Acts and resolutions of the General Assembly of the state of Georgia 1999 volume one [volume 1]



Acts of the General Assembly of the State of Georgia Georgia Law, Georgia Georgia. Acts and resolutions of the General Assembly of the State of Georgia 19990000 English

ACTS AND RESOLUTIONS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF GEORGIA 1999 Volume One 19990000 Compiled and Published by Authority of the State

TABLE OF CONTENTS VOLUME ONE Acts and Resolutions of General Application 1 Proposed Amendments to the Constitution 1273 VOLUME TWO Acts and Resolutions of Local Application 3501 County and Consolidated Government Home Rule Actions 4929 Municipal Home Rule Actions 4991 Order of the Superior Court of Douglas County dissolving the City of Lithia Springs 5197 VOLUME THREE Acts by Numbers-Page References I Bills and Resolutions-Act Number References VI Appellate Courts-Personnel XII Superior Courts-Personnel and Calendars XIII Index-Tabular XXV Index-General LXIV Population of Georgia Counties-Alphabetically CXLIII Population of Georgia Counties-Numerically CXLIX Population of Municipalities CLI Population of Judicial Circuits CLVII Georgia Senate Districts, Alphabetically by County CLX Georgia Senators, Alphabetically by Name CLXII Georgia Senators, Numerically by District CLXV Georgia House Districts, Alphabetically by County CLXVIII Georgia Representatives, Alphabetically by Name CLXX Georgia Representatives, Numerically by District CLXXVIII Status of Referendum Elections CLXXXVI Governor's Proclamation on Ratification or Rejection of Constitutional Amendments at the 1998 General Election CCCXLV Vetoes by the Governor CCCXLIX

Page 1

COMPILER'S NOTE General Acts and Resolutions of the 1999 session of the General Assembly of Georgia will be found in Volume I beginning at page 1. Proposed amendments to the Constitution of the State of Georgia will be found in Volume I beginning at page 1273. Local and Special Acts and Resolutions will be found in Volume II 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 April 1, 1998, and April 1, 1999, are printed in Volume II beginning at pages 4929 and 4991, respectively. There are no numbered pages between page 1276, the last page of Volume I, and page 3501, the first page of Volume II. This allows both volumes to be printed simultaneously. In order to eliminate the need for hand stiching of thick books and to reduce costs, the index and other material is now in a separate Volume III, and Volumes I or II, or both, may be divided into two or more books. Page numbers will run consecutively between books in the same volume. 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; the report of the state auditor on concurrent funding of retirement bills; and the Governor's veto message are printed in Volume III. Indexes cover material in both Volumes I and II. 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 Bill or Senate Bill number which it was given when it was introduced in the General Assembly. The caption for each Resolution contains the Resolution Act number assigned by the Governor and the House Resolution or Senate Resolution number. 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. STATE GOVERNMENTAPPROPRIATIONS; S.F.Y. 1998-99; YEAR 2000 COMPUTER APPROPRIATION. No. 2 (House Bill No. 145) AN ACT To provide supplementary appropriations for the State Fiscal Year ending June 30, 1999, in addition to any other appropriation heretofore or hereafter made for the operation of state government and the purposes provided for herein: to confer certain responsibilities upon the Office of Planning and Budget; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: That the sums of money hereinafter provided are appropriated for the State Fiscal Year beginning July 1, 1998 and ending June 30, 1999, as prescribed hereinafter or such State Fiscal Year, and are in addition to any other appropriations heretofore or hereafter made for the operation of state government. Section 1 . The amount of $170,000,000 is appropriated to the Office of the Governor for transfer to budget units for expenditures necessary to address the Year 2000 computer compliance issue. Further, no transfer of funds from this section to any budget unit will be made without approval of the Office of Planning and Budget either directly or by a committee or other review body designated by the Office of Planning and Budget. Section 2 . TOTAL APPROPRIATION STATE FISCAL YEAR 1999: $170,000,000 Section 3 . The Office of Planning and Budget is hereby directed to economize wherever possible and in the event any part of the appropriation provided in the foregoing Sections of this Act shall be in excess of the actual approved budget allotments for the fiscal year, the amounts so in excess as determined by the Office of Planning and Budget shall cease to be an obligation of the State. Section 4 . This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval.

Page 2

Section 5 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved February 4, 1999. CRIMES AND OFFENSESFIREARMS AND AMMUNITION; CIVIL ACTIONS AGAINST MANUFACTURERS, TRADE ASSOCIATIONS, AND DEALERS. Code Section 16-11-184 Amended. No. 4 (House Bill No. 189). AN ACT To amend Code Section 16-11-184 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to regulatory authority of local political subdivisions over firearms and limitations thereon, so as to reserve to the state the right to bring certain civil actions against firearms or ammunition manufacturers, trade associations, and dealers; to provide legislative declarations; to provide for legislative intent; to provide for applicability; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . Code Section 16-11-184 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to regulatory authority of local political subdivisions over firearms and limitations thereon, is amended by striking subsections (a) and (b) and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (a) (1) It is declared by the General Assembly that the regulation of firearms is properly an issue of general, state-wide concern. (2) The General Assembly further declares that the lawful design, marketing, manufacture, or sale of firearms or ammunition to the public is not unreasonably dangerous activity and does not constitute a nuisance per se. (b) (1) No county or municipal corporation, by zoning or by ordinance, resolution, or other enactment, shall regulate in any manner gun shows, the possession, ownership, transport, carrying, transfer, sale, purchase, licensing, or registration of firearms, components of firearms, firearms dealers, or dealers in firearms components. (2) The authority to bring suit and right to recover against any firearms or ammunition manufacturer, trade association, or dealer by or on behalf of any governmental unit created by or pursuant to an Act of the General Assembly or the Constitution, or any department, agency, or authority thereof, for damages, abatement, or injunctive

Page 3

relief resulting from or relating to the lawful design, manufacture, marketing, or sale of firearms or ammunition to the public shall be reserved exclusively to the state. This paragraph shall not prohibit a political subdivision or local government authority from bringing an action against a firearms or ammunition manufacturer or dealer for breach of contract or warranty as to firearms or ammunition purchased by the political subdivision or local government authority. SECTION 2 . The General Assembly intends that paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of Code Section 16-11-184 as enacted by this Act shall embrace the rule of law in Division 1 of Rhodes v. R. G. Industries, Inc. , 173 Ga. App. 51 (1984). SECTION 3 . This Act shall apply to any action pending on or brought on or after the date this Act becomes effective. SECTION 4 . This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval. SECTION 5 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved February 9, 1999. JOINT STUDY COMMITTEE ON PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE HOSPITAL AND CLINICS OF THE MEDICAL COLLEGE OF GEORGIA AND THE UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL OF RICHMOND COUNTYCREATION. No. 1 (Senate Resolution No. 88). A RESOLUTION Creating the Joint Study Committee on Partnership Between the Hospital and Clinics of the Medical College of Georgia and the University Hospital of Richmond County; and for other purposes. WHEREAS, a blue ribbon commission appointed by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, after three months of comprehensive public discussion and analysis, has reviewed and affirmed the importance of the Medical College of Georgia's mission of teaching, research, and patient care; and WHEREAS, the hospital and clinics of the medical college are essential to carrying out that mission as well as to the health of the citizens of Richmond County and the economic well-being of the area; and

Page 4

WHEREAS, the blue ribbon commission has concluded that opportunities exist for a partnership between the hospitals and clinics of the medical college and other area health care providers, in particular the University Hospital of Richmond County. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA that there is created the Joint Study Committee on Partnership Between the Hospital and Clinics of the Medical College of Georgia and the University Hospital of Richmond County to be composed of 15 members as follows: two members shall be appointed by the President of the Senate; two members shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives; and 11 members appointed by the Governor which appointments may represent health care providers; medical professional associations; the Augusta-Richmond County business community; the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia; the Medical College of Georgia; University Health, Inc; and other providers and the professionals of Richmond County. The Governor shall designate a chairperson of the committee. The chairperson shall call all meetings of the committee. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the committee shall undertake a study to: (1) Evaluate the findings of the Board of Regents Blue Ribbon Commission on the Medical College of Georgia concerning the hospital and clinics of the Medical College of Georgia; (2) Examine the current mission of the Medical College of Georgia hospital and clinics and evaluate what opportunities exist for a partnership between the hospital and clinics of the Medical College of Georgia and area health care providers, including the University Hospital of Richmond County; (3) Examine health services programs of the Medical College of Georgia and the University Hospital of Richmond County and such other area providers as needed in light of the Medical College of Georgia's need for a comprehensive health sciences curriculum; (4) Assess the potential for integration of programs and services to meet the health services needs of the local community, including services to indigent persons and the health sciences needs of the Medical College of Georgia; (5) Recommend the best options for integration on plan and strategy for achieving the strongest possible health services partnerships in the Richmond County area; and (6) Recommend any actions or legislation which the committee deems necessary or appropriate to the General Assembly and the board of regents.

Page 5

The committee may conduct such meetings at such places and at such times as it may deem necessary or convenient to enable it to exercise fully and effectively its powers, perform its duties, and accomplish the objectives and purposes of this resolution. The legislative members of the committee shall receive the allowances authorized for legislative members of interim legislative committees. The funds necessary to carry out the provisions of this resolution shall come from the funds appropriated to the Senate and the House of Representatives. In the event the committee makes a report of its findings and recommendations, with suggestions for proposed legislation, if any, such report shall be made on or before September 30, 1999. The committee shall stand abolished on October 15, 1999. Approved March 8, 1999. MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFICLASER SPEED DETECTION DEVICES; RECOGNITION OF RELIABILITY; ADMISSIBILITY; SELF-AUTHENTICATION. Code Section 40-14-17 Enacted. No. 15 (Senate Bill No. 231). AN ACT To amend Chapter 14 of Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the use of radar speed detection devices, so as to recognize the reliability of laser speed detection devices; to provide for admissibility of results; to provide for self-authentication; 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 14 of Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the use of radar speed detection devices, is amended by adding a new Code section at the end thereof, to be designated Code Section 40-14-17, to read as follows: 40-14-17. Evidence of speed based on a speed detection device using the speed timing principle of laser which is of a model that has been approved by the Department of Public Safety shall be considered scientifically acceptable and reliable as a speed detection device and shall be admissible for all purposes in any court, judicial, or administrative proceedings in this state. A certified copy of the Department of Public Safety list of approved models of such laser devices shall be self-authenticating and shall be admissible for all purposes in any court, judicial, or administrative proceedings in this state.

Page 6

SECTION 2 . This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval. SECTION 3 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved March 25, 1999. CIVIL PRACTICEOFFICIAL ORGANS OF COUNTIES; JUDICIAL SALES ADVERTISEMENTS; REQUIREMENTS FOR AND CHANGES OF OFFICIAL ORGANS. Code Sections 9-13-140 and 9-13-142 Amended. No. 16 (House Bill No. 782). AN ACT To amend Part 1 of Article 7 of Chapter 13 of Title 9 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the advertisement of judicial sales, so as to change the requirements for publication of notices of sales of property by the sheriff, coroner, or other official of a county; to change the requirements for establishment of the official organ of publication; to provide requirements for maintaining a newspaper as official organ; to provide for exceptions; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . Part 1 of Article 7 of Chapter 13 of Title 9 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the advertisement of judicial sales, is amended by striking in its entirety subsection (a) of Code Section 9-13-140, relating to publication of notices of sales of land and other property, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (a) The sheriff, coroner, or other officer shall publish weekly for four weeks in the legal organ for the county, or if there is no newspaper designated as such, then in the nearest newspaper having the largest general circulation in such county, notice of all sales of land and other property executed by the officer. In the advertisement the officer shall give a full and complete description of the property to be sold, making known the names of the plaintiff, the defendant, and any person who may be in the possession of the property. In the case of real property, such advertisement shall include the legal description of such real property and may include the street address of such real property, if

Page 7

available, but provided that no foreclosure shall be invalidated by the failure to include a street address or by the insertion of an erroneous street address. SECTION 2 . Said part is further amended by striking Code Section 9-13-142, relating to requirements for the official organ of publication and how the official organ is changed, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 9-13-142. (a) No journal or newspaper published in this state shall be declared, made, or maintained as the official organ of any county for the publication of sheriff's sales, citations of probate court judges, or any other advertising commonly known in terms of `official or legal advertising' and required by law to be published in such county official newspaper unless the newspaper shall meet and maintain the following qualifications: (1) `Newspaper' as used in this Code section means a printed product of multiple pages containing not greater than 75 percent advertising content in no more than one-half of its issues during the previous 12 months, excluding separate advertising supplements inserted into but separately identifiable from any regular issue or issues of the newspaper. (2) The newspaper shall be published within the county and continuously at least weekly for a period of two years or is the direct successor of such a newspaper. Failure to publish for not more than two weeks in any calendar year shall not disqualify a newspaper otherwise qualified. (3) For a period of two years prior to designation and thereafter, the newspaper shall have and maintain at least 75 percent paid circulation as established by an independent audit. Paid circulation shall not include newspapers that are distributed free or in connection with a service or promotion at no additional charge to the ultimate recipient. For circulation to be considered paid, the recipient of the newspaper or such recipient's employer or household must pay reasonable and adequate consideration for the newspaper. No rules of circulation of audit companies, the U.S. Postal Service, or accounting principles may be considered in determining paid circulation if they are inconsistent with the provisions of this subsection. (4) Based on the published results of the 1990 United States decennial census or any future such census, the newspaper shall have and maintain at least the following paid circulation within the county for which it is designated as the legal organ newspaper: (A) Five hundred copies per issue in counties having a population of less than 20,000;

Page 8

(B) Seven hundred fifty copies per issue in counties having a population of at least 20,000 but less than 100,000; or (C) One thousand five hundred copies per issue in counties having a population of 100,000 or greater. (5) For purposes of this Code section, paid circulation shall include home or mail delivery subscription sales, counter, vendor and newsrack sales, and sales to independent newspaper contract carriers for resale. Paid circulation shall not include multiple copies purchased by one entity unless the multiple copies are purchased for and distributed to the purchaser's officers, employees, or agents, or within the purchaser's household. (b) However, in counties where no journal or newspaper meets the qualifications set forth in subsection (a) of this Code section, the official organ may be designated by the judge of the probate court, the sheriff, and the clerk of the superior court, a majority of these officers governing from among newspapers otherwise qualified to be a legal organ that meet the minimum circulation in the preceding subsection for the county, or if there is no such newspaper, then the newspaper having the greatest general paid circulation in the county. (c) Any selection or change in the official organ of any county shall be made upon the concurrent action of the judge of the probate court, the sheriff, and the clerk of the superior court of the county or a majority of the officers. No change in the official legal organ shall be effective without the publication for four weeks of notice of the decision to make a change in the newspaper in which legal advertisements have previously been published. All changes in the official legal organ shall be made effective on January 1 unless a change has to be made where there is no other qualified newspaper. (d) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this Code section, an official organ of any county meeting the qualifications under the statute in force at the time of its appointment and which was appointed prior to July 1, 1999 may remain the official organ of that county until a majority of the judge of the probate court, the sheriff, and the clerk of the superior court determine to appoint a new official organ for the county. (e) During the month of December in each year the judge of the probate court of each county shall notify the Secretary of State, on a form supplied by the Secretary of State, of the name and mailing address of the journal or newspaper currently serving as the official organ of the county. The judge of the probate court shall also likewise notify the Secretary of State of any change in the official organ of the county at the time that such change is made. The Secretary of State shall maintain at all times a current listing of the names and addresses of all county organs and shall make such list available to any person upon request.

Page 9

SECTION 3 . Notwithstanding the provision of subsection (b) of Code Section 1-3-4.1, 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 March 24, 1999. REVENUE AND TAXATIONINCOME TAXES; TAX CREDITS; ASSIGNMENT BY CORPORATION TO AN AFFILIATED CORPORATION. Code Section 48-7-42 Enacted. No. 17 (House Bill No. 438). AN ACT To amend Article 2 of Chapter 7 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the imposition, rate, and computation of income taxes, so as to allow a corporate taxpayer to assign a Georgia income tax credit to an affiliated corporation; to provide terms, conditions, and limitations; to provide for an effective date and applicability; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . Article 2 of Chapter 7 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the imposition, rate, and computation of income taxes, is amended by adding a new Code section immediately following Code Section 48-7-41, to be designated Code Section 48-7-42, to read as follows: 48-7-42. (a) In lieu of claiming any Georgia income tax credit for which a corporate taxpayer otherwise is eligible for the taxable year (such eligibility being determined for this purpose without regard to any limitation imposed by reason of the taxpayer's pre-credit income tax liability), the taxpayer may elect to assign such credit in its entirety to another corporation that is a member of the taxpayer's `affiliated group' (within the meaning of Section 1504(a) of the Internal Revenue Code) for such taxable year by attaching a statement to the taxpayer's return for the taxable year; provided, however, that no carryover attributable to the unused portion of any previously claimed or assigned credit may be

Page 10

assigned or reassigned, except as provided in subsection (c) of this Code section. In the case of any credit that must be claimed in installments in more than one taxable year, the election under this subsection may be made on an annual basis with respect to each such installment, provided that the taxpayer shall notify the commissioner with respect to the assignment of each such installment by filing a separate copy of the election statement for such installment no later than the time of filing of the taxpayer's state income tax return for such taxable year. Once made, an election under this subsection shall be irrevocable. (b) The recipient of a tax credit assigned under subsection (a) of this Code section shall attach a statement to its return identifying the assignor of the tax credit, in addition to providing any other information required to be provided by a claimant of the assigned tax credit. (c) If the assignor and the recipient of a tax credit assigned under subsection (a) of this Code section cease to be members of the same affiliated group, any carryover attributable to the unused portion of such credit shall be transferred back to the assignor of the credit. Such assignor shall be permitted to use any such carryover itself, and also shall be permitted to assign such carryover to a member of the assignor's affiliated group, as if such carryover were an income tax credit for which the assignor became eligible in the taxable year in which the carryover was transferred back to the assignor. (d) The assignor and recipient of a tax credit assigned under subsection (a) of this Code section shall be jointly and severally liable for any tax (plus interest and penalties, if any) attributable to the disallowance or recapture of the assigned credit. SECTION 2 . This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval and shall apply to taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 1999. SECTION 3 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved March 25, 1999. COURTSCOURT OF APPEALS; NUMBER OF JUDGES; DIVISIONS; QUORUM; ELECTIONS; TERMS; APPOINTMENT. Code Sections 15-3-1 and 15-3-4 Amended. No. 18 (Senate Bill No. 59). AN ACT To amend Title 15 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to courts, so as to change the number of Judges of the Court of Appeals; to

Page 11

provide that the court shall sit in divisions; to specify the number of Judges which shall constitute a quorum; to provide for the election and term of office of Judges; to provide for the initial appointment of additional judges; 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 . Title 15 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to courts, is amended by striking Code Section 15-3-1, relating to the composition and division of the Court of Appeals, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 15-3-1 to read as follows: 15-3-1. (a) Composition . The Court of Appeals shall consist of 12 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. (b) Divisions . The court shall sit in divisions composed of three Judges in each division. Two Judges shall constitute a quorum of a division. The assignment of Judges to each division shall be made by the Chief Judge, and the personnel of the divisions shall from time to time be changed in accordance with rules prescribed by the court. The Chief Judge shall designate the Presiding Judges of the divisions and shall, under rules prescribed by the court, distribute the cases among the divisions in such manner as to equalize their work as far as practicable. (c) How cases heard . (1) Each division shall hear and determine, independently of the others, the cases assigned to it, except that the division next in line in rotation and a seventh Judge shall participate in the determination of each case in which there is a dissent in the division to which the case was originally assigned. (2) In all cases which involve one or more questions which, in the opinion of the majority of the Judges of the division or of the two divisions plus a seventh Judge to which a case is assigned, should be passed upon by all the members of the court, the questions may be presented to all the members of the court; and if a majority of all the members of the court decide that the question or questions involved should, in their judgment and discretion, be decided by all the members of the court, the case shall be passed upon by all the members of the court, provided that a majority of the Judges passing upon the case concur in the judgment. (3) In neither class of cases referred to in this subsection shall there be oral argument except before the division to which the cases are originally assigned.

Page 12

(d) How decision overruled . It being among the purposes of this Code section to avoid and reconcile conflicts among the decisions made by less than all of the Judges on the court and to secure more authoritative decisions, it is provided that when two divisions plus a seventh Judge sit as one court the court may, by the concurrence of a majority, overrule any previous decision in the same manner as prescribed for the Supreme Court. As precedent, a decision by such court with a majority concurring shall take precedence over a decision by any division or two divisions plus a seventh Judge. A decision concurred in by all the Judges shall not be overruled or materially modified except with the concurrence of all the Judges. (e) Quorum . When all the members of the court are sitting together as one court, seven Judges shall be necessary to constitute a quorum. In all cases decided by such court as a whole by less than 12 Judges, the concurrence of at least seven shall be essential to the rendition of a judgment. (f) Oral arguments . The Court of Appeals may hear oral arguments at places other than the seat of government. Reasonable notice shall be given of such hearings. (g) Assistance of other judges; procedure . Whenever the court unanimously determines that the business of the court requires the temporary assistance of an additional judge or additional judges or one additional panel, the court may request the assistance of senior appellate judges as provided in Chapter 3A of this title or senior superior court judges as provided in Code Section 47-23-101. The Judge whose case assignment is transferred to the additional judge shall not vote on the case. SECTION 2 . Said title is further amended by striking Code Section 15-3-4, relating to the election and term of office of Judges of the Court of Appeals, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 15-3-4 to read as follows: 15-3-4. The Judges of the Court of Appeals shall be elected at the general state election to be held on Tuesday after the first Monday in November of the even-numbered years 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;

Page 13

(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 (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. SECTION 3 . The initial judges to serve in the two judgeships created by this Act shall be appointed by the Governor for terms to expire at the end of 2000. SECTION 4 . This Act shall become effective July 1, 1999. SECTION 5 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved March 27, 1999. REVENUE AND TAXATIONINCOME TAXES; EMPLOYER PROVIDED OR SPONSORED CHILD CARE; TAX CREDITS; DEPRECIATION. Code Sections 48-7-21, 48-7-27, and 48-7-40.6 Amended. No. 19 (House Bill No. 610). AN ACT To amend Article 2 of Chapter 7 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to imposition, rate, computation, and exemptions with respect to income taxes, so as to increase the income tax credit for the cost of operation of employer provided or employer sponsored child care; to provide an income tax credit to employers who construct on-site qualified child care facilities; to provide for definitions; to provide for procedures, conditions, and limitations relating to such credits; to provide for the recapture of such credits under certain circumstances; to limit Georgia depreciation deductions with respect to qualified child care property for

Page 14

which such credits are claimed; to provide for powers, duties, and authority of the state revenue commissioner with respect to the foregoing; to provide for an effective date; to provide for applicability; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . Article 2 of Chapter 7 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to imposition, rate, computation, and exemptions with respect to income taxes, is amended by adding a new paragraph at the end of subsection (b) of Code Section 48-7-21, relating to taxation of corporations, to be designated paragraph (13), to read as follows: (13) If the taxpayer claims the tax credit provided for in subsection (d) of Code Section 48-7-40.6 with respect to qualified child care property, Georgia taxable income shall be increased by any depreciation deductions attributable to such property to the extent such deductions ared used in determining federal taxable income. SECTION 2 . Said article is further amended by adding a new paragraph at the end of subsection (b) of Code Section 48-7-27, relating to computation of taxable income, to be designated paragraph (9), to read as follows: (9) If the taxpayer claims the tax credit provided for in subsection (d) of Code Section 48-7-40.6 with respect to qualified child care property, Georgia taxable income shall be increased by any depreciation deductions attributable to such property to the extent such deductions are used in determining federal taxable income. SECTION 3 . Said article is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 48-7-40.6, relating to tax credits for employers providing child care, which reads as follows: 48-7-40.6. (a) As used in this Code section, the term: (1) `Cost of operation' means reasonable direct operational costs incurred by an employer as a result of providing employer provided or employer sponsored child care facilities. (2) `Employer' means any employer upon whom an income tax is imposed by this chapter. (3) `Employer provided' refers to child care offered on the premises of the employer, provided that the facility is in Georgia.

Page 15

(4) `Employer sponsored' refers to a contractual arrangement with a child care facility that is paid for by the employer. (b) A tax credit shall be granted to an employer who provides or sponsors child care for employees. The amount of the tax credit shall be equal to one-half of the cost of operation to the employer less any amounts paid for by employees during a taxable year. (c) The tax credit granted to any employer pursuant to this Code section shall not exceed 50 percent of the amount of the taxpayer's income tax liability for the taxable year as computed without regard to this Code section. Any credit claimed under this Code section but not used in any taxable year may be carried forward for five years from the close of the taxable year in which the cost of operation was incurred. (d) To be eligible to claim the credit granted under this Code section, the employer must certify to the department the names of the employees, the name of the child care provider, and such other information as may be required by the department to ensure that credits are only granted to employers who provide or sponsor approved child care pursuant to this Code section. The department shall adopt rules and regulations and forms to implement this credit program., and inserting in its place a new Code Section 48-7-40.6 to read as follows: 48-7-40.6. (a) As used in this Code section, the term: (1) `Cost of operation' means reasonable direct operational costs incurred by an employer as a result of providing employer provided or employer sponsored child care facilities; provided, however, that the term cost of operation shall exclude the cost of any property that is qualified child care property. (2) `Employer' means any employer upon whom an income tax is imposed by this article. (3) `Employer provided' refers to child care offered on the premises of the employer. (4) `Employer sponsored' refers to a contractual arrangement with a child care facility that is paid for by the employer. (5) `Premises of the employer' refers to any location within the State of Georgia and located on the workplace premises of the employer providing the child care or one of the employers providing the child care in the event that the child care property is owned jointly or severally by the taxpayer and one or more employers; provided, however, that if such workplace premises are impracticable or otherwise unsuitable for the on-site location of such child care facility, as

Page 16

determined by the commissioner, such facility may be located within a reasonable distance of the premises of the employer. (6) `Qualified child care property' means all real property and tangible personal property purchased or acquired on or after July 1, 1999, or which property is first placed in service on or after July 1, 1999, for use exclusively in the construction, expansion, improvement, or operation of an employer provided child care facility, but only if: (A) The facility is licensed or commissioned by the Department of Human Resources pursuant to Code Section 49-5-12; (B) At least 95 percent of the children who use the facility are children of employees of: (i) The taxpayer and other employers in the event that the child care property is owned jointly or severally by the taxpayer and one or more employers; or (ii) A corporation that is a member of the taxpayer's `affiliated group' within the meaning of Section 1504(a) of the Internal Revenue Code; and (C) The taxpayer has not previously claimed any tax credit for the cost of operation for such qualified child care property placed in service prior to taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2000. Qualified child care property includes, but is not limited to, amounts expended on land acquisition, improvements, buildings, and building improvements and furniture, fixtures, and equipment. (7) `Recapture amount' means, with respect to property as to which a recapture event has occurred, an amount equal to the applicable recapture percentage of the aggregate credits claimed under subsection (d) of this Code section for all taxable years preceding the recapture year, whether or not such credits were used. (8) `Recapture event' refers to any disposition of qualified child care property by the taxpayer, or any other event or circumstance under which property ceases to be qualified child care property with respect to the taxpayer, except for: (A) Any transfer by reason of death; (B) Any transfer between spouses or incident to divorce; (C) Any transaction to which Section 381(a) of the Internal Revenue Code applies; (D) Any change in the form of conducting the taxpayer's trade or business so long as the property is retained in such trade or business as qualified child care property and the taxpayer retains a substantial interest in such trade or business; or

Page 17

(E) Any accident or casualty. (9) `Recapture percentage' refers to the applicable percentage set forth in the following table: If the recapture event occurs within The recapture percentage is: Five full years after the qualified child care property is placed in service 100 The sixth full year after the qualified child care property is placed in service 90 The seventh full year after the qualified child care property is placed in service 80 The eighth full year after the qualified child care property is placed in service 70 The ninth full year after the qualified child care property is placed in service 60 The tenth full year after the qualified child care property is placed in service 50 The eleventh full year after the qualified child care property is placed in service 40 The twelfth full year after the qualified child care property is placed in service 30 The thirteenth full year after the qualified child care property is placed in service 20 The fourteenth full year after the qualified child care property is placed in service 10 Any period after the close of the fourteenth full year after the qualified child care property is placed in service 0 (10) `Recapture year' means the taxable year in which a recapture event occurs with respect to qualified child care property. (b) A tax credit against the tax imposed under this article shall be granted to an employer who provides or sponsors child care for employees. The amount of the tax credit shall be equal to 75 percent of the cost of operation to the employer less any amounts paid for by employees during a taxable year. (c) The tax credit allowed under subsection (b) of this Code section shall be subject to the following conditions and limitations: (1) Such credit shall not exceed 50 percent of the amount of the taxpayer's income tax liability for the taxable year as computed without regard to any other credits;

Page 18

(2) Any such credit claimed but not used in any taxable year may be carried forward for five years from the close of the taxable year in which the cost of operation was incurred; and (3) The employer shall certify to the department the names of the employees, the name of the child care provider, and such other information as may be required by the department to ensure that credits are granted only to employers who provide or sponsor approved child care pursuant to this Code section. (d) In addition to the tax credit provided under subsection (b) of this Code section, a taxpayer shall be allowed a credit against the tax imposed under this article for the taxable year in which the taxpayer first places in service qualified child care property and for each of the ensuing nine taxable years following such taxable year. The aggregate amount of the credit shall equal 100 percent of the cost of all qualified child care property purchased or acquired by the taxpayer and first placed in service during a taxable year, and such credit may be claimed at a rate of 10 percent per year over a period of ten taxable years. (e) The tax credit allowable under subsection (d) of this Code section shall be subject to the following conditions and limitations: (1) Any such credit claimed in any taxable year but not used in such taxable year may be carried forward for three years from the close of such taxable year. The sale, merger, acquisition, or bankruptcy of any taxpayer shall not create new eligibility for the credit in any succeeding taxpayer; (2) In no event shall the amount of any such tax credit, including any carryover of such credit from a prior taxable year, exceed 50 percent of the taxpayer's income tax liability as determined without regard to any other credits; and (3) For every year in which a taxpayer claims such credit, the taxpayer shall attach a schedule to the taxpayer's Georgia income tax return setting forth the following information with respect to such tax credit: (A) A description of the child care facility; (B) The amount of qualified child care property acquired during the taxable year and the cost of such property; (C) The amount of tax credit claimed for the taxable year; (D) The amount of qualified child care property acquired in prior taxable years and the cost of such property; (E) Any tax credit utilized by the taxpayer in prior taxable years; (F) The amount of tax credit carried over from prior years;

Page 19

(G) The amount of tax credit utilized by the taxpayer in the current taxable year; (H) The amount of tax credit to be carried forward to subsequent tax years; and (I) A description of any recapture event occurring during the taxable year, a calculation of the resulting reduction in tax credits allowable for the recapture year and future taxable years, and a calculation of the resulting increase in tax for the recapture year. (f) If a recapture event occurs with respect to qualified child care property: (1) The credit otherwise allowable under subsection (d) of this Code section with respect to such property for the recapture year and all subsequent taxable years shall be reduced by the applicable recapture percentage; and (2) All credits previously claimed with respect to such property under subsection (d) of this Code section shall be recaptured as follows: (A) Any carryover attributable to such credits under paragraph (1) of subsection (e) of this Code section shall be reduced, but not below zero, by the recapture amount; (B) The tax credit otherwise allowable under subsection (d) of this Code section for the recapture year, if any, as reduced under paragraph (1) of this subsection, shall be further reduced, but not below zero, by the excess of the recapture amount over the amount taken into account under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph; and (C) The tax imposed under this article for the recapture year shall be increased by the excess of the recapture amount over the amounts taken into account under subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this paragraph, as applicable. (g) The commissioner shall promulgate any rules and regulations necessary to implement and administer this Code section. SECTION 4 . This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval and shall be applicable to all taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2000. SECTION 5 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved March 31, 1999.

Page 20

RETIREMENT AND PENSIONSCODE REVISION; TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS. Code Sections 47-2-264.1, 47-23-100, 47-23-105, and 47-23-124 Amended. No. 21 (House Bill No. 262). AN ACT To amend Title 47 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to retirement and pensions, so as to correct typographical, stylistic, and other errors and omissions in Title 47 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated and in Acts of the General Assembly amending Title 47 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated; to correct capitalization and spelling in Title 47 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated; to provide for other matters relative to Title 47 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . Title 47 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to retirement and pensions, is amended as follows: (1) By striking is resolved and inserting in its place is revoked in subsection (b) and by striking the provision and inserting in its place the provisions in subsection (c) of Code Section 47-2-264.1, relating to membership in retirement system of employees paid by the office of the district attorney, contributions, and creditable service. (2) By designating the introductory language as subsection (a) and by redesignating paragraph (5) as subsection (b) in Code Section 47-23-100, relating to the definition of salary. (3) By deleting , whichever date is later from paragraph (1) of subsection (b) of Code Section 47-23-105, relating to spouses' benefits, ceasing spouses' benefits, vesting, and designation of survivor's benefits. (4) By striking the Act creating and inserting in its place an Act, approved April 2, 1998 (Ga. L. 1998, p. 513), creating in Code Section 47-23-124, relating to legislative intent. SECTION 2 . This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval. SECTION 3 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 1, 1999.

Page 21

ELECTIONSCODE REVISION. Code Title 21 Amended. No. 22 (House Bill No. 264). AN ACT To amend Title 21 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to elections, so as to correct typographical, stylistic, and other errors and omissions in Title 21 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated and in Acts of the General Assembly amending Title 21 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated; to correct capitalization and spelling in Title 21 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated; to provide for necessary or appropriate revisions and modernizations of matters contained in Title 21 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated; to provide for other matters relating to Title 21 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . Title 21 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to elections, is amended as follows: (1) By striking motion own and inserting in its place own motion in subsection (b) of Code Section 21-2-5, relating to qualifications of candidates for federal and state office and determination of qualifications. (2) By striking a House, House which, and House whose and inserting in their place a house, house which, and house whose in subsection (b) of Code Section 21-2-30, relating to creation, composition, terms of service, vacancies, quorum, seal and bylaws, and meetings. (3) By striking political division and inserting in its place political subdivision both times it appears in subsection (a) of Code Section 21-2-45.1, relating to special elections on bonded debt, publication, date, and discount. (4) By striking voting recorders and inserting in its place vote recorders in paragraph (5) and by striking subsection and inserting in its place paragraph in paragraph (11) of Code Section 21-2-70, relating to powers and duties of superintendents. (5) By inserting a comma following addresses and by deleting the comma following committee in paragraph (3) of subsection (b) of Code Section 21-2-110, relating to filing of registration statements by political parties or bodies with the Secretary of State, contents of

Page 22

registration statements, amendments, filing fees, and failure to file statement. (6) By striking each county office and inserting in its place each office in the first sentence and by striking derived from such office and inserting in its place derived from such county office in the last sentence of paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 21-2-131, relating to fixing and publishing of qualification fees, manner of payment, and distribution of fees paid. (7) By inserting or appropriate municipal official preceding the period at the end of subsection (e) of Code Section 21-2-133, relating to giving notice of intent of write-in candidacy, filing of affidavit, limitations on candidacy, and certification of candidates by the Secretary of State. (8) By striking (B), or (C) and inserting in its place (B), (C), or (D) in subparagraph (b) (2) (B) and paragraph (3) of subsection (b) of Code Section 21-2-134, relating to withdrawal, death, or disqualification of candidate for office and nomination certificate. (9) By striking state, county, or and inserting in its place state or county or in paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of Code Section 21-2-217, relating to rules for determining residence. (10) By repealing subsection (a.1) of Code Section 21-2-384, relating to preparation and delivery of supplies, mailing of ballots, oath of absentee electors and persons assisting absentee electors, master list of ballots sent, and challenges, which reads as follows: (a.1) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, at least 31 days prior to the presidential preference primary to be held in 1992, the superintendent shall prepare or obtain and deliver an adequate supply of official absentee ballots, envelopes, and other supplies as required by this article to the board of registrars for use in the presidential preference primary. (11) By striking party of body and inserting in its place party or body in subsection (c), by striking party by virtue and party convention and inserting in their place party or body by virtue and party or body convention in subsection (f), and by striking Assembly and and inserting in its place Assembly or three times in subsection (h) of Code Section 21-2-480, relating to caption for ballots, party designations, and form and arrangement. (12) By striking managers and inserting in its place manager in the undesignated paragraph at the end of Code Section 21-2-484, relating to requirements for ballot recap form and delivery. (13) By striking 21-2-235 and inserting in its place 21-2-224 in subsection (g) of Code Section 21-2-501, relating to the number of votes required for election.

Page 23

(14) By deleting or 3 in paragraph (4) of Code Section 21-4-3, relating to definitions relative to the recall of public officers. (15) By striking day of, 19. and inserting in its place day of,. each time it appears in the form in division (b) (1) (E) (ii) of Code Section 21-4-5, relating to application for and time of filing of recall petition, sponsors, withdrawal of signature, duties of election superintendent, and printing and distribution of recall petition forms by the Secretary of State. (16) By striking day of, 19. and inserting in its place day of,. each time it appears in the form in subsection (e) of Code Section 21-4-8, relating to electors eligible to sign recall petition, procedure for circulating, obtaining and verifying signatures, form for affidavit of circulator, and change in signature and residence address. (17) By striking day of, 19. and inserting in its place day of,. each time it appears in the form in subsection (b) of Code Section 21-4-9, relating to the procedure for withdrawal of signature on recall application or petition and contents and form of affidavit to be executed and filed by person desiring to withdraw signature. SECTION 2 . This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval. SECTION 3 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 1, 1999. ELECTIONSNOMINATION AND RECALL PETITIONS; PETITIONS FOR PAUPERS' AFFIDAVITS; NOTARY PUBLIC; REJECTION. Code Sections 21-2-132, 21-2-170, 21-4-5, and 21-4-8 Amended. No. 23 (House Bill No. 238). AN ACT To amend Title 21 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to elections, so as to provide for the disqualification and rejection of nomination and recall petitions and of petitions for paupers' affidavits and applications for recall petitions which have been notarized and circulated or signed as an elector by the same notary public; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

Page 24

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . Title 21 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to elections, is amended by striking subsection (g) of Code Section 21-2-132, relating to qualifying petitions regarding paupers' affidavits, and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection to read as follows: (g) No candidate shall be authorized to file a pauper's affidavit in lieu of paying the qualifying fee otherwise required by this Code section and Code Section 21-2-138 unless such candidate has filed a qualifying petition which complies with the following requirements: (1) A qualifying petition of a candidate seeking an office which is voted upon state wide shall be signed by a number of voters equal to one-fourth of 1 percent of the total number of registered voters eligible to vote in the last election for the filling of the office the candidate is seeking and the signers of such petition shall be registered and eligible to vote in the election at which such candidate seeks to be elected. A qualifying petition of a candidate for any other office shall be signed by a number of voters equal to 1 percent of the total number of registered voters eligible to vote in the last election for the filling of the office the candidate is seeking and the signers of such petition shall be registered and eligible to vote in the election at which such candidate seeks to be elected. However, in the case of a candidate seeking an office for which there has never been an election or seeking an office in a newly constituted constituency, the percentage figure shall be computed on the total number of registered voters in the constituency who would have been qualified to vote for such office had the election been held at the last general election and the signers of such petition shall be registered and eligible to vote in the election at which such candidate seeks to be elected; (2) Each person signing a qualifying petition shall declare therein that he or she is a duly qualified and registered elector of the state entitled to vote in the next election for the filling of the office sought by the candidate supported by the petition and shall add to his or her signature his or her residence address, giving municipality, if any, and county, with street and number, if any. No person shall sign the same petition more than once. Each petition shall support the candidacy of only a single candidate. A signature shall be stricken from the petition when the signer so requests prior to the presentation of the petition to the appropriate officer for filing, but such a request shall be disregarded if made after such presentation; (3) A qualifying petition shall be on one or more sheets of uniform size and different sheets must be used by signers resident in different counties. The upper portion of each sheet, prior to being signed by

Page 25

any petitioner, shall bear the name and title of the officer with whom the petition will be filed, the name of the candidate to be supported by the petition, his or her profession, business, or occupation, if any, his or her place of residence with street and number, if any, the name of the office he or she is seeking, his or her political party or body affiliation, if any, and the name and date of the election in which the candidate is seeking election. If more than one sheet is used, they shall be bound together when offered for filing if they are intended to constitute one qualifying petition, and each sheet shall be numbered consecutively, beginning with number one, at the foot of each page. Each sheet shall bear on the bottom or back thereof the affidavit of the circulator of such sheet, which affidavit must be subscribed and sworn to by such circulator before a notary public and shall set forth: (A) His or her residence address, giving municipality with street and number, if any; (B) That each signer manually signed his or her own name with full knowledge of the contents of the qualifying petition; (C) That each signature on such sheet was signed within 180 days of the last day on which such petition may be filed; and (D) That, to the best of the affiant's knowledge and belief, the signers are registered electors of the state qualified to sign the petition, that their respective residences are correctly stated in the petition, and that they all reside in the county named in the affidavit; (4) No qualifying petition shall be circulated prior to 180 days before the last day on which such petition may be filed, and no signature shall be counted unless it was signed within 180 days of the last day for filing the same; and (5) A qualifying petition shall not be amended or supplemented after its presentation to the appropriate officer for filing. No notary public may sign the petition as an elector or serve as a circulator of any petition which he or she notarized. Any and all sheets of a petition that have the circulator's affidavit notarized by a notary public who also served as a circulator of one or more sheets of the petition or who signed one of the sheets of the petition as an elector shall be disqualified and rejected. SECTION 2 . Said title is further amended by striking subsection (d) of Code Section 21-2-170, relating to nominating petitions, and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection to read as follows: (d) A nomination petition shall be on one or more sheets of uniform size and different sheets must be used by signers resident in different

Page 26

counties or municipalities. The upper portion of each sheet, prior to being signed by any petitioner, shall bear the name and title of the officer with whom the petition will be filed, the name of the candidate to be supported by the petition, his or her profession, business, or occupation, if any, his or her place of residence with street and number, if any, the name of the office he or she is seeking, his or her political body affiliation, if any, and the name and date of the election in which the candidate is seeking election. If more than one sheet is used, they shall be bound together when offered for filing if they are intended to constitute one nomination petition, and each sheet shall be numbered consecutively, beginning with number one, at the foot of each page. Each sheet shall bear on the bottom or back thereof the affidavit of the circulator of such sheet, which affidavit must be subscribed and sworn to by such circulator before a notary public and shall set forth: (1) His or her residence address, giving municipality with street and number, if any; (2) That each signer manually signed his or her own name with full knowledge of the contents of the nomination petition; (3) That each signature on such sheet was signed within 180 days of the last day on which such petition may be filed; and (4) That, to the best of the affiant's knowledge and belief, the signers are registered electors of the state qualified to sign the petition, that their respective residences are correctly stated in the petition, and that they all reside in the county or municipality named in the affidavit. No notary public may sign the petition as an elector or serve as a circulator of any petition which he or she notarized. Any and all sheets of a petition that have the circulator's affidavit notarized by a notary public who also served as a circulator of one or more sheets of the petition or who signed one of the sheets of the petition as an elector shall be disqualified and rejected. SECTION 3 . Said title is further amended by striking paragraph (1) of subsection (b) of Code Section 21-4-5, relating to application for recall petitions, and inserting in lieu thereof a new paragraph to read as follows: (b) (1) The application shall include: (A) The name and office of the person sought to be recalled; (B) The printed names and signatures of the official sponsors, the date signed, residence addresses, and the name of the county of residence; (C) The designation of one of the sponsors as the petition chairperson who shall represent the sponsors on all matters pertaining to the recall application and petition;

Page 27

(D) A statement that: (name and office) has, while holding public office, conducted himself or herself in a manner which relates to and adversely affects the administration of his or her office and adversely affects the rights and interests of the public and stating the appropriate ground or grounds for recall as set forth in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (7) of Code Section 21-4-3 with a brief statement of the fact or facts upon which the ground or grounds are based. Such statement shall be typed, printed, or reproduced by the election superintendent on the face of each application issued; and (E) (i) An affidavit by the petition chairperson and the person circulating such recall application that each person sponsoring or signing such recall application is an elector of the electoral district of the officer sought to be recalled and that the fact or facts upon which the ground or grounds for recall are based are true. (ii) The affidavit required by division (i) of this subparagraph shall be in the following form: AFFIDAVIT OF CIRCULATOR AND PETITION CHAIRPERSON State of Georgia County of Under the penalty of a violation of Code Section 16-10-71 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to false swearing, punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000.00 or by imprisonment of not less than one nor more than five years, or both, we the undersigned do depose and say that each person sponsoring or signing the recall application of is an elector of the electoral district of the officer sought to be recalled and further depose and say that the fact or facts upon which the ground or grounds for recall are based are true.

Page 28

No notary public may sign the application as an elector or serve as a circulator of any application which he or she notarized. Any and all sheets of an application for a recall petition that have the circulator's affidavit notarized by a notary public who also served as a circulator of one or more sheets of the application for a recall petition or who signed one of the sheets of the petition as an elector shall be disqualified and rejected. SECTION 4 . Said title is further amended by striking subsection (b) of Code Section 21-4-8, relating to recall petitions, and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection to read as follows: (b) Every elector signing a recall petition shall do so in the presence of the person circulating the petition, who is to execute the affidavit of verification on the reverse side of the petition form. At the time of signing, the elector shall sign his name, and such elector or the person circulating the petition shall print the name of the elector below the elector's signature and shall print or write in the appropriate spaces following the signature the elector's residence address, giving number and street or route and city, the name of the county, and the date on which the elector signed the petition. No notary public may sign the petition as an elector or serve as a circulator of any petition which he or she notarized. Any and all sheets of a recall petition that have the circulator's affidavit notarized by a notary public who also served as a circulator of one or more sheets of the recall petition or who signed one of the sheets of the petition as an elector shall be disqualified and rejected. SECTION 5 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 1, 1999.

Page 29

ELECTIONSOPTICAL SCANNING VOTING SYSTEMS; ABSENTEE BALLOTS; OPTICAL SCANNING BALLOTS; BALLOT RECAP FORMS AND DELIVERY; VOTING MATERIALS DELIVERY. Code Title 21, Chapter 2 Amended. No. 25 (House Bill No. 531). AN ACT To amend Chapter 2 of Title 21 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to elections and primaries generally, so as to change the provisions relating to optical scanning voting systems in order to conform the law to the technology in use; to change provisions relating to the number of optical scanning systems needed; to change references to ballot cards or labels; to change the duties of superintendents relating to optical scanning systems and tabulators; to change provisions relating to testing and custody of systems and tabulators; to change provisions relating to counting of absentee ballots; to change the number of poll officers required to deliver the ballots to the poll manager; to change provisions relating to storage of electronic voting records; to make conforming changes; 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 21 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to elections and primaries generally, is amended by striking Part 4 of Article 9, relating to optical scanning voting systems, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Part 4 to read as follows: Part 4 21-2-365. No optical scanning voting system shall be adopted or used unless it shall, at the time, satisfy the following requirements: (1) It shall provide facilities for voting for such candidates as may be nominated and upon such questions as may be submitted; (2) It shall permit each elector, in one operation per ballot, to vote for all the candidates of one party or body for presidential electors; (3) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this Code section for presidential electors, it shall permit each elector, at other than primaries, to vote a ticket selected from the nominees of any and all parties or bodies, from independent nominations, and from persons not in nomination; (4) It shall permit each elector to vote, at any election, for any person and for any office for whom and for which he or she is lawfully entitled

Page 30

to vote, whether or not the name of such person or persons appears upon a ballot as a candidate for election; to vote for as many persons for an office as he or she is entitled to vote for; and to vote for or against any question upon which he or she is entitled to vote; (5) An optical scanning tabulator shall preclude the counting of votes for any candidate or upon any question for whom or upon which an elector is not entitled to vote; shall preclude the counting of votes for more persons for any office than he or she is entitled to vote for; and shall preclude the counting of votes for any candidate for the same office or upon any question more than once; (6) It shall permit voting in absolute secrecy so that no person can see or know for whom any other elector has voted or is voting, save an elector whom he or she has assisted or is assisting in voting, as prescribed by law; (7) It shall be constructed of material of good quality in a neat and workmanlike manner; (8) It shall, when properly operated, record correctly and accurately every vote cast; (9) It shall be so constructed that an elector may readily learn the method of operating it; and (10) It shall be safely transportable. 21-2-366. The governing authority of any county or municipality may, at any regular meeting or at a special meeting called for the purpose, by a majority vote authorize and direct the use of optical scanning voting systems for recording and computing the vote at elections held in the county or municipality. If so authorized and directed, the governing authority shall purchase, lease, rent, or otherwise procure optical scanning voting systems conforming to the requirements of this part. 21-2-367. (a) When the use of optical scanning voting systems has been authorized in the manner prescribed in this part, such optical scanning voting systems shall be installed, either simultaneously or gradually, within the county or municipality. Upon the installation of optical scanning voting systems in any precinct, the use of paper ballots or other voting machines or apparatus therein shall be discontinued, except as otherwise provided by this chapter. (b) In each precinct in which optical scanning voting systems are used, the governing authority shall provide at least one voting booth or enclosure for each 200 electors therein, or fraction thereof.

Page 31

(c) Optical scanning voting systems of different kinds may be used for different precincts in the same county or municipality. (d) The governing authority shall provide optical scanning voting systems in good working order and of sufficient capacity to accommodate the names of a reasonable number of candidates for all party offices and nominations and public offices which, under the provisions of existing laws and party rules, are likely to be voted for at any future primary or election. 21-2-368. (a) Any person or organization owning, manufacturing, or selling, or being interested in the manufacture or sale of, any optical scanning voting system may request the Secretary of State to examine the optical scanning voting system. Any ten or more electors of this state may, at any time, request the Secretary of State to reexamine any optical scanning voting system previously examined and approved by him or her. Before any such examination or reexamination, the person, persons, or organization requesting such examination or reexamination shall pay to the Secretary of State the reasonable expenses of such examination. The Secretary of State may, at any time, in his or her discretion, reexamine any optical scanning voting system. (b) The Secretary of State shall thereupon examine or reexamine such optical scanning voting system and shall make and file in his or her office a report, attested by his or her signature and the seal of his or her office, stating whether, in his or her opinion, the kind of optical scanning voting system so examined can be safely used by electors at primaries and elections as provided in this chapter. If this report states that the optical scanning voting system can be so used, the optical scanning voting system shall be deemed approved; and optical scanning voting systems of its kind may be adopted for use at primaries and elections as provided in this chapter. (c) No kind of optical scanning voting system not so approved shall be used at any primary or election and if, upon the reexamination of any optical scanning voting system previously approved, it shall appear that the optical scanning voting system so reexamined can no longer be safely used by electors at primaries or elections as provided in this chapter, the approval of the same shall immediately be revoked by the Secretary of State; and no such optical scanning voting system shall thereafter be purchased for use or be used in this state. (d) When an optical scanning voting system has been so approved, no improvement or change that does not impair its accuracy, efficiency, or capacity shall render necessary a reexamination or reapproval of the optical scanning voting system, or of its kind. (e) Neither the Secretary of State, nor any custodian, nor the governing authority of any county or municipality or a member of such authority

Page 32

nor any other person involved in the examination process shall have any pecuniary interest in any optical scanning voting system or in the manufacture or sale thereof. 21-2-369. (a) The ballots shall be printed in black ink upon clear, white, or colored material, of such size and arrangement as will suit the construction of the optical scanner, and in plain, clear type so as to be easily readable by persons with normal vision; provided, however, that red material shall not be used. (b) The arrangement of offices, names of candidates, and questions upon the ballots shall conform as nearly as practicable to this chapter for the arrangement of same on paper ballots; provided, however, that such form may be varied in order to present a clear presentation of candidates and questions to the electors. (c) The form and arrangement of ballots shall be prescribed by the Secretary of State and prepared by the superintendent. 21-2-370. Reserved. 21-2-371. (a) If ballots for a precinct at which an optical scanning voting system is to be used shall not be delivered to the poll officers as required by this chapter, the chief manager of such precinct shall cause other ballots to be prepared, printed, or written, as nearly in the form of official ballots as practicable; and the poll officers shall cause the ballots, so substituted, to be used at the primary or election, in the same manner, as nearly as may be, as the official ballots. Such ballots, so substituted, shall be known as unofficial ballots. (b) If any optical scanning voting system being used in any primary or election shall become out of order during such primary or election, it shall, if possible, be repaired or another optical scanning voting system substituted by the custodian or superintendent as promptly as possible, for which purpose the governing authority of the county or municipality may purchase as many extra optical scanning voting systems as it may deem necessary; but, in case such repair or substitution cannot be made, the ballots may be voted manually. 21-2-372. Ballots shall be of suitable design, size, and stock to permit processing by a tabulating machine and shall be printed in black ink on clear, white, or colored material. In counties using a central count tabulating system, a serially numbered strip shall be attached to each ballot in a manner and form similar to that prescribed in this chapter for paper ballots.

