respect to its subject matter among states that enact the 'Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act.'

9-12-119. This article does not prevent the recognition under principles of comity or otherwise of a foreign-country judgment not within the scope of this article."

PART IIIA NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF COMMISSIONERS ON UNIFORM STATE LAWS RECOMMENDED CHANGES TO THE COMMERCIAL CODE
SECTION 3A-1.

Title 11 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the commercial code, is amended by revising Article 1, relating to general provisions, as follows:

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"ARTICLE 1 GENERAL PROVISIONS
Part 1 General Provisions

11-1-101. Short titles. (a) This Title 11 shall be known as and may be cited as the 'Uniform Commercial Code.' (b) This article shall be known as and may be cited as the 'Uniform Commercial Code General Provisions.'

11-1-102. Scope of article. This article shall apply to a transaction to the extent that it is governed by another article of this title.

11-1-103. Rules of construction to promote purposes and policies; applicability of supplemental principles of law. (a) This title shall be liberally construed and applied to promote its underlying purposes and policies which are:
(1) To simplify, clarify, and modernize the law governing commercial transactions; (2) To permit the continued expansion of commercial practices through custom, usage, and agreement of the parties; and (3) To make uniform the law among the various jurisdictions. (b) Unless displaced by the particular provisions of this title, the principles of law and equity, including the law merchant and the law relative to capacity to contract, principal and agent, estoppel, fraud, misrepresentation, duress, coercion, mistake, bankruptcy, and other validating or invalidating cause shall supplement its provisions.

11-1-104. Construction against implicit repeal. This title being a general act intended as a unified coverage of its subject matter, no part of it shall be deemed to be impliedly repealed by subsequent legislation if such construction can reasonably be avoided.

11-1-105. Severability. If any provision or clause of this title or application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of this title which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this title are declared to be severable.

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11-1-106. Use of singular and plural; gender. In this title unless the statutory context otherwise requires:
(1) Words in the singular number include the plural, and words in the plural include the singular; and (2) Words of any gender also refer to any other gender.

11-1-107. Section captions. Section captions are parts of this title.

11-1-108. Relation to electronic signatures in Global and National Commerce Act. This article modifies, limits, and supersedes the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, 15 U.S.C. Section 7001, et seq., but shall not modify, limit, or supersede Section 101(c) of that act, 15 U.S.C. Section 7001(c), or authorize electronic delivery of any of the notices described in Section 103(b) of that act, 15 U.S.C. Section 7003(b).

Part 2 General Definitions and Principles of Interpretation

11-1-201. General definitions. (a) Unless the context otherwise requires, words or phrases defined in this Code section, or in the additional definitions contained in other articles of this title that apply to particular articles or parts thereof, have the meanings stated. (b) Subject to additional definitions contained in the other articles of this title that are applicable to specific articles or parts thereof, in this title:
(1) 'Action' in the sense of a judicial proceeding includes recoupment, counterclaim, setoff, suit in equity, and any other proceedings in which rights are determined. (2) 'Aggrieved party' means a party entitled to pursue a remedy. (3) 'Agreement,' as distinguished from 'contract,' means the bargain of the parties in fact as found in their language or inferred from other circumstances including course of performance, course of dealing, or usage of trade as provided in Code Section 11-1-303. (4) 'Bank' means a person engaged in the business of banking and includes a savings bank, savings and loan association, credit union, or trust company. (5) 'Bearer' means a person in control of a negotiable instrument, document of title, or certificated security payable to bearer or indorsed in blank. (6) 'Bill of lading' means a document evidencing the receipt of goods for shipment issued by a person engaged in the business of transporting or forwarding goods. (7) 'Branch' includes a separately incorporated foreign branch of a bank. (8) 'Burden of establishing' a fact means the burden of persuading the trier of fact that the existence of the fact is more probable than its nonexistence.

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(9) 'Buyer in ordinary course of business' means a person that buys goods in good faith without knowledge that the sale violates the rights of another person in the goods, and in the ordinary course from a person, other than a pawnbroker, in the business of selling goods of that kind. A person buys goods in the ordinary course if the sale to the person comports with the usual or customary practices in the kind of business in which the seller is engaged or with the seller's own usual or customary practices. A person that sells oil, gas, or other minerals at the wellhead or minehead is a person in the business of selling goods of that kind. A buyer in the ordinary course of business may buy for cash, by exchange of other property, or on secured or unsecured credit, and may acquire goods or documents of title under a preexisting contract for sale. Only a buyer that takes possession of the goods or has a right to recover the goods from the seller under Article 2 of this title may be a buyer in ordinary course of business. A person that acquires goods in a transfer in bulk or as security for or in total or partial satisfaction of a money debt is not a buyer in ordinary course of business. (10) 'Conspicuous,' with reference to a term, means so written, displayed, or presented that a reasonable person against which it is to operate ought to have noticed it. Whether a term is 'conspicuous' or not is a decision for the court. Conspicuous terms include the following:
(A) A heading in capitals equal to or greater in size than the surrounding text, or in contrasting type, font, or color to the surrounding text of the same or lesser size; and (B) Language in the body of a record or display in larger type than the surrounding text, or in contrasting type, font, or color to the surrounding text of the same size, or set off from the surrounding text of the same size by symbols or other marks that call attention to the language. (11) 'Consumer' means an individual who enters into a transaction primarily for personal, family, or household purposes. (12) 'Contract,' as distinguished from 'agreement,' means the total legal obligation that results from the parties' agreement as determined by this title and any other applicable law. (13) 'Creditor' includes a general creditor, a secured creditor, a lien creditor and any representative of creditors, including an assignee for the benefit of creditors, a trustee in bankruptcy, a receiver in equity, and an executor or administrator of an insolvent debtor's or assignor's estate. (14) 'Defendant' includes a person in the position of defendant in a counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim. (15) 'Delivery' with respect to an instrument, document of title, or chattel paper means voluntary transfer of possession. (16) 'Document of title' includes a bill of lading, dock warrant, dock receipt, warehouse receipt, or order for delivery of goods and any other document which in the regular course of business or financing is treated as adequately evidencing that the person in possession of it is entitled to receive, hold, and dispose of the document and the goods it covers. To be a document of title, a document must purport to be issued by or addressed to a bailee

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and purport to cover goods in the bailee's possession which are either identified or are fungible portions of an identified mass. (17) 'Fault' means a default, breach, or wrongful act or omission. (18) 'Fungible goods' means:
(A) Goods of which any unit is, by nature or usage of trade, the equivalent of any other like unit; or (B) Goods that by agreement are treated as equivalent. (19) 'Genuine' means free of forgery or counterfeiting. (20) 'Good faith,' except as otherwise provided in Article 5 of this title, means honesty in fact and the observance of reasonable commercial standards of fair dealing. (21) 'Holder' means: (A) The person in possession of a negotiable instrument that is payable either to bearer or to an identified person that is the person in possession; or (B) The person in possession of a document of title if the goods are deliverable either to bearer or to the order of the person in possession. (22) 'Insolvency proceeding' includes any assignment for the benefit of creditors or other proceeding intended to liquidate or rehabilitate the estate of the person involved. (23) 'Insolvent' means: (A) Having generally ceased to pay debts in the ordinary course of business other than as a result of bona fide dispute; (B) Being unable to pay debts as they become due; or (C) Being insolvent within the meaning of the federal bankruptcy law. (24) 'Money' means a medium of exchange authorized or adopted by a domestic or foreign government and includes a monetary unit of account established by an intergovernmental organization or by agreement between two or more countries. (25) 'Organization' means a person other than an individual. (26) 'Party,' as distinct from 'third party,' means a person who has engaged in a transaction or made an agreement subject to this title. (27) 'Person' means an individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, government, governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality, public corporation, or any other legal or commercial entity. (28) 'Present value' means the amount as of a date certain of one or more sums payable in the future, discounted to the date certain by use of either an interest rate specified by the parties if that rate is not manifestly unreasonable at the time the transaction is entered into or, if an interest rate is not so specified, a commercially reasonable rate that takes into account the facts and circumstances at the time the transaction is entered into. (29) 'Purchase' means taking by sale, discount, negotiation, mortgage, pledge, lien, security interest, issue or reissue, gift, or any other voluntary transaction creating an interest in property. (30) 'Purchaser' means a person who takes by purchase.

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(31) 'Record' means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form. (32) 'Remedy' means any remedial right to which an aggrieved party is entitled with or without resort to a tribunal. (33) 'Representative' means a person empowered to act for another, including an agent, an officer of a corporation or association, and a trustee, executor or administrator of an estate. (34) 'Rights' includes remedies. (35) 'Security interest' means an interest in personal property or fixtures which secures payment or performance of an obligation. The term also includes any interest of a consignor and a buyer of accounts, chattel paper, a payment intangible, or a promissory note in a transaction that is subject to Article 9 of this title. The term does not include the special property interest of a buyer of goods on identification of those goods to a contract for sale under Code Section 11-2-401, but a buyer may also acquire a 'security interest' by complying with Article 9 of this title. Except as otherwise provided in Code Section 11-2-505, the right of a seller or lessor of goods under Article 2 or 2A of this title to retain or acquire possession of the goods is not a 'security interest,' but a seller or lessor may also acquire a 'security interest' by complying with Article 9 of this title. The retention or reservation of title by a seller of goods notwithstanding shipment or delivery to the buyer under Code Section 11-2-401 is limited in effect to a reservation of a 'security interest.' Whether a transaction in the form of a lease creates a 'security interest' shall be etermined pursuant to Code Section 11-1-203. (36) 'Send' in connection with a writing, record, or notice means:
(A) To deposit in the mail or deliver for transmission by any other usual means of communication with postage or cost of transmission provided for and properly addressed and, in the case of an instrument, to an address specified thereon or otherwise agreed, or if there be none to any address reasonable under the circumstances; or (B) In any other way to cause to be received any record or notice within the time it would have arrived if properly sent. (37) 'Signed' includes using any symbol executed or adopted with present intention to adopt or accept a writing. (38) 'State' means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. (39) 'Surety' includes a guarantor or other secondary obligor. (40) 'Term' means that portion of an agreement that relates to a particular matter. (41) 'Unauthorized signature' means a signature made without actual, implied, or apparent authority. The term includes a forgery. (42) 'Warehouse receipt' means a receipt issued by a person engaged in the business of storing goods for hire.

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(43) 'Written' or 'writing' includes printing, typewriting, or any other intentional reduction to tangible form.

11-1-202. Notice; knowledge. (a) Subject to subsection (f) of this Code section, a person has 'notice' of a fact if the person:
(1) Has actual knowledge of it; (2) Has received a notice or notification of it; or (3) From all the facts and circumstances known to the person at the time in question, has reason to know that it exists. (b) 'Knows' or 'knowledge' means actual knowledge. (c) 'Discover,' 'learn,' or words of similar import refer to knowledge rather than to reason to know. (d) A person 'notifies' or 'gives' a notice or notification to another person by taking such steps as may be reasonably required to inform the other person in the ordinary course, whether or not the other person actually comes to know of it. (e) Subject to subsection (f) of this Code section, a person 'receives' a notice or notification when: (1) It comes to that person's attention; or (2) It is duly delivered in a form reasonable under the circumstances at the place of business through which the contract was made or at another location held out by that person as the place for receipt of such communications. (f) Notice, knowledge, or a notice or notification received by an organization shall be effective for a particular transaction from the time it is brought to the attention of the individual conducting that transaction and, in any event, from the time it would have been brought to the individual's attention if the organization had exercised due diligence. An organization exercises due diligence if it maintains reasonable routines for communicating significant information to the person conducting the transaction and there is reasonable compliance with the routines. Due diligence does not require an individual acting for the organization to communicate information unless the communication is part of the individual's regular duties or the individual has reason to know of the transaction and that the transaction would be materially affected by the information.

11-1-203. Lease distinguished from security interest. (a) Whether a transaction in the form of a lease creates a security interest is determined by the facts of each case. (b) A transaction in the form of a lease creates a security interest if the consideration that the lessee is to pay to the lessor for the right to possession and use of the goods is an obligation for the term of the lease and is not subject to termination by the lessee, and:
(1) The original term of the lease is equal to or greater than the remaining economic life of the goods;

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(2) The lessee is bound to renew the lease for the remaining economic life of the goods or is bound to become the owner of the goods; (3) The lessee has an option to renew the lease for the remaining economic life of the goods for no additional consideration or nominal additional consideration upon compliance with the lease agreement; or (4) The lessee has an option to become the owner of the goods for no additional consideration or nominal additional consideration upon compliance with the lease agreement. (c) A transaction in the form of a lease does not create a security interest merely because: (1) The present value of the consideration the lessee is obligated to pay the lessor for the right to possession and use of the goods is substantially equal to or is greater than the fair market value of the goods at the time the lease is entered into; (2) The lessee assumes risk of loss of the goods; (3) The lessee agrees to pay, with respect to the goods, taxes, insurance, filing, recording, or registration fees, or service or maintenance costs; (4) The lessee has an option to renew the lease or to become the owner of the goods; (5) The lessee has an option to renew the lease for a fixed rent that is equal to or greater than the reasonably predictable fair market rent for the use of the goods for the term of the renewal at the time the option is to be performed; or (6) The lessee has an option to become the owner of the goods for a fixed price that is equal to or greater than the reasonably predictable fair market value of the goods at the time the option is to be performed. (d) Additional consideration is nominal if it is less than the lessee's reasonably predictable cost of performing under the lease agreement if the option is not exercised. Additional consideration is not nominal if: (1) When the option to renew the lease is granted to the lessee, the rent is stated to be the fair market rent for the use of the goods for the term of the renewal determined at the time the option is to be performed; or (2) When the option to become the owner of the goods is granted to the lessee, the price is stated to be the fair market value of the goods determined at the time the option is to be performed. (e) The 'remaining economic life of the goods' and 'reasonably predictable' fair market rent, fair market value, or cost of performing under the lease agreement must be determined with reference to the facts and circumstances at the time the transaction is entered into.

11-1-204. Value. Except as otherwise provided in Articles 3, 4, 5, and 6 of this title, a person gives value for rights if the person acquires them:
(1) In return for a binding commitment to extend credit or for the extension of immediately available credit, whether or not drawn upon and whether or not a charge-back is provided for in the event of difficulties in collection;

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(2) As security for, or in total or partial satisfaction of, a preexisting claim; (3) By accepting delivery under a preexisting contract for purchase; or (4) In return for any consideration sufficient to support a simple contract.

11-1-205. Reasonable time; seasonableness. (a) Whether a time for taking any action required by this title is reasonable depends on the nature, purpose, and circumstances of such action. (b) An action is taken 'seasonably' if it is taken at or within the time agreed, or if no time is agreed, at or within a reasonable time.

11-1-206. Presumptions. Whenever this title creates a 'presumption' with respect to a fact, or provides that a fact is 'presumed,' the trier of fact must find the existence of the fact presumed unless and until evidence is introduced that supports a finding of its nonexistence.

Part 3 Territorial Applicability and General Rules

11-1-301. Territorial applicability; parties' power to choose applicable law. (a) Except as otherwise provided in this Code section, when a transaction bears a reasonable relation to this state and also to another state or nation the parties may agree that the law either of this state or of such other state or nation shall govern their rights and duties. (b) In the absence of an agreement under subsection (a) of this Code section, and except as provided in subsection (c) of this Code section, this title applies to transactions bearing an appropriate relation to this state. (c) If one of the following provisions of this title specifies the applicable law, that provision governs and a contrary agreement is effective only to the extent permitted by the law so specified:
(1) Code Section 11-2-402; (2) Code Sections 11-2A-105 and 11-2A-106; (3) Code Section 11-4-102; (4) Code Section 11-4A-507; (5) Code Section 11-5-116; (6) Code Section 11-6-103; (7) Code Section 11-8-110; or (8) Code Sections 11-9-301 through 11-9-307.

11-1-302. Variation by agreement. (a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this Code section or elsewhere in this title, the effect of provisions of this title may be varied by agreement.

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(b) The obligations of good faith, diligence, reasonableness, and care prescribed by this title may not be disclaimed by agreement. The parties may by agreement determine the standards by which the performance of such obligations is to be measured if such standards are not manifestly unreasonable. Whenever this title requires an action to be taken within a reasonable time, a time that is not manifestly unreasonable may be fixed by agreement. (c) The presence in certain provisions of this title of the phrase 'unless otherwise agreed' or words of similar import does not imply that the effect of other provisions may not be varied by agreement under this Code section.

11-1-303. Course of performance, course of dealing, and usage of trade. (a) A 'course of performance' is a sequence of conduct between the parties to a particular transaction that exists if:
(1) The agreement of the parties with respect to the transaction involves repeated occasions for performance by a party; and (2) The other party, with knowledge of the nature of the performance and opportunity for objection to it, accepts the performance or acquiesces in it without objection. (b) A 'course of dealing' is a sequence of conduct concerning previous transactions between the parties to a particular transaction that is fairly to be regarded as establishing a common basis of understanding for interpreting their expressions and other conduct. (c) A 'usage of trade' is any practice or method of dealing having such regularity of observance in a place, vocation, or trade as to justify an expectation that it will be observed with respect to the transaction in question. The existence and scope of such a usage must be proved as facts. If it is established that such a usage is embodied in a trade code or similar record, the interpretation of the record is a question of law. (d) A course of performance or course of dealing between the parties or usage of trade in the vocation or trade in which they are engaged or of which they are or should be aware is relevant in ascertaining the meaning of the parties' agreement, may give particular meaning to specific terms of the agreement, and may supplement or qualify the terms of the agreement. A usage of trade applicable in the place in which part of the performance under the agreement is to occur may be so utilized as to that part of the performance. (e) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (f) of this Code section, the express terms of an agreement and any applicable course of performance, course of dealing, or usage of trade shall be construed whenever reasonable as consistent with each other. If such a construction is unreasonable: (1) Express terms prevail over course of performance, course of dealing, and usage of trade; (2) Course of performance prevails over course of dealing and usage of trade; and (3) Course of dealing prevails over usage of trade. (f) Subject to Code Section 11-2-209, a course of performance is relevant to show a waiver or modification of any term inconsistent with the course of performance.

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(g) Evidence of a relevant usage of trade offered by one party shall not be admissible unless that party has given the other party notice that the court finds sufficient to prevent unfair surprise to the other party.

11-1-304. Obligation of good faith. Every contract or duty within this title imposes an obligation of good faith in its performance and enforcement.

11-1-305. Remedies to be liberally administered. (a) The remedies provided by this title shall be liberally administered to the end that the aggrieved party may be put in as good a position as if the other party had fully performed but neither consequential or special damages nor penal damages may be had except as specifically provided in this title or by other rule of law. (b) Any right or obligation declared by this title shall be enforceable by action unless the provision declaring it specifies a different and limited effect.

11-1-306. Waiver or renunciation of claim or right after breach. A claim or right arising out of an alleged breach may be discharged in whole or in part without consideration by agreement of the aggrieved party in an authenticated record.

11-1-307. Prima-facie evidence by third party documents. A document in due form purporting to be a bill of lading, policy or certificate of insurance, official weigher's or inspector's certificate, consular invoice, or any other document authorized or required by the contract to be issued by a third party shall be prima-facie evidence of its own authenticity and genuineness and of the facts stated in the document by the third party.

11-1-308. Performance or acceptance under reservation of rights. (a) A party who, with explicit reservation of rights, performs or promises performance or assents to performance in a manner demanded or offered by the other party does not thereby prejudice the rights reserved. Such words as 'without prejudice,' 'under protest,' or the like are sufficient. (b) Subsection (a) of this Code section shall not apply to an accord and satisfaction.

11-1-309. Option to accelerate at will. A term providing that one party or that party's successor in interest may accelerate payment or performance or require collateral or additional collateral 'at will' or when the party 'deems itself insecure' or words of similar import shall be construed to mean that the party shall have power to do so only if that party in good faith believes that the prospect of payment or performance is impaired. The burden of establishing lack of good faith is on the party against whom the power has been exercised.

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11-1-310. Subordinated obligations. An obligation may be issued as subordinated to performance of another obligation of the person obligated, or a creditor may subordinate its right to performance of an obligation by agreement with either the person obligated or another creditor of the person obligated. Such a subordination does not create a security interest as against either the common debtor or a subordinated creditor."

PART IIIB CONFORMING CROSS-REFERENCES
IN THE UCC TO PART IIIA SECTION 3B-1.

Said title is further amended by revising subsection (1) of Code Section 11-2-103, relating to definitions and index of definitions, as follows:
"(1) In this article unless the context otherwise requires: (a) 'Buyer' means a person who buys or contracts to buy goods. (b) Reserved. (c) 'Receipt' of goods means taking physical possession of them. (d) 'Seller' means a person who sells or contracts to sell goods."

SECTION 3B-2. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 11-2-202, relating to final written expression and parol or extrinsic evidence, as follows:
"11-2-202. Final written expression; parol or extrinsic evidence. Terms with respect to which the confirmatory memoranda of the parties agree or which are otherwise set forth in a writing intended by the parties as a final expression of their agreement with respect to such terms as are included therein may not be contradicted by evidence of any prior agreement or of a contemporaneous oral agreement but may be explained or supplemented:
(a) By course of performance, course of dealing, or usage of trade (Code Section 11-1-303); and (b) By evidence of consistent additional terms unless the court finds the writing to have been intended also as a complete and exclusive statement of the terms of the agreement."

SECTION 3B-3. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 11-2-208, relating to course of performance or practical construction, as follows:
"11-2-208. Reserved.

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SECTION 3B-4. Said title is further amended by revising subsection (3) of Code Section 11-2A-103, relating to definitions and index of definitions, as follows:
"(3) The following definitions in other articles of this title apply to this article: 'Account.' Code Section 11-9-102(a). 'Between merchants.' Code Section 11-2-104(3). 'Buyer.' Code Section 11-2-103(1)(a). 'Chattel paper.' Code Section 11-9-102(a). 'Consumer goods.' Code Section 11-9-102(a). 'Document.' Code Section 11-9-102(a). 'Entrusting.' Code Section 11-2-403(3). 'General intangible.' Code Section 11-9-102(a). 'Instrument.' Code Section 11-9-102(a). 'Merchant.' Code Section 11-2-104(1). 'Mortgage.' Code Section 11-9-102(a). 'Pursuant to commitment.' Code Section 11-9-102(a). 'Receipt.' Code Section 11-2-103(1)(c). 'Sale.' Code Section 11-2-106(1). 'Sale on approval.' Code Section 11-2-326. 'Sale or return.' Code Section 11-2-326. 'Seller.' Code Section 11-2-103(1)(d)."

SECTION 3B-5. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 11-2A-207, relating to course of performance or practical construction, as follows:
"11-2A-207. Reserved.

SECTION 3B-6. Said title is further amended by revising subsection (4) of Code Section 11-2A-501, relating to default and procedure, as follows:
"(4) Except as otherwise provided in Code Section 11-1-305(a) or this article or the lease agreement, the rights and remedies referred to in subsections (2) and (3) are cumulative."

SECTION 3B-7. Said title is further amended by revising subsection (2) of Code Section 11-2A-518, relating to cover and substitute goods, as follows:
"(2) Except as otherwise provided with respect to damages liquidated in the lease agreement (Code Section 11-2A-504) or otherwise determined pursuant to agreement of the parties (Code Sections 11-1-302 and 11-2A-503), if a lessee's cover is by a lease agreement substantially similar to the original lease agreement and the new lease agreement is made

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in good faith and in a commercially reasonable manner, the lessee may recover from the lessor as damages (i) the present value, as of the date of the commencement of the term of the new lease agreement, of the rent under the new lease agreement applicable to that period of the new lease term which is comparable to the then remaining term of the original lease agreement minus the present value as of the same date of the total rent for the then remaining lease term of the original lease agreement, and (ii) any incidental or consequential damages, less expenses saved in consequence of the lessor's default."

SECTION 3B-8. Said title is further amended by revising subsection (1) of Code Section 11-2A-519, relating to lessee's damages for non-delivery, repudiation, default, and breach of warranty in regard to accepted goods, as follows:
"(1) Except as otherwise provided with respect to damages liquidated in the lease agreement (Code Section 11-2A-504) or otherwise determined pursuant to agreement of the parties (Code Sections 11-1-302 and 11-2A-503), if a lessee elects not to cover or a lessee elects to cover and the cover is by lease agreement that for any reason does not qualify for treatment under Code Section 11-2A-518(2), or is by purchase or otherwise, the measure of damages for non-delivery or repudiation by the lessor or for rejection or revocation of acceptance by the lessee is the present value, as of the date of the default, of the then market rent minus the present value as of the same date of the original rent, computed for the remaining lease term of the original lease agreement, together with incidental and consequential damages, less expenses saved in consequence of the lessor's default."

SECTION 3B-9. Said title is further amended by revising subsection (2) of Code Section 11-2A-527, relating to lessor's rights to dispose of goods, as follows:
"(2) Except as otherwise provided with respect to damages liquidated in the lease agreement (Code Section 11-2A-504) or otherwise determined pursuant to agreement of the parties (Code Sections 11-1-302 and 11-2A-503), if the disposition is by lease agreement substantially similar to the original lease agreement and the new lease agreement is made in good faith and in a commercially reasonable manner, the lessor may recover from the lessee as damages (i) accrued and unpaid rent as of the date of the commencement of the term of the new lease agreement, (ii) the present value, as of the same date, of the total rent for the then remaining lease term of the original lease agreement minus the present value, as of the same date, of the rent under the new lease agreement applicable to that period of the new lease term which is comparable to the then remaining term of the original lease agreement, and (iii) any incidental damages allowed under Code Section 11-2A-530, less expenses saved in consequence of the lessee's default."

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SECTION 3B-10. Said title is further amended by revising subsection (1) of Code Section 11-2A-528, relating to lessor's damages for nonacceptance, failure to pay, repudiation, or other default, as follows:
"(1) Except as otherwise provided with respect to damages liquidated in the lease agreement (Code Section 11-2A-504) or otherwise determined pursuant to agreement of the parties (Code Sections 11-1-302 and 11-2A-503), if a lessor elects to retain the goods or a lessor elects to dispose of the goods and the disposition is by lease agreement that for any reason does not qualify for treatment under Code Section 11-2A-527(2), or is by sale or otherwise, the lessor may recover from the lessee as damages for a default of the type described in Code Section 11-2A-523(1) or 11-2A-523(3)(a), or, if agreed, for other default of the lessee, (i) accrued and unpaid rent as of the date of default if the lessee has never taken possession of the goods, or, if the lessee has taken possession of the goods, as of the date the lessor repossesses the goods or an earlier date on which the lessee makes a tender of the goods to the lessor, (ii) the present value as of the date determined under clause (i) of the total rent for the then remaining lease term of the original lease agreement minus the present value as of the same date of the market rent at the place where the goods are located computed for the same lease term, and (iii) any incidental damages allowed under Code Section 11-2A-530, less expenses saved in consequence of the lessee's default."

SECTION 3B-11. Said title is further amended by revising paragraphs (4) and (10) of subsection (a) of Code Section 11-3-103, relating to definitions, as follows:
"(4) Reserved. " "(10) 'Prove' with respect to a fact means to meet the burden of establishing the fact within the meaning of Code Section 11-1-201(b)(8)."

SECTION 3B-12. Said title is further amended by revising subsection (c) of Code Section 11-4-104, relating to definitions and index of definitions, as follows:
"(c) 'Control' as provided in Code Section 11-7-106 and the following definitions in other articles of this title apply to this article:
'Acceptance.' Code Section 11-3-409. 'Alteration.' Code Section 11-3-407. 'Cashier's check.' Code Section 11-3-104. 'Certificate of deposit.' Code Section 11-3-104. 'Certified check.' Code Section 11-3-409. 'Check.' Code Section 11-3-104. 'Holder in due course.' Code Section 11-3-302. 'Instrument.' Code Section 11-3-104. 'Notice of dishonor.' Code Section 11-3-503. 'Order.' Code Section 11-3-103.

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'Ordinary care.' Code Section 11-3-103. 'Person entitled to enforce.' Code Section 11-3-301. 'Presentment.' Code Section 11-3-501. 'Promise.' Code Section 11-3-103. 'Prove.' Code Section 11-3-103. 'Teller's check.' Code Section 11-3-104. 'Unauthorized signature.' Code Section 11-3-403."

SECTION 3B-13. Said title is further amended by revising paragraphs (6) and (7) of subsection (a) of Code Section 11-4A-105, relating to other definitions, as follows:
"(6) Reserved. (7) 'Prove' with respect to a fact means to meet the burden of establishing the fact (Code Section 11-1-201(b)(8))."

SECTION 3B-14. Said title is further amended by revising subsection (a) of Code Section 11-4A-106, relating to time payment order is received, as follows:
"(a) The time of receipt of a payment order or communication canceling or amending a payment order is determined by the rules applicable to receipt of a notice stated in Code Section 11-1-202. A receiving bank may fix a cut-off time or times on a funds-transfer business day for the receipt and processing of payment orders and communications canceling or amending payment orders. Different cut-off times may apply to payment orders, cancellations, or amendments, or to different categories of payment orders, cancellations, or amendments. A cut-off time may apply to senders generally or different cut-off times may apply to different senders or categories of payment orders. If a payment order or communication canceling or amending a payment order is received after the close of a funds-transfer business day or after the appropriate cut-off time on a funds-transfer business day, the receiving bank may treat the payment order or communication as received at the opening of the next funds-transfer business day."

SECTION 3B-15. Said title is further amended by revising subsection (b) of Code Section 11-4A-204, relating to refund of payment and duty of customer to report with respect to unauthorized payment order, as follows:
"(b) Reasonable time under subsection (a) of this Code section may be fixed by agreement as stated in subsection (b) of Code Section 11-1-302, but the obligation of a receiving bank to refund payment as stated in subsection (a) of this Code section may not otherwise be varied by agreement."

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SECTION 3B-16. Said title is further amended by revising subsection (c) of Code Section 11-5-103, relating to scope, as follows:
"(c) With the exception of subsections (a), (b), and (d) of this Code section, paragraphs (9) and (10) of subsection (a) of Code Section 11-5-102, subsection (d) of Code Section 11-5-106, and subsection (d) of Code Section 11-5-114 and except to the extent prohibited in Code Section 11-1-302 and subsection (d) of Code Section 11-5-117, the effect of this article may be varied by agreement or by a provision stated or incorporated by reference in an undertaking. A term in an agreement or undertaking generally excusing liability or generally limiting remedies for failure to perform obligations is not sufficient to vary obligations prescribed by this article."

SECTION 3B-17. Said title is further amended by revising paragraph (10) of subsection (a) of Code Section 11-8-102, relating to definitions, as follows:
"(10) Reserved. "

SECTION 3B-18. Said title is further amended by revising paragraph (44) of subsection (a) of Code Section 11-9-102, relating to definitions and index of definitions, as follows:
"(44) Reserved. "

SECTION 3B-19. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 11-11-101, relating to effective date and definition, as follows:
"11-11-101. Effective date. This Act shall become effective at 12:01 A.M. on July 1, 1978."

PART IIIC CONFORMING CROSS-REFERENCES
IN THE CODE TO PART IIIA SECTION 3C-1.

Title 7 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to banking and finance, is amended by revising paragraph (29) of Code Section 7-1-4, relating to definitions, as follows:
"(29) 'Public sale' means a sale: (A) Held at a place reasonably available to persons who might desire to attend and submit bids; (B) At which those attending shall be given the opportunity to bid on a competitive basis; (C) At which the sale, if made, shall be made to the highest and best bidder; and

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(D) Except as otherwise provided in Title 11 for advertising or dispensing with the advertising of public sales, of which notice is given by advertisement once a week for two weeks in the newspaper in which the sheriff's advertisements are published in the county where the sale is to be held, and which notice shall state the day and hour, between 9:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M., and the place of sale and shall briefly identify the goods to be sold."

SECTION 3C-2. Said title is further amended by revising paragraph (23) of Code Section 7-1-680, relating to definitions, as follows:
"(23) 'Signed' shall have the same meaning as provided in Code Section 11-1-201."

SECTION 3C-3. Title 10 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to commerce and trade, is amended by revising paragraph (8) of Code Section 10-1-622, relating to definitions, as follows:
"(8) 'Good faith' means honesty in fact and the observation of reasonable commercial standards of fair dealing in the trade as defined in Code Section 11-1-201."

SECTION 3C-4. Said title is further amended by revising subsection (b) of Code Section 10-12-3, relating to the applicability to electronic records and signatures relating to a transaction, as follows:
"(b) This chapter shall not apply to a transaction to the extent it is governed by: (1) A law governing the creation and execution of wills, codicils, or testamentary trusts; (2) Title 11 other than Code Section 11-1-306, Article 2, and Article 2A; or (3) The Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act."

SECTION 3C-5. Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to motor vehicles and traffic, is amended by revising subsection (a) of Code Section 40-11-6, relating to sale of vehicle pursuant to foreclosure, as follows:
"(a)(1) As used in this subsection, the term 'public sale' means a sale: (A) Held at a place reasonably available to persons who might desire to attend and submit bids; (B) At which those attending shall be given the opportunity to bid on a competitive basis; (C) At which the sale, if made, shall be made to the highest and best bidder; and (D) Except as otherwise provided in Title 11 for advertising or dispensing with the advertising of public sales, of which notice is given by advertisement once a week for two weeks in the newspaper in which the sheriff's advertisements are published in the county where the sale is to be held, and which notice shall state the day and hour,

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between 9:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M., and the place of sale and shall briefly identify the goods to be sold. (2) Upon order of the court, the person holding the lien on the abandoned motor vehicle shall be authorized to sell such motor vehicle at public sale."

SECTION 3C-6. Title 52 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to waters of the state, ports, and watercraft, is amended by revising subsection (a) of Code Section 52-7-75, relating to public sale of vessel and disposition of excess proceeds, as follows:
"(a)(1) As used in this subsection, the term 'public sale' means a sale: (A) Held at a place reasonably available to persons who might desire to attend and submit bids; (B) At which those attending shall be given the opportunity to bid on a competitive basis; (C) At which the sale, if made, shall be made to the highest and best bidder; and (D) Except as otherwise provided in Title 11 for advertising or dispensing with the advertising of public sales, of which notice is given by advertisement once a week for two weeks in the newspaper in which the sheriff's advertisements are published in the county where the sale is to be held, and which notice shall state the day and hour, between 9:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M., and the place of sale and shall briefly identify the goods to be sold.
(2) Upon order of the court, the person holding the lien on the abandoned vessel shall be authorized to sell such vessel at public sale."

PART IIID REPEAL OF ARTICLE 6 RELATING TO BULK TRANSFERS
SECTION 3D-1.

Title 11 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the commercial code, is amended by repealing Article 6, relating to bulk transfers, and designating said article as reserved.

SECTION 3D-2. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 11-9-111, relating to applicability of bulk transfer laws, as follows: See Compiler's Note, page 1029.

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PART IVA UNIFORM VOIDABLE TRANSACTIONS ACT
SECTION 4A-1.

Chapter 2 of Title 18 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to debtor and creditor relations, is amended by revising Article 4, relating to the "Uniform Fraudulent Transfers Act," as follows:

"ARTICLE 4

18-2-70. This article, which was formerly known and cited as the 'Uniform Fraudulent Transfers Act,' shall be known and may be cited as the 'Uniform Voidable Transactions Act.'

18-2-71. As used in this article, the term:
(1) 'Affiliate' means: (A) A person who directly or indirectly owns, controls, or holds with power to vote, 20 percent or more of the outstanding voting securities of the debtor, other than a person who holds the securities: (i) As a fiduciary or agent without sole discretionary power to vote the securities; or (ii) Solely to secure a debt, if the person has not exercised the power to vote; (B) A corporation 20 percent or more of whose outstanding voting securities are directly or indirectly owned, controlled, or held with power to vote by the debtor or a person who directly or indirectly owns, controls, or holds with power to vote 20 percent or more of the outstanding voting securities of the debtor, other than a person who holds the securities: (i) As a fiduciary or agent without sole power to vote the securities; or (ii) Solely to secure a debt, if the person has not in fact exercised the power to vote; (C) A person whose business is operated by the debtor under a lease or other agreement, or a person substantially all of whose assets are controlled by the debtor; or (D) A person who operates the debtor's business under a lease or other agreement or controls substantially all of the debtor's assets.
(2) 'Asset' means property of a debtor, but the term does not include: (A) Property to the extent it is encumbered by a valid lien; (B) Property to the extent it is generally exempt under nonbankruptcy law; or (C) An interest in property held in tenancy by the entireties to the extent it is not subject to process by a creditor holding a claim against only one tenant.
(3) 'Claim,' except for claim for relief, means a right to payment, whether or not the right is reduced to judgment, liquidated, unliquidated, fixed, contingent, matured, unmatured, disputed, undisputed, legal, equitable, secured, or unsecured.

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(4) 'Creditor' means a person who has a claim, regardless of when the person acquired the claim, together with any successors or assigns. (5) 'Debt' means liability on a claim. (6) 'Debtor' means a person who is liable on a claim. (7) 'Electronic' means relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic, or similar capabilities. (8) 'Insider' includes:
(A) If the debtor is an individual: (i) A relative of the debtor or of a general partner of the debtor; (ii) A partnership in which the debtor is a general partner; (iii) A general partner in a partnership described in division (ii) of this subparagraph; or (iv) A corporation of which the debtor is a director, officer, or person in control;
(B) If the debtor is a corporation: (i) A director of the debtor; (ii) An officer of the debtor; (iii) A person in control of the debtor; (iv) A partnership in which the debtor is a general partner; (v) A general partner in a partnership described in division (iv) of this subparagraph; or (vi) A relative of a general partner, director, officer, or person in control of the debtor;
(C) If the debtor is a partnership: (i) A general partner in the debtor; (ii) A relative of a general partner in, or a general partner of, or a person in control of the debtor; (iii) Another partnership in which the debtor is a general partner; (iv) A general partner in a partnership described in division (iii) of this subparagraph; or (v) A person in control of the debtor;
(D) An affiliate, or an insider of an affiliate as if the affiliate were the debtor; and (E) A managing agent of the debtor. (9) 'Lien' means a charge against or an interest in property to secure payment of a debt or performance of an obligation and includes a security interest created by agreement, a judicial lien obtained by legal or equitable process or proceedings, a common-law lien, or a statutory lien. (10) 'Organization' means a person other than an individual. (11) 'Person' means an individual, public corporation, government or governmental subdivision agency or instrumentality, business or nonprofit entity, estate, or other legal entity. (12) 'Property' means anything that may be the subject of ownership.

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(13) 'Record' means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form. (14) 'Relative' means an individual related by consanguinity within the third degree as determined by the common law, a spouse, or an individual related to a spouse within the third degree as so determined and includes an individual in an adoptive relationship within the third degree. (15) 'Sign' means, with present intent to authenticate or adopt a record:
(A) To execute or adopt a tangible symbol; or (B) To attach to or logically associate with the record an electronic symbol, sound, or process. (16) 'Transfer' means every mode, direct or indirect, absolute or conditional, voluntary or involuntary, of disposing of or parting with an asset or an interest in an asset and includes payment of money, release, lease, and creation of a lien or other encumbrance. (17) 'Valid lien' means a lien that is effective against the holder of a judicial lien subsequently obtained by legal or equitable process or proceedings.

18-2-72. (a) A debtor is insolvent if, at a fair valuation, the sum of the debtor's debts is greater than the sum of the debtor's assets. (b) A debtor who is generally not paying his or her debts as they become due other than as a result of a bona fide dispute is presumed to be insolvent. The presumption imposes on the party against which the presumption is directed the burden of proving that the nonexistence of insolvency is more probable than its existence. (c) Assets under this Code section do not include property that has been transferred, concealed, or removed with intent to hinder, delay, or defraud creditors or that has been transferred in a manner making the transfer voidable under this article. (d) Debts under this Code section do not include an obligation to the extent it is secured by a valid lien on property of the debtor not included as an asset.

18-2-73. (a) Value is given for a transfer or an obligation if, in exchange for the transfer or obligation, property is transferred or an antecedent debt is secured or satisfied, but value does not include an unperformed promise made otherwise than in the ordinary course of the promisor's business to furnish support to the debtor or another person. (b) For the purposes of paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of Code Section 18-2-74 and Code Section 18-2-75, a person gives a reasonably equivalent value if the person acquires an interest of the debtor in an asset pursuant to a regularly conducted, noncollusive foreclosure sale or execution of a power of sale for the acquisition or disposition of the interest of the debtor upon default under a mortgage, deed of trust, or security agreement.

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(c) A transfer is made for present value if the exchange between the debtor and the transferee is intended by them to be contemporaneous and is in fact substantially contemporaneous.

18-2-74. (a) A transfer made or obligation incurred by a debtor is voidable as to a creditor, whether the creditor's claim arose before or after the transfer was made or the obligation was incurred, if the debtor made the transfer or incurred the obligation:
(1) With actual intent to hinder, delay, or defraud any creditor of the debtor; or (2) Without receiving a reasonably equivalent value in exchange for the transfer or obligation, and the debtor:
(A) Was engaged or was about to engage in a business or a transaction for which the remaining assets of the debtor were unreasonably small in relation to the business or transaction; or (B) Intended to incur, or believed or reasonably should have believed that he or she would incur, debts beyond his or her ability to pay as they became due. (b) In determining actual intent under paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section, consideration may be given, among other factors, to whether: (1) The transfer or obligation was to an insider; (2) The debtor retained possession or control of the property transferred after the transfer; (3) The transfer or obligation was disclosed or concealed; (4) Before the transfer was made or obligation was incurred, the debtor had been sued or threatened with suit; (5) The transfer was of substantially all the debtor's assets; (6) The debtor absconded; (7) The debtor removed or concealed assets; (8) The value of the consideration received by the debtor was reasonably equivalent to the value of the asset transferred or the amount of the obligation incurred; (9) The debtor was insolvent or became insolvent shortly after the transfer was made or the obligation was incurred; (10) The transfer occurred shortly before or shortly after a substantial debt was incurred; and (11) The debtor transferred the essential assets of the business to a lienor who transferred the assets to an insider of the debtor. (c) If a creditor is a successor or assignee, a right of action under subsection (a) of this Code section is automatically assigned to such successor or assignee. (d) A creditor making a claim for relief under subsection (a) of this Code section has the burden of proving the elements of the claim for relief by a preponderance of the evidence.