Page 33

21-2-373. In elections, electors shall be permitted to cast write-in votes. The design of the ballot shall permit the superintendents, in counting the write-in votes, to determine readily whether an elector has cast any write-in vote not authorized by law. The Secretary of State, in specifying the form of the ballot, and the State Election Board, in promulgating rules and regulations respecting the conduct of elections, shall provide for ballot secrecy in connection with write-in votes. 21-2-374. (a) The superintendent of each county or municipality shall order the proper programming to be placed in each tabulator used in any precinct or central tabulating location. (b) On or before the third day preceding a primary or election, the superintendent shall have the optical scanning tabulators tested to ascertain that they will correctly count the votes cast for all offices and on all questions. Public notice of the time and place of the test shall be made at least five days prior thereto. Representatives of political parties and bodies, candidates, news media, and the public shall be permitted to observe such tests. The test shall be conducted by processing a preaudited group of ballots so marked as to record a predetermined number of valid votes for each candidate and on each question and shall include for each office one or more ballots which are improperly marked and one or more ballots which have votes in excess of the number allowed by law in order to test the ability of the optical scanning tabulator to reject such votes. The optical scanning tabulator shall not be approved unless it produces an errorless count. If any error is detected, the cause therefor shall be ascertained and corrected; and an errorless count shall be made before the tabulator is approved. The superintendent shall cause the pretested tabulators to be placed at the various polling places to be used in the primary or election. The superintendent shall require that each optical scanning tabulator be thoroughly tested and inspected prior to each primary and election in which it is used and shall keep such tested material as certification of an errorless count on each tabulator. In counties using central count optical scanning tabulators, the same test shall be repeated immediately before the start of the official count of the ballots and at the conclusion of such count. Precinct tabulators shall produce a zero tape prior to any ballots being inserted on the day of any primary or election. (d) In every primary or election, the superintendent shall furnish, at the expense of the county or municipality, all ballots, forms of certificates, and other papers and supplies required under this chapter and which are not furnished by the Secretary of State, all of which shall be in the form and according to the specifications prescribed, from time to time, by the Secretary of State.

Page 34

21-2-375. (a) In counties using precinct count optical scanning tabulators, the superintendent shall deliver the proper optical scanning tabulator to the polling places at least one hour before the time set for opening of the polls at each primary or election and shall cause each to be set up in the proper manner for use in voting. (b) The superintendent shall provide ample protection against molestation of and injury to the optical scanning tabulator and, for that purpose, shall call upon any law enforcement officer to furnish such assistance as may be necessary; and it shall be the duty of the law enforcement officer to furnish such assistance when so requested by the superintendent. (c) The superintendent shall at least one hour before the opening of the polls: (1) Provide sufficient lighting to enable electors, while in the voting booth, to read the ballot, which lighting shall be suitable for the use of poll officers in examining the booth; and such lighting shall be in good working order before the opening of the polls; (2) Prominently post directions for voting on the optical scanning ballot within the voting booth; at least two sample ballots in use for the primary or election shall be posted prominently outside the enclosed space within the polling place; (3) Ensure that the precinct count optical scanning tabulator shall have a seal securing the memory pack in use throughout the election day; such seal shall not be broken unless the tabulator is replaced due to malfunction; and (4) Provide such other materials and supplies as may be necessary or as may be required by law. 21-2-376. During the 30 days next preceding a general primary or election or during the ten days next preceding a special primary or election, the superintendent shall place on public exhibition, in such public places and at such times as he or she may deem most suitable for the information and instruction of the electors, one or more sets of sample ballots that will be used in such election. The sample ballots shall show the offices and questions to be voted upon, the names and arrangements of parties and bodies, and the names and arrangements of the candidates to be voted for. Such ballots shall be under the charge and care of a person competent as an instructor. 21-2-377. (a) The superintendent shall designate a person or persons who shall have custody of the optical scanning tabulators of the county or

Page 35

municipality when they are not in use at a primary or election and shall provide for his or her compensation and for the safe storage and care of the optical scanning tabulators. (b) All optical scanning tabulators, when not in use, shall be properly covered and stored in a suitable place or places. 21-2-378. The governing authority of any county or municipality which adopts optical scanning voting systems in the manner provided for by this part shall, upon the purchase of optical scanning voting systems, provide for their payment by the county or municipality. Bonds or other evidence of indebtedness may be issued in accordance with the provisions of law relating to the increase of indebtedness of counties or municipalities to meet all or any part of the cost of the optical scanning voting systems. 21-2-379. If a method of nomination or election for any candidate or office, or of voting on any question is prescribed by law, in which the use of optical scanning voting systems is not possible or practicable, or in case, at any primary or election, the number of candidates seeking nomination or nominated for any office renders the use of optical scanning voting systems for such office at such primary or election impracticable, or if, for any other reason, at any primary or election the use of optical scanning voting systems wholly or in part is not practicable, the superintendent may arrange to have the voting for such candidates or offices or for such questions conducted by any other lawful method authorized in this chapter. In such cases, appropriate ballots shall be printed for such candidates, offices, or questions, and the primary or election shall be conducted by the poll officers, and the ballots shall be counted and return thereof made in the manner required by law for such method. SECTION 2 . Said chapter is further amended by striking Code Section 21-2-386, relating to safekeeping, certification, and validation of absentee ballots, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code section to read as follows: 21-2-386. (a) (1) The board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk shall keep safely and unopened all official absentee ballots received from absentee electors prior to the closing of the polls on the day of the primary or election except as otherwise provided in this subsection. Upon receipt of each ballot, a registrar or clerk shall write the day and hour of the receipt of the ballot on its envelope. The registrar or clerk shall then compare the identifying information on the oath with the information on file in his or her office, shall compare the signature or

Page 36

mark on the oath with the signature or mark on the absentee elector's application for absentee ballot or a facsimile of said signature or mark taken from said application, and shall, if the information and signature appear to be valid, so certify by signing his or her name below the voter's oath. Each elector's name so certified shall be listed by the registrar or clerk on the numbered list of absentee voters prepared for his or her precinct. If the elector has failed to sign the oath, or if the signature does not appear to be valid, or if the elector has failed to furnish required information or information so furnished does not conform with that on file in the registrar's or clerk's office, or if the elector is otherwise found disqualified to vote, the registrar or clerk shall write across the face of the envelope 'Rejected,' giving the reason therefor. The board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk shall promptly notify the elector of such rejection, a copy of which notification shall be retained in the files of the board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk for at least one year. Three copies of the numbered list of voters shall also be prepared for such rejected absentee electors, giving the name of the elector and the reason for the rejection in each case. Three copies of the numbered list of certified absentee voters and three copies of the numbered list of rejected absentee voters for each precinct shall be turned over to the poll manager in charge of counting the absentee ballots and shall be distributed as required by law for numbered lists of voters. All absentee ballots returned to the board or absentee ballot clerk after the closing of the polls on the day of the primary or election shall be safely kept unopened by the board or absentee ballot clerk for the period of time required for the preservation of ballots used at the primary or election and shall then, without being opened, be destroyed in like manner as the used ballots of the primary or election. The board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk shall promptly notify the elector by first-class mail that the elector's ballot was returned too late to be counted and that the elector will not receive credit for voting in the primary or election. (2) After 12:00 Noon and until the closing of the polls on the day of the primary or election, the registrars or absentee ballot clerks shall be authorized to open the outer envelope on which is printed the oath of the elector in such a manner as not to destroy the oath printed thereon; provided, however, that the registrars or absentee ballot clerk shall not be authorized to remove the contents of such outer envelope or to open the inner envelope marked `Official Absentee Ballot.' At least three persons who are registrars, deputy registrars, poll workers, or absentee ballot clerks must be present before commencing. (b) As soon as practicable after 12:00 Noon on the day of the primary or election, in precincts other than those in which vote recorders or optical scanning tabulators are used, a registrar or absentee ballot clerk shall deliver the official absentee ballot of each certified absentee elector, each rejected absentee ballot, applications for such ballots, and copies of

Page 37

the numbered lists of certified and rejected absentee electors to the manager in charge of the absentee ballot precinct of the county, which shall be located in the precincts containing the county courthouse or polling place designated by the municipal superintendent. In those precincts in which vote recorders or optical scanning tabulators are used, such absentee ballots shall be taken to the tabulation center or other place designated by the superintendent, and the official receiving such absentee ballots shall issue his or her receipt therefor. In no event shall the counting of the ballots begin before the polls close. (c) After the close of the polls on the day of the primary or election, a manager shall then open the outer envelope in such manner as not to destroy the oath printed thereon and shall deposit the inner envelope marked `Official Absentee Ballot' in a ballot box reserved for absentee ballots. Such manager with two assistant managers, appointed by the superintendent, with such clerks as the manager deems necessary shall count the absentee ballots following the procedures prescribed by this chapter for other ballots, insofar as practicable, and prepare an election return for the county or municipality showing the results of the absentee ballots cast in such county or municipality. (d) Any other provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, if at any primary, general, or special election in any county any question is to be voted on involving any political subdivision which includes less than the entire county, all absentee ballots shall be separated by precinct for counting purposes; and separate returns shall be certified for each precinct in which absentee ballots were cast. (e) If an absentee elector's right to vote has been challenged for cause, a poll officer shall open the envelopes and write 'Challenged,' the elector's name, and the alleged cause of challenge on the back of the ballot, without disclosing the markings on the face thereof, and shall deposit the ballot in the box; and it shall be counted as other challenged ballots are counted. The board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk shall promptly notify the elector of such challenge. SECTION 3 . Said chapter is further amended by striking subsection (b) of Code Section 21-2-480, relating to the form and captions of optical scanning ballots, and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection to read as follows: (b) Immediately under this caption on a ballot presenting the names of candidates for election to office, the following directions shall be printed, insofar as the same may be appropriate for the election involved: (1) Optical scanners using ovals or squares. To vote blacken the oval or square ([UNK] [UNK]) next to the candidate of your choice. To vote for a person whose name is not on the ballot, manually write his or her

Page 38

name in the write-in section and blacken the oval or square next to the write-in section. If you spoil your ballot, do not erase, but ask for a new ballot. Use only the pen or pencil provided. (2) Optical scanners using arrows. To vote, complete the arrow ([UNK]) to the right of the name of the candidate for whom you wish to vote. To vote for a person whose name is not on the ballot, manually write his or her name in the write-in space provided and complete the arrow. If you spoil your ballot, do not erase, but ask for a new ballot. Use only the pen or pencil provided. (3) Marks made in violation of these directions shall be disregarded in the counting of the votes cast. The names of the persons inserted on the ballot by the elector shall be manually written only within the write-in section and the insertion of such names outside such section or by the use of a sticker, paster, stamp, or other printed or written matter is prohibited. SECTION 4 . Said chapter is further amended by striking Code Section 21-2-481, relating to the design, size, and stock of optical scanning ballots, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code section to read as follows: 21-2-481. Ballots in a precinct using optical scanning voting equipment shall be of suitable design, size, and stock to permit processing by a tabulating machine and shall be printed in black ink on white or colored material. A serially numbered strip shall be attached to each ballot to be counted by a central count tabulator. SECTION 5 . Said chapter is further amended by striking Code Section 21-2-484, relating to the requirements for ballot recap forms and their delivery, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code section to read as follows: 21-2-484. Upon completion of voting, the manager shall prepare and sign a ballot recap form, in sufficient counterparts, showing: (1) The number of valid ballots, including any that are damaged; (2) The number of spoiled and invalid ballots; and (3) The number of unused ballots. The manager shall then place one copy of the recap form and the defective, spoiled, and invalid ballots, each enclosed in an envelope, in the ballot container or in the case of counties using a central count tabulating system, in a separate envelope container, along with the voted ballots, which shall be sealed by the manager so that it cannot be opened

Page 39

without breaking the seal. The manager and one poll officer shall then deliver the ballot container and the envelope container, if applicable, to the tabulating machine center or other place designated by the superintendent and shall receive a receipt therefor. The copies of the recap forms, unused ballots, records, and other materials shall be returned to the designated location. SECTION 6 . Said chapter is further amended by striking subsection (a) of Code section 21-2-500, relating to delivery of voting materials to the clerk of superior court, and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection to read as follows: (a) Immediately upon completing the returns required by this article, in the case of elections other than municipal elections, the superintendent shall deliver in sealed containers to the clerk of the superior court or, if designated by the clerk of the superior court, to the county records manager or other office or officer under the jurisdiction of a county governing authority which maintains or is responsible for records, as provided in Code Section 50-18-99, the used and void ballots and the stubs of all ballots used; one copy of the oaths of poll officers; and one copy of each numbered list of voters, tally paper, voting machine paper proof sheet, and return sheet involved in the primary or election. In addition, the superintendent shall deliver copies of the voting machine and vote recorder ballot labels, computer chips containing ballot tabulation programs, copies of computer records of ballot design, computer programming decks for ballot tabulation programs, and similar items or an electronic record of the program by which votes are to be recorded or tabulated, which is captured prior to the election, and which is stored on some alternative medium such as a CD-ROM or floppy disk simultaneously with the burning of the PROM or other memory storage device. The clerk, county records manager, or the office or officer designated by the clerk shall hold such ballots and other documents under seal, unless otherwise directed by the superior court, for at least 24 months, after which time they shall be presented to the grand jury for inspection at its next meeting. Such ballots and other documents shall be preserved in the office of the clerk, county records manager, or officer designated by the clerk until the adjournment of such grand jury, and then they may be destroyed, unless otherwise provided by order of the superior court. SECTION 7 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 1, 1999.

Page 40

COURTSNORTHEASTERN JUDICIAL CIRCUIT; ADDITIONAL JUDGE. Code Section 15-6-2 Amended. No. 26 (House Bill No. 397). AN ACT To amend Chapter 6 of Title 15 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the superior courts, so as to provide for an additional judge of the Northeastern Judicial Circuit; to provide for the initial appointment of the new judge and subsequent election of successors to the new judge; to provide for terms of office and powers, duties, dignity, jurisdiction, privileges, and immunities; to provide for employment of personnel; to provide for construction; 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 6 of Title 15 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the superior courts, is amended in Code Section 15-6-2, relating to the number of judges, by striking in its entirety paragraph (26) and inserting in its place the following: (26) Northeastern Circuit.....4 SECTION 2 . One new judge of the superior court is added to the Northeastern Judicial Circuit, increasing to four the number of judges of such circuit. SECTION 3 . The initial new judge appointed pursuant to this Act shall be appointed by the Governor for a term beginning July 1, 1999, and expiring December 31, 2000, and until a successor is elected and qualified. A successor to the initial judge shall be elected in the manner provided by law for the election of judges in the superior courts of this state at the general election in November, 2000, for a term of four years beginning on January 1, 2001, and until the election and qualification of a successor. Future successors shall be elected at the general elections every four years thereafter for terms of four years and until their successors are elected and qualified and shall take office on the first day of January following their election. SECTION 4 . The new judge initially appointed and subsequently elected pursuant to this Act shall have and may exercise all powers, duties, dignity, jurisdiction, privileges, and immunities of the present judges of the superior court. The

Page 41

new judge is authorized to employ court personnel on the same basis as other judges of the Northeastern Judicial Circuit. SECTION 5 . Except as expressly stated, this Act shall not be construed to alter or repeal any provision of any local Act relating to the Northeastern Judicial Circuit. Nothing in this Act 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. SECTION 6 . (a) For the purposes of appointing the initial new judge pursuant to Section 3 of this Act, this Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval. (b) Except as provided in subsection (a) of this section, this Act shall become effective July 1, 1999. SECTION 7 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. January 28, 1999 To Whom It May Concern: The Hall County Board of Commissioners voted in their January 28, 1999, meeting to request that the bill providing for a fourth superior court judgeship for the Northeastern Judicial Circuit be given an effective date of July 1, 1999. s/ W. Al Gainey, Jr. Chairman W. Al Gainey, Jr. s/ Brenda R. Branch Commissioner Brenda Branch District 1 s/ Jerry Carpenter Commissioner Jerry Carpenter District 2 s/ Stephen Black Commissioner Stephen Black District 3 s/ Frances Meadows Commissioner Frances Meadows District 4 To Whom It May Concern:

Page 42

The Dawson County Commission requests that the bill providing for a fourth superior court judgeship for the Northeastern Judicial Circuit be given an effective date of July 1, 1999. s/ Robert Wallace Robert Wallace, Chairman Dawson County Commission Date: 1-11-99 s/ Shane Long Shane Long, Commissioner s/ Tracey Phillips Tracey Phillips, Commissioner s/ James King James King, Commissioner s/ Julie Hughes Nix Julie Hughes Nix, Commissioner Approved April 1, 1999. GENERAL ASSEMBLYSENATE; DISTRICTS. Code Section 28-2-2 Amended. No. 28 (Senate Bill No. 109). AN ACT To amend Code Section 28-2-2 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to apportionment and qualifications for the Senate, so as to provide for the description of senatorial districts 1, 2, 34, and 44; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . Code Section 28-2-2 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to apportionment and qualifications for the Senate, is amended by striking the description of senatorial districts 1, 2, 34, and 44 which are described in the paragraph immediately following the second sentence of subsection (a) thereof and inserting in its place the description of senatorial districts 1, 2, 34, and 44 attached to this Act and made a part hereof and further identified as: Operator: state Client: senate Plan: sb109am2. 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.

Page 43

Operator: state Client: senate Plan: sb109am2 District No. 1 BRYAN Tract: 9203. Block Group: 1 Block: 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 216, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 226, 227, 228, 229, 230, 231, 233A, 233B, 234, 235, 236, 237, 238, 239, 240, 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 246, 247, 248, 249, 250, 251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 256, 257, 258, 259, 260, 261, 262, 263, 264, 265, 266, 267, 268, 269, 270, 271, 272, 273, 274, 275, 276, 277, 278, 279, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 287, 288, 289, 290, 291, 292, 293, 294, 295, 296, 297 CHATHAM Tract: 0029. Tract: 0030. Tract: 0034. Block Group: 3 Block Group: 4 Block Group: 5 Block Group: 6 Tract: 0035.01 Tract: 0035.02 Block: 301, 303, 304, 305, 306, 307, 308, 309, 310, 312, 313, 314 Block Group: 4 Tract: 0039. Block Group: 1 Block: 401, 402, 403 Tract: 0040.01 Block Group: 2 Block Group: 3 Block Group: 4 Block Group: 5 Tract: 0040.02 Block: 106A, 106B, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112A, 112B, 113, 114, 115, 116A, 116B, 117A, 117B Block Group: 2 Block Group: 3 Block Group: 4 Block Group: 5 Tract: 0041. Tract: 0042.02 Block Group: 2 Block Group: 3 Block Group: 4 Block Group: 5

Page 44

Block Group: 6 Block Group: 7 Block Group: 8 Block Group: 9 Tract: 0042.03 Block Group: 3 Block Group: 4 Block Group: 5 Block Group: 6 Block Group: 7 Tract: 0042.05 Tract: 0042.06 Tract: 0045. Block: 101B, 102 Tract: 0105.01 Block: 102A, 102B, 103A, 103B, 105A, 105B, 106, 107, 108, 109, 207A, 207B, 208, 209, 210, 211A, 211B, 212A, 214, 215, 216, 217, 218, 219A, 219B, 220, 221A, 221B, 222A, 222B, 222C, 223, 224, 225, 226, 227A, 227B, 228A, 228B, 229, 230, 231 Block Group: 3 Block Group: 4 Block Group: 5 Tract: 0105.02 Block: 101A, 101B, 107A, 107B, 108, 109, 213 Tract: 0106.04 Block: 142A, 143A, 147A, 148, 149 Tract: 0108.04 Tract: 0108.06 Tract: 0108.07 Tract: 0108.97 Block: 108A, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126A, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142 Block Group: 2 Tract: 0108.98 Tract: 0109.01 Tract: 0109.02 Tract: 0110.02 Tract: 0110.03 Tract: 0110.04 Tract: 0111.01 Block: 204, 205, 206, 207A, 225 Block Group: 3 Tract: 0111.02 Tract: 0111.03

Page 45

Tract: 0111.99 District No. 2 CHATHAM Tract: 0001. Tract: 0003. Tract: 0006.01 Tract: 0008. Tract: 0009. Tract: 0010. Tract: 0011. Tract: 0012. Tract: 0013. Tract: 0015. Tract: 0017. Tract: 0018. Tract: 0019. Tract: 0020. Tract: 0021. Tract: 0022. Tract: 0023. Tract: 0024. Tract: 0025. Tract: 0026. Tract: 0027. Tract: 0028. Tract: 0032. Tract: 0033.01 Tract: 0033.02 Tract: 0034. Block Group: 1 Block Group: 2 Tract: 0035.02 Block Group: 1 Block Group: 2 Block: 302 Tract: 0036.01 Tract: 0036.02 Tract: 0037. Tract: 0038. Tract: 0039. Block Group: 2 Block Group: 3 Block: 404, 405, 406A, 406B, 407A, 407B, 408, 409, 410A, 410B, 411, 412A, 412B Tract: 0040.01 Block Group: 1

Page 46

Tract: 0040.02 Block: 101, 102, 103, 104A, 104B, 105, 118A, 118B Tract: 0042.02 Block Group: 1 Tract: 0042.03 Block Group: 1 Block Group: 2 Tract: 0043. Tract: 0044. Tract: 0045. Block: 101A, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134A, 134B, 134C Block Group: 2 Block Group: 3 Block Group: 4 Tract: 0101.01 Tract: 0101.02 Tract: 0102. Tract: 0105.01 Block: 101A, 101B, 104A, 104B, 201, 202, 203A, 203B, 204A, 204B, 205A, 205B, 206, 212B, 213 Tract: 0105.02 Block: 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212 Tract: 0106.01 Tract: 0106.03 Tract: 0106.04 Block: 101A, 101B, 102A, 102B, 103A, 103B, 104A, 104B, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114A, 114B, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119A, 119B, 120A, 120B, 121A, 121B, 122A, 122B, 123, 124A, 124B, 125, 126A, 126B, 127A, 127B, 127C, 128, 129A, 129B, 130, 131A, 131B, 132, 133, 134, 135A, 135B, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142B, 143B, 144, 145, 146, 147B, 150, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155 Tract: 0106.05 Tract: 0106.99 Tract: 0107.98 Tract: 0108.97 Block: 101B, 102B, 103C, 104B, 106A, 107A, 110, 119, 143, 144, 145B, 146, 147, 148, 149 Tract: 0111.01 Block Group: 1 Block: 201, 202, 203, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 216, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 223, 224 Block Group: 4 Block Group: 5

Page 47

Tract: 0112.98 District No. 34 CLAYTON Tract: 0404.03 Block: 206A, 206C, 211, 212A, 212B, 214A, 214B, 217, 218, 220, 221A, 221B, 222, 223, 224 Tract: 0404.05 Block: 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 208, 216, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 228 Block Group: 3 Tract: 0404.06 Block: 204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 216, 217, 227, 228 Tract: 0405.05 Block: 601A Block: That part of 601B which lies south of a branch of Camp Creek Block: 602, 603, 604, 605, 606, 607, 608, 699A, 609B, 610A, 610B, 611, 612, 613, 614 Tract: 0405.06 Block: 207B, 207C, 207D Block Group: 4 Tract: 0405.07 Tract: 0405.08 Tract: 0406.03 Block Group: 1 Block Group: 4 Block Group: 5 Block Group: 6 Tract: 0406.04 Tract: 0406.05 Block: 204, 207A, 207B, 235 Block Group: 3 Block: 504, 506, 514, 515, 516 Tract: 0406.06 Tract: 0406.07 Tract: 0406.08 DOUGLAS Tract: 0801.98 Tract: 0802. Block: 101, 201, 204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 213, 217, 218, 219, 221, 222, 223, 224, 228 Block Group: 3 Block: 401, 402, 403B, 501, 502, 503, 511, 512, 513, 514, 515, 516, 517, 518, 519, 520 Tract: 0806.01

Page 48

Block: 201, 202, 203, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214 Block Group: 4 Block Group: 5 Block Group: 6 Tract: 0806.02 Tract: 0807.97 FAYETTE Tract: 1401.01 Tract: 1401.02 Tract: 1402.01 Tract: 1402.02 Block: 301, 302B, 303, 304B, 305B, 305C, 305D, 307, 308, 401, 402, 403B, 403C, 406, 407, 501B, 502B, 502C, 502D, 504, 505, 506B, 508B Tract: 1404.01 Block Group: 2 Block: 301, 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 307A, 307E, 307F, 307G, 307H, 308, 309, 310A, 310B, 310C, 311, 312A, 312B, 312C, 312E, 313A, 313B, 314A, 315A, 318A, 318B, 319A, 320, 321A Block Group: 5 Tract: 1404.02 Block Group: 1 Block Group: 2 Block Group: 3 FULTON Tract: 0103.01 Block: 710, 711, 712, 713, 714, 715, 716, 717, 718, 719, 720, 801, 802, 803, 804, 805, 806, 807, 808, 809, 810, 811, Block: 812, 813, 814, 815, 816, 817, 818, 819, 820, 821, 822, 823, 824, 825, 826, 827, 828, 829, 830, 831, 832, 833, 834, 835, 836, 837, 838, 839, 840 Tract: 0104. District No. 44 CLAYTON Tract: 0401. Tract: 0402. Tract: 0403.01 Tract: 0403.02 Tract: 0403.03 Tract: 0403.04 Tract: 0403.05 Tract: 0404.01 Tract: 0404.02 Tract: 0404.03 Block Group: 1 Block: 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206B, 206D, 207, 208, 209, 210A, 210B, 213, 214C, 215, 216, 219, 225, 226, 227, 228, 229

Page 49

Block Group: 3 Block Group: 4 Tract: 0404.05 Block Group: 1 Block: 206, 207, 227 Tract: 0404.06 Block Group: 1 Block: 201, 202, 203, 218, 219, 220, 234, 235, 236, 237 Block Group: 9 Tract: 0405.03 Tract: 0405.04 Tract: 0405.05 Block Group: 2 Block Group: 3 Block Group: 4 Block Group: 5 Block: That part of 601B which lies north of a branch of Camp Creek Tract: 0405.06 Block: 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 207A, 208, 209, 210, 211A, 211B, 211C, 212, 213, 214, 215, 216 Block Group: 3 Tract: 0406.03 Block Group: 2 Block Group: 3 Block Group: 7 Block Group: 9 Tract: 0406.05 Block: 201, 202, 203A, 203B, 205A, 205B, 206A, 206B, 208, 226, 230, 231, 232, 233, 236, 237, 238, 239, 240, 241, 243 Block Group: 4 Block: 501, 502, 503, 505, 507, 508, 509, 510, 511, 512, 513 Approved April 1, 1999. COURTSSUPERIOR COURTS; SOUTHWESTERN JUDICIAL CIRCUIT; ADDITIONAL JUDGE. Code Section 15-6-2 Amended. No. 31 (House Bill No. 292). AN ACT To amend Code Section 15-6-2 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to numbers of judges of superior courts, so as to provide for a third

Page 50

judge of the superior courts of the Southwestern Judicial Circuit of Georgia; to provide for the appointment of the first such additional judge by the Governor; to provide for the election of successors to the judge initially appointed; to prescribe the powers, duties, jurisdiction, privileges, and immunities of said judge; to prescribe the compensation, salary, county supplement, and expense allowance of said judge; to authorize the judges of the superior courts of said circuit to adopt, promulgate, amend, and enforce rules of practice and procedure in the courts in such circuit and to provide for the allocation of the work and duties in transacting the business of said courts; to provide for the judge senior in term of continuous service to be the chief judge; to provide for the chief judge to make appointments provided for by law; to provide for writs and other official papers and the return thereof; 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 . Code Section 15-6-2 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to numbers of judges of superior courts, is amended by striking paragraph (36) and inserting in its place a new paragraph to read as follows: (36) Southwestern Circuit.....3 SECTION 2 . One additional judge of the superior courts is added to the Southwestern Judicial Circuit, thereby increasing to three the number of judges of said circuit. SECTION 3 . Said additional judge shall be appointed by the Governor for a term of office beginning on January 1, 2000, and continuing through December 31, 2000, and until that judge's successor is elected and qualified. That judge's successor shall be elected in the manner provided by law for the election of judges of the superior courts of this state at the general election in November, 2000, for a term of four years beginning on the first day of January, 2001, and until that judge's successor is elected and qualified. Future successors shall be elected at the general election each four 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. Such elections shall be held and conducted in the manner provided by law for the election of judges of the superior courts of this state. SECTION 4 . The additional judge of the superior courts of the Southwestern Judicial Circuit of Georgia shall have and may exercise all powers, duties, jurisdiction,

Page 51

privileges, and immunities of the present judges of the superior courts of this state. SECTION 5 . The compensation, salary, county supplement, and expense allowance for such additional judge shall be the same as that of the other judges of the superior courts of the Southwestern Judicial Circuit. SECTION 6 . Upon and after qualification of the additional judge of the superior court for the Southwestern Judicial Circuit of Georgia, the three judges of said court 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 business of 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 disagreement among the judges in respect hereof, the decision of the senior judge in point of service shall be controlling. SECTION 7 . The judge of the court, senior in term of continuous service, shall be the chief judge of the court. The power to make all appointments, whenever the law provides for the superior court judges to make appointments, shall vest in the chief judge, unless otherwise provided by law. SECTION 8 . All writs, processes, orders, subpoenas, and any other official paper issuing out of the superior courts of the Southwestern Judicial Circuit may bear teste in the name of any judge of the Southwestern Judicial Circuit and, when issued by and in the name of any judge of said circuit, shall be fully valid and may be heard and determined before the same or any other judge of said circuit. Any judge of said court may preside over any cause therein and perform any official act as judge thereof. SECTION 9 . Northing in this Act 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. SECTION 10 . (a) For the purpose of appointing the initial additional judge pursuant to Section 3 of this Act, this Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval.

Page 52

(b) Except as provided in subsection (a) of this section, this Act shall become effective January 1, 2000. SECTION 11 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 1, 1999. ELECTIONSELECTIONS AND PRIMARIES GENERALLY; VARIOUS PROVISIONS. Code Title 21, Chapter 2 Amended. No. 32 (House Bill No. 530). AN ACT To amend Chapter 2 of Title 21 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to elections and primaries generally, so as to change provisions relating to qualifying fees; to clarify the computation of time provision; to provide that certain persons who hold elective office cannot simultaneously serve as an election superintendent; to provide that in municipal special elections certain notice requirements shall not apply; to provide that notice of write-in candidacy shall be filed and published; to clarify provisions relating to designation of office sought in certain elections; to limit the number of offices an individual may run for in a primary, election, or special election; to change provisions relating to the determination of the residence of a person registering to vote; to change provisions relating to mailing notice to ineligible or deceased electors; to clarify provisions relating to the way to qualify as an absentee elector; to change certain provisions relating to requesting absentee ballots; to provide that the board of registrars may establish other government buildings generally accessible to the public as additional registrar's offices or places of registration for the purpose of receiving absentee ballots and for the purpose of voting absentee ballots; to provide for the disposition of rejected absentee ballots; to change provisions relating to permissible activities of poll watchers; to change provisions relating to the counting of ballots in counties using vote recorders; to change provisions relating to the number of votes required for election in certain municipalities; to provide that offering or receiving something of value for the purposes of voting or registering is a felony; to make conforming and housekeeping changes relating the 1998 merger of the general and municipal election codes; 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 21 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to elections and primaries generally, is amended by striking subsection (d)

Page 53

of Code Section 21-2-5, relating to qualifications of candidates, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (d) In the event that a candidate pays his or her qualifying fee with a check that is subsequently returned for insufficient funds, the Secretary of State shall automatically find that such candidate has not met the qualifications for holding the office being sought, unless the bank, credit union, or other financial institution returning the check certifies in writing by an officer's or director's oath that the bank, credit union, or financial institution erred in returning the check. (e) The elector filing the challenge or the candidate challenged shall have the right to appeal the decision of the Secretary of State by filing a petition in the Superior Court of Fulton County within ten days after the entry of the final decision by the Secretary of State. The filing of the petition shall not itself stay the decision of the Secretary of State; however, the reviewing court may order a stay upon appropriate terms for good cause shown. As soon as possible after service of the petition, the Secretary of State shall transmit the original or a certified copy of the entire record of the proceedings under review to the reviewing court. The review shall be conducted by the court without a jury and shall be confined to the record. The court shall not substitute its judgment for that of the Secretary of State as to the weight of the evidence on questions of fact. The court may affirm the decision or remand the case for further proceedings. The court may reverse or modify the decision if substantial rights of the appellant have been prejudiced because the findings, inferences, conclusions, or decisions of the Secretary of State are: (1) In violation of the Constitution or laws of this state; (2) In excess of the statutory authority of the Secretary of State; (3) Made upon unlawful procedures; (4) Affected by other error of law; (5) Clearly erroneous in view of the reliable, probative, and substantial evidence on the whole record; or (6) Arbitrary or capricious or characterized by an abuse of discretion or a clearly unwarranted exercise of discretion. An aggrieved party may obtain a review of any final judgment of the superior court by the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court, as provided by law. SECTION 2 . Said chapter is further amended by striking Code Section 21-2-14, relating to the computation of time, and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Page 54

21-2-14. Unless otherwise stated in a specific Code section of this chapter, time periods under this chapter include Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays. When the last day for the exercise of any privilege or the discharge of any duty prescribed or required by this chapter shall fall on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the next succeeding business day shall be the last day for the exercise of such privilege or the discharge of such duty. SECTION 3 . Said chapter is further amended by striking Code Section 21-2-76, relating to eligibility of persons holding elective office or office in a political party to serve as an election superintendent, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 21-2-76. No person who holds elective office, as defined in this chapter and including every municipal office to which persons can be elected by a vote of the electors under the laws of this state but excluding the office of probate judge, shall be eligible to serve as county or municipal election superintendent during the term of such elective office; and the position of any election superintendent other than a probate judge shall be deemed vacant upon such superintendent's qualifying as a candidate for elective public office, as defined in this chapter and including any municipal office to which persons can be elected by a vote of the electors under the laws of this state. SECTION 4 . Said chapter is further amended by striking subsection (a) of Code Section 21-2-131, relating to the fixing, publishing, and manner of payment of qualifying fees, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (a) Qualification fees for party and public offices shall be fixed and published as follows: (1) The governing authority of any county or municipality, not later than February 1 of any year in which a general primary, nonpartisan primary, or general election is to be held, and at least 20 days prior to the special primary or election in the case of a special primary or special election, shall fix and publish a qualifying fee for each county or municipal office to be filled in the upcoming primary or election. Such fee shall be 3 percent of the total gross salary of the office paid in the preceding calendar year including all supplements authorized by law if a salaried office; provided, however, that for the offices of clerk of the superior court, judge of the probate court, sheriff, tax commissioner, and magistrate, the qualifying fee shall be 3 percent of the minimum salary provided by general law for the office, exclusive of cost-of-living increases and longevity increases. If not a salaried

Page 55

office, a reasonable fee shall be set by the governing authority of such county or municipality, such fee not to exceed 3 percent of the income derived from such county office by the person holding the office for the preceding year or more than $35.00 for a municipal office; (2) Within the same time limitation as provided in paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Secretary of State shall fix and publish a qualifying fee for any candidate qualifying by this method with a state political party and for any candidate qualifying with the Secretary of State for a nonpartisan primary and for any candidate filing with the Secretary of State his or her notice of candidacy for a general or special election. Such fee shall be 3 percent of the annual salary of the office if a salaried office, except that the fee for members of the General Assembly shall be $400.00. If not a salaried office, a reasonable fee shall be set by the Secretary of State, such fee not to exceed 3 percent of the income derived from such office by the person holding the office for the preceding year; (3) A reasonable qualifying fee may be set according to party rule for each political party office to be filled in a primary. Such fees shall be set and published by the county or state political party not later than February 1 of the year in which the primary is to be held for the filling of such party office. SECTION 5 . Said chapter is further amended by striking subsection (c) of Code Section 21-2-132, relating to filing a notice of candidacy, and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (c) to read as follows: (c) All other candidates shall file their notice of candidacy and pay the prescribed qualifying fee by the date prescribed in this subsection in order to be eligible to have their names placed on the election ballot by the Secretary of State or election superintendent, as the case may be, in the following manner: (1) Each candidate for federal or state office, or his or her agent, desiring to have his or her name placed on the election ballot shall file a notice of his or her candidacy, giving his or her name, residence address, and the office he or she is seeking, in the office of the Secretary of State no earlier than 9:00 A.M. on the fourth Monday in June immediately prior to the election and no later than 12:00 Noon on the Friday following the fourth Monday in June in the case of a general election and no earlier than the date of the call of the election and no later than 25 days prior to the election in the case of a special election; (2) Each candidate for a county office, or his or her agent, desiring to have his or her name placed on the election ballot shall file notice of his or her candidacy in the office of the superintendent of his or her

Page 56

county no earlier than 9:00 A.M. on the fourth Monday in June immediately prior to the election and no later than 12:00 Noon on the Friday following the fourth Monday in June in the case of a general election and no earlier than the date of the call of the election and no later than 25 days prior to the election in the case of a special election; (3) Each candidate for municipal office or a designee shall file a notice of candidacy in the office of the municipal superintendent of such candidate's municipality during the municipality's qualifying period. Each municipal superintendent shall designate the days of the qualifying period, which shall be no less than three days and no more than five days. The days of the qualifying period shall be consecutive days. Qualifying periods shall comply with the following: (A) In the case of a general election held in an odd-numbered year, the municipal qualifying period shall commence no earlier than 8:30 A.M. on the second Monday in September immediately preceding the general election and shall end no later than 4:30 P.M. on the following Friday; (B) In the case of a general election held in an even-numbered year, the municipal qualifying period shall commence no earlier than 8:30 A.M. on the last Monday in August immediately preceding the general election and shall end no later than 4:30 P.M. on the following Friday; and (C) In the case of a special election, the municipal qualifying period shall commence no earlier than the date of the call and shall end no later than 25 days prior to the election. The hours of qualifying each day shall be from 8:30 A.M. until 4:30 P.M. with one hour allowed for the lunch break; provided, however, that municipalities which have normal business hours which cover a lesser period of time shall conduct qualifying during normal business hours for each such municipality. Except in the case of a special election, notice of the opening and closing dates and the hours for candidates to qualify shall be published at least two weeks prior to the opening of the qualifying period. SECTION 6 . Said chapter is further amended by striking subsection (a) of Code Section 21-2-133, relating to notice of intent of write-in candidacy, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (a) No person elected on a write-in vote shall be eligible to hold office unless notice of his or her intention of candidacy was filed and published no earlier than January 1 and no later than the Tuesday after the first Monday in September prior to the election in the case of a general election or at least 20 or more days prior to a special election by the

Page 57

person to be a write-in candidate or by some other person or group of persons qualified to vote in the subject election, as follows: (1) In a state general or special election, notice shall be filed with the Secretary of State and published in a paper of general circulation in the state; (2) In a general or special election of county officers, notice shall be filed with the superintendent of elections in the county in which he or she is to be a candidate and published in the official organ of the same county; or (3) In a municipal general or special election, notice shall be filed with the superintendent and published in the official gazette of the municipality holding the election. SECTION 7 . Said chapter is further amended by striking Code Section 21-2-135, relating to the designation of specific office sought when the office has multiple officeholders with the same title, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 21-2-135. (a) (1) In the case of a public office having multiple officeholders with the same title, each candidate, including write-in candidates, shall designate the specific office he or she is seeking, name the person such candidate is seeking to succeed, and give such other appropriate designation as may be required by the Secretary of State or election superintendent each time such candidate qualifies with his or her party in the case of a primary, files a notice of candidacy in the case of an election or a nonpartisan primary, or files a notice of candidacy as a write-in candidate. The designation of the specific office and the name of the person whom a candidate is seeking to succeed in the case of a public office having multiple officeholders shall be entered on the ballot and ballot labels in such manner that in the ensuing primary or election such candidate shall only oppose the other candidate or candidates, if any, who designated the same specific office and the same name. (2) In the case of a candidate, including a write-in candidate, seeking one of two or more municipal public offices, each having the same title and each being filled at the same election by the vote of the same electors, the applicable municipal charter or ordinance provisions shall govern whether such candidate shall designate the specific office he or she is seeking. If required to designate the specific office, the candidate shall name his or her incumbent or give other appropriate designation as specified in the charter or ordinance. Such designation shall be entered on the ballot and ballot labels in such manner that in

Page 58

the ensuing municipal primary or election such candidate shall only oppose the other candidate or candidates, if any, designating the same specific office. (b) In the case of the office of judge of a state court, judge of a superior court, Judge of the Court of Appeals, or Justice of the Supreme Court, the name of the person such candidate is seeking to succeed and such other designation as may be required by the Secretary of State or election superintendent shall be included in the title of the office on the ballot in all nonpartisan primaries and elections. SECTION 8 . Said chapter is further amended by striking Code Section 21-2-136, relating to the restriction on the number of offices for which an individual may be nominated or a candidate in any one election, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 21-2-136. No person shall be nominated, nor shall any person be a candidate in a primary, election, or special election, for more than one of the following public offices to be filled at any one election or special election: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State School Superintendent, Commissioner of Insurance, Commissioner of Agriculture, Commissioner of Labor, United States senator or representative in Congress, Public Service Commissioner, Justice of the Supreme Court, Judge of the Court of Appeals, members of the Senate and House of Representatives of the General Assembly, any elected county officer, and any elected municipal officer. SECTION 9 . Said chapter is further amended by striking paragraphs (12) and (13) of subsection (a) of Code Section 21-2-217, relating to rules for determining the residence of a person desiring to register to vote, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (12) If a person is adjudged mentally ill and is committed to an institution for the mentally ill, such person shall not be considered to have gained a residence for voting purposes in the county in which the institution to which such person is committed is located; (13) If a person goes into another state and while there exercises the right of a citizen by voting, such person shall be considered to have lost such person's residence in this state; and (14) The county or municipality in which a person has declared a homestead exemption, if a homestead exemption has been claimed, shall be deemed the county or municipality of the person's residence.

Page 59

SECTION 10 . Said chapter is further amended by striking Code Section 21-2-231, relating to lists of persons unqualified to vote and removal of and notice to such persons, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code section to read as follows: 21-2-231. (a) The clerk of the superior court of each county shall, on or before the tenth day of each month, prepare and transmit to the Secretary of State, in a format as prescribed by the Secretary of State, a complete list of all persons, including addresses, ages, and other identifying information as prescribed by the Secretary of State, who were convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude during the preceding calendar month in the county. (b) The judge of the probate court of each county shall, on or before the tenth day of each month, prepare and transmit to the Secretary of State, in a format as prescribed by the Secretary of State, a complete list of all persons, including addresses, ages, and other identifying information as prescribed by the Secretary of State, who were declared mentally incompetent during the preceding calendar month in the county and whose voting rights were removed. (c) The local registrar of vital statistics of each county shall, on or before the tenth day of each month, prepare and transmit to the Secretary of State, in a format as prescribed by the Secretary of State, a complete list of all persons, including addresses, ages, and other identifying information as prescribed by the Secretary of State, who died during the preceding calendar month in the county. The Secretary of State may, by agreement with the commissioner of human resources, obtain such information from the state registrar of vital statistics. (d) Upon receipt of such lists and the lists of persons convicted of felonies in federal courts received pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Section 1973gg-6(g), the Secretary of State shall transmit the names of such persons whose names appear on the list of electors to the appropriate county board of registrars who shall remove all such names from the list of electors and shall mail a notice of such action and the reason therefor to the last known address of such persons, other than those persons who are deceased, by first-class mail. (e) County registrars shall initiate appropriate action regarding the right of an elector to remain on the list of qualified registered voters within 60 days after receipt of the information described in this Code section. Failure to take such action may subject the registrars or the governing authority for whom the registrars are acting to a fine by the State Election Board.

Page 60

SECTION 11 . Said chapter is further amended by striking subsection (a) of Code Section 21-2-381, relating to application and eligibility for absentee ballots, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (a) (1) Not more than 180 days prior to the date of the primary or election, or runoff of either, in which the elector desires to vote, any absentee elector may make, either by mail, by facsimile transmission, or in person in the registrar's or absentee ballot clerk's office, an application for an official ballot of the elector's precinct to be voted at such primary, election, or runoff. In the case of an elector residing temporarily out of the county or municipality or a physically disabled elector residing within the county or municipality, the application for the elector's absentee ballot may, upon satisfactory proof of relationship, be made by such elector's mother, father, grandparent, aunt, uncle, sister, brother, spouse, son, daughter, niece, nephew, grandchild, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law of the age of 18 or over. The application shall be in writing and shall contain sufficient information for proper identification of the elector; the permanent or temporary address of the elector to which the absentee ballot shall be mailed; the identity of the primary, election, or runoff in which the elector wishes to vote; the reason for requesting the absentee ballot; and the name and relationship of the person requesting the ballot if other than the elector. Except in the case of physically disabled electors residing in the county or municipality, no absentee ballot shall be mailed to an address other than the permanent mailing address of the elector as recorded on the elector's voter registration record or a temporary out-of-county or out-of-municipality address. Relatives applying for absentee ballots for electors must also sign an oath stating that facts in the application are true. If the elector is unable to fill out or sign such elector's own application because of illiteracy or physical disability, the elector shall make such elector's mark, and the person filling in the rest of the application shall sign such person's name below it as a witness. One timely and proper application for an absentee ballot for use in a primary shall be sufficient to require the mailing of the absentee ballot for such primary as well as for any runoffs resulting therefrom and for the election for which such primary shall nominate candidates and any runoffs resulting therefrom to an eligible absentee elector who lives outside the county or municipality in which the election is held and is also a member of the armed forces of the United States, a member of the merchant marine of the United States, or a spouse or dependent of a member of the armed forces or the merchant marine residing with or accompanying said member or overseas citizen. Any elector meeting criteria of advanced age or disability specified by rule or regulation of the Secretary of State may request in writing on one application a ballot for a primary as well as for any runoffs resulting

Page 61

therefrom and for the election for which such primary shall nominate candidates as well as any runoffs resulting therefrom. If not so requested by such person a separate and distinct application shall be required for each primary, run-off primary, election, and run-off election. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a separate and distinct application for an absentee ballot shall always be required for the presidential preference primary held pursuant to Article 5 of this chapter and for any special election or special primary. (2) A properly executed registration card submitted under the provisions of subsection (b) of Code Section 21-2-219, if submitted within 180 days of a primary or election in which the registrant is entitled to vote, shall be considered to be an application for an absentee ballot under this Code section, or for a special absentee ballot under Code Section 21-2-381.1, as appropriate. (3) Any application for an official absentee ballot that is distributed by a person, entity, or organization shall require a voter to identify thereon which one of the legally acceptable categories of absentee electors listed in Code Section 21-2-380 authorizes the voter to vote by absentee ballot. SECTION 11A . Said chapter is further amended by striking subsection (a) of Code Section 21-2-382, relating to additional sites as additional registrar's office or place of registration for absentee ballots, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (a) Any other provisions of this chapter to the contrary notwithstanding, the board of registrars may establish additional sites as additional registrar's offices or places of registration for the purpose of receiving absentee ballots under Code Section 21-2-381 and for the purpose of voting absentee ballots under Code Section 21-2-385, provided that any such site is a branch of the county courthouse, a courthouse annex, a government service center providing general government services, or another government building generally accessible to the public. SECTION 12 . Said chapter is further amended by striking Code Section 21-2-384, relating to preparation and delivery of absentee ballot supplies, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 21-2-384. (a) The superintendent shall, as soon as practicable prior to each primary or election, but at least 45 days prior to any primary or general election other than a municipal primary or election, and at least 21 days prior to any municipal primary or general election, prepare, obtain, and deliver an adequate supply of official absentee ballots to the board of

Page 62

registrars or absentee ballot clerk for use in the primary or election. Envelopes and other supplies as required by this article may be ordered by the superintendent, the board of registrars, or the absentee ballot clerk for use in the primary or election. The board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk shall, within two days after the receipt of such ballots and supplies, mail or issue official absentee ballots to all eligible applicants; and, as additional applicants are determined to be eligible, the board or clerk shall mail or issue official absentee ballots to such additional applicants immediately upon determining their eligibility; provided, however, that no absentee ballot shall be mailed by the registrars or absentee ballot clerk on the day prior to a primary or election. The date a ballot is voted in the registrars' or absentee ballot clerk's office or the date a ballot is mailed to an elector and the date it is returned shall be entered on the application record therefor. The delivery of an absentee ballot to a person confined in a hospital may be made by the registrar or clerk on the day of a primary or election or during a five-day period immediately preceding the day of such primary or election. In the event an absentee ballot which has been mailed by the board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk is not received by the applicant, the applicant may notify the board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk and sign an affidavit stating that the absentee ballot has not been received. The board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk shall then issue a second absentee ballot to the applicant and cancel the original ballot issued. The affidavit shall be attached to the original application. A second application for an absentee ballot shall not be required. (b) In addition to the mailing envelope, the superintendent, board of registrars, or absentee ballot clerk shall provide two envelopes for each official absentee ballot, of such size and shape as shall be determined by the Secretary of State, in order to permit the placing of one within the other and both within the mailing envelope. On the smaller of the two envelopes to be enclosed in the mailing envelope shall be printed the words `Official Absentee Ballot' and nothing else. On the back of the larger of the two envelopes to be enclosed within the mailing envelope shall be printed the form of oath of the elector and the oath for persons assisting electors, as provided for in Code Section 21-2-409, and the penalties provided for in Code Sections 21-2-568, 21-2-573, 21-2-579, and 21-2-599 for violations of oaths; and on the face of such envelope shall be printed the name and address of the board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk. The mailing envelope addressed to the elector shall contain the two envelopes, the official absentee ballot, and the uniform instructions for the manner of preparing and returning the ballot, in form and substance as provided by the Secretary of State and nothing else. (c) The oaths referred to in subsection (b) of this Code section shall be in substantially the following form: I, the undersigned, do swear (or affirm) that I am a citizen of the United States and of the State of Georgia; that my residence address is

Page 63

County, Georgia; that I possess the qualifications of an elector required by the laws of the State of Georgia; that I am entitled to vote in the precinct containing my residence in the primary or election in which this ballot is to be cast; that I am eligible to vote by absentee ballot; that I have not marked or mailed any other absentee ballot, nor will I mark or mail another absentee ballot for voting in such primary or election; nor shall I vote therein in person; and that I have read and understand the instructions accompanying this ballot; and that I have carefully complied with such instructions in completing this ballot. I understand that the offer or acceptance of money or any other object of value to vote for any particular candidate, list of candidates, issue, or list of issues included in this election constitutes an act of voter fraud and is a felony under Georgia law. Oath of Person Assisting Elector (if any): I, the undersigned, do swear (or affirm) that I assisted the abovenamed elector in marking such elector's absentee ballot as such elector personally communicated such elector's presently possesses the disability noted below; and that by reason of such disability such elector is entitledto receive assistance in voting under provisions of subsection (a) of Code Section 21-2-409. This, the day of . Reason for assistance (Check appropriate square): () Elector is unable to read the English language. () Elector has following physical disability . The forms upon which such oaths are printed shall contain the following information: Georgia law provides, in subsection (b) of Code Section 21-2-409, that no person shall assist more than ten electors in any primary or election.

Page 64

Georgia law further provides that any person who knowingly falsifies information so as to vote illegally by absentee ballot or who illegally gives or receives assistance in voting, as specified in Code Section 21-2-568, 21-2-573, or 21-2-579, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. (d) Each board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk shall maintain for public inspection a master list, arranged by precincts, setting forth the name and residence of every elector to whom an official absentee ballot has been sent. Absentee electors whose names appear on the master list may be challenged by any elector prior to closing of the polls on the day of the primary or election. SECTION 13 . Said chapter is further amended by striking Code Section 21-2-390, relating to delivery of election materials to clerk of superior court after the primary or election, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code section to read as follows: 21-2-390. All official absentee ballots, applications for such ballots, and envelopes on which the forms of affidavits and jurats appear shall be delivered to the clerk of the superior court or the city clerk upon the conclusion of the primary or election and shall be safely kept by him or her for the period required by law and then shall be destroyed. The applications for such ballots shall be retained by the absentee ballot clerk for at least 24 months and then may be destroyed. On the day following the primary or election, the board of registrars or the municipal absentee ballot clerk shall transmit all canceled, spoiled, and rejected absentee ballots and copies of requests for cancellation of absentee ballots to the clerk of the superior court or the city clerk to be held with other election materials as provided in Code Section 21-2-500. The registrars or the municipal absentee ballot clerk shall also transmit an accounting of all absentee ballots, including the number furnished by the registrars or the municipal absentee ballot clerk, the number issued to electors, the number spoiled, and the number rejected. SECTION 14 . Said chapter is further amended by striking subsection (d) of Code Section 21-2-408, relating to poll watchers, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (d) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, a poll watcher may be permitted behind the enclosed space for the purpose of observing the conduct of the election and the counting and recording of votes. Such poll watcher shall in no way interfere with the conduct of the election, and the poll manager may make reasonable regulations to avoid such interference. Without in any way limiting the authority of poll

Page 65

managers, poll watchers are prohibited from talking to voters, checking electors lists, using photographic or other electronic monitoring or recording devices, or participating in any form of campaigning while they are behind the enclosed space. If a poll watcher persists in interfering with the conduct of the election or in violating any of the provisions of this Code section after being duly warned by the poll manager or superintendent, he or she may be removed by such official. Any infraction or irregularities observed by poll watchers shall be reported directly to the superintendent, not to the poll manager. The superintendent shall furnish a badge to each poll watcher bearing the words `Official Poll Watcher,' the name of the poll watcher, the primary or election in which the poll watcher shall serve, and either the precinct or tabulating center in which the poll watcher shall serve or a statement that such poll watcher is a state-wide poll watcher. The poll watcher shall wear such badge at all times while serving as a poll watcher. SECTION 15 . Said chapter is further amended by striking Code Section 21-2-411, relating to the return and retention of checked lists of electors and voter's certificates to the registrars, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 21-2-411. The chief manager in each precinct shall return a checked list of electors, reflecting those who voted and those who received assistance in voting and the voter's certificates to the superintendent, to be deposited with the registrars. The board of registrars shall keep such voter's certificates for at least 24 months and such electors lists for at least five years, and the same shall be available for public inspection. SECTION 16 . Said chapter is further amended by striking subsections (a), (b), and (c) of Code Section 21-2-471, relating to the counting of ballots and the printing and posting of returns in precincts using vote recorders, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (a) In primaries and elections in which vote recorders have been used, the ballot cards shall be counted at one or more tabulating machine centers under the direction of the superintendent. All persons who perform any duties at a tabulating machine center shall be deputized by the superintendent, and only persons so deputized shall touch any ballot card, container, paper, or machine utilized in the conduct of the count or be permitted to be inside the area designated for officers deputized to conduct the count. (b) All proceedings at a tabulating machine center or other locations designated by the superintendent as provided in subsection (c) of this Code section shall be open to the view of the public, but no person

Page 66

except one employed and designated for the purpose by the superintendent or his or her authorized deputy shall touch any ballot cards or ballot card container. (c) At a tabulating machine center or such other location or locations designated by the superintendent for this purpose, the seal on each container of ballot cards shall be inspected, and it shall be certified that the seal has not been broken before the container is opened. In no event shall a ballot container be opened at such other location or locations. The ballot container shall only be opened and the ballots counted at a tabulating machine center. The ballot cards and other contents of the container shall then be removed, and the ballot cards shall be prepared for processing by the tabulating machine. The ballot cards of each polling place shall be plainly identified and not commingled with the ballot cards of other polling places. SECTION 17 . Said chapter is further amended by striking subsection (b) of Code Section 21-2-501, relating to the number of votes required for election, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (b) For the purposes of this subsection and notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (22) of Code Section 21-2-2, the word `plurality' shall mean the receiving by one candidate alone of the highest number of votes cast. If the municipal charter or ordinances of a municipality as now existing or as amended subsequent to September 1, 1968, provide that a candidate may be nominated or elected by a plurality of the votes cast to fill such nomination or public office, such provision shall prevail. Otherwise, no municipal candidate shall be nominated for public office in any primary or elected to public office in any election unless such candidate shall have received a majority of the votes cast to fill such nomination or public office. SECTION 18 . Said chapter is further amended by striking Code Section 21-2-570, relating to vote buying and selling, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code section to read as follows: 21-2-570. Any person who gives or receives, offers to give or receive, or participates in the giving or receiving of money or gifts for the purpose of registering as a voter, voting, or voting for a particular candidate in any primary or election shall be guilty of a felony. SECTION 19 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 1, 1999.

Page 67

COURTSSUPERIOR COURTS; TOWALIGA JUDICIAL CIRCUIT; CREATION; FLINT JUDICIAL CIRCUIT; COUNTIES. Code Sections 15-6-1, 15-6-2, and 15-6-3 Amended. No. 34 (Senate Bill No. 117). AN ACT To create a new judicial circuit for the State of Georgia, to be known as the Towaliga Judicial Circuit, to be composed of the Counties of Butts, Lamar, and Monroe; to provide for the continuation of the Flint Judicial Circuit to be composed solely of Henry County; to provide for judges of the superior court and a district attorney and for the transfer of proceedings to such circuit; to require candidates for such judgeships to designate the places for which they are running; to prescribe the powers, duties, jurisdiction, privileges, and immunities of such judges; to provide for a chief judge and to prescribe his or her powers, duties, and privileges; to prescribe the compensation, salary, and expense allowance of said judges and district attorney to be paid by the State of Georgia; to provide for a salary supplement to be paid to said judge and district attorney from funds of Butts, Lamar, and Monroe counties; to provide for effective date provisions with respect to certain local Acts relating to salary supplements; to provide for the issuance of official papers and before whom heard; to provide the manner of drawing and impaneling jurors; to provide facilities, office space, supplies, equipment, and personnel for said judges and district attorney; to declare inherent authority; to amend Chapter 6 of Title 15 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to superior courts, so as to provide for a new judicial circuit; to change the number of judges in the Flint Judicial Circuit; to provide for the judges of the superior court and the terms of court in such circuits; to provide for other matters relative to the foregoing; 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 . (a) Effective July 1, 1999, there is created a new judicial circuit of the superior courts of this state, to be known as the Towaliga Judicial Circuit, which circuit shall be composed of the Butts, Lamar, and Monroe counties. The offices of judge of the superior court and district attorney of the Towaliga Judicial Circuit are created for said circuit. (b) The superior court judge who formerly served in the Flint Judicial Circuit and who is a resident of Lamar County shall become the initial judge of the Towaliga Judicial Circuit and shall complete the term for which elected and shall serve until a successor is elected and qualified. (c) The initial district attorney of the Towaliga Judicial Circuit shall be appointed by the Governor for a term of office beginning July 1, 1999, and

Page 68

continuing through December 31, 2000, and shall serve until a successor is elected and qualified. (d) Successors to the initial judge and district attorney shall be elected in the general election immediately preceding the expiration of a term of office and shall be elected for terms of office of four years each and until their respective successors are duly elected and qualified. Successors to the offices of judge and district attorney shall take office on the first day of January following their election. (e) The compensation and allowances of the judge and district attorney of said circuit shall be as now or hereafter provided by law. (f) All civil, equitable, and criminal proceedings and litigations pending in the superior courts of Butts, Lamar, and Monroe counties at such time as they were a part of the Flint Judicial Circuit, including all complaints, pleadings, petitions, indictments, special presentments, summonses, processes, motions, writs, mesne, and final proceedings, together with all books and records of any kind or character belonging to, issued, returnable, filed, pending, or commenced in such counties shall relate to, become a part of, and be transferred to the appropriate superior courts of the Towaliga Judicial Circuit and its jurisdiction when such circuit comes into existence. SECTION 2 . (a) Effective July 1, 1999, the Flint Judicial Circuit, which was formerly composed of Butts, Henry, Lamar, and Monroe counties, shall continue in existence and shall be composed solely of Henry County. (b) The superior court judges serving in the Fling Judicial Circuit and who are residents of Henry County shall continue in office as judges of the Flint Judicial Circuit, shall complete the terms for which elected, and shall serve until their successors are elected and qualified. (c) The district attorney serving in the Flint Judicial Circuit and who is a resident of Henry County shall continue in office as district attorney of the Flint Judicial Circuit, shall complete the term for which elected, and shall serve until a successor is elected and qualified. SECTION 3 . Every person who shall offer for nomination and election as judge of the superior courts of the Towaliga Judicial Circuit of Georgia shall designate with the proper authority in all general elections the specific judgeship for which he or she is offering as a candidate by naming the incumbent judge whom he or she desires to succeed, and thereupon he or she shall be qualified, if otherwise qualified to offer as a candidate for said specific judgeship and no other. In the event there is no incumbent judge in the place for which such person desires to offer, the candidate shall qualify by

Page 69

announcing his or her intention to offer as a candidate for the office for which there is no incumbent. SECTION 4 . The judge of the superior courts of the Towaliga Judicial Circuit of Georgia shall have and may exercise all powers, duties, dignities, jurisdiction, privileges, and immunities of the present judges of the superior courts of this state. Any of the judges of such courts may preside over any cause, whether in his or her own or in other circuits, and perform any official act as judge thereof, including sitting on appellate courts as provided by law. SECTION 5 . The initial judge of the Towaliga Judicial Circuit shall be the chief judge of the Towaliga Judicial Circuit. In the event one or more judgeships are added to such circuit, the chief judge shall be the judge of such circuit who is senior in length of continuous service as a superior court judge. Such chief judge shall be responsible for the administration and the expeditious disposition of the business of the superior courts of such circuit, both civil and criminal, and shall have power to make such rules as he or she shall deem necessary or proper for such purpose but not in conflict with the general laws of this state, which rules, when approved by such chief judge and filed in the office of the clerk of the superior court of Butts, Lamar, and Monroe counties, shall be binding upon the other judge or judges of such circuit. The chief judge shall be vested with the power to make all appointments whenever the law provides for the superior court judge to make appointments. Such chief judge may by published rule, or from time to time by order, allocate the jurisdiction and powers of the superior court of such circuit and the duties of the judges thereof; may assign to the other judges of such circuit such of the business of such circuit as the chief judge shall deem appropriate; may make and publish calendars, both civil and criminal; may require reports from the clerk of the court of such circuit and from other judges of such circuit relative to business of the courts; and generally shall supervise and direct the disposition of all business, both civil and criminal, of such courts. SECTION 6 . (a) (1) The compensation, salary, and expense allowance for the judge and district attorney of the superior courts of the Towaliga Judicial Circuit shall be the same as that provided by the State of Georgia for other judges and district attorneys of the superior courts of Georgia. (2) Such judge, district attorney, and chief assistant district attorney shall receive initial local salary supplements in the same amount heretofore prescribed by law for the other judges, district attorney, and chief assistant district attorney of the superior courts of the Flint Judicial Circuit, and such supplements shall be paid proportionally

Page 70

from the funds of Butts, Lamar, and Monroe counties. Such supplements may thereafter be altered by local law applicable to the Towaliga Judicial Circuit but may not be diminished or withdrawn during a term of office. (b) The compensation, salary, and expense allowance for the judges and district attorney of the superior courts of the Flint Judicial Circuit shall be the same as that provided by the State of Georgia for other judges and district attorneys of the superior courts of Georgia. (c) Such judges, district attorney, and chief assistant district attorney shall continue to receive local salary supplements in the same amount heretofore prescribed by law for the other judges, district attorney, and chief assistant district attorney of the superior courts of the Flint Judicial Circuit, and such supplements shall be paid from the funds of Henry County. Such supplements may thereafter be altered by local law applicable to the Flint Judicial Circuit but may not be diminished or withdrawn during a term of office. (d) Any local Acts required to maintain the current salary supplements received by the judges of the Flint Judicial Circuit and the Towaliga Judicial Circuit so as to comply with the provisions of Article VI, Section VII, Paragraph V of the Constitution of this state shall become effective July 1, 1999, notwithstanding any provision of Code Section 1-3-4.1 to the contrary. SECTION 7 . All writs, processes, orders, subpoenas, and other official papers issuing out of the superior courts of the Towaliga Judicial Circuit may bear teste in the name of any judge of said Towaliga Judicial Circuit. When issued by and in the name of any judge of such circuit, they shall be fully valid and may be determined before any judge in the regular course of business of such courts. Any judge of such courts may preside over any cause therein and perform any official act as judge thereof. SECTION 8 . 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. Any of such judges 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 9 . (a) The board of commissioners of Butts, Lamar, and Monroe counties shall furnish all judges and district attorneys of the courts of the Towaliga Judicial Circuit with suitable courtrooms and facilities, office space, telephones, furniture, office equipment, supplies, and such personnel as may be considered necessary to the proper functioning of the courts. All of

Page 71

the expenditures authorized in this Act are declared to be an expense of court and payable out of the county treasury as such. (b) The board of commissioners of Henry County shall continue to furnish all judges and district attorneys of the courts of the Flint Judicial Circuit with suitable courtrooms and facilities, office space, telephones, furniture, office equipment, supplies, and such personnel as may be considered necessary to the proper functioning of the courts. All of the expenditures authorized in this Act are declared to be an expense of court and payable out of the county treasury as such. SECTION 10 . Nothing enumerated in this Act shall be deemed to limit or restrict the inherent powers, duties, and responsibilities of superior court judges or district attorney provided by the Constitution and statutes of the State of Georgia. SECTION 11 . Chapter 6 of Title 15 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to superior courts, is amended by striking paragraph (18) of Code Section 15-6-1, relating to composition of the judicial circuits, and inserting in its place a new paragraph (18) to read as follows: (18) Flint Judicial Circuit, composed of the County of Henry; . SECTION 12 . Said chapter is further amended in Code Section 15-6-1, relating to composition of the judicial circuits, by adding a new paragraph immediately following paragraph (40), to be designated paragraph (40.1) to read as following: (40.1) Towaliga Judicial Circuit, composed of the Counties of Butts, Monroe, and Lamar; . SECTION 13 . Said chapter is further amended in Code Section 15-6-2, relating to the number of judges, by striking paragraph (18) and inserting in its place a new paragraph (18) to read as follows: (18) Flint Circuit.....2 SECTION 14 . Said chapter is further amended in Code Section 15-6-2, relating to the number of judges, by inserting a new paragraph to be designated paragraph (40.1) to read as follows: (40.1) Towaliga Circuit.....1

Page 72

SECTION 15 . Said chapter is further amended by striking paragraph (18) of Code Section 15-6-3, relating to terms of court, and inserting in its place a new paragraph (18) to read as follows: (18) Flint Circuit: Henry CountyFourth Monday in January, April, and October and second Monday in July., and by adding a new paragraph (40.1) to read as follows: (40.1) Towaliga Circuit: (A) Butts CountyFirst and second Mondays in February and November; first Monday in May; and third and fourth Mondays in August. (B) Lamar CountyFirst and second Mondays in March, June, and December and second and third Mondays in September. (C) Monroe CountyThird and fourth Mondays in February, May, and November and first and second Mondays in August. SECTION 16 . This Act shall become effective on July 1, 1999. SECTION 17 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. February 11, 1999 The Honorable Mike Crotts State Senator Legislative Office Building, Suite 304-A Atlanta, Georgia 30334 SUBJECT: Fiscal Note Senate Bill 117(LC 18 9304) Dear Senator Crotts: This bill would create a new judicial circuit, the Towaliga Judicial Circuit. The Towaliga Judicial Circuit, which would consist of Butts, Lamar, and Monroe Counties, would have one superior court judge and a district attorney. The bill specifies that one of the judges of the current Flint Judicial Circuit (which consists of Butts, Henry, Lamar, and Monroe Counties) would become the judge in the Towaliga Circuit. The bill also provides for compensation, salary and expense allowances for the judge and district attorney of the Towaliga Circuit to be paid by the State. In addition, Butts, Lamar, and Monroe Counties would pay a salary supplement

Page 73

and other costs. Finally, the number of judges in the remaining Flint Circuit (Henry County) would be reduced by one. This fiscal impact of this bill to the State would be between approximately $282,000 and $421,000 annually. These costs include salaries and benefits of approximately $278,000 to $417,000 for a district attorney, an assistant district attorney, two secretaries for the district attorney's office, an investigator and a law clerk. The remaining $4,000 of the total cost of this bill is estimated travel expenses for the positions listed above. Butts, Lamar, and Monroe Counties would be responsible for additional costs of the new Towaliga Judicial Circuit. Because the Judges of the current Flint Judicial Circuit are based in Henry County, additional costs for equipment, facilities and supplies would be incurred by Butts, Lamar, and Monroe counties. Sincerely, s/Claude L. Vickers State Auditor s/Tim Burgess, Director Office of Planning and Budget CLV/TB/als NOTICE OF INTENTION TO INTRODUCE LOCAL LEGISLATION Notice is given that there will be introduced at the regular 1999 session of the General Assembly of Georgia a bill to create a new judicial circuit for the State of Georgia, to be known as the Towaliga Judicial Circuit, to be composed of the Counties of Butts, Lamar and Monroe; to provide for the continuation of the Flint Judicial Circuit to be composed solely of Henry County; to provide for judges of the superior court and a district attorney and for the transfer of proceedings to such circuit; to require candidates for such judgeships to designate the places for which they are running; to prescribe the powers, duties, jurisdiction, privileges, and immunities of such judges; to provide for a chief judge and to prescribe his or her powers, duties and privileges; to prescribe the compensation, salary and expense allowances of said judges and district attorney to be paid by the State of Georgia; to provide for a salary supplement to be paid to said judge and district attorney from funds of Butts, Lamar and Monroe counties; to provide for effective date provisions with respect to certain local acts relating to salary supplements; to provide for the issuance of official papers and before whom heard; to provide the manner of drawing and impaneling jurors; to provide facilities, office space, supplies, equipment and personnel for said judges and district attorney; to declare inherent authority; to amend Chapter 6 of Title 15 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to superior courts, so as to provide for a new judicial

Page 74

circuit; to change the number of judges in the Flint Judicial Circuit; to provide for the judges of the superior court and the terms of court in such circuits; to provide for other matters relative to the foregoing; to provide for an effective date; and for other purposes. This 3rd day of February, 1999. /s/Larry Smith Representative Larry Smith 109th District GEORGIA, FULTON COUNTY Personally appeared before me, the undersigned authority, duly authorized to administer oaths, Mike D. Crotts, who on oath deposes and says that he is the Senator from the 17th District and further deposes and says as follows: (1) That the attached Notice of Intention to Introduce Local Legislation was published in the Herald-Gazette which is the official organ of Lamar County on the following date: February 16, 1999. (2) That the laws requiring notice of local legislation were further complied with in the manner checked below: _ A copy of the notice of intention was mailed, transmitted by facsimile, or otherwise provided to the governing authority of any county, municipality, or consolidated government whose charter or enabling Act is amended, as required by subsection (b) of Code Section 28-1-14. _ The notice requirement of subsection (b) of Code Section 28-1-14 does not apply because the bill was requested by resolution or other written notification of the governing authority of the affected county, municipality, or consolidated government and a copy of such resolution or other written notification is attached hereto. _ The notice requirement of subsection (b) of Code Section 28-1-14 does not apply because the bill does not amend the charter of a municipality or the enabling Act of a county or consolidated government or the bill affects a local school system. [UNK] The notice requirement of subsection (b) of Code Section 28-1-14 does not apply because the bill is an annexation bill and a copy of the bill was provided to the county governing authority within which the area proposed to be annexed is located at the time the notice was published, as required by Code Section 28-1-14.1. s/ MIKE D. CROTTS Senator, 17th District Sworn to and subscribed before me, this 22nd day of February, 1999.

Page 75

s/ TERESA ADKINS Notary Public, Clayton County, Georgia My Commission Expires Jan. 5, 2001 (SEAL) NOTICE OF INTENTION TO INTRODUCE LOCAL LEGISLATION Notice is given that there will be introduced at the regular 1999 session of the General Assembly of Georgia a bill to create a new judicial circuit for the State of Georgia, to be known as the Towaliga Judicial Circuit, to be composed of the Counties of Butts, Lamar and Monroe; to provide for the continuation of the Flint Judicial Circuit to be composed solely of Henry County; to provide for judges of the superior court and district attorney and for the transfer of proceedings to such circuit; to require candidates for such judgeships to designate the places for which they are running; to prescribe the powers, duties, jurisdiction, privileges, and immunities of such judges; to provide for a chief judge and to prescribe his or her powers, duties, and privileges; to prescribe the compensation, salary, and expense allowance of said judges and district attorney to be paid by the State of Georgia; to provide for a salary supplement to be paid to said judge and district attorney from funds of Butts, Lamar, and Monroe counties; to provide for effective date provisions with respect to certain local Acts relating to salary supplements; to provide for the issuance of official papers and before whom heard; to provide the manner of drawing and impaneling jurors; to provide facilities, office space, supplies, equipment, and personnel for said judges and district attorney; to declare inherent authority; to amend Chapter 6 of Title 15 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to superior courts, so as to provide for a new judicial circuit; to change the number of judges in the Flint Judicial Circuit; to provide for the judges of the superior court and the terms of court in such circuits; to provide for other matters relative to the foregoing; to provide for an effective date; and for other purposes. This 3rd Day of February, 1999. Representative Larry Smith 109th District GEORGIA, FULTON COUNTY Personally appeared before me, the undersigned authority, duly authorized to administer oaths, Mike D. Crotts, who on oath deposes and says that he is the Senator from the 17th District and further deposes and says as follows: (1) That the attached Notice of Intention to Introduce Local Legislation was published in the Jackson Progress-Argus which is the official organ of Butts County on the following date: February 10, 1999.

Page 76

(2) That the laws requiring notice of local legislation were further complied with in the manner checked below: A copy of the notice of intention was mailed, transmitted by facsimile, or otherwise provided to the governing authority of any county, municipality, or consolidated government whose charter or enabling Act is amended, as required by subsection (b) of Code Section 28-1-14. The notice requirement of subsection (b) of Code Section 28-1-14 does not apply because the bill was requested by resolution or other written notification of the governing authority of the affected county, municipality, or consolidated government and a copy of such resolution or other written notification is attached hereto. The notice requirement of subsection (b) of Code Section 28-1-14 does not apply because the bill does not amend the charter of a municipality or the enabling Act of a county or consolidated government or the bill affects a local school system. [UNK]The notice requirement of subsection (b) of Code Section 28-1-14 does not apply because the bill is an annexation bill and a copy of the bill was provided to the county governing authority within which the area proposed to be annexed is located at the time the notice was published, as required by Code Section 28-1-14.1. s/ MIKE D. CROTTS Senator, 17th District Sworn to and subscribed before me, this 15th day of February, 1999. s/ TERESA ADKINS Notary Public, Clayton County, Georgia My Commission Expires Jan. 5, 2001 (SEAL) Curtis S. Jenkins 110th District NOTICE OF INTENTION TO INTRODUCE LOCAL LEGISLATION Notice is given that there will be introduced at the regular 1999 session of the General Assembly of Georgia a bill to create a new judicial circuit for the State of Georgia, to be known as the Towaliga Judicial Circuit, to be composed of the Counties of Butts, Lamar, and Monroe; to provide for the continuation of the Flint Judicial Circuit to be composed solely of Henry County; to provide for judges of the superior court and a district attorney and for the transfer of proceedings to such circuit; to require candidates for such judgeships to designate the places for which they are running; to

Page 77

prescribe the powers, duties, jurisdiction, privileges, and immunities of such judges; to provide for a chief judge and to prescribe his or her powers, duties, and privileges; to prescribe the compensation, salary, and expense allowance of said judges and district attorney to be paid by the State of Georgia; to provide for a salary supplement to be paid to said judge and district attorney from funds of Butts, Lamar, and Monroe counties; to provide for effective date provisions with respect to certain local Acts relating to salary supplements; to provide for the issuance of official papers and before whom heard; to provide the manner of drawing and impaneling jurors; to provide facilities, office space, supplies, equipment, and personnel for said judges and district attorney; to declare inherent authority; to amend Chapter 6 of Title 15 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to superior courts, so as to provide for a new judicial circuit; to change the number of judges in the Flint Judicial Circuit; to provide for the judges of the superior court and the terms of court in such circuits; to provide for other matters relative to the foregoing, to provide for an effective date; and for other purposes. This 12th day of February, 1999. /s/Curtis S. Jenkins Representative Curtis S. Jenkins 110th District GEORGIA, FULTON COUNTY Personally appeared before me, the undersigned authority, duly authorized to administer oaths, Mike D. Crotts, who on oath deposes and says that he is the Senator from the 17th District and further deposes and says as follows: (1) That the attached Notice of Intention to Introduce Local Legislation was published in the Monroe County Reporter which is the official organ of Monroe County on the following date: February 17, 1999. (2) That the laws requiring notice of local legislation were further complied with in the manner checked below: A copy of the notice of intention was mailed, transmitted by facsimile, or otherwise provided to the governing authority of any county, municipality, or consolidated government whose charter or enabling Act is amended, as required by subsection (b) of Code Section 28-1-14. The notice requirement of subsection (b) of Code Section 28-1-14 does not apply because the bill was requested by resolution or other written notification of the governing authority of the affected county, municipality, or consolidated government and a copy of such resolution or other written notification is attached hereto. The notice requirement of subsection (b) of Code Section 28-1-14 does not apply because the bill does not amend the charter of a

Page 78

municipality or the enabling Act of a county or consolidated government or the bill affects a local school system. [UNK]The notice requirement of subsection (b) of Code Section 28-1-14 does not apply because the bill is an annexation bill and a copy of the bill was provided to the county governing authority within which the area proposed to be annexed is located at the time the notice was published, as required by Code Section 28-1-14.1. s/ MIKE D. CROTTS Senator, 17th District Sworn to and subscribed before me, this 22nd day of February, 1999. s/ TERESA ADKINS Notary Public, Clayton County, Georgia My Commission Expires Jan. 5, 2001 (SEAL) NOTICE OF INTENTION TO INTRODUCE LOCAL LEGISLATION Notice is given that there will be introduced at the regular 1999 session of the General Assembly of Georgia a bill to create a new judicial circuit for the State of Georgia to be known as the Towaliga Judicial Circuit, to be composed of the Counties of Butts, Lamar, and Monroe; to provide for the continuation of the Flint Judicial Circuit to be composed solely of Henry County; to provide for judges of the superior court and a district attorney and for the transfer of proceedings to such circuit; to require candidates for such judgeships to designate the places for which they are running; to prescribe the powers, duties, jurisdiction, privileges, and immunities of such judges; to provide for a chief judge and to prescribe his or her powers, duties, and privileges; to prescribe the compensation, salary, and expense allowances of said judges and district attorney to be paid by the State of Georgia; to provide for a salary supplement to be paid to said judge and district attorney from funds of Butts, Lamar, and Monroe counties; to provide for effective date provisions with respect to certain local Acts relating to salary supplements; to provide for the issuance of official papers and before whom heard; to provide the manner of drawing and impaneling jurors; to provide facilities, office space, supplies, equipment, and personnel for said judges and district attorney; to declare inherent authority; to amend Chapter 6 of Title 15 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to superior courts, so as to provide for a new judicial circuit; to change the number of judges in the Flint Judicial Circuit; to provide for the judges of the superior court and the terms of court in such circuits; to provide for other matters relative to the foregoing; to provide for an effective date; and for other purposes. This 9th day of February, 1999

Page 79

Senator Mike D. Crotts 17th District GEORGIA, FULTON COUNTY Personally appeared before me, the undersigned authority, duly authorized to administer oaths, Mike D. Crotts, who on oath deposes and says that he is the Senator from the 17th District and further deposes and says as follows: (1) That the attached Notice of Intention to Introduce Local Legislation was published in the Daily Herald which is the official organ of Henry County on the following date: February 12, 1999. (2) That the laws requiring notice of local legislation were further complied with in the manner checked below: A copy of the notice of intention was mailed, transmitted by facsimile, or otherwise provided to the governing authority of any county, municipality, or consolidated government whose charter or enabling Act is amended, as required by subsection (b) of Code Section 28-1-14. The notice requirement of subsection (b) of Code Section 28-1-14 does not apply because the bill was requested by resolution or other written notification of the governing authority of the affected county, municipality, or consolidated government and a copy of such resolution or other written notification is attached hereto. The notice requirement of subsection (b) of Code Section 28-1-14 does not apply because the bill does not amend the charter of a municipality or the enabling Act of a county or consolidated government or the bill affects a local school system. [UNK]The notice requirement of subsection (b) of Code Section 28-1-14 does not apply because the bill is an annexation bill and a copy of the bill was provided to the county governing authority within which the area proposed to be annexed is located at the time the notice was published, as required by Code Section 28-1-14.1. s/ MIKE D. CROTTS Senator, 17th District Sworn to and subscribed before me, this 23rd day of February, 1999. s/ TERESA ADKINS Notary Public, Clayton County, Georgia My Commission Expires Jan. 5, 2001 (SEAL) Approved April 1, 1999.

Page 80

LOCAL GOVERNMENTCOUNTIES AND MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS; LEASES FOR WASTE-WATER TREATMENT SYSTEMS, STORMWATER SYSTEMS, WATER SYSTEMS, AND SEWER SYSTEMS. Code Section 36-60-15.1 Enacted. No. 36 (House Bill No. 399). AN ACT To amend Chapter 60 of Title 36 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to powers of counties and municipal corporations generally, so as to authorize each county and municipal corporation to enter into leases and contracts with private persons for the operation and maintenance of its waste-water treatment system, stormwater system, water system, or sewer system, or any combination of such systems; to provide for criteria for evaluation of applicants submitting bids; 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 60 of Title 36 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to powers of counties and municipal corporations generally, is amended by adding a new Code Section 36-60-15.1 to read as follows: 36-60-15.1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, any county or municipal corporation of this state is authorized, in the discretion of its governing authority, to enter into valid and binding leases and contracts with private persons, firms, associations, or corporations for any period of time not to exceed 20 years to provide for the operation and maintenance of all or a portion of its waste-water treatment system, stormwater system, water system, or sewer system, or any combination of such systems. Prior to entering into a contract pursuant to this Code section, the governing authority shall first establish criteria for evaluation of any applicants bidding on such leases or contracts for the purpose of assisting the governing authority in making a review of such applicants' previous performance on projects of comparable magnitude, the environmental compliance record of such applicants, and any relevant civil or criminal penalties incurred by such applicants during the five years immediately preceding the execution of the lease or contract. The governing authority shall take into consideration such information to assist it in determining the eligibility of any applicant. All information required by the county or municipality pursuant to this Code section shall be provided by the applicant under oath. For

Page 81

purposes of this Code section, `applicant' means any individual, firm, association, or corporation. SECTION 2 . This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming a law without such approval. SECTION 3 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 2, 1999. OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATEDCODE REVISION; REENACTMENT; CORRECTIONS; TERMS OF SUPERIOR COURT IN HOUSTON JUDICIAL CIRCUIT. No. 37 (House Bill No. 261). AN ACT To amend the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, so as to correct typographical, stylistic, capitalization, punctuation, and other errors and omissions in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated and in Acts of the General Assembly amending the Official Code of Georgia Annotated; to reenact the statutory portion of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, as amended; to provide for necessary or appropriate revisions and modernizations of matters contained in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated; to repeal portions of the Code which have become obsolete; to delete portions of the Code which have been superseded by subsequent state laws; to provide for and to correct citations in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated and other codes and laws of the state; to rearrange, renumber, and redesignate provisions of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated; to revise the terms of superior courts in certain counties; to provide for other matters relating to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . Reserved. SECTION 2 . Reserved. SECTION 3 . Title 3 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to alcoholic beverages, is amended as follows:

Page 82

(1) By striking and is a public school or a private school and inserting in its place and which are public schools or private schools in paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of Code Section 3-3-21, relating to sales of alcoholic beverages near churches, school buildings, or other sites. SECTION 4 . Reserved. SECTION 5 . Title 5 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to appeal and error, is amended as follows: (1) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place (date) , and by striking Dated:, 19 and inserting in its place Dated: in the form in subsection (a) of Code Section 5-3-21, relating to notice of appeal to the superior court, form, and service. (2) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place (date) , and by striking Dated:, 19 and inserting in its place Dated: each time they appear in the forms in subsections (b) and (d) of Code Section 5-5-42, relating to the forms for motion for a new trial in civil and criminal cases. (3) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place (date) , and by striking Dated:, 19 and inserting in its place Dated: each time they appear in the forms in paragraphs (1) through (3) of Code Section 5-6-51, relating to the forms used in appeals to the appellate courts. SECTION 6 . Reserved. SECTION 7 . Title 7 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating banking and finance, is amended as follows: (1) By striking (3), (4), (5), (6), and (9) and inserting in its place (4), (5), (6), (7), and (10) in paragraph (6) of subsection (b) of Code Section 7-1-532, relating to execution, contents, and filing of articles of merger or consolidation, notice of merger or consolidation, and filing amendment. (2) By striking (3), (4), (5), (6), and (9) and inserting in its place (4), (5), (6), (7), and (10) in paragraph (6) of subsection (b) of Code Section 7-1-551, relating to national bank to state bank or trust company conversions, mergers, and consolidation and articles of conversion, merger, or consolidation.

Page 83

SECTION 8 . Reserved. SECTION 9 . Title 9 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to civil practice, is amended as follows: (1) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in Code Section 9-10-200, relating to action for recovery of realty and mesne profits. (2) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in Code Section 9-10-202, relating to action to recover money on a judgment. (3) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in Code Section 9-10-203, relating to action for breach of warranty in deed. (4) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in Code Section 9-10-204, relating to action for words. (5) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in Code Section 9-11-119, relating to the form of motion to dismiss, presenting defense of failure to state a claim. (6) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in Code Section 9-11-124, relating to the form of motion for production of documents under Code Section 9-11-34. (7) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in Code Section 9-11-131, relating to the form of judgment on a jury verdict. (8) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in Code Section 9-11-132, relating to the form of judgment on a decision by the court. (9) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , each time it appears in the form in Code Section 9-14-6, relating to the form of a writ. (10) By striking vexations and inserting in its place vexatious in subsection (a) and by striking pleading and, and inserting in its place pleading, and, in subsection (d) of Code Section 9-15-15, relating to attorney's fees and expenses assessed in civil actions brought against judicial officers.

Page 84

SECTION 10 . Title 10 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to commerce and trade, is amended as follows: (1) By striking the semicolons and inserting periods in their place at the end of subsections (b), (c), and (d); by striking , 19 and inserting in its place (date) , and by deleting the comma following spa in the first undesignated paragraph in the form in subsection (e); and by inserting a comma following including in subparagraph (i)(I)(C) of Code Section 10-1-393.2, relating to requirements for health spas. (2) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , each time it appears in the written rental agreement in Code Section 10-4-213, relating to enforcement of a lien without judicial intervention. (3) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , and by striking Dated:, 19 and inserting in its place Dated: in the form in Code Section 10-6-142, relating to the statutory form for financial power of attorney. SECTION 11 . Title 11 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the commercial code, is amended as follows: (1) By inserting shall be known and preceding may be cited in Code Section 11-8-101, relating to the Uniform Commercial CodeInvestment Securities. SECTION 12 . Title 12 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to conservation and natural resources, is amended as follows: (1) By inserting and at the end of paragraph (6) of subsections (e) and (g) and by replacing the period with ; and at the end of paragraph (2) of subsection (f) of Code Section 12-3-10, relating to directing persons to leave parks, historic sites, or recreational areas upon their refusal to observe rules and regulations and prohibited acts generally. (2) By inserting Section following U.S.C. in subparagraph (d)(4)(C) and by inserting Sections preceding 4321-4347 and Section preceding 470 in subsection (n) of Code Section 12-3-55, relating to general provisions and preservation of state owned historic properties. (3) By striking paragraph (c) and inserting in its place subsection (c) of this Code section in the introductory language of subsection (b)

Page 85

and by striking the period and inserting in its place ; and at the end of paragraph (1) of subsection (e) of Code Section 12-5-23.3, relating to notice, privatization, oversight committee, and penalties. SECTION 13 . Reserved. SECTION 14 . Title 14 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to corporations, partnerships, and associations, is amended as follows: (1) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in Code Section 14-4-101, relating to issuance of certificate of amendment to acquire powers and form. (2) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in Code Section 14-4-102, relating to issuance of certificate of amendment to surrender powers and form. (3) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in Code Section 14-4-121, relating to issuance of certificate of change of name, principal office, capital stock, or number of directors. SECTION 15 . Title 15 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to courts, is amended as follows: (1) By striking Georgia or Judge of the Court of Appeals or any superior and inserting in its place Georgia, Judge of the Court of Appeals, superior, by striking Justice on and Judge on and inserting in their place Justice of and Judge of each time they appear, and by deleting the comma following superior court in subsection (a.1) of Code Section 15-1-9.2, relating to senior judge status, request for assistance of senior judge, and compensation. (2) By striking empaneled and inserting in its place impaneled each time it appears in subsection (b) of Code Section 15-1-12, relating to compensation of probate court judges and clerks for certain services, submission of claims to grand jury, and assessment. (2.1) By striking paragraph (21) of Code Section 15-6-3, relating to terms of the superior courts, and inserting in its place the following: (21) Houston Circuit: Houston CountyFirst Monday in January, April, July, and October. (3) By inserting of Georgia after Judges in subsection (j) of Code Section 15-6-27, relating to alternative procedure for hiring personnel

Page 86

employed by superior court judges, authority, duties, uniform policies, rules, and regulations, leave, salaries, expenses, supplies, local supplements, and county employees. (4) By striking and at the end of paragraph (14) of subsection (a) of Code Section 15-6-61, relating to duties of clerks generally and use of computerized record-keeping system. (5) By striking 15-6-92 and inserting in its place 15-6-91 and this Code section in Code Section 15-6-92, relating to continuation of fee system. (6) By striking case by case and inserting in its place case-by-case in subsection (d) of Code Section 15-9-1.1, relating to required training courses, filing of certificate of completion, effect of failure to meet training requirements, and payment of and reimbursement of expenses. (7) By striking vs. and inserting in its place v. and by striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in Code Section 15-10-48, relating to the form of statement of claim, verification, and notice. (8) By striking vs. and inserting in its place v. and by striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in Code Section 15-10-50, relating to propounding of interrogatories to judgment debtor, form, contempt, and authorized discovery procedures. (9) By striking President and inserting in its place president in subsection (a) of Code Section 15-10-132, relating to creation of Georgia Magistrate Courts Training Council. (10) By striking Human Resources and inserting in its place Juvenile Justice in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 15-11-9.1, relating to intake and probation services of juvenile courts. (11) By striking the comma after the word jail in subsection (d) of Code Section 15-11-20, relating to place of detention, capital offenders, deprived children, and record of detention. (12) By inserting a comma preceding relating to in subparagraph (a)(2)(C.1) of Code Section 15-11-37, relating to designated felony acts, definitions, and restrictive custody disposition. (13) By striking subsection (a) of Code Section 15-12-83, relating to attendance of stenographer at grand jury proceeding and use of recording device in lieu of stenographer, and inserting in its place the following: (a) This Code section shall apply to all counties of this state which according to the United States decennial census of 1970 or any future such census have a population of 150,000 or more.

Page 87

(14) By striking Code Section 15-14-36, relating to penalties for violations, and inserting in its place the following: 15-14-36. Any person who: (1) Represents himself or herself as having received a certificate or temporary permit as provided for in this article or practices as a certified court reporter, without having received a certificate or temporary permit; (2) Continues to practice as a court reporter in this state or uses any title or abbreviation indicating he or she is a certified court reporter, after his or her certificate has been revoked; or (3) Violates any provision of this article or of subsection (c) or (d) of Code Section 9-11-28 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Each day of the offense is a separate misdemeanor. (15) By striking Code Section 15-16-27, relating to deposit by sheriff in certain counties of cash bonds and reserves of bondspersons in interest-bearing accounts and disposition of interest, and inserting in its place a new Code Section 15-16-27 to read as follows: 15-16-27. (a) Unless transferred to the appropriate clerk of court, the sheriff shall deposit cash bonds held by the sheriff in one or more interest-bearing trust accounts in investments authorized by Code Section 36-80-3 or by Chapter 83 of Title 36. (b) The financial institution in which the funds are deposited shall remit, after service charges or fees are deducted, the interest generated by such funds directly, at least quarterly and within 30 days of receipt, to the Georgia Indigent Defense Council for distribution to the counties pursuant to Article 2 of Chapter 12 of Title 17. With each remittance the financial institution shall send a statement showing the name of the county, deposits and withdrawals from the account or accounts, interest paid, service charges or fees of the bank or other depository, and the net remittance. The Georgia Indigent Defense Council shall allocate all interest received from such funds deposited in interest-bearing trust accounts to the counties pursuant to Article 2 of Chapter 12 of Title 17. (c) In counties where the service charges or fees of the bank or depository would exceed the interest received from funds subject to this Code section, the sheriff shall be exempt from subsections (a) and (b) of this Code section. In such counties, the sheriff shall send a written notice to the Georgia Indigent Defense Council.

Page 88

(16) By striking expressed and inserting in its place express in Code Section 15-16-51, relating to use of sheriff's office name. (17) By inserting and at the end of paragraph (2) of subsection (b) of Code Section 15-18-14, relating to assistant district attorneys, appointment, qualifications, compensation, personnel actions, and transfers and promotions. (18) By striking years and inserting in its place years' in paragraph (4) of subsection (e) of Code Section 15-18-14.1, relating to district attorney investigators. (19) By striking across the board and inserting in its place across-the-board in paragraph (1) of subsection (e) of Code Section 15-18-19, relating to state paid personnel, powers, policies relating to, authorized leave, and salary schedules. SECTION 16 . Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to crimes and offenses, is amended as follows: (1) By striking of this article in paragraph (1) of Code Section 16-3-20, relating to justification. (2) By striking Title 16 and inserting in its place this title in Code Section 16-3-24.2, relating to immunity from prosecution and exception. (3) By designating paragraph (1) as paragraph (2) and paragraph (2) as paragraph (1) in subsection (a) of Code Section 16-5-45, relating to interference with custody. (4) By striking 19-3-4 and 19-3-5 and inserting in their place 19-13-4 and 19-13-5 from subsection (e) of Code Section 16-5-94, relating to restraining orders and protective orders. (5) By deleting Part 4 of Article 2 of from subparagraph (c) (2) (B) and (c) (2) (C) of Code Section 16-8-41, relating to armed robbery, robbery by intimidation, and taking controlled substance from pharmacy in course of committing offense. (6) By deleting or from the end of subparagraph (G) and inserting or at the end of subparagraph (I) of paragraph (2) of Code Section 16-9-121, relating to elements of offense. (7) By designating paragraph (1) as paragraph (2) and paragraph (2) as paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 16-10-24.2, relating to obstructing or hindering emergency medical technicians or emergency medical professionals and criminal penalty. (8) By striking Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act and inserting in its place Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act in subsection (b)

Page 89

of Code Section 16-11-170, relating to intent to provide state background check law and construction of part. (9) By striking 5 and inserting in its place five in paragraph (4) of subsection (a) and by inserting of this Code section following (a) in subsection (b) of Code Section 16-12-120, relating to certain acts in public transit buses, rapid rail cars, or stations and penalties. (10) By striking ; provided, further, that the and inserting in its place . The in subparagraph (a) (2) (B) of Code Section 16-12-171, relating to prohibited acts. (11) By adding a comma after chapter in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 16-13-1, relating to drug related objects. (12) By striking 26-4-4 and inserting in its place 26-4-130 in subsection (g) of Code Section 16-13-41, relating to prescriptions. (13) By striking Part 4 of Article 2 of from subsection (c) of Code Section 16-13-46, relating to administrative inspections and warrants. (14) By deleting paragraph (65.5) of subsection (b) of Code Section 16-13-71, relating to dangerous drug defined, containing a definition which is later defined in paragraph (68.3) and by redesignating paragraphs (853), (854), and (854.5) as paragraphs (854), (853), and (853.5), respectively. (15) By striking the amount specified in Code Section 26-4-112 and inserting in its place $1,500.00 in subsection (c) of Code Section 16-13-72.1, relating to revocation of dangerous drug permits and forfeiture. (16) By striking the (xxxiii) designation and inserting in its place a new (xxxiii) designation in subparagraph (9) (A) (xxxiii) of Code Section 16-14-3, relating to definitions relative to racketeer influenced and corrupt organizations. (17) By striking subsection and inserting in its place paragraph in paragraph (1) of Code Section 16-15-3, relating to definitions relative to street gang terrorism and prevention. SECTION 17 . Title 17 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to criminal procedure, is amended as follows: (1) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in paragraph (3) of subsection (e) of Code Section 17-1-1, relating to filing of service of pleadings, motions, and other papers. (2) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , each time it appears in the form in Code Section 17-4-45, relating to the form of affidavit for an arrest warrant.

Page 90

(3) By striking year 19 and inserting in its place year in the form in Code Section 17-4-46, relating to the form of warrant for an arrest. (4) By striking requirements provide and inserting in its place requirements provided in subsection (c) of Code Section 17-4-47, relating to issuance of warrants by video conference, testimony, initial bond hearings, and oaths. (5) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in Code Section 17-7-30, relating to the form of commitment. SECTION 18 . Title 18 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to debtor and creditor, is amended as follows: (1) By striking 19 and inserting in its place each time it appears in the form in Code Section 18-3-19, relating to forms for attachment. (2) By striking beginning, 19, and inserting in its place beginning (date) ,, and by striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the forms in paragraphs (1) through (7) of Code Section 18-4-66, relating to forms for postjudgment garnishment. (3) By striking beginning, 19, and inserting in its place beginning (date) ,, and by striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the forms in paragraphs (1) through (3) of Code Section 18-4-118, relating to forms for continuing garnishment. SECTION 19 . Title 19 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to domestic relations, is amended as follows: (1) By adding and after the semicolon in paragraph (3) of Code Section 19-3-2, relating to who may contract marriage. (2) By inserting a comma after 44-14-610 in Code Section 19-5-7, relating to transfer of property after filing of petition and lis pendens notice. (3) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , each time it appears in the forms in subsections (a) and (c) and by inserting a colon following considered is in the sentence preceding the chart in subsection (c) of Code Section 19-5-12, relating to the form of judgment and decree.

Page 91

(4) By inserting Article 1 of preceding Chapter 6 of Title 12 and by deleting Part 3 of preceding Chapter 4 of Title 26 in paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of Code Section 19-6-28.1, relating to suspension of, or denial of application or renewal of, license for noncompliance with child support order. (5) By striking paragraph (3) of subsection (b) and inserting in its place the following: (3) `Child abuse' means: (A) Physical injury or death inflicted upon a child by a parent or caretaker thereof by other than accidental means; provided, however, physical forms of discipline may be used as long as there is no physical injury to the child; (B) Neglect or exploitation of a child by a parent or caretaker thereof; (C) Sexual abuse of a child; or (D) Sexual exploitation of a child. However, no child who in good faith is being treated solely by spiritual means through prayer in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination by a duly accredited practitioner thereof shall, for that reason alone, be considered to be an `abused' child., and by striking Schoolteachers and inserting in its place School teachers in subparagraph (c) (1) (H) of Code Section 19-7-5, relating to reporting of child abuse, when mandated or authorized, content of report, to whom made, immunity from liability, report based upon privileged communication, and penalty for failure to report. (6) By striking the period at the end of paragraph (1) and inserting in its place ; and in Code Section 19-7-27, relating to hospital programs for establishment of paternity. (7) By adding the `Georgia Civil Practice Act,' following Title 9, in subsection (b) of Code Section 19-7-47, relating to civil action, testimony of mother and alleged father, and default judgments. (8) By striking hereof, however, and inserting in its place hereof; however, each time it appears in subsections (b) through (f) of Code Section 19-8-26, relating to how surrender of parental rights executed, how and when surrender may be withdrawn, and forms. (9) By inserting Article 1 of preceding Chapter 6 of Title 12 and by deleting Part 3 of preceding Chapter 4 of Title 26 in paragraph (9) of subsection (a) of Code Section 19-11-9.3, relating to suspension or

Page 92

denial of license for noncompliance with child support order, interagency agreements, and report to General Assembly. (10) By striking the designations (i), (ii), and (iii) and inserting in their place (A), (B) and (C), respectively, in paragraph (1) of subsection (c) and by striking such within and inserting in its place such order within in paragraph (3) of subsection (c) of Code Section 19-11-12, relating to determination of ability to support, review procedures, order adjusting support award amount, and no release from liability due to subsequent financial obligation. (11) By striking Chapter 11 of Title 19 and inserting in its place this chapter in subsection (b) of Code Section 19-11-14, relating to father's liability for support of child born out of wedlock and full faith and credit to paternity determination by another state. (12) By redesignating paragraph (2) as paragraph (3) and paragraph (3) as paragraph (2) in subsection (a) of Code Section 19-11-30.2, relating to definitions and information from financial institutions. (13) By striking 19-11-30.11 and inserting in its place 19-11-30.3 or Code Section 19-11-30.6 in Code Section 19-11-30.4, relating to disclosure of information. (14) By striking payment; and inserting in its place payment; and in paragraph (3) of Code Section 19-11-58, relating to Department of Human Resources designated state information agency and duties. (15) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , each time it appears in the form in subsection (b) of Code Section 19-12-3, relating to certificate of change of name, use as evidence, and form of certificate. (16) By striking semi-annually and inserting in its place semiannually in subsection (h) of Code Section 19-15-2, relating to child abuse protocol committee, written child abuse protocol, and training of members. (17) By inserting a comma following thereafter, by striking judiciary committees and inserting in its place Judiciary Committees, and by inserting of Representatives following House in subsection (d) of Code Section 19-15-3, relating to the death of a child, report, investigation, and annual report. (18) By striking House; and inserting in its place House of Representatives; in paragraph (10) of subsection (a) and by inserting of Representatives following House in subsection (f) of Code Section 19-15-4, relating to the State-wide Child Abuse Prevention Panel. SECTION 20 . Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to education, is amended as follows:

Page 93

(1) By striking with private driver and inserting in its place with a private driver in Code Section 20-2-257, relating to grants for driver education courses for secondary school students. (2) By striking Code Section 20-2-984.5 and inserting in its place this Code Section in subsection (f) of Code Section 20-2-984.5, relating to preliminary investigations, disciplinary actions, and hearings of the Professional Standards Commission. (3) By striking 20-2-790 and inserting in its place 20-2-984.5 in subsection (a) of Code Section 20-2-989.7, relating to matters not subject to complaint. (4) By striking Practices and inserting in its place Standards in subsection (c) of Code Section 20-2-1000, relating to limitation on civil damages for disciplining student, educator defined, frivolous or nonmeritorious actions, and legal counsel for the educator. (5) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in subsection (d) and by inserting federal preceding Education in subsection (f) of Code Section 20-2-1160, relating to local boards to be tribunals to determine school law controversies, appeals, and special provisions for disabled children. (6) By striking subsection and inserting in its place Code section in the introductory language of Code Section 20-2-2067, relating to reprisals by local boards or school system employees prohibited. (7) By striking Chapter 2 of this title and inserting in its place this chapter in subsection (d) of Code Section 20-2-2068, relating to amendment and termination of a charter, allotment of funds, and annual report. (8) By striking . Provided however the and inserting in its place ; provided, however, the in paragraph (4) and by inserting of Article 1 following Part 2 and deleting Part 3 of preceding Chapter 4 in paragraph (8) of subsection (a) of Code Section 20-3-295, relating to corporation to maintain certified list of borrowers in default, administrative hearings, and appeals. (9) By striking semester's and inserting in its place semesters' in paragraph (1), by striking subsection (2) and inserting in its place paragraph (2) in subparagraphs (C) and (D) of paragraph (7), and by striking Sec. and inserting in its place Section in paragraph (25) of Code Section 20-3-519, relating to definitions relative to the HOPE scholarships and grants. (10) By striking of `The Drug-Free Postsecondary Education Act of 1990,' and inserting in its place of the `Drug-Free Postsecondary Education Act of 1990,' in paragraph (5) of Code Section 20-3-519.1, relating to ineligibility for HOPE scholarships or grants.