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18-2-75. (a) A transfer made or obligation incurred by a debtor is voidable as to a creditor whose claim arose before the transfer was made or the obligation was incurred if the debtor made the transfer or incurred the obligation without receiving a reasonably equivalent value in exchange for the transfer or obligation and the debtor was insolvent at that time or the debtor became insolvent as a result of the transfer or obligation. (b) A transfer made by a debtor is voidable as to a creditor whose claim arose before the transfer was made if the transfer was made to an insider for an antecedent debt, the debtor was insolvent at that time, and the insider had reasonable cause to believe that the debtor was insolvent. (c) If a creditor is a successor or assignee, a right of action under subsection (a) or (b) of this Code section is automatically assigned to such successor or assignee. (d) Subject to subsection (b) of Code Section 18-2-72, a creditor making a claim for relief under subsection (a) or (b) of this Code section has the burden of proving the elements of the claim for relief by a preponderance of the evidence.

18-2-76. For the purposes of this article:
(1) A transfer is made: (A) With respect to an asset that is real property other than a fixture, but including the interest of a seller or purchaser under a contract for the sale of the asset, when the transfer is so far perfected that a good faith purchaser of the asset from the debtor against whom applicable law permits the transfer to be perfected cannot acquire an interest in the asset that is superior to the interest of the transferee; and (B) With respect to an asset that is not real property or that is a fixture, when the transfer is so far perfected that a creditor on a simple contract cannot acquire a judicial lien otherwise than under this article that is superior to the interest of the transferee;
(2) If applicable law permits the transfer to be perfected as provided in paragraph (1) of this Code section and the transfer is not so perfected before the commencement of an action for relief under this article, the transfer is deemed made immediately before the commencement of the action; (3) If applicable law does not permit the transfer to be perfected as provided in paragraph (1) of this Code section, the transfer is made when it becomes effective between the debtor and the transferee; (4) A transfer is not made until the debtor has acquired rights in the asset transferred; and (5) An obligation is incurred:
(A) If oral, when it becomes effective between the parties; or (B) If evidenced by a record, when the record signed by the obligor is delivered to or for the benefit of the obligee.

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18-2-77. (a) In an action for relief against a transfer or obligation under this article, a creditor, subject to the limitations in Code Section 18-2-78, may obtain:
(1) Avoidance of the transfer or obligation to the extent necessary to satisfy the creditor's claim; (2) An attachment or other provisional remedy against the asset transferred or other property of the transferee in accordance with the procedure prescribed by Chapter 3 of this title; and (3) Subject to applicable principles of equity and in accordance with applicable rules of civil procedure:
(A) An injunction against further disposition by the debtor or a transferee, or both, of the asset transferred or of other property; (B) Appointment of a receiver to take charge of the asset transferred or of other property of the transferee; or (C) Any other relief the circumstances may require. (b) If a creditor has obtained a judgment on a claim against the debtor, the creditor, if the court so orders, may levy execution on the asset transferred or its proceeds.

18-2-78. (a) A transfer or obligation is not voidable under paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 18-2-74 against a person who took in good faith and for a reasonably equivalent value or against any subsequent transferee or obligee. (b) To the extent a transfer is avoidable in an action by a creditor under paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 18-2-77, the following rules apply:
(1) Except as otherwise provided in this Code section, the creditor may recover judgment for the value of the asset transferred, as adjusted under subsection (c) of this Code section, or the amount necessary to satisfy the creditor's claim, whichever is less. The judgment may be entered against:
(A) The first transferee of the asset or the person for whose benefit the transfer was made; or (B) An immediate or mediate transferee of the first transferee, other than:
(i) A good faith transferee who took for value; or (ii) An immediate or mediate good faith transferee of a person described in division (i) of this subparagraph. (2) Recovery pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection (a) or subsection (b) of Code Section 18-2-77 of or from the asset transferred or its proceeds, by levy or otherwise, is available only against a person described in paragraph (1) of this subsection. (c) If the judgment under subsection (b) of this Code section is based upon the value of the asset transferred, the judgment must be for an amount equal to the value of the asset at the time of the transfer, subject to adjustment as the equities may require.

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(d) Notwithstanding voidability of a transfer or an obligation under this article, a good faith transferee or obligee is entitled, to the extent of the value given the debtor for the transfer or obligation, to:
(1) A lien on or a right to retain any interest in the asset transferred; (2) Enforcement of any obligation incurred; or (3) A reduction in the amount of the liability on the judgment. (e) A transfer is not voidable under paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of Code Section 18-2-74 or Code Section 18-2-75 if the transfer results from: (1) Termination of a lease upon default by the debtor when the termination is pursuant to the lease and applicable law; or (2) Enforcement of a security interest in compliance with Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, other than acceptance of collateral in full or partial satisfaction of the obligation it secures. (f) A transfer is not voidable under subsection (b) of Code Section 18-2-75: (1) To the extent the insider gave new value to or for the benefit of the debtor after the transfer was made unless the new value was secured by a valid lien; (2) If made in the ordinary course of business or financial affairs of the debtor and the insider; or (3) If made pursuant to a good faith effort to rehabilitate the debtor and the transfer secured the present value given for that purpose as well as an antecedent debt of the debtor. (g) The following rules determine the burden of proving matters referred to in this Code section: (1) A party that seeks to invoke subsection (a), (d), (e), or (f) of this Code section has the burden of proving the applicability of that subsection; (2) Except as otherwise provided in paragraphs (3) and (4) of this subsection, the creditor has the burden of proving each applicable element of subsection (b) or (c) of this Code section; (3) The transferee has the burden of proving the applicability to the transferee of subparagraph (b)(1)(B) of this Code section; and (4) A party that seeks adjustment under subsection (c) of this Code section has the burden of proving the adjustment. (h) The standard of proof required to establish matters referred to in this Code section is preponderance of the evidence.

18-2-79. A cause of action with respect to a fraudulent transfer or obligation under this article is extinguished unless action is brought:
(1) Under paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 18-2-74, within four years after the transfer was made or the obligation was incurred or, if later, within one year after the transfer or obligation was or could reasonably have been discovered by the claimant;

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(2) Under paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of Code Section 18-2-74 or subsection (a) of Code Section 18-2-75, within four years after the transfer was made or the obligation was incurred; or (3) Under subsection (b) of Code Section 18-2-75, within one year after the transfer was made or the obligation was incurred.

18-2-80. (a) In this Code section, the following rules determine a debtor's location:
(1) A debtor who is an individual is located at the individual's principal residence; (2) A debtor that is an organization and has only one place of business is located at its place of business; and (3) A debtor that is an organization and has more than one place of business is located at its chief executive office. (b) A cause of action in the nature of a claim for relief under this article is governed by the law of the jurisdiction in which the debtor is located when the transfer is made or the obligation is incurred.

18-2-81. (a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) 'Protected series' means an arrangement, however denominated, created by a series organization that, pursuant to the law under which the series organization is organized, has the characteristics set forth in paragraph (2) of this subsection. (2) 'Series organization' means an organization that, pursuant to the law under which it is organized, has the following characteristics:
(A) The organic record of the organization provides for creation by the organization of one or more protected series, however denominated, with respect to specified property of the organization, and for records to be maintained for each protected series that identify the property of or associated with the protected series; (B) Debt incurred or existing with respect to the activities of, or property of or associated with, a particular protected series is enforceable against the property of or associated with the protected series only, and not against the property of or associated with the organization or other protected series of the organization; or (C) Debt incurred or existing with respect to the activities or property of the organization is enforceable against the property of the organization only, and not against the property of or associated with a protected series of the organization. (b) A series organization and each protected series of the organization is a separate person for purposes of this article, even if for other purposes a protected series is not a person separate from the organization or other protected series of the organization.

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18-2-82. Unless displaced by the provisions of this article, the principles of law and equity, including the law merchant and the law relating to principal and agent, estoppel, laches, fraud, misrepresentation, duress, coercion, mistake, insolvency, or other validating or invalidating cause, supplement its provisions.

18-2-83. This article shall be applied and construed to effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the law with respect to the subject of this article among states enacting the 'Uniform Voidable Transactions Act.'

18-2-84. This article modifies, limits, and supersedes the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, 15 U.S.C. Section 7001, et seq., but shall not modify, limit, or supersede Section 101(c) of that act, 15 U.S.C. Section 7001(c), or authorize electronic delivery of any of the notices described in Section 103(b) of that act, 15 U.S.C. Section 7003(b).

18-2-85. (a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) 'Charitable organization' means an organization which has qualified as tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the federal Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and has been so qualified for not less than two years preceding any transfer pursuant to this Code section, other than a private foundation or family trust. (2) 'Private foundation' shall have the same meaning as set forth in 26 U.S.C. Section 509(a). (b) A transfer made to a charitable organization shall be considered voidable only if it is established that a voidable transfer has occurred as described in Code Section 18-2-74 or 18-2-75, and such charitable organization had actual or constructive knowledge of the voidable nature of the transfer. (c) The statute of limitations for a civil action with respect to a voidable transfer to a charitable organization under this Code section shall be within two years after such transfer was made."

PART IVB CONFORMING CROSS-REFERENCES TO THE UNIFORM VOIDABLE TRANSACTIONS ACT
SECTION 4B-1.

Article 3 of Chapter 3 of Title 9 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to limitations on recovery for deficiencies connected with improvements to realty and resulting

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injuries, is amended by revising Code Section 9-3-35, relating to actions by creditors seeking relief under Uniform Fraudulent Transfers Act, as follows:
"9-3-35. An action by a creditor seeking relief under the provisions of Article 4 of Chapter 2 of Title 18, known as the 'Uniform Voidable Transactions Act,' shall be brought within the applicable period set out in Code Section 18-2-79."

SECTION 4B-2. Code Section 17-14-17 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to fraudulent transfers, is amended by revising subsection (a) as follows:
"(a) The state or the victim of a crime may institute an action against an offender pursuant to Article 4 of Chapter 2 of Title 18, the 'Uniform Voidable Transactions Act,' to set aside a transfer of real, personal, or other property made voluntarily by the offender on or after the date of the crime committed by the offender against the victim with the intent to:
(1) Conceal the crime or the fruits of the crime; (2) Hinder, delay, or defraud any victim; or (3) Avoid the payment of restitution."

PART V UNIFORM ENFORCEMENT OF FOREIGN JUDGMENTS LAW
SECTION 5-1.

Article 6 of Chapter 12 of Title 9 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the "Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Law," is amended by adding a new subsection to Code Section 9-12-133, relating to the affidavit concerning judgment creditor and debtor and notice to the judgment debtor of filing of judgment, as follows:
"(c) The provisions of Code Section 9-11-4 shall not apply to this article."

PART VI BANKRUPTCY EXEMPTION
SECTION 6-1.

Code Section 44-13-100 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to exemptions for the purposes of bankruptcy and intestate insolvent estates, is amended by revising paragraph (6) of subsection (a) as follows:
"(6) The debtor's aggregate interest, not to exceed $1,200.00 in value plus any unused amount of the exemption, not to exceed $10,000.00, provided under paragraph (1) of this subsection, in any property;"

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PART VII EFFECTIVE DATE; APPLICABILITY; AND REPEALER
SECTION 7-1.

(a) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, this Act shall become effective on July 1, 2015. (b) Part 2 of this Act shall apply to all actions filed on or after July 1, 2015, in which the recognition of a foreign-country judgment is raised. (c) Parts 3A, 3B, and 3C of this Act shall become effective on January 1, 2016. (d) The amendments made by Parts 4A and 4B of this Act shall:
(1) Apply to a transfer made or obligation incurred on or after July 1, 2015; (2) Not apply to a transfer made or obligation incurred before July 1, 2015; (3) Not apply to a right of action that has accrued before July 1, 2015; and (4) For purposes of this subsection, a transfer is made and an obligation is incurred at the time provided in Code Section 18-7-76.

SECTION 7-2. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Compiler's Note - Section 3D-2 revised Code Section 11-9-111 by repealing it. The stricken test read as follows:
"11-9-111. Applicability of bulk transfer laws. The creation of a security interest is not a bulk transfer under Article 6 of this title (see Code Section 11-6-103)."
Approved May 6, 2015.
__________
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE VICTIM COMPENSATION; FUNERAL EXPENSES.
No. 169 (Senate Bill No. 79).
AN ACT
To amend Chapter 15 of Title 17 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to victim compensation, so as to increase the amount payable for funeral expenses; to enlarge the pool

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of claimants to include individuals related by marriage; 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. Chapter 15 of Title 17 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to victim compensation, is amended by revising subparagraph (a)(1)(E) and paragraph (1) of subsection (b) of Code Section 17-15-7, relating to persons eligible for awards, as follows:
"(E) Is a dependent spouse, parent, step-parent, child, or step-child of a person who is injured physically, who dies, or who suffers financial hardship as a result of being injured physically as a direct result of a crime;" "(b)(1) Victims may be legal residents or nonresidents of this state. A surviving spouse, parent, step-parent, child, or step-child who is legally dependent for his or her principal support upon a deceased victim shall be entitled to file a claim under this chapter if the deceased victim would have been so entitled, regardless of the residence or nationality of the surviving spouse, parent, step-parent, child, or step-child."

SECTION 2. Said chapter is further amended by revising paragraph (2) of subsection (c) and subsection (j) of Code Section 17-15-8, relating to required findings and amount of award, as follows:
"(2) No award under this chapter for the following losses shall exceed the maximum amount authorized:

Category

Maximum Award

Lost wages. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 10,000.00

Funeral expenses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6,000.00

Financial hardship or loss of support.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10,000.00

Medical. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15,000.00

Counseling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,000.00

Crime scene sanitization. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,500.00"
"(j) In any case where a crime results in death, the spouse, parents, step-parents, children, step-children, siblings, or step-siblings of such deceased victim may be considered eligible for an award for the cost of psychological counseling which is deemed necessary as a direct result of said criminal incident. The maximum award for said counseling expenses shall not exceed $3,000.00 for each claimant identified in this subsection."

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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 6, 2015.

__________

EDUCATION ADVANCEMENT AND USE OF TECHNOLOGY IN SCHOOLS; PRIVACY OF STUDENT DATA; PROVIDING INSTRUCTIONAL CONTENT AND MATERIALS ELECTRONICALLY.

No. 171 (Senate Bill No. 89).

AN ACT

To amend Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to elementary and secondary education, so as to address issues relating to the advancement and use of technology in schools; to establish and implement policies and requirements with respect to the collection and disclosure of student data; to provide for a short title; to provide for legislative intent and findings; to provide for definitions; to provide for a Department of Education leader to serve as the chief privacy officer; to provide disclosures and requirements for the state data system; to provide for student data collection and reporting restrictions; to provide for a detailed data security plan for the state data system; to provide for restrictions on the use of student data by operators; to provide for parental rights to inspect and correct student data; to provide for rules and regulations; to provide for related matters; to amend Article 19 of Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to textbooks for elementary and secondary education, so as to encourage local boards of education to provide instructional materials and content to be in digital or electronic format; to encourage local boards of education to provide wireless electronic devices for students to access instructional materials and content; to revise provisions for purposes of conformity; to provide for a short title; to provide for effective dates; to provide for applicability; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

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BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

PART I SECTION 1-1.

Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to elementary and secondary education, is amended by revising Article 15, which is reserved, to read as follows:

"ARTICLE 15

20-2-660. This article shall be known and may be cited as the 'Student Data Privacy, Accessibility, and Transparency Act.'

20-2-661. (a) The General Assembly acknowledges that student data is a vital resource for parents, teachers, and school staff, and it is the intent of the General Assembly to ensure that student data is safeguarded and that students' and parents' privacy is honored, respected, and protected. (b) The General Assembly finds that:
(1) Student data allows parents and students to make more informed choices about educational programs and to better gauge a student's educational progress and needs; (2) Teachers and school staff utilize student data in planning responsive education programs and services, scheduling students into appropriate classes, and completing reports for educational agencies; (3) Student information is critical in helping educators assist students in successfully graduating from high school and preparing to enter the workforce or postsecondary education; (4) In emergencies, certain information should be readily available to school officials and emergency personnel to assist students and their families; (5) A limited amount of this information makes up a student's permanent record or transcript; and (6) Student information is important for educational purposes, and it is also critically important to ensure that student information is protected, safeguarded, kept private, and used only by appropriate educational authorities to serve the best interests of the student.

20-2-662. As used in this article, the term:
(1) 'Aggregate student data' means data that is not personally identifiable and that is collected or reported at the group, cohort, or institutional level.

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(2) 'De-identified data' means a student data set that is not student personally identifiable information because the local board of education or department or other party has made a reasonable determination that a student's identity is not personally identifiable, whether through single or multiple releases, and taking into account other reasonably available information. (3) 'Department' means the Department of Education. (4) 'Education record' means an education record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and its implementing regulations, 20 U.S.C. Section 232g; and 34 C.F.R. Part 99.3. An education record does not include the types of student data excepted in FERPA, does not include student data collected by an operator when it is used for internal operations purposes, does not include student data that is not formatted for or expected to be accessed by school, local board of education, or department employees, nor does it include student data that a local board of education determines cannot reasonably be made available to the parent or eligible student. (5) 'Eligible student' means a student who has reached 18 years of age or is attending an institution of postsecondary education. (6) 'K-12 school purposes' means purposes that take place at the direction of the K-12 school, teacher, or local board of education or aid in the administration of school activities, including, but not limited to, instruction in the classroom or at home, administrative activities, preparing for postsecondary education or employment opportunities, and collaboration between students, school personnel, or parents, or are for the use and benefit of the school. (7) 'Online service' includes cloud computing services. (8) 'Operator' means any entity other than the department, local boards of education, the Georgia Student Finance Commission, or schools to the extent that the entity:
(A) Operates an Internet website, online service, online application, or mobile application with actual knowledge that the website, service, or application is used for K-12 school purposes and was designed and marketed for K-12 school purposes to the extent that it is operating in that capacity; and (B) Collects, maintains, or uses student personally identifiable information in a digital or electronic format. (9) 'Provisional student data' means new student data proposed for inclusion in the state data system. (10) 'State-assigned student identifier' means the unique student identifier assigned by the state to each student that shall not be or include the social security number of a student in whole or in part. (11) 'State data system' means the department state-wide longitudinal data system established pursuant to Code Section 20-2-320. (12) 'Student data' means information regarding a K-12 student who is a resident of this state that is collected and maintained at the individual student level in this state, including but not limited to:

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(A) Data descriptive of a student in any media or format, including but not limited to: (i) The student's first and last name; (ii) The name of the student's parent or other family members; (iii) The physical address, email address, phone number, or other information that allows physical or online contact with the student or student's family; (iv) A student's personal identifier, such as the student number, when used for identification purposes; (v) Other indirect identifiers, such as the student's date of birth, place of birth, and mother's maiden name; (vi) State, local, school, or teacher administered assessment results, including participation information; (vii) Transcript information including but not limited to courses taken and completed, course grades and grade point average, credits earned, degree, diploma, credential attainment, or other school exit information; (viii) Attendance and mobility information between and within local school systems in this state; (ix) The student's sex, race, and ethnicity; (x) Program participation information required by state or federal law; (xi) Disability status; (xii) Socioeconomic information; (xiii) Food purchases; or (xiv) Emails, text messages, documents, search activity, photos, voice recordings, and geolocation information; or
(B) Such information that: (i) Is created or provided by a student, or the student's parent or legal guardian, to an employee or agent of the school, local board of education, or the department or to an operator in the course of the student's or parent's or legal guardian's use of the operator's site, service, or application for K-12 school purposes; (ii) Is created or provided by an employee or agent of the school or local board of education, including to an operator in the course of the employee's or agent's use of the operator's site, service, or application for K-12 school purposes; or (iii) Is gathered by an operator through the operation of an operator's site, service, or application for K-12 school purposes.
(13) 'Student personally identifiable data' or 'student personally identifiable information' or 'personally identifiable information' means student data that personally identifies a student that, alone or in combination, is linked to information that would allow a reasonable person who does not have personal knowledge of the relevant circumstances to identify the student. (14) 'Targeted advertising' means presenting advertisements to a student where the advertisement is selected based on information obtained or inferred from that student's online behavior, usage of applications, or student data. 'Targeted advertising' does not

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include advertising to a student at an online location based upon that student's current visit to that location or single search query without collection and retention of a student's online activities over time.

20-2-663. (a) The State School Superintendent shall designate a senior department employee to serve as the chief privacy officer of the department to assume primary responsibility for data privacy and security policy, including:
(1) Establishing department-wide policies necessary to assure that the use of technologies sustains, enhances, and does not erode privacy protections relating to the use, collection, and disclosure of student data; (2) Ensuring that student data contained in the state data system is handled in full compliance with this article, the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and other state and federal data privacy and security laws; (3) Evaluating legislative and regulatory proposals involving use, collection, and disclosure of student data by the department; (4) Conducting a privacy impact assessment on legislative proposals, regulations, and program initiatives of the department, including the type of personal information collected and the number of students affected; (5) Coordinating with the Attorney General's office and other legal entities as necessary to ensure that state programs, policies, and procedures involving civil rights, civil liberties, and privacy considerations are addressed in an integrated and comprehensive manner; (6) Preparing an annual report to the General Assembly on activities of the department that affect privacy, including complaints of privacy violations, internal controls, and other matters; (7) Working with the department general counsel and other officials in engaging with stakeholders about the quality, usefulness, openness, and privacy of data; (8) Establishing and operating a department-wide Privacy Incident Response Program to ensure that incidents involving department data are properly reported, investigated, and mitigated, as appropriate; (9) Establishing a model process and policy for any parent to file complaints of privacy violations or inability to access his or her child's education records against the responsible local board of education pursuant to Code Section 20-2-667; and (10) Providing training, guidance, technical assistance, and outreach to build a culture of privacy protection, data security, and data practice transparency to students, parents, and the public among all state and local governmental education entities that collect, maintain, use, or share student data. (b) The chief privacy officer may investigate issues of compliance with this article and with other state data privacy and security laws by the department and local boards of education and may:

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(1) Have access to all records, reports, audits, reviews, documents, papers, recommendations, and other materials available to the department that relate to programs and operations with respect to the responsibilities of the chief privacy officer under this Code section; (2) Make such investigations and reports relating to the administration of the programs and operations of the department as are necessary or desirable; and (3) In matters relating to compliance with federal laws, refer the matter to the appropriate federal agency and cooperate with any investigations by such federal agency.

20-2-664. The department shall:
(1) Create, publish, and make publicly available a data inventory and dictionary or index of data elements with definitions of student personally identifiable data fields in the state data system to include, but not be limited to:
(A) Any student personally identifiable data required to be reported by state and federal education mandates; (B) Any student personally identifiable data which is included or has been proposed for inclusion in the state data system with a statement regarding the purpose or reason for the proposed collection; and (C) Any student data that the department collects or maintains with no current identified purpose; (2) Develop, publish, and make publicly available policies and procedures for the state data system to comply with this article and other applicable state and federal data privacy and security laws, including the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Such policies and procedures shall include, at a minimum: (A) Restrictions on granting access to student data in the state data system, except to the following:
(i) Students and their parents, as provided by the collecting local board of education; (ii) The authorized administrators, teachers, and other school personnel of local boards of education, and the contractors or other authorized entities working on their behalf, that enroll students who are the subject of the data and who require such access to perform their assigned duties; (iii) The authorized staff of the department, and the contractors or other authorized entities working on behalf of the department, who require such access to perform their assigned duties as authorized by law or defined by interagency or other data sharing agreements; and (iv) The authorized staff of other state agencies in this state as required or authorized by law, including contractors or other authorized entities working on behalf of a state agency that require such access to perform their duties pursuant to an interagency agreement or other data sharing agreement;

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(B) Prohibitions against publishing student data other than aggregate data or de-identified data in public reports; and (C) Consistent with applicable law, criteria for the approval of research and data requests from state and local agencies, the General Assembly, those conducting research including on behalf of the department, and the public that involve access to student personally identifiable information; (3) Unless otherwise provided by law or approved by the State Board of Education, not transfer student personally identifiable data to any federal, state, or local agency or nongovernmental organization, except for disclosures incident to the following actions: (A) A student transferring to another school or school system in this state or out of state or a school or school system seeking help with locating a transferred student; (B) A student enrolling in a postsecondary institution or training program; (C) A student registering for or taking a state, national, or multistate assessment where such data is required to administer the assessment; (D) A student voluntarily participating in a program for which such a data transfer is a condition or requirement of participation; (E) The federal government requiring the transfer of student data for a student classified as a 'migrant' for related federal program purposes; (F) A federal agency requiring student personally identifiable data to perform an audit, compliance review, or complaint investigation; or (G) An eligible student or student's parent or legal guardian requesting such transfer; (4) Develop a detailed data security plan for the state data system that includes: (A) Guidelines for authorizing access to the state data system and to student personally identifiable data including guidelines for authentication of authorized access; (B) Privacy and security audits; (C) Plans for responding to security breaches, including notifications, remediations, and related procedures; (D) Data retention and disposal policies; (E) Data security training and policies including technical, physical, and administrative safeguards; (F) Standards regarding the minimum number of students or information that must be included in a data set in order for the data to be considered aggregated and, therefore, not student personally identifiable data subject to requirements in this article and in other federal and state data privacy laws; (G) A process for evaluating and updating as necessary the data security plan, at least on an annual basis, in order to identify and address any risks to the security of student personally identifiable data; and (H) Guidance for local boards of education to implement effective security practices that are consistent with those of the state data system; (5) Ensure routine and ongoing compliance by the department with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, other relevant privacy laws and policies, and the

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privacy and security policies and procedures developed under the authority of this article, including the performance of compliance audits for the department; (6) Notify the Governor and the General Assembly annually of the following matters relating to the state data system:
(A) New provisional student data proposed for inclusion in the state data system: (i) Any new provisional student data collection proposed by the department shall become a provisional requirement to allow local boards of education and their local data system vendors the opportunity to meet the new requirement; and (ii) The department shall announce any new provisional student data collection to the general public for a review and comment period of at least 60 days;
(B) Changes to existing student personally identifiable data collections required for any reason, including changes to federal reporting requirements made by the United States Department of Education; (C) A list of any special approvals granted by the department pursuant to subparagraph (C) of paragraph (3) of this Code section in the past year regarding the release of student personally identifiable data; and (D) The results of any and all privacy compliance and security audits completed in the past year. Notifications regarding privacy compliance and security audits shall not include any information that would itself pose a security threat to the state or local student information systems or to the secure transmission of data between state and local systems by exposing vulnerabilities; and (7) Develop policies and procedures to ensure the provision of at least annual notifications to eligible students and parents or guardians regarding student privacy rights under federal and state law.

20-2-665. (a) Unless required by state or federal law or in cases of health or safety emergencies, local boards of education shall not report to the department the following student data or student information:
(1) Juvenile delinquency records; (2) Criminal records; or (3) Medical and health records. (b) Unless required by state or federal law or in cases of health or safety emergencies, schools shall not collect the following data on students or their families: (1) Political affiliation; (2) Voting history; (3) Income, except as required by law or where a local board of education determines income information is required to apply for, administer, research, or evaluate programs to assist students from low-income families; or (4) Religious affiliation or beliefs.

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20-2-666. (a) An operator shall not knowingly engage in any of the following activities with respect to such operator's site, service, or application without explicit written consent from the student's parent or guardian, or an eligible student:
(1) Use student data to engage in behaviorally targeted advertising on the operator's site, service, or application or target advertising on any other site, service, or application when the targeting of the advertising is based upon any student data and state-assigned student identifiers or other persistent unique identifiers that the operator has acquired because of the use of such operator's site, service, or application; (2) Use information, including state-assigned student identifiers or other persistent unique identifiers, created or gathered by the operator's site, service, or application, to amass a profile about a student except in furtherance of K-12 school purposes. For purposes of this paragraph, 'amass a profile' does not include collection and retention of account records or information that remains under the control of the student, parent, or local board of education; (3) Sell a student's data. This prohibition does not apply to the purchase, merger, or other type of acquisition of an operator by another entity, provided that the operator or successor entity continues to be subject to the provisions of this Code section with respect to previously acquired student data that is subject to this article; or (4) Disclose student personally identifiable data without explicit written or electronic consent from a student over the age of 13 or a student's parent or guardian, given in response to clear and conspicuous notice of the activity, unless the disclosure is made:
(A) In furtherance of the K-12 school purposes of the site, service, or application; provided, however, that the recipient of the student data disclosed (i) shall not further disclose the student data unless done to allow or improve the operability and functionality within that student's classroom or school, and (ii) is legally required to comply with the requirements of this article and not use the student information in violation of this article; (B) To ensure legal or regulatory compliance or protect against liability; (C) To respond to or participate in judicial process; (D) To protect the security or integrity of the entity's website, service, or application; (E) To protect the safety of users or others or security of the site; (F) To a service provider, provided that the operator contractually (i) prohibits the service provider from using any student data for any purpose other than providing the contracted service to, or on behalf of, the operator, (ii) requires such service provider to impose the same restrictions as in this paragraph on its own service providers, and (iii) requires the service provider to implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices as provided in subsection (b) of this Code section; or (G) For an educational, public health, or employment purpose requested by the student's parent or guardian, provided that the information is not used or further disclosed for any purpose.

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(b) An operator shall: (1) Implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices appropriate to the nature of the student data to protect that information from unauthorized access, destruction, use, modification, or disclosure; and (2) Delete a student's data within a reasonable timeframe not to exceed 45 days if the school or local board of education requests deletion of data under the control of the school or local board of education.
(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (4) of subsection (a) of this Code section, an operator may disclose student data, so long as paragraphs (1) to (3), inclusive, of subsection (a) of this Code section are not violated, under the following circumstances:
(1) If another provision of federal or state law requires the operator to disclose the student data, and the operator complies with applicable requirements of federal and state law in protecting and disclosing that information; (2) For legitimate research purposes:
(A) As required by state or federal law and subject to the restrictions under applicable state and federal law; or (B) As allowed by state or federal law and under the direction of a school, a local board of education, or the department, subject to compliance with subsection (a) of this Code section; or (3) To a state agency, local board of education, or school, for K-12 school purposes, as permitted by state or federal law. (d) Nothing in this Code section prohibits an operator from using student data, including student personally identifiable data, as follows: (1) For maintaining, delivering, developing, supporting, evaluating, improving, or diagnosing the operator's site, service, or application; (2) Within other sites, services, or applications owned by the operator, and intended for the school or student use, to evaluate and improve educational products or services intended for the school or student use; (3) For adaptive learning or customized student learning purposes; (4) For recommendation engines to recommend additional content or services to students within a school service's site, service, or application without the response being determined in whole or in part by payment or other consideration from a third party; (5) To respond to a student's request for information or for feedback without the information or response being determined in whole or in part by payment or other consideration from a third party; or (6) To ensure legal or regulatory compliance or to retain such data for these purposes. (e) Nothing in this Code section prohibits an operator from using or sharing aggregate data or de-identified data as follows: (1) For the development and improvement of the operator's site, service, or application or other educational sites, services, or applications; or

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(2) To demonstrate the effectiveness of the operator's products or services, including their marketing. (f) This Code section shall not be construed to limit the authority of a law enforcement agency to obtain any content or student data from an operator as authorized by law or pursuant to an order of a court of competent jurisdiction. (g) This Code section does not apply to general audience Internet websites, general audience online services, general audience online applications, or general audience mobile applications, even if login credentials created for an operator's site, service, or application may be used to access those general audience sites, services, or applications. (h) This Code section shall not be construed to limit Internet service providers from providing Internet connectivity to schools or students and their families. (i) This Code section shall not be construed to prohibit an operator from marketing educational products directly to parents so long as the marketing did not result from the use of student data obtained without parental consent by the operator through the provision of services covered under this Code section. (j) This Code section shall not be construed to impose a duty upon a provider of an electronic store, gateway, marketplace, or other means of purchasing or downloading software or applications to review or enforce compliance of this Code section on those applications or software. (k) This Code section shall not be construed to impose a duty upon a provider of an interactive computer service, as defined in Section 230 of Title 47 of the United States Code, to review or enforce compliance with this Code section by third-party content providers. (l) This Code section shall not be construed to impede the ability of a student or parent or guardian to download, transfer, or otherwise save or maintain their own student data or documents. (m) Nothing in this Code section or this article prevents the department or local board of education and their employees from recommending, directly or via a product or service, any educational materials, online content, services, or other products to any student or his or her family if the department or local board of education determines that such products will benefit the student and does not receive compensation for developing, enabling, or communicating such recommendations.

20-2-667. (a) A parent shall have the right to inspect and review his or her child's education record maintained by the school or local board of education. (b) A parent may request from the school or local board of education student data included in his or her child's education record, including student data maintained by an operator, except when the local board of education determines that the requested data maintained by the operator cannot reasonably be made available to the parent.

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(c) Local boards of education shall provide a parent or guardian with an electronic copy of his or her child's education record upon request, unless the local board of education does not maintain a record in electronic format and reproducing the record in an electronic format would be unduly burdensome. (d) A parent or eligible student shall have the right to request corrections to inaccurate education records maintained by a school or local board of education. After receiving a request demonstrating any such inaccuracy, the school or local board of education that maintains the data shall correct the inaccuracy and confirm such correction to the parent or eligible student within a reasonable amount of time. (e) The rights contained in subsections (a) through (d) of this Code section shall extend also to eligible students seeking to access their own education records. (f) The department shall develop model policies for local boards of education that:
(1) Support local boards of education in fulfilling their responsibility to annually notify parents of their right to request student information; (2) Assist local boards of education with ensuring security when providing student data to parents; (3) Provide guidance and best practices to local boards of education in order to ensure that local boards of education provide student data only to authorized individuals; (4) Support local boards of education in their responsibility to produce education records and student data included in such education records to parents and eligible students, ideally within three business days of the request; and (5) Assist schools and local boards of education with implementing technologies and programs that allow a parent to view online, download, and transmit data specific to his or her child's education record. (g)(1) The department shall develop model policies and procedures for a parent or eligible student to file a complaint with a local school system regarding a possible violation of rights under this article or under other federal or state student data privacy and security laws which shall ensure that:
(A) Each local school system designates at least one individual with responsibility to address complaints filed by parents or eligible students; (B) A written response is provided to the parent's or student's complaint; (C) An appeal may be filed with the local school superintendent; and (D) An appeal for a final decision may be made to the local board of education. (2) Within six months of adoption by the department of model policies and procedures pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection, each local board of education shall adopt policies and procedures that include, at a minimum, such department model policies and procedures. (h) Nothing in this Code section shall authorize any additional cause of action beyond the process described in this Code section or as otherwise authorized by state law.

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20-2-668. (a) The State Board of Education may adopt rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this article. (b) As of July 1, 2016, any existing collection of student data by the department shall not be considered provisional student data. "

PART II SECTION 2-1.

This Act shall be known and may be cited as the "Digital Classroom Act."

SECTION 2-2. Article 19 of Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to textbooks for elementary and secondary education, is amended as follows:

"ARTICLE 19

20-2-1010. (a) The State Board of Education is authorized to prescribe, by regulation, the definition of the term 'instructional materials and content' to include but not be limited to systematically designed material in any medium, including digital instructional materials and content and any computer hardware, software, and technical equipment necessary to support such instructional materials and content, that constitutes the principal source of study for a state funded course to be used in the various grades in the public schools of this state, including the elementary grades and high school grades. The state board may provide, by regulation, for multiple listings of instructional materials and content for use in the various grades and may, in its discretion, authorize the local school superintendents to exercise a choice as between various instructional materials and content so listed or adopted for any particular grade. (b) Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to exempt computer hardware or related equipment acquired by the state from competitive bidding.

20-2-1011. The State Board of Education may provide for the selection, acquisition, or purchase of instructional materials and content either by multiple listings or uniform adoption or by any other method that will enable the acquiring of acceptable instructional materials and content at the lowest possible costs, provided such adoption or multiple listings shall in no event constitute a binding contract until ratified in writing by the state board. None of the instructional materials and content so purchased shall contain anything of a partisan or sectarian nature.

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20-2-1012. (a) The State Board of Education shall select a committee or committees of educators actually engaged in public school work in this state to examine instructional materials and content and make recommendations thereon to the state board. Such committee or committees shall consist of such number of educators as the state board may deem advisable, not exceeding five in each instance. They shall serve for such time and for such duties as the state board may prescribe and shall receive such compensation as may be fixed by the state board. (b) In addition to any other method of instructional materials and content selection, the State Board of Education shall add to the approved list of instructional materials and content for use in the public schools of this state any instructional materials and content requested in writing by:
(1) The superintendents of five or more different school systems; or (2) Twenty or more teachers from at least 20 different school systems who teach and are certified to teach the courses encompassed by the instructional materials and content requested, if the requisite number of requests for the specified instructional materials and content are received within any 365 day period. Instructional materials and content so required to be added to the approved list shall be added within 30 days following the receipt by the state board of the requisite number of requests. No designation shall be included upon the approved list which indicates the manner in which any instructional materials and content were added to the list. Other than the selection method, publishers whose instructional materials and content are added to the approved list as provided in this subsection shall be required to comply with the same rules regarding instructional materials and content as other publishers, including but not limited to price, durability, accessibility, and availability.

20-2-1013. (a) The State Board of Education is authorized and directed to inaugurate and administer a system of free instructional materials and content for the public schools of this state. The state board shall have authority to promulgate and enforce such rules and regulations as may be necessary for that purpose. (b) All instructional materials and content and any computer hardware, software, and technical equipment necessary to support such digital materials and content purchased by local units of administration with state Quality Basic Education Program funds or any other means of acquisition may remain the property of the local unit purchasing or acquiring them. Assistive technology devices that are acquired may remain the property of the student; provided, however, that this shall not be construed to violate any contracts or copyright laws. Each local unit of administration shall establish such policies as it deems necessary for the care and protection of its instructional materials and content; computer hardware, software, and technical equipment necessary to support such materials and content; library books; and media materials as a condition to receiving all or part of the state

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contributed Quality Basic Education Program funds allotted to the local unit. Such policies may include any of the following sanctions against a pupil who fails or refuses to pay for any lost or damaged instructional materials and content; computer hardware, software, and technical equipment necessary to support such materials and content; library book; or media material at the replacement cost:
(1) Refusal to issue or make available any additional instructional materials and content, any computer hardware, software, and technical equipment necessary to support such materials and content, any library books, or any media materials until restitution is made; or (2) Withholding of all grade cards, diplomas, or certificates of progress until restitution is made. No local unit of administration shall require any pupil or parent to purchase any instructional materials and content; computer hardware, software, and technical equipment necessary to support such materials and content; library book; or media material except in cases where the pupil damages, loses, or defaces such item either through willful intent or neglect.

20-2-1014. All purchases or contracts for purchases shall be made subject to the condition that the price paid by the state shall not exceed the price which may be offered by the publisher to any other school or school authority for substantially the same instructional materials and content.

20-2-1015. (a) Local boards of education are strongly encouraged on and after July 1, 2020 to:
(1) Purchase all instructional materials and content in digital or electronic format; and (2) Provide a laptop, tablet, or other wireless electronic device to each of its students in grades three and higher or allow students to provide their own for use as the principal source of reading or accessing instructional materials and content. (b) The State Board of Education shall annually determine a reasonable level of funding to assist local boards of education in attaining complete digital access pursuant to this Code section. Such level of funding shall annually be presented to the General Assembly for its consideration in including appropriations for such purposes.

20-2-2016. This article shall not apply to students in home study programs or virtual courses."

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PART III SECTION 3-1.

(a) Part I of this Act shall become effective on July 1, 2016; provided, however, that to the extent any provision of this Act conflicts with a term of a contract entered into by a state agency, local board of education, or operator in effect prior to July 1, 2016, such provision shall not apply to the state agency, local board of education, or the operator subject to such agreement until the expiration, amendment, or renewal of such agreement. (b) Parts II and III of this Act shall become effective on July 1, 2015.

SECTION 3-2. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved May 6, 2015.

__________

CRIMES AND OFFENSES CRIMINAL PROCEDURE STATE GOVERNMENT IMPROVED PROCESSES AND PROCEDURE FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT DURING EXECUTION OF OFFICIAL DUTIES; RELEASE OF INFORMATION; RECORDING OF MATTERS IN PUBLIC OR DURING EXECUTION OF SEARCH WARRANT; WITNESS IDENTIFICATION PROCEDURES.

No. 173 (Senate Bill No. 94).

AN ACT

To amend Part 1 of Article 3 of Chapter 11 of Title 16, Title 17, and Code Section 50-18-72 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to wiretapping, eavesdropping, surveillance, and related offenses, criminal procedure, and when public disclosure of agency records is not required, respectively, so as to provide improved processes and procedure for law enforcement during the execution of their official duties and for the release of information to the public; to provide for law enforcement officials to record matters occurring in private places or during the execution of a search warrant; to require a procedure for enhancing witness identification accuracy; to provide for definitions; to provide for written policies relating to witness identification protocol; to provide for policy requirements; to prohibit suppression of evidence under certain circumstances; to change certain provisions relating to the release of certain audio and video recordings; to provide for related matters; to provide for effective dates; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

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BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Part 1 of Article 3 of Chapter 11 of Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to wiretapping, eavesdropping, surveillance, and related offenses, is amended by revising paragraph (3) of Code Section 16-11-60, relating to definitions, as follows:
"(3) 'Private place' means a place where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy."

SECTION 2. Said part is further amended by revising paragraph (2) of Code Section 16-11-62, relating to eavesdropping, surveillance, or intercepting communication which invades privacy of another, as follows:
"(2) Any person, through the use of any device, without the consent of all persons observed, to observe, photograph, or record the activities of another which occur in any private place and out of public view; provided, however, that it shall not be unlawful:
(A) To use any device to observe, photograph, or record the activities of persons incarcerated in any jail, correctional institution, or other facility in which persons who are charged with or who have been convicted of the commission of a crime are incarcerated, provided that such equipment shall not be used while the prisoner is discussing his or her case with his or her attorney; (B) For an owner or occupier of real property to use for security purposes, crime prevention, or crime detection any device to observe, photograph, or record the activities of persons who are on the property or an approach thereto in areas where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy; (C) To use for security purposes, crime prevention, or crime detection any device to observe, photograph, or record the activities of persons who are within the curtilage of the residence of the person using such device. A photograph, videotape, or record made in accordance with this subparagraph, or a copy thereof, may be disclosed by such resident to the district attorney or a law enforcement officer and shall be admissible in a judicial proceeding, without the consent of any person observed, photographed, or recorded; or (D) For a law enforcement officer or his or her agent to use a device in the lawful performance of his or her official duties to observe, photograph, videotape, or record the activities of persons that occur in the presence of such officer or his or her agent;"

SECTION 3. Title 17 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to criminal procedures is amended by revising paragraph (5) of subsection (a) and subsection (b) of Code Section 17-5-21, relating to grounds for issuance of search warrant and scope of search warrant, as follows:

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"(5) Any instruments, articles or things, any information or data, and anything that is tangible or intangible, corporeal or incorporeal, visible or invisible evidence of the commission of the crime for which probable cause is shown, other than the private papers of any person." "(b) When the peace officer is in the process of effecting a lawful search, nothing in this Code section shall preclude such officer from discovering or seizing any stolen or embezzled property, any item, substance, object, thing, or matter, the possession of which is unlawful, or any item, substance, object, thing, or matter, other than the private papers of any person, which is tangible evidence of the commission of a crime against the laws of this state, the United States, or another state. Other personnel, sworn or unsworn, acting under the direction of a peace officer executing a search warrant may assist in the execution of such warrant. While in the process of effecting a lawful arrest or lawful search, nothing in this Code section nor in Code Section 16-11-62 shall be construed to preclude the use of any device, as such term is defined in Code Section 16-11-60, by the peace officer executing the search warrant or other personnel assisting in the execution of such warrant."

SECTION 4. Said title is further amended by adding a new chapter to read as follows:

"CHAPTER 20

17-20-1. As used in this chapter, the term:
(1) 'Fillers' means individuals who are not suspects. (2) 'Law enforcement agency' means a governmental unit of one or more individuals employed full time or part time by the state, a state agency or department, or a political subdivision which performs as its principal function activities relating to preventing and detecting crime and enforcing state laws or local ordinances, employees of which unit are authorized to make arrests for crimes while acting within the scope of their authority. (3) 'Live lineup' means an identification procedure in which a suspect and fillers are displayed in person to a witness. (4) 'Photo lineup' means an identification procedure in which a photograph of a suspect and photographs of fillers are displayed to a witness, either in hard copy form or via computer. (5) 'Showup' means an identification procedure in which a witness is presented with a single individual. (6) 'Suspect' means the individual believed by law enforcement to be the possible perpetrator of an alleged crime. (7) 'Witness' means an individual who observes an alleged crime.

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17-20-2. (a) Not later than July 1, 2016, any law enforcement agency that conducts live lineups, photo lineups, or showups shall adopt written policies for using such procedures for the purpose of determining whether a witness identifies someone as the perpetrator of an alleged crime. (b) Live lineup, photo lineup, and showup policies shall include the following:
(1) With respect to a live lineup, having an individual who does not know the identity of the suspect conduct the live procedure; (2) With respect to a photo lineup, having an individual:
(A) Who does not know the identity of the suspect conduct the photo lineup; or (B) Who knows the identity of the suspect use a procedure in which photographs are placed in folders, randomly shuffled, and then presented to the witness so that the individual conducting such procedure cannot physically see which photograph is being viewed by the witness until the procedure is complete; (3) Providing the witness with instruction that the perpetrator of the alleged crime may or may not be present in the live lineup or photo lineup; (4) Composing a live lineup or photo lineup so that the fillers generally resemble the witness's description of the perpetrator of the alleged crime; (5) Using a minimum of four fillers in a live lineup and a minimum of five fillers in a photo lineup; and (6) Having the individual conducting a live lineup, photo lineup, or showup seek and document, at the time that an identification of an individual or photograph is made, and in the witness's own words without necessarily referencing a numeric or percentage standard, a clear statement from the witness as to the witness's confidence level that the individual or photograph identified is the individual or photograph of the individual who committed the alleged crime. (c) All law enforcement agency written policies adopted pursuant to this Code section shall be subject to public disclosure and inspection notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in Article 4 of Chapter 18 of Title 50.

17-20-3. The court may consider the failure to comply with the requirements of this chapter with respect to any challenge to an identification; provided, however, that such failure shall not mandate the exclusion of identification evidence."

SECTION 5. Code Section 50-18-72 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to when public disclosure of agency records is not required, is amended in subsection (a) by adding a new paragraph to read as follows:
"(26.2) Audio and video recordings from devices used by law enforcement officers in a place where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy when there is no pending

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investigation, except to the following, provided that the person seeking the audio or video recording submits a sworn affidavit that attests to the facts necessary to establish eligibility under this paragraph:
(A) A duly appointed representative of a deceased's estate when the decedent was depicted or heard on such recording; (B) A parent or legal guardian of a minor depicted or heard on such recording; (C) An accused in a criminal case when, in the good faith belief of the accused, such recording is relevant to his or her criminal proceeding; (D) A party to a civil action when, in the good faith belief of such party, such recording is relevant to the civil action; (E) An attorney for any of the persons identified in subparagraphs (A) through (D) of this paragraph; or (F) An attorney for a person who may pursue a civil action when, in the good faith belief of such attorney, such recording is relevant to the potential civil action;"

SECTION 6. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, this Act shall become effective on July 1, 2015. (b) Section 4 of this Act shall become effective on July 1, 2016.

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

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CRIMINAL PROCEDURE REVERSAL OF CRIMINAL CASE WHEN JUDGE EXPRESSES
OPINION REGARDING PROOF OR GUILT OF ACCUSED.

No. 174 (Senate Bill No. 99).

AN ACT

To amend Article 3 of Chapter 8 of Title 17 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to conduct of proceedings, so as to change provisions relating to reversal on appeal when a judge expresses an opinion regarding proof in a criminal case or as to the accused's guilt; 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 8 of Title 17 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to conduct of proceedings, is amended by revising Code Section 17-8-57, relating to expression or intimation of opinion by judge as to matters proved or guilt of accused, as follows:
"17-8-57. (a)(1) It is error for any judge, during any phase of any criminal case, to express or intimate to the jury the judge's opinion as to whether a fact at issue has or has not been proved or as to the guilt of the accused. (2) Any party who alleges a violation of paragraph (1) of this subsection shall make a timely objection and inform the court of the specific objection and the grounds for such objection, outside of the jury's hearing and presence. After such objection has been made, and if it is sustained, it shall be the duty of the court to give a curative instruction to the jury or declare a mistrial, if appropriate.
(b) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this Code section, failure to make a timely objection to an alleged violation of paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section shall preclude appellate review, unless such violation constitutes plain error which affects substantive rights of the parties. Plain error may be considered on appeal even when a timely objection informing the court of the specific objection was not made, so long as such error affects substantive rights of the parties. (c) Should any judge express an opinion as to the guilt of the accused, the Supreme Court or Court of Appeals or the trial court in a motion for a new trial shall grant a new trial."

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

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CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES COASTAL MARSHLAND BUFFERS.

No. 175 (Senate Bill No. 101).

AN ACT

To amend Chapter 7 of Title 12 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the control of soil erosion and sedimentation, so as to provide for a buffer against coastal marshlands within which certain land-disturbing activities are prohibited; to provide for

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exceptions and variances; 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. Chapter 7 of Title 12 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the control of soil erosion and sedimentation, is amended in Code Section 12-7-3, relating to definitions, by redesignating paragraph (10.1) as paragraph (10.2) and by adding three new paragraphs to read as follows:
"(2.1) 'Coastal marshlands' shall have the same meaning as in Code Section 12-5-282." "(10.1) 'Maintenance' means actions necessary or appropriate for retaining or restoring a currently serviceable improvement to the specified operable condition to achieve its maximum useful life. Maintenance includes emergency reconstruction of recently damaged parts of a currently serviceable structure so long as it occurs within a reasonable period of time after damage occurs. Maintenance does not include any modification that changes the character, scope, or size of the original design." "(13.1) 'Serviceable' means usable in its current state or with minor maintenance but not so degraded as to essentially require reconstruction."

SECTION 2. Said chapter is further amended in subsection (b) of Code Section 12-7-6, relating to best management practices and minimum requirements for erosion and sedimentation control, by deleting "and" at the end of division (b)(15)(D)(ii), by replacing the period with "; and" at the end of division (b)(16)(C)(ii), and by adding a new paragraph to read as follows:
"(17)(A) There is established a 25 foot buffer along coastal marshlands, as measured horizontally from the coastal marshland-upland interface, as determined in accordance with Part 4 of Article 4 of Chapter 5 of this title, the 'Coastal Marshlands Protection Act of 1970,' and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, except:
(i) Where the director determines to allow a variance that is at least as protective of natural resources and the environment; (ii) Where otherwise allowed by the director pursuant to Code Section 12-2-8; (iii) Where an alteration within the buffer area has been authorized pursuant to Code Section 12-5-286; (iv) For maintenance of any currently serviceable structure, landscaping, or hardscaping, including bridges, roads, parking lots, golf courses, golf cart paths, retaining walls, bulkheads, and patios; provided, however, that if such maintenance requires any land-disturbing activity, adequate erosion control measures are incorporated into the project plans and specifications and such measures are fully implemented;

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(v) Where a drainage structure or roadway drainage structure is constructed or maintained; provided, however, that adequate erosion control measures are incorporated into the project plans and specifications and such measures are fully implemented; (vi) On the landward side of any currently serviceable shoreline stabilization structure; and (vii) For the maintenance of any manmade storm-water detention basin, golf course pond, or impoundment that is located entirely within the property of a single individual, partnership, or corporation; provided, however, that adequate erosion control measures are incorporated into the project plans and specifications and such measures are fully implemented. (B) No land-disturbing activity shall be conducted within any such buffer and a buffer shall remain in its current, undisturbed state of vegetation until all land-disturbing activities on the construction site are completed, except as otherwise provided by this paragraph. Once the final stabilization of the site is achieved, a buffer may be thinned or trimmed of vegetation so long as a protective vegetative cover remains to protect water quality and aquatic habitat; provided, however, that any person constructing a single-family residence, when such residence is constructed by or under contract with the owner for his or her own occupancy, may thin or trim vegetation in a buffer at any time so long as a protective vegetative cover remains to protect water quality and aquatic habitat. (C) On or before December 31, 2015, the board shall promulgate rules and regulations that: (i) Contain criteria for the grant or denial by the director of requests for variances pursuant to this paragraph, including where an alteration within the buffer area has been authorized pursuant to a permit issued by the United States Army Corps of Engineers under Section 404 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972, as amended, or Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899; provided, however, that adequate erosion control measures are incorporated into the project plans and specifications and such measures are fully implemented; and (ii) Provide for variances by rule, subject to specified conditions, for certain categories of activities within the buffer that will have minimal impact on the water quality or aquatic habitat of the adjacent marsh, including where the area within the buffer is not more than 500 square feet; provided, however, that adequate erosion control measures are incorporated into the project plans and specifications and such measures are fully implemented. (D) The board may adopt rules and regulations that provide for an expedited process for certain categories of activities within the buffer based on the size, scope, location, and character of the proposed activity within the buffer. (E) The buffer requirements of this paragraph shall not apply to crossings for utility lines that cause a width of disturbance of not more than 50 feet within the buffer;

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provided, however, that adequate erosion control measures are incorporated into the project plans and specifications and such measures are fully implemented. (F) The buffer shall not apply to:
(i) Any land-disturbing activity conducted pursuant to and in compliance with a valid and effective land-disturbing permit issued subsequent to April 22, 2014, and prior to the effective date of this Act; provided, however, that adequate erosion control measures are incorporated into the project plans and specifications and such measures are fully implemented; or (ii) Any lot for which the preliminary plat has been approved prior to the effective date of this Act if roadways, bridges, or water and sewer lines have been extended to such lot prior to the effective date of this Act and if the requirement to maintain a 25 foot buffer would consume at least 18 percent of the high ground of the platted lot otherwise available for development; provided, however, that adequate erosion control measures are incorporated into the project plans and specifications and such measures are fully implemented."

SECTION 3. Said chapter is further amended by revising division (b)(15)(A)(i) of Code Section 12-7-6, relating to best management practices and minimum requirements for erosion and sedimentation control, as follows:
"(i) As provided by paragraphs (16) and (17) of this subsection;"

SECTION 4. This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval for purposes of promulgating rules and regulations and shall become effective on December 31, 2015, for all other purposes.

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

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STATE GOVERNMENT STATE DEPOSITORY BOARD; COMPOSITION OF BOARD; DELETE REFERENCES TO BUILDING AND LOAN ASSOCIATIONS.

No. 176 (Senate Bill No. 104).

AN ACT

To amend Code Section 50-17-50 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the State Depository Board, so as to delete references to building and loan associations; to modify the board composition to reflect current practice; 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 50-17-50 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the State Depository Board, is amended as follows:
"50-17-50. The State Depository Board, referred to in this article as the 'board,' is created, consisting of the Governor, the state chief financial officer, the state accounting officer, the commissioner of banking and finance, the state revenue commissioner, the commissioner of transportation, and the state treasurer, who shall act as administrative officer of the board. A majority of the board shall constitute a quorum, and the acts of the majority shall be the acts of the board. The board, in its discretion, may name and appoint, from time to time, as state depositories of state funds any bank, trust company, or savings and loan association which has its deposits insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The board may also authorize any department, board, bureau, or other agency of the state which has a foreign office to deposit state funds for current operating expenses in certain foreign banks, the deposits of which are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, provided the balance of such deposits in any one foreign bank does not exceed limits prescribed by the State Depository Board. For the purposes of this article, 'foreign bank' shall mean a bank organized under the laws of a foreign country. The board is assigned to the Department of Administrative Services for administrative purposes only as prescribed in Code Section 50-4-3."

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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 6, 2015.

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GAME AND FISH PROHIBIT REMOVAL, TRANSPORTATION, STORAGE, AND PROCESSING OF GAME ANIMAL OR GAME BIRD CARCASSES EXCEPT IN COMPLIANCE WITH LAW AND REGULATIONS OF BOARD OF NATURAL RESOURCES; UPDATE APPLICABILITY OF REGULATIONS ESTABLISHING CRIMINAL VIOLATIONS; REPEAL OBSOLETE PROVISIONS.

No. 177 (Senate Bill No. 112).

AN ACT

To amend Part 1 of Article 1 of Chapter 3 of Title 27 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general hunting provisions, so as to prohibit the removal, transportation, storage, or processing of game animal or game bird carcasses except in compliance with applicable harvest recording and reporting laws and regulations of the Board of Natural Resources; to amend Chapter 1 of Title 27 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions relative to game and fish, so as to update provisions relating to applicability of regulations establishing criminal violations; to amend Part 2 of Article 1 of Chapter 3 of Title 27 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to deer hunting, so as to repeal obsolete provisions; 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 1 of Article 1 of Chapter 3 of Title 27 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general hunting provisions, is amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:

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"27-3-29. (a) The board shall promulgate rules and regulations establishing harvest recording and reporting requirements for game animals and game birds. Such rules and regulations shall describe the type of information that is required, the requirements for transportation of the carcass of a game animal or game bird killed by another person, and the requirements for possession of the carcass of a game animal or game bird by any private or commercial cold storage or processing facility. (b) Except in compliance with all applicable rules and regulations of the board regarding required harvest recording and reporting, it shall be unlawful for:
(1) Any person killing a game animal or game bird to remove the carcass from the place of killing or for any person to transport the carcass of a game animal or game bird killed by another person; or (2) Any private or commercial cold storage or processing facility to possess the carcass of a game animal or game bird. (c) It shall be unlawful to obtain, possess, or otherwise use multiple sets of licenses or harvest records for the purpose of circumventing the bag limit for any game animal or game bird for which a harvest record is required by the rules and regulations of the board. (d) Any person violating the provisions of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $200.00 or by imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or both."

SECTION 2. Chapter 1 of Title 27 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions relative to game and fish, is amended by revising Code Section 27-1-39, relating to rules and regulations used to establish criminal violations, as follows:
"27-1-39. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, for purposes of establishing criminal violations of the rules and regulations promulgated by the Board of Natural Resources as provided in this title, the term 'rules and regulations' means those rules and regulations of the Board of Natural Resources in force and effect on January 1, 2015."

SECTION 3. Part 2 of Article 1 of Chapter 3 of Title 27 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to deer hunting, is amended by repealing in its entirety Code Section 27-3-45, relating to information required before removal of carcasses from place of killing, and designating said Code section as reserved.

SECTION 4. Said part is further amended by repealing in its entirety Code Section 27-3-46, relating to failure to affix deer tag prior to storage or processing, and designating said Code section as reserved.

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

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HIGHWAYS, BRIDGES, AND FERRIES MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC STATE ROAD AND
TOLLWAY AUTHORITY; COLLECTION OF TOLLS FOR MANAGEMENT OF TRAFFIC
FLOW; SALES TAX EXEMPTIONS; INSTALLATION OF MANAGED LANE SIGNS, BARRIERS, OR GATES.

No. 178 (Senate Bill No. 125).

AN ACT

To amend Article 2 of Chapter 10 of Title 32 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the State Road and Tollway Authority, so as to authorize the collection of tolls for the management of traffic flow; to provide for administrative fees for drivers failing to pay the appropriate tolls; to provide for notice; to provide for permitted uses of funds collected through tolls; to provide for sales tax exemptions for the authority; to amend Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to motor vehicles, so as to provide for definitions; to provide for the installation of managed lane signs, barriers, or gates; to prohibit entry or exit of a managed lane under certain conditions; 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 10 of Title 32 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the State Road and Tollway Authority, is amended in Code Section 32-10-64, relating to general toll powers, police powers, and rules and regulations, by revising subsection (a) and paragraph (1) of subsection (c) as follows:
"(a)(1) For the purpose of earning sufficient revenue to make possible, in conjunction with other funds available to the authority, the financing of the construction or acquisition of projects of the authority with revenue bonds, the authority is authorized and empowered to collect tolls on each and every project which it, the department, or local governing

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authority shall cause to be constructed. It is found, determined, and declared that the necessities of revenue bond financing are such that the authority's toll earnings on each project or projects, in conjunction with other funds available to the authority, must exceed the actual maintenance, repair, and normal reserve requirements of such projects, together with monthly or yearly sums needed for the sinking fund payments upon the principal and interest obligations of financing such project or projects; however, within the framework of these legitimate necessities of the authority and subject to all bond resolutions, trust indentures, and all other contractual obligations of the authority, the authority is charged with the duty of the operation of all projects in the aggregate at the most reasonable possible level of toll charges; and, furthermore, the authority is charged with the responsibility of a reasonable and equitable adjustment of such toll charges as between the various classes of users of any given project in which the repayment of financing is the primary or exclusive purpose for the exercise of the toll power of the authority. (2) For the purpose of managing the flow of traffic, the authority is authorized and empowered to collect tolls on each and every project which it, the department, or local governing authority shall cause to be constructed in which managing the flow of traffic is the primary or exclusive purpose. It is found, determined, and declared that the necessities of managing the flow of traffic are such that the authority is charged with the responsibility of taking into consideration value pricing and lane management as those terms are described in subsection (d) of Code Section 40-6-54 in determining toll charges on such projects." "(c)(1) No motor vehicle shall be driven or towed through a toll collection facility, where appropriate signs have been erected to notify traffic that it is subject to the payment of tolls beyond such sign, without payment of the proper toll. In the event of nonpayment of the proper toll, as evidenced by video or electronic recording, the registered owner of such vehicle shall be liable to make prompt payment to the authority of the proper toll and an administrative fee of up to $25.00 per violation to recover the cost of collecting the toll. The authority or its authorized agent shall provide notice to the registered owner of a vehicle, and a reasonable time to respond to such notice, of the authority's finding of a violation of this subsection. The authority or its authorized agent may provide subsequent notices to the registered owner of a vehicle if such owner fails to respond to the initial notice. The administrative fee may increase with each notice, provided that such fee shall not exceed a cumulative total of $25.00 per violation. Upon failure of the registered owner of a vehicle to pay the proper toll and administrative fee to the authority after notice thereof and within the time designated in such notice, the authority may proceed to seek collection of the proper toll and the administrative fee as debts owing to the authority, in such manner as the authority deems appropriate and as permitted under law. If the authority finds multiple failures by a registered owner of a vehicle to pay the proper toll and administrative fee after notice thereof and within the time designated in such notices, the authority may refer the matter to the Office of State Administrative Hearings. The scope of any hearing held by the Office of State Administrative Hearings shall be limited

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to consideration of evidence relevant to a determination of whether the registered owner has failed to pay, after notice thereof and within the time designated in such notice, the proper toll and administrative fee. The only affirmative defense that may be presented by the registered owner of a vehicle at such a hearing is theft of the vehicle, as evidenced by presentation at the hearing of a copy of a police report showing that the vehicle has been reported to the police as stolen prior to the time of the alleged violation. A determination by the Office of State Administrative Hearings of multiple failures to pay by a registered owner of a vehicle shall subject such registered owner to imposition of, in addition to any unpaid tolls and administrative fees, a civil monetary penalty payable to the authority of not more than $70.00 per violation. Upon failure by a registered owner to pay to the authority, within 30 days of the date of notice thereof, the amount determined by the Office of State Administrative Hearings as due and payable for multiple violations of this subsection, the motor vehicle registration of such registered owner shall be immediately suspended by operation of law. The authority shall give notice to the Department of Revenue of such suspension. Such suspension shall continue until the proper toll, administrative fee, and civil monetary penalty as have been determined by the Office of State Administrative Hearings are paid to the authority. Actions taken by the authority under this subsection shall be made in accordance with policies and procedures approved by the members of the authority."

SECTION 2. Said article is further amended by revising Code Section 32-10-65, relating to fixing, revising, charging, and collecting tolls and the use and disposition of tolls, as follows:
"32-10-65. The authority is authorized to fix, revise, charge, and collect tolls for the use of each project. Such tolls shall be so fixed and adjusted as to carry out and perform the terms and provisions of any resolution, trust indenture, or contract with or for the benefit of bondholders; and such tolls shall not be subject to supervision or regulation by any other commission, board, bureau, or agency of the state. Notwithstanding any provision of this article to the contrary, if the repayment of financing is not the primary or exclusive purpose for the exercise of the authority's toll power, the authority shall not be required to issue or have outstanding bonds or other indebtedness in respect to a project in order to fix, revise, charge, enforce, or collect tolls for such project. The use and disposition of tolls and revenues shall be subject to the provisions of the resolution authorizing the issuance of such bonds or of the trust indenture securing the same, if there are any."

SECTION 3. Said article is further amended by revising Code Section 32-10-109, relating to covenant with holders as to tax-exempt status of authority property and bonds, as follows:

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"32-10-109. It is found, determined, and declared that the creation of the authority and the carrying out of its corporate purpose are in all respects for the benefit of the people of this state and that the authority is an institution of purely public charity and will be performing an essential governmental function in the exercise of the power conferred upon it by this article; and this state covenants with the holders of the bonds that the authority shall not be required to pay any taxes or assessments upon any of the property acquired or leased by it or under its jurisdiction, control, possession, or supervision or upon its activities in the operation or maintenance of the projects erected by it or upon any fees, tolls, or other charges for the use of such projects or upon other income received by the authority. The bonds of the authority, their transfer, and the income therefrom shall at all times be exempt from taxation within this state. The tax exemption provided for in this chapter shall include an exemption from sales and use tax on property purchased by the authority or for use by the authority."

SECTION 4. Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to motor vehicles, is amended in Code Section 40-1-1, relating to definitions, by adding a new paragraph to read as follows:
"(25.2) 'Managed lane' means a designated lane or series of designated lanes which utilize tolls payable to the State Road and Tollway Authority and which may use other lane management strategies in order to manage the flow of traffic. Such additional lane management strategies may include, but are not limited to, value pricing, vehicle occupancy requirements, or vehicle type restrictions, or any combination thereof."

SECTION 5. Said title is further amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"40-6-28. (a) The department may install gates, signs, or barriers, or any combination thereof, to restrict access to managed lanes. (b) No person shall drive any vehicle through, around, or under any barrier or closed or moving gate of a managed lane. (c) No vehicle shall enter or exit a managed lane at any point other than designated entry or exit points unless directed by authorized emergency personnel."

SECTION 6. This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval.

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

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MENTAL HEALTH CERTIFICATION OF CRISIS STABILIZATION UNITS; POLICIES AND PROCEDURES.

No. 179 (Senate Bill No. 131).

AN ACT

To amend Article 2 of Chapter 1 of Title 37 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to powers and duties of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, so as to provide for the certification, rather than licensing, of crisis stabilization units; to provide for policies and procedures; to remove certain provisions relating to the promulgation of rules and regulations; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1. Article 2 of Chapter 1 of Title 37 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to powers and duties of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, is amended by revising Code Section 37-1-29, relating to crisis stabilization unit defined, licensure of units, minimum standards and requirements, designation as an emergency receiving facility, legislative intent, and rules and regulations as follows:
"37-1-29. (a) As used in this Code section, the term 'crisis stabilization unit' means a short-term residential program operated for the purpose of providing psychiatric stabilization and detoxification services that complies with applicable department standards and that provides brief, intensive crisis services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. (b) The department shall be authorized to certify crisis stabilization units pursuant to this Code section for the purpose of providing psychiatric stabilization and detoxification services in a community based setting rather than inpatient hospitalization and other higher levels of care. (c) The department shall establish minimum standards and requirements for the certification of crisis stabilization units in its policies and procedures. Following any changes to such policies and procedures pertaining to crisis stabilization units, notification of such changes shall be posted on the department's website within 45 days and shall remain posted on the website for at least six months. Such policies and procedures shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) The capacity to carry out emergency receiving and evaluating functions; (2) Voluntary and involuntary admission criteria; (3) The prohibition to hold itself out as a hospital or bill for hospital or inpatient services; (4) The unit is operated by an accredited and licensed, if applicable, health care authority;

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(5) The unit has operating agreements with private and public inpatient hospitals and treatment facilities; (6) The unit operates within the guidelines of the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act with respect to stabilization and transfer of clients; (7) Length of stay; (8) Designation of transitional beds; (9) Billing; (10) Physician and registered professional nurse oversight; (11) Staff to client ratios; (12) Patient restraint or seclusion; (13) Safety and emergency protocols; (14) Pharmacy services; (15) Medication administration; and (16) Reporting requirements. (d) A crisis stabilization unit shall be designated as an emergency receiving facility under Code Sections 37-3-40 and 37-7-40 and an evaluation facility under Code Sections 37-3-60 and 37-7-60, but shall not be designated as a treatment facility under Code Section 37-3-80 or 37-7-80. Crisis stabilization units may admit individuals on a voluntary basisIndividuals may be provided 24 hour observation, detoxification and stabilization services, medication prescribed by a physician, and other appropriate treatment or services. (e) No entity shall operate as a crisis stabilization unit without having a valid certificate issued pursuant to this Code section. (f) Application for a certificate to operate a crisis stabilization unit shall be submitted to the department in the manner prescribed by the department's policies and procedures. (g) The department shall issue a certificate to an applicant who meets all the standards and requirements as set forth in the department's policies and procedures for the certification of crisis stabilization units. The certificate shall be nontransferable for a change of location or governing body. (h) Each certified crisis stabilization unit shall permit authorized department representatives to enter upon and inspect any and all premises for which a certificate has been granted or applied for. (i) The department may deny any application for certification which does not meet all the standards and requirements set forth in the department's policies and procedures for the certification of crisis stabilization units and may suspend or revoke a certification which has been issued if an applicant or a certified crisis stabilization unit violates any such policies and procedures; provided, however, that before any order is entered denying a certification application or suspending or revoking a certification previously granted, the applicant or certificate holder, as the case may be, shall be afforded an opportunity for a hearing as provided for in Chapter 13 of Title 50, the 'Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.'

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(j) Any program certified as a crisis stabilization unit pursuant to this Code section shall be exempt from the requirements to obtain a certificate of need pursuant to Article 3 of Chapter 6 of Title 31. (k) It is the intent of the General Assembly that this Code section provide a public benefit and comply with all safety net obligations in this title and that patients without private health care coverage receive priority consideration for crisis stabilization unit placement."

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

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LOCAL GOVERNMENT MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC REPORT AMOUNT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT REVENUE FROM SPEEDING FINES; REBUTTAL PRESUMPTION FOR USE OF SPEED DETECTION DEVICES IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES.

No. 180 (Senate Bill No. 134).

AN ACT

To amend Article 1 of Chapter 81 of Title 36 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to local government budgets and audits, so as to require reports of local government revenues submitted to the Department of Community Affairs identify the total amount of speeding fine revenue collected by the local government; to amend Article 2 of Chapter 14 of Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to speed detection devices, so as to provide for a rebuttable presumption for law enforcement agencies' use of speed detection devices when fines are less than a certain percent of the agencies' operating budgets; to provide for the calculation of such budgets; 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 81 of Title 36 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to local government budgets and audits, is amended in Code Section 36-81-8, relating to annual local government finances and indebtedness reports to the Department of Community Affairs, by revising subparagraph (b)(1)(A) as follows:

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"(b)(1)(A) Each unit of local government shall submit an annual report of local government finances to the Department of Community Affairs. The report shall include the revenues, expenditures, assets, and debts of all funds and agencies of the local government, and other such information as may be reasonably requested by the department. Such annual report shall further identify the total amount of speeding fine revenue collected by the local government."

SECTION 2. Article 2 of Chapter 14 of Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to speed detection devices, is amended in Code Section 40-14-11, relating to the ratio of speeding fines to a law enforcement agency's budget, by revising subsection (d) as follows:
"(d) There shall be a rebuttable presumption that a law enforcement agency is employing speed detection devices for purposes other than the promotion of the public health, welfare, and safety if the fines levied based on the use of speed detection devices for speeding offenses are equal to or greater than 35 percent of a municipal or county law enforcement agency's budget. For purposes of this Code section, fines collected for citations issued for violations of Code Section 40-6-180 shall be included when calculating total speeding fine revenue for the agency; provided, however, that fines for speeding violations exceeding 20 miles per hour over the established speed limit shall not be considered when calculating total speeding fine revenue for the agency."

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

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CIVIL PRACTICE COURTS STATE GOVERNMENT REPEAL SUNSET AND LEGISLATIVE REVIEW PROVISIONS REGARDING CERTIFIED PROCESS SERVERS; PROTECTION AND DISCLOSURE OF RECORDS OF CLERK OF SUPERIOR COURT.

No. 181 (Senate Bill No. 135).

AN ACT

To amend Code Section 9-11-4.1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to certified process servers, so as to repeal the sunset and legislative review provisions; to amend

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Article 2 of Chapter 6 of Title 15 and Code Section 50-18-72 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the clerks of superior courts and when public disclosure is not required, respectively, so as to provide for the protection and disclosure of records held by the clerk of superior court; to provide for procedure for disclosure; to change provisions relating to back-up records; 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:

PART I SECTION 1-1.

Code Section 9-11-4.1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to certified process servers, is amended by revising subsection (k) as follows: See Compiler's Note, Page 1068.
PART II SECTION 2-1.

Article 2 of Chapter 6 of Title 15 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the clerks of superior courts, is amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"15-6-60.1. (a) As the county constitutional officer elected by citizens of his or her county to protect and preserve their court and land records, the clerk of superior court is the sole custodian of all original filed records that the clerk is required by law to retain in his or her office or permitted to store and archive in another location as provided by Code Section 15-6-86. (b) Regardless of the methodology, system, or location used by the clerk of superior court for filing, recording, archiving, and storing records, any request for access to or copies of records, including requests made pursuant to Article 4 of Chapter 18 of Title 50 for access to or copies of any record filed, recorded, or retained by a clerk of superior court, shall be made to the clerk of superior court. (c) The clerk of superior court may contract with any person or entity or any governmental department, agency, authority, or entity for the purpose of archiving or storing electronic records of the clerk's office. When the clerk executes a contract for such purpose, such service provider shall not provide access to or copies of any records without the express written approval of the clerk of superior court. (d) Any person or entity or any governmental department, agency, authority, or entity that provides storage or archiving services for records for which the clerk of superior court is custodian shall relinquish possession of all such records and any copies thereof and return such records and copies to the clerk upon request of the clerk. This subsection shall not apply to records provided by the clerk of the superior court to the Georgia Superior Court

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Clerks' Cooperative Authority pursuant to laws requiring transmittal of records of the clerk's office to such authority. (e) Records that the clerk of superior court is required by law or rules and regulations to provide to other governmental departments, agencies, authorities, and entities to enable such departments, agencies, authorities, and entities to perform their duties or to support the functions assigned to such departments, agencies, authorities, and entities shall not be used for any purpose other than the performance of such duties or functions. (f) Records provided by the clerk of superior court to the Georgia Superior Court Clerks' Cooperative Authority shall be used by the authority only for the performance of its statutory duties, including providing online access to such records. (g) Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to require or otherwise affect the appropriation of public funds by a local governing authority to a clerk of superior court."

SECTION 2-2. Said article is further amended by revising Code Section 15-6-62.1, relating to back-up records, as follows:
"15-6-62.1. (a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) 'Authority' means the Georgia Superior Court Clerks' Cooperative Authority. (2) 'Back-up record' means an electronic copy of any record that a clerk of superior court is required to create pursuant to Code Sections 15-6-61 and 15-6-62. (b) A clerk of a superior court electing to record in digital format any record of which he or she is the custodian shall maintain a back-up record in at least two ways: (1) By the clerk permanently retaining the back-up record on the clerk's secure file server, either controlled and operated by the clerk or personnel employed by the clerk or provided for the exclusive benefit of the clerk's office through a contractual relationship between the clerk and a public or private entity for such purpose; and (2) By the clerk submitting all digitally formatted records that the clerk is statutorily authorized and required to archive with the authority for permanent archiving, as set forth in subsection (c) of this Code section. (c) The clerk of superior court shall submit the clerk's records to the authority in a format acceptable to the authority at least monthly, but not later than the fifteenth day following the last day of each month. Upon receipt of such records, the authority shall permanently and securely maintain such records. Excluding records to which the authority is required by law to provide online access, the authority shall not provide access to or copies of records maintained by it to any person requesting such records without the express written approval of the clerk of superior court who originally maintained such records. All requests for access to such records shall be made to such clerk.

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SECTION 2-3. Code Section 50-18-72 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to when public disclosure is not required, is amended in subsection (a) by striking "or" at the end of paragraph (47), by replacing the period at the end of paragraph (48) with "; or", and by adding a new paragraph to read as follows:
"(49) Held by the Georgia Superior Court Clerks' Cooperative Authority or any other public or private entity for and on behalf of a clerk of superior court; provided, however, that such records may be obtained from a clerk of superior court unless otherwise exempted from disclosure."

PART III SECTION 3-1.

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, this Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval. (b) Part II of this Act shall become effective on July 1, 2015.

SECTION 3-2. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Compiler's Note - Section 1-1 revised subsection (k) of Code Section 9-11-4.1 by repealing it. The stricken text read as follows:
"(k) Sunset and legislative review. This Code section shall be repealed effective July 1, 2015, unless continued in effect by the General Assembly prior to that date. At its 2013 regular session the General Assembly shall review this Code section to determine whether it should be continued in effect."
Approved May 6, 2015.

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EDUCATION AUTHORIZE STATE CHARTER SCHOOLS COMMISSION TO ESTABLISH NONPROFIT FOUNDATION.

No. 182 (Senate Bill No. 156).

AN ACT

To amend Article 31A of Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to state charter schools, so as to authorize the State Charter Schools Commission to establish a nonprofit foundation; 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 31A of Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to state charter schools, is amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"20-2-2092. (a) The commission shall have the power and authority to incorporate a nonprofit corporation that could qualify as a public foundation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code to aid the commission in carrying out any of its powers and accomplishing any of its purposes. A nonprofit corporation created pursuant to this subsection shall be created pursuant to Chapter 3 of Title 14, the 'Georgia Nonprofit Corporation Code,' and the Secretary of State shall be authorized to accept such filing. (b) A nonprofit corporation created pursuant to this Code section shall be subject to the following provisions:
(1) In accordance with the Constitution of Georgia, no governmental functions or regulatory powers shall be conducted by such nonprofit corporation; (2) Upon dissolution of such nonprofit corporation incorporated by the commission, any assets shall revert to the commission or to any successor to the commission or, failing such succession, to the State of Georgia; (3) As used in this paragraph, the term 'direct employee costs' means salary, benefits, and travel expenses. To avoid the appearance of undue influence on regulatory functions by donors, no donations to such nonprofit corporation from private sources shall be used for direct employee costs of the commission; (4) Such nonprofit corporation shall be subject to all laws relating to open meetings and the inspection of public records; (5) The commission shall not be liable for the action or omission to act of such nonprofit corporation; provided, however, that such nonprofit corporation shall obtain and maintain

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errors and omissions liability coverage insurance in an amount not less than $1 million; and (6) No debts, bonds, notes, or other obligations incurred by such nonprofit corporation shall constitute an indebtedness or obligation of the State of Georgia nor shall any act of such nonprofit corporation constitute or result in the creation of an indebtedness of the state; provided, however, that such nonprofit corporation shall not have the power to incur long-term or short-term indebtedness in connection with its authority under this Code section but may incur short-term credit obligations. No holder or holders of such bonds, notes, or other obligations shall ever have the right to compel any exercise of the taxing power of the state nor to enforce the payment thereof against the state. (c) Pursuant to this Code section, the commission may establish a nonprofit corporation to be designated as the State Charter Schools Foundation for the sole purpose of actively seeking supplemental revenue and in-kind goods, services, and property to promote state charter schools and any other purpose of the commission. Funds received by the foundation may be awarded through a competitive grant process administered by the commission. (d) A nonprofit corporation created pursuant to this Code section shall make public and provide an annual report showing the identity of all donors and the amount each person or entity donated as well as all expenditures or other disposal of money or property donated. Such report shall be provided to the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the chairpersons of the House Committee on Education and the Senate Education and Youth Committee. Such nonprofit corporation shall also provide such persons with a copy of all corporate filings with the federal Internal Revenue Service."

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

__________

EDUCATION BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTIONS AND SUPPORTS AND RESPONSE TO INTERVENTION INITIATIVES.

No. 183 (Senate Bill No. 164).

AN ACT

To amend Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to elementary and secondary education, so as to provide for positive behavioral interventions and

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supports and response to intervention initiatives; 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 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to elementary and secondary education, is amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"20-2-741. (a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) 'High needs school' means a public school which has received a school climate rating of '1-star' or '2-star' pursuant to Code Section 20-14-33. (2) 'Positive behavioral interventions and supports' or 'PBIS' means an evidence based data-driven framework to reduce 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. (3) 'Response to intervention' or 'RTI' means a framework of identifying and addressing the academic and behavioral needs of students through a tiered system. (b) Local boards of education are encouraged to implement PBIS and RTI programs and initiatives in their schools, and particularly in high needs schools. (c) The State Board of Education is authorized, subject to appropriations by the General Assembly, to provide funds to local school systems to support PBIS and RTI programs, initiatives, and personnel. (d) The State Board of Education is authorized to establish rules and regulations for PBIS and RTI programs and initiatives which receive funding pursuant to this Code section."

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

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HIGHWAYS, BRIDGES, AND FERRIES MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC STATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM; APPROPRIATION OF FUNDS TO DEPARTMENT
OF TRANSPORTATION; MARKET VALUE OF PROPERTY; SALE OF PROPERTY; FEDERAL PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SAFETY PROGRAM; OUTDOOR ADVERTISING SIGNS; OPERATION OF PERSONAL TRANSPORTATION VEHICLES.

No. 184 (Senate Bill No. 169).

AN ACT

To amend Title 32 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to highways, bridges, and ferries, so as to revise what constitutes part of the state highway system; to provide for the appropriation of funds to the Department of Transportation; to provide for notice in the disposition of property; to provide for the determination of market value of property acquired by the department; to provide for the procedure for the sale of property when the right of acquisition is not exercised; to provide for the implementation of the federal Public Transportation Safety Program; to provide for the reconstruction and relocation of outdoor advertising signs located upon property that has been acquired for public road purposes; to provide for standards for relocating such signs; to provide for standards of compensation by the Department of Transportation and local governments in instances when an outdoor advertising sign is located upon land acquired for public purposes; to amend Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to motor vehicles and traffic, so as to provide for the operation of personal transportation vehicles in certain areas and under certain conditions; to provide for submission of electronic accident reports by law enforcement agencies; 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 32 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to highways, bridges, and ferries, is amended by revising Code Section 32-4-20, relating to the composition of the state highway system, as follows:
"32-4-20. The state highway system shall consist of an integrated network of arterials and of other public roads or bypasses serving as the major collectors therefor. No public road shall be designated as a part of the state highway system unless it meets at least one of the following requirements:

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(1) Serves trips of substantial length and duration indicative of regional, state-wide, or interstate importance; (2) Connects adjoining county seats; (3) Connects urban or regional areas with outlying areas, both intrastate and interstate; or (4) Serves as part of the principal collector network for the state-wide and interstate arterial public road system ."