Page 94

(11) By striking the period and inserting in its place a semicolon at the end of paragraph (1) of subsections (c) and (d) of Code Section 20-3-519.3, relating to eligibility requirements for a HOPE scholarship at a private postsecondary institution. (12) By deleting or at the end of paragraph (2) of subsection (a) and by striking account and inserting in its place subaccount in subsection (c) of Code Section 20-3-519.7, relating to PROMISE teacher's scholarships. (13) By striking account and inserting in its place subaccount in subsection (c) of Code Section 20-3-519.8, relating to HOPE teacher's scholarships. SECTION 21 . Reserved. SECTION 22 . Title 22 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to eminent domain, is amended as follows: (1) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in Code Section 22-2-104, relating to the form to be used in appointing a special master. (2) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in Code Section 22-2-105, relating to the appointment and oath of the special master. SECTION 23 . Reserved. SECTION 24 . Reserved. SECTION 25 . Title 25 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to fire safety and protection, is amended as follows: (1) By striking 25-3-13 and inserting in its place 25-2-13 in Code Section 25-2-15, relating to buildings presenting special hazards to persons or property, issuance of temporary occupancy permits, and time limits for compliance with chapter. SECTION 26 . Title 26 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to food, drugs, and cosmetics, is amended as follows:

Page 95

(1) By inserting and following doves, in paragraph (3) of Code Section 26-2-410, relating to definitions relative to sale of meat, poultry, or seafood from mobile vehicles. (2) By deleting Part 6 of Article 2 of in subsection (a) of Code Section 26-3-22, relating to other laws unaffected by chapter. (3) By striking well being and inserting in its place well-being in paragraph (5), by inserting a comma following 16-13-29 in paragraph (6), by striking subparagraphs and inserting in its place subparagraph in subparagraph (D) of paragraph (12), by redesignating paragraphs (13) and (14) as paragraphs (14) and (13), respectively, by striking the semicolon and inserting in its place a period at the end of paragraph (15), by redesignating paragraphs (22) and (23) as paragraphs (23) and (22), respectively, by striking paragraph (7) and inserting in its place paragraph (6), by striking paragraph (8) and inserting in its place paragraph (7) and by striking Federal and inserting in its place federal in paragraph (35), and by striking drug-related and inserting in its place drug related in paragraph (39) of Code Section 26-4-5, relating to definitions relative to the Georgia Pharmacy Practice Act. (4) By inserting a comma following compounding in paragraph (10) and by striking board, and inserting in its place board and in paragraph (15) of subsection (a), by striking this section and inserting in its place this Code section and by striking such Act and inserting in its place such chapter twice in paragraph (2) of subsection (c), and by striking Recovery and inserting in its place recovery in the introductory language of paragraph (5) of subsection (c) of Code Section 26-4-28, relating to powers, duties, and authority of the State Board of Pharmacy. (5) By striking Chapters 3 and 4 and inserting in its place Chapter 3 of this title and this chapter in paragraph (5) of subsection (b), by striking (c) and inserting in its place (c)(1), by redesignating paragraph (1) as paragraph (2), by redesignating paragraph (2) as subsection (c.1), and by striking Chapters 3 and 4 and inserting in its place Chapter 3 of this title and this chapter in the newly redesignated paragraph (1) of subsection (c) of Code Section 26-4-29, relating to the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency; continuance; appointment, requirements, and duties of director; power to make arrests; report of violations of drug laws; and dangerous drug list. (6) By striking record keeping and inserting in its place record-keeping in subsection (b), by striking this article and inserting in its place Article 3 of this chapter each time it appears in subsection (i), by striking this part and inserting in its place Article 3 of this chapter in subsection (i), and by striking this part and inserting in its place Article 3 of this chapter each time it appears in subsection (k)

Page 96

of Code Section 26-4-60, relating to grounds for suspension, revocation, or refusal to grant licenses. (7) By striking ten days notice of any hearing held under this subsection and inserting in its place ten days' notice of any hearing held under this Code section in Code Section 26-4-61, relating to temporary suspension of licenses, notice, and disciplinary hearings. (8) By striking schedule and inserting in its place Schedule each time it appears throughout this Code section and by adding a comma following the quantity of the drug dispensed in subsection (e) of Code Section 26-4-80, relating to dispensing, electronically transmitted drug orders, refills, and Schedule II controlled substance prescriptions. (9) By striking shall sells or dispenses and inserting in its place shall sell or dispense in Code Section 26-4-89, relating to selling drugs in vending machines prohibited. (10) By deleting the comma following article in subsection (b) of Code Section 26-4-110, relating to pharmacy licenses, classifications, applications, fees, investigations, and prescription department requirements. (11) By inserting Georgia preceding Drugs in subsection (d) of Code Section 26-4-116, relating to emergency service providers, contracts with issuing pharmacy, record keeping, and inspections. (12) By inserting or her following his in paragraph (5) of subsection (a) of Code Section 26-4-144, relating to participating pharmacies, claim reimbursements, and cancellation of contracts. (13) By inserting or her following his in subsection (d) of Code Section 26-4-146, relating to administrator, registration, and bond. SECTION 27 . Title 27 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to game and fish, is amended as follows: () By striking the semicolons and inserting in their place periods at the end of paragraphs (13.1) and (13.2) of Code Section 27-1-2, relating to definitions relative to game and fish. (1) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place (date) , in subsection (c) of Code Section 27-2-16, relating to commercial quail breeder permits, maintenance of records by holders, and selling and transporting of pen raised quail generally. (2) By adding and at the end of paragraph (8) of Code Section 27-3-4, relating to legal weapons for hunting wildlife generally. (3) By striking in Code Sections 27-4-52 and 27-4-53 and inserting in its place pursuant to Code Section 27-4-51 in Code Section 27-4-6, relating to the use of minnow seines.

Page 97

(4) By striking (e) (5) (A) and (e) (5) (B) of this Code section and inserting in its place (A) and (B) of paragraph (5) of this subsection in paragraph (6) of subsection (e) of Code Section 27-4-150, relating to taking, possessing, and dealing in crabs and peelers and required records. (5) By deleting at any time the second time it appears in paragraph (2) of subsection (c) of Code Section 27-4-170, relating to sport bait shrimping. SECTION 28 . Reserved. SECTION 29 . Reserved. SECTION 30 . Reserved. SECTION 31 . Title 31 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to health, is amended as follows: (1) By striking 26-4-123 and inserting in its place 26-4-116 in Code Section 31-11-12, relating to contracts between emergency service providers and pharmacies for furnishing dangerous drugs and controlled substances. (2) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in subsection (a) of Code Section 31-36-10, relating to the form of power of attorney for health care and authorized powers. SECTION 32 . Title 32 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to highways, bridges, and ferries, is amended as follows: (1) By striking Code Section 32-6-3, relating to deposit of driver's license with arresting officer in lieu of bail or incarceration, driver's failure to appear before proper judicial officer, and applicability of Code section to foreign licenses, which is impliedly repealed by Ga. L. 1996, p. 1624, Section 2; Code Section 17-6-11; effective September 1, 1998, and inserting in its place the following: 32-6-3. Reserved.

Page 98

() By deleting the (a) designation from Code Section 32-6-75.2, relating to authority of commissioner to issue permits for trimming trees and vegetation on state rights of way. SECTION 33 . Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to insurance, is amended as follows: (1) By striking Code.' Such and inserting in its place Code,' which in subsection (a) of Code Section 33-20-5, relating to procedure for formation of health care corporations and regulation and supervision of corporations by Commissioner generally. (2) By striking Title 33 and inserting in its place this title in paragraph (4) and by striking purpose of this section and inserting in its place purposes of this Code section in paragraph (7) of Code Section 33-20B-2, relating to definitions relative to the Essential Rural Health Care Provider Access Act. (3) By striking Title 33 and inserting in its place this title in Code Section 33-20B-5, relating to hearing and appeal rights of denied providers. SECTION 34 . Reserved. SECTION 35 . Title 35 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to law enforcement officers and agencies, is amended as follows: (1) By striking director or public and inserting in its place director of public in Code Section 35-10-6, relating to procedure for obtaining permission to use nomenclature or symbols and discretion of local governing body. SECTION 36 . Title 36 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to local government, is amended as follows: (1) By striking environmental or and inserting in its place or environmental in subsection (d) and by striking hereunder and inserting in its place under this Code section in subsection (e) of Code Section 36-1-19.1, relating to appropriations for charitable grants or contributions in counties having populations of 400,000 or more and boards or councils to establish procedures and advise governing authorities. (2) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in subsection (a) of Code Section 36-11-5, relating to the interest on orders presented and not paid.

Page 99

(3) By deleting other than municipal courts of a unified or consolidated government that have been given jurisdiction as provided in Code Section 36-32-10.2 from subsection (a) of Code Section 36-15-9, relating to collection of additional costs in court cases, amount, determination of need as prerequisite to collection, and collection in certain criminal cases. (4) By inserting may be preceding leased or sold in the first sentence of subsection (d) of Code Section 36-60-21, relating to contracts with private companies to construct and operate private toll roads and bridges to facilitate public transportation without additional tax revenues. (5) By inserting United States preceding decennial in subsection (a) and by inserting rate of between average and unemployment in subsection (c) of Code Section 36-88-6, relating to criteria for enterprise zone. SECTION 37 . Reserved. SECTION 38 . Reserved. SECTION 39 . Reserved. SECTION 40 . Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to motor vehicles and traffic, is amended as follows: (1) By striking paragraph (3) of subsection (a) of Code Section 40-2-20, relating to registration and license requirements and penalties. (2) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in Code Section 40-6-374, relating to the form of adopting an ordinance. SECTION 41 . Reserved. SECTION 42 . Title 42 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to penal institutions, is amended as follows: (1) By inserting and preceding employment and by striking data, and and inserting in its place data and in subparagraph (b) (3) (C), by striking the residence and inserting in its place his or her

Page 100

residence in subparagraph (d)(1)(D), and by striking herein and inserting in its place in this Code section in paragraph (3) of subsection (i) of Code Section 42-1-12, relating to State Sexual Offender Registry. SECTION 43 . Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia annotated, relating to professions and business, is amended as follows: (1) By inserting 43-1-11 and Code Section after through each time it appears in Code Section 43-1-12, relating to the duty of joint-secretary to inform applicants of availability of veteran credit and rules and regulations for implementing veteran credit program. (2) By striking `The Professional Association Act,' and inserting in its place `The Georgia Professional Association Act,' in Code Section 43-1-24, relating to licensed professionals subject to regulation by state examining board. (3) By striking the period and inserting in its place a colon in paragraph (10) of subsection (a) of Code Section 43-10A-17, relating to enforcement of chapter. (4) By deleting the comma after structure in paragraph (1) and by striking `Dietetic Practice,' `Dietetics,' and `Medical Nutrition Therapy' and inserting in its place `dietetic practice,' `dietetics,' and `medical nutrition therapy' in the undesignated paragraph following subparagraph (E) of paragraph (4) of Code Section 43-11A-3, relating to definitions relative to the Dietetics Practice Ace. (5) By striking community/public and inserting in its place community or public in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 43-11A-4, relating to creation of board. (6) By striking article and inserting in its place chapter and by striking themselves and inserting in its place himself or herself in subsection (a) of Code Section 43-11A-16, relating to license requirement. (7) By inserting shall be known and after chapter in Code Section 43-13-1, relating to short title. (8) By inserting plumbers after journeyman in paragraph (12) of Code Section 43-14-2, relating to definitions. (9) By striking practices and inserting in its place practice in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) and by striking (professional engineers' examination) and inserting in its place (professional engineer's examination) in subparagraph (C) of paragraphs (1) through (4) in Code Section 43-15-9, relating to professional engineer certificate of registration and eligibility.

Page 101

(10) By striking in no event to exceed and inserting in its place not more than in subsection (a) of Code Section 43-15-26, relating to cease and desist orders and civil penalties for violation of order. (11) By striking subdivision and inserting in its place subdivisions in paragraph (3) of subsection (b) of Code Section 43-15-29, relating to exceptions to operation of chapter. (12) By striking `Fund raising counsel' and inserting in its place `Fundraising counsel' and by striking fund-raising and inserting in its place fundraising in paragraph (8) of Code Section 43-17-2, relating to definitions. (13) By inserting a comma after optometrist in subsection (c) of Code Section 43-29-18, relating to construction of chapter. (14) By striking one's self and inserting in its place oneself in paragraph (3) of Code Section 43-34-20, relating to definitions. (15) By striking (b.1) of Code Section 26-4-4 and inserting in its place (b) of Code Section 26-4-130 in subparagraph (b)(2)(B) and in the undesignated text at the end of paragraph (3) of subsection (b) of Code Section 43-34-26.1, relating to delegation of authority to nurse or physician's assistant. (16) By striking was denied and inserting in its place been denied in paragraph (5) of subsection (a), by striking the period at the end of paragraph (13) and inserting in its place a colon, by striking the period and inserting in its place a semicolon at the end of subparagraph (A) of paragraph (13), and by striking the period and inserting in its place ; and at the end of subparagraph (B) of paragraph (13) of subsection (a) of Code Section 43-34-37, relating to authority to refuse license or discipline physician and enforcement investigations. (17) By deleting Part 3 of Article 2 of in subsection (e) and by striking 26-4-2 and inserting in its place 26-4-5 in paragraph (1) of subsection (e.1) of Code Section 43-34-103, relating to application for assistant, number of assistants, new job descriptions, scope of duties, employment by nonpracticing physicians, and delegated authority. (18) By striking in 1994 and inserting in its place on July 1, 1994, and by striking governor and inserting in its place Governor in Code Section 43-35-5, relating to members of board, appointment, oath, and removal. (19) By striking Persons and inserting in its place Any person and by inserting a comma after paragraph in paragraph (2) of Code Section 43-39-7, relating to practicing without a license. (20) By striking the period and inserting in its place a semicolon at the end of paragraph (2) of subsection (b) of Code Section 43-39-8, relating to application for license.

Page 102

(21) By inserting a comma preceding provided in Code Section 43-39-20, relating to immunity from civil and criminal liability for certain good faith actions. (22) By striking 10 days and inserting in its place ten days each time it appears in subsection (b) of Code Section 43-45-24.1, relating to civil penalty, negotiated settlements, hearings and procedures, disposition of penalties, judicial review, and judgments. (23) By inserting and may be cited after known in Code Section 43-47-1, relating to short title. (24) By inserting shall be known and after chapter in Code Section 43-50-1, relating to short title. (25) By deleting Part 3 of Article 2 of from subsection (d) of Code Section 43-50-54, relating to limitations as to performance of duties. (26) By inserting shall be known and after chapter in Code Section 43-51-1, relating to short title. SECTION 44 . Title 44 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to property, is amended as follows: (1) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in subsection (b) of Code Section 44-2-67, relating to issuance and service of process or summons, service by publication, notice to nonresidents, request for petition, and guardians ad litem. (2) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in Code Section 44-2-221, relating to the form of the petition to register land. (3) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , each time it appears in the form in Code Section 44-2-222, relating to the form of process. (4) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , each time it appears in the form in Code Section 44-2-223, relating to advertisement to petition to register land. (5) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in Code Section 44-2-224, relating to acknowledgment of service. (6) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in Code Section 44-2-225, relating to the form for the sheriff's return. (7) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , each time it appears in the form in Code

Page 103

Section 44-2-226, relating to the certificate of mailing and the entry of such certificate on the petition. (8) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in Code Section 44-2-227, relating to the form used in appointing examiners. (9) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in Code Section 44-2-228, relating to the oath of the examiner. (10) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in Code Section 44-2-229, relating to the referral of a petition to an examiner. (11) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in Code Section 44-2-230, relating to the preliminary report and schedules of an examiner. (12) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in Code Section 44-2-231, relating to the final report of an examiner. (13) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in Code Section 44-2-232, relating to the decrees of title. (14) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in paragraph (4) of subsection (a) of Code Section 44-2-233, relating to the book of decrees and an index thereto. (15) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , each time it appears in the form in Code Section 44-2-234, relating to title register book, registered title number, and index of title register. (16) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in subsection (a) of Code Section 44-2-240, relating to the owner's certificate of title. (17) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , each time it appears in the forms and by inserting the preceding presence in the first form in Code Section 44-2-241, relating to the transfer of whole of registered estates, undivided interests, divided portions, and to secure debt, with power of sale. (18) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , each time it appears in the forms in subsections (a) and (c) of Code Section 44-2-242, relating to creditor's certificate and endorsement of certificate. (19) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in subsection (a) of Code Section 44-2-244, relating to the judge's order of transfer.

Page 104

(20) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in subsection (a) of Code Section 44-2-245, relating to registration and recordation of mortgages. (21) By striking 19 and inserting in its place each time it appears in the form in Code Section 44-2-246, relating to notation of delinquent taxes or assessments. (22) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in Code Section 44-2-247, relating to notation of judgment. (23) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in subsection (a) of Code Section 44-2-248, relating to notation of special right, notice of lis pendens, and recordation and notation of lengthy descriptions. (24) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in Code Section 44-2-250, relating to arequest to cancel entries. (25) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in Code Section 44-2-252, relating to updating entries and notations on owner's certificate and a clerk's endorsement. (26) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in subsection (b) of Code Section 44-7-21, relating to written brokerage agreement as binding obligation and notice of commission rights form. (27) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the notice form in Code Section 44-13-7, relating to publication and form of notice of application. (28) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in Code Section 44-13-11, relating to approval of application, transmittal of copy of exempted real property to other counties, recordation, and evidentiary value. (29) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in subsection (c) of Code Section 44-14-67, relating to cancellation of deed as reconveyance of title. (30) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , each time it appears in the form in subsection (d) of Code Section 44-14-232, relating to summons, service on defendant, debtor's duty to notify creditor of address changes, and form. (31) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in subsection (e) of Code Section 44-14-233, relating to answer, reopening the default, granting writ upon default, trial, and order to turn over property to sheriff.

Page 105

(32) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in the introductory language of subsection (c) of Code Section 44-14-320, relating to certain liens established and removal of nonconforming liens. (33) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in subsection (b) of Code Section 44-14-362, relating to cancellation of preliminary notice upon final payment and form of cancellation. (34) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , each time it appears in the forms in subsections (c) and (d) and in subparagraph (f)(2)(C) and by striking acknowledgement and inserting in its place acknowledgment in subparagraph (f)(2)(B) in Code Section 44-14-366, relating to waiver of lien or claim upon bond in advance of furnishing labor, services, or materials void; interim waiver and release upon payment; unconditional waiver and release upon final payment; and affidavit of nonpayment. SECTION 45 . Title 45 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to public officers and employees, is amended as follows: (1) By striking required including and inserting in its place required, including in subsection (d) of Code Section 45-9-110, relating to authorization for consolidation, billing procedure, reserve fund, investment of funds, contracting for services, and provision of unemployment compensation benefits to certain county employees. (2) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in paragraph (2) of subsection (d) of Code Section 45-17-2.1, relating to application to be a notary and endorsements and declarations. (3) By striking article employees, and inserting in its place article of employees, by striking solicitor, and inserting in its place solicitor each time it appears, by striking commissioners; and and inserting in its place commissioners and, and by striking same after remit in subsection (b) of Code Section 45-18-5, relating to county officers and employees. (4) By striking strike. Provided, and inserting in its place strike; provided, and by striking this act and inserting in its place this article in Code Section 45-19-2, relating to public employees not to promote, participate in, or encourage strikes. (5) By striking officer of employee and inserting in its place officer or employee in subsection (c) of Code Section 45-24-6, relating to notice to chief executive officer of state departments, response required,

Page 106

proceedings when continued employment available, and review of termination or separation. SECTION 46 . Title 46 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to public utilities and public transportation, is amended as follows: (1) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , each time it appears in the form in paragraph (1) of subsection (e) of Code Section 46-3-322, relating to filing articles of incorporation, issuance of certificate of incorporation, forwarding of copy of certificate to clerk of superior court, rejection of articles of incorporation, publication of notice, and commencement of corporate existence. (2) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in subsection (a) of Code Section 46-3-423, relating to procedure after filing statement of intent to dissolve. (3) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in subsection (c) of Code Section 46-3-468, relating to application for reinstatement of certificate of authority. (4) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , each time it appears in the form in Code Section 46-5-75, relating to certificate of the Secretary of State. (5) By striking communication and inserting in its place communications and by striking staff to a 911 communication and inserting in its place staff of a `911' communications in subsection (c) of Code Section 46-5-124, relating to guidelines for implementing state-wide emergency telephone number 911 system and training and equipment standards. (6) By striking an enhanced wireless and inserting in its place a wireless enhanced in subparagraph (b)(1)(A) of Code Section 46-5-133, relating to authority of local government to adopt resolution to impose monthly 911 charge. (7) By striking 911 charges and inserting in its place 911 charge in paragraph (1) and subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (2) of subsection (a), by striking enhanced wireless and inserting in its place wireless enhanced each time it appears in paragraph (4) of subsection (d), and by striking provision and inserting in its place provisions and by deleting the comma after charge in subsection (i) of Code Section 46-5-134, relating to billing of subscribers, liability of subscriber for service charge, taxes on service, establishment of Emergency Telephone

Page 107

System Fund, records, and use of federal, state, municipal, or private funds. (8) By deleting , and no confirmation card, as described in subparagraph (a)(4)(H) or (a)(4)(I) of this Code section requiring the customer to deny or cancel a service order, may be sent out with any information package related to a customer's request for information from subsection (f) of Code Section 46-5-183, relating to procedures for confirmation of changes in selection of a primary local exchange or long distance carrier generated by telemarketing. (9) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in subsection (a) of Code Section 46-8-42, relating to certificate of incorporation, duration of corporate existence, and fee for issuance of certificate. (10) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in Code Section 46-9-230, relating to the manner of incorporation of express companies. SECTION 47 . Reserved. SECTION 48 . Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to revenue and taxation, is amended as follows: (1) By adding a comma after ad valorem taxes and by inserting a comma following not yet disbursed in subparagraph (b)(3)(A) of Code Section 48-2-44, relating to penalty and interest on failure to file return or pay revenue held in trust for state, penalty and interest on willful failure to pay ad valorem tax, and distribution of penalties and interest. (2) By striking Procedures Act and inserting in its place Procedure Act in subsections (f) and (g) of Code Section 48-2-105, relating to written notice to eligible recipients, contents, written objection to settlement, conference before commissioner or designee, determination of amount due, procedure for other disputes, and appeal. (3) By striking quality and nature and inserting in its place quality or nature in subsections (a) and (d) and by striking , 19 and inserting in its place , each time it appears in the forms in subsections (b) and (e) of Code Section 48-3-14, relating to petition to reduce execution to judgment and procedures for nonresident. (4) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , each time it appears in the notice in subsection

Page 108

(a) of Code Section 48-4-46, relating to form of notice of foreclosure of right to redeem, service, time, return and record, and waiver. (5) By striking `Interested Party' and inserting in its place `Interested party' in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) of Code Section 48-4-77, relating to definitions relative to ad valorem tax foreclosures. (6) By striking paragraphs (3) and (4) of subsection (b) of Code Section 48-4-79, relating to a judicial hearing on petition, orders, priority of claims, and death of interested party, and inserting in their place the following: (3) Easements and rights of way of holders who are not interested parties under subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) of Code Section 48-4-77; and (4) Benefits or burdens of any real covenants filed of record as of the date of filing of the petition. (7) By striking lien holder and inserting in its place lienholder each time it appears in subsection (c) of Code Section 48-4-80, relating to redemption by owner or other interested party. (8) By inserting of subsection (a) following paragraph (10) in paragraphs (3) and (4) of subsection (a) of Code Section 48-5-41.1, relating to exemption of qualified farm products from taxation. (9) By striking sixty-five (65) and inserting in its place 65, by striking State and inserting in its place state, and by striking above exempted and inserting in its place above-exempted in subsection (b) of Code Section 48-5-47, relating to applications for homestead exemptions of individuals 65 or older. (10) By striking 5 and inserting in its place five in paragraph (3) of subsection (a) of Code Section 48-5-47.1, relating to homestead exemptions for individuals 62 or older with annual incomes not exceeding $30,000.00 (11) Reserved. (12) By striking 48-5-3111 and inserting in its place 48-5-311 in subsection (d) of Code Section 48-5-48.1, relating to the tangible personal property inventory exemption, application, failure to file application as waiver of exemption, and denials. (13) By striking county, and inserting in its place county in paragraph (7) of Code Section 48-5-103, relating to duties of tax receivers. (14) By striking the semicolons and inserting in their place periods at the end of subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (11); by striking the purchase, replacement, and maintenance of school lunchroom

Page 109

equipment, purchase of school lunchroom supplies, transportation, storage, and preparation of foods, all other costs and inserting in its place the: purchase, replacement, and maintenance of school lunchroom equipment; purchase of school lunchroom supplies; transportation, storage, and preparation of foods; and all other costs in paragraph (18) of Code Section 48-5-220, relating to purposes of county taxes. (15) By striking case by case and inserting in its place case-by-case in subsection (c) of Code Section 48-5-242, relating to waiver of penalties due on unpaid taxes. (16) By striking division and inserting in its place subdivision in subdivision (b) (1) (A) (i) (I) of Code Section 48-5-269, relating to authority to promulgate rules and regulations regarding uniform books, records, forms, and manuals and limits on change in current use value of conservation use property. (17) By striking Notwithstanding Code Section 50-18-74, failure and inserting in its place Failure in paragraph (3) of subsection (a) of Code Section 48-5-314, relating to confidentiality of certain taxpayer records. (18) By striking insure and inserting in its place ensure in paragraph (3) of subsection (a) of Code Section 48-5-349.2, relating to procedure for appeal to the department. (19) By striking herein and inserting in its place in this Code section in Code Section 48-5-478, relating to constitutional exemption from ad valorem taxation for disabled veterans. (20) By striking $3,000 and inserting in its place $3,000.00 in paragraph (4) of subsection (b) of Code Section 48-7-26, relating to personal exemptions. (21) By striking the terms FSC's and DISC's each time they appear and inserting in their respective places foreign sales corporations and domestic import sales corporations in subsection (a) of Code Section 48-7-56, relating to time and place of filing returns, extensions, tentative returns, extensions for members of armed forces, and estimated returns. (22) By striking identifiable and inserting in its place identifiable in subsections (c) and (d) of Code Section 48-8-67, relating to distribution of certain unidentifiable sales and use tax proceeds, limitations, and powers and duties of state revenue commissioner. (23) By striking (a) (1) (B) (i) of this Code section and inserting in its place (i) of this subparagraph in subparagraph (a) (1) (B) (ii) of Code Section 48-13-51, relating to county and municipal levies on public accommodations charges for promotion of tourism, conventions, and trade shows.

Page 110

SECTION 49 . Title 49 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to social services, is amended as follows: (1) By deleting Article 4 of from paragraph (6) of Code Section 49-4-121, relating to definitions relative to medical assistance for aged. SECTION 50 . Reserved. SECTION 51 . Title 51 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to torts, is amended as follows: (1) By striking herein and inserting in its place in this Code Section in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 51-1-29.1, relating to liability of voluntary health care provider and sponsoring organization. SECTION 52 . Title 52 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to waters of the state, ports, and watercraft, is amended as follows: (1) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in Code Section 52-4-2, relating to issuance of certificate of incorporation for canal company. (2) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in Code Section 52-5-3, relating to issuance of certificate of incorporation for navigation company generally. (3) By inserting an between read by and arresting in the undesignated language following the notice in paragraph (2) of subsection (b) and by striking specified above and inserting in its place specified in paragraph (1) of this subsection in paragraph (3) of subsection (g) of Code Section 52-7-12.5, relating to ordering drug or alcohol tests, implied consent notice, reports, suspension, hearing, and certificate of inspection. SECTION 53 . Title 53 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to wills, is amended as follows: (1) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in subsection (b) of Code Section 53-4-24 of the Revised Probate Code of 1998, relating to self-proved will or codicil.

Page 111

(2) By striking , 19 and inserting in its place , in the form in subsection (b) of Code Section 53-12-52, relating to filing of deed in superior court, clerk's fees, filing of copies with Secretary of State, certificate, use of certified copy as evidence, additional copies and fees therefor, and filing and fees for amendments. (3) By striking Code Sections 11-8-317 and inserting in its place Code Sections 11-8-112 in Code Section 53-12-54, relating to issuance of certificates of beneficial interest, status of certificates, enforcement of claims against estate, service of process, venue, and liability of trustees and beneficiaries. SECTION 54 . Except for Title 47, the text of Code sections and title, chapter, article, part, subpart, Code section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, division, and subdivision numbers and designations as contained in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated published under authority of the state by the Michie Company in 1982 and contained in Volumes 3 through 40 of such publication or replacement volumes thereto, as amended by the text and numbering of Code sections as contained in the 1998 supplements to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated published under authority of the state in 1998 by the Michie Company, is reenacted and shall have the effect of statutes enacted by the General Assembly of Georgia. Annotations; editorial notes; Code Revision Commission notes; research references; notes on law review articles; opinions of the Attorney General of Georgia; indexes; analyses; title, chapter, article, part, and subpart captions or headings, except as otherwise provided in the Code; catchlines of Code sections or portions thereof, except as otherwise provided in the Code; and rules and regulations of state agencies, departments, boards, commissions, or other entities which are contained in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated are not enacted as statutes by the provisions of this Act. Material which has been added in brackets or parentheses and editorial, delayed effective date, effect of amendment, or other similar notes within the text of a Code section by the editorial staff of the publisher in order to explain or to prevent a misapprehension concerning the contents of the Code section and which is explained in an editorial note is not enacted by the provisions of this section and shall not be considered a part of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated. The reenactment of the statutory portion of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated by this Act shall not affect, supersede, or repeal any Act of the General Assembly, or portion thereof, which is not contained in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated and which was not repealed by Code Section 1-1-10, specifically including those Acts which have not yet been included in the text of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated because of effective dates which extend beyond the effective date of the Code or the publication date of the Code or its supplements. The provisions contained in other sections of this Act and in the other Acts

Page 112

enacted at the 1998 regular session of the General Assembly of Georgia shall supersede the provisions of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated reenacted by this section. SECTION 55 . This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval. SECTION 56 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 5, 1999. STATE GOVERNMENTGEORGIA REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY; CREATION. Code Titles 32, 45, and 50 Amended. No. 38 (Senate Bill No. 57). AN ACT To provide for the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority; to amend Title 32 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to highways, bridges, and ferries, so as to change certain provisions relating to receipt of federal funds by the state and inconsistency between provisions of state and federal law; to provide for allocation of certain expenditures from the State Public Transportation Fund and of federal funds; to provide for certain reports; to change certain provisions relating to operation of and financial assistance to mass transit systems; to change certain provisions relating to transit services with local governments; to amend Article 6 of Chapter 12 of Title 45 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the Governor's planning and development, so as to change certain provisions relating to composition, appointment of members, and meetings of the Governor's Development Council; to change certain provisions relating to attachment of the council for administrative purposes and technical support; to amend Title 50 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to state government, so as to create the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority; to provide a short title; to define certain terms; to provide for the membership, appointment, and terms of members of the authority; to provide for the purposes, status, jurisdiction, powers, duties, rights, procedures, immunities, personnel, and resources of the authority; to provide for the creation and activation of special districts; to provide for land transportation and air quality projects within such special districts; to provide for financing of projects related to the purposes of the authority; to provide that certain projects shall not be commenced nor funds be expended by the state, political subdivisions, or departments, agencies, or

Page 113

authorities thereof under certain circumstances; to provide for the issuance of revenue bonds, guaranteed revenue bonds, bonds, notes, obligations, and other evidences of indebtedness under certain terms and conditions; to provide tax exemptions for the authority and the bonds thereof; to provide for land transportation and air quality services by local governments; to provide that certain funds shall be withheld from local governments under certain circumstances; to provide that certain prohibitions of expenditures or withholding of funds by the authority shall not effect certain budgeted allocations of funds; to provide for legislative intent; to change certain provisions relating to definitions relative to the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority; 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 . Title 32 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to highways, bridges, and ferries, is amended by striking Code Section 32-5-1, relating to receipt of federal funds by the state and inconsistency between provisions of state and federal law, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 32-5-1. (a) The director of the Office of Treasury and Fiscal Services is designated the proper authority to receive any of the federal-aid funds apportioned by the federal government under 23 U.S.C. and to receive any other federal funds apportioned to the State of Georgia for public road and other public transportation purposes, unless designated otherwise by the federal government. (b) If any provisions of this chapter are inconsistent with or contrary to any laws, rules, regulations, or other requirements of the United States Department of Transportation or other federal agencies, the Georgia Department of Transportation is authorized and empowered to waive such provisions of this chapter in order to resolve any such inconsistency or conflict, it being the purpose of this chapter to enable the department to comply with any requirement of the federal government in order to procure all possible federal aid and assistance for the construction or maintenance of the public roads of Georgia and other public transportation purposes. SECTION 2 . Said title is further amended by adding to Chapter 5 a new Article 3 to read as follows: ARTICLE 3 32-5-30.

Page 114

(a) Each state-wide transportation improvement program shall include an allocation of state and federal funds which provides that the total of expenditures from the State Public Transportation Fund under paragraphs (4), (5), and (6) of Code Section 32-5-21 plus expenditures of federal funds appropriated to the department, not including any state or federal funds specifically designated for maintenance and operations, or any project of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, Georgia Ports Authority, or Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, shall be budgeted or programmed over the effective three-year period of such program such that 100 percent of such total shall be divided equally for such period among the congressional districts in this state for public road and other public transportation purposes in such districts. (b) (1) The board may upon approval by two-thirds of its membership authorize a reduction in the share of funds allocated pursuant to this Code section to any congressional district if such supermajority of the board determines that such district does not have sufficient projects available for expenditure of funds within that district to avoid lapsing of appropriated funds. (2) In case of a reduction in allocation of funds for any congressional district pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection, the amount of funds made available by such reduction shall be divided equally among all other congressional districts in this state for allocation to such districts in addition to the allocation made to such other districts pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section. (c) Provisions of this Code section may be waived pursuant to subsection (b) of Code Section 32-5-1 only upon approval by two-thirds of the membership of the board. 32-5-31. In each calendar year, the board shall provide to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Speaker of the House of Representatives a written report detailing the equitable allocation of funds among congressional districts pursuant to Code Section 32-5-30 for the fiscal year ending June 30 of that same calendar year. SECTION 3 . Said title is further amended by striking subsections (a) and (c) of Code Section 32-9-2, relating to operation of and financial assistance to mass transit systems, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (a) As used in this Code section, the term: (1) `Capital project' has the same meaning as in 49 U.S.C.A. Section 5302(a) (1). (2) `Construction' means the supervising, inspecting, actual building, and all expenses incidental to the acquisition, actual building, or

Page 115

reconstruction of facilities and equipment for use in mass transportation, including designing, engineering, locating, surveying, mapping, and acquisition of rights of way. (3) `Mass transportation' means all modes of transportation serving the general public which are appropriate, in the judgment of the department, to transport people, commodities, or freight by highways, rail, air, water, or other conveyance, exclusive of wires and pipelines. (c) (1) The department may, when funds are available from the United States government for such purposes, provide assistance to the operators of mass transportation systems or to the owners of facilities used in connection therewith for the payment of operating expenses to improve or to continue such mass transportation service by operation, lease, contract, or otherwise. (2) The department may, when funds are available from the United States government for such purposes, participate in the acquisition, construction, and improvement of facilities and equipment, including capital projects, for use, by operation or lease or otherwise, in mass transportation service. (3) The department's participation with state funds in those programs specified in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection may be in either cash, products, or in-kind services. The department's participation with state funds shall be limited to a maximum of 10 percent of the cost of the program. The remainder shall be provided from sources other than department funds or from revenues from the operation of public mass transportation systems. SECTION 4 . Said title is further amended by striking Code Section 32-9-11, relating to transit services with local governments, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 32-9-11. (a) As used in this Code section, the term: (1) `Local government' means any county, municipality, or political subdivision of this state, or any combination thereof. (2) `Transit agency' means any public agency, public corporation, or public authority existing under the laws of this state that is authorized by any general, special, or local law to provide any type of transit services within any area of this state but shall not include the Department of Transportation, the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, or the Georgia Rail Passenger Authority. (3) `Transit facilities' means everything necessary and appropriate for the conveyance and convenience of passengers who utilize transit services.

Page 116

(4) `Transit services' means all modes of transportation serving the general public which are appropriate to transport people and their personal effects by highway or other ground conveyance but does not include rail conveyance. (b) Any transit agency may, by contract with any local government for any period not exceeding 50 years, provide transit services or transit facilities for, to, or within that local government or between that local government and any area in which such transit agency provides transit services or transit facilities, except that if such services or facilities are to be funded wholly or partially by fees, assessments, or taxes levied and collected within a special district created pursuant to Article IX, Section II, Paragraph VI of the Constitution, such contract may only become effective if it is approved by a majority of the qualified voters voting in such local government in a special election which shall be called and conducted for that purpose by the election superintendent of such local government. Any services provided by a transit agency pursuant to a contract authorized by this subsection shall be conditioned upon such services being included in a plan for transit services adopted or approved by the governing authority of the county and by the governing authorities of any municipalities within which transit services are to be provided as provided in the plan. (c) The purpose of this Code section is to facilitate the exercise of the power to provide public transportation services conferred by Article IX, Section II, Paragraph III of the Constitution. This Code section does not repeal any other law conferring the power to provide public transportation services or prescribing the manner in which such power is to be exercised. This Code section does not restrict the power of the Department of Transportation, the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, or the Georgia Rail Passenger Authority to contract with any local government to provide transit services or transit facilities, including but not limited to rail transit services and facilities, pursuant to Article IX, Section III, Paragraph I of the Constitution. SECTION 5 . Article 6 of Chapter 12 of Title 45 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the Governor's planning and development, is amended by striking Code Section 45-12-203, relating to composition, appointment of members, and meetings of the Governor's Development Council, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 45-12-203. (a) The members of the board of directors of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority provided by Code Section 50-32-4, upon their initial appointment and thereafter, shall constitute the membership of the council. Membership on that authority or the council shall not

Page 117

constitute an appointment to an office of honor or trust for purposes of subsection (a) of Code Section 50-32-4. (b) The chair of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority shall serve as the chair of the council. (c) The council shall hold meetings as often as the chair determines, but not more than 12 days each year. The chair may call special meetings upon adequate written, personal, telephone, or facsimile notice to members of the council. A majority of the members of the council shall constitute a quorum for conducting business. No member may act through a proxy, designee, or delegate. The council may establish, from time to time, such additional rules and procedures as the council deems appropriate for conducting the council's business. These rules and procedures may be established in bylaws or in such other form as the council deems appropriate. SECTION 6 . Said article is further amended by striking Code Section 45-12-205, relating to attachment of the Governor's Development Council for administrative purposes and technical support, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 45-12-205. The council shall be attached to the Department of Community Affairs for administrative purposes. The Department of Community Affairs and the Office of Planning and Budget shall provide technical support to the council as directed by the chair and approved by the Governor. SECTION 7 . Title 50 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to state government, is amended by adding a new Chapter 32 to read as follows: CHAPTER 32 ARTICLE 1 50-32-1. This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the `Georgia Regional Transportation Authority Act.' 50-32-2. As used in this chapter, the term: (1) `Authority' means the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority. (2) `Bond' includes any revenue bond, bond, note, or other obligation.

Page 118

(3) `Clean Air Act' means the federal Clean Air Act, as amended in 1990 and codified at 42 U.S.C.A. Sections 7401 to 7671q. (4) `Cost of project' or `cost of any project' means: (A) All costs of acquisition, by purchase or otherwise, construction, assembly, installation, modification, renovation, extension, rehabilitation, operation, or maintenance incurred in connection with any project, facility, or undertaking of the authority or any part thereof; (B) All costs of real property or rights in property, fixtures, or personal property used in or in connection with or necessary for any project, facility, or undertaking of the authority or for any facilities related thereto, including but not limited to, the cost of all land, interests in land, estates for years, easements, rights, improvements, water rights, and connections for utility services; the cost of fees, franchises, permits, approvals, licenses, and certificates; the cost of securing any such franchises, permits, approvals, licenses, or certificates; the cost of preparation of any application therefor; and the cost of all fixtures, machinery, equipment, furniture, and other property used in or in connection with or necessary for any project, facility, or undertaking of the authority; (C) All financing charges, bond insurance or other credit enhancement fee, and loan or loan guarantee fees and all interest on revenue bonds, notes, or other obligations of the authority which accrue or are paid prior to and during the period of construction of a project, facility, or undertaking of the authority and during such additional period as the authority may reasonably determine to be necessary to place such project, facility, or undertaking of the authority in operation; (D) All costs of engineering, surveying, planning, environmental assessments, financial analyses, and architectural, legal, and accounting services and all expenses incurred by engineers, surveyors, planners, environmental scientists, fiscal analysts, architects, attorneys, accountants, and any other necessary technical personnel in connection with any project, facility, or undertaking of the authority or the issuance of any bonds, notes, or other obligations for such project, facility, or undertaking; (E) All expenses for inspection of any project, facility, or undertaking of the authority; (F) All fees of fiscal agents, paying agents, and trustees for bond owners under any bond resolution, trust agreement, indenture of trust, or similar instrument or agreement; all expenses incurred by any such fiscal agents, paying agents, bond registrar, and trustees; and all other costs and expenses incurred relative to the issuance of any bonds, revenue bonds, notes, or other obligations for any

Page 119

project, facility, or undertaking of the authority, including bond insurance or credit enhancement fee; (G) All fees of any type charged by the authority in connection with any project, facility, or undertaking of the authority; (H) All expenses of or incidental to determining the feasibility or practicability of any project, facility, or undertaking of the authority; (I) All costs of plans and specifications for any project, facility, or undertaking of the authority; (J) All costs of title insurance and examinations of title with respect to any project, facility, or undertaking of the authority; (K) Repayment of any loans for the advance payment of any part of any of the foregoing costs, including interest thereon and any other expenses of such loans; (L) Administrative expenses of the authority and such other expenses as may be necessary or incidental to any project, facility, or undertaking of the authority or the financing thereof or the placing of any project, facility, or undertaking of the authority in operation; and (M) The establishment of a fund or funds for the creation of a debt service reserve, a renewal and replacement reserve, or such other funds or reserves as the authority may approve with respect to the financing and operation of any project, facility, or undertaking of the authority and as may be authorized by any bond resolution, trust agreement, indenture, or trust or similar instrument or agreement pursuant to the provisions of which the issuance of any revenue bonds, notes, or other obligations of the authority may be authorized. Any cost, obligation, or expense incurred for any of the purposes specified in this paragraph shall be a part of the cost of the project, facility, or undertaking of the authority and may be paid or reimbursed as such out of the proceeds of revenue bonds, notes, or other obligations issued by the authority or as otherwise authorized by this chapter. (5) `County' means any county created under the Constitution or laws of this state. (6) `Facility' shall have the same meaning as `project.' (7) `Local government' or `local governing authority' means any municipal corporation or county or any state or local authority, board, or political subdivision created by the General Assembly or pursuant to the Constitution and laws of this state.

Page 120

(8) `May' means permission and not command. (9) `Metropolitan planning organization' means the forum for cooperative transportation decision making for a metropolitan planning area. (10) `Metropolitan transportation plan' means the official intermodal transportation plan that is developed and adopted through the metropolitan transportation planning process for a metropolitan planning area. (11) `Municipal corporation' or `municipality' means any city or town in this state. (12) `Obligation' means any bond, revenue bond, note, lease, contract, evidence of indebtedness, debt, or other obligation of the authority, the state, or local governments which are authorized to be issued under this chapter or under the Constitution or other laws of this state, including refunding bonds. (13) `Office of profit or trust under the state' means any office created by or under the provisions of the Constitution, but does not include elected officials of county or local governments. (14) `Project' means the acquisition, construction, installation, modification, renovation, repair, extension, renewal, replacement, or rehabilitation of land, interest in land, buildings, structures, facilities, or other improvements and the acquisition, installation, modification, renovation, repair, extension, renewal, replacement, rehabilitation, or furnishing of fixtures, machinery, equipment, furniture, or other property of any nature whatsoever used on, in, or in connection with any such land, interest in land, building, structure, facility, or other improvement, all for the essential public purpose of providing facilities and services to meet land public transportation needs and environmental standards and to aid in the accomplishment of the purposes of the authority. (15) `Revenue bond' includes any bond, note, or other obligation payable from revenues derived from any project, facility, or undertaking of the authority. (16) `State implementation plan' means the portion or portions of an applicable implementation plan approved or promulgated, or the most recent revision thereof, under Sections 110, 301(d), and 175A of the Clean Air Act. (17) `State-wide transportation improvement program' means a staged, multiyear, state-wide, intermodal program defined in 23 C.F.R. Section 450.104 which contains transportation projects consistent with the state-wide transportation plan and planning processes and metro-politan plans, transportation improvement programs, and processes.

Page 121

(18) `State-wide transportation plan' means the official state-wide, intermodal transportation plan as defined in 23 C.F.R. Section 450.104 that is developed through the state-wide transportation planning process. (19) `Transportation improvement program' means a staged, multiyear, intermodal program as defined in 23 C.F.R. Section 450.104 and consisting of transportation projects which is consistent with the metropolitan transportation plan. (20) `Undertaking' shall have the same meaning as `project.' 50-32-3. (a) There is created the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority as a body corporate and politic, which shall be deemed an instrumentality of the State of Georgia and a public corporation thereof, for purposes of managing or causing to be managed land transportation and air quality within certain areas of this state; and by that name, style, and title such body may contract and be contracted with and bring and defend actions in all courts of this state. (b) The management of the business and affairs of the authority shall be vested in a board of directors, subject to the provisions of this chapter and to the provisions of bylaws adopted by the board as authorized by this chapter. The board of directors shall make bylaws governing its own operation and shall have the power to make bylaws, rules, and regulations for the government of the authority and the operation, management, and maintenance of such projects as the board may determine appropriate to undertake from time to time. (c) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a majority of the members of the board then in office shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The vote of a majority of the members of the board present at the time of the vote, if a quorum is present at such time, shall be the act of the board unless the vote of a greater number is required by law or by the bylaws of the board of directors. The board of directors, by resolution adopted by a majority of the full board of directors, shall designate from among its members an executive committee and one or more other committees, each consisting of two or more members of the board, which shall have and exercise such authority as the board may delegate to it under such procedures as the board may direct by resolution establishing such committee or committees. (d) No vacancy on the authority shall impair the right of a majority of the appointed members from exercising all rights and performing all duties of the authority. The authority shall have perpetual existence. Any change in the name or composition of the authority shall in no way affect

Page 122

the vested rights of any person under this chapter or impair the obligations of any contracts existing under this chapter. 50-32-4. (a) The initial board of directors of the authority shall consist of 15 members. All members of the board and their successors shall be appointed for terms of five years each, except that the initial terms for eight members of the board appointed in 1999 shall be three years each; and the particular beginning and ending dates of such terms shall be specified by the Governor. All members of the board shall be appointed by the Governor of the State of Georgia and shall serve until the appointment and qualification of a successor, the provisions of subsection (b) of Code Section 45-12-52 to the contrary notwithstanding; except as otherwise provided in this Code section. Said members shall be appointed so as to reasonably reflect the characteristics of the general public within the jurisdiction or potential jurisdiction of the authority, subject to the provisions of subsection (d) of this Code section. No person holding any other office of profit or trust under the state shall be appointed to membership. The chair of the board of directors shall be appointed and designated by the Governor. (b) All successors shall be appointed in the same manner as original appointments. Vacancies in office shall be filled in the same manner as original appointments. A person appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve for the unexpired term. No vacancy on the board shall impair the right of the quorum of the remaining members then in office to exercise all rights and perform all duties of the board. (c) The members of the board of directors shall be entitled to and shall be reimbursed for their actual travel expenses necessarily incurred in the performance of their duties and, for each day actually spent in the performance of their duties, shall receive the same per diem as do members of the General Assembly. (d) Members of the board of directors may be removed by executive order of the Governor for misfeasance, malfeasance, nonfeasance, failure to attend three successive meetings of the board without good and sufficient cause, abstention from voting unless authorized under subsection (g) of this Code section, or upon a finding of a violation of Code Section 45-10-3 pursuant to the procedures applicable to that Code section. A violation of Code Section 45-10-3 may also subject a member to the penalties provided in subparagraphs (a)(1)(A), (a)(1)(B), and (a)(1)(C) of Code Section 45-10-28, pursuant to subsection (b) of Code Section 45-10-28. In the event that a vacancy or vacancies on the board renders the board able to obtain a quorum but unable to obtain the attendance of a number of members sufficient to constitute such supermajorities as may be required by this chapter, the board shall entertain no motion or measure requiring such a supermajority until a

Page 123

number of members sufficient to constitute such supermajority is present, and the Governor shall be immediately notified of the absence of members. (e) The members of the authority shall be subject to the applicable provisions of Chapter 10 of Title 45, including without limitation Code Sections 45-10-3 through 45-10-5. Members of the authority shall be public officers who are members of a state board for purposes of the financial disclosure requirements of Article 3 of Chapter 5 of Title 21. The members of the authority shall be accountable in all respects as trustees. The authority shall keep suitable books and records of all actions and transactions and shall submit such books together with a statement of the authority's financial position to the state auditor on or about the close of the state's fiscal year. The books and records shall be inspected and audited by the state auditor at least once in each year. (f) Meetings of the board of directors, regular or special, shall be held at the time and place fixed by or under the bylaws, with no less than five days public notice for regular meetings as prescribed in the bylaws, and such notice as the bylaws may prescribe for special meetings. Each member shall be given written notice of all meetings as prescribed in the bylaws. Meetings of the board may be called by the chairperson or by such other person or persons as the bylaws may authorize. Notice of any regular or special meeting shall be given to the Governor at least five days prior to such meeting, unless the Governor waives such notice requirement, and no business may be transacted at any meeting of the board unless and until the Governor has acknowledged receipt of or waived such notice. (g) All meetings of the board of directors shall be subject to the provisions of Chapter 14 of this title. A written record of each vote taken by the board, specifying the yea or nay vote or absence of each member as to each measure, shall be transmitted promptly to the Governor upon the adjournment of each meeting. No member may abstain from a vote other than for reasons constituting disqualification to the satisfaction of a majority of a quorum of the board on a record vote. (h) The authority is assigned to the Department of Community Affairs for administrative purposes only. ARTICLE 2 50-32-10. (a) (1) This chapter shall operate uniformly throughout the state. (2) (A) The initial jurisdiction of the authority for purposes of this chapter shall encompass the territory of every county which was designated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) in the Code of Federal Regulations as of December 31, 1998,

Page 124

as a county included in whole or in part within a nonattainment area under the Clean Air Act and which the board designates, through regulation, as a county having excess levels of ozone, carbon monoxide, or particulate matter. (B) The jurisdiction of the authority for purposes of this chapter shall also encompass the territory of every county designated by the USEPA in the Code of Federal Regulations after December 31, 1998, as a county included in whole or in part within a nonattainment area under the Clean Air Act and which the board designates, through regulation, as a county having excess levels of ozone, carbon monoxide, or particulate matter, provided that the jurisdictional area encompassed under this subparagraph shall be contiguous with the jurisdictional area encompassed under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph. (b) (1) Within three months of the effective date of this chapter, the director of the Environmental Protection Division shall report and certify to the authority and the Governor, pursuant to criteria established by that division, counties which are reasonably expected to become nonattainment areas under the Clean Air Act within seven years from the date of such report and certification, and shall update such report and certification every six months thereafter. Within the geographic territory of any county so designated, the board shall provide, by resolution or regulation, that the funding, planning, design, construction, contracting, leasing, and other related facilities of the authority shall be made available to county and local governments for the purpose of planning, designing, constructing, operating, and maintaining land public transportation systems and other land transportation projects, air quality installations, and all facilities necessary and beneficial thereto, and for the purpose of designing and implementing designated metropolitan planning organizations' land transportation plans and transportation improvement programs, on such terms and conditions as may be agreed to between the authority and such county or local governments. (2) By resolution of the county governing authority, the special district created by this chapter encompassing the territory of any county reported and certified pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection may be activated for the purposes of this chapter, or such county may be brought within the jurisdiction of the authority by resolution of the governing authority. (3) The jurisdiction of the authority for purposes of this chapter shall be extended to the territory of any county the territory of which is not contiguous with the jurisdiction established by subsection (a) of this Code section which is designated by the USEPA in the Code of Federal Regulations as a county included in whole or in part within a nonattainment area under the Clean Air Act and which the board

Page 125

designates, through regulation, as a county having excess levels of ozone, carbon monoxide, or particulate matter. Upon any such county or self-contiguous group of counties coming within the jurisdiction of the authority, a single member who shall reside within such additional territory shall be added to the board, together with an additional member, who may reside within or without such additional territory, for each 200,000 persons above the number of 200,000 persons forming the population of such additional territory according to the 1990 United States decennial census or any future such census. (c) Upon acquiring jurisdiction over the territory of any county, the authority's jurisdiction over such territory shall continue until 20 years have elapsed since the later of the date such county was redesignated by the USEPA as in attainment under the Clean Air Act or such designation by the USEPA is no longer made. (d) (1) Upon the lapse of the authority's jurisdiction over a geographic area pursuant to the provisions of this Code section, the authority shall have the power to enter into such contracts, lease agreements, and other instruments necessary or convenient to manage and dispose of real property and facilities owned or operated by the authority within such geographic area, and shall dispose of all such property not more than five years after the lapse of such jurisdiction, but shall retain jurisdiction for the purpose of operating and managing such property and facilities until their final disposition. (2) The provisions of this subsection shall be implemented consistent with the terms of such contracts, lease agreements, or other instruments or agreements as may be necessary or required to protect federal interests in assets purchased, leased, or constructed utilizing federal funding in whole or in part, and the authority is empowered to enter into such contracts, lease agreements, or other instruments or agreements with appropriate federal agencies or other representatives or instrumentalities of the federal government from time to time as necessary to achieve the purposes of this chapter and the protection of federal interests. (e) Except for the purpose of reviewing proposed regional transportation plans and transportation improvement programs prepared by metropolitan planning organizations in accordance with requirements specifically placed upon the Governor by federal law, the jurisdiction of the authority shall not extend to the territory and facilities of any airport as defined in Code Section 6-3-20.1 and which is certified under 14 C.F.R. Part 139. In no event shall the authority have jurisdiction to design, construct, repair, improve, expand, own, maintain, or operate any such airport or any facilities of such airport. 50-32-11. (a) The authority shall have the following general powers:

Page 126

(1) To sue and be sued in all courts of this state, the original jurisdiction and venue of any such action being the superior court of any county wherein a substantial part of the business was transacted, the tortious act, omission, or injury occurred, or the real property is located, except that venue and jurisdiction for bond validation proceedings shall be as provided by paragraph (9) of subsection (e) of Code Section 50-32-31; (2) To have a seal and alter the same at its pleasure; (3) To plan, design, acquire, construct, add to, extend, improve, equip, operate, and maintain or cause to be operated and maintained land public transportation systems and other land transportation projects, and all facilities and appurtenances necessary or beneficial thereto, within the geographic area over which the authority has jurisdiction or which are included within an approved transportation plan or transportation improvement program and provide land public transportation services within the geographic jurisdiction of the authority, and to contract with any state, regional, or local government, authority, or department, or with any private person, firm, or corporation, for those purposes, and to enter into contracts and agreements with the Georgia Department of Transportation, county and local governments, and transit system operators for those purposes; (4) To plan, design, acquire, construct, add to, extend, improve, equip, operate, and maintain or cause to be operated and maintained air quality control installations, and all facilities and appurtenances necessary or beneficial thereto, within the geographic area over which the authority has jurisdiction for such purposes pursuant to this chapter, and to contract with any state, regional, or local government, authority, or department, or with any private person, firm, or corporation, for those purposes; provided, however, that where such air quality control measures are included in an applicable implementation plan, they shall be approved by the Environmental Protection Division of the state Department of Natural Resources and by the United States Environmental Protection Agency where necessary to preserve their protected status during any conformity lapse; (5) To make and execute contracts, lease agreements, and all other instruments necessary or convenient to exercise the powers of the authority or to further the public purpose for which the authority is created, such contracts, leases, or instruments to include contracts for acquisition, construction, operation, management, or maintenance of projects and facilities owned by local government, the authority, or by the state or any political subdivision, department, agency, or authority thereof, and to include contracts relating to the execution of the powers of the authority and the disposal of the property of the authority from time to time; and any and all local governments,

Page 127

departments, institutions, authorities, or agencies of the state are authorized to enter into contracts, leases, agreements, or other instruments with the authority upon such terms and to transfer real and personal property to the authority for such consideration and for such purposes as they deem advisable; (6) To acquire by purchase, lease, or otherwise and to hold, lease, and dispose of real or personal property of every kind and character, or any interest therein, in furtherance of the public purpose of the authority, in compliance, where required, with applicable federal law including without limitation the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, as amended, 40 U.S.C. Section 4601 et seq., 23 C.F.R. Section 1.23, and 23 C.F.R. Section 713(c); (7) To appoint an executive director who shall be executive officer and administrative head of the authority. The executive director shall be appointed and serve at the pleasure of the authority. The executive director shall hire officers, agents, and employees, prescribe their duties and qualifications and fix their compensation, and perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the authority. Such officers, agents, and employees shall serve at the pleasure of the executive director; (8) To finance projects, facilities, and undertakings of the authority for the furtherance of the purposes of the authority within the geographic area over which the authority has jurisdiction by loan, loan guarantee, grant, lease, or otherwise, and to pay the cost of such from the proceeds of bonds, revenue bonds, notes, or other obligations of the authority or any other funds of the authority or from any contributions or loans by persons, corporations, partnerships, whether limited or general, or other entities, all of which the authority is authorized to receive, accept, and use; (9) To extend credit or make loans or grants for all or part of the cost or expense of any project, facility, or undertaking of a political subdivision or other entity for the furtherance of the purposes of the authority within the geographic area over which the authority has jurisdiction upon such terms and conditions as the authority may deem necessary or desirable; and to adopt rules, regulations, and procedures for making such loans and grants; (10) To borrow money to further or carry out its public purpose and to issue guaranteed revenue bonds, revenue bonds, notes, or other obligations to evidence such loans and to execute leases, trust indentures, trust agreements for the sale of its revenue bonds, notes, or other obligations, loan agreements, mortgages, deeds to secure debt, trust deeds, security agreements, assignments, and such other agreements or instruments as may be necessary or desirable in the

Page 128

judgment of the authority, and to evidence and to provide security for such loans; (11) To issue guaranteed revenue bonds, revenue bonds, bonds, notes, or other obligations of the authority, to receive payments from the Department of Community Affairs, and to use the proceeds thereof for the purpose of: (A) Paying or loaning the proceeds thereof to pay, all or any part of, the cost of any project or the principal of an premium, if any, and interest on the revenue bonds, bonds, notes, or other obligations of any local government issued for the purpose of paying in whole or in part, the cost of any project and having a final maturity not exceeding three years from the date of original issuance thereof; (B) Paying all costs of the authority incidental to, or necessary and appropriate to, furthering or carrying out the purposes of the authority; and (C) Paying all costs of the authority incurred in connection with the issuance of the guaranteed revenue bonds, revenue bonds, bonds, notes, or other obligations; (12) To collect fees and charges in connection with its loans, commitments, management services, and servicing including, but not limited to, reimbursements of costs of financing, as the authority shall determine to be reasonable and as shall be approved by the authority; (13) Subject to any agreement with bond owners, to invest moneys of the authority not required for immediate use to carry out the purposes of this chapter, including the proceeds from the sale of any bonds and any moneys held in reserve funds, in obligations which shall be limited to the following: (A) Bonds or other obligations of the state or bonds or other obligations, the principal and interest of which are guaranteed by the state; (B) Bonds or other obligations of the United States or of subsidiary corporations of the United States government fully guaranteed by such government; (C) Obligations of agencies of the United States government issued by the Federal Land Bank, the Federal Home Loan Bank, the Federal Intermediate Credit Bank, and the Bank for Cooperatives; (D) Bonds or other obligations issued by any public housing agency or municipality in the United States, which bonds or obligations are fully secured as to the payment of both principal and interest by a pledge of annual contributions under an annual contributions contract or contracts with the United States government, or project

Page 129

notes issued by any public housing agency, urban renewal agency, or municipality in the United States and fully secured as to payment of both principal and interest by a requisition, loan, or payment agreement with the United States government; (E) Certificates of deposit of national or state banks or federal savings and loan associations located within the state which have deposits insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any Georgia deposit insurance corporation and certificates of deposit of state building and loan associations located within the state which have deposits insured by any Georgia deposit insurance corporation, including the certificates of deposit of any bank, savings and loan association, or building and loan association acting as depository, custodian, or trustee for any such bond proceeds; provided, however, that the portion of such certificates of deposit in excess of the amount insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any Georgia deposit insurance corporation, if any such excess exists, shall be secured by deposit with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Georgia, or with any national or state bank located within the state, of one or more of the following securities in an aggregate principal amount equal at least to the amount of such excess: (i) Direct and general obligations of the state or of any county or municipality in the state; (ii) Obligations of the United States or subsidiary corporations included in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph; (iii) Obligations of agencies of the United States government included in subparagraph (C) of this paragraph; or (iv) Bonds, obligations, or project notes of public housing agencies, urban renewal agencies, or municipalities included in subparagraph (D) of this paragraph; (F) Interest-bearing time deposits, repurchase agreements, reverse repurchase agreements, rate guarantee agreements, or other similar banking arrangements with a bank or trust company having capital and surplus aggregating at least $50 million or with any government bond dealer reporting to, trading with, and recognized as a primary dealer by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York having capital aggregating at least $50 million or with any corporation which is subject to registration with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System pursuant to the requirements of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, provided that each such interest-bearing time deposit, repurchase agreement, reverse repurchase agreement, rate guarantee agreement, or other similar banking arrangement shall permit the moneys so placed to be available for use at the time

Page 130

provided with respect to the investment or reinvestment of such moneys; and (G) State operated investment pools; (14) To acquire or contract to acquire from any person, firm, corporation, local government, federal or state agency, or corporation by grant, purchase, or otherwise, leaseholds, real or personal property, or any interest therein; and to sell, assign, exchange, transfer, convey, lease, mortgage, or otherwise dispose of or encumber the same; and local government is authorized to grant, sell, or otherwise alienate leaseholds, real and personal property, or any interest therein to the authority; (15) Subject to applicable covenants or agreements related to the issuance of bonds, to invest any moneys held in debt service funds or sinking funds not restricted as to investment by the Constitution or laws of this state or the federal government or by contract not required for immediate use or disbursement in obligations of the types specified in paragraph (13) of this subsection, provided that, for the purposes of this paragraph, the amounts and maturities of such obligations shall be based upon and correlated to the debt service, which debt service shall be the principal installments and interest payments, schedule for which such moneys are to be applied; (16) To provide advisory, technical, consultative, training, educational, and project assistance services to the state and local government and to enter into contracts with the state and local government to provide such services. The state and local governments are authorized to enter into contracts with the authority for such services and to pay for such services as may be provided them; (17) To make loan commitments and loans to local governments and to enter into option arrangements with local governments for the purchase of said bonds, revenue bonds, notes, or other obligations; (18) To sell or pledge any bonds, revenue bonds, notes, or other obligations acquired by it whenever it is determined by the authority that the sale thereof is desirable; (19) To apply for and to accept any gifts or grants or loan guarantees or loans of funds or property or financial or other aid in any form from the federal government or any agency or instrumentality thereof, or from the state or any agency or instrumentality thereof, or from any other source for any or all of the purposes specified in this chapter and to comply, subject to the provisions of this chapter, with the terms and conditions thereof; (20) To lease to local governments any authority owned facilities or property or any state owned facilities or property which the authority is managing under contract with the state;

Page 131

(21) To contract with state agencies or any local government for the use by the authority of any property or facilities or services of the state or any such state agency or local government or for the use by any state agency or local government of any facilities or services of the authority and such state agencies and local governments are authorized to enter into such contracts; (22) To extend credit or make loans, including the acquisition of bonds, revenue bonds, notes, or other obligations of the state, any local government, or other entity, including the federal government, for the cost or expense of any project or any part of the cost or expense of any project, which credit or loans may be evidenced or secured by trust indentures, loan agreements, notes, mortgages, deeds to secure debt, trust deeds, security agreements, or assignments, on such terms and conditions as the authority shall determine to be reasonable in connection with such extension of credit or loans, including provision for the establishment and maintenance of reserve funds; and, in the exercise of powers granted by this chapter in connection with any project, the authority shall have the right and power to require the inclusion in any such trust indentures, loan agreement, note, mortgage, deed to secure debt, trust deed, security agreement, assignment, or other instrument such provisions or requirements for guaranty of any obligations, insurance, construction, use, operation, maintenance, and financing of a project and such other terms and conditions as the authority may deem necessary or desirable; (23) As security for repayment of any bonds, revenue bonds, notes, or other obligations of the authority, to pledge, lease, mortgage, convey, assign, hypothecate, or otherwise encumber any property of the authority including, but not limited to, real property, fixtures, personal property, and revenues or other funds and to execute any lease, trust indenture, trust agreement, agreement for the sale of the authority's revenue bonds, notes or other obligations, loan agreement, mortgage, deed to secure debt, trust deed, security agreement, assignment, or other agreement or instrument as may be necessary or desirable, in the judgment of the authority, to secure any such revenue bonds, notes, or other obligations, which instruments or agreements may provide for foreclosure or forced sale of any property of the authority upon default in any obligation of the authority, either in payment of principal, premium, if any, or interest or in the performance of any term or condition contained in any such agreement or instrument; (24) To receive and use the proceeds of any tax levied to pay all or any part of the cost of any project or for any other purpose for which the authority may use its own funds pursuant to this chapter; (25) To use income earned on any investment for such corporate purposes of the authority as the authority in its discretion shall

Page 132

determine, including, but not limited to, the use of repaid principal and earnings on funds, the ultimate source of which was an appropriation to a budget unit of the state to make loans for projects; (26) To cooperate and act in conjunction with industrial, commercial, medical, scientific, public interest, or educational organizations; with agencies of the federal government and this state and local government; with other states and their political subdivisions; and with joint agencies thereof and such state agencies, local government, and joint agencies are authorized and empowered to cooperate and act in conjunction, and to enter into contracts or agreements with the authority and local government to achieve or further the purposes of the authority; (27) To coordinate, cooperate, and contract with any metropolitan planning organization for a standard metropolitan statistical area which is primarily located within an adjoining state but which includes any territory within the jurisdiction of the authority to achieve or further the purposes of the authority as provided by this chapter; (28) To coordinate and assist in planning for land transportation and air quality purposes within the geographic area over which the authority has jurisdiction pursuant to this chapter, between and among all state, regional, and local authorities charged with planning responsibilities for such purposes by state or federal law, and to adopt a regional plan or plans based in whole or in part on such planning; (29) To review and make recommendations to the Governor concerning all proposed regional land transportation plans and transportation improvement programs prepared by metropolitan planning organizations wholly or partly within the geographic area over which the authority has jurisdiction pursuant to this chapter, and to negotiate with such metropolitan planning organizations concerning changes or amendments to such plans which may be recommended by the authority or the Governor consistent with applicable federal law and regulation, and to adopt such regional plans as all or a portion of its own regional plans; (30) To review and make recommendations to the Governor concerning all land transportation plans and transportation improvement programs prepared by the Department of Transportation involving design, construction, or operation of land transportation facilities wholly or partly within the geographic area over which the authority has jurisdiction pursuant to this chapter, and to negotiate with that department concerning changes or amendments to such plans which may be recommended by the authority or the Governor consistent with applicable federal law and regulation, and to adopt such plans as all or a portion of its own regional plans; (31) To acquire by the exercise of the power of eminent domain any real property or rights in property which it may deem necessary for its

Page 133

purposes under this chapter pursuant to the procedures set forth in this chapter, and to purchase, exchange, sell, lease, or otherwise acquire or dispose of any property or any rights or interests therein for the purposes authorized by this chapter or for any facilities or activities incident thereto, subject to and in conformity with applicable federal law and regulation; (32) To the extent permissible under federal law, to operate as a receiver of federal grants, loans, and other moneys intended to be used within the geographic area over which the authority has jurisdiction pursuant to this chapter for inter-urban and intra-urban transit, land public transportation development, air quality and air pollution control, and other purposes related to the alleviation of congestion and air pollution; (33) Subject to any covenant or agreement made for the benefit of owners of bonds, notes, or other obligations issued to finance roads or toll roads, in planning for the use of any road or toll road which lies within the geographical area over which the authority has jurisdiction, the authority shall have the power to control or limit access thereto, including the power to close off, regulate, or create access to or from any part, excluding the interstate system, of any road on the state highway system, a county road system, or a municipal street system to or from any such road or toll road or any property or project of the authority, to the extent necessary to achieve the purposes of the authority; the authority may submit an application for an interstate system right of way encroachment through the state Department of Transportation, and that department shall submit the same to the Federal Highway Administration for approval. The authority shall provide any affected local government with not less than 60 days notice of any proposed access limitation; (34) To exercise any power granted by the laws of this state to public or private corporations which is not in conflict with the public purpose of the authority; (35) To do all things necessary or convenient to carry out the powers conferred by this chapter; (36) To procure insurance against any loss in connection with its property and other assets or obligations or to establish cash reserves to enable it to act as self-insurer against any and all such losses; (37) To accept and use federal funds; to enter into any contracts or agreements with the United States or its agencies or subdivisions relating to the planning, financing, construction, improvement, operation, and maintenance of any public road or other mode or system of land transportation; and to do all things necessary, proper, or expedient to achieve compliance with the provisions and requirements of all applicable federal-aid acts and programs. Nothing in this chapter is

Page 134

intended to conflict with any federal law; and, in case of such conflict, such portion as may be in conflict with such federal law is declared of no effect to the extent of the conflict; (38) To ensure that any project funded by the authority in whole or in part with federal-aid funds is included in approved transportation improvement programs adopted and approved by designated metropolitan planning organizations and the Governor and in the land transportation plan adopted and approved by the designated metropolitan planning organization, and is in compliance with the requirements of relevant portions of the regulations implementing the Clean Air Act including without limitation 40 C.F.R. Section 93.105(c)(1)(ii) and 40 C.F.R. Section 93.122(a)(1), where such inclusion, approval, designation, or compliance is required by applicable federal law or regulation; and (39) To appoint and select officers, agents, and employees, including engineering, architectural, and construction experts and attorneys, and to fix their compensation. (b) In addition to the above-enumerated general powers, and such other powers as are set forth in this chapter, the authority shall have the following powers with respect to special districts created and activated pursuant to this chapter: (1) By resolution, to authorize the provision of land public transportation services and the institution of air quality control measures within the bounds of such special districts by local governments within such special districts utilizing the funding methods authorized by this chapter where the facilities for such purposes are located wholly within the jurisdiction of such local governments and such special districts or are the subject of contracts between or among such local governments and where such services and measures are certified by the authority to be consistent with the designated metropolitan planning organizations' regional plans, where applicable; (2) By resolution, to authorize the utilization by local governments within such special districts of the funding mechanisms enumerated in Code Section 50-32-30 to provide funding to defray the cost of land public transportation and air quality control measures certified and provided pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection; (3) By resolution, to authorize the utilization by local governments within such special districts of the above-enumerated funding mechanisms to assist in funding those portions of regional land public transportation systems which lie within and provide service to the territory of such local governments within special districts; and (4) By resolution, to contract with local governments within such special districts for funding, planning services, and such other services

Page 135

as the authority may deem necessary and proper to assist such local governments in providing land public transportation services and instituting air quality control measures within the bounds of such special districts where the facilities for such purposes are located wholly within the jurisdiction of such local governments and such special districts or are the subject of contracts between or among such local governments, and where such services and measures are certified by the authority to be consistent with the designated metropolitan planning organizations' regional plans, where applicable. (c) The provisions of local government services and the utilization of funding mechanisms therefor consistent with the terms of this chapter shall not be subject to the provisions of Chapter 70 of Title 36; provided, however, that the authority shall, where practicable, provide for coordination and consistency between the provision of such services pursuant to the terms of this chapter and the provision of such services pursuant to Chapter 70 of Title 36. 50-32-12. Pursuant to the authority granted by Article IX, Section II, Paragraph VI of the Constitution of this state, there are created within this state 159 special districts. One such district shall exist within the geographic boundaries of each county, and the territory of each district shall include all of the territory within its respective county. Any special district within a county within the geographic area over which the authority has jurisdiction shall be deemed activated for purposes of this chapter. 50-32-13. (a) The Governor may delegate to the authority, by executive order, his or her powers under applicable federal transportation planning and air quality laws and regulations, including without limitation the power to resolve revision disputes between metropolitan planning organizations and the Department of Transportation under 40 C.F.R. Section 93.105, the power to approve state-wide transportation improvement programs under 23 U.S.C. Section 134 and 23 C.F.R. Sections 450.312(b), 450.324(b), and 450.328(a), and the power of approval and responsibilities for public involvement under 23 C.F.R. Section 450.216(a). (b) In exercising the authority's delegated powers concerning proposed state-wide transportation plans and transportation improvement programs prepared by metropolitan planning organizations wholly or partly within the geographic area over which the authority has jurisdiction or by the Department of Transportation: (1) Transportation plans and transportation improvement programs subject to the authority's delegated review powers shall be approved by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the authorized membership of the board to a motion made for that purpose;

Page 136

(2) The authority may request modification of such a plan or program and approve such proposal for modification of a plan or program by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the authorized membership of the board to a motion made for that purpose; (3) The board may set a date certain as a deadline for submission of any such plan or program to the authority for review; and (4) If any such plan or program is not timely submitted for review in compliance with a deadline set by the board, the authority may exercise its delegated power to disapprove such plan or program upon the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the authorized membership of the board to a motion made for that purpose; provided, however, that where one or more vacancies exist on the board and the board is not otherwise prohibited from entertaining a motion requiring such a supermajority, such motion shall carry on the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members present. On any motion requiring a supermajority for passage, any abstention not authorized as provided in this chapter shall be deemed an affirmative vote for purposes of passage or failure of such motion. (c) The authority shall formulate measurable targets for air quality improvements and standards within the geographic area over which the authority has jurisdiction pursuant to this chapter, and annually shall report such targets to the Governor, together with an assessment of progress toward achieving such targets and projected measures and timetables for achieving such targets. 50-32-14. In any case where a development of regional impact, as determined by Department of Community Affairs pursuant to Article 1 of Chapter 8 of this title, is planned within the geographic area over which the authority has jurisdiction which requires the expenditure of state or federal funds by the state or any political subdivision, agency, authority, or instrumentality thereof to create land transportation services or access to such development, any expenditure of such funds shall be prohibited unless and until the plan for such development and such expenditures is reviewed and approved by the authority. The decision of the authority to allow or disallow the expenditure of such funds shall be final and nonreviewable, except that such decision shall be reversed where a resolution for such purpose is passed by vote of three-fourths of the authorized membership of the county commission of the county in which the development of regional impact is planned or, if such development is within a municipality, by vote of three-fourths of the authorized membership of the city council. Such a vote shall not constitute failure or refusal by the local government for purposes of Code Section 50-32-53.

Page 137

50-32-15. (a) In furtherance of the purposes of the authority, no project of the Georgia Rail Passenger Authority created by Article 9 of Chapter 9 of Title 46 which is located wholly or partly within the geographic area over which the authority has jurisdiction shall be commenced after the effective date of this chapter unless such project is approved by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the authorized membership of the board of directors of the authority pursuant to a motion made for that purpose; provided, however, that where such project is an approved transportation control measure pursuant to an approved state implementation plan, such project may proceed consistent with applicable federal law and regulation. (b) From time to time, by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the authorized membership of the board of directors of the authority, the authority may direct the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority to issue revenue bonds, bonds, notes, loans, credit agreements, or other obligations or facilities to finance, in whole or in part, any project or the cost of any project of the authority wholly or partly within the geographic area over which the authority has jurisdiction, by means of a loan, extension of credit, or grant from the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority to the authority, on such terms or conditions as shall be concluded between the two authorities. (c) The Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority shall be subordinate to the authority in all respects, with respect to authority projects, within the geographic area over which the authority has jurisdiction; and, in the event of any conflict with the provisions of Chapter 23 of this title, the provisions of this chapter shall prevail in all respects. It is expressly provided, however, that nothing in this Code section and nothing in this chapter shall be construed to permit in any manner the alteration, elimination, or impairment of any term, provision, covenant, or obligation imposed on any state authority, including but not limited to the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority, the State Toll Road Authority, the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, or the Georgia Rail Passenger Authority for the benefit of any owner or holder of any bond, note, or other obligation of any such authority. 50-32-16. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, funds appropriated to or otherwise obtained by the Department of Transportation pursuant to Article III, Section IX, Paragraph VI(b) of the Constitution of this state and paragraphs (2) and (7) of subsection (a) of Code Section 32-2-2 shall not be utilized for designation, improvement, or construction of any land public transportation system or any part of the state highway system lying within the boundaries of a county whose special district created pursuant to this chapter has been activated pursuant to

Page 138

the provisions of this chapter, unless such designation, improvement, or construction is safety related or has been conducted by or through, or approved by, the authority, or such funds are within categories applicable to state-wide inspection or improvement required for compliance with federal law or regulation. 50-32-17. (a) After the adoption by the authority of a resolution declaring that the acquisition of the real property described therein is necessary for the purposes of this chapter, the authority may exercise the power of eminent domain in the manner provided in Title 22; or it may exercise the power of eminent domain in the manner provided by any other applicable statutory provisions for the exercise of such power; provided, however, that the provisions of Article 7 of Chapter 16 of this title shall not be applicable to the exercise of the power of eminent domain by the authority. Property already devoted to public use may be acquired, except that no real property belonging to the state other than property acquired by or for the purposes of the Department of Transportation may be acquired without the consent of the state. (b) Real property acquired by the authority in any manner for the purposes of this chapter shall not be subject to the exercise of eminent domain by any state department, division, board, bureau, commission, authority, or other agency or instrumentality of the executive branch of state government, or by any political subdivision of the state or any agency, authority, or instrumentality thereof, without the consent of the authority. 50-32-18. The authority shall have all rights afforded the state by virtue of the Constitution of the United States, and nothing in this chapter shall be construed to remove any such rights. 50-32-19. Neither the members of the authority nor any officer or employee of the authority acting on behalf thereof, while acting within the scope of his or her authority, shall be subject to any liability resulting from: (1) The construction, ownership, maintenance, or operation of any project financed with the assistance of the authority; (2) The construction, ownership, maintenance, or operation of any project, facility, or undertaking authorized by the authority and owned by a local government; or (3) Carrying out any of the powers expressly given in this chapter.

Page 139

50-32-20. (a) Upon request of the board of the authority, the Department of Transportation and the Department of Natural Resources shall provide to the authority and its authorized personnel and agents access to all books, records, and other information resources available to those departments which are not of a commercial proprietary nature, and shall assist the authority in identifying and locating such information resources. Reimbursement for costs of identification, location, transfer, or reproduction of such information resources, including personnel costs incurred by the respective departments for such purposes, shall be made by the authority to those respective departments. (b) The authority may request from time to time, and the Department of Transportation and the Department of Natural Resources shall provide as permissible under the Constitution and laws of this state, the assistance of personnel and the use of facilities, vehicles, aircraft, and equipment of those departments, and reimbursement for all costs and salaries thereby incurred by the respective departments shall be made by the authority to those respective departments. ARTICLE 3 50-32-30. In accomplishing its purposes pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, the authority may utilize, unless otherwise prohibited by law, any combination of the following funding resources: (1) Revenue bonds as authorized by this chapter; (2) Guaranteed revenue bonds as authorized by this chapter; (3) Funds obtained in a special district created and activated pursuant to this chapter, for the purposes of providing local land transportation and air quality services within such district or, by contract with, between, and among local governments within such special districts, throughout such districts; (4) Moneys borrowed by the authority pursuant to the provisions of this chapter; (5) Such federal funds as may from time to time be made available to the authority or for purposes coincident with the purposes of the authority within the territory over which the authority has jurisdiction; and (6) Such grants or contributions from persons, firms, corporations, or other entities as the authority may receive from time to time. 50-32-31. (a) (1) The authority shall have the power and is authorized at one time or from time to time to provide by one or more authorizing

Page 140

resolutions for the issuance of revenue bonds, but the authority shall not have the power to incur indebtedness under this subsection in excess of the cumulative principal sum of $1 billion but excluding from such limit bonds issued for the purpose of refunding bonds which have been previously issued. The authority shall have the power to issue such revenue bonds and the proceeds thereof for the purpose of paying all or part of the costs of any project or undertaking which is for the purpose of exercising the powers delegated to it by this chapter, and the construction and provision of such installations and facilities as the authority may from time to time deem advisable to construct or contract for those purposes, as such undertakings and facilities shall be designated in the resolution of the board of directors authorizing the issuance of such bonds. (2) The revenue bonds and the interest payable thereon shall be exempt from all taxation within the state imposed by the state or any county, municipal corporation, or other political subdivision of the state. (b) In addition, the authority shall have the power and is authorized to issue bonds in such principal amounts as the authority deems appropriate, such bonds to be primarily secured by a pool of obligations issued by local governments when the proceeds of the local government obligations are applied to projects of the authority. (c) The authority shall have the power from time to time to refund any bonds by the issuance of new bonds whether the bonds to be refunded have or have not matured and may issue bonds partly to refund bonds then outstanding and partly for any other corporate purpose. (d) Bonds issued by the authority may be general or limited obligations payable solely out of particular revenues or other moneys of the authority as may be designated in the proceedings of the authority under which the bonds shall be authorized to be issued, subject to any agreements entered into between the authority and state agencies, local government, or private parties and subject to any agreements with the owners of outstanding bonds pledging any particular revenues or moneys. (e) (1) The authority is authorized to obtain from any department, agency, or corporation of the United States of America or governmental insurer, including the state, any insurance or guaranty, to the extent now or hereafter available, as to or for the payment or repayment of interest or principal, or both, or any part thereof on any bonds or notes issued by the authority or on any obligations of federal, state, or local governments purchased or held by the authority; and to enter into any agreement or contract with respect to any such insurance or guaranty, except to the extent that the same would in any way impair or interfere with the ability of the authority to perform and fulfill the

Page 141

terms of any agreement made with the owners of the bonds or notes of the authority. (2) Bonds issued by the authority shall be authorized by resolution of the authority, be in such denominations, bear such date or dates, and mature at such time or times as the authority determines to be appropriate, except that bonds and any renewal thereof shall mature within 25 years of the date of their original issuance. Such bonds shall be subject to such terms of redemption, bear interest at such rate or rates payable at such times, be in registered form or book-entry form through a securities depository, or both, as to principal or interest or both principal and interest, carry such registration privileges, be executed in such manner, be payable in such medium of payment at such place or places, and be subject to such terms and conditions as such resolution of the authority may provide; provided, however, in lieu of specifying the rate or rates of interest which the bonds to be issued by an authority are to bear, the resolution of the authority may provide that the bonds when issued will bear interest at a rate not exceeding a maximum per annum rate of interest which may be fixed or may fluctuate or otherwise change from time to time as specified in the resolution or may state that, in the event the bonds are to bear different rates of interest for different maturity dates, none of such rates will exceed the maximum rate, which rate may be fixed or may fluctuate or otherwise change from time to time, as specified. Bonds may be sold at public or private sale for such price or prices as the authority shall determine. (3) Any resolution or resolutions authorizing bonds or any issue of bonds may contain provisions which may be a part of the contract with the owners of the bonds thereby authorized as to: (A) Pledging all or part of its revenues, together with any other moneys, securities, contracts, or property, to secure the payment of the bonds, subject to such agreements with bond owners as may then exist; (B) Setting aside of reserves and the creation of sinking funds and the regulation and disposition thereof; (C) Limiting the purpose to which the proceeds from the sale of bonds may be applied; (D) Limiting the right of the authority to restrict and regulate the use of any project or part thereof in connection with which bonds are issued; (E) Limiting the issuance of additional bonds, the terms upon which additional bonds may be issued and secured, and the refunding of outstanding or other bonds;

Page 142

(F) Setting the procedure, if any, by which the terms of any contract with bond owners may be amended or abrogated, including the proportion of bond owners which must consent thereto and the manner in which such consent may be given; (G) Creating special funds into which any revenues or other moneys may be deposited; (H) Setting the terms and provisions of any trust, deed, or indenture or other agreement under which the bonds may be issued; (I) Vesting in a trustee or trustees such properties, rights, powers, and duties in trust as the authority may determine; (J) Defining the acts or omissions to act which may constitute a default in the obligations and duties of the authority to the bond owners and providing for the rights and remedies of the bond owners in the event of such default, including as a matter of right the appointment of a receiver; provided, however, that such rights and remedies shall not be inconsistent with the general laws of the state and other provisions of this chapter; (K) Limiting the power of the authority to sell or otherwise dispose of any environmental facility or any part thereof or other property, including municipal bonds held by it; (L) Limiting the amount of revenues and other moneys to be expended for operating, administrative, or other expenses of the authority; (M) Providing for the payment of the proceeds of bonds, obligations, revenues, and other moneys to a trustee or other depository and for the method of disbursement thereof with such safeguards and restrictions as the authority may determine; and (N) Establishing any other matters of like or different character which in any way affect the security for the bonds or the rights and remedies of bond owners. (4) In addition to the powers conferred upon the authority to secure its bonds, the authority shall have power in connection with the issuance of bonds to enter into such agreements as the authority may deem necessary, consistent, or desirable concerning the use or disposition of its revenues or other moneys or property, including the mortgaging of any property and the entrusting, pledging, or creation of any other security interest in any such revenues, moneys, or property and the doing of any act, including refraining from doing any act, which the authority would have the right to do in the absence of such agreements. The authority shall have power to enter into amendments of any such agreements within the powers granted to the authority by this chapter and to perform such agreements. The

Page 143

provisions of any such agreements may be made a part of the contract with the owners of bonds of the authority. (5) Any pledge of or other security interest in revenues, moneys, accounts, contract rights, general intangibles, or other personal property made or created by the authority shall be valid, binding, and perfected from the time when such pledge is made or other security interest attaches without any physical delivery of the collateral or further act, and the lien of any such pledge or other security interest shall be valid, binding, and perfected against all parties having claims of any kind in tort, contract, or otherwise against the authority irrespective of whether or not such parties have notice thereof. No instrument by which such a pledge or security interest is created nor any financing statement need be recorded or filed. (6) All bonds issued by the authority shall be executed in the name of the authority by the chairperson and secretary of the authority and shall be sealed with the official seal or a facsimile thereof. The facsimile signature of the chairperson and the secretary of the authority may be imprinted in lieu of the manual signature if the authority so directs. Bonds bearing the manual or facsimile signature of a person in office at the time such signature was signed or imprinted shall be fully valid, notwithstanding the fact that before or after delivery thereof such person ceased to hold such office. (7) Prior to the preparation of definitive bonds, the authority may issue interim receipts, interim certificates, or temporary bonds exchangeable for definitive bonds upon the issuance of the latter; the authority may provide for the replacement of any bond which shall become mutilated or be destroyed or lost. (8) All bonds issued by the authority under this chapter may be executed, confirmed, and validated under and in accordance with Article 3 of Chapter 82 of Title 36, except as otherwise provided in this chapter. (9) The venue for all bond validation proceedings pursuant to this chapter shall be Fulton County, and the Superior Court of Fulton County shall have exclusive final court jurisdiction over such proceedings. (10) Bonds issued by the authority shall have a certificate of validation bearing the facsimile signature of the clerk of the Superior Court of Fulton County and shall state the date on which said bonds were validated; and such entry shall be original evidence of the fact of judgment and shall be received as original evidence in any court of this state. (11) The authority shall reimburse the district attorney for his or her actual costs, if any, associated with the bond validation proceedings.

Page 144

The fees payable to the clerk of the Superior Court of Fulton County for validation shall be as follows for each bond, regardless of the denomination of such bond: (A) Fifty cents each for the first 100 bonds; (B) Twenty-five cents each for the next 400 bonds; and (C) Ten cents for each such bond over 500. (12) Whether or not the bonds of the authority are of such form and character as to be negotiable instruments, the bonds are made negotiable instruments within the meaning of and for all the purposes of Georgia law subject only to the provisions of the bonds for registration. (13) Neither the members of the authority nor any person executing bonds shall be liable personally thereon or be subject to any personal liability or accountability solely by reason of the issuance thereof. (14) The authority, subject to such agreements with bond owners as then may exist, shall have power out of any moneys available therefor to purchase bonds of the authority, which shall thereupon be canceled, at a price not in excess of the following: (A) If the bonds are then redeemable, the redemption price then applicable plus accrued interest to the next interest payment date; or (B) If the bonds are not then redeemable, the redemption price applicable on the first date after such purchase upon which the bonds become subject to redemption, plus accrued interest to the next interest payment date. (15) In lieu of specifying the rate or rates of interest which bonds to be issued by the authority are to bear, the notice to the district attorney or the Attorney General, the notice to the public of the time, place, and date of the validation hearing, and the petition and complaint for validation may state that the bonds when issued will bear interest at a rate not exceeding a maximum per annum rate of interest, which rate may be fixed or may fluctuate or otherwise change from time to time, specified in such notices and petition and complaint or may state that, in the event the bonds are to bear different rates of interest for different maturity dates, none of such rates will exceed the maximum rate, which rate may be fixed or may fluctuate or otherwise change from time to time, so specified; provided, however, that nothing in this Code section shall be construed as prohibiting or restricting the right of the authority to sell such bonds at a discount, even if in doing so the effective interest cost resulting therefrom would exceed the maximum per annum interest rate specified in such notices and in the petition and complaint.

Page 145

50-32-32. (a) The authority shall have the power and is authorized to issue guaranteed revenue bonds in a maximum aggregate principal amount not to exceed $1 billion, under the terms and conditions set forth in this chapter, pursuant to the provisions of Article 2 of Chapter 17 of this title, which bonds shall constitute guaranteed revenue debt under Article VII, Section IV, Paragraph III of the Constitution of this state. The General Assembly hereby finds and determines that such issue will be self-liquidating over the life of the issue, and declares its intent to appropriate an amount equal to the highest annual debt service requirements for such issue. The proceeds of such bonds and the investment earnings thereon shall be used to finance land public transportation facilities or systems, including any costs of such projects. (b) The guaranteed revenue bonds and the interest payable thereon shall be exempt from all taxation within the state imposed by the state or any county, municipal corporation, or other political subdivision of the state. 50-32-33. The bonds of the authority are made securities in which all public officials and bodies of the state and all counties and municipalities, all insurance companies and associations, and other persons carrying on an insurance business, all banks, bankers, trust companies, savings banks, and savings associations, including savings and loan associations, investment companies and other persons carrying on a banking business, and administrators, guardians, executors, trustees, and other fiduciaries and all other persons whatsoever, who are now or may hereafter be authorized to invest in bonds or other obligations of the state, may properly and legally invest funds including capital in their control or belonging to them. The bonds are also made securities which may be deposited with and may be received by all public officers and bodies of this state and all counties and municipalities for any purposes for which the deposit of bonds or other obligations of this state are now or hereafter may be authorized. 50-32-34. The State of Georgia does pledge to and agree with the owners of any bonds issued by the authority pursuant to this chapter that the state will not alter or limit the rights vested in the authority to fulfill the terms of any agreement made with or for the benefit of the owners of bonds or in any way impair the rights and remedies of bond owners until the bonds, together with the interest thereon, with interest on any unpaid installments of interest, and all costs and expenses in connection with any action or proceeding by or on behalf of such owners, are fully met and discharged or funds for the payment of such are fully provided. The

Page 146

authority is authorized to include this pledge and agreement of the state in any agreement with bond owners. 50-32-35. The offer, sale, or issuance of bonds, notes, or other obligations by the authority shall not be subject to regulation under Chapter 5 of Title 10, known as the `Georgia Securities Act of 1973.' No notice, proceeding, or publication except those required in this chapter shall be necessary to the performance of any act authorized in this chapter; nor shall any such act be subject to referendum. 50-32-36. No bonds, notes, or other obligations of and no indebtedness incurred by the authority, other than guaranteed revenue bonds, shall constitute an indebtedness or obligation or a pledge of the faith and credit of the State of Georgia or of its agencies; nor shall any act of the authority in any manner constitute or result in the creation of an indebtedness of the state or its agencies or a cause of action against the state or its agencies; provided, however, the state, to the extent permitted by its Constitution, may guarantee payment of such bonds, notes, or other obligations as guaranteed revenue debt. 50-32-37. It is found, determined, and declared that the creation of this authority and the carrying out of its corporate purposes is in all respects for the benefit of the people of the 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 chapter. For such reasons the state covenants with the owners from time to time of the bonds, notes, and other obligations issued under this chapter that the authority shall not be required to pay any taxes or assessments imposed by the state or any of its counties, municipal corporations, political subdivisions, or taxing districts upon any property acquired by the authority or under its jurisdiction, control, possession, or supervision or leased by it to others, or upon its activities in the operation or maintenance of any such property or on any income derived by the authority in the form of fees, recording fees, rentals, charges, purchase price, installments, or otherwise, and that the bonds, notes, and other obligations of the authority, their transfer, and the income therefrom shall at all times be exempt from taxation within the state. The tax exemption provided in this chapter shall not include any exemption from sales and use tax on property purchased by the authority or for use by the authority. 50-32-38. The issuance of any bond, revenue bond, note, or other obligation or incurring of debt, public or otherwise, by the authority must be

Page 147

approved by the commission established by Article VII, Section IV, Paragraph VII of the Constitution of the State of Georgia of 1983 or its successor. 50-32-39. No bonded indebtedness of any kind shall be incurred by the authority or on behalf of the authority by the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority at any time when the highest aggregate annual debt service requirements of the state for the then current fiscal year or any subsequent fiscal year for outstanding general obligation debt and guaranteed revenue debt, including the proposed debt and treating it as state general obligation debt or guaranteed revenue debt for purposes of calculating debt limitations under this Code section, and the highest aggregate annual payments for the then current fiscal year or any subsequent fiscal year of the state under all contracts then in force to which the provisions of the second paragraph of Article IX, Section VI, Paragraph I(a) of the Constitution of 1976 are applicable, exceed 7.5 percent of the total revenue receipts, less refunds of the state treasury in the fiscal year immediately preceding the fiscal year in which any such debt is to be incurred. ARTICLE 4 50-32-50. (a) Any local government which is within the geographic area over which the authority has jurisdiction or which is within any county for which a special district has been otherwise activated pursuant to this chapter may provide, subject to the authorization of the authority as provided for in this chapter, within the territorial limits of the special district authorized by this chapter local government services consisting of land public transportation and air quality control, consistent with the terms of any authorizing resolution of the authority and, further, consistent with the regional plan or plans approved by the authority pursuant to its delegated powers if such plans are applicable to such local government's territory. In providing such local services in such special district pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, the local government shall utilize one or more of the funding mechanisms enumerated in Article IX, Section II, Paragraph VI of the Constitution of this state for the purpose of funding, in whole or in part, only the local government services authorized by this chapter, and such services may be provided, in whole or in part, pursuant to a contract between one or more local governments within a special district activated pursuant to this chapter. (b) Projects and facilities for the provision of local government services through special districts authorized by this chapter shall be planned by the authority consistent with approved regional plans, where applicable, and may be designed, constructed, managed, operated, and funded by the authority in whole or in part.

Page 148

50-32-51. (a) For the purposes of this Code section, the term `lease agreement' shall mean and include a lease, operating lease rental agreement, usufruct, sale and lease back, or any other lease agreement having a term of not more than 50 years and concerning real, personal, or mixed property, any right, title, or interest therein by and between the state, the authority, a local government, or any combination thereof. (b) A local government by resolution of its governing body may enter into a lease agreement for the provision of land public transportation or air quality services utilizing facilities owned by the authority upon such terms and conditions as the authority shall determine to be reasonable including, but not limited to, the reimbursement of all costs of construction and financing and claims arising therefrom. (c) No lease agreement shall be deemed to be a contract subject to any law requiring that a contract shall be let only after receipt of competitive bids. (d) Any lease agreement may provide for the construction of such land public transportation or air quality facility by the local government as agent for the authority. In such event, all contracts for such construction shall be let by such local government in accordance with the provisions of law otherwise applicable to the letting of such contracts by such local government and with the provisions of state law pertaining to prevailing wages, labor standards, and working hours. Any such lease agreement may contain provisions by which such local government shall indemnify the authority against any and all damages resulting from acts or omissions to act on the part of such local government or its officers, agents, or employees in constructing such facility or facilities, in letting any contracts in connection therewith, or in operating and maintaining the same. (e) Any lease agreement executed by the authority directly with any local government may provide at the termination thereof that title to the land public transportation or air quality facility project shall vest in the local government or its successor in interest, if any, free and clear of any liens or encumbrances created in connection with any contract or bonds, revenue bonds, notes, or other obligations involving the authority. (f) Any lease agreement directly between the state or authority and a local government may contain provisions requiring the local government to perform any or all of the following: (1) In the case of a land public transportation facility, to establish and collect rates, fees, and charges so as to produce revenues sufficient to pay all or a specified portion of:

Page 149

(A) The costs of operation, maintenance, renewal, replacement, and repairs of the land public transportation facility of such local government; and (B) Outstanding bonds, revenue bonds, notes, or other obligations incurred for the purposes of such land public transportation facility and to provide for the payment of all amounts as they shall become due and payable under the terms of such lease agreement, including amounts for the creation and maintenance of any required reserves; (2) In the case of an air quality facility, to establish and collect rents, rates, fees, and charges so as to produce revenues sufficient to pay all or a specified portion of: (A) The costs of operation, maintenance, renewal, and repairs of the air quality facility of such local government; and (B) Outstanding bonds, revenue bonds, notes, or other obligations incurred for the purposes of such air quality facility and to provide for the payment of all amounts as they shall become due and payable under the terms of such lease agreement, including amounts for the creation and maintenance of any required reserves; (3) To create and maintain reasonable reserves or other special funds; (4) To create and maintain a special fund or funds as additional security for the punctual payment of any rentals due under such lease agreement and for the deposit therein of such revenues as shall be sufficient to pay said lease rentals and any other amounts becoming due under such lease agreements as the same shall become due and payable; or (5) To perform such other acts and take such other action as may be deemed necessary and desirable by the authority to secure the complete and punctual performance by such local government of such lease agreements and to provide for the remedies of the authority in the event of a default by such local government in such payment. 50-32-52. (a) The authority may make grants or loans to a local government to pay all or any part of the cost of a project. In the event the local government agrees to accept such grants or loans, the authority may require the local government to issue bonds or revenue bonds as evidence of such grants or loans. The authority and a local government may enter into such loan commitments and option agreements as may be determined appropriate by the authority. (b) The authority may require as a condition of any grant or loan to a local government that such local government shall perform any or all of the following:

Page 150

(1) In the case of grants or loans for a land public transportation or air quality facility, establish and collect rates, fees, and charges so as to produce revenues sufficient to pay all or a specified portion of: (A) Costs of operation, maintenance, replacement, renewal, and repairs; and (B) Outstanding indebtedness incurred for the purposes of such facility, including the principal of and interest on the bonds, revenue bonds, notes, or other obligations issued by the local government, as the same shall become due and payable, and to create and maintain any required reserves; (2) In the case of loans for an air quality facility, establish and collect rents, rates, fees, and charges so as to produce revenues sufficient to pay all or a specified portion of: (A) Costs of operation, maintenance, renewal, replacement, and repairs of the air quality facility of such local government; and (B) Outstanding indebtedness incurred for the purposes of such air quality facility, including the principal of and interest on the bonds, revenue bonds, notes, or other obligations issued by the local government, as the same shall become due and payable, and to create and maintain any required reserves; (3) Create and maintain a special fund or funds, as additional security for the payment of the principal of such revenue bonds and the interest thereon and any other amounts becoming due under any agreement, entered into in connection therewith and for the deposit therein of such revenues as shall be sufficient to make such payment as the same shall become due and payable; (4) Create and maintain such other special funds as may be required by the authority; and (5) Perform such other acts, including the conveyance of real and personal property together with all right, title, or interest therein to the authority, or take other actions as may be deemed necessary or desirable by the authority to secure the payment of the principal of and interest on such bonds, revenue bonds, notes, or other obligations and to provide for the remedies of the authority in the event of any default by such local government in such payment. (c) All local governments issuing and selling bonds, revenue bonds, notes, or other obligations to the authority are authorized to perform such acts, take such action, adopt such proceedings, and to make and carry out such contracts with the authority as may be contemplated by this chapter. (d) In connection with the making of any loan authorized by this chapter, the authority may fix and collect such fees and charges

Page 151

including, but not limited to, reimbursement of all costs of financing by the authority, as the authority shall determine to be reasonable. Neither the Public Service Commission nor any local government or state agency shall have jurisdiction over the authority's power over the regulation of such fees or charges. 50-32-53. (a) No local government which, upon the activation of a special district created by this chapter, fails or refuses to plan, coordinate, and implement local government services in such special district as provided for in this chapter and authorized pursuant to a resolution of the authority shall be eligible for any state grant of any kind whatsoever except such grants as may be related directly to the physical and mental health, education, and police protection of its residents, nor shall any funds appropriated to or otherwise obtained by the Department of Transportation pursuant to Article III, Section IX, Paragraph VI(b) of the Constitution of this state and paragraphs (2) and (7) of subsection (a) of Code Section 32-2-2 be utilized for designation, improvement, funding, or construction of any land public transportation system or any part of the state highway system lying within the boundaries of such local government's jurisdiction, or for the nonsafety related maintenance of any land public transportation system, highway, road, or bridge operating or located within such local government's jurisdictional boundaries, nor shall such local government be permitted to receive federal grants or funds for any such purpose, unless such funds are within categories applicable to state-wide inspection or improvement required for compliance with federal law or regulation. (b) By resolution, the authority may restore eligibility for funding and receipt of grants denied pursuant to the provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section where such local government demonstrates to the satisfaction of the authority that it is taking or shall take appropriate action to cooperate with the authority. 50-32-54. (a) In the event of a failure of any local government to collect and remit in full all amounts due to the authority and all amounts due to others, which involve the credit or guarantee of the authority or of the state, on the date such amounts are due under the terms of any bond, revenue bond, note, or other obligation of the local government, it shall be the duty of the authority to notify the director of the Office of Treasury and Fiscal Services who shall withhold all funds of the state and all funds administered by the state, its agencies, boards, and instrumentalities alloted to such local government, excluding funds for education purposes, until such local government has collected and remitted in full all sums due and cured or remedied all defaults on any such bond, revenue bond, note, or other obligation.