SECTION 2. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 32-5-2, relating to the appropriation of funds to the Department of Transportation, as follows:
"32-5-2. All federal funds received by the state treasurer under Code Section 32-5-1 are continually appropriated to the department for the purpose specified in the grants of such funds except as such funds may be directed by the federal government to the State Road and Tollway Authority."

SECTION 3. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 32-7-4, relating to procedure for the disposition of property by the Department of Transportation, as follows:
"32-7-4. (a)(1) In disposing of property, as authorized under Code Section 32-7-3, the department, a county, or a municipality, provided that such department, county, or municipality has held title to the property for no more than 30 years, shall notify the owner of such property at the time of its acquisition or, if the tract from which the department, a county, or a municipality acquired its property has been subsequently sold, shall notify the owner of abutting land holding title through the owner from whom the department, a county, or a municipality acquired its property. The notice shall be in writing delivered to the appropriate owner or by publication if his or her address is unknown; and he or she shall have the right to acquire, as provided in this subsection, the property with respect to which the notice is given. Publication, if necessary, shall be in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the property is located. If, after a search of the available public records, the address of any interested party cannot be found, a record of the facts and reciting the steps taken to establish the address of any such person shall be placed in the department, county, or municipal records and shall be accepted in lieu of service of notice by mailing the same to the last known address of such person. After properly completing and documenting the search, the department, county, or municipality may dispose of the property in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b) of this Code section. (2)(A) When an entire parcel acquired by the department, a county, or a municipality, or any interest therein, is being disposed of, it may be acquired under the right created

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in paragraph (1) of this subsection at such price as may be agreed upon, but in no event less than the price paid for its acquisition. When only remnants or portions of the original acquisition are being disposed of, they may be acquired for the market value thereof at the time the department, county, or municipality decides the property is no longer needed. The department shall use a real estate appraiser with knowledge of the local real estate market who is licensed in Georgia to establish the fair market value of the property prior to listing such property. (B) The provisions of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph notwithstanding, if the value of the property is $75,000.00 or less as determined by department estimate, the department, county, or municipality may negotiate the sale. (3) If the right of acquisition is not exercised within 30 days after due notice, the department, county, or municipality may proceed to sell such property as provided in subsection (b) of this Code section. (4) When the department, county, or municipality in good faith and with reasonable diligence attempted to ascertain the identity of persons entitled to notice under this Code section and mailed such notice to the last known address of record of those persons or otherwise complied with the notification requirements of this Code section, the failure to in fact notify those persons entitled thereto shall not invalidate any subsequent disposition of property pursuant to this Code section. (b)(1)(A) Unless a sale of the property is made pursuant to paragraph (2) or (3) of this subsection, such sale shall be made to the bidder submitting the highest of the sealed bids received after public advertisement for such bids for two weeks. If the highest of the sealed bids received is less than but within 15 percent of the established market value, the department may accept that bid and convey the property in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c) of this Code section. The department or the county or municipality shall have the right to reject any and all bids, in its discretion, to readvertise, or to abandon the sale. (B) Such public advertisement shall be inserted once a week in such newspapers or other publication, or both, as will ensure adequate publicity, the first insertion to be at least two weeks prior to the opening of bids, the second to follow one week after the first publication. Such advertisement shall include but not be limited to the following items:
(i) A description sufficient to enable the public to identify the property; (ii) The time and place for submission and opening of sealed bids; (iii) The right of the department or the county or municipality to reject any one or all of the bids; (iv) All the conditions of sale; and (v) Such further information as the department or the county or municipality may deem advisable as in the public interest. (2)(A) Such sale of property may be made by the department or a county or municipality by listing the property through a real estate broker licensed under Chapter 40 of Title 43 who has a place of business located in the county where the

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property is located or outside the county if no such business is located in the county where the property is located. Property shall be listed for a period of at least three months. Such property shall not be sold at less than its fair market value. The department shall use a real estate appraiser with knowledge of the local real estate market who is licensed in Georgia to establish the fair market value of the property prior to listing such property. All sales shall be approved by the commissioner on behalf of the department or shall be approved by the governing authority of the county or municipality at a regular meeting that shall be open to the public, and public comments shall be allowed at such meeting regarding such sale. (B) Commencing at the time of the listing of the property as provided in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, the department, county, or municipality shall provide for a notice to be inserted once a week for two weeks in the legal organ of the county indicating the names of real estate brokers listing the property for the political subdivision. The department, county, or municipality may advertise in magazines relating to the sale of real estate or similar publications. (C) The department, county, or municipality shall have the right to reject any and all offers, in its discretion, and to sell such property pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection. (3)(A) Such sale of property may be made by the department, a county, or a municipality to the highest bidder at a public auction conducted by an auctioneer licensed under Chapter 6 of Title 43. Such property shall not be sold at less than its fair market value. (B) The department, county, or municipality shall provide for a notice to be inserted once a week for the two weeks immediately preceding the auction in the legal organ of the county including, at a minimum, the following items:
(i) A description sufficient to enable the public to identify the property; (ii) The time and place of the public auction; (iii) The right of the department or the county or municipality to reject any one or all of the bids; (iv) All the conditions of sale; and (v) Such further information as the department or the county or municipality may deem advisable as in the public interest. The department, county, or municipality may advertise in magazines relating to the sale of real estate or similar publications. (C) The department, county, or municipality shall have the right to reject any and all offers, in its discretion, and to sell such property pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection. (c) Any conveyance of property shall require the approval of the department, county, or municipality, by approval of the commissioner on behalf of the department and, in the case of a county or municipality, by resolution, to be recorded in the minutes of its meeting. If the department or the county or municipality approves a sale of property, the commissioner,

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chairperson, or presiding officer may execute a quitclaim deed conveying such property to the purchaser. All proceeds arising from such sales shall be paid into and constitute a part of the funds of the seller."

SECTION 4. Said title is further amended in Code Section 32-9-10, relating to the implementation of the federal Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991, by revising subsection (a) and adding new subsections to read as follows:
"(a) The purpose of this Code section is to implement the federal Public Transportation Safety Program, 49 U.S.C. Section 5329, referred to in this Code section as the act." "(g) Nothing in this Code section is intended to conflict with any provision of federal law; and, in case of such conflict, such portion of this Code section as may be in conflict with such federal law is declared of no effect to the extent of the conflict. (h) The department is authorized to take the necessary steps to secure the full benefit of the federal-aid program and meet any contingencies not provided for in this Code section, abiding at all times by a fundamental purpose to perform all acts which are necessary, proper, or incidental to the efficient and safe operation and development of the department and the state highway system and of other modes and systems of transportation."

SECTION 5. Said title is further amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
"32-3-3.1. (a) When rights of way or real property or interests therein are acquired by a state agency, county, or municipality for public road purposes and an outdoor advertising sign permitted by the state in accordance with Part 2 of Article 3 of Chapter 6 of this title and a local county or municipal ordinance, which has not lapsed and is in good standing, is located upon such property, the outdoor advertising sign may be relocated or reconstructed and relocated through agreement of the owner of the property and owner of the outdoor advertising sign, if such owners do not refer to the same person, so long as the new location:
(1) Is within 250 feet of its original location, provided that the new location meets the requirements for an outdoor advertising sign provided in Part 2 of Article 3 of Chapter 6 of this title; (2) Is available to the owner of the outdoor advertising sign and is comparable to the original location, as agreed upon by the owner of the outdoor advertising sign and the department; (3) Does not result in a violation of federal or state law; and (4) Is within zoned commercial or industrial areas or unzoned commercial or industrial areas as defined in Code Section 32-6-71. (b) An outdoor advertising sign relocated as provided for in subsection (a) of this Code section may be adjusted in height or angle or both in order to restore the visibility of the sign to the same or a comparable visibility which existed prior to acquisition by a state agency,

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county, or municipality, provided that the height of such relocated sign shall not exceed the greater of the height of the existing sign or 75 feet, as measured from the base of the sign or the crown of the adjacent roadway to which the sign is permitted, whichever is greater. (c) For any federal aid project or any project financed in whole or in part with federal funds, the actual costs of relocation or reconstruction and relocation of an outdoor advertising sign relocated as provided for in subsection (a) of this Code section shall be paid by the department. For any project not financed in whole or in part with federal funds, the actual costs of relocation or reconstruction and relocation shall be paid by the owner of the outdoor advertising sign. (d) If no relocation site that meets the requirements of paragraphs (1) through (4) of subsection (a) of this Code section exists, just and adequate compensation shall be paid by the department to the owner of the outdoor advertising sign. (e) If a sign is eligible to be relocated as provided for in subsection (a) of this Code section but such new location would result in a conflict with local ordinances in the city or county of applicable jurisdiction and no variance or other exception is granted to allow relocation as requested by the owner of the outdoor advertising sign, just and adequate compensation shall be paid by the local governing authority to the owner of the outdoor advertising sign. However, no compensation resulting from the denial of a variance or exception by a local governing authority for an outdoor advertising sign eligible for relocation under this Code section shall be paid either directly or indirectly by the department."

SECTION 6. Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to motor vehicles and traffic, is amended in Code Section 40-6-331, relating to designation of PTV paths, licensing requirements and operating standards of PTVs, local immunity, signage, and street crossing, by adding a new subsection to read as follows:
"(e)(1) Regardless of whether a local ordinance has been approved regarding the use of PTVs, delivery personnel for a commercial delivery company which has at least 10,000 persons employed in this state may operate PTVs within a residential subdivision with speed limits of 25 miles per hour or less, provided that any PTV utilized by a commercial delivery company shall:
(A) Include the equipment required in subsection (a) of Code Section 40-6-330.1; (B) Be marked in a conspicuous manner with the name of the commercial delivery company; (C) Be operated by a person with a valid driver's license; and (D) Be utilized only for the delivery of envelopes and packages with a maximum size of 130 inches for the combined length and girth and with a weight no greater than 150 pounds per package. (2) Any commercial delivery company utilizing PTVs under this subsection shall remit a $50.00 fee every five years to each local authority where a PTV is operated along with

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a signed statement that such commercial delivery company operates PTVs within the jurisdiction of such local authority. (3) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, any person operating a PTV under this subsection shall be granted all the rights and shall be subject to all the duties applicable to a driver of any other vehicle under this chapter; provided, however that subsection (b) of Code Section 40-6-315 shall not be applicable to the operator of a PTV under this subsection. (4) Any PTV authorized to operate pursuant to this subsection shall not pull multiple trailers. Such PTVs shall be limited to pulling one trailer or cargo platform and be limited to hauling weight no greater than the carrying capacity of the PTV as determined by the manufacturer."

SECTION 7. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 40-9-31, relating to the submission of accident reports to the Department of Driver Services and the Department of Transportation, as follows:
"40-9-31. Each state and local law enforcement agency shall submit to the Department of Transportation the original document of any accident report prepared by such law enforcement agency or submitted to such agency by a member of the public. If the Department of Driver Services receives a claim requesting determination of security, the Department of Transportation shall provide a copy or an electronic copy of any relevant accident reports to the Department of Driver Services. Any law enforcement agency may transmit the information contained on the accident report form by electronic means, provided that the Department of Transportation has first given approval to the reporting agency for the electronic reporting method utilized. The law enforcement agency shall retain a copy of each accident report. Any law enforcement agency that transmits the data by electronic means must transmit the data using a nonproprietary interchangeable electronic format and reporting method. For purposes of this Code section, the term 'nonproprietary' shall include commonly used report formats. All such reports shall be submitted to the Department of Transportation within 14 days when electronically submitted and when not electronically submitted not more than 15 days following the end of the month in which such report was prepared or received by such law enforcement agency. The Department of Transportation is authorized to engage the services of a third party in fulfilling its responsibilities under this Code section."

SECTION 8. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved May 6, 2015.

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1079

LABOR AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS WORKERS' COMPENSATION; REVISE PROVISIONS; SUBSEQUENT INJURY TRUST FUND; PAYMENT OF ASSESSMENTS; TRANSFER OF ASSETS UPON DISSOLUTION.

No. 185 (House Bill No. 412).

AN ACT

To amend Chapter 9 of Title 34 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to workers' compensation, so as to change certain provisions relating to workers' compensation; to change certain provisions relating to the exclusivity of rights and remedies granted to an employee under workers' compensation and immunity granted to construction design professionals; to eliminate the Conformed Panel of Physicians as a method by which an employer may satisfy the requirements for furnishing medical care; to increase the maximum weekly compensation for temporary total disability benefits; to increase the maximum weekly compensation for temporary partial disability benefits; to change provisions relating to compensation payable to a surviving spouse when there are no other dependents; to change certain provisions relating to payment of assessments to the Subsequent Injury Trust Fund by insurers and self-insurers and calculations applicable thereto; to provide for the transfer of the books, records, and property of the Subsequent Injury Trust Fund to the custody of the Insurance Department upon dissolution of the fund; to change the date by which the fund and members of its board of trustees shall be discharged from their duties; 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 9 of Title 34 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to workers' compensation, is amended by revising subsection (a) of Code Section 34-9-11, relating to exclusivity of rights and remedies granted to employee under Chapter 9 and immunity granted to construction design professionals, as follows:
"(a) The rights and the remedies granted to an employee by this chapter shall exclude and be in place of all other rights and remedies of such employee, his or her personal representative, parents, dependents, or next of kin, and all other civil liabilities whatsoever at common law or otherwise, on account of such injury, loss of service, or death; provided, however, that the employer may be liable to the employee for rights and remedies beyond those provided in this chapter by expressly agreeing in writing to specific additional rights and remedies; provided, further, however, that the use of contractual provisions generally

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relating to workplace safety, generally relating to compliance with laws or regulations, or generally relating to liability insurance requirements shall not be construed to create rights and remedies beyond those provided in this chapter. No employee shall be deprived of any right to bring an action against any third-party tort-feasor, other than an employee of the same employer or any person who, pursuant to a contract or agreement with an employer, provides workers' compensation benefits to an injured employee, notwithstanding the fact that no common-law master-servant relationship or contract of employment exists between the injured employee and the person providing the benefits, and other than a construction design professional who is retained to perform professional services on or in conjunction with a construction project on which the employee was working when injured, or any employee of a construction design professional who is assisting in the performance of professional services on the construction site on which the employee was working when injured, unless the construction design professional specifically assumes by written contract the safety practices for the project. The immunity provided by this subsection to a construction design professional shall not apply to the negligent preparation of design plans and specifications, nor shall it apply to the tortious activities of the construction design professional or the employees of the construction design professional while on the construction site where the employee was injured and where those activities are the proximate cause of the injury to the employee or to any professional surveys specifically set forth in the contract or any intentional misconduct committed by the construction design professional or his or her employees."

SECTION 2. Said chapter is further amended by revising subsections (b) and (c) of Code Section 34-9-201, relating to selection of physician from panel of physicians, change of physician or treatment, and liability of employer for failure to maintain panel, as follows:
"(b) The employer may satisfy the requirements for furnishing medical care under Code Section 34-9-200 in one of the following manners:
(1) The employer shall maintain a list of at least six physicians or professional associations or corporations of physicians who are reasonably accessible to the employees; provided, however, that the board may grant exceptions to the required size of the panel where it is demonstrated that more than four physicians or groups of physicians are not reasonably accessible. This list shall be known as the 'Panel of Physicians.' At least one of the physicians shall practice the specialty of orthopedic surgery. Not more than two industrial clinics shall be included on the panel. An employee may accept the services of a physician selected by the employer from the panel or may select another physician from the panel. The physicians selected under this subsection from the panel may arrange for any consultation, referral, and extraordinary or other specialized medical services as the nature of the injury shall require without prior authorization from the board; provided, however, that any medical practitioner providing services as arranged by a primary authorized treating physician under this subsection shall not be permitted to arrange for

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any additional referrals. The employee may make one change from one physician to another on the same panel without prior authorization of the board; or (2) A self-insured employer or the workers' compensation insurer of an employer may contract with a managed care organization certified pursuant to Code Section 34-9-208 for medical services required by this chapter to be provided to injured employees. Medical services provided under this paragraph shall be known as 'Managed Care Organization Procedures.' Those employees who are subject to the contract shall receive medical services in the manner prescribed in the contract. Each such contract shall comply with the certification standards provided in Code Section 34-9-208. Self-insured employers or workers' compensation insurers who contract with a managed care organization for medical services shall give notice to the employees of the eligible medical service providers and such other information regarding the contract and manner of receiving medical services as the board may prescribe. (c) Consistent with the method elected under subsection (b) of this Code section, the employer shall post the Panel of Physicians or Managed Care Organization Procedures in prominent places upon the business premises and otherwise take all reasonable measures to ensure that employees: (1) Understand the function of the panel or managed care organization procedures and the employee's right to select a physician therefrom in case of injury; and (2) Are given appropriate assistance in contacting panel or managed care organization members when necessary."

SECTION 3. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 34-9-261, relating to compensation for total disability, as follows:
"34-9-261. While the disability to work resulting from an injury is temporarily total, the employer shall pay or cause to be paid to the employee a weekly benefit equal to two-thirds of the employee's average weekly wage but not more than $550.00 per week nor less than $50.00 per week, except that when the weekly wage is below $50.00, the employer shall pay a weekly benefit equal to the average weekly wage. The weekly benefit under this Code section shall be payable for a maximum period of 400 weeks from the date of injury; provided, however, that in the event of a catastrophic injury as defined in subsection (g) of Code Section 34-9-200.1, the weekly benefit under this Code section shall be paid until such time as the employee undergoes a change in condition for the better as provided in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 34-9-104."

SECTION 4. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 34-9-262, relating to compensation for temporary partial disability, as follows:

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"34-9-262. Except as otherwise provided in Code Section 34-9-263, where the disability to work resulting from the injury is partial in character but temporary in quality, the employer shall pay or cause to be paid to the employee a weekly benefit equal to two-thirds of the difference between the average weekly wage before the injury and the average weekly wage the employee is able to earn thereafter but not more than $367.00 per week for a period not exceeding 350 weeks from the date of injury."

SECTION 5. Said chapter is further amended by revising subsection (d) of Code Section 34-9-265, relating to compensation for death resulting from injury and other causes, penalty for death from injury proximately caused by intentional act of employer, and payment of death benefits where no dependents found, as follows:
"(d) The total compensation payable under this Code section to a surviving spouse as a sole dependent at the time of death and where there is no other dependent for one year or less after the death of the employee shall in no case exceed $220,000.00."

SECTION 6. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 34-9-358, relating to payment of assessments to the Subsequent Injury Trust Fund by insurers and self-insurers and calculations, as follows:
"34-9-358. (a) Prior to January 1, 2010, each insurer and self-insurer under this chapter shall, under regulations prescribed by the board of trustees, make payments to the fund in an amount equal to that proportion of 175 percent of the total disbursement made from the fund during the preceding calendar year less the amount of the net assets in the fund as of December 31 of the preceding calendar year which the total workers' compensation claims paid by the insurer or self-insurer bears to the total workers' compensation claims paid by all insurers and self-insurers during the preceding calendar year. (b) On and after January 1, 2010, but prior to January 1, 2016, each insurer and self-insurer under this chapter shall, under regulations prescribed by the board of trustees, make payments to the fund in an amount equal to that proportion of 175 percent of the total disbursement made from the fund during the preceding calendar year as of December 31 of the preceding calendar year which the total workers' compensation claims paid by the insurer or self-insurer bears to the total workers' compensation claims paid by all insurers and self-insurers during the preceding calendar year but not to exceed $100 million. (c) On and after January 1, 2016, each insurer and self-insurer under this chapter shall, under regulations prescribed by the board of trustees, make payments to the fund in an amount equal to that proportion of $100 million the total workers' compensation claims paid by the insurer or self-insurer bears to the total workers' compensation claims paid by all insurers and self-insurers during the preceding calendar year but not to exceed $100 million.

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(d) The administrator is authorized to create and maintain a reserve of surplus moneys as may be deemed necessary by the board of trustees in order to ensure sufficient moneys will be available for the payment of all claims that are to be paid by the fund in accordance with Code Section 34-9-368. (e) The administrator is authorized to reduce or suspend assessments for the fund when a completed actuarial survey shows further assessments are not needed for all bona fide claims that are to be paid by the fund.
(f)(1) When further assessments are not needed as all eligible workers' compensation claims for which the fund is liable in accordance with Code Section 34-9-368 have been paid and all related administrative costs have been accrued or paid and a balance remains in the fund, all insurers and self-insurers in this state who have maintained workers' compensation insurance in this state for any time during the preceding three years from the date that the last claim has been paid shall be entitled to a pro rata refund of assessments previously collected and unexpended in the remaining fund balance. (2) The calculation for such pro rata refund to be paid by the fund to each individual insurer and self-insurer shall be determined by the following formula:
The balance remaining in the fund shall be the numerator and shall be divided by the total amount of assessments for workers' compensation coverage paid by all insurers and self-insurers during the three-year period, which shall be the denominator. The quotient of the numerator and denominator shall be multiplied by the total amount of assessments that are paid by the individual insurer or self-insurer during the three-year period. The product of those numbers shall represent the amount to be paid to such insurer or self-insurer as its pro rata refund from the balance remaining in the fund. (3) Nothing in this subsection shall preclude the board of trustees from authorizing a loss portfolio transfer of any unresolved claims. (g) An employer who has ceased to be a self-insurer prior to the end of the calendar year shall be liable to the fund for the assessment of the calendar year. Such employer who has ceased to be a self-insurer shall continue to be liable to the fund for assessments in subsequent calendar years so long as payments are made on any workers' compensation claims made while in self-insured status. (h) The initial assessment of each insurer or self-insurer for the purpose of generating revenue to begin operation of the fund shall be in the amount of one-half of 1 percent of the workers' compensation premiums collected by the insurer for the preceding calendar years from an employer who is subject to this chapter or the equivalent of such in the case of a self-insurer."

SECTION 7. Said chapter is further amended by revising subsection (c) of Code Section 34-9-368, relating to reimbursement of self-insured employers or insureds and dissolution of the Subsequent Injury Trust Fund, as follows:

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"(c) Upon or in contemplation of the final payment of all claims filed for subsequent injuries for which claims are filed for injuries occurring on and prior to June 30, 2006, the board of trustees shall adopt and implement resolutions providing for the final dissolution of the Subsequent Injury Trust Fund. Such resolutions shall become effective when all claims made for injuries occurring on and prior to June 30, 2006, have been fully paid or otherwise resolved and shall include provisions for:
(1) The termination of assessments against insurers or self-insurers; (2) The pro rata refund of assessments previously collected and unexpended, consistent with the provisions of subsection (f) of Code Section 34-9-358; (3) The termination of employment of the employees of the fund or the transfer of employment of any employees to any other state agency desiring to accept them; (4) A final accounting of the financial affairs of the fund; and (5) The transfer of the books, records, and property of the fund to the custody of the Insurance Department. Upon the completion of all matters provided for in such resolutions, but not later than December 31, 2023, the Subsequent Injury Trust Fund and the members of its board of trustees shall be discharged from their duties except for such personnel necessary to administer any remaining claims."

SECTION 8. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

Approved May 6, 2015.

__________

LABOR AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS CREATE STATE WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT BOARD AND WORKFORCE DIVISION OF DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.

No. 186 (House Bill No. 348).

AN ACT

To repeal Chapter 14 of Title 34 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the Georgia Workforce Investment Board; to amend Chapter 7 of Title 50 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the Department of Economic Development, so as to create the State Workforce Development Board; to provide for a Workforce Division within the Department of Economic Development; to provide for a deputy commissioner; to provide for

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policy development and implementation; to revise provisions for the administration and dispersal of funds; 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 14 of Title 34 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the Georgia Workforce Investment Board, is repealed and reserved.

SECTION 2. Chapter 7 of Title 50 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the Department of Economic Development, is amended by adding a new article to read as follows:

"ARTICLE 8

50-7-90. (a)(1) Pursuant to Public Law 105-220 and any subsequent amendment to such law, the State Workforce Development Board is hereby created. (2) The State Workforce Development Board shall meet federal composition requirements. The Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall each have the authority to appoint members as federal law allows. The Governor shall be responsible for selecting the remainder of the members. (3) The State Workforce Development Board's members' terms of service shall be established by the Governor and shall be at the discretion of the appointing authority. (4) The State Workforce Development Board shall have powers and duties as specified by the Governor and as provided for in federal law. (5) The State Workforce Development Board shall meet quarterly or when otherwise requested by the chairperson and will be governed by a set of bylaws which will be voted on and approved by the State Workforce Development Board. (6) The State Workforce Development Board shall be funded by federal law. (7) The State Workforce Development Board is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations for purposes of implementing the state's workforce policy while complying with applicable federal laws. (b)(1) The Department of Economic Development is designated as the administrator of all programs for which the state is responsible pursuant to Public Law 105-220 and any subsequent amendment to such law. (2) The Department of Economic Development shall administer such programs and their associated funds pursuant to the policies and methods of implementation which are promulgated by the State Workforce Development Board and the Governor.

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(3) The Workforce Division within the Department of Economic Development is hereby established and replaces the Governor's Office of Workforce Development. The Governor shall appoint a deputy commissioner of the Workforce Division.

50-7-91. (a) The State Workforce Development Board is hereby authorized to develop and facilitate the workforce programs in this state. As such, the State Workforce Development Board shall:
(1) Recommend the designation of local workforce investment areas in accordance with federal law:
(A) A local workforce investment area's chief local elected official may designate a local fiscal agent or a grant recipient which shall be either a municipal government, county government, consolidated government, or regional commission located within the physical boundaries of the local workforce investment area and who shall be approved by the State Workforce Development Board in a procedure established through rule; (B) A local workforce investment area's chief local elected official shall sign and submit to the Workforce Division a budget within ten business days of such budget's approval; and (C) A local workforce development board shall submit any nonbudgeted expenditure over $5,000.00 to the Workforce Division prior to completing the related transaction unless the Workforce Division has exempted a transaction from this requirement through rule or policy; (2) Require every newly appointed chief local elected official, local board member, and local executive director to sign and date a conflict of interest statement which will then be submitted to the Workforce Division within ten business days of signature; and (3) Reserve the right to suspend certification of a local board upon determination that an individual member of that board has violated the conflict of interest statement, until said member has resigned or otherwise been removed from the board. (b) The Workforce Division shall create, in conjunction with the local workforce development boards, contracting guidelines which shall: (1) Ensure all independent contractors involved in the provision of One-Stop services have sufficient insurance, bonding, and liability coverage; (2) Ensure all potential conflicts of interest involving local workforce development board members, local elected officials, and local executive directors are made known prior to the awarding of the associated contract; and (3) Restrict contracting between local workforce development areas and its members, its local elected officials, or its local executive director or any of those individuals' employees, or immediate family members. (c) In accordance with paragraph (3) of subsection (a) of Code Section 50-7-90, the State Workforce Development Board may enforce the provisions of this chapter and the

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applicable federal law if the provisions of either are violated. If corrective actions issued as a result of financial or compliance related monitoring are not adhered to, the State Workforce Development Board may recommend the Governor:
(1) Issue a notice of intent to revoke approval of all or part of the local plan affected; or (2) Impose a reorganization plan, which may include:
(A) Decertifying the local board involved; (B) Prohibiting the use of eligible providers; (C) Selecting an alternative entity to administer the program for the local area involved; (D) Merging the local area into one or more other local areas; or (E) Making such other changes as the United States Secretary of Labor or the Governor determines to be necessary to secure compliance with the provision."

SECTION 2. Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 50-7-11.1, relating to the department's authority to administer and disperse funds, as follows:
"50-7-11.1. In the event the board accepts grants and gifts from the federal government pursuant to Code Section 50-7-10, the board shall also have the authority to administer and disperse those funds for any and all purposes of this article in a manner consistent with the terms of the grant or gift and other applicable laws, the provisions of Code Section 50-7-11 notwithstanding. Regarding the administration, dispersal, and use of any federal funds, or the administration of programs created by the Workforce Investment Act or its amendments, the board shall administer, disperse, and use those funds, and administer those programs in compliance with governing federal laws, the state plan, and regulations and policies promulgated by the State Workforce Development Board and the Governor."

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

Approved May 6, 2015.

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COMMERCE AND TRADE TRANSFER GOVERNOR'S OFFICE OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS TO ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE.

No. 187 (Senate Bill No. 148).

AN ACT

To amend Title 10 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to commerce and trade, so as to transfer the powers and responsibilities of the Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs to the Attorney General's office; to amend Titles 2, 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 36, 43, 44, 45, 46, and 51 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to agriculture, crimes and offenses, debtors and creditors, health, insurance, law enforcement officers and agencies, local government, professions and businesses, property, public officers and employees, public utilities and public transportation, and torts, respectively, so as to conform to such transfer, correct cross-references, and remove obsolete provisions; 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 10 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to commerce and trade, is amended by revising Part 1A of Article 15 of Chapter 1, relating to administrative resolution relative to deceptive or unfair practices, as follows:

"Part 1A

10-1-380. As used in this article, the term 'Attorney General' means the Attorney General or his or her designee.

10-1-381. (a) The Attorney General may file in the superior court of the county in which a person under order resides, or in the county in which the violation occurred, or, if the person is a corporation, in the county in which the corporation maintains its principal place of business, a certified copy of a final order issued pursuant to this article by the Attorney General which is unappealed from or a final order of an administrative law judge issued pursuant to this article which is unappealed from or a final order of an administrative law judge issued pursuant to this article which is affirmed upon appeal, whereupon the court shall render judgment in accordance therewith and notify the parties. The judgment shall have the same

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effect, and all proceedings in relation thereto shall thereafter be the same as though the judgment had been rendered in an action duly heard and determined by the court. (b) The Attorney General may file in the superior court of the county in which the person obligated to pay funds over to the Attorney General resides, or in the county in which the violation or alleged violation occurred, or, if the person is a corporation, in the county in which the corporation maintains its principal place of business, a certified copy of any document under which funds are due to the Attorney General based on obligations created in the administration of this article, whether obtained through official action, compromise, settlement, assurance of voluntary compliance, or otherwise, and are delinquent according to the terms of the document creating the obligation, whereupon the court shall render judgment in accordance therewith and notify the parties. The judgment shall have the same effect, and all proceedings in relation thereto shall thereafter be the same as though the judgment had been rendered in an action duly heard and determined by the court. (c) The court shall specify that any funds to be collected under the judgment shall be disbursed by the Attorney General in accordance with the terms of the original order or in accordance with the terms of the original document creating the obligation, subject to the provisions of Code Section 10-1-382. Such funds may have been designated in the original order or in the original document to be applied to consumer restitution, to reimbursement of funds from which investigative expenses were paid, to civil penalties to be disbursed into the consumer preventive education plan, to civil penalties to be disbursed into the state general fund, or any combination thereof. (d) In original orders or original documents the Attorney General may designate that civil penalties shall be applied to the consumer preventive education plan; in that event, such funds shall not be applied in an aggregate amount which is any greater than the amount of funds appropriated for the consumer preventive education plan. Any amount of civil penalties which exceeds the appropriation for the consumer preventive education plan shall be disbursed into the state general fund. (e) All judgments obtained pursuant to this Code section shall be considered delinquent if unpaid 30 calendar days after the judgment is rendered. (f) The Attorney General is authorized to establish a consumer preventive education plan.

10-1-382. (a) In addition to any amount owed under a judgment rendered under Code Section 10-1-381 or 10-1-397, a delinquent party shall be responsible by operation of law for a collection fee equal to 40 percent of the amount of the judgment as if such collection fee had been included as part of the judgment. The Attorney General may contract with collection attorneys to collect all or any remaining part of such amounts due under a judgment rendered under Code Section 10-1-381 or 10-1-397. All funds collected by any such collection attorneys shall be remitted to the Attorney General for disbursement."

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SECTION 2. Said title of said chapter of said article is further amended by revising Part 2, relating to the 'Fair Business Practices Act of 1975,' as follows:

"Part 2

10-1-390. This part shall be known and may be cited as the 'Fair Business Practices Act of 1975.'

10-1-391. (a) The purpose of this part shall be to protect consumers and legitimate business enterprises from unfair or deceptive practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce in part or wholly in the state. It is the intent of the General Assembly that such practices be swiftly stopped, and this part shall be liberally construed and applied to promote its underlying purposes and policies. (b) It is the intent of the General Assembly that this part be interpreted and construed consistently with interpretations given by the Federal Trade Commission in the federal courts pursuant to Section 5(a)(1) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. Section 45(a)(1)), as from time to time amended.

10-1-392. (a) As used in this part, the term:
(1) 'Attorney General' means the Attorney General or his or her designee. (2) 'Campground membership' means any arrangement under which a purchaser has the right to use, occupy, or enjoy a campground membership facility. (3) 'Campground membership facility' means any campground facility at which the use, occupation, or enjoyment of the facility is primarily limited to those purchasers, along with their guests, who have purchased a right to make reservations at future times to use the facility or who have purchased the right periodically to use the facility at fixed times or intervals in the future, but shall not include any such arrangement which is regulated under Article 5 of Chapter 3 of Title 44. (4) 'Career consulting firm' means any person providing services to an individual in conjunction with a career search and consulting program for the individual, including, but not limited to, counseling as to the individual's career potential, counseling as to interview techniques, and the identification of prospective employers. A 'career consulting firm' shall not guarantee actual job placement as one of its services. A 'career consulting firm' shall not include any person who provides these services without charging a fee to applicants for those services or any employment agent or agency regulated under Chapter 10 of Title 34. (5) 'Child support enforcement' means the action, conduct, or practice of enforcing a child support order issued by a court or other tribunal.

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(6) 'Consumer' means a natural person. (7) 'Consumer acts or practices' means acts or practices intended to encourage consumer transactions. (8) 'Consumer report' means any written or other communication of any information by a consumer reporting agency bearing on a consumer's creditworthiness, credit standing, or credit capacity which is used or intended to be used or collected in whole or in part for the purpose of serving as a factor in establishing the consumer's eligibility for:
(A) Credit or insurance to be used primarily for personal, family, or household purposes; or (B) Employment consideration. (9) 'Consumer reporting agency' or 'agency' means any person which, for monetary fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in whole or in part in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information on consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports to third parties. (10) 'Consumer transactions' means the sale, purchase, lease, or rental of goods, services, or property, real or personal, primarily for personal, family, or household purposes. (11) 'Department' means the Department of Human Services. (12) 'Documentary material' means the original or a copy, whether printed, filmed, or otherwise preserved or reproduced, by whatever process, including electronic data storage and retrieval systems, of any book, record, report, memorandum, paper, communication, tabulation, map, chart, photograph, mechanical transcription, or other tangible document or record wherever situate. (13) 'Examination' of documentary material means inspection, study, or copying of any such material and the taking of testimony under oath or acknowledgment with respect to any such documentary material. (14) 'File' means, when used in connection with information on any consumer, all of the information on that consumer recorded or retained by a consumer reporting agency regardless of how the information is stored. (14.1) 'Food' means articles used for food or drink for human consumption, chewing gum, and articles used for components of any such article. (15) 'Going-out-of-business sale' means any offer to sell to the public or sale to the public of goods, wares, or merchandise on the implied or direct representation that such sale is in anticipation of the termination of a business at its present location or that the sale is being held other than in the ordinary course of business and includes, without being limited to, any sale advertised either specifically or in substance to be a sale because the person is going out of business, liquidating, selling his or her entire stock or 50 percent or more of his or her stock, selling out to the bare walls, selling because the person has lost his or her lease, selling out his or her interest in the business, or selling because everything in the business must be sold or that the sale is a trustee's sale, bankruptcy sale, save us from bankruptcy sale, insolvency sale, assignee's sale, must vacate sale, quitting business sale, receiver's sale, loss of lease sale, forced out of business sale, removal sale, liquidation

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sale, executor's sale, administrator's sale, warehouse removal sale, branch store discontinuance sale, creditor's sale, adjustment sale, or defunct business sale. (16) 'Health spa' means an establishment which provides, as one of its primary purposes, services or facilities which are purported to assist patrons to improve their physical condition or appearance through change in weight, weight control, treatment, dieting, or exercise. The term includes an establishment designated as a 'reducing salon,' 'health spa,' 'spa,' 'exercise gym,' 'health studio,' 'health club,' or by other terms of similar import. A health spa shall not include any of the following:
(A) Any nonprofit organization; (B) Any facility wholly owned and operated by a licensed physician or physicians at which such physician or physicians are engaged in the actual practice of medicine; or (C) Any such establishment operated by a health care facility, hospital, intermediate care facility, or skilled nursing care facility. (16.1) 'Kosher food disclosure statement' means a statement which: (A) Discloses to consumers practices relating to the preparation, handling, and sale of any unpackaged food, or food packaged at the premises where it is sold to consumers, if the food is represented to be kosher, kosher for Passover, or prepared or maintained under rabbinical or other kosher supervision; and (B) Complies with the provisions of subsections (b) through (e) of Code Section 10-1-393.11. (17) 'Marine membership' means any arrangement under which a purchaser has a right to use, occupy, or enjoy a marine membership facility. (18) 'Marine membership facility' means any boat, houseboat, yacht, ship, or other floating facility upon which the use, occupation, or enjoyment of the facility is primarily limited to those purchasers, along with their guests, who have purchased a right to make reservations at future times to use the facility or who have purchased a right to use periodically, occupy, or enjoy the facility at fixed times or intervals in the future, but shall not include any such arrangement which is regulated under Article 5 of Chapter 3 of Title 44. (19) 'Obligee' means a resident of this state who is identified in an order for child support issued by a court or other tribunal as the payee to whom an obligor owes child support. (20) 'Obligor' means a resident of this state who is identified in an order for child support issued by a court or other tribunal as required to make child support payments. (21) 'Office' means any place where business is transacted, where any service is supplied by any person, or where any farm is operated. (22) 'Office supplier' means any person who sells, rents, leases, or ships, or offers to sell, lease, rent, or ship, goods, services, or property to any person to be used in the operation of any office or of any farm. (23) 'Office supply transactions' means the sale, lease, rental, or shipment of, or offer to sell, lease, rent, or ship, goods, services, or property to any person to be used in the operation of any office or of any farm but shall not include transactions in which the

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goods, services, or property is purchased, leased, or rented by the office or farm for purposes of reselling them to other persons. (24) 'Person' means a natural person, corporation, trust, partnership, incorporated or unincorporated association, or any other legal entity. (24.1) 'Presealed kosher food package' means a food package which bears a kosher symbol insignia and is sealed by the manufacturer, processor, or wholesaler at premises other than the premises where the food is to be sold to the public. (25) 'Private child support collector' means an individual or nongovernmental entity that solicits and contracts directly with obligees to provide child support collection services for a fee or other compensation but shall not include attorneys licensed to practice law in this state unless such attorney is employed by a private child support collector. (26) 'Prize' means a gift, award, or other item intended to be distributed or actually distributed in a promotion. (27) 'Promotion' means any scheme or procedure for the promotion of consumer transactions whereby one or more prizes are distributed among persons who are required to be present at the place of business or are required to participate in a seminar, sales presentation, or any other presentation, by whatever name denominated, in order to receive the prize or to determine which, if any, prize they will receive. Promotions shall not include any procedure where the receipt of the prize is conditioned upon the purchase of the item which the seller is trying to promote if such condition is clearly and conspicuously disclosed in the promotional advertising and literature and the receipt of the prize does not involve an element of chance. Any procedure where the receipt of the prize is conditioned upon the purchase of the item which the seller is trying to promote or upon the payment of money and where the receipt of that prize involves an element of chance shall be deemed to be a lottery under Code Section 16-12-20; provided, however, that nothing in this definition shall be construed to include a lottery operated by the State of Georgia or the Georgia Lottery Corporation as authorized by law; provided, further, that any deposit made in connection with an activity described by subparagraph (b)(22)(B) of Code Section 10-1-393 shall not constitute the payment of money. (27.1) 'Representation regarding kosher food' means any direct or indirect statement, whether oral or written, including but not limited to an advertisement, sign, or menu and any letter, word, sign, emblem, insignia, or mark which could reasonably lead a consumer to believe that a representation is being made that the final food product sold to the consumer is kosher, kosher for Passover, or prepared or maintained under rabbinical or other kosher supervision. (28) 'Trade' and 'commerce' mean the advertising, distribution, sale, lease, or offering for distribution, sale, or lease of any goods, services, or any property, tangible or intangible, real, personal, or mixed, or any other article, commodity, or thing of value wherever situate and shall include any trade or commerce directly or indirectly affecting the people of this state.

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(b) An 'intentional violation' occurs when the person committing the act or practice knew that his or her conduct was in violation of this part. Maintenance of an act or practice specifically designated as unlawful in subsection (b) of Code Section 10-1-393 after the Attorney General gives notice that the act or practice is in violation of the part shall be prima-facie evidence of intentional violation. For the purposes of this subsection, the Attorney General gives notice that an act or practice is in violation of this part by the adoption of specific rules promulgated pursuant to subsection (a) of Code Section 10-1-394 and by notice in writing to the alleged violator of a violation, if such written notice may be reasonably given without substantially or materially altering the purposes of this part; provided, however, that no presumption of intention shall arise in the case of an alleged violator who maintains a place of business within the jurisdiction of this state with sufficient assets to respond to a judgment under this part, unless such alleged violator has received written notice. The burden of showing no reasonable opportunity to give written notice shall be upon the Attorney General.

10-1-393. (a) Unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of consumer transactions and consumer acts or practices in trade or commerce are declared unlawful. (b) By way of illustration only and without limiting the scope of subsection (a) of this Code section, the following practices are declared unlawful:
(1) Passing off goods or services as those of another; (2) Causing actual confusion or actual misunderstanding as to the source, sponsorship, approval, or certification of goods or services; (3) Causing actual confusion or actual misunderstanding as to affiliation, connection, or association with or certification by another;
(4)(A) Using deceptive representations or designations of geographic origin in connection with goods or services. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, it is specifically declared to be unlawful:
(i) For any nonlocal business to cause to be listed in any local telephone directory a local telephone number for the business if calls to the local telephone number are routinely forwarded or otherwise transferred to the nonlocal business location that is outside the calling area covered by such local telephone directory or to a toll-free number which does not have a local address and the listing fails to state clearly the principal place of business of the nonlocal business; (ii) For any person operating a business to cause to be listed in any local telephone directory a toll-free number for the business if the listing fails to state clearly the principal place of business of such business; or (iii) For any person to use an assumed or fictitious name in the conduct of such person's business, if the use of such name could reasonably be construed to be a misrepresentation of the geographic origin or location of such person's business. (B) For purposes of this paragraph, the term:

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(i) 'Local' or 'local area' means the area in which any particular telephone directory is distributed or otherwise provided free of charge to some or all telecommunications services subscribers. (ii) 'Local telephone directory' means any telecommunications services directory, directory assistance data base, or other directory listing which is distributed or otherwise provided free of charge to some or all telecommunications services subscribers in any area of this state and includes such directories distributed by telecommunications companies as well as such directories distributed by other parties. (iii) 'Local telephone number' means any telecommunications services number which is not clearly identifiable as a long-distance telecommunications services number and which has a three-number prefix typically used by the local telecommunications company for telecommunications services devices physically located within the local area. (iv) 'Nonlocal business' means any business which does not have within the local area a physical place of business providing the goods or services which are the subject of the advertisement or listing in question. (v) 'Telecommunications company' shall have the same meaning as provided in Code Section 46-5-162. (vi) 'Telecommunications services' shall have the same meaning as provided in Code Section 46-5-162. (vii) 'Telecommunications services subscriber' means a person or entity to whom telecommunications services, either residential or commercial, are provided; (5) Representing that goods or services have sponsorship, approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits, or quantities that they do not have or that a person has a sponsorship, approval, status, affiliation, or connection that he or she does not have; (6) Representing that goods are original or new if they are deteriorated, reconditioned, reclaimed, used, or secondhand; (7) Representing that goods or services are of a particular standard, quality, or grade or that goods are of a particular style or model, if they are of another; (8) Disparaging goods, services, or business of another by false or misleading representation; (9) Advertising goods or services with intent not to sell them as advertised; (10) Advertising goods or services with intent not to supply reasonably expectable public demand, unless the advertisement discloses a limitation of quantity; (11) Making false or misleading statements concerning the reasons for, existence of, or amounts of price reductions; (12) Failing to comply with the provisions of Code Section 10-1-393.2 concerning health spas; (13) Failure to comply with the following provisions concerning career consulting firms: (A) A written contract shall be employed which shall constitute the entire agreement between the parties, a fully completed copy of which shall be furnished to the consumer

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at the time of its execution which shows the date of the transaction and the name and address of the career consulting firm; (B) The contract or an attachment thereto shall contain a statement in boldface type which complies substantially with the following:
'The provisions of this agreement have been fully explained to me and I understand that the services to be provided under this agreement by the seller do not include actual job placement.' The statement shall be signed by both the consumer and the authorized representative of the seller; (C) Any advertising offering the services of a career consulting firm shall contain a statement which contains the following language: 'A career consulting firm does not guarantee actual job placement as one of its services.'; (14) Failure of a hospital or long-term care facility to deliver to an inpatient who has been discharged or to his or her legal representative, not later than six business days after the date of such discharge, an itemized statement of all charges for which the patient or third-party payor is being billed; (15) Any violation of 49 U.S.C. Sections 32702 through 32704 and any violation of regulations prescribed under 49 U.S.C. Section 32705. Notwithstanding anything in this part to the contrary, all such actions in violation of such federal statutes or regulations shall be consumer transactions and consumer acts or practices in trade or commerce; (16) Failure to comply with the following provisions concerning promotions: (A) For purposes of this paragraph, the term: (i) 'Conspicuously,' when referring to type size, means either a larger or bolder type than the adjacent and surrounding material. (ii) 'In conjunction with and in immediate proximity to,' when referring to a listing of verifiable retail value and odds for each prize, means that such value and odds must be adjacent to that particular prize with no other printed or pictorial matter between the value and odds and that listed prize. (iii) 'Notice' means a communication of the disclosures required by this paragraph to be given to a consumer that has been selected, or has purportedly been selected, to participate in a promotion. If the original notice is in writing, it shall include all of the disclosures required by this paragraph. If the original notice is oral, it shall include all of the disclosures required by this paragraph and shall be followed by a written notice to the consumer of the same disclosures. In all cases, written notice shall be received by the consumer before any agreement or other arrangement is entered into which obligates the consumer in any manner. (iv) 'Participant' means a person who is offered an opportunity to participate in a promotion. (v) 'Promoter' means the person conducting the promotion. (vi) 'Sponsor' means the person on whose behalf the promotion is conducted in order to promote or advertise the goods, services, or property of that person.

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(vii) 'Verifiable retail value,' when referring to a prize, means: (I) The price at which the promoter or sponsor can substantiate that a substantial number of those prizes have been sold at retail by someone other than the promoter or sponsor; or (II) In the event that substantiation as described in subdivision (I) of this division is not readily available to the promoter or sponsor, no more than three times the amount which the promoter or sponsor has actually paid for the prize.
(A.1) Persons who are offered an opportunity to participate in a promotion must be given a notice as required by this paragraph. The written notice must be given to the participant either prior to the person's traveling to the place of business or, if no travel by the participant is necessary, prior to any seminar, sales presentation, or other presentation, by whatever name denominated. Written notices may be delivered by hand, by mail, by newspaper, by periodical, or by electronic mail or any other form of electronic, digital, or Internet based communication. Any offer to participate made through any other medium must be preceded by or followed by the required notice at the required time. It is the intent of this paragraph that full, clear, and meaningful disclosure shall be made to the participant in a manner such that the participant can fully study and understand the disclosure prior to deciding whether to travel to the place of participation or whether to allow a presentation to be made in the participant's home; and that this paragraph be liberally construed to effect this purpose. The notice requirements of this paragraph shall be applicable to any promotion offer made by any person in the State of Georgia or any promotion offer made to any person in the State of Georgia; (B) The promotion must be an advertising and promotional undertaking, in good faith, solely for the purpose of advertising the goods, services, or property, real or personal, of the sponsor. The notice shall contain the name and address of the promoter and of the sponsor, as applicable. The promoter and the sponsor may be held liable for any failure to comply with the provisions of this paragraph; (C) A promotion shall be a violation of this paragraph if a person is required to pay any money including, but not limited to, payments for service fees, mailing fees, or handling fees payable to the sponsor or seller or furnish any consideration for the prize, other than the consideration of traveling to the place of business or to the presentation or of allowing the presentation to be made in the participant's home, in order to receive any prize; provided, however, that the payment of any deposit made in connection with an activity described in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (22) of this subsection shall not constitute a requirement to pay any money under this subparagraph; (D) Each notice must state the verifiable retail value of each prize which the participant has a chance of receiving. Each notice must state the odds of the participant's receiving each prize if there is an element of chance involved. The odds must be clearly identified as 'odds.' Odds must be stated as the total number of that particular prize which will be given and of the total number of notices. The total number of notices shall include all notices in which that prize may be given, regardless of whether it includes notices for

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other sponsors. If the odds of winning a particular prize would not be accurately stated on the basis of the number of notices, then the odds may be stated in another manner, but must be clearly stated in a manner which will not deceive or mislead the participant regarding the participant's chance of receiving the prize. The verifiable retail value and odds for each prize must be stated in conjunction and in immediate proximity with each listing of the prize in each place where it appears on the written notice and must be listed in the same size type and same boldness as the prize. Odds and verifiable retail values may not be listed in any manner which requires the participant to refer from one place in the written notice to another place in the written notice to determine the odds and verifiable retail value of the particular prize. Verifiable retail values shall be stated in Arabic numerals; (E) Upon arriving at the place of business or upon allowing the sponsor to enter the participant's home, the participant must be immediately informed which, if any, prize the participant will receive prior to any seminar, sales presentation, or other presentation; and the prize, or any voucher, certificate, or other evidence of obligation in lieu of the prize, must be given to the participant at the time the participant is so informed; (F) No participant shall be required or invited to view, hear, or attend any sales presentation, by whatever name denominated, unless such requirement or invitation has been conspicuously disclosed to the participant in the written notice in at least ten-point boldface type; (G) Except in relation to an activity described in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (22) of this subsection, in no event shall any prize be offered or given which will require the participant to purchase additional goods or services, including shipping fees, handling fees, or any other charge by whatever name denominated, from any person in order to make the prize conform to what it reasonably appears to be in the mailing or delivery, unless such requirement and the additional cost to the participant is clearly disclosed in each place where the prize is listed in the written notice using a statement in the same size type and boldness as the prize listed; (H) Any limitation on eligibility of participants must be clearly disclosed in the notice; (I) Substitutes of prizes shall not be made. In the event the represented prize is unavailable, the participant shall be presented with a certificate which the sponsor shall honor within 30 days by shipping the prize, as represented in the notice, to the participant at no cost to the participant. In the event a certificate cannot be honored within 30 days, the sponsor shall mail to the participant a valid check or money order for the verifiable retail value which was represented in the notice; (J) In the event the participant is presented with a voucher, certificate, or other evidence of obligation as the participant's prize, or in lieu of the participant's prize, it shall be the responsibility of the sponsor to honor the voucher, certificate, or other evidence of obligation, as represented in the notice, if the person who is named as being responsible for honoring the voucher, certificate, or other evidence of obligation fails to honor it as represented in the notice;

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(K) The geographic area covered by the notice must be clearly stated. If any of the prizes may be awarded to persons outside of the listed geographical area or to participants in promotions for other sponsors, these facts must be clearly stated, with a corresponding explanation that every prize may not be given away by that particular sponsor. If prizes will not be awarded or given if the winning ticket, token, number, lot, or other device used to determine winners in that particular promotion is not presented to the promoter or sponsor, this fact must be clearly disclosed; (L) Upon request of the Attorney General, the sponsor or promoter must within ten days furnish to the Attorney General the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of persons who have received any prize; (M) A list of all winning tickets, tokens, numbers, lots, or other devices used to determine winners in promotions involving an element of chance must be prominently posted at the place of business or distributed to all participants if the seminar, sales presentation, or other presentation is made at a place other than the place of business. A copy of such list shall be furnished to each participant who so requests; (N) Any promotion involving an element of chance which does not conform with the provisions of this paragraph shall be considered an unlawful lottery as defined in Code Section 16-12-20. Except as provided in Code Section 16-12-35 and Article 3 of Chapter 27 of Title 50, any promotion involving an element of chance which involves the playing of a game on a computer, mechanical device, or electronic device at a place of business in this state shall be considered an unlawful lottery as defined in Code Section 16-12-20 and shall not be permitted under this chapter. Any promotion involving the playing of a no-skill game on a computer, mechanical device, or electronic device at a place of business in this state shall be considered an unlawful lottery as defined in Code Section 16-12-20. The Attorney General may prosecute persons who promote and sponsor promotions which constitute an unlawful lottery or may seek and shall receive the assistance of the prosecuting attorneys of this state in the commencement and prosecution of such persons; (N.1) All prizes offered and awarded shall be noncash prizes only and shall not be redeemable for cash; (O) Any person who participates in a promotion and does not receive an item which conforms with what that person, exercising ordinary diligence, reasonably believed that person should have received based upon the representations made to that person may bring the private action provided for in Code Section 10-1-399 and, if that person prevails, shall be awarded, in addition to any other recovery provided under this part, a sum which will allow that person to purchase an item at retail which reasonably conforms to the prize which that person, exercising ordinary diligence, reasonably believed that person would receive; and (P) In addition to any other remedy provided under this part, where a contract is entered into while participating in a promotion which does not conform with this paragraph, the contract shall be voidable by the participant for ten business days following the date of

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the participant's receipt of the prize. In order to void the contract, the participant must notify the sponsor in writing within ten business days following the participant's receipt of the prize; (17) Failure to furnish to the buyer of any campground membership or marine membership at the time of purchase a notice to the buyer allowing the buyer seven days to cancel the purchase. The notice shall be on a separate sheet of paper with no other written or pictorial material, in at least ten-point boldface type, double spaced, and shall read as follows:
'Notice to the Buyer Please read this form completely and carefully. It contains valuable cancellation rights. The buyer or buyers may cancel this transaction at any time prior to 5:00 P.M. of the seventh day following receipt of this notice. This cancellation right cannot be waived in any manner by the buyer or buyers. Any money paid by the buyer or buyers must be returned by the seller within 30 days of cancellation. To cancel, sign this form, and mail by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, by 5:00 P.M. of the seventh day following the transaction. Be sure to keep a photocopy of the signed form and your post office receipt.

____________________________________________________________________ Seller's Name ____________________________________________________________________ Address to which cancellation is to be mailed ____________________________________________________________________ I (we) hereby cancel this transaction. ____________________________________________________________________ Buyer's Signature ____________________________________________________________________ Buyer's Signature ____________________________________________________________________ Date ____________________________________________________________________ Printed Name(s) of Buyer(s) ____________________________________________________________________ Street Address ____________________________________________________________________ City, State, ZIP Code' (18) Failure of the seller of a campground membership or marine membership to fill in the seller's name and the address to which cancellation notices should be mailed on the form specified in paragraph (17) of this subsection;

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(19) Failure of the seller of a campground membership or marine membership to cancel according to the terms specified in the form described in paragraph (17) of this subsection;
(20)(A) Representing that moneys provided to or on behalf of a debtor, as defined in Code Section 44-14-162.1 in connection with property used as a dwelling place by said debtor, are a loan if in fact they are used to purchase said property and any such misrepresentation upon which is based the execution of a quitclaim deed or warranty deed by that debtor shall authorize that debtor to bring an action to reform such deed into a deed to secure debt in addition to any other right such debtor may have to cancel the deed pursuant to Code Section 23-2-2, 23-2-60, or any other applicable provision of law. (B) Advertising to assist debtors whose loan for property the debtors use as a dwelling place is in default with intent not to assist them as advertised or making false or misleading representations to such a debtor about assisting the debtor in connection with said property. (C) Failing to comply with the following provisions in connection with the purchase of property used as a dwelling place by a debtor whose loan for said property is in default and who remains in possession of this property after said purchase:
(i) A written contract shall be employed by the buyer which shall summarize and incorporate the entire agreement between the parties, a fully completed copy of which shall be furnished to the debtor at the time of its execution. Said contract shall show the date of the transaction and the name and address of the parties; shall state, in plain and bold language, that the subject transaction is a sale; and shall indicate the amount of cash proceeds and the amount of any other financial benefits that the debtor will receive; (ii) This contract shall contain a statement in boldface type which complies substantially with the following:
'The provisions of this agreement have been fully explained to me. I understand that under this agreement I am selling my house to the other undersigned party.' This statement shall be signed by the debtor and the buyer; (iii) If a lease or rental agreement is executed in connection with said sale, it shall set forth the amount of monthly rent and shall state, in plain and bold language, that the debtor may be evicted for failure to pay said rent. Should an option to purchase be included in this lease, it shall state, in plain and bold language, the conditions that must be fulfilled in order to exercise it; and (iv) The buyer shall furnish to the seller at the time of closing a notice to the seller allowing the seller ten days to cancel the purchase. This right to cancel shall not limit or otherwise affect the seller's right to cancel pursuant to Code Section 23-2-2, 23-2-60, or any other applicable provision of law. The notice shall serve as the cover sheet to the closing documents. It shall be on a separate sheet of paper with no other written or pictorial material, in at least ten-point boldface type, double spaced, and shall read as follows:

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'Notice to the Seller Please read this form completely and carefully. It contains valuable cancellation rights. The seller or sellers may cancel this transaction at any time prior to 5:00 P.M. of the tenth day following receipt of this notice. This cancellation right cannot be waived in any manner by the seller or sellers. Any money paid to the seller or sellers must be returned by the seller within 30 days of cancellation. To cancel, sign this form, and return it to the buyer by 5:00 P.M. of the tenth day following the transaction. It is best to mail it by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, and to keep a photocopy of the signed form and your post office receipt.

_________________________________________________________________ Buyer's name _________________________________________________________________ Address to which cancellation is to be returned. _________________________________________________________________ I (we) hereby cancel this transaction. _________________________________________________________________ Seller's signature _________________________________________________________________ Seller's signature _________________________________________________________________ Date _________________________________________________________________ Printed name(s) of seller(s) _________________________________________________________________ Street address _________________________________________________________________ City, State, ZIP Code' (D) The provisions of subparagraph (C) of this paragraph shall only apply where all three of the following conditions are present: (i) A loan on the property used as a dwelling place is in default; (ii) The debtor transfers the title to the property by quitclaim deed, limited warranty deed, or general warranty deed; and (iii) The debtor remains in possession of the property under a lease or as a tenant at will; (21) Advertising a telephone number the prefix of which is 976 and which when called automatically imposes a per-call charge or cost to the consumer, other than a regular charge imposed for long-distance telephone service, unless the advertisement contains the

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name, address, and telephone number of the person responsible for the advertisement and unless the person's telephone number and the per-call charge is printed in type of the same size as that of the number being advertised; (22) Representing, in connection with a vacation, holiday, or an item described by terms of similar meaning, or implying that:
(A) A person is a winner, has been selected or approved, or is in any other manner involved in a select or special group for receipt of an opportunity or prize, or that a person is entering a contest, sweepstakes, drawing, or other competitive enterprise from which a winner or select group will receive an opportunity or prize, when in fact the enterprise is designed to make contact with prospective customers, or in which all or a substantial number of those entering such competitive enterprise receive the same prize or opportunity; or (B) In connection with the types of representations referred to in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, representing that a vacation, holiday, or an item described by other terms of similar meaning, is being offered, given, awarded, or otherwise distributed unless:
(i) The item represented includes all transportation, meals, and lodging; (ii) The representation specifically describes any transportation, meals, or lodging which is not included; or (iii) The representation discloses that a deposit is required to secure a reservation, if that is the case. The provisions of this paragraph shall not apply where the party making the representations is in compliance with paragraph (16) of this subsection; (23) Except in relation to an activity which is in compliance with paragraph (16) or (22) of this subsection, stating, in writing or by telephone, that a person has won, is the winner of, or will win or receive anything of value, unless the person will receive the prize without obligation; (24)(A) Conducting a going-out-of-business sale for more than 90 days. (B) After the 90 day time limit in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph has expired, continuing to do business in any manner contrary to any representations which were made regarding the nature of the going-out-of-business sale. (C) The prohibitions of this paragraph shall not extend to any of the following: (i) Sales for the estate of a decedent by the personal representative or the personal representative's agent, according to law or by the provisions of the will; (ii) Sales of property conveyed by security deed, deed of trust, mortgage, or judgment or ordered to be sold according to the deed, mortgage, judgment, or order; (iii) Sales of all agricultural produce and livestock arising from the labor of the seller or other labor under the seller's control on or belonging to the seller's real or personal estate and not purchased or sold for speculation; (iv) All sales under legal process; (v) Sales by a pawnbroker or loan company which is selling or offering for sale unredeemed pledges of chattels as provided by law; or

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(vi) Sales of automobiles by an auctioneer licensed under the laws of the State of Georgia; (25) The issuance of a check or draft by a lender in connection with a real estate transaction in violation of Code Section 44-14-13; (26) With respect to any individual or facility providing personal care services or assisted living care: (A) Any person or entity not duly licensed or registered as a personal care home or assisted living community formally or informally offering, advertising to, or soliciting the public for residents or referrals; or (B) Any personal care home, as defined in subsection (a) of Code Section 31-7-12, or any assisted living community, as defined in Code Section 31-7-12.2, offering, advertising, or soliciting the public to provide services: (i) Which are outside the scope of personal care services or assisted living care, respectively; and (ii) For which it has not been specifically authorized. Nothing in this subparagraph prohibits advertising by a personal care home or assisted living community for services authorized by the Department of Community Health under a waiver or variance pursuant to subsection (b) of Code Section 31-2-7. For purposes of this paragraph, 'personal care' means protective care and watchful oversight of a resident who needs a watchful environment but who does not have an illness, injury, or disability which requires chronic or convalescent care including medical and nursing services, and 'assisted living care' includes services provided for in Code Section 31-7-12.2. The provisions of this paragraph shall be enforced following consultation with the Department of Community Health which shall retain primary responsibility for issues relating to licensure of any individual or facility providing personal care services; (27) Mailing any notice, notification, or similar statement to any consumer regarding winning or receiving any prize in a promotion, and the envelope or other enclosure for the notice fails to conspicuously identify on its face that the contents of the envelope or other enclosure is a commercial solicitation and, if there is an element of chance in winning a prize, the odds of winning as 'odds'; (28) Any violation of the rules and regulations promulgated by the Department of Driver Services pursuant to subsection (e) of Code Section 40-5-83 which relates to the consumer transactions and business practices of DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Programs, except that the Department of Driver Services shall retain primary jurisdiction over such complaints; (29) With respect to any consumer reporting agency: (A) Any person who knowingly and willfully obtains information relative to a consumer from a consumer reporting agency under false pretenses shall be guilty of a misdemeanor;

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(B) Any officer or employee of a consumer reporting agency who knowingly and willfully provides information concerning an individual from the agency's files to a person not authorized to receive that information shall be guilty of a misdemeanor; and (C) Each consumer reporting agency which compiles and maintains files on consumers on a nation-wide basis shall furnish to any consumer who has provided appropriate verification of his or her identity two complete consumer reports per calendar year, upon request and without charge; (29.1) With respect to any credit card issuer: (A) A credit card issuer who mails an unsolicited offer or solicitation to apply for a credit card and who receives by mail a completed application in response to the solicitation which lists an address that is not substantially the same as the address on the solicitation may not issue a credit card based on that application until steps have been taken to verify the applicant's valid address to the same extent required by regulations prescribed pursuant to subsection (l) of 31 U.S.C. Section 5318. Any person who violates this paragraph commits an unlawful practice within the meaning of this Code section; and (B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, a credit card issuer, upon receiving an application, may issue a credit card to a consumer or commercial customer with whom it already has a business relationship provided the address to which the card is mailed is a valid address based upon information in the records of the credit card issuer or its affiliates; (30) With respect to any individual or facility providing home health services: (A) For any person or entity not duly licensed by the Department of Community Health as a home health agency to regularly hold itself out as a home health agency; or (B) For any person or entity not duly licensed by the Department of Community Health as a home health agency to utilize the words 'home health' or 'home health services' in any manner including but not limited to advertisements, brochures, or letters. Unless otherwise prohibited by law, nothing in this subparagraph shall be construed to prohibit persons or entities from using the words 'home health' or 'home health services' in conjunction with the words 'equipment,' 'durable medical equipment,' 'pharmacy,' 'pharmaceutical services,' 'prescription medications,' 'infusion therapy,' or 'supplies' in any manner including but not limited to advertisements, brochures, or letters. An unlicensed person or entity may advertise under the category 'home health services' in any advertising publication which divides its advertisements into categories, provided that:
(i) The advertisement is not placed in the category with the intent to mislead or deceive; (ii) The use of the advertisement in the category is not part of an unfair or deceptive practice; and (iii) The advertisement is not otherwise unfair, deceptive, or misleading.

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For purposes of this paragraph, the term 'home health agency' shall have the same definition as contained in Code Section 31-7-150, as now or hereafter amended. The provisions of this paragraph shall be enforced by the Attorney General; (30.1) Failing to comply with the following provisions in connection with a contract for health care services between a physician and an insurer which offers a health benefit plan under which such physician provides health care services to enrollees:
(A) As used in this paragraph, the term: (i) 'Enrollee' means an individual who has elected to contract for or participate in a health benefit plan for that individual or for that individual and that individual's eligible dependents and includes that enrollee's eligible dependents. (ii) 'Health benefit plan' means any hospital or medical insurance policy or certificate, health care plan contract or certificate, qualified higher deductible health plan, health maintenance organization subscriber contract, any health benefit plan established pursuant to Article 1 of Chapter 18 of Title 45, or any managed care plan. (iii) 'Insurer' means a corporation or other entity which is licensed or otherwise authorized to offer a health benefit plan in this state. (iv) 'Patient' means a person who seeks or receives health care services under a health benefit plan. (v) 'Physician' means a person licensed to practice medicine under Article 2 of Chapter 34 of Title 43.
(B) Every contract between a physician and an insurer which offers a health benefit plan under which that physician provides health care services shall be in writing and shall state the obligations of the parties with respect to charges and fees for services covered under that plan when provided by that physician to enrollees under that plan. Neither the insurer which provides that plan nor the enrollee under that plan shall be liable for any amount which exceeds the obligations so established for such covered services. (C) Neither the physician nor a representative thereof shall intentionally collect or attempt to collect from an enrollee any obligations with respect to charges and fees for which the enrollee is not liable and neither such physician nor a representative thereof may maintain any action at law against such enrollee to collect any such obligations. (D) The provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to the amount of any deductible or copayment which is not covered by the health benefit plan. (E) This paragraph shall apply to only such health benefit plan contracts issued, delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed in this state on or after July 2, 2001; (31) With respect to telemarketing sales: (A) For any seller or telemarketer to use any part of an electronic record to attempt to induce payment or attempt collection of any payment that the seller or telemarketer claims is due and owing to it pursuant to a telephone conversation or series of telephone conversations with a residential subscriber. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to:

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(i) Prohibit the seller or telemarketer from introducing, as evidence in any court proceeding to attempt collection of any payment that the seller or telemarketer claims is due and owing to it pursuant to a telephone conversation or series of telephone conversations with a residential subscriber, an electronic record of the entirety of such telephone conversation or series of telephone conversations; or (ii) Expand the permissible use of an electronic record made pursuant to 16 C.F.R. Part 310.3(a)(3), the Federal Telemarketing Sales Rule. (B) For purposes of this paragraph, the term: (i) 'Covered communication' shall have the same meaning as the term 'telemarketing' in subsection (a) of Code Section 10-1-393.5. (ii) 'Electronic record' means any recording by electronic device of, in part or in its entirety, a telephone conversation or series of telephone conversations with a residential subscriber that is initiated by a seller or telemarketer in order to induce the purchase of goods, services, or property. This term shall include, without limitation, any subsequent telephone conversations in which the seller or telemarketer attempts to verify any alleged agreement in a previous conversation or previous conversations. (iii) 'Residential subscriber' means any person who has subscribed to residential phone service from a local exchange company or the other persons living or residing with such person. (iv) 'Seller or telemarketer' means any person or entity making a covered communication to a residential subscriber for the purpose of inducing the purchase of goods, services, or property by such subscriber. This term shall include, without limitation, any agent of the seller or telemarketer, whether for purposes of conducting calls to induce the purchase, for purposes of verifying any calls to induce the purchase, or for purposes of attempting to collect on any payment under the purchase; (32) Selling, marketing, promoting, advertising, providing, or distributing any card or other purchasing mechanism or device that is not insurance or evidence of insurance coverage and that purports to offer or provide discounts or access to discounts on purchases of health care goods or services from providers of the same or making any representation or statement that purports to offer or provide discounts or access to discounts on purchases of health care goods or services from providers of the same, when: (A) Such card or other purchasing mechanism or device does not contain a notice expressly and prominently providing in boldface type that such discounts are not insurance; or (B) Such discounts or access to such discounts are not specifically authorized under a separate contract with a provider of health care goods or services to which such discounts are purported to be applicable; (33)(A) For any person, firm, partnership, association, or corporation to issue a gift certificate, store gift card, or general use gift card without:

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(i) Including the terms of the gift certificate, store gift card, or general use gift card in the packaging which accompanies the certificate or card at the time of purchase, as well as making such terms available upon request; and (ii) Conspicuously printing the expiration date, if applicable, on the certificate or card and conspicuously printing the amount of any dormancy or nonuse fees on:
(I) The certificate or card; or (II) A sticker affixed to the certificate or card. A gift certificate, store gift card, or general use gift card shall be valid in accordance with its terms in exchange for merchandise or services. (B) As used in this paragraph, the term: (i) 'General use gift card' means a plastic card or other electronic payment device which is usable at multiple, unaffiliated merchants or service providers; is issued in an amount which amount may or may not be, at the option of the issuer, increased in value or reloaded if requested by the holder; is purchased or loaded on a prepaid basis by a consumer; and is honored upon presentation by merchants for goods or services. (ii) 'Gift certificate' means a written promise that is usable at a single merchant or an affiliated group of merchants that share the same name, mark, or logo; is issued in a specified amount and cannot be increased in value on the face thereof; is purchased on a prepaid basis by a consumer in exchange for payment; and is honored upon presentation for goods or services by such single merchant or affiliated group of merchants that share the same name, mark, or logo. (iii) 'Store gift card' means a plastic card or other electronic payment device which is usable at a single merchant or an affiliated group of merchants that share the same name, mark, or logo; is issued in a specified amount and may or may not be increased in value or reloaded; is purchased on a prepaid basis by a consumer in exchange for payment; and is honored upon presentation for goods or services by such single merchant or affiliated group of merchants that share the same name, mark, or logo; and (34) For any person, firm, partnership, business, association, or corporation to willfully and knowingly accept or use an individual taxpayer identification number issued by the Internal Revenue Service for fraudulent purposes and in violation of federal law. (c) A seller may not by contract, agreement, or otherwise limit the operation of this part notwithstanding any other provision of law. (d)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of the law to the contrary, the names, addresses, telephone numbers, social security numbers, or any other information which could reasonably serve to identify any person making a complaint about unfair or deceptive acts or practices shall be confidential. However, the complaining party may consent to public release of his or her identity by giving such consent expressly, affirmatively, and directly to the Attorney General or the Attorney General's employees. (2) Nothing contained in this subsection shall be construed: (A) To prevent the Attorney General from disclosing the complainant's identity if the Attorney General believes that disclosure will aid in resolution of the complaint;

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(B) To prohibit any valid discovery under the relevant discovery rules; or (C) To prohibit the lawful subpoena of such information.

10-1-393.1. (a) Unfair or deceptive acts or practices by an office supplier in the conduct of office supply transactions in trade or commerce are declared unlawful. (b) By way of illustration only and without limiting the scope of subsection (a) of this Code section, the following practices by office suppliers in the conduct of office supply transactions are declared unlawful:
(1) Passing off goods or services as those of another; (2) Falsely representing to any person that the office supplier is the usual supplier of goods, services, or property purchased by that person; (3) Falsely representing to any person that the goods, services, or property sold, leased, rented, or shipped by the office supplier are the same brand as that person usually uses; (4) Misrepresenting in any manner, including the use of a confusingly similar name, the manufacturer, supplier, or seller of the goods, services, or property; (5) Representing that the prices an office supplier charges are less than a person usually pays for goods, services, or property, unless the goods, services, or property compared are identical and the representation is true; (6) Shipping or supplying an amount or quantity of goods, services, or property to a person which is substantially greater than the amount or quantity which the person actually orders; (7) Misrepresenting in any manner, including but not limited to failure to disclose material facts regarding the value of, any gift, prize, or award which will be given by an office supplier in conjunction with any office supply transaction; (8) Falsely representing that there is an imminent price increase; (9) Substituting any brand or quality of goods, services, or property for that actually ordered without prior approval of such substitution from the person ordering; or
(10)(A) Solicitation for inclusion in the listing of a telephone classified advertising directory unless such solicitation form has prominently printed therein at least one inch apart from any other text on the form and in type size and boldness equal to or greater than any other type size and boldness on the form the words:
'THIS IS NOT A BILL. THIS IS A SOLICITATION.' (B) For the purposes of this paragraph, the term 'telephone classified advertising directory' refers to any telephone classified advertising directory which is distributed to some or all telephone subscribers in any area of the state and includes such directories distributed by telephone service companies as well as such directories distributed by other parties. (c) An office supplier may not by contract, agreement, or otherwise limit the operation of this part, notwithstanding any other provision of law.

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10-1-393.2. (a) Health spas shall comply with the provisions of this Code section. (b) A written contract shall be employed which shall constitute the entire agreement between the parties, a fully completed copy of which shall be furnished to the consumer at the time of its execution and which shall show the date of the transaction and the name and address of the seller; provided, however, that no contract shall be valid which has a term in excess of 36 months. Contracts may be renewable at the end of each 36 month period of time at the option of both parties to the contract. (c) The contract or an attachment thereto shall state clearly any rules and regulations of the seller which are applicable to the consumer's use of the facilities or receipt of its services. (d) The contract shall state clearly on its face the cancellation and refund policies of the seller. (e) The health spa member shall have the right to cancel the contract within seven business days after the date of the signing of the contract by notifying the seller in writing of such intent and by either mailing the notice before 12:00 Midnight of the seventh business day after the date of the signing of the contract or by hand delivering the notice of cancellation to the health spa before 12:00 Midnight of the seventh business day following the date of the signing of the contract. The notice must be accompanied by the contract forms, membership cards, and any and all other documents and evidence of membership previously delivered to the buyer. If the health spa member so cancels, any payments made under the contract will be refunded and any evidence of indebtedness executed by the health spa member will be canceled by the seller, provided that the member shall be liable for the fair market value of services actually received, which in no event shall exceed $100.00. The preparation of any documents shall not be construed to be services; provided, however, that any documents prepared which are merely ancillary to services which are actually rendered shall not prevent the health spa from charging for such services actually rendered up to the limits specified in this subsection. Each health spa contract shall contain the following paragraphs separated from all other paragraphs:
'You (the buyer) have seven business days to cancel this contract. To cancel, mail or hand deliver a letter to the following address:
____________________________________________________________________ Name of health spa ____________________________________________________________________ Street address ____________________________________________________________________ City, State, ZIP Code Do not sign this contract if there are any blank spaces above. In the event optional services are offered, be sure that any options you have not selected are lined through or that it is otherwise indicated that you have not selected these options. It is recommended that you send your cancellation notice by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, in order to prove that you did cancel. If you do hand

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deliver your cancellation, be sure to get a signed statement from an official of the spa acknowledging your cancellation. To be effective, your cancellation must be postmarked by midnight, or hand delivered by midnight on (date) , , and must include all contract forms, membership cards, and any and all other documents and evidence of membership previously delivered to you.' The health spa shall fill in the blank spaces in the above paragraph before the consumer signs the contract. In the event a consumer fails to provide with the cancellation notice all contract forms, membership cards, and any and all other documents and evidence of membership previously delivered, the health spa shall either cancel the contract or provide written notice by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery to the consumer that such documents must be provided within 30 days in order for the cancellation to be effective. In the event that the consumer provides the documents within 30 days, the contract shall be canceled as of the date on which the cancellation notice was delivered; provided, however, that should the consumer continue to use the facilities or services during the 30 day period, the cancellation shall be effective on the first business day following the last day on which the consumer uses the facilities or services. (f) In the event a health spa no longer offers a substantial service which was offered at the time of the initiation of the contract, or in the event a health spa which previously limited its membership to members of one sex should become coeducational or one which was previously coeducational should become limited to members of one sex, the member shall have 30 days from the time the member knew or should have known of the change to cancel the remainder of the membership and receive a refund. The refund shall be calculated by dividing the total cost of the membership by the total number of months under the membership and refunding the monthly cost for any months or fractions of months remaining under the membership. The contract shall contain a clause in at least ten-point boldface type which reads as follows: 'You (the buyer) may cancel this agreement within 30 days from the time you knew or should have known of any substantial change in the services or programs available at the time you joined. Substantial changes include, but are not limited to, changing from being coed to being exclusively for one sex and vice versa. To cancel, send written notice of your cancellation to the address provided in this contract for sending a notice of cancellation. The best way to cancel is by keeping a photocopy and sending the cancellation by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested.' The provisions of this subsection shall not apply in any instance where a court has ordered that a change be made in the sexual character of the health spa. The Attorney General is authorized upon petition to issue a declaratory ruling under Code Section 50-13-11 as to whether any planned change in a health spa is a substantial change or whether alternate locations are substantially similar under this Code section. Such declaratory rulings shall be subject to review as under Chapter 13 of Title 50, the 'Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.'

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(g) Every contract for health spa services shall contain a clause providing that if the member becomes totally and permanently disabled during the membership term, he may cancel his or her contract and that the health spa is entitled to a reasonable predetermined fee in such event in addition to an amount equal to the value of services made available for use. This amount shall be computed by dividing the total cost of the membership by the total number of months under the membership and multiplying the result by the number of months expired under the membership term. The health spa shall have the right to require and verify reasonable evidence of total and permanent disability. For purposes of this subsection, 'total and permanent disability' means a condition which has existed or will exist for more than 45 days and which will prevent the member from using the facility to the same extent as the member used it before commencement of the condition. (h) The health spa contract shall state that if a consumer has a history of heart disease, he should consult a physician before joining a spa. (i) Every health spa contract shall comply with either paragraph (1) or paragraph (2) of this subsection:
(1)(A) The written contract used shall contain the following clause: 'Under this contract, no further payments shall be due to anyone, including any purchaser of any note associated with or contained in this contract, in the event the health spa at which the contract is entered into ceases operation and fails to offer an alternate location, substantially similar, within ten miles.' (B) All payments due under the contract must be in equal monthly installments spread over the entire term of the contract. (C) There can be no payments of any type, including, but not limited to, down payments, enrollment fees, membership fees, or any other direct payment to the health spa, other than the equal monthly installment payments. (D) There can be no complimentary, compensatory, or other extensions of the term incident to the term of the contract, including but not limited to a promise of lifetime renewal for a minimal annual fee, provided that an agreement of both parties to extend the term of the contract to compensate for time during which the member could not fully utilize the spa due to a temporary physical or medical condition arising after the member joined shall not be considered to bring the spa into noncompliance under this paragraph; or (2)(A) The written contract used shall contain the following clause: 'Under this contract, no further payments shall be due to anyone, including any purchaser of any note associated with or contained in this contract, in the event the health spa at which the contract is entered into ceases operation and fails to offer an alternate location, substantially similar, within ten miles.' (B) The written contract shall contain the following statement in boldface type which is larger and bolder than any other type which is in the contract and in at least 14 point boldface, which statement must be separately signed by the consumer:

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'NOTICE State law requires that we inform you that should you (the buyer) choose to pay for any part of this agreement in advance, be aware that you are paying for future services and may be risking loss of your money in the event this health spa ceases to conduct business. Health spas do not post a bond, and there may be no other protections provided to you should you choose to pay in advance.' (j) An alternate location for a health spa shall not be considered substantially similar if: (1) The original facility was limited to use by members of one sex and the alternate facility is used by members of both sexes; (2) The original facility was for use by members of both sexes and the alternate facility's use is limited to members of one sex; or (3) The size, facilities, equipment, or services available to the member at the alternate location are not substantially equal to or do not exceed the size, facilities, equipment, or services available to the member at the health spa location at which the contract was entered into. (k) Every contract for health spa services shall contain a clause providing that if the member dies during the membership term or any renewal term, his or her estate may cancel the contract and that the health spa is entitled to a reasonable predetermined fee in such event in addition to an amount computed by dividing the total cost of the membership by the total number of months under the membership and multiplying the result by the number of months expired under the membership term. The contract may require the member's estate seeking relief under this subsection to provide reasonable proof of death. (l)(1) A health spa shall not enter or offer to enter into a health spa agreement with a consumer unless the health spa is fully operational and available for use. (2) For purposes of this subsection, 'fully operational and available for use' means that all of the facilities, equipment, or services which are promised at the time of entering into the membership contract are operational and available for use at that time. Nothing contained in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit a health spa from selling a membership for existing services and facilities at a location under construction which can be converted at a later date to a membership for additional services and facilities, provided that: (A) The additional services and facilities are fully operational and available for use at the time of the conversion; (B) Additional consideration, other than just a nominal consideration, is required from the consumer under the terms of the conversion; and (C) The member has until seven days following the date the additional consideration or a part of the additional consideration becomes due and owing to cancel the remainder of the contract and receive a refund computed by dividing the total cost of the membership by the total number of months under the membership and multiplying the result by the number of months remaining under the membership term. (3) The provisions of this subsection shall not apply if all of the following conditions are met:

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(A) The health spa has submitted forms prescribed by the Attorney General requiring, in addition to whatever other information the Attorney General may require, as much detail as to the size, facilities, equipment, or services to be provided as the Attorney General may require; (B) The health spa has obtained the approval in writing of the Attorney General to sell memberships to a health spa before it is fully operational and available for use; (C) The health spa has agreed in writing with the Attorney General, on forms prescribed by the Attorney General, to deposit all funds obtained by selling memberships before a health spa is fully operational and available for use in a single account in a bank or trust company domiciled in the State of Georgia. Such deposits are to be held in safekeeping for release only upon authorization of the Attorney General. The bank or trust company must be approved by the Attorney General. The Attorney General may consult with the commissioner of banking and finance or with any of the employees of the commissioner of banking and finance regarding whether the bank or trust company should be approved and may disapprove the bank or trust company if he or she has reason to believe any deposits into the account might not be secure; (D) Each deposit to the single account established under this paragraph shall be identified by the name and address of the individual who purchased the membership. The bank or trust company and the health spa shall maintain a list of the deposits, their amount, and the name and address of the membership purchaser, which list shall be available to the Attorney General or for inspection or copying by the Attorney General; (E) The condition of the account established under this paragraph shall be that no funds shall be released from the account to any person unless the Attorney General has certified in writing to the bank or trust company that either the health spa is fully operational and available for use or that the health spa has not complied and does not appear likely to comply with its obligation to make the health spa fully operational and available for use in accordance with the documents submitted to the Attorney General or in accordance with representations made to membership purchasers. No action may be maintained in any court against the Attorney General or any of his or her employees for any determination or as a consequence of any determination made by the Attorney General under this subparagraph. Nothing contained or implied in this subparagraph shall operate or be construed or applied to deprive the Attorney General or any employee of any immunity, indemnity, benefits of law, rights, or any defense otherwise available by law; (F) If the Attorney General certifies to the bank or trust company that the health spa is fully operational and available for use, then the funds in the account shall be released to the health spa, along with any accrued interest. If the Attorney General certifies to the bank or trust company that the health spa has not complied and does not appear likely to comply with its obligation to make the health spa fully operational and available for use, then the funds in the account shall be released to the Attorney General on behalf of the individuals who purchased memberships prior to the health spa's being fully

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operational and available for use. Any accrued interest on the account shall be paid on a pro rata basis to the membership purchasers; (G) Any costs imposed by the bank or trust company for administering the account shall be borne by the health spa; and (H) The member shall have until seven business days following the date upon which the health spa becomes fully operational and available for use to cancel the contract and receive a full refund of any payments and the cancellation of any evidence of indebtedness, provided that the member shall be liable for the fair market value of any services actually received, which in no event shall exceed $50.00. The preparation of any documents shall not be construed to be services; provided, however, that all documents prepared which are merely ancillary to services which are actually rendered shall not prevent the health spa from charging for such services actually rendered up to the limits specified in this subparagraph. (m) All moneys due the consumer under contracts canceled for the reasons contained in this Code section shall be refunded within 30 days of receipt of such notice of cancellation. The notice must be accompanied by the contract forms, membership cards, and any and all other documents and evidence of membership previously delivered to the buyer, except in the case of a deceased member. In the event a consumer fails to provide with the cancellation notice all contract forms, membership cards, and any and all other documents and evidence of membership previously delivered, the health spa shall either cancel the contract or provide written notice by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery to the consumer that such documents must be provided within 30 days in order for the cancellation to be effective. In the event that the consumer provides the documents within 30 days, the contract shall be canceled as of the date on which the cancellation notice was delivered; provided, however, that should the consumer continue to use the facilities or services during the 30 day period, the cancellation shall be effective on the first business day following the last day on which the consumer uses the facility or services. (n) Any contract which does not comply with this Code section shall be void and unenforceable; no purchaser of any note associated with or contained in any health spa contract shall make any attempt to collect on the note or to report the buyer as delinquent to any consumer reporting or consumer credit reporting agency if there has been any violation by the health spa of subsections (b) through (m) or of subsection (o) of this Code section. Any attempt by any purchaser or by any agent of any purchaser to collect on the note or to report the buyer as delinquent as described in this subsection shall be considered an unfair and deceptive act or practice as provided in Code Section 10-1-393. (o) After November 15, 1989, no health spa contract shall be valid or enforceable unless the health spa operator has on file a statement signed by the Attorney General certifying that a copy of the contract is on file with the Attorney General and is in compliance with this part. Health spas may begin submitting a copy of their contract for approval by the Attorney General on July 1, 1989, and shall submit all contract changes thereafter for approval prior to entering or offering to enter into that contract with a consumer. In addition to any action

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which may be taken by the Attorney General under this part, and in addition to any recovery of a consumer in the private action provided for under this part, any consumer who has entered into a contract which has not been approved by the Attorney General prior to the date of the contract shall be entitled to recover as an additional penalty an amount equal to any amount paid plus any amount claimed owing on the contract. (p) In addition to any other penalties provided for in this part, any person who operates or aids or assists in the operation of a health spa in violation of any of the provisions of subsection (i) or (o) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Each day of operation of a health spa in violation of subsection (i) or (o) shall be considered a separate and distinct violation. In addition to any other penalties provided in this part, any person who violates subsection (l) of this Code section shall be guilty of a felony. Each sale of a membership in violation of subsection (l) of this Code section shall be considered a separate and distinct violation. Each failure to place properly all of the funds generated from a particular membership agreement into a properly approved and established trust account shall be considered a separate and distinct violation.