Page 152

(b) Nothing contained in this Code section shall mandate the withholding of funds allocated to a local government which would violate contracts to which the state is a party, the requirements of federal law imposed on the state, or judgments of any court binding the state. ARTICLE 5 50-32-60. The prohibition of expenditures or withholding of funds for public road or other public transportation purposes by the authority pursuant to any provision of this chapter shall not alter the Department of Transportation's budgeted or programmed allocation of state or federal funds among congressional districts pursuant to Code Section 32-5-30. ARTICLE 6 50-32-70. This chapter, being for the welfare of this state and its inhabitants, shall be liberally construed to effect the purposes specified in this chapter. SECTION 8 . Said title is further amended by striking paragraph (12) of Code Section 50-23-4, relating to definitions relative to the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority, and inserting in its place a new paragraph (12) to read as follows: (12) `Project' means the acquisition, construction, installation, modification, renovation, repair, extension, renewal, replacement, or rehabilitation of land, interest in land, buildings, structures, facilities, or other improvements and the acquisition, installation, modification, renovation, repair, extension, renewal, replacement, rehabilitation, or furnishing of fixtures, machinery, equipment, furniture, or other property of any nature whatsoever used on, in, or in connection with any such land, interest in land, building, structure, facility, or other improvement, all for the essential public purpose of providing environmental facilities and services to meet public health and environmental standards and to aid the development of trade, commerce, industry, agriculture, and employment opportunities, or projects authorized by the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority created by Chapter 32 of this title as defined in such chapter, where the authority has been directed to issue revenue bonds, bonds, notes, or other obligations to finance such project or the cost of a project in whole or in part, provided that the authority's power with respect to such projects authorized by the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority shall be limited to providing such financing and related matters as authorized by the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority.

Page 153

SECTION 9 . This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval, with respect to the appointment of the membership of the board. In all other respects, this Act shall become effective 30 days after its approval by the Governor or its becoming law without such approval. SECTION 10 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 6, 1999. PUBLIC UTILITIES AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATIONNATURAL GAS COMPETITION AND DEREGULATION ACT; ADEQUATE MARKET CONDITIONS; COMMODITY SALES SERVICE; TIME PERIODS. Code Section 46-4-156 Amended. No. 39 (House Bill No. 822). AN ACT To amend Article 5 of Chapter 4 of Title 46 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, the Natural Gas Competition and Deregulation Act, so as to authorize the Public Service Commission to initiate a proceeding for determining that adequate market conditions exist within a delivery group; to provide for the criteria to be used in making such determination and conforming changes relating to stays of the process of customer assignment; to provide for the conditions under which an electing distribution company is released from its obligation to provide commodity sales service; to change provisions relating to the extension of certain statutory deadlines and time periods; 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 5 of Chapter 4 of Title 46 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, the Natural Gas Competition and Deregulation Act, is amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 46-4-156, relating to customer assignment and the Public Service Commission's determination of adequate market conditions, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 46-4-156 to read as follows:

Page 154

46-4-156. (a) No later than December 31, 1997, the commission shall promulgate regulations which prescribe a methodology for the random assignment to each marketer certificated within a delivery group of each firm retail customer who has not contracted for distribution service from a marketer. This methodology shall further provide that the percentage of such firm retail customers assigned to a given marketer shall be based upon the percentage at the time of such assignment of all firm retail customers within the delivery group served by such marketer. (b) Any person may file a petition requesting that the commission determine, or the commission on its own motion may determine, that adequate market conditions exist for a particular delivery group. If, after a proceeding on such petition or motion, the commission makes such a determination, the procedures that precede customer assignment shall begin. The commission shall enter a decision as to whether adequate market conditions exist within the earlier of 120 days after the close of the record in the proceeding on such petition or motion or 180 days from the filing of such petition or the making of such motion under this subsection. The commission shall determine that adequate market conditions exist within a specific delivery group based upon consideration of the following factors: (1) The number and size of alternative providers of the distribution service; (2) The extent to which the distribution service is available from alternative providers in the delivery group; (3) The ability of alternative providers to make functionally equivalent or substitute services readily available at competitive prices, terms, and conditions; and (4) Other indicators of market power which may include market share, growth in market share, ease of entry, and the affiliation of providers of a distribution service. (c) If the commission issues an order pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section determining that adequate market conditions exist, it shall prescribe in such order the contents of notices to be furnished pursuant to the provisions of subsection (e) of this Code section. Subject to the provisions of subsection (d) of this Code section, on the one hundred twentieth day following the issuance of an order for a particular delivery group: (1) The rates and terms of service of an electing distribution company for interruptible distribution service and balancing service shall not be subject to approval by the commission, provided that all firm retail customers have contracted with or have been assigned to marketers as provided for in this Code section;

Page 155

(2) The rates and terms of service for commodity sales service provided by an electing distribution company to retail purchasers of firm distribution service shall not be subject to approval by the commission, provided that all firm retail customers have contracted with or have been assigned to marketers as provided for in this Code section; and (3) Subject to subsection (d) of this Code section and provided that all initial assignments of rights to intrastate capacity for firm distribution service, interstate pipeline, and underground storage by an electing distribution company to marketers, as necessary for marketers to initiate service to all firm retail customers with which they have contracted or to which they have been assigned as provided for in this Code section, whether by allocation pursuant to a tariff approved under paragraph (3) or (4) of subsection (d) of Code Section 46-4-154 or by contract, are effective pursuant to the terms of such tariff or contract and, provided, further, that all initial assignments of rights under firm wellhead gas supply contracts by an electing distribution company to marketers, as necessary for marketers to initiate service to all firm retail customers with which they have contracted or to which they have been assigned as provided for in this Code section, by allocation pursuant to a tariff approved under Code Section 46-4-154 are effective pursuant to the terms of such tariff, an electing distribution company has no obligation to provide commodity sales service to retail customers. (d) If the one hundred twentieth day following the issuance of such order falls during a winter heating season, the provisions of subsection (c) of this Code section and customer assignment shall become effective on the day following the end of the winter heating season. (e) Within 45 days following the issuance of an order pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section, and again within 80 days following such an order, an electing distribution company shall send a notice regarding the commission's order to each of its retail customers receiving firm distribution service or commodity sales service within such delivery group. Such notices shall inform the retail customer in plain language that: (1) The electing distribution company will not provide firm distribution service or commodity sales service to such customer, as of the date determined under subsection (c) or (d) of this Code section; (2) Such customer may contract with a marketer certificated under Code Section 46-4-153 to furnish such services; and (3) If the customer does not contract with a marketer within 100 days from the date of such order, the commission will assign, on a random basis, a marketer to furnish such services to said customer.

Page 156

(f) (1) At any time that the electing distribution company determines that any deadline or the expiration of any time period prescribed by this article may result in an adverse impact upon the overall effective implementation of this article, upon the emergence of effective competition, or upon the public interest, it may petition the commission to extend such deadline or period for a time certain. (2) If, in response to such a petition or on its own motion, the commission finds that strict enforcement of any deadline or time period prescribed by this article may result in an adverse impact upon the overall effective implementation of this article, upon the emergence of effective competition, or upon the public interest, it may extend such deadline or period for any period of time up to or equal to the time extension requested in the petition or proposed in the motion. SECTION 2 . This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval. SECTION 3 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 8, 1999. REVENUE AND TAXATIONCIGAR AND CIGARETTE TAXES; SALES; RESTRICTIONS; UNFAIR OR DECEPTIVE ACTS; CONTRABAND. Code Section 48-11-23.1 Enacted. No. 40 (House Bill No. 752). AN ACT To amend Chapter 11 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to cigar and cigarette taxes, so as to provide for additional requirements with respect to the sale of cigarettes; to prohibit certain types of sales; to provide for restrictions with respect to distributors; to provide for criminal penalties; to provide that certain acts shall constitute certain unfair or deceptive acts or practices; to provide for seizure and forfeiture of contraband; to provide for powers, duties, and authority of the state revenue commissioner with respect to the foregoing; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

Page 157

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . Chapter 11 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to cigar and cigarette taxes, is amended by adding a new Code section immediately following Code Section 48-11-23, to be designated Code Section 48-11-23.1, to read as follows: 48-11-23.1. (a) As used in this Code section, the term `package' means a pack, carton, or container of any kind in which cigarettes are offered for sale, sold, or otherwise distributed, or intended for distribution, to consumers. (b) No tax stamp may be affixed to, or made upon, any package of cigarettes if: (1) The package differs in any respect with the requirements of the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act, 15 U.S.C. Sec. 1331, et seq., for the placement of labels, warnings, or any other information upon a package of cigarettes that is to be sold within the United States; (2) The package is labeled `For Export Only,' `U.S. Tax Exempt,' `For Use Outside U.S.,' or similar wording indicating that the manufacturer did not intend that the product be sold in the United States; (3) The package, or a package containing individually stamped packages, has been altered by adding or deleting the wording, labels, or warnings described in paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection; (4) The package has been imported into the United States after January 1, 2000, in violation of 26 U.S.C. Sec. 5754; or (5) The package in any way violates federal trademark or copyright laws. (c) Any person who sells or holds for sale cigarette packages to which is affixed a tax stamp in violation of subsection (b) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. (d) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the commissioner may revoke any license issued under this chapter to any person who sells or holds for sale a cigarette package to which is affixed a tax stamp in violation of subsection (b) of this Code section. (e) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the commissioner may seize and destroy or sell to the manufacturer, only for export, packages that do not comply with subsection (b) of this Code section. (f) A violation of subsection (b) of this Code section shall constitute an unfair and deceptive act or practice under Part 2 of Article 15 of Chapter 1 of Title 10, the `Fair Business Practices Act of 1975.'

Page 158

SECTION 2 . This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval. SECTION 3 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 8, 1999. COURTSSUPERIOR COURTS; OCONEE JUDICIAL CIRCUIT; TERMS; GRAND JURIES. Code Section 15-6-3 Amended. No. 42 (House Bill No. 155). AN ACT To amend Code Section 15-6-3 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to terms of court for the superior courts, so as to change the terms of court for the counties of the Oconee Judicial Circuit; to provide for a grand jury for each term of court in such circuit; 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 15-6-3 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to terms of court for the superior courts, is amended by striking in its entirety paragraph (29), and inserting in its place the following: (29) Oconee Circuit: (A) Bleckley CountySecond Monday in March and July and fourth Monday in October, and there shall be a grand jury for each term. (B) Dodge CountyThird Monday in February, first Monday in June, and last Monday in September, and there shall be a grand jury for each term. (C) Montgomery CountyFirst Monday in February, and second Monday in August, and there shall be a grand jury for each term. (D) Pulaski CountySecond Monday in April and September and first Monday in December, and there shall be a grand jury for each term. (E) Telfair CountyThird Monday in March and August and first Monday in November, and there shall be a grand jury for each term.

Page 159

(F) Wheeler CountyLast Monday in January and first Monday in August, and there shall be a grand jury for each term. SECTION 2 . This Act shall become effective on January 1, 2000. SECTION 3 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 9, 1999. CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCESSTATE PARKS; LAURA S. WALKER LAKE; MOTOR-BOATING HOURS. Code Section 12-3-10 Amended. No. 44 (House Bill No. 233). AN ACT To amend Code Section 12-3-10 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to prohibited acts generally relating to the use of state parks, historic sites, or recreational areas, so as to change motor-boating hours at Laura S. Walker Lake; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . Code Section 12-3-10 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to prohibited acts generally relating to the use of state parks, historic sites, or recreational areas, is amended by striking in its entirety subsection (h) of said Code section and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (h) It shall be unlawful for any person to use a boat, other than one on official business, with a motor which is neither electric nor ten horse-power or less on the following state park lakes: (1) Fort Yargo Lake; (2) Hamburg Lake; (3) Hard Labor Creek Lake (the 275 acre lake); (4) High Falls Lake; (5) Indian Springs Lake; (6) Kolomoki Mounds Lake; (7) Stephen C. Foster Lake;

Page 160

(8) Laura S. Walker Lake (between 7:00 A.M. eastern standard time or eastern daylight time, whichever is applicable, and 11:00 A.M. eastern standard time or eastern daylight time, whichever is applicable, and between 6:00 P.M. eastern standard time or 7:00 P.M. eastern daylight time, whichever is applicable, and sunset); (9) Little Ocmulgee Lake (between 7:00 A.M. eastern standard time or eastern daylight time, whichever is applicable, and 11:00 A.M. eastern standard time or eastern daylight time, whichever is applicable, and between 6:00 P.M. eastern standard time or eastern daylight time, whichever is applicable, and sunset); and (10) Magnolia Springs Lake (between 7:00 A.M. eastern standard time or eastern daylight time, whichever is applicable, and 11:00 A.M. eastern standard time or eastern daylight time, whichever is applicable, and between 6:00 P.M. eastern standard time or eastern daylight time, whichever is applicable, and sunset). SECTION 2 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 9, 1999. CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCESSTONE MOUNTAIN MEMORIAL ASSOCIATION; PURPOSES. Code Section 12-3-192.1 Enacted. No. 131 (Senate Bill No. 17). AN ACT To amend Part 4 of Article 6 of Chapter 3 of Title 12 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the Stone Mountain Memorial Association Act, so as to provide for the purposes of the association; 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 4 of Article 6 of Chapter 3 of Title 12 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the Stone Mountain Memorial Association Act, is amended by adding following Code Section 12-3-192 a new Code section to read as follows: 12-3-192.1. The purposes of the Stone Mountain Memorial Association shall include:

Page 161

(1) To preserve the natural areas situated within the Stone Mountain Park area; (2) To provide access to Stone Mountain for Georgia's citizens; and (3) To maintain an appropriate and suitable memorial for the Confederacy. SECTION 2 . This Act shall become effective on July 1, 1999. SECTION 3 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 9, 1999. STATE GOVERNMENTYEAR 2000 COMPUTER COMPLIANCE READINESS. Code Title 50, Chapter 32 Enacted. No. 145 (Senate Bill No. 230). AN ACT To amend Title 50 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to state government, so as to enact the Year 2000 Readiness Act; to provide a short title; to define terms; to authorize certain state regulatory agencies to investigate certain entities under their regulatory jurisdiction with respect to the adequacy, security, and accommodation afforded by their services; to authorize investigation and require certain reports and information with respect to entities' readiness and ability to operate without disruption due to changes in dates; to require entities to develop contingency plans; to provide for civil penalties for failure to furnish required reports, information, and plans; to provide for civil penalties for failure of essential services due to noncompliance; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date; to provide for automatic repeal; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . Title 50 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to state government, is amended by adding at its end a new Chapter 32 to read as follows: CHAPTER 32 50-32-1.

Page 162

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the `Year 2000 Readiness Act.' 50-32-2. As used in this chapter, the term: (1) `Agency' means the Public Service Commission, the Environmental Protection Division of the Department of Natural Resources, and the Department of Human Resources. (2) `Entity' means: (A) With respect to the Public Service Commission, without exclusion, all utility service providers in the following categories: investor owned electric companies, electric membership corporations, municipal electric systems, investor owned natural gas local distribution companies, municipal natural gas systems, natural gas marketers, incumbent local exchange telecommunications companies, competitive local exchange telecommunications companies, interexchange telecommunications companies, and other telecommunications common carriers, but excluding long-distance telecommunications resellers, pay phone service providers, natural gas master meter operators, housing authorities, wireless telecommunications companies, water and waste-water utility service providers, and cable companies; (B) With respect to the Environmental Protection Division of the Department of Natural Resources: (i) Waste-water treatment facilities as defined in Chapter 391-3-6.02(2) (d) of the Georgia Rules for Water Quality; (ii) Water treatment systems as defined in Chapter 391-3-0.02 of the Georgia Rules for Safe Drinking Water; (iii) Entities operating air-cleaning devices as defined in Code Section 12-9-3; and (iv) Hazardous waste treatment systems which include any method, process, or equipment which treats, removes, reduces, recycles, or renders less noxious any substance defined in applicable state rules and regulations for hazardous waste management as a hazardous waste; and (C) With respect to the Department of Human Resources: (i) Any facility licensed under Code Section 31-13-8.2 to use radioactive materials or radiation generating equipment for diagnostic and therapeutic medical uses; (ii) Ambulatory surgical or obstetrical facilities as defined in Code Section 31-6-2;

Page 163

(iii) Clinical laboratories as defined in Code Section 31-22-1; (iv) Emergency medical services and ambulance services as defined in Code Section 31-11-2; (v) Health maintenance organizations and managed health care plans as defined in Chapters 20A and 21 of Title 33; (vi) Home health agencies as defined in Code Section 31-7-150; (vii) Hospices as defined in Code Section 31-7-172; (viii) Institutions as defined in Code Section 31-7-1; (ix) Intermediate care facilities as defined in Code Section 31-6-2; (x) Private home care providers as defined in Code Section 31-7-300; (xi) Nursing homes as defined in Code Section 43-27-1; and (xii) Personal care homes as defined in Code Section 31-7-12. (3) `Essential service' means any service the loss or interruption of which directly threatens the health, safety, or economic well-being of the people of the state. (4) `Year 2000' means the calendar year commencing immediately after the hour of 12:00 Midnight of December 31, 1999. (5) `Year 2000 compliance' means that the software, application, hardware, firmware, equipment, embedded chip, or other applicable item which is represented to be Year 2000 compliant (the `item'): (A) Is able, without delay, error, invalid or incorrect results, premature endings, or interruption, to consistently and correctly recognize, handle, accept, sort, manipulate, calculate, display, store, retrieve, access, compare, and process date, year, and time data and information before, between, during, and after January 1, 1999, September 9, 1999, December 31, 1999, January 1, 2000, February 29, 2000, March 1, 2000, and any other date after December 31, 1999 (all of the foregoing being collectively defined as the `relevant dates'), including, but not limited to, accepting any date, year, or time data and performing calculations or other operations or functions on dates, years, or times or portions of dates, years, or times, without delay, error, invalid or incorrect results, premature endings, or interruption; (B) Before, between, during, and after any of the relevant dates, functions accurately in accordance with any applicable specifications or documentation and without delay, interruption, premature endings, error, invalid or incorrect results, or changes in operations

Page 164

associated with the occurrence of any of the relevant dates or the advent of any new century, year, leap year, or any other date, year, or time related matter; (C) Consistently and accurately responds to, stores, and provides output of two-digit year data or six-digit date data and properly resolves any ambiguity as to century or year; (D) Will not be adversely affected in any manner by the advent of the Year 2000 or the passing or transition of any year, century, or other relevant date; (E) Has been designed to accommodate same century and multicentury formulas and date values and date data interface values that reflect the century; and (F) Consistently, correctly, accurately, unambiguously, and without delay, error, invalid or incorrect results, premature endings, or interruption receives, provides, processes, and interfaces date, year, and time data between all items and all other software, applications, hardware, firmware, equipment, embedded chip, or other applicable items. 50-32-3. (a) Each agency shall have authority to examine the affairs of any entity under its jurisdiction with respect to the adequacy of such entity's plans to ensure the provision of essential services which may be lost or interrupted by disruption of computer related functions only as a result of the occurrence of the Year 2000 and may require by rule or regulation the provision of information with respect thereto. (b) Each agency shall have the authority to require by rule or regulation any entity under its jurisdiction to prepare and submit contingency plans for implementation in the event of disruption of computer related functions on the occurrence of the Year 2000. (c) Each entity shall complete and respond completely to any Year 2000 status survey conducted by an agency no later than 30 calendar days after receipt. Failure to respond in a timely manner may result in an administrative penalty of up to $1,000.00 per day until the completed survey response is received by requesting agency. (d) Each entity shall provide, when required by an agency having jurisdiction over such entity, updates to Year 2000 status surveys at the intervals specified by the agency. The agency may require subsequent additional updates as it deems necessary and may assess an administrative penalty of not more than $1,000.00 per day for failure to timely submit such updates, subject to the provisions of Code Section 50-32-5.

Page 165

50-32-4. Each agency shall have the authority to audit the entities under its jurisdiction for all matters related to Year 2000 compliance and contingency planning pursuant to rule or regulation. Each entity shall produce all requested audit materials and entity personnel subject to 30 days' notice by the agency conducting the audit. Failure to produce requested audit materials, if they exist, and requested entity personnel, or in case of personal emergencies a reasonable substitute, may result in an administrative penalty of up to $1,000.00 per day until the requested materials are produced or requested personnel are made available. 50-32-5. (a) Failure of any essential service due to an entity's failure to reasonably and appropriately plan for Year 2000 compliance may subject an entity to a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000.00, which penalty may be imposed by an agency subject to notice and hearing under the provisions of Chapter 13 of this title. (b) All other administrative penalties which may be imposed pursuant to the terms of this chapter shall be subject to the procedures set forth in subsection (a) of this Code section. (c) The provisions for penalties in this chapter shall not impair the right of any person, firm, corporation, or local government body to bring an action for injunctive or other relief pursuant to any other applicable provision of law. 50-32-6. Rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to this chapter shall be deemed to be provisions protecting against imminent danger to the public health, safety, or welfare, and subject to the emergency rule-making provisions of subsection (b) of Code Section 50-13-4. SECTION 2 . This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval. SECTION 3 . This Act shall stand repealed on December 31, 2001; provided, however, that proceedings for enforcement of penalties provided for in this Act shall not be abated by such repeal, and such penalties may be imposed and collected where such proceedings were pending on or prior to that date. SECTION 4 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 9, 1999.

Page 166

STATE GOVERNMENTAPPROPRIATIONS; SUPPLEMENTAL FOR S.F.Y. 1998-99. No. 146 (House Bill No. 143) AN ACT To amend an Act providing appropriations for the State Fiscal Year 1998-1999 known as the General Appropriations Act, approved April 20, 1998 (Ga. L. 1998, p. 1402), so as to change certain appropriations for the State Fiscal Year 1998-1999; to make language and other changes; to reallocate certain funds; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: Section 1 . An Act providing appropriations for the State Fiscal Year 1998-1999, as amended, known as the General Appropriations Act approved April 20, 1998 (Ga. L. 1998, p. 1402), is further amended by striking everything following the enacting clause through Section 63, and by substituting in lieu thereof the following: That the sums of money hereinafter provided are appropriated for the State Fiscal Year beginning July 1, 1998, and ending June 30, 1999, as prescribed hereinafter for such fiscal year, from funds from the Federal Government and the General Funds of the State, including unappropriated surplus, reserves and a revenue estimate of $11,849,775,000 (excluding indigent trust fund receipts and lottery receipts) for State Fiscal Year 1999. PART I . LEGISLATIVE BRANCH Section 1. General Assembly. Budget Unit: General Assembly $ 27,801,978 Personal ServicesStaff $ 14,893,147 Personal ServicesElected Officials $ 4,064,823 Regular Operating Expenses $ 2,522,335 TravelStaff $ 107,000 TravelElected Officials $ 7,000 Capital Outlay $ 0 Per Diem Differential $ 519,200 Equipment $ 238,000 Computer Charges $ 985,450 Real Estate Rentals $ 5,000 Telecommunications $ 652,500 Per Diem, Fees and ContractsStaff $ 123,022 Per Diem, Fees and ContractsElected Officials $ 2,451,701 Photography $ 100,000 Expense Reimbursement Account $ 1,132,800 Total Funds Budgeted $ 27,801,978 State Funds Budgeted $ 27,801,978 Senate Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds Senate and Research Office $ 4,557,828 $ 4,557,828 Lt. Governor's Office $ 862,851 $ 862,851 Secretary of the Senate's Office $ 1,235,345 $ 1,235,345 Total $ 6,656,024 $ 6,656,024 House Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds House of Representatives and Research Office $ 10,740,572 $ 10,740,572 Speaker of the House's Office $ 450,796 $ 450,796 Clerk of the House's Office $ 1,437,706 $ 1,437,706 Total $ 12,629,074 $ 12,629,074 Joint Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds Legislative Counsel's Office $ 2,983,333 $ 2,983,333 Legislative Fiscal Office $ 2,068,000 $ 2,068,000 Legislative Budget Office $ 1,083,184 $ 1,083,184 Ancillary Activities $ 1,995,877 $ 1,995,877 Budgetary Responsibility Oversight Committee $ 386,486 $ 386,486 Total $ 8,516,880 $ 8,516,880 For compensation, expenses, mileage, allowances, travel and benefits for members, officials, committees and employees of the General Assembly and each House thereof; for operating the offices of Lieutenant Governor

Page 168

and Speaker of the House of Representatives; for membership in the Council of State Governments, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Conference of Insurance Legislators and other legislative organizations, upon approval of the Legislative Services Committee; for membership in the Marine Fisheries Compact and other compacts, upon approval of the Legislative Services Committee; for the maintenance, repair, construction, reconstruction, furnishing and refurbishing of space and other facilities for the Legislative Branch; provided, however, before the Legislative Services Committee authorizes the reconstruction or renovation of legislative office space, committee rooms, or staff support service areas in any State-owned building other than the State Capitol, the committee shall measure the need for said space as compared to space requirements for full-time state agencies and departments and shall, prior to approval of renovation or reconstruction of legislative office space, consider the most efficient and functional building designs used for office space and related activities; for the Legislative Services Committee, the Office of Legislative Counsel, the Office of Legislative Budget Analyst and for the Legislative Fiscal Office; for compiling, publishing and distributing the Acts of the General Assembly and the Journals of the Senate and the House of Representatives; for Code Revision; for equipment, supplies, furnishings, repairs, printing, services and other expenses of the Legislative Branch of Government; and for payments to Presidential Electors. The provisions of any other law to the contrary notwithstanding, such payments to Presidential Electors shall be paid from funds provided for the Legislative Branch of Government, and the payment and receipt of such allowances shall not be in violation of any law. The Legislative Services Committee shall seek to determine ways to effect economies in the expenditure of funds appropriated to the Legislative Branch of Government. The Committee is hereby authorized to promulgate rules and regulations relative to the expenditure of funds appropriated to the Legislative Branch which may include that no such funds may be expended without prior approval of the Committee. The Committee shall also make a detailed study of all items and programs for which payments are made from funds appropriated to the Legislative Branch of Government with a view towards determining which are legitimate legislative expenses and which should be paid from other appropriations. Section 2. Department of Audits. Budget Unit: Department of Audits $ 23,623,583 Personal Services $ 19,154,785 Regular Operating Expenses $ 723,274 Travel $ 597,740 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 315,374 Equipment $ 17,500 Real Estate Rentals $ 2,256,910 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 962,662 Computer Charges $ 276,538 Telecommunications $ 68,800 Total Funds Budgeted $ 24,373,583 State Funds Budgeted $ 23,623,583 PART II JUDICIAL BRANCH Section 3. Judicial Branch. Budget Unit: Judicial Branch $ 100,960,794 Personal Services $ 13,420,801 Other Operating $ 83,846,444 Prosecuting Attorney's Council $ 3,022,726 Judicial Administrative Districts $ 1,652,573 Payment to Council of Superior Court Clerks $ 40,500 Payment to Resource Center $ 500,000 Computerized Information Network $ 741,000 Total Funds Budgeted $ 103,224,044 State Funds Budgeted $ 100,960,794 Judicial Branch Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds Supreme Court $ 7,098,392 $ 6,289,683 Court of Appeals $ 8,471,549 $ 8,421,549 Superior CourtJudges $ 39,809,132 $ 39,735,132 Superior CourtDistrict Attorneys $ 32,135,815 $ 30,911,544 Juvenile Court $ 1,279,908 $ 1,279,908 Institute of Continuing Judicial Education $ 867,114 $ 867,114 Judicial Council $ 5,315,169 $ 5,235,899 Judicial Qualifications Commission $ 166,759 $ 166,759 Indigent Defense Council $ 4,814,709 $ 4,814,709 Georgia Courts Automation Commission $ 2,968,106 $ 2,968,106 Georgia Office Of Dispute Resolution $ 297,391 $ 270,391 Total $ 103,224,044 $ 100,960,794 Section 4. Department of Administrative Services. A . Budget Unit: Department of Administrative Services $ 43,295,169 Personal Services $ 59,511,893 Regular Operating Expenses $ 12,770,190 Travel $ 509,767 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 794,834 Equipment $ 1,876,908 Computer Charges $ 1,317,478 Real Estate Rentals $ 3,574,350 Telecommunications $ 377,031 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 3,207,952 Rents and Maintenance Expense $ 10,024,892 Utilities $ 0 Payments to DOAS Fiscal Administration $ 0 Direct Payments to Georgia Building Authority for Capital Outlay $ 0 Direct Payments to Georgia Building Authority for Operations $ 1,334,118 Telephone Billings $ 61,155,300 Radio Billings $ 733,484 Materials for Resale $ 20,039,840 Public Safety Officers Indemnity Fund $ 550,000 Health Planning Review Board Operations $ 35,000 Payments to Aviation Hall of Fame $ 48,500 Payments to Golf Hall of Fame $ 75,000 Alternative Fuels Grant $ 232,500 Total Funds Budgeted $ 178,169,037 State Funds Budgeted $ 43,295,169 Departmental Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds Administration $ 11,139,342 $ 3,638,278 Statewide Business Services $ 7,696,794 $ 4,270,610 General Support Services $ 31,935,600 $ 232,500 Information Technology $ 120,877,452 $ 30,249,746 State Properties Commission $ 666,886 $ 666,886 Office of the Treasury $ 1,554,571 $ 212,926 State Office of Administrative Hearings $ 4,298,392 $ 4,024,223 Total $ 178,169,037 $ 43,295,169 B . Budget Unit: Georgia Building Authority $ 0 Personal Services $ 20,905,821 Regular Operating Expenses $ 14,521,884 Travel $ 117,000 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 200,000 Equipment $ 161,800 Computer Charges $ 268,100 Real Estate Rentals $ 15,071 Telecommunications $ 231,723 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 1,095,000 Capital Outlay $ 0 Utilities $ 0 Contractual Expense $ 0 Facilities Renovations and Repairs $ 0 Total Funds Budgeted $ 37,516,399 State Funds Budgeted $ 0 Departmental Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds Administration $ 12,680,074 $ 0 Facilities Program $ 2,994,139 $ 0 Operations $ 10,836,713 $ 0 Security $ 6,267,541 $ 0 Sales $ 4,354,784 $ 0 Van Pool $ 383,148 $ 0 Total $ 37,516,399 $ 0 Section 5. Department of Agriculture. A . Budget Unit: Department of Agriculture $ 44,637,459 Personal Services $ 32,612,659 Regular Operating Expenses $ 4,342,615 Travel $ 1,110,000 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 302,000 Equipment $ 440,136 Computer Charges $ 667,341 Real Estate Rentals $ 814,475 Telecommunications $ 412,585 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 1,459,741 Market Bulletin Postage $ 1,048,240 Payments to Athens and Tifton Veterinary Laboratories $ 3,241,872 Poultry Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories in Canton, Dalton, Douglas, Oakwood, Statesboro, Carroll, Macon, Mitchell, and Monroe $ 2,917,861 Veterinary Fees $ 275,000 Indemnities $ 35,000 Advertising Contract $ 175,000 Payments to Georgia Agrirama Development Authority for Operations $ 844,667 Cotton Producers Indemnity Fund (HB 148) $ 5,000,000 Renovation, Construction, Repairs and Maintenance Projects at Major and Minor Markets $ 662,500 Capital Outlay $ 0 ContractFederation of Southern Cooperatives $ 40,000 Boll Weevil Eradication Program $ 0 Total Funds Budgeted $ 56,401,692 State Funds Budgeted $ 44,637,459 Departmental Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds Plant Industry $ 8,893,293 $ 8,112,293 Animal Industry $ 16,413,009 $ 13,280,874 Marketing $ 6,389,418 $ 2,714,418 Internal Administration $ 7,226,882 $ 7,039,882 Fuel and Measures $ 8,735,723 $ 8,606,023 Consumer Protection Field Forces $ 8,128,189 $ 4,883,969 Seed Technology $ 615,178 $ 0 Total $ 56,401,692 $ 44,637,459

Page 173

B. Budget Unit: Georgia Agrirama Development Authority $ 0 Personal Services $ 954,151 Regular Operating Expenses $ 196,667 Travel $ 4,000 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 0 Equipment $ 5,560 Computer Charges $ 9,500 Real Estate Rentals $ 0 Telecommunications $ 7,500 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 69,500 Capital Outlay $ 200,867 Goods for Resale $ 120,000 Total Funds Budgeted $ 1,567,745 State Funds Budgeted $ 0 Section 6. Department of Banking and Finance. Budget Unit: Department of Banking and Finance $ 9,846,715 Personal Services $ 7,997,201 Regular Operating Expenses $ 448,929 Travel $ 403,199 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 112,380 Equipment $ 136,122 Computer Charges $ 277,396 Real Estate Rentals $ 385,053 Telecommunications $ 73,000 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 13,435 Total Funds Budgeted $ 9,846,715 State Funds Budgeted $ 9,846,715 Section 7. Department of Community Affairs. Budget Unit: Department of Community Affairs $ 36,732,327 Personal Services $ 18,555,435 Regular Operating Expenses $ 2,330,783 Travel $ 543,683 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 150,000 Equipment $ 414,214 Real Estate Rentals $ 1,395,731 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 1,822,660 Computer Charges $ 790,035 Telecommunications $ 507,228 Capitol Felony Expenses $ 0 Contracts for Regional Planning and Development $ 2,559,945 Local Assistance Grants $ 7,174,250 Appalachian Regional Commission Assessment $ 133,355 HUDCommunity Development Block Pass thru Grants $ 30,000,000 Payment to Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority $ 2,391,383 Vetoed Roy E. Barnes April 12, 1999 Community Service Grants $ 5,000,000 Home Program $ 2,717,047 ARC-Revolving Loan Fund $ 0 Local Development Fund $ 650,000 Downtown Redevelopment Loan Program $ 247,250 Payments to Georgia Music Hall of Fame $ 757,051 Payment to State Housing Trust Fund $ 3,281,250 Payments to Sports Hall of Fame $ 917,937 Regional Economic Business Assistance Grants $ 5,225,000 Vetoed Roy E. Barnes April 12, 1999 State Commission on National and Community Service $ 616,338 EZ/EC Administration $ 189,073 EZ/EC Grants $ 0 Regional Economic Development Grants $ 1,187,500 Contracts for Homeless Assistance $ 1,250,000 HUD Section 8 Rental Assistance $ 50,000,000 Total Funds Budgeted $ 140,807,148 State Funds Budgeted $ 36,732,327 Veto so much of the Appropriation for Contracts for Regional Planning and Devlopment as increases such appropriation above the amount $ 1,959,945 which was appropriated in the General Appropriations Act approved April 20, 1998. Roy E. Barnes 4/12/99 Departmental Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds Executive Division $ 7,322,413 $ 6,962,175 Planning and Management Division $ 4,612,948 $ 4,399,392 Business and Financial Assistance Division $ 39,023,364 $ 7,498,237 Housing and Finance Division $ 7,552,959 $ 2,717,047 Accounting, Budgeting and Personnel Division $ 6,137,471 $ 4,797,263 Rental Assistance Division $ 55,352,503 $ 0 Administrative and Computer Support Division $ 3,939,673 $ 2,689,324 Georgia Music Hall of Fame Division $ 1,699,708 $ 0 Community Service Division $ 10,632,637 $ 3,676,824 External Affairs Division $ 4,533,472 $ 3,992,065 Total $ 140,807,148 $ 36,732,327 Section 8. Department of Corrections. A. Budget Unit: Administration, Institutions and Probation $ 782,170,390 Personal Services $ 521,169,928 Regular Operating Expenses $ 63,039,247 Travel $ 2,424,401 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 2,194,938 Equipment $ 3,964,660 Computer Charges $ 5,580,060 Real Estate Rentals $ 6,023,610 Telecommunications $ 6,885,410 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 17,403,223 Capital Outlay $ 0 Utilities $ 22,941,813 Court Costs $ 1,200,000 County Subsidy $ 21,888,333 County Subsidy for Jails $ 11,269,055 County Workcamp Construction Grants $ 26,500,000 Central Repair Fund $ 1,093,624 Payments to Central State Hospital for Meals $ 3,784,700 Payments to Central State Hospital for Utilities $ 1,556,055 Payments to Public Safety for Meals $ 577,160 Inmate Release Fund $ 1,458,972 Health Services Purchases $ 80,460,040 Payments to MAG for Health Care Certification $ 66,620 University of GeorgiaCollege of Veterinary Medicine Contracts $ 366,244 Minor Construction Fund $ 894,000 Total Funds Budgeted $ 802,742,093 Indirect DOAS Funding $ 450,000 Georgia Correctional Industries $ 0 State Funds Budgeted $ 782,170,390 Departmental Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds Executive Operations $ 43,491,514 $ 42,984,514 Administration $ 13,143,708 $ 12,843,708 Human Resources $ 9,058,203 $ 9,058,203 Field Probation $ 63,742,585 $ 63,262,585 Facilities $ 673,306,083 $ 654,021,380 Total $ 802,742,093 $ 782,170,390 B . Budget Unit: Board of Pardons and Paroles $ 47,017,963 Personal Services $ 36,587,988 Regular Operating Expenses $ 1,692,700 Travel $ 565,000 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 272,500 Equipment $ 194,425 Computer Charges $ 591,200 Real Estate Rentals $ 2,920,000 Telecommunications $ 965,000 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 2,343,650 County Jail Subsidy $ 860,500 Health Services Purchases $ 25,000 Total Funds Budgeted $ 47,017,963 State Funds Budgeted $ 47,017,963 Section 9. Department of Defense. Budget Unit: Department of Defense $ 5,538,547 Personal Services $ 11,468,131 Regular Operating Expenses $ 10,398,783 Travel $ 42,375 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 0 Equipment $ 12,000 Computer Charges $ 59,211 Real Estate Rentals $ 24,400 Telecommunications $ 97,973 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 514,200 Capital Outlay $ 0 Total Funds Budgeted $ 22,617,073 State Funds Budgeted $ 5,538,547 Departmental Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds Office of the Adjutant General $ 1,797,318 $ 1,541,077 Georgia Air National Guard $ 5,910,336 $ 683,290 Georgia Army National Guard $ 14,909,419 $ 3,314,180 Total $ 22,617,073 $ 5,538,547 Section 10. State Board of Education Department of Education. A . Budget Unit: Department of Education $ 4,827,307,403 Operations: Personal Services $ 36,659,106 Regular Operating Expenses $ 7,391,508 Travel $ 1,376,889 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 0 Equipment $ 93,497 Computer Charges $ 21,291,061 Real Estate Rentals $ 1,351,240 Telecommunications $ 1,227,256 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 57,137,664 Utilities $ 793,952 Capital Outlay $ 0 QBE Formula Grants: Kindergarten/Grades 1-3 $ 1,172,174,614 Grades 4-8 $ 987,512,204 Grades 9-12 $ 410,106,751 High School Laboratories $ 199,517,094 Vocational Education Laboratories $ 140,115,200 Special Education $ 496,109,697 Gifted $ 87,917,703 Remedial Education $ 107,842,382 Staff Development and Professional Development $ 35,306,586 Media $ 126,497,757 Indirect Cost $ 769,988,915 Pupil Transportation $ 151,357,028 Local Fair Share $ (806,623,477) Mid-Term Adjustment Reserve $ 86,558,048 Teacher Salary Schedule Adjustment $ 0 Other Categorical Grants: Equalization Formula $ 204,279,413 Sparsity Grants $ 3,158,000 In School Suspension $ 30,151,010 Special Instructional Assistance $ 103,079,409 Middle School Incentive $ 93,216,695 Special Education LowIncidence Grants $ 620,134 Limited English-Speaking Students Program $ 22,468,186 Non-QBE Grants: Education of Children of Low-Income Families $ 235,850,010 Retirement (H.B. 272 and H.B. 1321) $ 5,508,750 Instructional Services for the Handicapped $ 54,732,103 Tuition for the Multi-Handicapped $ 2,300,000 Severely Emotionally Disturbed $ 49,458,630 School Lunch (Federal) $ 188,375,722 School Lunch (State) $ 33,469,043 State and Local Education Improvement $ 4,962,356 Supervision and Assessment of Students and Beginning Teachers and Performance-Based Certification $ 1,491,147 Regional Education Service Agencies $ 10,496,210 Georgia Learning Resources System $ 3,699,262 High School Program $ 31,291,008 Special Education in State Institutions $ 3,884,639 Governor's Scholarships $ 3,603,824 Counselors $ 12,205,002 Vocational Research and Curriculum $ 293,520 Even Start $ 2,907,636 PSAT $ 756,500 Student Record $ 981,050 Year 2000 Project Funding $ 1,033,871 Child Care Lunch Program (Federal) $ 89,190,742 Chapter IIBlock Grant Flow Through $ 9,913,513 Payment of Federal Funds to Board of Technical and Adult Education $ 17,650,639 Education of Homeless Children/Youth $ 749,301 Innovative Programs $ 1,690,215 Next Generation School Grants $ 500,000 Drug Free School (Federal) $ 11,625,943 At Risk Summer School Program $ 4,632,785 Emergency Immigrant Education Program $ 1,227,493 Title II Math/Science Grant (Federal) $ 5,042,895 Robert C. Byrd Scholarship (Federal) $ 1,047,000 Health InsuranceNon-Cert. Personnel and Retired Teachers $ 99,547,892 Pre-School Handicapped Program $ 18,613,363 Mentor Teachers $ 1,250,000 Advanced Placement Exams $ 1,608,000 Serve America Program $ 382,597 Youth Apprenticeship Grants $ 4,340,000 Remedial Summer School $ 1,689,931 Alternative Programs $ 12,924,311 Joint Evening Programs $ 267,333 Environmental Science Grants $ 100,000 Pay for Performance $ 7,618,000 Mentoring Program $ 500,000 Charter Schools $ 1,164,604 Technology Specialist $ 15,401,836 Migrant Education $ 274,395 Total Funds Budgeted $ 5,504,928,593 Indirect DOAS Services Funding $ 340,000 State Funds Budgeted $ 4,827,307,403 Departmental Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds State Administration $ 11,959,835 $ 9,964,952 Student Learning and Assessment $ 45,756,179 $ 39,901,646 Governor's Honors Program $ 1,261,927 $ 1,184,338 Quality and School Support $ 8,316,143 $ 6,027,581 Federal Programs $ 7,463,466 $ 482,894 Technology $ 33,133,866 $ 31,437,995 Professional Practices $ 0 $ 0 Local Programs $ 5,377,956,420 $ 4,722,347,154 Georgia Academy for the Blind $ 5,706,124 $ 5,295,437 Georgia School for the Deaf $ 4,748,090 $ 4,508,563 Atlanta Area School for the Deaf $ 5,525,035 $ 5,044,293 Office of School Readiness $ 3,101,508 $ 1,112,550 Total $ 5,504,928,593 $ 4,827,307,403 B . Budget Unit: Lottery for Education $ 324,585,972 Pre-KindergartenGrants $ 209,288,979 Pre-KindergartenPersonal Service $ 1,992,303 Pre-KindergartenOperations $ 5,047,677 Applied Technology Labs $ 3,300,000 Financial and Management Equipment $ 9,006,730 Alternative Programs $ 0 Educational Technology Centers $ 660,000 Distant LearningSatellite Dishes $ 0 Fort Discovery National Science Center $ 1,500,000 Capital Outlay $ 60,938,547 Post Secondary Options $ 4,064,736 Learning Logic Sites $ 0 Assistive Technology $ 2,000,000 Computers in the Classroom $ 26,787,000 Total Funds Budgeted $ 324,585,972 Lottery Funds Budgeted $ 325,585,972 Section 11. Employees' Retirement System . Budget Unit: Employees' Retirement System $ 673,425 Personal Services $ 2,498,569 Regular Operating Expenses $ 245,100 Travel $ 22,000 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 0 Equipment $ 1,450 Computer Charges $ 2,599,117 Real Estate Rentals $ 327,900 Telecommunications $ 44,001 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 1,363,105 Benefits to Retirees $ 673,425 Total Funds Budgeted $ 7,774,667 State Funds Budgeted $ 673,425 Section 12. Forestry Commission . Budget Unit: Forestry Commission $ 38,218,400 Personal Services $ 29,062,867 Regular Operating Expenses $ 5,753,394 Travel $ 162,613 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 1,541,975 Equipment $ 4,169,581 Computer Charges $ 347,500 Real Estate Rentals $ 21,420 Telecommunications $ 1,160,555 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 813,221 Ware County Grant $ 0 Ware County Grant for Southern Forest World $ 28,500 Ware County Grant for Road Maintenance $ 60,000 Capital Outlay $ 241,752 Total Funds Budgeted $ 43,363,378 State Funds Budgeted $ 38,218,400 Departmental Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds Reforestation $ 2,057,502 $ 28,901 Field Services $ 36,829,387 $ 33,881,165 General Administration and Support $ 4,476,489 $ 4,308,334 Total $ 43,363,378 $ 38,218,400 Section 13. Georgia Bureau of Investigation . Budget Unit: Georgia Bureau of Investigation $ 53,289,340 Personal Services $ 40,274,591 Regular Operating Expenses $ 5,317,001 Travel $ 441,379 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 294,000 Equipment $ 1,252,540 Computer Charges $ 1,755,400 Real Estate Rentals $ 380,645 Telecommunications $ 1,014,739 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 2,075,045 Evidence Purchased $ 484,000 Capital Outlay $ 0 Total Funds Budgeted $ 53,289,340 State Funds Budgeted $ 53,289,340 Departmental Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds Administration $ 4,378,333 $ 4,378,333 Investigative $ 25,861,032 $ 25,861,032 Georgia Crime Information Center $ 9,765,301 $ 9,765,301 Forensic Sciences $ 13,284,674 $ 13,284,674 Total $ 53,289,340 $ 53,289,340 Section 14. Office of the Governor . A . Budget Unit: Office of the Governor $ 51,024,074 Personal Services $ 16,836,717 Regular Operating Expenses $ 1,053,218 Travel $ 242,403 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 0 Equipment $ 99,204 Computer Charges $ 672,698 Real Estate Rentals $ 1,074,101 Telecommunications $ 486,884 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 3,890,769 Cost of Operations $ 3,279,146 Mansion Allowance $ 40,000 Governor's Emergency Fund $ 12,861,789 Intern Stipends and Travel $ 148,913 Art Grants of State Funds $ 4,010,000 Art Grants of Non-State Funds $ 241,500 Humanities GrantState Funds $ 175,000 Art AcquisitionsState Funds $ 0 Children and Youth Grants $ 262,605 Juvenile Justice Grants $ 1,915,800 Georgia Crime Victims Assistance Program $ 100,000 Grants to Local Systems $ 684,400 GrantsLocal EMA $ 1,085,968 GrantsOther $ 0 GrantsCivil Air Patrol $ 57,000 Transition Fund $ 50,000 FloodContingency $ 10,000,000 Total Funds Budgeted $ 59,268,115 State Funds Budgeted $ 51,024,274 Departmental Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds Governor's Office $ 26,379,848 $ 26,379,848 Office of Equal Opportunity $ 1,055,863 $ 796,693 Office of Planning and Budget $ 7,917,274 $ 7,917,274 Council for the Arts $ 5,282,330 $ 4,649,681 Office of Consumer Affairs $ 3,406,398 $ 3,287,398 Georgia Information Technology Policy Council $ 693,695 $ 693,695 Criminal Justice Coordinating Council $ 1,417,092 $ 307,193 Children and Youth Coordinating Council $ 2,753,055 $ 583,967 Human Relations Commission $ 308,849 $ 308,849 Professional Standards Commission $ 4,982,203 $ 4,982,203 Georgia Emergency Management Agency $ 5,071,508 $ 1,117,273 Governor's Commission for the Privatization of Government Services $ 0 $ 0 Total $ 59,268,115 $ 51,024,074 Section 15. Department of Human Resources . A . Budget Unit: Departmental Operations $ 1,217,194,421 1 . General Administration and Support Budget : Personal Services $ 75,289,056 Regular Operating Expenses $ 2,804,309 Travel $ 1,734,518 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 1,573,678 Equipment $ 111,313 Real Estate Rentals $ 4,667,716 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 9,672,474 Computer Charges $ 45,057,557 Telecommunications $ 9,344,247 Special Purpose Contracts $ 0 Service Benefits for Children $ 46,736,389 Purchase of Service Contracts $ 55,927,874 Major Maintenance and Construction $ 89,214 Postage $ 830,352 Payments to DMA-Community Care $ 22,413,965 Grants to County DFACSOperations $ 1,278,116 Operating Expenses $ 714,564 Total Funds Budgeted $ 278,245,342 Indirect DOAS Services Funding $ 3,982,840 State Funds Budgeted $ 158,086,253 Departmental Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds Commissioner's Office $ 1,063,023 $ 1,063,023 Office of Planning and Budget Services $ 4,099,356 $ 4,099,356 Office of Adoption $ 7,496,417 $ 5,430,588 Children's Community Based Initiative $ 8,477,499 $ 8,102,499 Troubled Children's Placements $ 1,285,580 $ 1,285,580 Human Resources Development $ 111,648 $ 111,648 Rural Health $ 46,736,389 $ 33,585,726 Technology and Support $ 83,779,292 $ 46,778,190 Facilities Management $ 5,326,156 $ 4,076,660 Regulatory ServicesProgram Direction and Support $ 592,106 $ 582,106 Child Care Licensing $ 3,119,082 $ 3,092,513 Health Care Facilities Regulation $ 10,775,409 $ 5,099,493 Fraud and Abuse $ 6,440,923 $ 2,318,527 Financial Services $ 7,095,283 $ 5,745,248 Auditing Services $ 1,932,078 $ 1,932,078 Personnel Administration $ 7,000,098 $ 7,000,098 Transportation Services $ 9,175,212 $ 767,434 Indirect Cost $ 0 $ (14,714,419) Policy and Government Services $ 1,297,150 $ 1,297,150 Aging Services $ 68,930,274 $ 38,654,945 State Health Planning Agency $ 1,828,646 $ 1,728,646 DD Council $ 1,683,721 $ 49,164 Total $ 278,245,342 $ 158,086,253 2 . Public Health Budget : Personal Services $ 49,747,200 Regular Operating Expenses $ 75,501,063 Travel $ 850,046 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 0 Equipment $ 195,367 Real Estate Rentals $ 1,283,987 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 5,178,731 Computer Charges $ 0 Telecommunications $ 904,761 Special Purpose Contracts $ 330,732 Purchase of Service Contracts $ 16,723,789 Grant-In-Aid to Counties $ 142,417,964 Major Maintenance and Construction $ 34,500 Postage $ 190,457 Medical Benefits $ 5,222,222 Total Funds Budgeted $ 298,580,819 Indirect DOAS Services Funding $ 324,160 State Funds Budgeted $ 161,790,916 Departmental Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds District Health Administration $ 13,187,156 $ 13,060,221 Newborn Follow-Up Care $ 1,621,801 $ 1,343,698 Oral Health $ 1,728,103 $ 1,402,928 Stroke and Heart Attack Prevention $ 2,264,400 $ 1,151,788 Sickle Cell, Vision and Hearing $ 4,556,076 $ 3,789,257 High-Risk Pregnant Women and Infants $ 5,148,516 $ 5,148,516 Sexually Transmitted Diseases $ 3,142,667 $ 1,081,142 Family Planning $ 10,914,939 $ 5,837,156 Women, Infants and Children Nutrition $ 83,836,266 $ 0 Grant in Aid to Counties $ 71,867,335 $ 70,713,563 Children's Medical Services $ 13,224,198 $ 6,532,632 Emergency Health $ 3,781,966 $ 2,431,253 Primary Health Care $ 1,541,005 $ 1,433,783 Epidemiology $ 1,709,774 $ 1,457,633 Immunization $ 1,566,915 $ 0 Community Tuberculosis Control $ 5,858,685 $ 4,360,684 Family Health Management $ 947,765 $ 647,705 Infant and Child Health $ 1,072,210 $ 584,991 Maternal HealthPerinatal $ 2,642,740 $ 1,161,007 Chronic Disease $ 213,052 $ 213,052 Diabetes $ 583,309 $ 583,309 Cancer Control $ 5,292,059 $ 5,292,059 Director's Office $ 1,899,972 $ 1,642,788 Injury Control $ 358,474 $ 215,836 Vital Records $ 1,951,438 $ 1,696,341 Health Services Research $ 539,144 $ 539,144 Environmental Health $ 1,970,860 $ 1,458,987 Laboratory Services $ 6,888,271 $ 6,618,271 Community Health Management $ 173,874 $ 173,874 AIDS $ 10,562,837 $ 6,118,781 Drug and Clinic Supplies $ 10,740,045 $ 2,640,380 Adolescent Health $ 13,257,102 $ 2,906,090 Public HealthPlanning Councils $ 181,710 $ 164,213 Early Intervention $ 13,356,155 $ 11,015,451 Public HealthDivision Indirect Cost $ 0 $ (1,625,617) Total $ 298,580,819 $ 161,790,916 3 . Rehabilitation Services Budget : Personal Services $ 83,971,553 Regular Operating Expenses $ 11,608,147 Travel $ 1,567,496 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 50,582 Equipment $ 803,072 Real Estate Rentals $ 5,103,781 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 10,841,499 Computer Charges $ 302,541 Telecommunications $ 2,360,907 Case Services $ 32,289,559 Special Purpose Contracts $ 735,245 Purchase of Services Contracts $ 11,883,883 Major Maintenance and Construction $ 255,000 Utilities $ 859,650 Postage $ 649,007 Total Funds Budgeted $ 163,281,922 Indirect DOAS Services Funding $ 100,000 State Funds Budgeted $ 24,827,608 Departmental Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds Vocational Rehabilitation Services $ 62,830,592 $ 13,578,602 Independent Living $ 768,949 $ 333,969 Employability Services $ 511,903 $ 511,903 Community Facilities $ 10,471,695 $ 2,851,205 Program Direction and Support $ 1,634,051 $ 566,944 Grants Management $ 744,540 $ 744,540 Disability Adjudication $ 46,035,799 $ 0 Georgia Factory for Blind $ 12,333,607 $ 911,649 Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute $ 27,950,786 $ 5,328,796 Total $ 163,281,922 $ 24,827,608 4 . Family and Children Services Budget : Personal Services $ 30,010,070 Regular Operating Expenses $ 4,405,294 Travel $ 885,885 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 0 Equipment $ 443,950 Real Estate Rentals $ 3,745,843 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 27,026,214 Computer Charges $ 0 Telecommunications $ 1,059,070 Children's Trust Fund $ 3,992,945 Cash Benefits $ 281,422,326 Special Purpose Contracts $ 7,067,433 Service Benefits for Children $ 258,239,622 Purchase of Service Contracts $ 31,016,860 Postage $ 2,037,559 Grants to County DFACSOperations $ 339,077,955 Total Funds Budgeted $ 990,431,026 Indirect DOAS Services Funding $ 0 State Funds Budgeted $ 358,858,882 Departmental Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds Director's Office $ 595,539 $ 595,539 Social Services $ 3,830,645 $ 3,318,604 Administrative Support $ 2,768,398 $ 2,489,095 Quality Assurance $ 4,199,523 $ 4,199,523 Community Services $ 11,592,055 $ 1,311,682 Field Management $ 1,243,216 $ 1,243,216 Human Resources Management $ 2,458,110 $ 1,452,319 Public Assistance $ 5,047,288 $ 3,151,178 Child Support Recovery $ 44,488,295 $ 4,657,315 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families $ 271,131,764 $ 53,247,444 SSISupplemental Benefits $ 1,122,012 $ 1,122,012 Refugee Programs $ 2,799,420 $ 0 Energy Benefits $ 7,223,130 $ 0 County DFACS OperationsEligibility $ 121,788,835 $ 60,005,156 County DFACS OperationsSocial Services $ 100,017,177 $ 37,725,200 Food Stamp Issuance $ 3,190,752 $ 0 County DFACS OperationsHomemakers Services $ 8,649,308 $ 2,530,614 County DFACS OperationsJoint and Administration $ 85,839,926 $ 39,671,326 County DFACS OperationsEmployability Program $ 22,782,709 $ 8,507,737 Employability Benefits $ 45,257,515 $ 15,861,742 Legal Services $ 4,290,503 $ 2,520,990 Family Foster Care $ 36,785,262 $ 23,915,275 Institutional Foster Care $ 15,693,415 $ 11,320,907 Specialized Foster Care $ 6,646,142 $ 5,798,815 Adoption Supplement $ 19,610,612 $ 14,010,181 Prevention of Foster Care $ 10,044,785 $ 8,218,081 Day Care $ 143,445,622 $ 53,611,937 Special Projects $ 3,896,123 $ 3,856,123 Children's Trust Fund $ 3,992,945 $ 3,992,945 Indirect Cost $ 0 $ (9,476,074) Total $ 990,431,026 $ 358,858,882 5 . Community Mental Health/Mental Retardation and Institutions : Personal Services $ 290,156,988 Operating Expenses $ 50,366,612 Motor Vehicle Equipment Purchases $ 200,000 Utilities $ 10,239,760 Major Maintenance and Construction $ 3,223,161 Community Services $ 340,653,552 Total Funds Budgeted $ 694,840,073 Indirect DOAS Services Funding $ 1,313,100 State Funds Budgeted $ 513,630,762 Departmental Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds Southwestern State Hospital $ 37,317,489 $ 22,447,722 Augusta Regional Hospital $ 15,642,617 $ 13,755,725 Northwest Regional Hospital at Rome $ 27,519,374 $ 17,097,991 Georgia Regional Hospital at Atlanta $ 41,882,261 $ 30,901,924 Central State Hospital $ 118,468,958 $ 77,795,168 Georgia Regional Hospital at Savannah $ 17,709,411 $ 16,078,590 Gracewood State School and Hospital $ 53,750,270 $ 29,700,574 West Central Regional Hospital $ 19,986,906 $ 17,200,667 Outdoor Therapeutic Programs $ 3,975,087 $ 3,056,433 Metro Drug Abuse Centers $ 1,091,647 $ 955,131 Substance Abuse Residential Services $ 552,908 $ 0 Community Mental Health Services $ 176,931,215 $ 171,000,084 Community Mental Retardation Services $ 96,670,593 $ 65,498,114 Community Substance Abuse Services $ 69,845,218 $ 37,989,981 State Administration $ 8,394,444 $ 5,829,287 Regional Administration $ 5,101,675 $ 4,323,371 Total $ 694,840,073 $ 513,630,762 Budget Unit Object Classes : Personal Services $ 529,174,867 Regular Operating Expenses $ 94,318,813 Travel $ 5,037,945 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 1,824,260 Equipment $ 1,553,702 Real Estate Rentals $ 14,801,327 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 52,718,918 Computer Charges $ 45,360,098 Telecommunications $ 13,668,985 Operating Expenses $ 51,081,176 Community Services $ 340,653,552 Case Services $ 32,289,559 Children's Trust Fund $ 3,992,945 Cash Benefits $ 281,422,326 Special Purpose Contracts $ 8,133,410 Service Benefits for Children $ 304,976,011 Purchase of Service Contracts $ 115,552,406 Grant-In-Aid to Counties $ 142,417,964 Major Maintenance and Construction $ 3,601,875 Utilities $ 11,099,410 Postage $ 3,707,375 Payments to DMA-Community Care $ 22,413,965 Grants to County DFACSOperations $ 340,356,071 Medical Benefits $ 5,222,222 Section 16. Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism . Budget Unit: Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism $ 23,256,380 Personal Services $ 11,373,225 Regular Operating Expenses $ 1,446,549 Travel $ 647,475 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 16,200 Equipment $ 95,067 Computer Charges $ 459,480 Real Estate Rentals $ 848,245 Telecommunications $ 400,700 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 1,663,030 Local Welcome Center Contracts $ 250,600 Marketing $ 6,005,809 Georgia Ports Authority Lease Rentals $ 0 Foreign Currency Reserve $ 0 Waterway Development in Georgia $ 50,000 Lanier Regional Watershed Commission $ 0 Total Funds Budgeted $ 23,256,380 State Funds Budgeted $ 23,256,380 Departmental Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds Administration $ 8,178,950 $ 8,178,950 Economic Development $ 4,574,038 $ 4,574,038 Trade $ 1,766,560 $ 1,766,560 Tourism $ 4,534,149 $ 4,534,149 Georgia Legacy $ 1,534,279 $ 1,534,279 Strategic Planning and Research $ 2,668,404 $ 2,668,404 Total $ 23,256,380 $ 23,256,380 Section 17. Department of Insurance . Budget Unit Unit: Department of Insurance $ 15,781,902 Personal Services $ 14,486,323 Regular Operating Expenses $ 689,017 Travel $ 446,000 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 122,500 Equipment $ 46,879 Computer Charges $ 160,778 Real Estate Rentals $ 816,991 Telecommunications $ 328,712 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 144,658 Health Care Utilization Review $ 0 Total Funds Budgeted $ 17,241,858 State Funds Budgeted $ 15,781,902 Departmental Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds Internal Administration $ 4,210,382 $ 4,210,382 Insurance Regulation $ 6,095,406 $ 6,095,406 Industrial Loans Regulation $ 620,037 $ 620037 Fire Safety and Mobile Home Regulations $ 5,511,356 $ 4,051,400 Special Insurance Fraud Fund $ 804,677 $ 804,677 Total $ 17,241,858 $ 15,781,902 Section 18. Department of Juvenile Justice . Budget Unit: Department of Juvenile Justice $ 215,253,274 Personal Services $ 125,616,777 Regular Operating Expenses $ 13,945,080 Travel $ 1,346,330 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 536,615 Equipment $ 605,778 Computer Charges $ 2,129,328 Real Estate Rentals $ 2,051,185 Telecommunications $ 1,404,873 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 13,236,729 Utilities $ 3,540,020 Institutional Repairs and Maintenance $ 652,485 Grants to County-Owned Detention Centers $ 0 Service Benefits for Children $ 24,020,998 Purchase of Service Contracts $ 30,330,105 Capital Outlay $ 1,307,545 Juvenile Justice Reserve $ 0 Total Funds Budgeted $ 220,723,848 State Funds Budgeted $ 215,253,274