10-1-393.3. (a) As used in this Code section, the term 'merchant' means any person who offers goods, wares, merchandise, or services for sale to the public and shall include an employee of a merchant. (b) A merchant shall be prohibited from requiring a purchaser to provide the purchaser's personal or business telephone number as a condition of purchase when payment for the transaction is made by credit card. (c) A merchant shall be prohibited from using a purchaser's credit card to imprint the information contained on the credit card on the face or back of a check or draft from the purchaser as a condition of acceptance of such check or draft as payment for a purchase. (d) A merchant shall be prohibited from recording in any manner the number of a purchaser's credit card as a condition of acceptance of a check or draft of the purchaser as payment for a purchase. (e) Any merchant who violates the provisions of this Code section shall be subject to the penalties provided in this part. (f) This Code section shall not prohibit a merchant from:
(1) Recording a credit card number and expiration date as a condition to cashing or accepting a check where the merchant has agreed with the credit card issuer to cash or accept such checks as a service to the issuer's cardholders and the issuer has agreed with the merchant to guarantee payment of all cardholder checks cashed or accepted by the merchant; (2) Requesting a purchaser to display a credit or charge card as a means of identification or as an indication of credit worthiness or financial responsibility;

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(3) Recording on the check or elsewhere the type of credit or charge card displayed for the purposes of paragraph (2) of this subsection and the credit or charge card expiration date; or (4) Recording the address or telephone number of a credit cardholder if the information is necessary for the shipping, delivery, or installation of consumer goods or for special orders of consumer goods or services. (g) This Code section shall not require acceptance of a check or draft because a credit card is presented.

10-1-393.4. (a) It shall be an unlawful, unfair, and deceptive trade practice for any person, firm, or corporation doing business in any area in which a state of emergency, as such term is defined in Code Section 38-3-3, has been declared, for so long as such state of emergency exists, to sell or offer for sale at retail any goods or services identified by the Governor in the declaration of the state of emergency necessary to preserve, protect, or sustain the life, health, or safety of persons or their property at a price higher than the price at which such goods were sold or offered for sale immediately prior to the declaration of a state of emergency; provided, however, that such price may be increased only in an amount which accurately reflects an increase in cost of the goods or services to the person selling the goods or services or an increase in the cost of transporting the goods or services into the area. (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section, a retailer may increase the price of goods or services during a state of emergency if the price charged for those goods or services is no greater than the cost to the retailer of those goods or services, plus the retailer's average markup percentage applied during the ten days immediately prior to the declaration of a state of emergency.

10-1-393.5. (a) For purposes of this Code section, the term 'telemarketing' shall have the same meaning which it has under 16 Code of Federal Regulations Part 310, the Telemarketing Sales Rule of the Federal Trade Commission, except that the term 'telemarketing' shall also include those calls made in intrastate as well as interstate commerce. (b) Without otherwise limiting the definition of unfair and deceptive acts or practices under this part, it shall be unlawful for any person who is engaged in telemarketing, any person who is engaged in any activity involving or using a computer or computer network, or any person who is engaged in home repair work or home improvement work to:
(1) Employ any device, scheme, or artifice to defraud a person, organization, or entity; (2) Engage in any act, practice, or course of business that operates or would operate as a fraud or deceit upon a person, organization, or entity; or (3) Commit any offense involving theft under Code Sections 16-8-2 through 16-8-9. (b.1)(1) As used in this subsection, the term:

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(A) 'Photograph' means a photograph of a subject individual that was taken in this state by an arresting law enforcement agency. (B) 'Subject individual' means an individual who was arrested and had his or her photograph taken and:
(i) Access to his or her case or charges was restricted pursuant to Code Section 35-3-37; (ii) Prior to indictment, accusation, or other charging instrument, his or her case was never referred for further prosecution to the proper prosecuting attorney by the arresting law enforcement agency and the offense against such individual was closed by the arresting law enforcement agency; (iii) Prior to indictment, accusation, or other charging instrument, the statute of limitations expired; (iv) Prior to indictment, accusation, or other charging instrument, his or her case was referred to the prosecuting attorney but was later dismissed; (v) Prior to indictment, accusation, or other charging instrument, the grand jury returned two no bills; (vi) After indictment or accusation, all charges were dismissed or nolle prossed; (vii) After indictment or accusation, the individual pleaded guilty to or was found guilty of possession of a narcotic drug, marijuana, or stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogenic drug and was sentenced in accordance with the provisions of Code Section 16-13-2, and the individual successfully completed the terms and conditions of his or her probation; or (viii) The individual was acquitted of all of the charges by a judge or jury. (2) Any person who is engaged in any activity involving or using a computer or computer network who publishes on such person's publicly available website a subject individual's arrest booking photograph for purposes of commerce shall be deemed to be transacting business in this state. Within 30 days of the sending of a written request by a subject individual, including his or her name, date of birth, date of arrest, and the name of the arresting law enforcement agency, such person shall, without fee or compensation, remove from such person's website the subject individual's arrest booking photograph. Such written request shall be transmitted via certified mail, return receipt requested, or statutory overnight delivery, to the registered agent, principal place of business, or primary residence of the person who published the website. Without otherwise limiting the definition of unfair and deceptive acts or practices under this part, a failure to comply with this paragraph shall be unlawful. (c) In addition to any civil penalties under this part, any person who intentionally violates subsection (b) of this Code section shall be subject to a criminal penalty under paragraph (5) of subsection (a) of Code Section 16-8-12. In addition thereto, if the violator is a corporation, each of its officers and directors may be subjected to a like penalty; if the violator is a sole proprietorship, the owner thereof may be subjected to a like penalty; and, if the violator is a partnership, each of the partners may be subjected to a like penalty,

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provided that no person shall be subjected to a like penalty if the person did not have prior actual knowledge of the acts violating subsection (b) of this Code section. (d) Any person who intentionally targets an elder or disabled person, as defined in Article 31 of this chapter, in a violation of subsection (b) of this Code section shall be subject to an additional civil penalty, as provided in Code Section 10-1-851. (e) Persons employed full time or part time for the purpose of conducting potentially criminal investigations under this article shall be certified peace officers and shall have all the powers of a certified peace officer of this state when engaged in the enforcement of this article, including but not limited to the power to obtain, serve, and execute search warrants. Such Georgia certified peace officers shall be subject to the requirements of Chapter 8 of Title 35, the 'Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Act,' and are specifically required to complete the training required for peace officers by that chapter. Such certified peace officers shall be authorized, upon completion of the required training, with the written approval of the Attorney General, and notwithstanding Code Sections 16-11-126 and 16-11-129, to carry firearms of a standard police issue when engaged in detecting, investigating, or preventing crimes under this article. (f) The Attorney General shall be authorized to promulgate procedural rules relating to his or her enforcement duties under this Code section.

10-1-393.6. (a) For purposes of this Code section, the term 'telemarketing' shall have the same meaning which it has under Code Section 10-1-393.5. (b) Without otherwise limiting the definition of unfair or deceptive acts or practices under this part and without limiting any other Code section under this part, it shall be unlawful for any person to:
(1) In connection with a telemarketing transaction, request a fee in advance to remove derogatory information from or improve a person's credit history or credit record; (2) Request or receive payment in advance from a person to recover, or otherwise aid in the return of, money or any other item lost by the consumer in a prior telemarketing transaction; provided, however, that this paragraph shall not apply to goods or services provided to a person by a licensed attorney; or (3) In connection with a telemarketing transaction, procure the services of any professional delivery, courier, or other pickup service to obtain immediate receipt or possession of a consumer's payment, unless the goods are delivered with the opportunity to inspect before any payment is collected. (c) In addition to any civil penalties under this part, any person who intentionally violates subsection (b) of this Code section shall be subject to a criminal penalty under paragraph (5) of subsection (a) of Code Section 16-8-12. In addition thereto, if the violator is a corporation, each of its officers and directors may be subjected to a like penalty; if the violator is a sole proprietorship, the owner thereof may be subjected to a like penalty; and, if the violator is a partnership, each of the partners may be subjected to a like penalty,

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provided that no person shall be subjected to a like penalty if the person did not have prior actual knowledge of the acts violating subsection (b) of this Code section.

10-1-393.7. (a) Without otherwise limiting the definition of unfair or deceptive acts or practices under this part, it shall be unlawful for any person to solicit another during such other's final illness or during the final illness of any other person for the purpose of persuading a person who is suffering from his or her final illness or a person acting on behalf of such person to seek refund of moneys paid for an existing preneed contract for burial services or merchandise or funeral services or merchandise. (b) In addition to any other penalty imposed for the violation of this Code section, the administrative agency which issues a finding of violation shall order the violator to pay restitution in the amount of the refund to the person, corporation, partnership, or other legal entity which refunded moneys paid for an existing preneed contract for burial services or merchandise or funeral services or merchandise.

10-1-393.8. (a) Except as otherwise provided in this Code section, a person, firm, or corporation shall not:
(1) Publicly post or publicly display in any manner an individual's social security number. As used in this Code section, 'publicly post' or 'publicly display' means to intentionally communicate or otherwise make available to the general public; (2) Require an individual to transmit his or her social security number over the Internet, unless the connection is secure or the social security number is encrypted; or (3) Require an individual to use his or her social security number to access an Internet website, unless a password or unique personal identification number or other authentication device is also required to access the Internet website. (b) This Code section shall not apply to: (1) The collection, release, or use of an individual's social security number as required by state or federal law; (2) The inclusion of an individual's social security number in an application, form, or document sent by mail, electronically transmitted, or transmitted by facsimile:
(A) As part of an application or enrollment process; (B) To establish, amend, or terminate an account, contract, or policy; or (C) To confirm the accuracy of the individual's social security number; (3) The use of an individual's social security number for internal verification or administrative purposes; or (4) An interactive computer service provider's or a telecommunications provider's transmission or routing of, or intermediate temporary storage or caching of, an individual's social security number.

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(c) This Code section shall not impose a duty on an interactive computer service provider or a telecommunications provider actively to monitor its service or to affirmatively seek evidence of the transmission of social security numbers on its service. (d) Notwithstanding the provisions of this Code section, the clerks of superior court of this state and the Georgia Superior Court Clerks' Cooperative Authority shall be held harmless for filing, publicly posting, or publicly displaying any document containing an individual's social security number that the clerk is otherwise required by law to file, publicly post, or publicly display for public inspection.

10-1-393.9. (a) Private child support collectors shall register with the Secretary of State and shall provide information as requested by the Secretary of State, including, but not limited to, the name of the private child support collector, the office address and telephone number for such entity, and the registered agent in this state on whom service of process is to be made in a proceeding against such private child support collector. (b) An application for registration shall be accompanied by a surety bond filed, held, and approved by the Secretary of State, and the surety bond shall be:
(1) Issued by a surety authorized to do business in this state; (2) In the amount of $50,000.00; (3) In favor of the state for the benefit of a person damaged by a violation of this Code section; and (4) Conditioned on the private child support collector's compliance with this Code section and Code Section 10-1-393.10 and the faithful performance of the obligations under the private child support collector's agreements with its clients. (c) In lieu of a surety bond, the Secretary of State may accept a deposit of money in the amount of $50,000.00. The Secretary of State shall deposit any amounts received under this subsection in an insured depository account designated for that purpose.

10-1-393.10. (a) Any contract for the collection of child support between a private child support collector and an obligee shall be filed by the private child support collector with the office of the Attorney General. (b) Any contract for the collection of child support between a private child support collector and an obligee shall be in writing, in at least ten-point type, and signed by such private child support collector and obligee. The contract shall include:
(1) An explanation of the nature of the services to be provided; (2) An explanation of the amount to be collected from the obligor by the private child support collector and a statement of a sum certain of the total amount that is to be collected by the private child support collector that has been engaged by the obligee; (3) An explanation in dollar figures of the maximum amount of fees which could be collected under the contract and an example of how fees are calculated and deducted;

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(4) A statement that fees shall only be charged for collecting past due child support, although the contract may include provisions to collect current and past due child support; (5) A statement that a private child support collector shall not retain fees from collections that are primarily attributable to the actions of the department and that a private child support collector shall be required by law to refund any fees improperly retained; (6) An explanation of the opportunities available to the obligee or private child support collector to cancel the contract or other conditions under which the contract terminates; (7) The mailing address, telephone numbers, facsimile numbers, and e-mail address of the private child support collector; (8) A statement that the private child support collector shall only collect money owed to the obligee and not child support assigned to the State of Georgia; (9) A statement that the private child support collector is not a governmental entity and that the department provides child support enforcement services at little or no cost to the obligee; and (10) A statement that the obligee may continue to use or pursue services through the department to collect child support. (c) A private child support collector shall not: (1) Improperly retain fees from collections that are primarily attributable to the actions of the department. If the department or an obligee notifies a private child support collector of such improper fee retention, such private child support collector shall refund such fees to the obligee within seven business days of the notification of the improper retention of fees and shall not be liable for such improper fee retention. A private child support collector may require documentation that the collection was primarily attributable to the actions of the department prior to issuing any refund; (2) Charge fees in excess of one-third of the total amount of child support payments collected; (3) Solicit obligees using marketing materials, advertisements, or representations reasonably calculated to create a false impression or mislead an obligee into believing the private child support collector is affiliated with the department or any other governmental entity; (4) Use or threaten to use violence or other criminal means to cause harm to an obligor or the property of the obligor; (5) Falsely accuse or threaten to falsely accuse an obligor of a violation of state or federal laws; (6) Take or threaten to take an enforcement action against an obligor that is not authorized by law; (7) Represent to an obligor that the private child support collector is affiliated with the department or any other governmental entity authorized to enforce child support obligations or fail to include in any written correspondence to an obligor the statement that 'This communication is from a private child support collector. The purpose of this

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communication is to collect a child support debt. Any information obtained will be used for that purpose.'; (8) Communicate to an obligor's employer, or his or her agent, any information relating to an obligor's indebtedness other than through proper legal action, process, or proceeding; (9) Communicate with an obligor whenever it appears the obligor is represented by an attorney and the attorney's name and address are known, or could be easily ascertained, unless the attorney fails to answer correspondences, return telephone calls, or discuss the obligation in question, or unless the attorney and the obligor consent to direct communication; (10) Contract with an obligee who is owed less than three months of child support arrearages; or (11) Contract with an obligee for a sum certain to be collected which is greater than the total sum of arrearages and the statutory interest owed as of the date of execution of the contract. (d) In addition to any other cancellation or termination provisions provided in the contract between a private child support collector and an obligee, the contract shall be cancelled or terminate if: (1) The obligee requests cancellation in writing within 30 days of signing the contract; (2) The obligee requests cancellation in writing after any 12 consecutive months in which the private child support collector fails to make a collection; (3) The private child support collector breaches any term of the contract or violates any provision contained within this Code section; or (4) The amount to be collected pursuant to the contract has been collected. (e) When it reasonably appears to the Attorney General that a private child support collector has contracted with obligees on or after July 1, 2009, using a contract that is not in compliance with this Code section, the Attorney General may demand pursuant to Code Section 10-1-403 that such private child support collector produce a true and accurate copy of each such contract. If such private child support collector fails to comply or the contracts are determined by the Attorney General to not be compliant with the provisions of this Code section, the Attorney General may utilize any of the powers vested in this part to ensure compliance. (f) Upon the request of an obligee, the Child Support Enforcement Agency of the department shall forward child support payments made payable to the obligee to any private child support collector that is in compliance with the provisions of this Code section and Code Section 10-1-393.9. (g) The remedies provided in this part shall be cumulative and shall be in addition to any other procedures, rights, or remedies available under any other law. (h) Any waiver of the rights, requirements, and remedies provided by this Code section that are contained in a contract between a private child support collector and an obligee violates public policy and shall be void.

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10-1-393.11. (a) A person who makes a representation regarding kosher food shall prominently and conspicuously display on the premises on which the food is sold, in a location readily visible to the consumer, a completed kosher food disclosure statement which shall be updated within 14 days of any changes in the information required by subsections (b) through (e) of this Code section. (b) A kosher food disclosure statement shall set forth the name and address of the establishment to which it applies and the date on which it was completed. (c) A kosher food disclosure statement shall state in the affirmative or negative whether the person:
(1) Operates under rabbinical or other kosher supervision; (2) Sells or serves only food represented as kosher; (3) Sells or serves food represented as kosher, as well as food not represented as kosher; (4) Sells or serves meat, dairy, and pareve food; (5) Sells or serves only meat and pareve food; (6) Sells or serves only dairy and pareve food; (7) Sells or serves meat and poultry represented as kosher only if it is slaughtered under rabbinical or other kosher supervision and identified at the slaughterhouse to be sold as kosher; (8) Represents kosher meat sold as 'Glatt kosher' or 'Glatt'; (9) Sells or serves seafood only if it has or had fins and removable scales; (10) Keeps separate meat represented as kosher, dairy represented as kosher, pareve food represented as kosher, and food not represented as kosher; (11) Uses separate utensils for meat represented as kosher, dairy represented as kosher, pareve food represented as kosher, and food not represented as kosher; (12) Uses separate work areas for meat and poultry represented as kosher, dairy represented as kosher, pareve food represented as kosher, and food not represented as kosher; (13) Sells or serves wine represented as kosher only if it has rabbinical supervision; (14) Sells or serves cheese represented as kosher only if it has rabbinical supervision; (15) Sells or serves food represented as kosher for Passover; (16) Uses separate utensils for food represented as kosher for Passover and food not represented as kosher for Passover; (17) Uses separate work areas for food represented as kosher for Passover and food not represented as kosher for Passover; (18) Keeps food represented as kosher for Passover free from and not in contact with food not represented as kosher for Passover; and (19) Prepares food represented as kosher for Passover under rabbinical or other kosher supervision. (d) If a kosher food disclosure statement has an affirmative response to the question contained in paragraph (15) of subsection (c) of this Code section, responses to the questions

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contained in paragraphs (16) through (19) shall be required; otherwise, such responses shall not be required. (e) A person who represents to the public that any unpackaged food for sale or a place of business is under rabbinical or other kosher supervision shall also provide in the kosher food disclosure statement the following information about the rabbinical or other kosher supervision:
(1) The name of the supervising rabbi, agency, or other person; (2) The address of the supervising rabbi, agency, or other person; (3) The telephone number of the supervising rabbi, agency, or other person; (4) The frequency with which the supervising rabbi, agency, or other person visits the establishment; and (5) Any relevant affiliations of the supervising rabbi, agency, or other person that the person making the disclosure wishes to disclose. (f) The Attorney General shall promulgate a form for the kosher food disclosure statement and any additional information that the Attorney General deems reasonable and necessary for full and complete disclosure. The completion and prominent and conspicuous display of such form shall constitute compliance with subsections (b) through (e) of this Code section. (g) No person shall display a kosher food disclosure statement or other written document stating that a rabbi, agency, or other person certifies food or a place of business as kosher or kosher for Passover if no such certification is being provided. The person making the display shall remove the statement or document if the rabbi, agency, or other person sends a notice via certified mail or statutory overnight delivery directed to the person making the display that no such certification is being provided. (h) It shall be unlawful for any person to: (1) Fail to complete and prominently and conspicuously display a kosher food disclosure statement as required by this Code section; (2) Otherwise fail to comply with this Code section; or (3) Knowingly or intentionally, with intent to defraud, make a false affirmation or disclosure in a kosher food disclosure statement. (i) This Code section shall not apply to: (1) Food sold in a presealed kosher food package; or (2) Food represented as 'kosher-style' or 'kosher-type.'

10-1-393.12. (a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) 'Residential real estate' means a new or existing building constructed for habitation by one to four families, including detached garages. (2) 'Residential roofing contractor' means a person or entity in the business of contracting or offering to contract with an owner or possessor of residential real estate to repair or replace roof systems.

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(3) 'Roof system' means a roof covering, roof sheathing, roof weatherproofing, roof framing, roof ventilation system, and insulation. (b) A person who has entered into a written contract with a residential roofing contractor to provide goods or services to be paid from the proceeds of a property and casualty insurance policy may cancel the contract prior to midnight on the fifth business day after the insured has received written notice from the insurer that all or any part of the claim or contract is not a covered loss under such insurance policy. Cancellation shall be evidenced by the insured giving written notice of cancellation to the residential roofing contractor at the address stated in the contract. Notice of cancellation, if given by mail, shall be effective upon deposit into the United States mail, postage prepaid and properly addressed to the residential roofing contractor. Notice of cancellation need not take a particular form and shall be sufficient if it indicates, by any form of written expression, the intention of the insured not to be bound by the contract. (c) Before entering a contract as provided in subsection (b) of this Code section, the residential roofing contractor shall: (1) Furnish the insured a statement in boldface type of a minimum size of ten points, in substantially the following form:
'You may cancel this contract at any time before midnight on the fifth business day after you have received written notification from your insurer that all or any part of the claim or contract is not a covered loss under the insurance policy. This right to cancel is in addition to any other rights of cancellation which may be found in state or federal law or regulation. See attached notice of cancellation form for an explanation of this right'; and (2) Furnish each insured a fully completed form in duplicate, captioned 'NOTICE OF CANCELLATION,' which shall be attached to the contract but easily detachable, and which shall contain in boldface type of a minimum size of ten points the following statement:
'NOTICE OF CANCELLATION' If you are notified by your insurer that all or any part of the claim or contract is not a covered loss under the insurance policy, you may cancel the contract by mailing or delivering a signed and dated copy of this cancellation notice or any other written notice to (name of contractor) at (address of contractor's place of business) at any time prior to midnight on the fifth business day after you have received such notice from your insurer.
I HEREBY CANCEL THIS TRANSACTION ____________________________________________________________________ Date ____________________________________________________________________ Insured's signature (d) In circumstances in which payment may be made from the proceeds of a property and casualty insurance policy, a residential roofing contractor shall not require any payments

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from an insured until the five-day cancellation period has expired. If, however, the residential roofing contractor has performed any emergency services, acknowledged by the insured in writing to be necessary to prevent damage to the premises, the residential roofing contractor shall be entitled to collect the amount due for the emergency services at the time they are rendered. Any provision in a contract as provided in subsection (b) of this Code section that requires the payment of any fee for anything except emergency services shall not be enforceable against any insured who has canceled a contract under this Code section. (e) A residential roofing contractor shall not represent or negotiate, or offer or advertise to represent or negotiate, on behalf of an owner or possessor of residential real estate on any insurance claim in connection with the repair or replacement of roof systems. This subsection shall not apply to a public adjuster licensed under Chapter 23 of Title 33.

10-1-393.13. (a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) 'ADAD equipment' means any device or system of devices which is used, whether alone or in conjunction with other equipment, for the purpose of automatically selecting or dialing telephone numbers and disseminating prerecorded messages to the numbers so selected or dialed. (2) 'Business' means any corporation, partnership, proprietorship, firm, enterprise, franchise, association, organization, self-employed individual, trust, or other legal entity. (3) 'Caller identification service' means a type of telephone service which permits subscribers to see the telephone number of incoming telephone calls. (4) 'In this state' means the call:
(A) Originates from this state; or (B) Is directed by the caller to this state and received at the place to which it is directed. (5) 'Subscriber' means a person or business that has subscribed to telephone service from a local exchange company or mobile, wireless, or other telephone service provider or other persons living, residing, or working with such person or business. (6) 'Telephone solicitation' means any voice communication from a live operator, through the use of ADAD equipment or by other means, over a telephone line or computer network for the purpose of encouraging the purchase or rental of, or investment in, property, goods, or services or donation to any organization, but shall not include communications: (A) To any subscriber with that subscriber's prior express invitation or permission; (B) By or on behalf of any person or entity with whom a subscriber has a prior or current business or personal relationship; or (C) Which convey a political message. (b) Without otherwise limiting the definition of unfair or deceptive acts or practices under this part and without limiting any other Code section under this part, in connection with a telephone solicitation:

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(1) At the beginning of such call, the person or entity making the call shall state clearly the identity of the person or entity initiating the call; (2) No person or entity who makes a telephone solicitation to the telephone line of a subscriber in this state shall knowingly utilize any method to block or otherwise circumvent such subscriber's use of a caller identification service; (3) The telephone number displayed on the caller identification service shall be a working telephone number capable of receiving incoming calls at the time the call is placed; and (4) The identity of the caller displayed on the caller identification service shall accurately reflect the identity of the caller. (c) Notwithstanding Code Section 10-1-399, a claim of a violation of this Code section may be brought in a representative capacity and may be the subject of a class action under Code Section 9-11-23. Damages for such violation shall be the greater of actual damages or $10.00 per violation.

10-1-394. (a) The Attorney General is authorized to adopt reasonable rules, regulations, and standards appropriate to effectuate the purposes of this part and prohibit specific acts or practices that are deemed to be a violation of this part. The Attorney General is also authorized to adopt as substantive rules that prohibit specific acts or practices in violation of Code Section 10-1-393 those rules and regulations of the Federal Trade Commission interpreting Section 5(a)(1) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. Section 45(a)(1)), as from time to time amended. (b) Chapter 13 of Title 50, the 'Georgia Administrative Procedure Act,' shall apply to the promulgation of rules and regulations by the Attorney General pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section and in taking testimony pursuant to Code Sections 10-1-403 and 10-1-404.

10-1-395. (a) The Attorney General shall have the necessary powers and authority to carry out the duties vested in him or her pursuant to this title. Any authority, power, or duty vested in the Attorney General by any provision of this title and Code Section 46-5-27 may be exercised, discharged, or performed by any employee of the office of the Attorney General acting in the Attorney General's name and by his or her delegated authority. The Attorney General shall be responsible for the official acts of such persons who act in his or her name and by his or her authority.
(b)(1) A Consumer Advisory Board is created whose duty it shall be to advise and make recommendations to the Attorney General. The board shall consist of 15 members. Appointments of members of this board made after July 1, 2015, shall be made by the Attorney General; however, the Attorney General shall not be an appointee. One member shall be appointed from each congressional district and the remaining members shall be appointed from the state at large. At least four members shall be attorneys representing

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consumers' interests and two of these consumers' attorneys shall represent Georgia Indigent Legal Services or any other legal aid society. At least four members shall be representatives of the business community, two of which are recommended by the Georgia Retail Association and two recommended for appointment by the Business Council of Georgia, Inc. (2) All members appointed to the board by the Attorney General shall be appointed for terms of three years and until their successors are appointed and qualified. In the event of a vacancy during the term of any member by reason of death, resignation, or otherwise, the appointment of a successor by the Attorney General shall be for the remainder of the unexpired term of such member. (3) The board shall elect its chairman and shall meet not less than once every four calendar months at a time and place specified in writing by the Attorney General. The board may also meet from time to time upon its own motion as deemed necessary by a majority of the members thereof for the purpose of conducting routine or special business. Each member of the board shall serve without pay but shall receive standard state per diem for expenses and receive standard travel allowance while attending meetings and while in the discharge of his or her responsibilities. (4) The board shall assist the Attorney General in an advisory capacity in carrying out the duties and functions of the office concerning:
(A) Policy matters relating to consumer interests; and (B) The effectiveness of the state consumer programs and operations. (5) The board shall make recommendations concerning: (A) The improvement of state consumer programs and operations; (B) The elimination of duplication of effort; (C) The coordination of state consumer programs and operations with other local and private programs related to consumer interests; (D) Legislation needed in the area of consumer protection; and (E) Avoidance of unnecessary burdens on business, if any, resulting from the administration of this part. (c) The Attorney General shall receive all complaints under this part and shall refer all complaints or inquiries concerning conduct specifically approved or prohibited by the Department of Agriculture, Commissioner of Insurance, Public Service Commission, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Banking and Finance, or other appropriate agency or official of this state to that agency or official for initial investigation and corrective action other than litigation. (d) Any official of this state receiving a complaint or inquiry as provided in subsection (c) of this Code section shall advise the Attorney General of his or her action with respect to the complaint or inquiry. (e) All officials and agencies of this state having responsibility under this part are authorized and directed to consult and assist one another in maintaining compliance with this part.

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(f) In the event a person holding a professional license as defined in Chapter 4 of Title 26 or in Title 43 shall be determined by the Attorney General to be operating a business or profession intentionally, persistently, and notoriously in a manner contrary to this part, the Secretary of State, at the instruction of the Attorney General, shall begin proceedings to revoke such professional license. (g) The Attorney General shall not be authorized to exercise any powers granted in this part against a person regulated by an agency or department listed in subsection (c), subsection (d), or subsection (e) of this Code section with regard to conduct specifically approved or prohibited by such agency or department if such agency or department certifies to the Attorney General that the exercise of such powers would not be in the public interest. (h) Nothing contained in this part shall be construed as repealing, limiting, or otherwise affecting the existing powers of the various regulatory agencies of the State of Georgia except that all agencies of this state, in making determinations as to whether actions or proposed actions of persons subject to their jurisdiction and control are in the public interest, shall consider the situation in the light of the policies expressed by this part.

10-1-396. Nothing in this part shall apply to:
(1) Actions or transactions specifically authorized under laws administered by or rules and regulations promulgated by any regulatory agency of this state or the United States; (2) Acts done by the publisher, owner, agent, or employee of a newspaper, periodical, radio station or network, or television station or network in the publication or dissemination in print or electronically of:
(A) News or commentary; or (B) An advertisement of or for another person, when the publisher, owner, agent, or employee did not have actual knowledge of the false, misleading, or deceptive character of the advertisement, did not prepare the advertisement, or did not have a direct financial interest in the sale or distribution of the advertised product or service.

10-1-397. (a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) 'Call' means any communication, message, signal, or transmission. (2) 'Telecommunications company' shall have the same meaning as provided in Code Section 46-5-162. (3) 'Telecommunications services' shall have the same meaning as provided in Code Section 46-5-162. (b) Whenever it may appear to the Attorney General that any person is using, has used, or is about to use any method, act, or practice declared by this part or by regulations made under Code Section 10-1-394 to be unlawful and that proceedings would be in the public interest, whether or not any person has actually been misled, the Attorney General may:

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(1) Subject to notice and opportunity for hearing in accordance with Code Section 10-1-398, unless the right to notice is waived by the person against whom the sanction is imposed, take any or all of the following actions:
(A) Issue a cease and desist order prohibiting any unfair or deceptive act or practice against any person; (B) Issue an order against a person who willfully violates this part, imposing a civil penalty of up to a maximum of $2,000.00 per violation; or (C) Issue an order requiring a person whose actions are in violation of this part to pay restitution to any person or persons adversely affected by such actions; or (2) Without regard as to whether the Attorney General has issued any orders under this Code section, upon a showing by the Attorney General in any superior court of competent jurisdiction that a person has violated or is about to violate this part, a rule promulgated under this part, or an order of the Attorney General, the court may enter or grant any or all of the following relief: (A) A temporary restraining order or temporary or permanent injunction; (B) A civil penalty of up to a maximum of $5,000.00 per violation of this part; (C) A declaratory judgment; (D) Restitution to any person or persons adversely affected by a defendant's actions in violation of this part; (E) The appointment of a receiver, auditor, or conservator for the defendant or the defendant's assets; or (F) Other relief as the court deems just and equitable. (c) Unless the Attorney General determines that a person subject to this part designs quickly to depart from this state or to remove his or her property therefrom or to conceal himself or herself or his or her property therein or that there is immediate danger of harm to citizens of this state or of another state, the Attorney General shall, unless he or she seeks a temporary restraining order to redress or prevent an injury resulting from a violation of paragraph (20) of subsection (b) of Code Section 10-1-393, before initiating any proceedings as provided in this Code section, give notice in writing that such proceedings are contemplated and allow such person a reasonable opportunity to appear before the Attorney General and execute an assurance of voluntary compliance as provided in this part. The determination of the Attorney General under this subsection shall be final and not subject to judicial review. (d) With the exception of consent judgments entered before any testimony is taken, a final judgment under this Code section shall be admissible as prima-facie evidence of such specific findings of fact as may be made by the court which enters the judgment in subsequent proceedings by or against the same person or his or her successors or assigns. (e) When a receiver is appointed by the court pursuant to this part, he or she shall have the power to sue for, collect, receive, and take into his or her possession all the goods and chattels, rights and credits, moneys and effects, lands and tenements, books, records, documents, papers, choses in action, bills, notes, and property of every description derived

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by means of any practice declared to be illegal and prohibited by this part, including property with which such property has been mingled if it cannot be identified in kind because of such commingling, and to sell, convey, and assign the same and hold and dispose of the proceeds thereof under the direction of the court. In the case of a partnership or business entity, the receiver may, in the discretion of the court, be authorized to dissolve the business and distribute the assets under the direction of the court. The court shall have jurisdiction of all questions arising in such proceedings and may make such orders and judgments therein as may be required.
(f)(1) Whenever the Attorney General issues a cease and desist order to any person regarding the use of a telephone number which when called automatically imposes a per-call charge or other costs to the consumer, other than a regular charge imposed for long distance service, including, but not limited to, a telephone number in which the local prefix is 976 or in which the long distance prefix is 900, the Attorney General may certify to the appropriate local or long distance telecommunications company responsible for billing consumers for the charges that billing for the charges or for certain of the charges should be suspended. The telecommunications company shall then suspend such billing with reasonable promptness to preserve the assets of consumers in accordance with the certification, without incurring any liability to any person for doing so. For the purposes of this Code section, 'reasonable promptness to preserve the assets of consumers' shall mean to act as quickly as the telecommunications company would act to preserve its own assets, provided that the telecommunications company cannot be required to make any changes to its existing systems, technologies, or methods used for billing, other than any minimal procedural changes necessary to actually suspend the billing. The telecommunications company shall not be made a party to any proceedings under this part for complying with this requirement but shall have a right to be heard as a third party in any such proceedings. (2) The suspension of billing under this subsection shall remain in effect until the Attorney General certifies to the telecommunications company that the matter has been resolved. The Attorney General shall certify to the telecommunications company with reasonable promptness when the matter has been resolved. In this certification, the Attorney General shall advise the telecommunications company to collect none of, all of, or any designated part of the billings in accordance with the documents or orders which resolved the matter. The telecommunications company shall collect or not collect the billings in the manner so designated and shall not incur any liability to any person for doing so. (3) Nothing contained in this subsection shall limit or restrict the right of the telecommunications company to place its own restrictions, guidelines, or criteria, by whatever name denominated, upon the use of such telecommunications services, provided such restrictions, guidelines, or criteria do not conflict with the provisions of this subsection.

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10-1-397.1. The Attorney General is authorized to initiate or intervene as a matter of right or otherwise appear in any federal court or administrative agency to implement the provisions of this article.

10-1-398. (a) Any person receiving a cease and desist order from the Attorney General, and who demonstrates in any superior court of competent jurisdiction, after petition to the court and notice to the Attorney General, that such order will unlawfully cause him irreparable harm, shall receive a temporary stay of the order pending the court's review of that order. Such temporary stay shall not exceed 30 days, during which time the court will review the order to determine if an interlocutory stay will be issued pending a final judicial determination of the issues. (b) Where the Attorney General has issued any order prohibiting any unfair or deceptive act or practice, he shall promptly send by certified or registered mail or statutory overnight delivery or by personal service to the person or persons so prohibited a notice of opportunity for hearing. Hearings shall be conducted pursuant to this Code section by the Attorney General or his or her designated representative. Such notice shall state:
(1) The order which has issued and which is proposed to be issued; (2) The ground for issuing such order and proposed order; (3) That the person to whom such notice is sent will be afforded a hearing upon request if such request is made within ten days after receipt of the notice; and (4) That the person to whom such notice is sent may obtain a temporary stay of the order upon a showing of irreparable harm in any superior court of competent jurisdiction. (c) Whenever a person requests a hearing in accordance with this Code section, there shall promptly be set a date, time, and place for such hearing and the person requesting such hearing shall be notified thereof. The date set for such hearings shall be within 15 days, but not earlier than five days after the request for hearing has been made, unless otherwise agreed to by the Attorney General and the person requesting the hearing. (d) In the case of any hearing conducted under this Code section, the Attorney General or his or her designated representative may conduct the hearing. (e) The Attorney General shall have authority to do the following: (1) Administer oaths and affirmations; (2) Sign and issue subpoenas; (3) Rule upon offers of proof; (4) Regulate the course of the hearing, set the time and place for continued hearings, and fix the time for filing briefs; (5) Dispose of motions to dismiss for lack of agency jurisdiction over the subject matter or parties or for any other ground; (6) Dispose of motions to amend or to intervene; (7) Provide for the taking of testimony by deposition or interrogatory; and

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(8) Reprimand or exclude from the hearing any person for any indecorous or improper conduct committed in the presence of the agency. (f) Subpoenas shall be issued without discrimination between public and private parties. When a subpoena is disobeyed, any party may apply to the superior court of the county where the hearing is being heard for an order requiring obedience. Failure to comply with such order shall be cause for punishment as for contempt of court. The costs of securing the attendance of witnesses, including fees and mileage, shall be computed and assessed in the same manner as prescribed by law in civil cases in the superior court. (g) A record shall be kept in each contested case and shall include: (1) All pleadings, motions, and intermediate rulings; (2) A summary of the oral testimony plus all other evidence received or considered except that oral proceedings or any part thereof shall be transcribed or recorded upon request of any party. Upon written request therefor, a transcript of the oral proceedings or any part thereof shall be furnished to any party of the proceedings. The Attorney General shall set a uniform fee for such service; (3) A statement of matters officially noticed; (4) Questions and offers of proof and rulings thereon; (5) Proposed findings and exceptions; (6) Any decision, including any initial, recommended, or tentative decision, opinion, or report by the officer presiding at the hearing; and (7) All staff memoranda or data submitted to the hearing officer or members of the agency in connection with their consideration of the case. (h) Findings of fact shall be based exclusively on the evidence and on matters officially noticed. (i) If the Attorney General does not receive a request for a hearing within the prescribed time where he has issued an order prohibiting any unfair or deceptive act or practices, he may permit an order previously entered to remain in effect or he may enter a proposed order. If a hearing is requested and conducted as provided in this Code section, the Attorney General shall issue a written order which shall: (1) Set forth his or her findings with respect to the matters involved; and (2) Enter an order in accordance with his or her findings. (j) The Attorney General may promulgate such procedural rules and regulations as may be necessary for the effective administration of the authority granted to the Attorney General under this Code section.

10-1-398.1. Any person who has exhausted all administrative remedies available and who is aggrieved by a final decision in a contested case is entitled to judicial review in accordance with the procedures, standards, and requirements set forth in Code Section 50-13-19.

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10-1-399. (a) Any person who suffers injury or damages as a result of a violation of Chapter 5B of this title, as a result of consumer acts or practices in violation of this part, as a result of office supply transactions in violation of this part or whose business or property has been injured or damaged as a result of such violations may bring an action individually, but not in a representative capacity, against the person or persons engaged in such violations under the rules of civil procedure to seek equitable injunctive relief and to recover his or her general and exemplary damages sustained as a consequence thereof in any court having jurisdiction over the defendant; provided, however, exemplary damages shall be awarded only in cases of intentional violation. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, a debtor seeking equitable relief to redress an injury resulting from a violation of paragraph (20) of subsection (b) of Code Section 10-1-393, upon facts alleged showing a likelihood of success on the merits, may not, within the discretion of the court, be required to make a tender. Nothing in this subsection or paragraph (20) of subsection (b) of Code Section 10-1-393 shall be construed to interfere with the obligation of the debtor to a lender who is not in violation of paragraph (20) of subsection (b) of Code Section 10-1-393. A claim under this Code section may also be asserted as a defense, setoff, cross-claim, or counterclaim or third-party claim against such person. (b) At least 30 days prior to the filing of any such action, a written demand for relief, identifying the claimant and reasonably describing the unfair or deceptive act or practice relied upon and the injury suffered, shall be delivered to any prospective respondent. Any person receiving such a demand for relief who, within 30 days of the delivering of the demand for relief, makes a written tender of settlement which is rejected by the claimant may, in any subsequent action, file the written tender and an affidavit concerning this rejection and thereby limit any recovery to the relief tendered if the court finds that the relief tendered was reasonable in relation to the injury actually suffered by the petitioner. The demand requirements of this subsection shall not apply if the prospective respondent does not maintain a place of business or does not keep assets within the state. The 30 day requirement of this subsection shall not apply to a debtor seeking a temporary restraining order to redress or prevent an injury resulting from a violation of paragraph (20) of subsection (b) of Code Section 10-1-393, provided that said debtor gives, or attempts to give the written demand required by this subsection at least 24 hours in advance of the time set for the hearing of the application for the temporary restraining order. Such respondent may otherwise employ the provisions of this Code section by making a written offer of relief and paying the rejected tender into court as soon as practicable after receiving notice of an action commenced under this Code section. All written tenders of settlement such as described in this subsection shall be presumed to be offered without prejudice in compromise of a disputed matter. (c) Subject to subsection (b) of this Code section, a court shall award three times actual damages for an intentional violation.

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(d) If the court finds in any action that there has been a violation of this part, the person injured by such violation shall, in addition to other relief provided for in this Code section and irrespective of the amount in controversy, be awarded reasonable attorneys' fees and expenses of litigation incurred in connection with said action; provided, however, the court shall deny a recovery of attorneys' fees and expenses of litigation which are incurred after the rejection of a reasonable written offer of settlement made within 30 days of the mailing or delivery of the written demand for relief required by this Code section; provided, further, that, if the court finds the action continued past the rejection of such reasonable written offer of settlement in bad faith or for the purposes of harassment, the court shall award attorneys' fees and expenses of litigation to the adverse party. Any award of attorneys' fees and expenses of litigation shall become a part of the judgment and subject to execution as the laws of Georgia allow. (e) Any manufacturer or supplier of merchandise whose act or omission, whether negligent or not, is the basis for action under this part shall be liable for the damages assessed against or suffered by retailers charged under this part. A claim of such liability may be asserted by cross-claim, third-party complaint, or by separate action. (f) It shall not be a defense in any action under this part that others were, are, or will be engaged in like practices. (g) In any action brought under this Code section the Attorney General shall be served by certified or registered mail or statutory overnight delivery with a copy of the initial complaint and any amended complaint within 20 days of the filing of such complaint. The Attorney General shall be entitled to be heard in any such action, and the court where such action is filed may enter an order requiring any of the parties to serve a copy of any other pleadings in an action upon the Attorney General.

10-1-400. In any action in which damages are demanded under Code Section 10-1-399, recovery will be limited to the amount, if any, by which the injured party suffered injury or damage caused by the violation if the adverse party proves that the violation resulted from a bona fide error notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adopted to avoid any such error and that such error was not the result of negligence in the maintenance of such procedures.

10-1-401. (a) No private right of action shall be brought under this part:
(1) More than two years after the person bringing the action knew or should have known of the occurrence of the alleged violation; or (2) More than two years after the termination of any proceeding or action by the State of Georgia, whichever is later.

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(b) Damages or penalties to which a person is entitled pursuant to this part may be set off against the allegation of the person to the seller and may be raised as a defense to a suit on the obligation without regard to the time limitations prescribed by this Code section.

10-1-402. In the administration of this part the Attorney General may accept an assurance of voluntary compliance with respect to any act or practice deemed to be violative of this part from any person who has engaged or was about to engage in such act or practice. Any such assurance shall be in writing and be filed with the clerk of the superior court of the county in which the alleged violator resides or has his or her principal place of business or with the clerk of the Superior Court of Fulton County. Such assurance of voluntary compliance shall not be considered an admission of violation for any purpose. Matters thus processed may at any time be reopened by the Attorney General for further proceedings in the public interest, pursuant to Code Section 10-1-397. This Code section shall not bar any claim against any person who has engaged in any act or practice in violation of this part.

10-1-403. (a) When it reasonably appears to the Attorney General that a person has engaged in, is engaging in, or is about to engage in any act or practice declared to be unlawful by this part or when he believes it to be in the public interest that an investigation should be made to ascertain whether a person in fact has engaged in, is engaging in, or is about to engage in any act or practice declared to be unlawful by this part, he may execute in writing and cause to be served upon any person who is believed to have information, documentary material, or physical evidence relevant to the alleged or suspected violation an investigative demand requiring such person to furnish, under oath or otherwise, a report in writing setting forth the relevant facts and circumstances of which he has knowledge or to appear and testify or to produce relevant documentary material or physical evidence for examination at such reasonable time and place as may be stated in the investigative demand, concerning the advertisement, sale, or offering for sale of any goods or services or the conduct of any trade or commerce that is the subject matter of the investigation. (b) If a matter that the Attorney General makes the subject of an investigative demand is located outside the state, the person receiving the investigative demand may either make it available to the Attorney General at a convenient location within this state or pay the reasonable and necessary expenses for the Attorney General or his or her representative to examine the matter at the place where it is located. The Attorney General may designate representatives, including officials of the state in which the matter is located, to inspect the matter on his or her behalf, and may respond to similar requests from officials of other states.
(c)(1) Each such investigative demand shall state the nature of the conduct constituting the alleged violation of this part which is under investigation and the provision of law applicable thereto; describe the class or classes of documentary material to be produced

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thereunder with such definiteness and certainty as to permit such material to be fairly identified; describe the nature, scope, and purpose of the investigation with such definiteness and certainty as to permit any person whose testimony is sought to be fairly appraised of the subject matter of the inquiry; prescribe a return date which will provide a reasonable period of time within which the material so demanded may be assembled and made available for inspection and copying or reproduction and the person or persons whose testimony is sought may prepare for the same; and identify the person to whom such material shall be made available. (2) No such investigative demand shall:
(A) Contain any requirement which would be held to be unreasonable as contained in a subpoena for the production of documentary evidence issued by a court of this state in aid of a grand jury investigation of such alleged violation; or (B) Require the production of any documentary evidence or oral testimony which would be privileged from disclosure if demanded by a subpoena for the production of documentary evidence issued by a court of this state in aid of a grand jury investigation of such alleged violation; provided, however, that the limitations on the scope of demand contained in this paragraph do not require as a condition to the issuance of an investigative demand that the alleged violation be of sufficient seriousness as to constitute a violation of the criminal laws of this state, as opposed to the civil provisions of this part.

10-1-404. (a) To carry out the duties prescribed by Code Sections 10-1-394, 10-1-395, 10-1-397, 10-1-398, and 10-1-403, the Attorney General, in addition to other powers conferred upon him or her by this part, may issue subpoenas to any person, administer an oath or affirmation to any person, conduct hearings in aid of any investigation or inquiry, prescribe such forms, and promulgate such procedural rules and regulations as may be necessary, which procedural rules and regulations shall have the force of law. (b) The recipient of an investigative demand or subpoena may file an objection with the Attorney General within the reasonable time allotted for responding on grounds that it fails to comply with this part or upon any constitutional or other legal right or privilege of such person. Upon failure of a person without lawful excuse to obey an investigative demand or subpoena, the Attorney General may apply to a superior court having jurisdiction for an order compelling compliance. The court may issue an order directing compliance with the original demand or subpoena or modifying or setting aside such demand or subpoena based on any objection that was raised before the Attorney General. (c) The Attorney General may request that a natural person who refuses to testify or to produce relevant matter on the ground that the testimonial matter may incriminate him be ordered by the court to provide the testimonial matter. With the exception of a prosecution for perjury and an action under Code Section 10-1-397, 10-1-398, 10-1-399, or 10-1-405, a natural person who complies with the court order to provide a testimonial matter after

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asserting a privilege against self-incrimination to which he is entitled by law shall not be prosecuted or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture for or on account of any transaction, matter, or thing concerning which he may testify or produce evidence, documentary or otherwise.
(d)(1) Information obtained pursuant to investigative demands, subpoenas, oaths, affirmations, or hearings enforced by this part shall not be made public or, except as authorized in paragraph (2) of this subsection, disclosed by the Attorney General or his or her employees beyond the extent necessary for the enforcement of this part. (2) The Attorney General or his or her employees shall be authorized to provide to any federal, state, or local law enforcement agency any information acquired under this part which is sought pursuant to an investigative demand or subpoena by such agency. State or local law enforcement agencies shall be authorized to provide any information to the Attorney General when the Attorney General issues an investigative demand or subpoena for such information.

10-1-405. (a) Any person who violates the terms of an injunction issued under Code Section 10-1-397 shall forfeit and pay to the state a civil penalty of not more than $25,000.00 per violation. For purposes of this Code section, the superior court issuing an injunction shall retain jurisdiction and the cause shall be continued and in such cases the Attorney General, acting in the name of the state, may petition for recovery of civil penalties. (b) In the case of a continuing violation under this part, each day shall be regarded as a separate violation. (c) Any intentional violation by a corporation, partnership, or association shall be deemed to be also that of the individual directors, officers, partners, employees, or agents of the corporation, partnership, or association who knew or should have known of the acts constituting the violation and who directly authorized, supervised, ordered, or did any of the acts constituting in whole or in part the violation; provided, however, no such individual directors, officers, partners, employees, or agents shall have any individual liability under this subsection unless the corporation, partnership, or association, as the case may be, which has committed the intentional violation shall fail to pay into the court within 30 days after judgment sufficient moneys or assets to satisfy the judgment. (d) The Attorney General shall have the authority to compromise or settle claims for penalty brought under this Code section.

10-1-406. Whenever an investigation has been conducted under this article and such investigation reveals conduct which constitutes a criminal offense, the Attorney General shall have the authority to prosecute the case or forward the results of such investigation to a prosecuting attorney of this state who shall commence any criminal prosecution that such prosecuting attorney deems appropriate.

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10-1-407. This part is cumulative with other laws and is not exclusive. The rights or remedies provided for in this part shall be in addition to any other procedures, rights, remedies, or duties provided for in any other law or in decisions of the courts of this state dealing with the subject matter.

10-1-408. Rules, orders, actions, and regulations previously adopted which relate to functions performed by the administrator appointed pursuant to the Fair Business Practices Act of 1975 which were transferred under this article to the Attorney General shall remain of full force and effect as rules, orders, actions, and regulations of the Attorney General until amended, repealed, or superseded by rules or regulations adopted by the Attorney General."

SECTION 3. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 10-1-414, relating to prohibited acts by sellers of business opportunities, as follows:
"10-1-414. Sellers shall not:
(1) Represent that a business opportunity or multilevel program provides income or earning potential of any kind unless the seller has documented data to substantiate the claims of income or earning potential, which data shall be furnished to the Attorney General or his or her representatives upon request; (2) Use the trademark, service mark, trade name, logotype, advertising, or other commercial symbol of any business which does not either control the ownership interest in the seller or accept responsibility for all representations made by the seller unless it is clear from the circumstances that the owner of the commercial symbol is not involved in the business opportunity or multilevel distribution company; or (3) Make or authorize the making of any reference to its compliance with this part in any advertisement or other contract with purchasers or participants or in any manner represent, explicitly or implicitly, that the State of Georgia or any department, agency, officer, or employee has reviewed, approved, sanctioned, or endorsed a business opportunity or multilevel program."

SECTION 4. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 10-1-427, relating to false advertising of legal services, as follows:
"10-1-427. (a) No person, firm, corporation, or association or any employee thereof, with intent directly or indirectly to perform legal services or to do anything of any nature whatsoever to induce the public to enter into any obligation relating thereto, shall make or disseminate or cause to be made or disseminated before the public in this state, in any newspaper or

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other publication, radio, television, or advertising device or by public outcry or proclamation or any other manner or means whatever, any statement concerning such legal services or concerning any circumstances or matter of fact connected with the proposed performance thereof which is untrue, fraudulent, deceptive, or misleading and which is known or which by the exercise of reasonable care should be known to be untrue, fraudulent, deceptive, or misleading. (b) Nothing in this Code section shall apply to any visual or sound broadcasting station or to any publisher or printer of a newspaper, magazine, or other form of printed advertising who broadcasts, telecasts, publishes, or prints such advertisement in good faith without knowledge of its false, fraudulent, deceptive, or misleading character. (c) The Attorney General is authorized and empowered, upon the receipt of a complaint or upon his or her own initiative, to investigate any advertising which might be in violation of subsection (a) of this Code section. If the Attorney General determines that any advertising is in violation of subsection (a) of this Code section, he or she is authorized and empowered, after providing the offender with reasonable notice and an opportunity for a hearing, to issue a public reprimand, to issue a cease and desist order against the offender, to report any such action to any board, agency, commission, association, or other entity governing or supervising the legal profession, and to publicize any such action in a medium or media likely to reach the recipients of the improper advertising. Any person against whom the Attorney General issues an adverse decision may, as his or her sole remedy in equity or at law, seek a restraining order against such adverse decision in the superior court. (d) Any person who violates a cease and desist order issued pursuant to subsection (c) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor in the county in which such person resides. Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit any board, agency, commission, association, or other entity governing or supervising the legal profession from taking any lawful action against such person as a result of such improper practices. Each publication of an advertisement in violation of any such cease and desist order shall constitute a separate offense."

SECTION 5. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 10-1-438, relating to definitions relative to disaster related selling violations, as follows:
"10-1-438. (a) As used in this part, the term:
(1) 'Attorney General' means the Attorney General or his or her designee. (2) 'Disaster related violation' means any violation of Part 1, 2, or 4 of this article, which violation involves:
(A) The sale or offer for sale of supplies for use in the salvage, repair, or rebuilding of a structure damaged as a result of a natural disaster; or (B) The performance of or offer to perform services for the salvage, repair, or rebuilding of a structure damaged as a result of a natural disaster.

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(3) 'Natural disaster' means any natural disaster for which a state of emergency is proclaimed by the Governor. (b) Whenever the Attorney General or any court is imposing a penalty for any violations of Part 1, 2, or 4 of this article and the violation is a disaster related violation, in addition to any other applicable penalty there may be imposed an additional civil penalty not to exceed $10,000.00 for each transaction. (c) Any person who suffers damage or injury as a result of a disaster related violation shall have a cause of action to recover actual damages, punitive damages, if appropriate, and reasonable attorney's fees. Amounts recovered in such an action shall have priority over a civil penalty imposed under this Code section."

SECTION 6. Said title is further amended by revising Article 21 of Chapter 1, relating to buying services, as follows:

"ARTICLE 21

10-1-590. This article shall be known and may be cited as the 'Buying Services Act of 1975.'

10-1-591. As used in this article, the term:
(1) 'Attorney General' means the Attorney General or his or her designee. (2) 'Business day' means any day other than a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. (3) 'Buying service,' 'buying club,' or 'club' means any corporation, partnership, unincorporated association, or other business enterprise which is organized with the primary purpose of providing benefits to members from the cooperative purchase of service or merchandise and which desires to effect such purpose through direct solicitation or other business activity in this state. (4) 'Contract' means any contract or agreement by which a person becomes a member of a buying service or club. (5) 'Member' means any natural person who is entitled to any of the benefits of a buying service or buying club.

10-1-592. No buying service or club nor any officer, official, employee, or agent thereof shall sell, advertise, or solicit the sale or purchase of memberships or contracts within this state without having first obtained a license to do business in this state from the Attorney General.

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10-1-593. As a condition to the issuance or retention of a license required by this article, each buying service or club shall:
(1) Comply with such reasonable conditions for the issuance of a license as may be required by the Attorney General pursuant to this article; (2) Maintain a bond in the amount of $25,000.00 with a surety company duly authorized to do business in this state or post a cash bond in such amount, payable to the Governor of this state; in either case, such bond shall be for the use and benefit of any person who has entered into a contract for membership in a buying service or club. Such bond shall be conditioned to pay all losses, damages, and expenses that may be sustained by such member by reason of any fraudulent misrepresentation or by reason of any breach of contract by the club; and (3) Furnish, if the buying service or club operates buying service activities at more than one physical location in this state, a surety bond for each location of buying service activity, each bond to be in the amount and subject to the conditions stated in paragraph (2) of this Code section.

10-1-594. (a) Application for a license as a buying service or club shall be made on forms prescribed by the Attorney General and shall contain such information and supporting documents as he may require. (b) Licenses shall be issued for a period of one year and shall be renewable within 90 days preceding the expiration thereof. (c) The fee for a license or for the renewal thereof shall be $50.00, payable to the Attorney General for deposit by the Office of the State Treasurer in the general fund of the state.

10-1-595. (a) Licenses issued under this article may be revoked, suspended, or not renewed by the Attorney General for:
(1) Any violation of the substantive provisions of this article; (2) A violation of any rule or regulation issued by the Attorney General pursuant to this article; or (3) A violation of any law of this state. (b) Licenses shall be revoked or suspended by the Attorney General only following notice and hearing pursuant to Chapter 13 of Title 50, the 'Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.'

10-1-596. No contract of membership shall be used by any buying service or club unless such contract is first approved by the Attorney General as to form. Any contract or agreement used in violation of this Code section shall be null, void, and of no effect.

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10-1-597. (a) Any person who has elected to become a member of a club may cancel such membership by giving written notice of cancellation any time before 12:00 Midnight of the third business day following the date on which membership was attained. (b) Notice of cancellation may be given personally or by mail. If given by mail, the notice is effective upon deposit in a mailbox, properly addressed and postage prepaid. Notice of cancellation need not take a particular form and is sufficient if it indicates, by any form of written expression, the intention of the member not to be bound by the contract. (c) Cancellation shall be without liability on the part of the member. The member will be entitled to a total refund, within ten days after notice of cancellation is given, of the entire consideration paid for the contract. (d) Rights of cancellation may not be waived or otherwise surrendered.

10-1-598.

(a) A copy of every contract shall be delivered to the member at the time the contract is

signed.

(b) Every contract must be in writing, must be signed by the member, must designate the

date on which the member signed the contract, and must state, clearly and conspicuously

in boldface type of a minimum size of 14 points, the following:

'MEMBER'S RIGHT TO CANCEL

If you wish to cancel this contract, you may cancel by delivering or mailing a written

notice to the club. To prove that you canceled, it is recommended that you send the notice

by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery. The notice must say that you do not wish

to be bound by the contract and must be delivered or mailed before 12:00 Midnight of the

third business day after you sign this contract. The notice must be delivered or mailed to:

(insert name and mailing address of club)

. If you cancel, the club will

return, within ten days of the date on which you give notice of cancellation, a total refund.

It is recommended that you mail the notice of cancellation by certified mail or statutory

overnight delivery, return receipt requested; check with your post office as to the time

when you will be able to mail a certified letter. Be sure to keep a photocopy of the notice

of cancellation which you mail.'

(c) Every contract which does not contain the notice specified in subsection (b) of this Code

section may be canceled by the member at any time, without liability, by giving notice of

cancellation by any means. Nothing contained in this Code section shall be construed to

require that a member's cancellation notice be sent by certified mail or statutory overnight

delivery in order to effect a cancellation.

10-1-599. No contract shall be valid for a term longer than 18 months from the date upon which the contract is signed. However, a club may allow a member to convert his or her contract into a contract for a period longer than 18 months after the member has been a member of the

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club for a period of at least six months. The duration of the contract shall be clearly and conspicuously disclosed in the contract in boldface type of a minimum size of 14 points.

10-1-600. (a) Each buying service or club licensed in this state shall keep and maintain:
(1) Accurate accounts, books, and records of all transactions in this state; (2) Copies of all agreements; (3) Dates and amounts of payments made and accepted thereon; and (4) The names and addresses of all members in this state. (b) Such accounts, books, and records shall be open for inspection by the Attorney General during normal business hours on all normal business days.

10-1-601. The Attorney General is authorized to promulgate, adopt, and issue rules, regulations, and orders necessary or convenient to carry out the provisions and purposes of this article. Chapter 13 of Title 50, the 'Georgia Administrative Procedure Act,' shall apply to the promulgation of rules and regulations by the Attorney General pursuant to this Code section.

10-1-602. Chapter 13 of Title 50, the 'Georgia Administrative Procedure Act,' shall apply to all actions and proceedings of an administrative nature taken by the Attorney General pursuant to this article, except where the Attorney General is acting under Part 2 of Article 15 of this chapter, the 'Fair Business Practices Act of 1975.' A violation of this article shall also be considered a violation of Part 2 of Article 15 of this chapter, the 'Fair Business Practices Act of 1975.'

10-1-603. In addition to any other proceedings authorized by this article, the Attorney General may bring a civil action in the superior courts to enjoin any violation or threatened violation of any provision of this article or any rule, regulation, or order issued or enforced by the Attorney General pursuant to this article.

10-1-604. (a) In order to enforce this article or any orders, rules, and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, the Attorney General may issue an administrative order imposing a penalty not to exceed $1,000.00 for each violation, whenever he or she determines, after a hearing, that any person has violated any provisions of this article or any rules, regulations, or orders promulgated under this article. (b) The hearing and any administrative review thereof shall be conducted in accordance with the procedure for contested cases under Chapter 13 of Title 50, the 'Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.' Any person who has exhausted all administrative remedies

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available and who is aggrieved or adversely affected by a final order or action of the Attorney General shall have the right of judicial review thereof in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the 'Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.' All penalties recovered as provided in this Code section shall be paid into the state treasury. (c) The Attorney General may file, in the superior court of the county in which the person under an order resides, or if the person is a corporation, in the superior court of the county in which the corporation under an order maintains its principal place of business, or in the superior court of the county in which the violation occurred, a certified copy of the final order of the Attorney General unappealed from or of a final order of the Attorney General affirmed upon appeal. Thereupon, the court shall render judgment in accordance therewith and shall notify the parties. Such judgment shall have the same effect and proceedings in relation thereto shall thereafter be the same as though the judgment had been rendered in an action duly heard and determined by such court. (d) The penalty prescribed in this Code section shall be concurrent, alternative, and cumulative with any and all other civil, criminal, or alternative rights, remedies, forfeitures, or penalties provided, allowed, or available to the Attorney General with respect to any violation of this article and any order, rules, or regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.

10-1-605. Any person, firm, corporation, organization, partnership, entity, buying club, or buying service violating any provision of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

10-1-606. Rules, orders, actions, and regulations previously adopted which relate to functions performed by the administrator appointed pursuant to the Fair Business Practices Act of 1975 which were transferred under this article to the Attorney General shall remain of full force and effect as rules, orders, actions, and regulations of the Attorney General until amended, repealed, or superseded by rules or regulations adopted by the Attorney General."

SECTION 7. Said title is further amended in Article 27 of Chapter 1, relating to bad faith assertions of patent infringement, by revising Code Section 10-1-773, relating to enforcement and relief from damages, as follows:
"10-1-773. (a) A violation of this article shall constitute an unfair and deceptive act or practice in the conduct of consumer transactions under Part 2 of Article 15 of this chapter, the 'Fair Business Practices Act,' and the enforcement against any such violation shall be by public enforcement by the Attorney General and shall be enforceable through private action. (b) Whenever it may appear to the Attorney General that any person is using or has used any method, act, or practice declared by this article to be unlawful and that proceedings would be in the public interest, the Attorney General may bring action in a court of

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competent jurisdiction. Upon a showing by the Attorney General that a person has violated this article, the court may enter or grant any or all of the relief provided for in Code Section 10-1-397. (c) Any person who suffers injury or damages as a result of a violation of this article may bring an action individually against the person or persons engaged in such violation under the rules of civil procedure to seek equitable injunctive relief and to recover his or her general and exemplary damages sustained as a consequence thereof in any court having jurisdiction over the defendant. Such relief may include:
(1) Restitution to any person or persons adversely affected by a defendant's actions in violation of this article; (2) Punitive damages in an amount equal to $50,000.00 or three times the combined total of damages, costs, and fees, whichever is greater; (3) Expenses of litigation, including reasonable attorney's fees; and (4) Other relief as the court deems just and equitable. (d) Except as otherwise provided, this article is cumulative with other laws and is not exclusive."

SECTION 8. Said title is further amended by revising Article 28 of Chapter 1, relating to the "Georgia Lemon Law," as follows:

"ARTICLE 28

10-1-780. This article shall be known and may be cited as the 'Georgia Lemon Law.'

10-1-781. The General Assembly recognizes that a new motor vehicle is a major consumer purchase and that a defectively manufactured new motor vehicle is likely to create hardship for, or may cause injury to, the consumer. It is the intent of the General Assembly to create a procedure for expeditious resolution of complaints and disputes concerning nonconforming new motor vehicles, to provide a method for notifying consumers of their rights under this article, and to ensure that consumers receive information, documents, and service necessary to enable them to exercise their rights under this article. In enacting these comprehensive measures, the General Assembly intends to encourage manufacturers to take all steps necessary to correct nonconformities in new motor vehicles and to create the proper blend of private and public remedies necessary to enforce this article.

10-1-782. Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, as used in this article, the term:

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(1) 'Adjusted capitalized cost' means the amount shown as the adjusted capitalized cost in the lease agreement. (2) 'Attorney General' means the Attorney General or his or her designee. (3) 'Authorized agent' means any person, including a franchised motor vehicle dealer, who is authorized by the manufacturer to service motor vehicles. (4) 'Collateral charges' means charges incurred by a consumer as a result of the purchase of a new motor vehicle including, but not limited to, charges attributable to factory or dealer installed options, sales tax and title charges, and earned finance charges. (5) 'Consumer' means each of the following:
(A) A person who purchases or leases a new motor vehicle for personal, family, or household use and not for the purpose of selling or leasing the new motor vehicle to another person; and (B) A person who purchases or leases ten or fewer new motor vehicles a year for business purposes other than limousine rental services. (6) 'Days' means calendar days. (7) 'Express warranty' means a warranty which is given by the manufacturer in writing. (8) 'Incidental costs' means any reasonable expenses incurred by a consumer in connection with the repair of a new motor vehicle, including, but not limited to, payments to new motor vehicle dealers for the attempted repair of nonconformities, towing charges, and the costs of obtaining alternative transportation. (9) 'Informal dispute settlement mechanism' means any procedure established, employed, utilized, or sponsored by a manufacturer for the purpose of resolving disputes with consumers under this article. (10) 'Lemon law rights period' means the period ending two years after the date of the original delivery of a new motor vehicle to a consumer or the first 24,000 miles of operation after delivery of a new motor vehicle to the original consumer, whichever occurs first. The lemon law rights period shall be extended by one day for each day that repair services are not available to the consumer as a direct result of a strike, war, invasion, terrorist act, blackout, fire, flood, other disaster, or declared state of emergency. (11) 'Lessee' means any consumer who enters into a written lease agreement or contract to lease a new motor vehicle for a period of at least one year and is responsible for repairs to such vehicle. (12) 'Lessee cost' means the aggregate payment made by the lessee at the inception of the lease agreement or contract, inclusive of any allowance for a trade-in vehicle, and all other lease payments made by or on behalf of the lessee to the lessor. (13) 'Lessor' means a person who holds title to a new motor vehicle that is leased to a consumer under a written lease agreement or contract or who holds the lessor's rights under such agreement. (14) 'Manufacturer' means any person engaged in the business of constructing or assembling new motor vehicles or engaged in the business of importing or receiving

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imports of new motor vehicles into the United States for the purpose of selling or distributing them to new motor vehicle dealers. (15) 'New motor vehicle' means any self-propelled vehicle primarily designed for the transportation of persons or property over the public highways that was leased, purchased, or registered in this state by the consumer or lessor to whom the original motor vehicle title was issued without previously having been issued to any person other than a new motor vehicle dealer. The term 'new motor vehicle' does not include any vehicle on which the title and other transfer documents show a used, rather than new, vehicle. The term 'new motor vehicle' also does not include trucks with more than 12,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating, motorcycles, or golf carts. If a new motor vehicle is a motor home, this article shall apply to the self-propelled vehicle and chassis, but does not include those portions of the vehicle designated, used, or maintained primarily as living quarters, office, or commercial space. (16) 'New motor vehicle dealer' means a person who holds a dealer agreement with a manufacturer for the sale of new motor vehicles, who is engaged in the business of purchasing, selling, servicing, exchanging, leasing, or dealing in new motor vehicles, or who is licensed or otherwise authorized to utilize trademarks or service marks associated with one or more makes of motor vehicles in connection with such sales. (17) 'Nonconformity' means a defect, a serious safety defect, or a condition, any of which substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of a new motor vehicle to the consumer or renders the new motor vehicle nonconforming to a warranty. A nonconformity does not include a defect, a serious safety defect, or a condition that is the result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modification or alteration of the new motor vehicle. (18) 'Panel' means the new motor vehicle arbitration panel as designated in this article. (19) 'Person' shall have the same meaning as provided in Code Section 10-1-392. (20) 'Purchase price' means, in the case of a sale of a new motor vehicle to a consumer, the cash price of the new motor vehicle appearing in the sales agreement or contract, inclusive of any reasonable allowance for a trade-in vehicle. In the case of a lease executed by a consumer, 'purchase price' refers to the agreed upon value of the vehicle as shown in the lease agreement or contract. (21) 'Reacquired vehicle' means a new motor vehicle with an alleged nonconformity that has been replaced or repurchased by the manufacturer as the result of any court order or judgment, arbitration decision, voluntary settlement entered into between a manufacturer and the consumer, or voluntary settlement between a new motor vehicle dealer and a consumer in which the manufacturer directly or indirectly participated. (22) 'Reasonable number of attempts' under the lemon law rights period shall be as set forth in subsection (a) of Code Section 10-1-784. (23) 'Reasonable offset for use' means an amount calculated by multiplying the purchase price of a vehicle by the number of miles directly attributable to consumer use as of the date on which the consumer first delivered the vehicle to the manufacturer, its authorized

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agent, or the new motor vehicle dealer for repair of a nonconformity and dividing the product by 120,000, or in the case of a motor home 90,000. (24) 'Replacement motor vehicle' means a new motor vehicle that is identical or at least equivalent to the motor vehicle to be replaced as the motor vehicle to be replaced existed at the time of purchase or execution of the lease. (25) 'Serious safety defect' means a life-threatening defect or a malfunction that impedes the consumer's ability to control or operate the motor vehicle for ordinary use or reasonable intended purposes or creates a risk of fire or explosion. (26) 'Superior court' means the superior court in the county where the consumer resides, except if the consumer does not reside in this state, then the superior court in the county where an arbitration hearing was conducted pursuant to this article. (27) 'Warranty' means any manufacturer's express warranty or any affirmation of fact or promise made by the manufacturer in connection with the sale of a new motor vehicle to a consumer concerning the vehicle's materials, workmanship, operation, or performance which becomes part of the basis of the bargain. The term shall not include any extended coverage purchased by the consumer as a separate item or any statements made by the dealer in connection with the sale of a motor vehicle to a consumer which relate to the nature of the material or workmanship and affirm or promise that such material or workmanship is free of defects or will meet a specified level of performance.

10-1-783. (a) The manufacturer shall publish an owner's manual and provide it to the new motor vehicle dealer. The owner's manual shall include a clear and conspicuous listing of addresses, e-mail addresses, facsimile numbers, and toll-free telephone numbers for the manufacturer's customer service personnel who are authorized to direct activities regarding repair of the consumer's vehicle. A manufacturer shall also provide all applicable manufacturer's written warranties to the new motor vehicle dealer, who shall transfer the owner's manual and all applicable manufacturer's written warranties to the consumer at the time of purchase or vehicle acquisition. (b) At the time of purchase or vehicle acquisition, the new motor vehicle dealer shall provide the consumer with a written statement that explains the consumer's rights under this article. The statement shall be written by the Attorney General and shall contain information regarding the procedures and remedies under this article. (c) By October 1 of each year, the manufacturer shall forward to the Attorney General one copy of the owner's manual and the express warranty for each make and model of current year new motor vehicles it sells in this state. To the extent the instructions, terms, and conditions in the owner's manuals and express warranties for other models of the same make are substantially the same, submission of the owner's manual and express warranty for one model and a list of all other models for that make will satisfy the requirements of this subsection.

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(d) Each time the consumer's new motor vehicle is returned from being diagnosed or repaired, the manufacturer, its authorized agent, or the new motor vehicle dealer shall provide to the consumer a fully itemized and legible statement or repair order containing a general description of the problem reported by the consumer; the date and the odometer reading when the vehicle was submitted for repair; the date and odometer reading when the vehicle was made available to the consumer; the results of any diagnostic test, inspection, or test drive; a description of any diagnosis or problem identified by the manufacturer, its authorized agent, or the new motor vehicle dealer; and an itemization of all work performed on the vehicle, including, but not limited to, parts and labor. (e) Upon request of the consumer, the manufacturer, its authorized agent, or the new motor vehicle dealer shall provide a copy of any report or computer reading compiled by the manufacturer's representative regarding inspection, diagnosis, or test drive of the consumer's new motor vehicle.

10-1-784. (a)(1) If a consumer reports a nonconformity during the lemon law rights period, the manufacturer, its authorized agent, or the new motor vehicle dealer shall be allowed a reasonable number of attempts to repair and correct the nonconformity. A reasonable number of attempts shall be deemed to have been undertaken by the manufacturer, its authorized agent, or the new motor vehicle dealer if, during the lemon law rights period: (A) A serious safety defect has been subject to repair one time and the serious safety defect has not been corrected; (B) The same nonconformity has been subject to repair three times, and the nonconformity has not been corrected; or (C) The vehicle is out of service by reason of repair of one or more nonconformities for a cumulative total of 30 days. If the vehicle is being repaired by the manufacturer through an authorized agent or a new motor vehicle dealer on the date that the lemon law rights period expires, the lemon law rights period shall be extended until that repair attempt has been completed. (2)(A) If the manufacturer through an authorized agent or a new motor vehicle dealer is unable to repair and correct a nonconformity after a reasonable number of attempts, the consumer shall notify the manufacturer by statutory overnight delivery or certified mail, return receipt requested, of the need to repair and correct the nonconformity. The notice shall be sent to the address provided by the manufacturer in the owner's manual. The manufacturer shall have 28 days from its receipt of the notice to make a final attempt to repair and correct the nonconformity. (B) By not later than the close of business on the seventh day following receipt of notice from the consumer, the manufacturer shall notify the consumer of the location of a repair facility that is reasonably accessible to the consumer. By not later than the close of business on the fourteenth day following the manufacturer's receipt of notice, the

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consumer shall deliver the nonconforming new motor vehicle to the designated repair facility. (C) If the manufacturer fails to notify the consumer of the location of a reasonably accessible repair facility within seven days of its receipt of notice, or fails to complete the final attempt to repair and correct the nonconformity with the 28 day time period, the requirement that it be given a final attempt to repair and correct the nonconformity shall not apply. However, if the consumer delivers the nonconforming new motor vehicle to the designated repair facility more than 14 days from the date the manufacturer receives notice from the consumer, the 28 day time period shall be extended and the manufacturer shall have 14 days from the date the nonconforming new motor vehicle is delivered to the repair facility to complete the final attempt to repair and correct the nonconformity. (3) No manufacturer, its authorized agent, or new motor vehicle dealer may refuse to diagnose or repair any alleged nonconformity for the purpose of avoiding liability under this article. (b)(1) If the manufacturer, through an authorized agent or new motor vehicle dealer to whom the manufacturer directs the consumer to deliver the vehicle, is unable to correct a nonconformity during the final attempt, or if a vehicle has been out of service by reason of repair of one or more nonconformities for 30 days during the lemon law rights period, the manufacturer shall, at the option of the consumer, repurchase or replace the vehicle. The consumer shall notify the manufacturer, in writing by statutory overnight delivery or certified mail, return receipt requested, of which option the consumer elects. The manufacturer shall have 20 days from receipt of the notice to repurchase or replace the vehicle. (2)(A) If a consumer who is a lessee elects to receive a replacement motor vehicle, in addition to providing the replacement motor vehicle, the manufacturer shall pay to the lessor an amount equal to all charges that the lessor will incur as a result of the replacement transaction and shall pay the lessee an amount equal to all incidental costs that have been incurred by the lessee plus all charges that the lessee will incur as a result of the replacement transaction. If a lessee elects to receive a replacement motor vehicle, all terms of the existing lease agreement or contract shall remain in force and effect, except that the vehicle identification information contained in the lease agreement or contract shall be changed to conform to the vehicle identification information of the replacement vehicle. (B) If a consumer who is not a lessee elects to receive a replacement motor vehicle, in addition to providing the replacement motor vehicle, the manufacturer shall pay to the consumer an amount equal to all incidental costs incurred by the consumer plus all charges that the consumer will incur as a result of the replacement transaction. (3)(A) If a consumer who is a lessee elects a repurchase, the manufacturer shall pay to the lessee an amount equal to all payments made by the lessee under the lease agreement or contract, including, but not limited to, the lessee cost, plus all incidental costs, less a reasonable offset for use of the nonconforming new motor vehicle. The manufacturer

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shall pay to the lessor an amount equal to 110 percent of the adjusted capitalized cost of the nonconforming new motor vehicle. After the lessor has received payment from the manufacturer as specified in this subparagraph and payment from the consumer of all past due charges, if any, the consumer shall have no further obligation to the lessor. (B) If a consumer who is not a lessee elects a repurchase, the manufacturer shall pay to the consumer an amount equal to the purchase price of the nonconforming new motor vehicle plus all collateral charges and incidental costs, less a reasonable offset for use of the nonconforming new motor vehicle. Payment shall be made to the consumer and lienholder of record, if any, as their interests may appear on the records of ownership.

10-1-785. (a)(1) If a manufacturer does not replace or repurchase a nonconforming new motor vehicle after being requested to do so under subsection (b) of Code Section 10-1-784, the consumer may move to compel replacement or repurchase by applying for arbitration pursuant to Code Section 10-1-786. However, if a manufacturer has established an informal dispute settlement mechanism which the Attorney General has certified as complying with the provisions and rules of this article, the consumer shall be eligible to apply for arbitration only after submitting a dispute under this article to the informal dispute settlement mechanism. (2) A consumer must file a claim with the manufacturer's certified informal dispute settlement mechanism no later than one year after expiration of the lemon law rights period. (3) After a decision has been rendered by the certified informal dispute settlement mechanism, the consumer is eligible to apply for arbitration pursuant to Code Section 10-1-786. (4) If a decision is not rendered by the certified informal dispute settlement mechanism within 40 days of filing, the requirement that the consumer submit his or her dispute to the certified informal dispute settlement mechanism shall not apply and the consumer is eligible to apply for arbitration under Code Section 10-1-786.
(b) Certified informal dispute settlement mechanisms shall be required to take into account the principles contained in and any rules promulgated under this article and shall take into account all legal and equitable factors germane to a fair and just decision. A decision shall include any remedies appropriate under the circumstances, including repair, replacement, refund, and reimbursement for collateral charges and incidental costs. For purposes of this Code section, the phrase 'take into account the principles contained in and any rules promulgated under this article' means to be aware of the provisions of this article, to understand how they might apply to the circumstances of the particular dispute, and to apply them if it is appropriate and fair to both parties to do so. (c) A certified informal dispute settlement mechanism shall keep such records as prescribed by the Attorney General in rules promulgated under this article and shall allow the Attorney General, without notice, to inspect and obtain copies of the records. Copies of any records

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requested by the Attorney General shall be provided promptly to the Attorney General at no cost. (d) A manufacturer may apply to the Attorney General for certification of its informal dispute settlement mechanism. The Attorney General may, in his or her discretion, impose requirements on an informal dispute settlement mechanism in order for it to be certified. Within a reasonable time following receipt of the application, the Attorney General shall certify the informal dispute settlement mechanism or notify the manufacturer of the reason or reasons for denial of the requested certification. (e) At any time the Attorney General has reason to believe that a certified informal dispute settlement mechanism is no longer in compliance with this article, he or she may notify the manufacturer of intent to revoke the informal dispute settlement mechanism's certification. The notice shall contain a statement of the reason or reasons for the revocation. (f) The manufacturer shall have ten days from its receipt of notice of denial of requested certification or notice of intent to revoke certification to submit a written request for a hearing to contest the denial or intended revocation. If a hearing is requested, it shall be held within 30 days of the Attorney General's receipt of the hearing request. The hearing shall be conducted by the Office of State Administrative Hearings following the procedures set forth in Chapter 13 of Title 50, the 'Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.' (g) No representation shall be made to a consumer that his or her dispute must be submitted to an informal dispute settlement mechanism that is not certified by the Attorney General pursuant to this Code section.