Page 194

Departmental Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds Regional Youth Development Centers $ 44,867,224 $ 44,303,826 Bill Ireland YDC $ 18,459,161 $ 17,795,649 Augusta State YDC $ 12,727,620 $ 12,221,190 Lorenzo Benn YDC $ 7,920,663 $ 7,690,679 Macon State YDC $ 6,662,309 $ 3,364,750 Wrightsville YDC $ 16,506,511 $ 15,838,421 YDC Purchased Services $ 27,237,559 $ 26,407,384 Eastman YDC $ 11,927,061 $ 11,567,061 Court Services $ 22,507,398 $ 22,244,903 Day Centers $ 413,799 $ 413,799 Group Homes $ 1,028,644 $ 1,028,644 CYS Purchased Services $ 26,263,205 $ 25,304,872 Georgia Addiction Pregnancy and Parenting Project $ 150,000 $ 150,000 Law Enforcement Office $ 1,955,246 $ 1,955,246 Assessment and Classification $ 551,455 $ 551,455 Multi-Service Centers $ 3,981,645 $ 3,891,645 Youth Service Administration $ 17,564,348 $ 17,543,750 Total $ 220,723,848 $ 215,253,274 Section 19. Department of Labor . Budget Unit: Department of Labor $ 11,251,054 Personal Services 76,580,323 Regular Operating Expenses $ 6,891,518 Travel $ 1,339,327 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 0 Equipment $ 465,488 Computer Charges $ 3,200,000 Real Estate Rentals $ 2,017,900 Telecommunications $ 1,467,439 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts (JTPA) 54,500,000 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 5,348,867 W.I.N. Grants $ 0 Payments to State Treasury $ 1,774,079 Capital Outlay $ 0 Total Funds Budgeted $ 153,584,941 State Funds Budgeted $ 11,251,054 Section 20. Department of Law . Budget Unit: Department of Law $ 13,837,210 Personal Services $ 13,068,257 Regular Operating Expenses $ 816,949 Travel $ 199,322 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 0 Equipment $ 21,000 Computer Charges $ 305,201 Real Estate Rentals $ 826,548 Telecommunications $ 145,924 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 16,160,000 Books for State Library $ 147,000 Total Funds Budgeted $ 31,690,201 State Funds Budgeted $ 13,837,210 Section 21. Department of Medical Assistance . A . Budget Unit: Medicaid Services $ 1,198,280,467 Personal Services 19,405,881 Regular Operating Expenses $ 5,732,000 Travel $ 312,930 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 165,000 Equipment $ 222,000 Computer Charges $ 40,361,600 Real Estate Rentals $ 892,880 Telecommunications $ 566,600 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 114,237,915 Medicaid Benefits, Penalties and Disallowances $ 3,233,995,300 Audit Contracts $ 772,500 Total Funds Budgeted $ 3,416,664,606 State Funds Budgeted $ 1,198,280,467 Departmental Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds Commissioner's Office $ 1,720,407 $ 794,527 Benefits, Penalties and Disallowances $ 3,233,995,300 $ 1,143,353,658 System Management $ 46,442,745 $ 12,998,623 Indemnity Chronic Care $ 6,411,348 $ 2,521,414 Quality, Eligibility and Third Party Liability $ 3,759,211 $ 1,376,806 Reimbursement Services $ 3,134,856 $ 1,520,621 Indemnity Acute Care $ 7,524,607 $ 2,655,223 Legal and Regulatory $ 7,304,892 $ 3,293,271 Managed Care $ 54,209,831 $ 26,957,164 General Administration $ 52,161,409 $ 2,809,160 Total $ 3,416,664,606 $ 1,198,280,467 B . Budget Unit: Indigent Trust Fund $ 148,828,880 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 8,200,000 Benefits $ 364,183,084 Total Funds Budgeted $ 372,383,084 State Funds Budgeted $ 148,828,880 C . Budget Unit: PeachCare for Kids $ 8,623,130 Personal Services $ 410,607 Regular Operating Expenses $ 407,634 Travel $ 50,000 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 0 Equipment $ 12,000 Computer Charges $ 271,700 Real Estate Rentals $ 0 Telecommunications $ 14,950 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 6,060,893 PeachCare Benefits $ 25,421,432 Total Funds Budgeted $ 32,649,216 State Funds Budgeted $ 8,623,130 Section 22. Merit System of Personnel Administration . Budget Unit: Merit System of Personnel Administration $ 32,500,000 Personal Services $ 9,324,819 Regular Operating Expenses $ 1,948,626 Travel $ 107,000 Equipment $ 30,495 Real Estate Rents $ 895,630 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 261,302,453 Computer Charges $ 3,613,928 Telecommunications $ 337,915 Health Insurance Payments $ 958,879,243 Total Funds Budgeted $ 1,236,440,109 Federal Funds $ 0 Other Agency Funds $ 1,139,025 Agency Assessments $ 10,239,210 Employee and Employer Contributions $ 1,192,213,501 Deferred Compensation $ 348,373 State Funds Budgeted $ 32,500,000 Departmental Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds Executive Office $ 1,564,340 $ 0 Human Resource Administration $ 5,314,686 $ 0 Employee Benefits $ 1,225,138,628 $ 32,500,000 Internal Administration $ 4,422,455 $ 0 Children's Health Insurance Program $ 0 $ 0 Total $ 1,236,440,109 $ 32,500,000 Section 23. Department of Natural Resources . A . Budget Unit: Department of Natural Resources $ 109,910,803 Personal Services $ 77,269,779 Regular Operating Expenses $ 14,195,445 Travel $ 623,961 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 1,805,910 Equipment $ 2,591,559 Real Estate Rentals $ 2,444,702 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 10,668,329 Computer Charges $ 836,964 Telecommunications $ 1,282,872 Authority Lease Rentals $ 0 Advertising and Promotion $ 1,050,000 Cost of Material for Resale $ 1,304,556 Capital Outlay : New Construction $ 1,082,457 Repairs and Maintenance $ 3,088,000 Land Acquisition Support $ 213,750 Wildlife Management Area Land Acquisition $ 722,330 Shop StockParks $ 350,000 User Fee Enhancements $ 1,300,000 Buoy Maintenance $ 26,250 Waterfowl Habitat $ 0 Paving at State Parks and Historic Sites $ 500,000 Grants : Land and Water Conservation $ 800,000 Georgia Heritage 2000 Grants $ 161,000 Recreation $ 500,000 Chattahoochee River Basin Grants $ 0 Contracts : Paralympic Games $ 0 Technical Assistance Contract $ 0 Corps of Engineers (Cold Water Creek State Park) $ 170,047 Georgia State Games Commission $ 208,272 U. S. Geological Survey for Ground Water Resources $ 300,000 U.S. Geological Survey for Topographic Mapping $ 0 Payments to Civil War Commission $ 36,015 Hazardous Waste Trust Fund $ 12,790,539 Solid Waste Trust Fund $ 6,132,574 Payments to Georgia Agricultural Exposition Authority $ 2,352,071 Payments to McIntosh County $ 100,000 Total Funds Budgeted $ 144,907,382 Receipts from Jekyll Island State Park Authority $ 891,069 Receipts from Stone Mountain Memorial Association $ 0 Receipts from Lake Lanier Islands Development Authority $ 2,663,931 Receipts from North Georgia Mountain Authority $ 1,429,219 Indirect DOAS Funding $ 200,000 State Funds Budgeted $ 109,910,803

Page 199

Departmental Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds Commissioner's Office $ 5,180,869 $ 5,165,869 Program Support $ 4,128,106 $ 4,128,106 Historic Preservation $ 2,851,772 $ 2,361,772 Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites $ 38,348,533 $ 19,483,646 Coastal Resources $ 2,546,030 $ 2,051,312 Wildlife Resources $ 37,774,481 $ 32,427,690 Environmental Protection $ 53,118,838 $ 43,333,655 Pollution Prevention Assistance $ 958,753 $ 958,753 Total $ 144,907,382 $ 109,910,803 B . Budget Unit: Georgia Agricultural Exposition Authority $ 0 Personal Services $ 2,920,177 Regular Operating Expenses $ 2,304,978 Travel $ 25,000 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 0 Equipment $ 95,000 Computer Charges $ 40,000 Real Estate Rentals $ 0 Telecommunications $ 70,000 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 695,000 Capital Outlay $ 0 Total Funds Budgeted $ 6,150,155 State Funds Budgeted $ 0 Department Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds Georgia Agricultural Exposition Authority $ 6,150,155 $ 0

Page 200

Section 24. Department of Public Safety. A . Budget Unit: Department of Public Safety $ 104,480,478 1 . Operations Budget : Personal Services $ 63,329,195 Regular Operating Expenses $ 7,801,357 Travel $ 104,095 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 4,311,500 Equipment $ 288,190 Computer Charges $ 3,147,710 Real Estate Rentals $ 28,962 Telecommunications $ 1,944,147 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 1,132,000 State Patrol Posts Repairs and Maintenance $ 145,100 Capital Outlay $ 0 Conviction Reports $ 0 Total Funds Budgeted $ 82,232,256 Indirect DOAS Service Funding $ 1,650,000 State Funds Budgeted $ 80,582,256 2 . Driver Services Budget : Personal Services $ 19,190,478 Regular Operating Expenses $ 1,112,113 Travel $ 61,941 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 0 Equipment $ 62,343 Computer Charges $ 9,000 Real Estate Rentals $ 47,262 Telecommunications $ 273,300 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 69,000 Capital Outlay $ 0 Conviction Reports $ 303,651 State Patrol Posts Repairs and Maintenance $ 34,900 Driver License Processing $ 2,734,234 Total Funds Budgeted $ 23,898,222 Indirect DOAS Service Funding $ 0 State Funds Budgeted $ 23,898,222 Departmental Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds Administration $ 21,763,287 $ 20,263,287 Driver Services $ 23,898,222 $ 23,898,222 Field Operations $ 60,468,969 $ 60,318,969 Total $ 106,130,478 $ 104,480,478 B . Budget Unit: Units Attached for Administrative Purposes Only $ 14,843,486 Attached Units Budget : Personal Services $ 8,293,835 Regular Operating Expenses $ 2,587,526 Travel $ 94,010 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 64,220 Equipment $ 393,546 Computer Charges $ 148,442 Real Estate Rentals $ 156,997 Telecommunications $ 207,037 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 488,533 Highway Safety Grants $ 2,425,200 Training of Personnel under the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Act $ 3,603,386 Capital Outlay $ 300,000 Total Funds Budgeted $ 18,762,732 State Funds Budgeted $ 14,843,486 Departmental Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds Office of Highway Safety $ 3,118,086 $ 348,840 Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training $ 1,514,787 $ 1,514,787 Police Academy $ 1,161,166 $ 1,071,166 Fire Academy $ 1,149,978 $ 1,039,978 Georgia Firefighters Standards and Training Council $ 456,885 $ 456,885 Georgia Public Safety Training Facility $ 11,361,830 $ 10,411,830 Total $ 18,762,732 $ 14,843,486

Page 202

Section 25. Public School Employees' Retirement System. Budget Unit: Public School Employees' Retirement System $ 17,642,000 Payments to Employees' Retirement System $ 575,000 Employer Contributions $ 17,067,000 Total Funds Budgeted $ 17,642,000 State Funds Budgeted $ 17,642,000 Section 26. Public Service Commission. Budget Unit: Public Service Commission $ 9,543,799 Personal Services $ 7,767,274 Regular Operating Expenses $ 670,486 Travel $ 278,106 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 309,500 Equipment $ 71,526 Computer Charges $ 404,786 Real Estate Rentals $ 330,108 Telecommunications $ 168,202 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 2,379,981 Total Funds Budgeted $ 12,379,969 State Funds Budgeted $ 9,543,799 Departmental Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds Administration $ 3,243,720 $ 3,243,720 Transpotation $ 4,186,195 $ 1,580,886 Utilities $ 4,950,054 $ 4,719,193 Total $ 12,379,969 $ 9,543,799 Section 27. Board of Regents, University System of Georgia. A . Budget Unit: Resident Instruction $ 1,398,804,942 Personal Services: Educ., Gen., and Dept. Svcs $ 1,455,407,686 Sponsored Operations $ 215,731,047 Operating Expenses: Educ., Gen., and Dept. Svcs $ 454,183,917 Sponsored Operations $ 637,169,805 Special Funding Initiative $ 31,420,581 Office of Minority Business Enterprise $ 990,354 Student Education Enrichment Program $ 361,267 Forestry Research $ 954,461 Research Consortium $ 46,710,000 Capital Outlay $ 17,167,263 Total Funds Budgeted $ 2,860,096,381 Departmental Income $ 103,648,940 Sponsored Income $ 852,900,852 Other Funds $ 501,702,147 Indirect DOAS Services Funding $ 3,039,500 State Funds Budgeted $ 1,398,804,942 B . Budget Unit: Regents Central Office and Other Organized Activities $ 191,622,861 Personal Services: Educ., Gen., and Dept. Svcs $ 290,767,410 Sponsored Operations $ 118,215,795 Operating Expenses: Educ., Gen., and Dept. Svcs $ 130,524,657 Sponsored Operations $ 70,293,453 Fire Ant and Environmental Toxicology Research $ 0 Agricultural Research $ 2,632,448 Advanced Technology Development Center/Economic Development Institute $ 17,127,687 Capitation Contracts for Family Practice Residency $ 4,312,000 Residency Capitation Grants $ 1,974,000 Student Preceptorships $ 176,400 Mercer Medical School Grant $ 7,660,000 Morehouse School of Medicine Grant $ 7,394,890 Capital Outlay $ 500,000 Center for Rehabilitation Technology $ 4,567,076 SREB Payments $ 5,577,775 Medical Scholarships $ 1,588,578 Regents Opportunity Grants $ 600,000 Regents Scholarships $ 200,000 Rental Payments to Georgia Military College $ 1,276,071 CRT Inc. Contract at Georgia Tech Research Institute $ 179,214 Direct Payments to the Georgia Public Telecommunications Commission for Operations $ 16,474,791 Pediatric Residency Capitation Contracts $ 480,000 Total Funds Budgeted $ 682,522,245 Departmental Income $ 3,576,811 Sponsored Income $ 199,211,819 Other Funds $ 287,567,254 Indirect DOAS Services Funding $ 543,500 State Funds Budgeted $ 191,622,861 Regents Central Office and Other Organized Activities Total Funds State Funds Marine Resources Extension Center $ 2,366,695 $ 1,515,836 Skidaway Institute of Oceanography $ 5,206,075 $ 1,731,075 Marine Institute $ 1,631,699 $ 1,066,845 Georgia Tech Research Institute $ 109,739,028 $ 9,299,364 Advanced Technology Development Center/Economic Development Institute $ 17,127,687 $ 7,692,033 Agricultural Experiment Station $ 71,960,073 $ 42,320,924 Cooperative Extension Service $ 58,273,929 $ 34,086,429 Medical College of Georgia Hospital and Clinics $ 345,265,352 $ 34,591,288 Veterinary Medicine Experiment Station $ 3,174,529 $ 3,174,529 Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital $ 5,205,161 $ 545,004 Georgia Board for Physician Workforce $ 27,787,441 $ 27,787,441 Georgia Radiation Therapy Center $ 3,511,664 $ 0 Athens and Tifton Veterinary Laboratories $ 3,484,976 $ 131,006 Regents Central Office $ 27,787,936 $ 27,681,087 Total $ 682,522,245 $ 191,622,861

Page 205

C . Budget Unit: Georgia Public Telecommunications Commission $ 0 Personal Services $ 10,334,700 Operating Expenses $ 8,870,865 General Programming $ 3,889,958 Distance Learning Programming $ 6,702,234 Capital Outlay $ 90,000 Total Funds Budgeted $ 29,887,757 Other Funds $ 29,887,757 State Funds Budgeted $ 0 D . Budget Unit: Lottery for Education $ 26,885,000 Equipment, Technology and Construction Trust Fund $ 15,000,000 Georgia Public Telecommunications Commission $ 2,000,000 Internet Connection Initiative $ 2,219,000 Special Funding Initiatives $ 7,466,000 Georgia Military CollegeEquipment $ 200,000 Total Funds Budgeted $ 26,885,000 Lottery Funds Budgeted $ 26,885,000 Section 28. Department of Revenue. Budget Unit: Department of Revenue $ 113,297,564 Personal Services $ 64,948,662 Regular Operating Expenses $ 5,288,064 Travel $ 1,162,429 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 207,300 Equipment $ 1,416,812 Computer Charges $ 13,075,468 Real Estate Rentals $ 3,179,425 Telecommunications $ 2,618,339 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 1,921,600 County Tax Officials/Retirement and FICA $ 3,422,795 Grants to Counties/Appraisal Staff $ 0 Motor Vehicle Tags and Decals $ 2,404,350 Postage $ 3,574,944 Investment for Modernization $ 15,453,831 Total Funds Budgeted $ 118,676,019 Indirect DOAS Services Funding $ 3,845,000 State Funds Budgeted $ 113,297,564

Page 206

Departmental Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds Departmental Administration $ 30,174,813 $ 30,174,813 Internal Administration $ 6,736,661 $ 6,586,661 Information Systems $ 12,457,935 $ 11,442,735 Field Services $ 17,355,208 $ 17,215,208 Income Tax Unit $ 8,489,277 $ 8,189,277 Motor Vehicle Unit $ 18,920,612 $ 17,620,612 Central Audit Unit $ 8,680,937 $ 8,680,937 Property Tax Unit $ 4,815,402 $ 3,081,947 Sales Tax Unit $ 4,116,455 $ 4,016,455 State Board of Equalization $ 20,000 $ 20,000 Taxpayer Accounting $ 4,430,892 $ 3,791,092 Alcohol and Tobacco $ 2,477,827 $ 2,477,827 Total $ 118,676,019 $ 113,297,564 Section 29. Secretary of State. A . Budget Unit: Secretary of State $ 29,641,611 Personal Services $ 18,387,545 Regular Operating Expenses $ 3,354,702 Travel $ 245,300 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 105,650 Equipment $ 131,482 Computer Charges $ 3,016,336 Real Estate Rentals $ 2,474,252 Telecommunications $ 814,690 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 1,559,154 Election Expenses $ 597,500 Total Funds Budgeted $ 30,686,611 State Funds Budgeted $ 29,641,611 Department Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds Internal Administration $ 4,562,718 $ 4,532,718 Archives and Records $ 5,035,638 $ 4,960,638 Business ServicesCorporations $ 2,610,676 $ 1,890,676 Business ServicesSecurities $ 2,017,587 $ 1,967,587 Elections and Campaign Disclosure $ 4,348,582 $ 4,328,582 Drugs and Narcotics $ 1,247,851 $ 1,247,851 State Ethics Commission $ 388,710 $ 388,710 State Examining Boards $ 10,241,898 $ 10,091,898 Holocaust Commission $ 232,951 $ 232,951 Total $ 30,686,611 $ 29,641,611 B . Budget Unit: Real Estate Commission $ 2,272,618 Personal Services $ 1,383,094 Regular Operating Expenses $ 166,400 Travel $ 15,000 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 29,000 Equipment $ 7,639 Computer Charges $ 181,400 Real Estate Rentals $ 170,085 Telecommunications $ 187,000 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 133,000 Total Funds Budgeted $ 2,272,618 State Funds Budgeted $ 2,272,618 Departmental Functional Budgets State Funds Cost of Operations Real Estate Commission $ 2,272,618 $ 2,312,618 Section 30. Soil and Water Conservation Commission . Budget Unit: Soil and Water Conservation Commission $ 2,194,317 Personal Services $ 1,345,344 Regular Operating Expenses $ 245,178 Travel $ 41,650 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 27,464 Equipment $ 13,188 Computer Charges $ 13,800 Real Estate Rentals $ 118,648 Telecommunications $ 26,788 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 432,157 County Conservation Grants $ 121,500 Total Funds Budgeted $ 2,385,717 State Funds Budgeted $ 2,194,317 Section 31. Student Finance Commission. A . Budget Unit: Student Finance Commission $ 33,478,570 Personal Services $ 534,451 Regular Operating Expenses $ 22,680 Travel $ 18,000 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 0 Equipment $ 7,500 Computer Charges $ 38,822 Real Estate Rentals $ 46,000 Telecommunications $ 18,691 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 91,800 Payment of Interest and Fees $ 0 Guaranteed Educational Loans $ 4,510,455 Tuition Equalization Grants $ 25,749,053 Student Incentive Grants $ 500,000 Law Enforcement Personnel Dependents' Grants $ 86,000 North Georgia College ROTC Grants $ 337,500 North Georgia College Graduates Scholarship $ 68,500 Osteopathic Medical Loans $ 100,000 Georgia Military Scholarship Grants $ 808,368 Paul Douglas Teacher Scholarship Loans $ 0 Work Incentive for Students $ 540,750 Total Funds Budgeted $ 33,478,570 State Funds Budgeted $ 33,478,570 Departmental Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds Georgia Student Finance Authority $ 32,700,626 $ 32,700,626 Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission $ 777,944 $ 777,944 Total $ 33,478,570 $ 33,478,570

Page 209

B . Budget Unit: Lottery for Education $ 215,153,022 HOPE Financial AidTuition $ 117,418,487 HOPE Financial AidBooks $ 29,888,210 HOPE Financial AidFees $ 26,527,997 Tuition Equalization Grants $ 7,167,088 Hope Scholarships - Private Colleges $ 28,029,000 Georgia Military College Scholarship $ 771,210 LEPD Scholarship $ 220,530 Teacher Scholarships $ 3,500,000 Promise Scholarships $ 1,107,000 Engineer Scholarships $ 523,500 Total Funds Budgeted $ 215,153,022 Lottery Funds Budgeted $ 215,153,022 Section 32. Teachers' Retirement System. Budget Unit: Teachers' Retirement System $ 3,800,000 Personal Services $ 6,259,990 Regular Operating Expenses $ 366,100 Travel $ 20,500 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 0 Equipment $ 5,700 Computer Charges $ 1,165,717 Real Estate Rentals $ 527,355 Telecommunications $ 279,665 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 329,300 Employee Benefits $ 0 Retirement System Members $ 3,550,000 Floor Fund for Local Retirement Systems $ 250,000 Total Funds Budgeted $ 12,754,327 State Funds Budgeted $ 3,800,000 Section 33. Department of Technical and Adult Education. A . Budget Unit: Department of Technical and Adult Education $ 247,491,549 Personal Services $ 6,640,013 Regular Operating Expenses $ 597,890 Travel $ 165,100 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 0 Equipment $ 192,271 Real Estate Rentals $ 742,246 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 769,575 Computer Charges $ 1,002,182 Telecommunications $ 146,786 Salaries and Travel of Public Librarians $ 15,833,471 Public Library Materials $ 5,972,145 Talking Book Centers $ 1,075,353 Public Library Maintenance and Operation $ 7,947,385 Capital Outlay $ 0 Personal Services-Institutions $ 187,142,492 Operating Expenses-Institutions $ 57,257,137 Area School Program $ 6,274,488 Adult Literacy Grants $ 19,592,382 Regents Program $ 3,615,148 Quick Start Program $ 10,781,810 Total Funds Budgeted $ 325,747,874 State Funds Budgeted $ 247,491,549 Departmental Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds Administration $ 10,256,063 $ 7,172,413 Institutional Programs $ 315,491,811 $ 240,319,136 Total $ 325,747,874 $ 247,491,549 B . Budget Unit: Lottery for Education $ 26,809,346 Computer Laboratories and Satellite Dishes-Adult Literacy $ 0 Capital OutlayTechnical Institute Satellite Facilities $ 0 Equipment-Technical Institutes $ 20,809,346 Repairs and RenovationsTechnical Institutes $ 6,000,000 Total Funds Budgeted $ 26,809,346 Lottery Funds Budgeted $ 26,809,346 Section 34. Department of Transportation. Budget Unit: Department of Transportation $ 598,154,925 Personal Services $ 262,742,052 Regular Operating Expenses $ 62,239,702 Travel $ 2,024,000 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 2,000,000 Equipment $ 7,944,070 Computer Charges $ 14,397,650 Real Estate Rentals $ 1,333,768 Telecommunications $ 3,269,333 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 60,563,553 Capital Outlay $ 816,827,596 Capital OutlayAirport Aid Program $ 2,241,866 Mass Transit Grants $ 11,543,887 Harbor Maintenance/Intra-Coastal Waterways Maintenance and Operations $ 710,855 Contracts with the Georgia Rail Passenger Authority $ 341,250 Total Funds Budgeted $ 1,248,179,582 State Funds Budgeted $ 598,154,925 Departmental Functional Budgets Motor Fuel Tax Budget Total Funds State Funds Planning and Construction $ 910,011,135 $ 282,120,458 Maintenance and Betterments $ 245,787,351 $ 233,363,366 Facilities and Equipment $ 17,851,383 $ 17,291,383 Administration $ 32,000,472 $ 31,216,797 Total $ 1,205,650,341 $ 563,992,004 General Funds Budget Planning and Construction $ 21,250,000 $ 21,250,000 Maintenance and Betterments $ 0 $ 0 Air Transportation $ 3,193,115 $ 2,732,369 Inter-Modal Transfer Facilities $ 17,375,271 $ 9,469,697 Harbor/Intra-Coastal Waterways Activities $ 710,855 $ 710,855 Total $ 42,529,241 $ 34,162,921 Section 35. Department of Veterans Service. Budget Unit: Department of Veterans Service $ 20,425,431 Personal Services $ 5,183,283 Regular Operating Expenses 246,723 Travel 102,245 Motor Vehicle Purchases 0 Equipment $ 173,265 Computer Charges $ 27,100 Real Estate Rentals $ 250,711 Telecommunications $ 76,850 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 14,289,340 Capital Outlay $ 200,000 Operating Expense/Payments to Medical College of Georgia $ 7,372,118 Regular Operating Expenses for Projects and Insurance $ 850,500 Total Funds Budgeted $ 28,772,135 State Funds Budgeted $ 20,425,431 Departmental Functional Budgets Total Funds State Funds Veterans Assistance $ 21,144,017 $ 15,335,705 Veterans Nursing Home-Augusta $ 7,628,118 $ 5,089,726 Total $ 28,772,135 $ 20,425,431 Section 36. Workers' Compensation Board. Budget Unit: Workers' Compensation Board $ 11,454,420 Personal Services $ 9,198,337 Regular Operating Expenses $ 449,937 Travel $ 129,666 Motor Vehicle Purchases $ 0 Equipment $ 65,520 Computer Charges $ 303,057 Real Estate Rentals $ 1,173,481 Telecommunications $ 186,121 Per Diem, Fees and Contracts $ 138,301 Payments to State Treasury $ 0 Total Funds Budgeted $ 11,644,420 State Funds Budgeted $ 11,454,420 Section 37. State of Georgia General Obligation Debt Sinking Fund. A . Budget Unit: State of Georgia General Obligation Debt Sinking Fund State General Funds (Issued) $ 453,874,183 Motor Fuel Tax Funds (Issued) $ 35,000,000 $ 488,874,183 B . Budget Unit: State of Georgia General Obligation Debt Sinking Fund State General Funds (New) $ 73,742,506 Motor Fuel Tax Funds (New) $ 0 $ 73,742,506 Section 38. Provisions Relative to Section 3, Judicial Branch . The appropriations in Section 3 (Judicial) of this Act are for the cost of operating the Supreme Court of the State of Georgia, including salaries and retirement contributions for Justices and the employees of the Court, including the cost of purchasing and distributing the reports (decisions) of the appellate courts to the Judges, District Attorneys, Clerks, and others as required by Code Section 50-18-31, and including Georgia's pro rata share for the operation of the National Center for State Courts; cost of operating the Court of Appeals of the State of Georgia, including salaries and retirement contributions for judges and employees of the Court; cost of operating the Superior Courts of the State of Georgia, including the payment of Judges' salaries, the payment of mileage authorized by law and such other salaries and expenses as may be authorized by law; for the payment of salaries, mileage and other expenses as may be authorized by law for District Attorneys, Assistant District Attorneys and District Attorneys Emeritus; for the cost of staffing and operating the Prosecuting Attorneys' Council created by Code Section 15-18-40, the Sentence Review Panel created by Code Section 17-10-6, the Council of Superior Court Judges, and the Judicial Administrative Districts created by Code Section 15-5-2, for the latter of which funds shall be allocated to the ten administrative districts by the Chairman of the Judicial Council; cost of operating the Council of Juvenile Court Judges created by Code Section 15-11-4; cost of staffing and operating the Institute of Continuing Judicial Education and the Georgia Magistrate Courts Training Council created by Code Section 15-10-132; cost of operating the Judicial Council of the State of Georgia, the Administrative Office of the Courts, the Board of Court Reporting of the Judicial Council, the Georgia Courts Automation Commission and the Office of Dispute Resolution, and for payments to the Council of Magistrate Court Judges, the Council of Probate Court Judges and the Council of State Court Judges. Section 39. Provisions Relative to Section 4, Department of Administrative Services . It is the intent of the General Assembly that all future purchases of radio and related equipment must be compatible with the 800 mhz system. Purchases must be approved by the Office of Planning and Budget and the Department of Administrative Services. Vetoed Roy E. Barnes April 12, 1999 Provided, that the department shall provide a consolidated report to the General Assembly by December 31, 1998 of all vehicles purchased or newly leased during Fiscal Year 1998.

Page 214

Notwithstanding any provision of the law to the contrary, in managing any of the self-insurance funds or insurance programs which are the responsibility of the commissioner of administrative services, including but not limited to those established pursuant to OCGA 45-9-1 et.seq., 50-5-1 et.seq., 50-16-1 et.seq. and 50-21-20 et.seq., the commissioner of administrative services may, subject to the approval of the Office of Planning and Budget, transfer funds between any such self-insurance funds or insurance programs. Section 40. Provisions Relative to Section 7, Department of Community Affairs . Provided, that the funds appropriated herein to the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority for loans shall be available for nominal or no interest loans to counties, municipalities, local water or sewer authorities, boards or political subdivisions created by the General Assembly or pursuant to the Constitution and laws of the state for emergency-type water and sewer projects. Provided, that from the appropriation made above for `Local Assistance Grants', specific, mandatory appropriations pursuant to O.C.G.A. 50-8-8(a) are made as follows: Recipient Purpose Amount City of Atlanta Operation of the School of Library and Information Services Graduate Program Clark Atlanta University $ 75,000 City of Warner Robins Operation of the Aviation Museum $ 90,000 Wilkes County Wilkes County Airport Development $ 86,250 Lowndes County Improvements to historic Lowndes County courthouse $ 50,000 Tombs County Purchase an automated electronic sign for Southeastern Vocational Tech $ 40,000 Crawford County Board Major repair improvements to Crawford County of Education High School $ 375,000 City of Homerville Purchase of land $ 38,000 Cobb County Land purchase and restoration of the Mable House Estate $ 5,000,000 Long County For county administration expenses $ 160,000 City of Warner Construction of an educational facility at the Georgia Robins Aviation Hall of Fame $ 1,000,000 Towns County Purchase a bookmobile for the Mountain Regional Library $ 100,000 Decatur County Purchase a bookmobile for the Southwest Regional Library $ 80,000 Towns County Purchase a bookmobile for the Screven-Jenkins Regional Library $ 80,000 Section 41. Provisions Relative to Section 10, State Board of Education Department of Education . The formula calculation for Quality Basic Education funding assumes a base unit cost of $1,960.77. In addition, all local school system allotments for Quality Basic Education shall be made in accordance with funds appropriated by this Act. Provided, that of the above appropriation relative to 13% incentive grants to local school systems for implementing middle grades programs, such grants shall be made to local school systems for only those schools containing grades seven and eight or grades six, seven and eight which provide a minimum of 85 minutes of common preparation time during the student instructional day to each interdisciplinary team of teachers responsible for instruction in language arts, mathematics, science and social studies, and which meet criteria and standards prescribed by the State Board of Education for middle school programs.

Page 216

Section 42 . Provisions Relative to Section 11, Employees' Retirement System . Funds are provided in this appropriation act for H.B. 661, H.B. 944, H.B. 1096, H.B. 1103 and S.B. 326. Section 43 . Provisions Relative to Section 15, Department of Human Resources . The Department of Human Resources is authorized to calculate all Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefit payments utilizing a factor of 66.0% of the standards of need; such payments shall be made from the date of certification and not from the date of application; and the following maximum benefits and maximum standards of need shall apply: Number in Asst. Group Standards of Need Maximum Monthly Amount 1 $235 $155 2 356 235 3 424 280 4 500 330 5 573 378 6 621 410 7 672 444 8 713 470 9 751 496 10 804 530 11 860 568 Provided, the Department of Human Resources is authorized to transfer funds between the Personal Services object class and the Per Diem, Fees and Contracts sub-object class at each of the MH/MR/SA institutions as needed to insure coverage for physician, nursing, physical therapy, and speech and hearing therapy services. Such transfers shall not require prior budgetary approval. Provided, that of the appropriation relative to Community Mental Health/Mental Retardation and Institutions, Regional Boards will be allocated State hospital funds equal to their DHR approved formula fair share. Regional Boards must use their fair share allocation or 90% of their base year hospital utilization funding (whichever is less) to purchase State hospital services. The balance may be used for community based care in accordance with approved Regional Plans. Section 44 . Provisions Relative to Section 21, Department of Medical Assistance . There is hereby appropriated to the Department of Medical Assistance a specific sum of money equal to all the moneys contributed to the Indigent Care Trust Fund created pursuant to Article 6 of Chapter 8 of Title 31. The

Page 217

sum of money is appropriated for all of those purposes for which such moneys may be appropriated pursuant to Article 6, and may be used to match federal funds which are available for such purposes. Medicaid formulary restrictions, including prior authorization, shall be based on the individual patient's clinical and medical criteria and on cost-effectiveness. Vetoed Roy E. Barnes April 12, 1999 Adjust nursing home reimbursement rates effective October 1, 1998 using the June 30, 1996 cost reports plus the appropriate DRI index in accordance with the existing reimbursement methodology. It is the intent of the General Assembly that the Department of Medical Assistance develop an acuity based payment system for nursing homes. Provided, that dispensing fees for pharmacy provider's shall be increased five percent effective July 1, 1998. Vetoed Roy E. Barnes April 12, 1999 Section 45 . Provisions Relative to Section 22, Merit System of Personnel Administration . The Department is authorized to assess no more than $137.00 per budgeted position for the cost of departmental operations. It is the intent of this General Assembly that the employer contribution rate for the state employees health benefit plan for SFY 1999 shall not exceed 12.5%. It is the intent of this General Assembly that the employer contribution rate for the teachers health benefit plan for SFY 1999 shall not exceed 8.66%. Section 46 . Provisions Relative to Section 23, Department of Natural Resources . Provided, that to the extent State Parks and Historic Sites receipts are realized in excess of the amount of such funds contemplated in this Act, the Office of Planning and Budget is authorized to use up to 50 percent of the excess receipts to supplant State funds and the balance may be amended into the budget of the Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division for the most critical needs of the Division. This provision shall not apply to revenues collected from a state parks parking pass implemented by the Department. Provided, that of the amount above for per diem, fees and contracts, no more than $55,000 may be used for a common program of subsidizing mass transit fares to and from work for employees of state agencies and authorities, as authorized in O.C.G.A. 45-7-55, and if not for such purposes, then for other purposes within the object class. The subsidy may be limited to employees who live or work in the Atlanta Ozone Nonattainment Area and may not exceed $15 per month per employee. The Department of Transportation and any other budget unit eligible for such a grant may

Page 218

apply to this purpose available federal matching funds. For purposes of this appropriation Atlanta Ozone Nonattainment Area means the geographic area of the state comprised of Bartow, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, Dekalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Paulding, and Rockdale Counties. Section 47 . Provisions Relative to Section 24, Department of Public Safety . Of the appropriation above for Training of Personnel under the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Act, $70,000 is specifically appropriated to fund 1995 Act No. 403, Ga. Laws 1995, pp. 880, codified in Code sections 35-8-2 and 35-8-24, concerning training requirements for jail officers and juvenile correctional officers. Section 48 . Provisions Relative to Section 32, Teachers' Retirement System . It is the intent of the General Assembly that the employer contribution rate for the Teachers' Retirement System shall not exceed 11.95% for S.F.Y. 1999. Funds are provided in this appropriation act for H.B. 203, H.B. 943, H.B. 1081 and H.B. 1096S. Section 49 . Provisions Relative to Section 33, Department of Technical and Adult Education . To provide authorization for the conversion of Atlanta Area Technical Institute and Savannah Regional Technical Institute to State operated institutions. Vetoed Roy E. Barnes April 12, 1999 Section 50 . Provisions Relative to Section 34, Department of Transportation . For this and all future general appropriations acts, it is the intent of this General Assembly that the following provisions apply: a.) In order to meet the requirements for projects on the Interstate System, the Office of Planning and Budget is hereby authorized and directed to give advanced budgetary authorization for letting and execution of Interstate Highway Contracts not to exceed the amount of Motor Fuel Tax Revenues actually paid into the Fiscal Division of the Department of Administrative Services. b.) Objects for activities financed by Motor Fuel Tax Funds may be adjusted for additional appropriations or balances brought forward from previous years with prior approval by the Office of Planning and Budget. c.) Interstate rehabilitation funds may be used for four-laning and passing lanes. Funds appropriated for on-system resurfacing, four-laning and passing lanes may be used to match additional Federal aid. d.) The Fiscal Officers of the State are hereby directed as of July 1st of each fiscal year to determine the collection of Motor Fuel Tax in the

Page 219

immediately preceding year less refunds, rebates and collection costs and enter this amount as being the appropriation payable in lieu of the Motor Fuel Tax Funds appropriated in Section 34 of this Bill, in the event such collections, less refunds, rebates and collection costs, exceed such Motor Fuel Tax Appropriation. e.) Functions financed with General Fund appropriations shall be accounted for separately and shall be in addition to appropriations of Motor Fuel Tax revenues required under Article III, Section IX, Paragraph VI, Subsection (b) of the State Constitution. f.) Bus rental income may be retained to operate, maintain and upgrade department-owned buses, and air transportation service income may be retained to maintain and upgrade the quality of air transportation equipment. In order to aid the Department in the discharge of its powers and duties pursuant to Section 32-2-2 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, and in compliance with Section 32-2-41 (b) (1), O.C.G.A., the Department is authorized to transfer position counts between budget functions provided that the Department's total position count shall not exceed the maximum number of annual positions assigned by law. Vetoed Roy E. Barnes April 12, 1999 It is the express intent of this General Assembly, by this Act, that the use of motor fuel funds for the purpose of providing annual debt service on existing or new general obligation debt, for road purposes, issued by the State of Georgia, is for the sole and specific purpose of addressing the State's special need appropriation. Section 51 . In addition to all other appropriations for the State fiscal year ending June 30, 1999, there is hereby appropriated $3,600,000 for the purpose of providing funds for the operation of regional farmers' markets in the Department of Agriculture; and there is hereby appropriated $400,000 for the purpose of providing funds for the Weights and Measures, Warehouse Auditing Programs, Animal Protection Program and Feed Division; there is hereby appropriated $8,641,072 for the purpose of providing operating funds for the State physical health laboratories ($120,000) and for State mental health/mental retardation institutions ($8,521,072) in the Department of Human Resources; and there is hereby appropriated $10,000,000 for the purpose of providing funds for the operation of the Employment Service and Unemployment Insurance Programs in the Department of Labor. The Office of Planning and Budget is hereby authorized to transfer funds from this section to the appropriate departmental budgets in amounts equal to the departmental remittances to the Fiscal Division of the Department of Administrative Services from agency fund collections.