10-1-786. (a) A consumer shall request arbitration by filing a written application for arbitration with the Attorney General. The application must be filed no later than one year from the date of expiration of the lemon law rights period or 60 days from the conclusion of the certified informal dispute settlement mechanism's proceeding, whichever occurs later.
(b)(1) After receiving an application for arbitration, the Attorney General shall determine whether the dispute is eligible for arbitration. Manufacturers shall be required to submit to arbitration under this article if the consumer's dispute is deemed eligible for arbitration by the Attorney General. Disputes deemed eligible for arbitration shall be assigned to an arbitrator or arbitrators appointed pursuant to Code Section 10-1-789.
(2)(A) A consumer whose dispute is determined to be ineligible for arbitration by the Attorney General may appeal the determination of ineligibility to an arbitrator or arbitrators appointed pursuant to Code Section 10-1-789. (B) If the arbitrator or arbitrators determine that the consumer's dispute is eligible for arbitration, the arbitrator or arbitrators shall retain jurisdiction and the consumer's dispute shall proceed in accordance with this Code section. (C) If the arbitrator or arbitrators determine that the consumer's dispute is not eligible for arbitration, a written decision shall be prepared and sent to the consumer and manufacturer by certified mail, return receipt requested.

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(D) The decision of ineligibility may be appealed by the consumer under the provisions set forth in subsection (a) of Code Section 10-1-787. On appeal, the court shall consider only the issue of eligibility for arbitration. (3) If the court finds that a consumer's appeal from a determination of ineligibility is frivolous or has been filed in bad faith or for the purpose of harassment, the court may require the consumer to pay to the Attorney General all costs incurred as a direct result of the appeals from the Attorney General's determination of ineligibility. (c) A lessee shall notify the lessor of the pending arbitration, in writing, within ten days of the lessee's receipt of notice that a dispute has been deemed eligible for arbitration and shall provide to the arbitrator or arbitrators proof that notice was given to the lessor. Within ten days of its receipt of notice from the lessee, a lessor may petition the arbitrator or arbitrators to be a party to the arbitration proceeding. (d) The arbitrator or arbitrators shall make every effort to conduct the arbitration hearing within 40 days from the date the dispute is deemed eligible for arbitration. The hearing shall be held at a location that is reasonably convenient to the Georgia consumer. Failure to hear the case within 40 days shall not divest authority of the arbitrator or arbitrators to hear the dispute or void any decision ultimately rendered. (e) If the arbitrator or arbitrators determine: (1) That a reasonable number of attempts has been undertaken to repair and correct the nonconformity and that the manufacturer was given the opportunity to make a final attempt to repair and correct the nonconformity and was unable to correct it; or (2) That a new motor vehicle was out of service by reason of repair of one or more nonconformities for a cumulative total of 30 days within the lemon law rights period, the consumer shall be awarded replacement or repurchase of the new motor vehicle as provided under Code Section 10-1-784. The arbitrator or arbitrators also may award attorney's fees and technical or expert witness fees to a consumer who prevails. (f) The decision of the arbitrator or arbitrators shall be in writing, be signed, and contain findings of fact and conclusions of law. The original signed decision shall be filed with the Attorney General and copies shall be sent to all parties. The filing of the decision with the Attorney General constitutes entry of the decision. (g) A decision of the arbitrator or arbitrators that has become final under the provisions of subsection (a) of Code Section 10-1-787 may be filed with the clerk of the superior court, shall have all the force and effect of a judgment or decree of the court, and may be enforced in the same manner as any other judgment or decree. (h) No arbitrator may be required to testify concerning any arbitration and the arbitrator's notes or other records are not subject to discovery. This provision does not extend to testimony or documents sought in connection with legal claims brought against an arbitrator arising out of an arbitration proceeding.

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10-1-787. (a) The decision of the arbitrator or arbitrators is final unless a party to the arbitration, within 30 days of entry of the decision, appeals the decision to the superior court. A party who appeals a decision shall follow the procedures set forth in Article 2 of Chapter 3 of Title 5, and any appeal shall be de novo; however, the decision of the arbitrator or arbitrators shall be admissible in evidence. (b) If the manufacturer appeals, the court may require the manufacturer to post security for the consumer's financial loss due to the passage of time for review. (c) If the manufacturer appeals and the consumer prevails, recovery, in addition to the arbitrator's award, shall include all charges incurred by the consumer during the pendency of, or as a result of, the appeal, including, but not limited to, continuing collateral and incidental costs, technical or expert witness fees, attorney's fees, and court costs. (d) A manufacturer which does not appeal a decision in favor of a consumer must fully comply with the decision within 40 days of entry thereof. If a manufacturer does not fully comply within the 40 day time period, the Attorney General may issue an order imposing a civil penalty of up to $1,000.00 per day for each day that the manufacturer remains out of compliance. The provisions of Code Sections 10-1-398 and 10-1-398.1 shall apply in connection with the imposition of a civil penalty under this subsection. It shall be an affirmative defense to the imposition of a civil penalty under this subsection that a delay or failure to comply was beyond the manufacturer's control or that a delay was acceptable to the consumer.

10-1-788. The provisions of this article are not available to a consumer in a civil action unless the consumer has first exhausted all remedies provided for in this article.

10-1-789. (a) A motor vehicle arbitration panel shall resolve disputes between consumers and manufacturers arising under this article. The Attorney General, in his or her discretion, may operate the panel by contracting with public or private entities to conduct arbitrations under this article or by appointing individuals to serve as panel member arbitrators. An arbitrator shall be licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia and a member in good standing of the State Bar of Georgia or shall have at least two years' experience in professional arbitration or dispute resolution. No arbitrator shall be affiliated with or involved in the manufacture, distribution, sale, lease, or servicing of motor vehicles. (b) Panel member arbitrators and entities that contract with the Attorney General to provide arbitration services shall be compensated for time and expenses at a rate to be determined by the Attorney General. (c) Each arbitration proceeding shall be conducted by either one or three arbitrators, each of whom is to be assigned by the Attorney General or contracted entity.

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(d) Neither the Attorney General, an entity with which the Attorney General has contracted, nor any arbitrator shall be civilly liable for any decision, action, statement, or omission made in connection with any proceeding under this article, except in circumstances where the decision, action, statement, or omission was made with malice or gross negligence.

10-1-790. (a) No manufacturer, its authorized agent, new motor vehicle dealer, or other transferor shall knowingly resell, either at wholesale or retail, lease, transfer a title, or otherwise transfer a reacquired vehicle, including a vehicle reacquired under a similar statute of any other state, unless the vehicle is being sold for scrap and the manufacturer has notified the Attorney General of the proposed sale or:
(1) The fact of the reacquisition and nature of any alleged nonconformity are clearly and conspicuously disclosed in writing to the prospective transferee, lessee, or buyer; and (2) The manufacturer warrants to correct such nonconformity for a term of one year or 12,000 miles, whichever occurs first. A knowing violation of this subsection shall constitute an unfair or deceptive act or practice in the conduct of consumer transactions under Part 2 of Article 15 of Chapter 1 of Title 10 and will subject the violator to an action by a consumer under Code Section 10-1-399. (b) The manufacturer shall have 30 days to notify the Attorney General that a vehicle has been reacquired in this state under the provisions of this article. The notice shall be legible and include, at a minimum, the vehicle year, make, model, and identification number; the date and mileage at the time the vehicle was reacquired; the nature of the alleged nonconformity; the reason for reacquisition; and the name and address of the original consumer. When the manufacturer resells, leases, transfers, or otherwise disposes of a reacquired vehicle, the manufacturer shall, within 30 days of the resale, lease, transfer, or disposition, notify the Attorney General of the vehicle year, make, model, and identification number; the date of the sale, lease, transfer, or disposition of the vehicle; and the name and address of the buyer, lessee, or transferee. (c) If a manufacturer resells, leases, transfers, or otherwise disposes of a motor vehicle in this state that it reacquired under a similar statute of any other state, the manufacturer shall, within 30 days of the resale, lease, transfer, or disposition, notify the Attorney General of the transaction. The contents of the notice shall comply with the requirements of subsection (b) of this Code section. (d) Manufacturers shall use forms approved by the Attorney General. The forms shall contain the information required under this Code section and any other information the Attorney General deems necessary for implementation of this Code section.

10-1-791. (a) A fee of $3.00 shall be collected by the new motor vehicle dealer from the consumer at completion of a sale or execution of a lease of each new motor vehicle. The fee shall be forwarded quarterly to the Office of Planning and Budget for deposit in the new motor

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vehicle arbitration account created in the state treasury. The payments are due and payable the first day of the month in each quarter for the previous quarter's collection and shall be mailed by the new motor vehicle dealer not later than the twentieth day of such month. The first day of the month in each quarter is July 1, October 1, January 1, and April 1 for each year. Consumer fees in the account shall be used for the purposes of this article. Funds in excess of the appropriated amount remaining in the new motor vehicle arbitration account at the end of each fiscal year shall be transferred to the general treasury. The new motor vehicle dealer shall retain $1.00 of each fee collected to cover administrative costs. (b) The Attorney General shall have the power to enforce the provisions of this Code section. The Attorney General's enforcement power shall include:
(1) The authority to investigate alleged violations through use of all investigative powers available under Part 2 of Article 15 of this chapter, the 'Fair Business Practices Act'; and (2) The authority to initiate proceedings, pursuant to Code Section 10-1-397, in the event of a violation of this Code section. Such proceedings include, without limitation, issuance of a cease and desist order, a civil penalty order imposing a civil penalty up to a maximum of $2,000.00 for each violation, and proceedings to seek additional relief in any superior court of competent jurisdiction. The provisions of Code Sections 10-1-398, 10-1-398.1, 10-1-402, and 10-1-405 shall apply to proceedings initiated by the Attorney General under this Code section.

10-1-792. (a) Except as provided in subsection (a) of Code Section 10-1-790, this article shall not create or give rise to any cause of action by manufacturers or consumers against new motor vehicle dealers. No new motor vehicle dealer shall be held liable by a manufacturer or a consumer for any collateral charges, incidental charges, costs, purchase price refunds, or vehicle replacements. Manufacturers and consumers shall not make new motor vehicle dealers party to an arbitration proceeding or any other proceeding under this article. A new motor vehicle dealer that is named as a party in any proceeding brought by a consumer or a manufacturer under this article, except as provided in subsection (a) of Code Section 10-1-790, shall be entitled to an award of reasonable attorney's fees and expenses of litigation incurred in connection with such proceeding. (b) The provisions of this article shall not impair any obligation under any manufacturer-dealer franchise agreement; provided, however, that any provision of any manufacturer-dealer franchise agreement which attempts to shift any duty, obligation, responsibility, or liability imposed upon a manufacturer by this article to a new motor vehicle dealer, either directly or indirectly, shall be void and unenforceable, except for any liability imposed upon a manufacturer by this article which is directly caused by the gross negligence of the dealer in attempting to repair the motor vehicle after such gross negligence has been determined by the hearing officer, as provided in Article 22 of this chapter, the 'Georgia Motor Vehicle Franchise Practices Act.'

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10-1-793. (a) A violation of this article shall constitute an unfair and deceptive act or practice in the conduct of consumer transactions under Part 2 of Article 15 of this chapter, the 'Fair Business Practices Act'; provided, however, that enforcement against such violations shall be by public enforcement by the Attorney General and, except as provided in subsection (a) of Code Section 10-1-790, shall not be enforceable through private action under Code Section 10-1-399. (b) Except as otherwise provided, this article is cumulative with other laws and is not exclusive. The rights and remedies provided for in this article shall be in addition to any other rights and remedies that are otherwise available to a consumer under any other law.

10-1-794. Reserved.

10-1-795. The Attorney General shall promulgate rules and regulations and establish procedures necessary to carry into effect, implement, and enforce the provisions of this article. The authority granted to the Attorney General pursuant to this Code section shall be exercised at all times in conformity with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the 'Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.'

10-1-796. If any provision of this article or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of this article which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this article are severable.

10-1-797. Any agreement entered into by a consumer that waives, limits, or disclaims the rights set forth in this article shall be unenforceable as contrary to public policy.

10-1-798. Rules, orders, actions, and regulations previously adopted which relate to functions performed by the administrator appointed pursuant to Part 2 of Article 15 of this chapter, the 'Fair Business Practices Act of 1975,' which were transferred under this article to the Attorney General shall remain of full force and effect as rules, orders, actions, and regulations of the Attorney General until amended, repealed, or superseded by rules or regulations adopted by the Attorney General."

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SECTION 9. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 10-1-835, relating to civil violations relative to provisions regulating beauty pageants, as follows:
"10-1-835. Any violation of this article shall be considered a violation of Part 2 of Article 15 of this chapter, the 'Fair Business Practices Act of 1975,' as administered by the Attorney General, and all public and private remedies available under such part shall be available regarding violations of this article."

SECTION 10. Said title is further amended by revising Article 31 of Chapter 1, relating to unfair or deceptive practices toward the elderly, as follows:

"ARTICLE 31

10-1-850. As used in this article, the term:
(1) 'Disabled person' means a person who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person's major life activities. As used in this paragraph, 'physical or mental impairment' means any of the following:
(A) Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss substantially affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genitourinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; or endocrine; and (B) Any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities. The term 'physical or mental impairment' includes, but is not limited to, such diseases and conditions as orthopedic, visual, speech, and hearing impairment, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental retardation, and emotional illness. (2) 'Elder person' means a person who is 60 years of age or older. (3) 'Major life activities' includes functions such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working. (4) 'Substantially limits' means interferes with or affects over an extended period of time. Minor temporary ailments or injuries shall not be considered physical or mental impairments which substantially limit a person's major life activities. Examples of minor temporary ailments are colds, influenza, or sprains or minor injuries.

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10-1-851. When any person who is found to have conducted business in violation of Article 15, 17, or 21 of this chapter is found to have committed said violation against elder or disabled persons, in addition to any civil penalty otherwise set forth or imposed, the court may impose an additional civil penalty not to exceed $10,000.00 for each violation.

10-1-852. In determining whether to impose a civil penalty under Code Section 10-1-851 and the amount thereof, the court shall consider the extent to which one or more of the following factors are present:
(1) Whether the defendant's conduct was in disregard of the rights of the elder or disabled persons; (2) Whether the defendant knew or should have known that the defendant's conduct was directed to an elder person or disabled person; (3) Whether the elder or disabled person was more vulnerable to the defendant's conduct because of age, poor health, infirmity, impaired understanding, restricted mobility, or disability than other persons and whether the elder or disabled person actually suffered substantial physical, emotional, or economic damage resulting from the defendant's conduct; (4) Whether the defendant's conduct caused an elder or disabled person to suffer any of the following:
(A) Mental or emotional anguish; (B) Loss of or encumbrance upon a primary residence of the elder or disabled person; (C) Loss of or encumbrance upon the elder or disabled person's principal employment or principal source of income; (D) Loss of funds received under a pension or retirement plan or a government benefits program; (E) Loss of property set aside for retirement or for personal or family care and maintenance; or (F) Loss of assets essential to the health and welfare of the elder or disabled person; or (5) Any other factors the court deems appropriate.

10-1-853. An elder or disabled person who suffers damage or injury as a result of an offense or violation described in this article has a cause of action to recover actual damages, punitive damages, if appropriate, and reasonable attorney's fees. Restitution ordered pursuant to this Code section has priority over a civil penalty imposed pursuant to this article.

10-1-854. The Attorney General may develop and implement state-wide educational initiatives to inform elder persons and disabled persons, law enforcement agencies, the judicial system,

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social services professionals, and the general public as to the prevalence and prevention of consumer crimes against elder and disabled persons, the provisions of Part 1 of Article 15 of this chapter, the 'Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act,' and Articles 17 and 21 of this chapter, the penalties for violations of such articles, and the remedies available for victims of such violations.

10-1-855. The Attorney General may establish and maintain referral procedures with the Division of Aging Services within the Department of Human Services in order to provide any necessary intervention and assistance to elder or disabled persons who may have been victimized by violations of this article.

10-1-856. Nothing in this article shall serve to prevent the Attorney General from investigating and pursuing unfair and deceptive acts or practices committed under Part 2 of Article 15 of this chapter, the 'Fair Business Practices Act of 1975.' Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the names, addresses, telephone numbers, social security numbers, or any other information which could reasonably serve to identify any person making a complaint about unfair or deceptive practices under Part 2 of Article 15 of this chapter, the 'Fair Business Practices Act of 1975,' shall be confidential. However, the complaining party may consent to public release of his or her identity by giving such consent expressly, affirmatively, and directly to the Attorney General. Nothing contained in this Code section shall be construed to prohibit any valid discovery under the relevant discovery rules, or to prohibit the lawful subpoena of such information.

10-1-857. The Attorney General shall receive all complaints under this article. He or she shall refer all complaints or inquiries concerning conduct specifically approved or prohibited by the Secretary of State, Department of Agriculture, Commissioner of Insurance, Public Service Commission, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Banking and Finance, or other appropriate agency or official of this state to that agency or official for initial investigation and corrective action other than litigation."

SECTION 11. Said title is further amended by revising Chapter 15, relating to business administration, as follows:

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"CHAPTER 15

10-15-1. As used in this chapter, the term:
(1) 'Attorney General' means the Attorney General or his or her designee. (2) 'Business' means a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, association, or other group, however organized and whether or not organized to operate at a profit. The term includes a financial institution organized, chartered, or holding a license or authorization certificate under the laws of this state, any other state, the United States, or any other country, or the parent or the subsidiary of any such financial institution. The term also includes an entity that destroys records. However, for purposes of this chapter, the term shall not include any bank or financial institution that is subject to the privacy and security provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, 15 U.S.C. 6801, et seq., as amended, and as it existed on January 31, 2002, nor shall it include any hospital or health care institution licensed under Title 31 which is subject to the privacy and security provisions of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, P.L. 104-191, nor any other entity which is governed by federal law, provided that the federal law governing the business requires the business to discard a record containing personal information in the same manner as Code Section 10-15-2. (3) 'Cardholder' means any person or organization named on the face of a payment card to whom or for whose benefit the payment card is issued. (4) 'Customer' means an individual who provides personal information to a business for the purpose of purchasing or leasing a product or obtaining a service from the business. (5) 'Discard' means to throw away, get rid of, or eliminate. (6) 'Dispose' means the sale or transfer of a record for value to a company or business engaged in the business of record destruction. (7) 'Merchant' means any person or governmental entity which receives from a cardholder a payment card or information from a payment card as the instrument for obtaining, purchasing, or receiving goods, services, money, or anything else of value from a person or governmental entity. (8) 'Payment card' means a credit card, charge card, debit card, or any other card that is issued to a cardholder and that allows the cardholder to obtain, purchase, or receive goods, services, money, or anything else of value from a merchant. (9) 'Personal information' means:
(A) Personally identifiable data about a customer's medical condition, if the data are not generally considered to be public knowledge; (B) Personally identifiable data which contain a customer's account or identification number, account balance, balance owing, credit balance, or credit limit, if the data relate to a customer's account or transaction with a business; (C) Personally identifiable data provided by a customer to a business upon opening an account or applying for a loan or credit; or

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(D) Personally identifiable data about a customer's federal, state, or local income tax return. (10)(A) 'Personally identifiable' means capable of being associated with a particular customer through one or more identifiers, including, but not limited to, a customer's fingerprint, photograph, or computerized image, social security number, passport number, driver identification number, personal identification card number, date of birth, medical information, or disability information. (B) A customer's name, address, and telephone number shall not be considered personally identifiable data unless one or more of them are used in conjunction with one or more of the identifiers listed in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph. (11) 'Record' means any material on which written, drawn, printed, spoken, visual, or electromagnetic information is recorded or preserved, regardless of physical form or characteristics. (12) 'Reencoder' means an electronic device that places encoded information from the magnetic strip or stripe of a payment card onto the magnetic strip or stripe of a different payment card. (13) 'Scanning device' means a scanner, reader, or any other electronic device that is used to access, read, scan, obtain, memorize, or store, temporarily or permanently, information encoded on the magnetic strip or stripe of a payment card.

10-15-2. A business may not discard a record containing personal information unless it:
(1) Shreds the customer's record before discarding the record; (2) Erases the personal information contained in the customer's record before discarding the record; (3) Modifies the customer's record to make the personal information unreadable before discarding the record; or (4) Takes actions that it reasonably believes will ensure that no unauthorized person will have access to the personal information contained in the customer's record for the period between the record's disposal and the record's destruction.

10-15-3. (a) A merchant who accepts a payment card for the transaction of business shall not print more than five digits of the payment card's account number or print the payment card's expiration date on a receipt provided to the cardholder. This subsection applies only to receipts described in subsection (b) of this Code section and does not apply to a transaction in which the sole means of recording the payment card's account number or expiration date is by handwriting or by an imprint or copy of the payment card.
(b)(1) Effective July 1, 2004, subsection (a) of this Code section applies to receipts that are electronically transferred by a payment card processor and printed using a cash register or other machine or device that is first used on or after July 1, 2004.

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(2) Effective July 1, 2006, subsection (a) of this Code section applies to all receipts that are electronically transferred by a payment card processor and printed, including those printed using a cash register or other machine or device that is first used before July 1, 2004.

10-15-4. (a) No person shall use a scanning device to access, read, obtain, memorize, or store, temporarily or permanently, information encoded on the magnetic strip or stripe of a payment card with the intent to defraud the authorized user, the issuer of the authorized user's payment card, or a merchant. (b) No person shall use a reencoder to place information encoded on the magnetic strip or stripe of a payment card onto the magnetic strip or stripe of a different card with the intent to defraud the authorized user, the issuer of the authorized user's payment card, or a merchant.

10-15-5. (a) The Attorney General shall be authorized to enforce the provisions of this chapter. (b) The Attorney General shall have the authority to investigate alleged violations of this chapter, including all investigative powers available under the 'Fair Business Practices Act of 1975,' Code Section 10-1-390, et seq., including, but not limited to, the power to issue investigative demands and subpoenas as provided in Code Sections 10-1-403 and 10-1-404. (c) Nothing contained in this Code section precludes law enforcement or prosecutorial agencies from investigating violations of Code Section 10-15-4.

10-15-6. (a) If the Attorney General determines, after notice and hearing, that a business has violated Code Section 10-15-2, the Attorney General may issue an administrative order imposing a penalty of not more than $500.00 for each customer's record that contains personal information that is wrongfully disposed of or discarded; provided, however, in no event shall the total fine levied by the Attorney General exceed $10,000.00. It shall be an affirmative defense to the wrongful disposing of or discarding of a customer's record that contains personal information if the business can show that it used due diligence in its attempt to properly dispose of or discard such records. (b) If the Attorney General determines, after notice and hearing, that a business has violated Code Section 10-15-3, the Attorney General may issue an administrative order imposing a penalty of not more than $250.00 for the first violation of Code Section 10-15-3, and a penalty of $1,000.00 for a second or subsequent violation of Code Section 10-15-3. (c) The hearing and any administrative review in connection with alleged violations of Code Section 10-15-2 or 10-15-3 shall be conducted in accordance with the procedure for contested cases pursuant to Chapter 13 of Title 50, the 'Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.' Any person who has exhausted all administrative remedies available and who is

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aggrieved or adversely affected by a final order or action of the Attorney General shall have the right of judicial review in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the 'Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.' (d) The Attorney General may file in the superior court of the county in which the person under an order resides, or if the person is a corporation, in the superior court of the county in which the corporation under an order maintains its principal place of business, a certified copy of or the final order of the Attorney General, whether or not the order was appealed. Thereafter the court shall render a judgment in accordance with the order and notify the parties. The judgment shall have the same effect as a judgment rendered by the court.

10-15-7. (a) A violation of Code Section 10-15-4 shall be punishable by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than three years or a fine not to exceed $10,000.00, or both. Any person who commits a violation for the second or any subsequent offense shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than three nor more than ten years or a fine not to exceed $50,000.00, or both. (b) Any person found guilty of a violation of this chapter may be ordered by the court to make restitution to any consumer victim or any business victim of the fraud. (c) Each violation of this chapter shall constitute a separate offense. (d) The Attorney General and prosecuting attorneys shall have the authority to conduct the prosecution for a violation of Code Section 10-15-4. (e) Upon a violation of this chapter, the court may issue any order necessary to correct a public record that contains false information resulting from the actions which resulted in the violation."

SECTION 12. Chapter 22 of Title 2 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to poultry contract growers or producers, is amended by revising subsection (b) of Code Section 2-22-5, relating to the application of Part 2 of Article 15 of Chapter 1 of Title 10, the "Fair Business Practices Act of 1975," as follows:
"(b) The provisions of Code Section 2-22-3 or 2-22-4 may be enforced by the Commissioner in the same manner as provided by Part 2 of Article 15 of Chapter 1 of Title 10, the 'Fair Business Practices Act of 1975,' for enforcement of the provisions of said part by the Attorney General against a person reasonably appearing to have engaged in an unfair or deceptive act or practice in violation of subsection (a) of Code Section 10-1-393, and the superior courts may grant injunctive relief and impose the same civil penalties for violations of injunctions as provided in said part."

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SECTION 13. Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to crimes and offenses, is amended by revising Code Section 16-9-120, relating to definitions relative to identity fraud, as follows:
"16-9-120. As used in this article, the term:
(1) 'Attorney General' means the Attorney General or his or her designee. (2) 'Business victim' means any individual or entity that provided money, credit, goods, services, or anything of value to someone other than the intended recipient where the intended recipient has not given permission for the actual recipient to receive it and the individual or entity that provided money, credit, goods, services, or anything of value has suffered financial loss as a direct result of the commission or attempted commission of a violation of this article. (3) 'Consumer victim' means any individual whose personal identifying information has been obtained, compromised, used, or recorded in any manner without the permission of that individual. (4) 'Health care records' means records however maintained and in whatever form regarding an individual's health, including, but not limited to, doctors' and nurses' examinations and other notes, examination notes of other medical professionals, hospital records, rehabilitation facility records, nursing home records, assisted living facility records, results of medical tests, X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, vision examinations, pharmacy records, prescriptions, hospital charts, surgical records, mental health treatments and counseling, dental records, and physical therapy notes and evaluations. (5) 'Identifying information' shall include, but not be limited to:
(A) Current or former names; (B) Social security numbers; (C) Driver's license numbers; (D) Checking account numbers; (E) Savings account numbers; (F) Credit and other financial transaction card numbers; (G) Debit card numbers; (H) Personal identification numbers; (I) Electronic identification numbers; (J) Digital or electronic signatures; (K) Medical identification numbers; (L) Birth dates; (M) Mother's maiden name; (N) Selected personal identification numbers; (O) Tax identification numbers; (P) State identification card numbers issued by state departments; (Q) Veteran and military medical identification numbers; and

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(R) Any other numbers or information which can be used to access a person's or entity's resources or health care records. (6) 'Resources' includes, but is not limited to: (A) A person's or entity's credit, credit history, credit profile, and credit rating; (B) United States currency, securities, real property, and personal property of any kind; (C) Credit, charge, and debit accounts; (D) Loans and lines of credit; (E) Documents of title and other forms of commercial paper recognized under Title 11; (F) Any account, including a safety deposit box, with a financial institution as defined by Code Section 7-1-4, including a national bank, federal savings and loan association, or federal credit union or a securities dealer licensed by the Secretary of State or the federal Securities and Exchange Commission; (G) A person's personal history, including, but not limited to, records of such person's driving records; criminal, medical, or insurance history; education; or employment; and (H) A person's health insurance, health savings accounts, health spending accounts, flexible spending accounts, medicare accounts, Medicaid accounts, dental insurance, vision insurance, and other forms of health insurance and health benefit plans."

SECTION 14. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 16-9-123, relating to investigations relative to identity fraud, as follows:
"16-9-123. The Attorney General shall have the authority to investigate any complaints of consumer victims regarding identity fraud. In conducting such investigations the Attorney General shall have all investigative powers which are available to the Attorney General under Part 2 of Article 15 of Chapter 1 of Title 10, the 'Fair Business Practices Act of 1975.' If, after such investigation, the Attorney General determines that a person has been a consumer victim of identity fraud in this state, the Attorney General shall, at the request of the consumer victim, provide the consumer victim with certification of the findings of such investigation. Copies of any and all complaints received by any law enforcement agency of this state regarding potential violations of this article shall be transmitted to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation shall maintain a repository for all complaints in the State of Georgia regarding identity fraud. Information contained in such repository shall not be subject to public disclosure. The information in the repository may be transmitted to any other appropriate investigatory agency or entity. Consumer victims of identity fraud may file complaints directly with the office of the Attorney General, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, or with local law enforcement. Any and all transmissions authorized under this Code section may be transmitted electronically, provided that such transmissions are made through a secure channel for the transmission of such electronic communications or information, the sufficiency of which is acceptable to the Attorney General. Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to preclude any

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otherwise authorized law enforcement or prosecutorial agencies from conducting investigations and prosecuting offenses of identity fraud."

SECTION 15. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 16-9-127, relating to authority of administrator with regard to identity fraud, as follows:
"16-9-127. The Attorney General shall have authority to initiate any proceedings and to exercise any power or authority in the same manner as if he or she were acting under Part 2 of Article 15 of Chapter 1 of Title 10, as regards violations or potential violations of this article."

SECTION 16. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 16-9-130, relating to damages available to consumer victims of identity fraud, no defense that others engage in comparable practices, and service of complaint, as follows:
"16-9-130. (a) Any consumer victim who suffers injury or damages as a result of a violation of this article may bring an action individually or as a representative of a class against the person or persons engaged in such violations under the rules of civil procedure to seek equitable injunctive relief and to recover general and punitive damages sustained as a consequence thereof in any court having jurisdiction over the defendant; provided, however, punitive damages shall be awarded only in cases of intentional violation. A claim under this article may also be asserted as a defense, setoff, cross-claim, or counterclaim or third-party claim against such person. (b) A court shall award three times actual damages for an intentional violation. (c) If the court finds in any action that there has been a violation of this article, the consumer victim injured by such violation shall, in addition to other relief provided for in this Code section and irrespective of the amount in controversy, be awarded reasonable attorney's fees and expenses of litigation incurred in connection with said action. (d) It shall not be a defense in any action under this article that others were, are, or will be engaged in like practices. (e) In any action brought under this article the Attorney General shall be served by certified or registered mail or statutory overnight delivery with a copy of the initial complaint and any amended complaint within 20 days of the filing of such complaint. The Attorney General shall be entitled to be heard in any such action, and the court where such action is filed may enter an order requiring any of the parties to serve a copy of any other pleadings in an action upon the Attorney General."

SECTION 17. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 16-9-131, relating to criminal prosecution of identity fraud, as follows:

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"16-9-131. Whenever an investigation has been conducted by the Attorney General under this article and such investigation reveals conduct which constitutes a criminal offense, the Attorney General shall have the authority to prosecute such cases or forward the results of such investigation to any other prosecuting attorney of this state who shall commence any criminal prosecution that he or she deems appropriate."

SECTION 18. Title 18 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to debtors and creditors, is amended by revising Chapter 5, relating to debt adjustment, as follows:

"CHAPTER 5

18-5-1. As used in this chapter, the term:
(1) 'Debt adjusting' means doing business in debt adjustments, budget counseling, debt management, or debt pooling service or holding oneself out, by words of similar import, as providing services to debtors in the management of their debts and contracting with a debtor for a fee to:
(A) Effect the adjustment, compromise, or discharge of any account, note, or other indebtedness of the debtor; or (B) Receive from the debtor and disburse to his or her creditors any money or other thing of value. (2) 'Person' means an individual, corporation, partnership, trust, association, or other legal entity. (3) 'Resides' means to live in a particular place, whether on a temporary or permanent basis.

18-5-2. In the course of engaging in debt adjusting, it shall be unlawful for any person to accept from a debtor who resides in this state, either directly or indirectly, any charge, fee, contribution, or combination thereof in an amount in excess of 7.5 percent of the amount paid monthly by such debtor to such person for distribution to creditors of such debtor; provided, however, no provision of this chapter shall prohibit any person, in the course of engaging in debt adjusting, from imposing upon a debtor who resides in this state a reasonable and separate charge or fee for insufficient funds transactions.

18-5-3. Nothing in this chapter shall apply to those situations involving debt adjusting incurred in the practice of law in this state. Nothing in this chapter shall apply to those persons or entities who incidentally engage in debt adjustment to adjust the indebtedness owed to said

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person or entity. Nothing in this chapter shall apply to the following entities or their subsidiaries: the Federal National Mortgage Association; the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation; a bank, bank holding company, trust company, savings and loan association, credit union, credit card bank, or savings bank that is regulated and supervised by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Office of Thrift Supervision, the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, or the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance; or persons as defined in Code Section 7-3-3 operating under Chapter 3 of Title 7, the 'Georgia Industrial Loan Act.'

18-5-3.1. (a) Any person engaged in debt adjusting for debtors residing in this state shall meet the following annual requirements:
(1) Obtain from an independent third party certified public accountant an annual audit of all accounts of such person in which the funds of debtors are deposited and from which payments are made to creditors on behalf of debtors. A copy of the summary results of such annual audit shall be made available upon written request to any party so requesting a copy for a charge not to exceed the cost of the reproduction of the annual audit; and (2) Obtain and maintain at all times insurance coverage for employee dishonesty, depositor's forgery, and computer fraud in an amount not less than the greater of $100,000.00 or 10 percent of the monthly average for the immediately preceding six months of the aggregate amount of all deposits made with such person by all debtors. The deductible on such coverage shall not exceed 10 percent of the face amount of the policy coverage. Such policy shall be issued by a company rated at least 'A-' or its equivalent by a nationally recognized rating organization and such policy shall provide for 30 days' advance written notice of termination of the policy to be provided to the Attorney General's office. (b) A copy of the annual audits and insurance policies required by this Code section shall be filed annually with the Attorney General's office. (c) The Attorney General's office shall act as a repository for the audits, insurance, and termination notices furnished to such office pursuant to this Code section. No oversight responsibility shall be imposed upon such office by virtue of its receipt of such documents.

18-5-4. (a) Any person who engages in debt adjusting in violation of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. (b) Without limiting the applicability of subsection (a) of this Code section:
(1) Any person who engages in debt adjusting in violation of the provisions of Code Section 18-5-3.1 or subsection (b) of Code Section 18-5-3.2 shall further be liable for a civil fine of not less than $50,000.00; and (2) Any person who engages in debt adjusting in violation of the provisions of Code Section 18-5-2 or subsection (a) of Code Section 18-5-3.2 shall further be liable to the

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debtor in an amount equal to the total of all fees, charges, or contributions paid by the debtor plus $5,000.00. Such debtor shall have the right to bring a cause of action directly against such person for violation of the provisions of this chapter. (c) The Attorney General and prosecuting attorneys shall have the authority to conduct the criminal prosecution of all cases arising under this chapter and to conduct civil prosecution of cases arising under this chapter. (d) A violation of Code Section 18-5-2, 18-5-3.1, or 18-5-3.2 shall additionally be a violation of Part 2 of Article 15 of Chapter 1 of Title 10, the 'Fair Business Practices Act of 1975.'

18-5-5. The Attorney General shall have the authority to promulgate rules and regulations and establish procedures necessary to carry into effect, implement, and enforce the provisions of this chapter. The authority granted to the Attorney General pursuant to this Code section shall be exercised at all times in conformity with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the 'Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.'"

SECTION 19. Title 31 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to health, is amended by revising Code Section 31-38-11, relating to variances from regulations pertaining to tanning facilities, as follows:
"31-38-11. Any tanning facility which finds that it is not possible to comply with Code Section 31-38-4 may apply to the Attorney General for a variance from the requirements of Code Section 31-38-4. Any such variance granted by the Attorney General shall be in writing and shall be drawn as narrowly as possible."

SECTION 20. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 31-38-12, relating to effect of provisions relative to tanning facilities on the administrator, as follows:
"31-38-12. Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed as imposing any duty, requirement, or enforcement authority upon the Attorney General except as described in Code Section 31-38-11, provided that nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed in any manner as limiting the Attorney General from exercising any of his or her duties, powers, or authority under any other law. The Attorney General shall not be liable to any person for any reason as a result of granting or failing to grant any variance under Code Section 31-38-11."

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SECTION 21. Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to insurance, is amended by revising Code Section 33-4-6, relating to insurer liability for damages and attorney's fees, as follows:
"33-4-6. (a) In the event of a loss which is covered by a policy of insurance and the refusal of the insurer to pay the same within 60 days after a demand has been made by the holder of the policy and a finding has been made that such refusal was in bad faith, the insurer shall be liable to pay such holder, in addition to the loss, not more than 50 percent of the liability of the insurer for the loss or $5,000.00, whichever is greater, and all reasonable attorney's fees for the prosecution of the action against the insurer. The action for bad faith shall not be abated by payment after the 60 day period nor shall the testimony or opinion of an expert witness be the sole basis for a summary judgment or directed verdict on the issue of bad faith. The amount of any reasonable attorney's fees shall be determined by the trial jury and shall be included in any judgment which is rendered in the action; provided, however, the attorney's fees shall be fixed on the basis of competent expert evidence as to the reasonable value of the services based on the time spent and legal and factual issues involved in accordance with prevailing fees in the locality where the action is pending; provided, further, the trial court shall have the discretion, if it finds the jury verdict fixing attorney's fees to be greatly excessive or inadequate, to review and amend the portion of the verdict fixing attorney's fees without the necessity of disapproving the entire verdict. The limitations contained in this Code section in reference to the amount of attorney's fees are not controlling as to the fees which may be agreed upon by the plaintiff and the plaintiff's attorney for the services of the attorney in the action against the insurer. (b) In any action brought pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section, and within 20 days of bringing such action, the plaintiff shall, in addition to service of process in accordance with Code Section 9-11-4, mail to the Commissioner of Insurance a copy of the demand and complaint by first-class mail. Failure to comply with this subsection may be cured by delivering same."

SECTION 22. Said title is further amended by revising Code Section 33-4-7, relating to duty to adjust in motor vehicle incidents, as follows:
"33-4-7. (a) In the event of a loss because of injury to or destruction of property covered by a motor vehicle liability insurance policy, the insurer issuing such policy has an affirmative duty to adjust that loss fairly and promptly, to make a reasonable effort to investigate and evaluate the claim, and, where liability is reasonably clear, to make a good faith effort to settle with the claimant potentially entitled to recover against the insured under such policy. Any insurer who breaches this duty may be liable to pay the claimant, in addition to the loss, not

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more than 50 percent of the liability of the insured for the loss or $5,000.00, whichever is greater, and all reasonable attorney's fees for the prosecution of the action. (b) An insurer breaches the duty of subsection (a) of this Code section when, after investigation of the claim, liability has become reasonably clear and the insurer in bad faith offers less than the amount reasonably owed under all the circumstances of which the insurer is aware. (c) A claimant shall be entitled to recover under subsection (a) of this Code section if the claimant or the claimant's attorney has delivered to the insurer a demand letter, by statutory overnight delivery or certified mail, return receipt requested, offering to settle for an amount certain; the insurer has refused or declined to do so within 60 days of receipt of such demand, thereby compelling the claimant to institute or continue suit to recover; and the claimant ultimately recovers an amount equal to or in excess of the claimant's demand. (d) At the expiration of the 60 days set forth in subsection (c) of this Code section, the claimant may serve the insurer issuing such policy by service of the complaint in accordance with law. The insurer shall be an unnamed party, not disclosed to the jury, until there has been a verdict resulting in recovery equal to or in excess of the claimant's demand. If that occurs, the trial shall be recommenced in order for the trier of fact to receive evidence to make a determination as to whether bad faith existed in the handling or adjustment of the attempted settlement of the claim or action in question. (e) The action for bad faith shall not be abated by payment after the 60 day period nor shall the testimony or opinion of an expert witness be the sole basis for a summary judgment or directed verdict on the issue of bad faith. (f) The amount of recovery, including reasonable attorney's fees, if any, shall be determined by the trier of fact and included in a separate judgment against the insurer rendered in the action; provided, however, the attorney's fees shall be fixed on the basis of competent expert evidence as to the reasonable value of the services based on the time spent and legal and factual issues involved in accordance with prevailing fees in the locality where the action is pending; provided, further, the trial court shall have the discretion, if it finds the jury verdict fixing attorney's fees to be greatly excessive or inadequate, to review and amend the portion of the verdict fixing attorney's fees without the necessity of disapproving the entire verdict. The limitations contained in this Code section in reference to the amount of attorney's fees are not controlling as to the fees which may be agreed upon by the plaintiff and his or her attorney for the services of the attorney. (g) In any action brought pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section, and within 20 days of bringing such action, the plaintiff shall, in addition to service of process in accordance with Code Section 9-11-4, mail to the Commissioner of Insurance a copy of the demand and complaint by first-class mail. Failure to comply with this subsection may be cured by delivering same."

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SECTION 23. Said title is further amended in Code Section 33-20A-9.1, relating to legislative intent, consumer choice options, expenses, and benefits of managed health care plans, by revising paragraph (4) of subsection (d) as follows:
"(4) After 12 months of full implementation, the pricing of the consumer choice option may be reevaluated to consider actual costs incurred and the experience of the standard plan without the option as compared to the consumer choice option. Based on an independent actuarial evaluation of such actual costs incurred and experience, managed care entities may apply for a waiver of the cost provisions of paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection to the Insurance Commissioner's office."

SECTION 24. Said title is further amended by repealing in its entirety Chapter 57, relating to the consumers' insurance advocate, and designating said chapter as reserved.

SECTION 25. Title 35 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to law enforcement officers and agencies, is amended by revising Code Section