Page 220

Section 52. To the extent to which Federal funds become available in amounts in excess of those contemplated in this Appropriations Act, such excess Federal funds shall be applied as follows, whenever feasible: First, to supplant State funds which have been appropriated to supplant Federal funds, which such supplanted State funds shall thereupon be removed from the annual operating budgets; and Second, to further supplant State funds to the extent necessary to maintain the effective matching ratio experienced in the immediately preceding fiscal year, which such supplanted State funds shall thereupon be removed from the annual operating budgets. The Office of Planning and Budget shall utilize its budgetary and fiscal authority so as to accomplish the above stated intent to the greatest degree feasible. At the end of this fiscal year, said Office of Planning and Budget shall provide written notice to the members of the Appropriations Committees of the Senate and House of Representatives of the instances of noncompliance with the stated intent of this Section. A nonprofit contractor, as defined in Chapter 20 of Title 50, which contracts to receive any public funds appropriated in this Act shall comply with all provisions of Chapter 20 of Title 50 and shall, in addition, deposit copies of each filing required by Chapter 20 of Title 50 with the chairmen of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees and with the Legislative Budget Office, at the same time as the filings required under Chapter 20 of Title 50. Any nonprofit entity which receives a grant of any public funds appropriated in this Act without entering into a contractual arrangement shall likewise, as a condition of such grant, comply with the provisions of Chapter 20 of Title 50 in the same manner as a state contractor and shall likewise file copies of required filings with the chairmen of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. Section 53. Each agency for which an appropriation is authorized herein shall maintain financial records in such a fashion as to enable the State Auditor to readily determine expenditures as contemplated in this Appropriations Act. Section 54. In addition to all other appropriations, there is hereby appropriated as needed, a specific sum of money equal to each refund authorized by law, which is required to make refund of taxes and other monies collected in error, farmer gasoline tax refund and any other refunds specifically authorized by law.

Page 221

Section 55. No State appropriations authorized under this Act shall be used to continue programs currently funded entirely with Federal funds. Section 56. In accordance with the requirements of Article IX, Section VI, Paragraph Ia of the Constitution of the State of Georgia, as amended, there is hereby appropriated payable to each department, agency, or institution of the State sums sufficient to satisfy the payments required to be made in each year, under existing lease contracts between any department, agency, or institution of the State, and any authority created and activated at the time of the effective date of the aforesaid constitutional provision, as amended, or appropriated for the State fiscal year addressed within this Act. If for any reason any of the sums herein provided under any other provision of this Act are insufficient to make the required payments in full, there shall be taken from other funds appropriated to the department, agency or institution involved, an amount sufficient to satisfy such deficiency in full and the lease payment constitutes a first charge on all such appropriations. Section 57. (a.) All expenditures and appropriations made and authorized under this Act shall be according to the programs and activities as specified in the Governor's recommendations contained in the Budget Report submitted to the General Assembly at the 1998 Regular Session, except as provided, however, the Director of the Budget is authorized to make internal transfers within a budget unit between objects, programs and activities subject to the conditions that no funds whatsoever shall be transferred for use in initiating or commencing any new program or activity not currently having an appropriation of State funds, nor which would require operating funds or capital outlay funds beyond the fiscal year to which this Appropriation Act applies; and provided, further, that no funds whatsoever shall be transferred between object classes without the prior approval of at least eleven members of the Fiscal Affairs Subcommittees in a meeting called to consider said transfers. This Section shall apply to all funds of each budget unit from whatever source derived. The State Auditor shall make an annual report to the Appropriations Committees of the Senate and House of Representatives of all instances revealed in his audit in which the expenditures by object class of any department, bureau, board, commission, institution or other agency of this State are in violation of this Section or in violation of any amendments properly approved by the Director of the Budget. (b.)(1.) For purposes of this Section, the term common object classes shall include only Personal Services, Regular Operating Expenses, Travel, Motor Vehicle Equipment Purchases, Postage, Equipment Purchases, Computer Charges, Real Estate Rentals and Telecommunications.

Page 222

(b.)(2.) For each Budget Unit's common object classes in this Act, the appropriations shall be as follows: Expenditures of no more than 102% of the stated amount for each common object class are authorized. However, the total expenditure for the group may not exceed the sum of the stated amounts for the separate object classes of the group. (b.)(3.) It is the further intent of the General Assembly that this principle shall be applied as well when common object class amounts are properly amended in the administration of the annual operating budget. Section 58. Wherever in this Act the terms Budget Unit Object Classes or Combined Object Classes For Section are used, it shall mean that the object classification following such term shall apply to the total expenditures within the Budget Unit or combination of budget units within a designated section, respectively, and shall supersede the object classification shown in the Governor's Budget Report. For budget units within the Legislative Branch, all transfers shall require prior approval of at least eight members of the Legislative Services Committee in a meeting of such Committee, except that no approval shall be required for transfers within the Senate Functional Budget or the House Functional Budget. Section 59. There is hereby appropriated a specific sum of Federal grant funds, said specific sum being equal to the total of the Federal grant funds available in excess of the amounts of such funds appropriated in the foregoing sections of this Act, for the purpose of supplanting appropriated State funds, which State funds shall thereupon be unavailable for expenditure unless reappropriated by the Georgia General Assembly. This provision shall not apply to project grant funds not appropriated in this Act. Vetoed Roy E. Barnes April 12, 1999 Section 60. Provisions Relative to Section 37, State of Georgia General Obligation Debt Sinking Fund . With regard to the appropriations in Section 37 to the State of Georgia General Obligation Debt Sinking Fund for authorizing new debt, the maximum maturities, user agencies and user authorities, purposes, maximum principal amounts and particular appropriations of highest annual debt service requirements of the new debt are specified as follows: From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $4,960,050 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing educational facilities for county and independent school systems through the State Board of Education through the issuance of not more than $57,675,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $1,638,000 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing educational

Page 223

facilities for county and independent school systems through the State Board of Education, through the issuance of not more than $7,000,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of sixty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $11,484,956 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $133,546,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $534,690 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $2,285,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of sixty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $779,160 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $9,060,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $154,800 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $1,800,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $568,890 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects

Page 224

and facilities for the Department of Technical and Adult Education, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $6,615,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $341,420 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Department of Technical and Adult Education, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $3,970,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $1,199,700 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Department of Natural Resources, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $13,950,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $18,920,000 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing the George L. Smith II Georgia World Congress Center projects and facilities for the Department of Industry, Trade, and Tourism, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $220,000,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $2,527,200 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Georgia Ports Authority, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $10,800,000

Page 225

in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of sixty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $1,720,000 is specifically appropriated for Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority for the purpose of financing loans to local governments and local government entities for water or sewerage facilities or systems, through the issuance of not more than $20,000,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $258,000 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Georgia Building Authority, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $3,000,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $11,782,000 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Department of Transportation, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $137,000,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $455,130 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Department of Transportation, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $1,945,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of sixty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $215,860 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Department of Juvenile Justice, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $2,510,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months.

Page 226

From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $860,000 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Department of Juvenile Justice, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $10,000,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $564,160 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Department of Juvenile Justice, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $6,560,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $236,500 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Department of Juvenile Justice, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $2,750,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $898,270 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Department of Human Resources, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $10,445,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $1,463,720 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $17,020,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months.

Page 227

From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $345,290 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $4,015,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $1,269,450 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Department of Corrections, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $5,425,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of sixty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $430,000 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Department of Corrections, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $5,000,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $234,000 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Department of Agriculture, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $1,000,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of sixty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $516,000 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Georgia Building Authority, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $6,000,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months.

Page 228

From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $368,550 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Georgia Building Authority, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $1,575,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of sixty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $1,724,300 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Department of Transportation, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $20,050,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $280,800 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Department of Transportation, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $1,200,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of sixty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $1,006,200 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing educational facilities for county and independent school systems through grants for low-wealth school systems by the State Board of Education through the issuance of not more than $11,700,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $483,750 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Department of Natural Resources, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $5,625,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $154,800 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing Georgia

Page 229

Agricultural Exposition Center projects and facilities for the Department of Natural Resources, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $1,800,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $937,314 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $10,899,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $721,656 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Department of Technical and Adult Education, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $3,084,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of sixty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $307,020 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Department of Technical and Adult Education, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $3,570,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $129,000 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Department of Technical and Adult Education, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $1,500,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments

Page 230

of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months . Vetoed Roy E. Barnes April 12, 1999 From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $51,600 is specifically appropriated for the Department of Technical and Adult Education to provide public library facilities by grant to the governing board of the Savannah Carnegie Library for that library, through the issuance of not more than $600,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $86,000 is specifically appropriated for the Department of Technical and Adult Education to provide public library facilities by grant to the governing board Glynn County Library for that library, through the issuance of not more than $1,000,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $258,000 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Department of Transportation, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $3,000,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $2,045,080 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Department of Technical and Adult Education, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $23,780,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $430,000 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $5,000,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months.

Page 231

From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $211,990 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Department of Technical and Adult Education, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $2,465,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months. From the appropriation designated State General Funds (New), $189,200 is specifically appropriated for the purpose of financing projects and facilities for the Department of Technical and Adult Education, by means of the acquisition, construction, development, extension, enlargement, or improvement of land, waters, property, highways, buildings, structures, equipment or facilities, both real and personal, necessary or useful in connection therewith, through the issuance of not more than $2,200,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Debt, the instruments of which shall have maturities not in excess of two hundred and forty months . Vetoed Roy E. Barnes April 12, 1999 Section 61. TOTAL STATE FUND APPROPRIATIONS State Fiscal Year 1999 $ 13,064,694,760 Section 62 . This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without his approval. Section 63 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Section 2 . This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without his approval. Section 3 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 12, 1999.

Page 232

CRIMES AND OFFENSESCONTRIBUTING TO DELINQUENCY OF MINORS; COMPUTER PORNOGRAPHY AND CHILD EXPLOITATION. Code Section 16-12-1 Amended. Code Section 16-12-100.2 Enacted. No. 155 (House Bill No. 213). AN ACT To amend Part 2 of Article 3 of Chapter 12 of Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to offenses related to minors generally, so as to change certain penalty provisions applicable to the offense of contributing to the delinquency, unruliness, or deprivation of a minor; to define the crime of computer pornography; to provide a short title; to define a certain term; to make it unlawful for any person intentionally or willfully to utilize a computer on-line service, Internet service, or local bulletin board service to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice, or attempt to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice a child or another person believed by such person to be a child, to commit certain illegal acts; to make it unlawful for any owner or operator of a computer on-line service, Internet service, or local bulletin board service intentionally or willfully to permit a subscriber to utilize the service to commit a violation of this Act, knowing that such person intended to commit a violation; to provide that the sole fact that an undercover operative or law enforcement officer was involved in the detection and investigation of an offense under this Act shall not constitute a defense to prosecution under this Act; to provide that a person is subject to prosecution in this state pursuant to Code Section 17-2-1 for any conduct made unlawful by this Act which the person engages in while either within or outside of this state if, by such conduct, the person commits a violation of this Act which involves a child who resides in this state or another person believed by such person to be a child residing in this state; to provide that any violation of this Act shall constitute a separate offense; to provide penalties; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . Part 2 of Article 3 of Chapter 12 of Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to offenses related to minors generally, is amended by striking subsection (d) of Code Section 16-12-1, relating to the offense of contributing to the delinquency, unruliness, or deprivation of a minor, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (d) A person convicted pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (b) of this Code section shall be punished as follows: (1) Upon conviction of the first or second offense, the defendant shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not more than

Page 233

$1,000.00 or shall be imprisoned for not more than 12 months, or both fined and imprisoned; and (2) Upon the conviction of the third or subsequent offense, the defendant shall be guilty of a felony and shall be fined not less than $1,000.00 nor more than $5,000.00 or shall be imprisoned for not less than one year nor more than three years, or both fined and imprisoned. SECTION 2 . Said part is further amended by adding following Code Section 16-12-100.1 a new Code Section 16-12-100.2 to read as follows: 16-12-100.2. (a) This Code section shall be known and may be cited as the `Computer Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act of 1999.' (b) As used in this Code section, the term `child' means any person under the age of 16 years. (c) (1) A person commits the offense of computer pornography if such person intentionally or willfully: (A) Compiles, enters into, or transmits by means of computer; (B) Makes, prints, publishes, or reproduces by other computerized means; (C) Causes or allows to be entered into or transmitted by means of computer; or (D) Buys, sells, receives, exchanges, or disseminates any notice, statement, or advertisement, or any child's name, telephone number, place of residence, physical characteristics, or other descriptive or identifying information for the purpose of offering or soliciting sexual conduct of or with any child or the visual depiction of such conduct. (2) Any person convicted of violating paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000.00 or by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 20 years, or both. (c) (1) It shall be unlawful for any person intentionally or willfully to utilize a computer on-line service, Internet service, or local bulletin board service to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice, or attempt to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice a child or another person believed by such person to be a child, to commit any illegal act described in Code Section 16-6-2, relating to the offense of sodomy or aggravated sodomy; Code Section 16-6-4, relating to the offense of child molestation or aggravated child molestation; Code Section 16-6-5, relating

Page 234

to the offense of enticing a child for indecent purposes; or Code Section 16-6-8, relating to the offense of public indecency; or to engage in any conduct that by its nature is an unlawful sexual offense against a child. (2) Any person who violates paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. (d) (1) It shall be unlawful for any owner or operator of a computer on-line service, Internet service, or local bulletin board service intentionally or willfully to permit a subscriber to utilize the service to commit a violation of this Code section, knowing that such person intended to utilize such service to violate this Code section. (2) Any person who violates paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. (e) The sole fact that an undercover operative or law enforcement officer was involved in the detection and investigation of an offense under this Code section shall not constitute a defense to prosecution under this Code section. (f) A person is subject to prosecution in this state pursuant to Code Section 17-2-1, relating to jurisdiction over crimes and persons charged with commission of crimes generally, for any conduct made unlawful by this Code section which the person engages in while either within or outside of this state if, by such conduct, the person commits a violation of this Code section which involves a child who resides in this state or another person believed by such person to be a child residing in this state. (g) Any violation of this Code section shall constitute a separate offense. SECTION 3 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 13, 1999. PROFESSIONS AND BUSINESSESDENTISTRY; DEFINITIONS; BOARD; CENSUS; SERVICE; CONTEMPT; STUDENTS; EXAMINATIONS; LICENSES; PRACTICE; SANCTIONS; INVESTIGATIONS; CONTINUING EDUCATION. Code Title 43, Chapter 11 Amended. No. 156 (House Bill No. 295). AN ACT To amend Chapter 11 of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the regulation of the practice of dentistry, so as to

Page 235

change the provisions relating to definitions; to change the eligibility requirements for members of the Georgia Board of Dentistry; to add the feminine pronoun in certain provisions which presently include only the masculine pronoun; to change the powers of said board; to change the provisions relating to a census by the board and posting of certain names; to change the provisions relating to service of decisions, orders, or subpoenas; to change the provisions relating to punishment for contempt; to provide for training clinics and affiliated sites, for activities of certain students, and for charges for student services; to provide for clinical licensure examinations and the conduct and eligibility therefor; to change the provisions relating to certain exceptions to applicability; to change the provisions regarding the licensing of certain persons licensed in other states and costs of and qualifications for teachers' and instructors' licenses; to provide for powers, responsibilities, and requirements of dentists regarding dental treatment, dental practice, and other matters relating thereto; to provide for rules and regulations; to change the provisions regarding sanctions and disciplinary actions by said board; to provide for investigations and the examination of physical premises of dental practices; to change the provisions relating to penalties and continuing education; to change the provisions relating to applicability; 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 11 of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the regulation of the practice of dentistry, is amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 43-11-1, relating to definitions, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 43-11-1 to read as follows: 43-11-1. As used in this chapter, the term: (1) `Accredited dental college' and `accredited dental school,' or `accredited school of dentistry' mean a dental school, college, or university accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association or its successor agency. (2) `Accredited dental hygiene school' means a dental hygiene school or college accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association or its successor agency. (3) `Board' means the Georgia Board of Dentistry. (4) `Conscious sedation' means a depressed level of consciousness, produced by a pharmacologic agent, which retains the patient's ability to maintain independently and continuously an airway and appropriately respond to physical stimulation and verbal command. The use of

Page 236

nitrous oxide as the only systemic sedative is not considered conscious sedation for purposes of this chapter. (5) `Dentistry' means the evaluation, diagnosis, prevention, or treatment, or any combination thereof, whether using surgical or nonsurgical procedures, of diseases, disorders, or conditions, or any combination thereof, of the oral cavity, maxillofacial area, or the adjacent and associated structures, or any combination thereof, and their impact on the human body provided by a dentist, within the scope of his or her education, training, and experience, in accordance with the ethics of the profession and applicable law, including, but not limited to, the acts specified in Code Section 43-11-17. (6) `General anesthesia' means a controlled state of depressed consciousness, produced by a pharmacologic agent, which is accompanied by partial or complete loss of protective reflexes, including the inability to maintain independently an airway or respond purposefully to physical stimulation or verbal command. For purposes of this chapter, `general anesthesia' includes deep sedation. (7) `Instructor' means either a dentist holding a dental license from another state or a dental hygienist holding a dental hygienist license from another state who has graduated from a school or college accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association or its successor agency and whom the state board has granted instructor status for the sole purpose of teaching or instructing in a training clinic or an accredited dental college or accredited dental hygiene school in this state those procedures and services recognized in this state to be within the scope of practice of such person's license. (8) `Licensed dental hygienist' means a dental hygienist licensed and in good standing in this state pursuant to this chapter. (9) `Licensed dentist' means a dentist licensed and in good standing in this state pursuant to this chapter. (10) `Training clinic' means a clinic operated as a nonprofit facility by an accredited dental college or accredited dental hygiene school primarily to train students of such college or school. SECTION 2 . Said chapter is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 43-11-2, relating to the creation and composition of the board, qualifications and voting rights of members, terms of office, vacancies, and enjoining violations, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 43-11-2 to read as follows: 43-11-2.

Page 237

(a) A board to be known as the Georgia Board of Dentistry is created. The board shall consist of 11 members to be appointed and commissioned by the Governor as provided in subsection (b) of this Code section. (b) (1) Nine members of the board shall be dentists and shall be appointed as follows: The members of the board who are dentists serving on July 1, 1981, shall continue to serve out their respective terms of office. As each such member's term of office subsequently expires, the Governor shall appoint a new member who shall be a practicing dentist licensed by this state. The Georgia Dental Association may, at each annual meeting, nominate four reputable practicing dentists for each expired or next expiring board member's term; and, from each group of four dentists so nominated, the Governor may appoint one as the new member of said board. (2) One member of the board shall be a dental hygienist who is not a dentist, who is a resident of this state, and who is a practicing dental hygienist in this state and shall be appointed by the Governor. No one shall be eligible as a dental hygienist member of the board unless he or she is a citizen of this state and has lawfully practiced as a dental hygienist for five or more years at the time of his or her appointment and is not financially interested in, nor connected with, any dental college or dental hygiene school. If such a member ceases to be a resident of this state or ceases practicing in this state, that position on the board shall be deemed vacated. The Georgia Dental Hygienists Association may nominate four reputable dental hygienists who are not dentists for each expired or expiring term; and, from each group of four dental hygienists so nominated, the Governor may appoint one as the new member of the board. (3) One member of the board shall be a citizen of this state who is not a dentist or a dental hygienist and shall be appointed by the Governor. (4) Except as otherwise provided in paragraphs (6) and (7) of this subsection, the term of office of each member of the board shall be for five years and until the appointment and qualification of a successor. (5) Each vacancy on the board shall be filled by the Governor for the unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment. (6) The term of the initial member appointed pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection shall be for a term of two years beginning July 1, 1978, and ending June 30, 1980. (7) The term of the initial member appointed pursuant to paragraph (3) of this subsection shall be for a term of four years beginning July 1, 1978, and ending June 30, 1982. (c) No one shall be eligible as a dentist member of the board unless he or she is a citizen of this state and has lawfully engaged in the practice of

Page 238

dentistry for five or more years at the time of his or her appointment and is not financially interested in, nor connected with, any dental college. (d) (1) The dental hygienist member of the board may vote only on matters relating to dental hygiene, administration, and policy which do not directly relate to practical or scientific examination of dentists for licensing in this state. (2) The citizen member of the board who is not a dentist or dental hygienist may vote only on matters relating to administration and policy which do not directly relate to practical and scientific examination of dentists and dental hygienists for licensing in this state. (e) The board may bring an action to enjoin any person, firm, partnership, corporation, or other entity who without being licensed or registered to do so by the board engages in or practices the profession of dentistry. The proceeding shall be filed in the county in which such person resides or, in the case of a firm, partnership, corporation, or other entity where the firm, partnership, corporation, or other entity maintains its principal office. Unless it shall be made to appear that such person, firm, partnership, corporation, or other entity so engaging in or practicing dentistry is licensed or registered, the injunction shall be issued, and such person, firm, partnership, corporation, or other entity shall be perpetually enjoined from such activities throughout the state. It shall not be necessary in order to obtain the equitable relief provided in this subsection that the board allege and prove that there is no adequate remedy at law. It is declared that such unlicensed activities as are mentioned in this chapter are a menace and a nuisance dangerous to the public health, safety, and welfare. SECTION 3 . Said chapter is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 43-11-5, relating to the duty of members to notify joint-secretary of address, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 43-11-5 to read as follows: 43-11-5. Each member of the board, upon the receipt of his or her commission, shall file with the joint-secretary his or her post office address and thereafter a notice of any change therein. Any notice mailed to such address by the joint-secretary shall be deemed to comply with the requirements of this chapter as notice to him or her. SECTION 4 . Said chapter is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 43-11-7, relating to the powers and duties of board, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 43-11-7 to read as follows: 43-11-7.

Page 239

The board shall perform such duties and possess and exercise such powers, relative to the protection of the public health and the control and regulation of the practice of dentistry as this chapter prescribes and confers upon it. The board shall have the power and authority to promulgate rules and regulations to carry out the performance of its duties as set forth in this chapter. SECTION 5 . Said chapter is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 43-11-11, relating to the census of practicing dentists and publication of names, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 43-11-11 to read as follows: 43-11-11. The board may, from time to time, through its members or other suitable persons, take a census of all practicing dentists and dental hygienists of any locality, city, or county in the state when it may consider it necessary for the purpose of carrying out this chapter; the board may at any time cause the names of all licensed dentists and dental hygienists in any locality, city, or county to be posted or published; and the board is authorized to pay for taking such census and posting or publishing such names. SECTION 6 . Said chapter is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 43-11-12, relating to public inspection of board records, copies of records as evidence, and certification of copies, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 43-11-12 to read as follows: 43-11-12. It shall be the duty of the joint-secretary to keep at his or her office the minutes of the board, together with all the books and records of the board, which books and records shall, except as provided in subsection (k) of Code Section 43-1-2, be public records open to inspection by the public except on Sundays and legal holidays. A copy of all or any part of any record or book certified by the joint-secretary, with the seal of the board attached, shall be primary evidence in any court; and it shall be the duty of the joint-secretary to furnish to any person making application therefor a copy of any part or all of any record or book of the board upon the applicant's paying a fee prescribed by the joint-secretary. All of such copies shall be certified by the joint-secretary and be under the seal of the board. SECTION 7 . Said chapter is further amended by striking subsection (a) of Code Section 43-11-13, relating to service of orders and subpoenas of the board, and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (a) to read as follows:

Page 240

(a) It shall be the duty of the several sheriffs, their deputies, and the constables to serve any and all lawful orders and subpoenas of the board. The board may also appoint any other person to serve any decision, order, or subpoena of the board, which person's duty it shall be to execute the same. SECTION 8 . Said chapter is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 43-11-14, relating to enforcement of orders and subpoenas of the board and contempt, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 43-11-14 to read as follows: 43-11-14. The board shall have the power to enforce any and all of its lawful orders or subpoenas; to punish as for a contempt anyone obstructing or violating the same and shall also have the power to conduct any and all hearings before it in an orderly and legal manner; to punish anyone as for a contempt who may attempt to or who shall interfere with or in any manner obstruct such hearing; and may also punish as for a contempt any act of indecorum or discourtesy committed in the presence of the board when in session. The board may fine anyone an amount not exceeding $100.00 for a contempt and in default of the payment thereof may make application to any superior court having jurisdiction to confine the offender to jail for not more than ten days. SECTION 9 . Said chapter is further amended by striking paragraph (7) of subsection (a) of Code Section 43-11-17, relating to acts which constitute the practice of dentistry, and inserting in lieu thereof a new paragraph (7) to read as follows: (7) Undertakes to do or perform any physical evaluation of a patient in his or her office or in a hospital, clinic, or other medical or dental facility prior to, incident to, and appropriate to the performance of any dental services or oral or maxillofacial surgery; . SECTION 10 . Said chapter is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 43-11-19, relating to compliance with chapter as prerequisite to collection of fees for services, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 43-11-19 to read as follows: 43-11-19. No person who practices dentistry in this state shall be entitled to collect any fee or reward for his or her services without first complying with this chapter.

Page 241

SECTION 11 . Said chapter is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 43-11-20, relating to college clinics, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 43-11-20 to read as follows: 43-11-20. (a) Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit accredited dental colleges from maintaining on-campus training clinics and affiliated sites for the purpose of educational training of dental students approved by the board under the supervision of licensed dentists or instructors; nor shall this chapter prevent licensed dental practitioners of other states and countries from giving clinics before any dental society or association of this state whose objects are the advancement and improvement of dentistry as a science. (b) Nothing in this chapter shall prevent students of accredited dental colleges in this state from engaging in activities otherwise defined as the practice of dentistry, provided that said students work under the direct supervision and responsibility of a licensed dentist or instructor as a part of a training clinic; nor shall this chapter prevent students of accredited dental hygiene schools in this state from engaging in activities otherwise defined as the practice of dental hygiene, provided that said students work under the direct supervision and responsibility of a licensed dentist or dental hygienist as a part of an on-campus training clinic or at affiliated sites approved by said schools or colleges and the board for the purpose of educational training. Nothing in this chapter shall prevent said schools or colleges of dentistry or dental hygiene from establishing and collecting charges for services rendered by training students under the supervision of a licensed dentist, licensed dental hygienist, or instructor. These charges shall not exceed charges made by similar dental schools and colleges located within the United States. (c) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit the administration of a board approved clinical licensure examination as a prerequisite for licensure as a dentist or dental hygienist in this state. Nothing in this chapter shall prevent the conducting of a Georgia clinical licensure examination by a board approved examiner who is licensed as a dentist or dental hygienist in another jurisdiction. Nothing in this chapter shall prevent the taking of a Georgia clinical licensure examination by an individual who is eligible to apply for licensure as a dentist or dental hygienist in this state. SECTION 12 . Said chapter is further amended by striking subsection (a) of Code Section 43-11-21.1, relating to general anesthesia, and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (a) to read as follows:

Page 242

(a) No dentist shall administer general anesthesia on an outpatient basis unless such dentist has been issued a permit by the board under the conditions specified in this Code section. Such permit shall be subject to biennial renewal at the time the dentist is required to renew his or her license to practice dentistry. It shall be the responsibility of the dentist to provide such information as the board may require and to pay the separate initial issuance and renewal fees for the permit as may be established by the board. SECTION 13 . Said chapter is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 43-11-22, relating to [UNK]exceptions to application of chapter, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 43-11-22 to read as follows: 43-11-22. This chapter shall not apply to physicians licensed in this state in extracting teeth or performing surgical operations. This chapter also shall not apply to any person who extracts any exfoliating deciduous teeth. SECTION 14 . Said chapter is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 43-11-42, relating to reciprocity, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 43-11-42 to read as follows: 43-11-42. (a) The board may issue, in its discretion, without examination, teachers' or instructors' licenses to dentists holding a dental license from another state and to dental hygienists holding a dental hygienist license from another state. A teacher's or instructor's license shall only be issued to a dentist or dental hygienist who has graduated from a school or college accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association or its successor agency, if any, for the sole purpose of teaching or instructing, in an accredited dental college or training clinic or accredited dental hygiene school in this state, those procedures and services recognized in this state to be within the scope of practice of such person's professional license. (b) The board may issue, in its discretion, without examination, a license to dentists for the sole purpose of practicing public health dentistry in an official state or a local health department or to render dental services to patients in state operated eleemosynary or correctional institutions, provided that these dentists possess a license in another state, are in good standing in said state, and have graduated from an accredited dental college. Such license shall be considered to be a temporary license which shall be valid for a period to be established by board rule.

Page 243

(c) The cost of such teacher's, instructor's, or public health temporary license shall be established by the board. (d) The board may also, in its discretion, enter into an agreement with any similar board of any other state to the effect that each party to such agreement, under the conditions therein stipulated, will grant licenses to practicing dentists on the basis of a license having been granted by the other party to the agreement. (e) Any license issued under this Code section shall be subject to the disciplinary standards and procedures set forth in Code Section 43-11-47. SECTION 15 . Said chapter is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 43-11-43, relating to fees, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 43-11-43 to read as follows: 43-11-43. Each person applying for examination for a license to practice dentistry shall, at the time of making his or her application, pay to the joint-secretary a fee to be set by the board. Each person applying for the renewal of a license or authority to practice dentistry or for the establishment of a license or authority that has been lost shall, at the time of making his or her application, pay to the joint-secretary a fee to be set by the board. Such fee shall cover the entire service for granting or issuing licenses to practice dentistry. SECTION 16 . Said chapter is further amended by inserting after Code Section 43-11-43 a new Code Section 43-11-44 to read as follows: 43-11-44. It is a matter of public interest that all decisions involving or affecting the clinical dental treatment of a patient shall be left to the sole discretion of the licensed dentist providing treatment to the patient. The board shall be authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to supplement and ensure compliance with the requirements of this Code section. SECTION 17 . Said chapter is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 43-11-47, relating to refusal to grant, or revocation of, licenses and disciplining licensees, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 43-11-47 to read as follows: 43-11-47.

Page 244

(a) The board shall have the authority to refuse to grant a license to an applicant or to revoke the license of a dentist licensed by the board or to discipline a dentist licensed under this chapter or any antecedent law upon a finding by a majority of the entire board that the licensee or applicant has: (1) Failed to demonstrate the qualifications or standards for a license contained in this chapter or in the rules and regulations issued by the board, pursuant to specific statutory authority; it shall be incumbent upon the applicant to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the board that he or she meets all the requirements for the issuance of a license, and, if the board is not satisfied as to the applicant's qualifications, it may deny a license without a prior hearing; provided, however, that the applicant shall be allowed to appear before the board if he or she so desires; (2) Knowingly made misleading, deceptive, untrue, or fraudulent representations in the practice of dentistry or on any document connected therewith; or practiced fraud or deceit or intentionally made any false statement in obtaining a license to practice dentistry; or made a false statement or deceptive annual registration with the board; (3) Been convicted of any felony or of any crime involving moral turpitude in the courts of this state or any other state, territory, or country or in the courts of the United States; as used in this subsection, the term `felony' shall include any offense which, if committed in this state, would be deemed a felony without regard to its designation elsewhere; and, as used in this subsection, the term `conviction' shall include a finding or verdict of guilty or a plea of guilty, regardless of whether an appeal of the conviction has been sought; (4) Been arrested, charged, and sentenced for the commission of any felony, or any crime involving moral turpitude, where: (A) A plea of nolo contendere was entered to the charge; (B) First offender treatment without adjudication of guilt pursuant to the charge was granted; or (C) An adjudication or sentence was otherwise withheld or not entered on the charge. The plea of nolo contendere or the order entered pursuant to the provisions of Article 3 of Chapter 8 of Title 42 or other first offender treatment shall be conclusive evidence of arrest and sentencing for such crime; (5) Had his or her license to practice dentistry revoked, suspended, or annulled by any lawful licensing dental authority other than the

Page 245

board; or had other disciplinary action taken against him or her by any lawful licensing dental authority other than the board; or was denied a license by any lawful licensing dental authority other than the board, pursuant to disciplinary proceedings; or was refused the renewal of a license by any lawful licensing dental authority other than the board, pursuant to disciplinary proceedings; (6) Engaged in any unprofessional, immoral, unethical, deceptive, or deleterious conduct or practice harmful to the public, which conduct or practice materially affects the fitness of the licensee or applicant to practice dentistry, or of a nature likely to jeopardize the interest of the public, which conduct or practice need not have resulted in actual injury to any person or be directly related to the practice of dentistry but shows that the licensee or applicant has committed any act or omission which is indicative of bad moral character or untrustworthiness; unprofessional conduct shall also include any departure from, or the failure to conform to, the minimal standards of acceptable and prevailing dental practice; (7) (A) Engaged in the practice of dentistry as an employee of any individual not licensed to practice dentistry in this state or engaged in the practice of dentistry as an officer or employee of any corporation other than one organized and existing pursuant to Chapter 10 of Title 14, `The Georgia Professional Association Act,' or Chapter 7 of Title 14, the `Georgia Professional Corporation Act,' or engaged in the practice of dentistry as an employee, manager, or member of any limited liability company organized and existing pursuant to Chapter 11 of Title 14 or a limited liability partnership pursuant to Chapter 8 of Title 14 other than one in which all members are licensed dentists and all professional services and professional judgment decisions are delivered by and made by licensed dentists, except as a licensed dentist or an intern or resident of a hospital or teaching institution licensed by this state. (B) Possession of an ownership interest of a deceased licensed dentist in a limited liability company which is wholly owned by licensed dentists as described in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph shall not constitute a violation of that subparagraph if that interest is transferred to another licensed dentist member or redeemed by the limited liability company within six months after the date of death of that licensed dentist member; (8) Reserved; (9) Knowingly performed any act which in any way aids, assists, procures, advises, or encourages any unlicensed person or any licensee whose license has been suspended or revoked by the board to practice dentistry or to practice outside the scope of any disciplinary limitation placed upon the licensee by the board;

Page 246

(10) Violated a statute, law, or any rule or regulation of this state, any other state, the board, the United States, or any other lawful authority (without regard to whether the violation is criminally punishable), which statute, law, or rule or regulation relates to or in part regulates the practice of dentistry, when the licensee or applicant knows or should know that such action is violative of such statute, law, or rule; or violated a lawful order of the board previously entered by the board in a disciplinary hearing, consent decree, or license reinstatement; (11) Been adjudged mentally incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction within or outside this state; any such adjudication shall automatically suspend the license of any such person and shall prevent the reissuance or renewal of any license so suspended for as long as the adjudication of incompetence is in effect; (12) Displayed an inability to practice dentistry with reasonable skill and safety to patients or has become unable to practice dentistry with reasonable skill and safety to patients by reason of illness, use of alcohol, drugs, narcotics, chemicals, or any other type of material, or as a result of any mental or physical condition, or by reason of displaying habitual intoxication, addiction to, or recurrent personal misuse of alcohol, drugs, narcotics, chemicals, or any other type of similar substances. In enforcing this paragraph, the board may, upon reasonable grounds, require a licensee or applicant to submit to a mental or physical examination by physicians designated by the board. The results of such examination shall be admissible in any hearing before the board, notwithstanding any claim of privilege under a contrary rule of law or statute. Every person who shall accept the privilege of practicing dentistry in this state, or shall file an application for a license to practice dentistry in this state, shall be deemed to have given that 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 is due to circumstances beyond his or her control, the board may enter a final order upon proper notice, hearing, and proof of such refusal. Any licensee or applicant who is prohibited from practicing dentistry under this subsection shall at reasonable intervals be afforded an opportunity to demonstrate to the board that such person can resume or begin the practice of dentistry with reasonable skill and safety to patients; (13) Reserved; (14) Engaged in the excessive prescribing or administering of drugs or treatment or the use of diagnostic procedures which are detrimental to the patient as determined by the customary practice and standards of the local community of licensees; or knowingly prescribed

Page 247

controlled drug substances or any other medication without a legitimate dental purpose; or knowingly overprescribed controlled drug substances or other medication, in light of the condition of the patient at the time of prescription; or (15) Knowingly made any fraudulent, misleading, or deceptive statement in any form of advertising or made any statement in any advertisement concerning the quality of the dental services rendered by that dentist or any dentist associated with him or her. For purposes of this paragraph, `advertising' shall include any information communicated in a manner designated to attract public attention to the practice of the licensee. (b) The provisions of Chapter 13 of Title 50, the `Georgia Administrative Procedure Act,' with respect to emergency action by the board and summary suspension of a license are adopted and incorporated by reference into this chapter. (c) For purposes of this Code section, the board may obtain, and is authorized to subpoena, upon reasonable grounds, any and all records relating to the mental or physical condition of a licensee or applicant, and such records shall be admissible in any hearing before the board. (d) When the board finds that any person is unqualified to be granted a license or finds that any person should be disciplined pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section, the board may take any one or more of the following actions: (1) Refuse to grant or renew a license to an applicant; (2) Administer a public or private reprimand, but a private reprimand shall not be disclosed to any person except the licensee; (3) Suspend any license for a definite period or for an indefinite period in connection with any condition which may be attached to the restoration of said license; (4) Limit or restrict any license as the board deems necessary for the protection of the public; (5) Revoke any license; or (6) Condition the penalty upon, or withhold formal disposition pending, the applicant's or licensee's submission to such care, counseling, or treatment as the board may direct. (e) In addition to and in conjunction with the actions described in subsection (d) of this Code section, the board may make a finding adverse to the licensee or applicant but withhold imposition of judgment and penalty; or it may impose the judgment and penalty but suspend enforcement thereof and place the licensee on probation, which probation

Page 248

may be vacated upon noncompliance with such reasonable terms as the board may impose. (f) Initial judicial review of a final decision of the board shall be had solely in the superior court of the county of domicile of the board. (g) In its discretion, the board may reinstate a license which has been revoked or issue a license which has been denied or refused, following such procedures as the board may prescribe by rule; and, as a condition thereof, it may impose any disciplinary or corrective method provided in this chapter. (h) (1) The joint-secretary is vested with the power and authority to make, or cause to be made through employees or agents of the board, such investigations as he or she or the board may deem necessary or proper for the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter. Any person properly conducting an investigation on behalf of the board shall have access to and may examine any writing, document, or other material relating to the fitness of any licensee or applicant. The joint-secretary or his or her appointed representative may issue subpoenas to compel such access upon a determination that reasonable grounds exist for the belief that a violation of this chapter or any other law relating to the practice of dentistry may have taken place. Upon approval of the board, any person properly conducting an investigation on behalf of the board shall have access to and shall have the right to examine the physical premises of a dental practice. (2) The results of all investigations initiated by the board shall be reported solely to the board, and the records of such investigations shall be kept for the board by the joint-secretary, with the board retaining the right to have access at any time to such records. No part of any such records shall be released, except to the board, for any purpose other than a hearing before the board, nor shall such records be subject to subpoena; provided, however, that the board shall be authorized to release such records to another enforcement agency or lawful licensing authority. (3) All records relating to any patient of a licensee who is the subject of a board inquiry shall be admissible at any hearing held to determine whether a violation of this chapter has taken place, regardless of any statutory privilege; provided, however, that any documentary evidence relating to a patient shall be reviewed in camera and shall not be disclosed to the public. (4) The board shall have the authority to exclude all persons during its deliberations on disciplinary proceedings and to discuss any disciplinary matter in private with a licensee or applicant and the legal counsel of that licensee or applicant. (i) A person, firm, corporation, association, authority, or other entity shall be immune from civil and criminal liability for reporting or

Page 249

investigating the acts or omissions of a licensee or applicant which violate the provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section or any other provision of law relating to a licensee's or applicant's fitness to practice as a dentist, dental hygienist, or dental assistant or for initiating or conducting proceedings against such licensee or applicant, if such report is made or action is taken in good faith, without fraud or malice. Any person who testifies or who makes a recommendation to the board in the nature of peer review, in good faith, without fraud or malice, before the board in any proceeding involving the provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section or any other law relating to a licensee's or applicant's fitness to practice as a dentist or a dental hygienist shall be immune from civil and criminal liability for so testifying. (j) Neither a denial of a license on grounds other than those enumerated in subsection (a) nor the issuance of a private reprimand nor the denial of a license by reciprocity nor the denial of a request for reinstatement of a revoked license nor the refusal to issue a previously denied license shall be considered to be a contested case within the meaning of Chapter 13 of Title 50, the `Georgia Administrative Procedure Act'; notice and hearing within the meaning of Chapter 13 of Title 50 shall not be required, but the applicant or licensee shall be allowed to appear before the board if he or she so requests. (k) If any licensee or applicant fails to appear at any hearing after reasonable notice, the board may proceed to hear the evidence against such licensee or applicant and take action as if such licensee or applicant had been present. A notice of hearing, initial or recommended decision, or final decision of the board in a disciplinary proceeding shall be served upon the licensee or applicant by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of record with the board. If such material is returned marked `unclaimed' or `refused' or is otherwise undeliverable and if the licensee or applicant cannot, after diligent effort, be located, the joint-secretary shall be deemed to be the agent for service for such licensee or applicant for purposes of this Code section, and service upon the joint-secretary shall be deemed to be service upon the licensee or applicant. (l) The voluntary surrender of a license shall have the same effect as a revocation of said license, subject to reinstatement in the discretion of the board. (m) This Code section shall apply equally to all licensees or applicants whether individuals, partners, or members of any other incorporated or unincorporated associations, limited liability companies, corporations, or other associations of any kind whatsoever. (n) All subpoenas issued pursuant to the authority granted in this chapter shall be subject to the general rules of law with respect to distance, tender of fees and expenses, and protective orders; provided,

Page 250

further, any motion made with respect thereto shall be made to and passed on by a judge of the superior court of the county of residence of the person to whom the subpoena is directed. SECTION 18 . Said chapter is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 43-11-49, relating to burden of proof as to authority to practice dentistry, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 43-11-49 to read as follows: 43-11-49. On the trial of anyone charged with the violation of this chapter or with the illegal practice of dentistry, it shall be incumbent on the defendant, upon proof that he or she practiced dentistry, to show that he or she had authority under the law to practice dentistry in order to exempt himself or herself from the penalty for such violation. SECTION 19 . Said chapter is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 43-11-50, relating to practice of dentistry without a license, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 43-11-50 to read as follows: 43-11-50. Any person, firm, partnership, corporation, or other entity who practices dentistry in this state without obtaining a license to practice from the board shall be guilty of a misdemeanor upon conviction for the first such offense, a high and aggravated misdemeanor upon conviction for the second such offense, and a felony upon conviction for the third or subsequent such offense. SECTION 20 . Said chapter is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 43-11-51, relating to practicing dentistry under another's license, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 43-11-51 to read as follows: 43-11-51. Any person, firm, partnership, corporation, or other entity who practices dentistry or performs any dental operation under the protection of another's license shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. SECTION 21 . Said chapter is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 43-11-73.1, relating to continuing education requirement, waiver, and authority of board, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 43-11-73.1 to read as follows:

Page 251

43-11-73.1. (a) The board shall be authorized to require persons seeking renewal of a dental hygienist license to complete board approved continuing education of not less than 22 hours biennially. The board shall be authorized to approve courses offered by institutions of higher learning and professional organizations. At least 15 hours of continuing education in each renewal cycle shall be scientifically based. (b) The board shall be authorized to waive the continuing education requirements in cases of hardship, disability, or illness or under such other circumstances as the board deems appropriate. (c) The board shall be authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to implement and ensure compliance with the requirements of this Code section. (d) This Code section shall apply to each licensing, certification, and renewal cycle which begins after the 1990-1991 renewal. SECTION 22 . Said chapter is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 43-11-75, relating to the applicability of the article, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 43-11-75 to read as follows: 43-11-75. This article shall not apply to licensed dentists, nor shall this article apply to physicians licensed in this state in extracting teeth or performing surgical operations and in charging therefor or to accredited schools of dentistry. SECTION 23 . Said chapter is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 43-11-82, relating to the applicability of the article, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 43-11-82 to read as follows: 43-11-82. This article shall not apply to licensed dentists or dental hygienists, nor shall this article apply to physicians licensed in this state in extracting teeth or performing surgical operations and in charging therefor or to accredited schools of dentistry. SECTION 24 . This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval. SECTION 25 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 13, 1999.

Page 252

DOMESTIC RELATIONSADOPTION; TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS; PLACEMENT OF CHILD; ELECTION; COST OF SEARCH FOR BIOLOGICAL PARENT OR SIBLING; FORMS; AMERICAN INDIAN HERITAGE; MILITARY SERVICE. Code Sections 15-11-81 and 15-11-90 Amended. Code Title 19, Chapter 8 Amended. No. 159 (House Bill No. 218). AN ACT To amend Chapter 11 of Title 15 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to juvenile proceedings and parental rights, and Chapter 8 of Title 19 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to adoption, so as to change provisions relating to termination of parental rights when the child is not in the parent's custody; to change provisions relating to placement of a child following an order terminating parental rights; to change the scope of the search for suitable family members for placement; to provide for an election by the legal parent in such parent's surrender of rights as to the operation of such surrender in the event that an adoption petition is not filed within the statutory period, or such petition is filed within the statutory period but is concluded without an order for adoption; to provide that election of return to that legal parent or guardian shall not be deemed to impair the validity, absolute finality, or totality of the surrender under any other circumstance; to provide for additional grounds for termination of parental rights in adoption proceedings; to change a provision relating to the fee charged by the department for the cost of conducting a search for a biological parent or sibling or information relating thereto on behalf of an adopted person or the sibling of an adopted person; to revise forms for surrender of rights and the mother's affidavit; to combine three forms for surrender of rights of an alleged biological father into a single surrender form and to revise cross references accordingly; to provide for inclusion of information regarding American Indian heritage and military service in the mother's affidavit; to make editorial changes; to provide for applicability and an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . Chapter 11 of Title 15 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to juvenile proceedings and parental rights, is amended by striking in its entirety subparagraph (b) (4) (C) of Code Section 15-11-81, relating to grounds for termination of parental rights, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (C) In addition to the considerations in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, where the child is not in the custody of the parent who

Page 253

is the subject of the proceedings, in determining whether the child is without proper parental care and control, the court shall consider, without being limited to, whether the parent without justifiable cause has failed significantly for a period of one year or longer prior to the filing of the petition for termination of parental rights: (i) To develop and maintain a parental bond with the child in a meaningful, supportive manner; (ii) To provide for the care and support of the child as required by law or judicial decree; and (iii) To comply with a court ordered plan designed to reunite the child with the parent or parents. SECTION 2 . Said chapter is further amended by striking in its entirety paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 15-11-90, relating to placement of a child following a termination order, and inserting in its place the following: (a) (1) If, upon the entering of an order terminating the parental rights of a parent, there is no parent having parental rights, the court shall first attempt to place the child with a person related to the child by blood or marriage or with a member of the child's extended family. A thorough search for a suitable family member shall be made by the court and the Department of Human Resources in attempting to effect this placement. A placement effected under this paragraph shall be conditioned upon the family member who is given permanent custody or who is granted an adoption of the child agreeing to abide by the terms and conditions of the order of the court. A placement shall be made under the terms of this paragraph only if such a placement is in the best interest of the child. SECTION 3 . Chapter 8 of Title 19 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to adoption, is amended by striking in its entirety paragraph (2) of subsection (e) of Code Section 19-8-4, relating to surrender or termination of parental or guardian's rights and consent of a child 14 or older, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (2) The biological father who is not the legal father of a child may surrender all his rights to the child for the purpose of an adoption pursuant to this Code section. That surrender shall meet the requirements of subsection (d) of Code Section 19-8-26. SECTION 4 . Said chapter is further amended by striking in its entirety subsection (k) of Code Section 19-8-5, relating to surrender or termination of parental rights

Page 254

where adoption by an unrelated third party is planned, and inserting in its place the following: (k) A petition for adoption pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section shall be filed within 60 days from the date of the surrender. If the petition is not filed within the time period specified by this subsection or if the proceedings resulting from the petition are not concluded with an order granting the petition, the surrender shall operate as follows according to the election made therein by the legal parent or guardian of the child: (1) In favor of that legal parent or guardian, with the express stipulation that neither this nor any other provision of the surrender shall be deemed to impair the validity, absolute finality, or totality of the surrender under any other circumstance, once the revocation period has elapsed; (2) In favor of the licensed child-placing agency designated in the surrender of rights, if any; or (3) If the legal parent or guardian is not designated and no child-placing agency is designated in the surrender of rights, or if the designated child-placing agency declines to accept the child for placement for adoption, in favor of the department for placement for adoption pursuant to subsection (a) of Code Section 19-8-4. The court may waive the 60 day time period for filing the petition for excusable neglect. SECTION 5 . Said chapter is further amended in Code Section 19-8-6, relating to surrender of parental rights when the mother and father are not still married and when only one parent is still living, by striking in its entirety paragraph (2) of subsection (e) and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (2) The biological father who is not the legal father of a child may surrender all his rights to the child for purposes of an adoption pursuant to this Code section. That surrender shall meet the requirements of subsection (d) of Code Section 19-8-26. SECTION 6 . Said chapter is further amended in Code Section 19-8-7, relating to surrender or termination of parental or guardian's rights when the child is adopted by a relative, by striking in its entirety paragraph (2) of subsection (e) and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (2) The biological father who is not the legal father of the child may surrender all his rights to the child for purposes of an adoption pursuant to this Code section. That surrender shall meet the requirements of subsection (d) of Code Section 19-8-26.

Page 255

SECTION 7 . Said chapter is further amended by striking in its entirety subsection (a) of Code Section 19-8-10, relating to instances when surrender or termination of parental rights is not required as a prerequisite to filing a petition for adoption, and inserting in its place the following: (a) Surrender or termination of rights of a parent pursuant to subsection (a) of Code Section 19-8-4, 19-8-5, 19-8-6, or 19-8-7 shall not be required as a prerequisite to the filing of a petition for adoption of a child of that parent pursuant to Code Section 19-8-13 where the court determines by clear and convincing evidence that the: (1) Child has been abandoned by that parent; (2) Parent cannot be found after a diligent search has been made; (3) Parent is insane or otherwise incapacitated from surrendering such rights; or (4) Parent has failed to exercise proper parental care or control due to misconduct or inability, as set out in paragraph (2), (3), or (4) of subsection (b) of Code Section 15-11-81, and the court is of the opinion that the adoption is in the best interests of that child, after considering the physical, mental, emotional, and moral condition and needs of the child who is the subject of the proceeding, including the need for a secure and stable home. SECTION 8 . Said chapter is further amended in Code Section 19-8-11, relating to petitions to terminate parental rights, by striking in its entirety paragraph (3) of subsection (a) and inserting in its place the following: (3) Parental rights may be terminated pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection where the court determines by clear and convincing evidence that the: (A) Child has been abandoned by that parent; (B) Parent of the child cannot be found after a diligent search has been made; (C) Parent is insane or otherwise incapacitated from surrendering such rights; or (D) Parent has failed to exercise proper parental care or control due to misconduct or inability, as set out in paragraph (2), (3), or (4) of subsection (b) of Code Section 15-11-81, and the court shall set the matter down to be heard in chambers not less than 30 and not more than 60 days following the receipt by such

Page 256

remaining parent of the notice under subsection (b) of this Code section and shall enter an order terminating such parental rights if it so finds and if it is of the opinion that adoption is in the best interests of the child, after considering the physical, mental, emotional, and moral condition and needs of the child who is the subject of the proceeding, including the need for a secure and stable home. SECTION 9 . Said chapter is further amended in Code Section 19-8-23, relating to where adoption records are kept, examination by parties and attorneys, use of information, information requests registry, and searches by placement agencies, by striking in its entirety paragraph (7) of subsection (f) and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (7) The department or placement agency may charge a reasonable fee to be determined by the department for the cost of conducting any search pursuant to this subsection. SECTION 10 . Said chapter is further amended in Code Section 19-8-26, relating to execution, forms for execution, and withdrawal of surrender of parental rights, by striking subsections (b), (c), (d), (f) and (h) and inserting in their places new subsections to read as follows: (b) Reserved. (c) The surrender of rights by a parent or guardian pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection (e) of Code Section 19-8-5 shall conform substantially to the following form: SURRENDER OF RIGHTS FINAL RELEASE FOR ADOPTION NOTICE TO PARENT OR GUARDIAN: This is an important legal document and by signing it you are surrendering all of your right, title, and claim to the child identified herein, so as to facilitate the child's placement for adoption. You are to receive a copy of this document and as explained below have the right to withdraw your surrender within ten days from the date you sign it. I, the undersigned, being solicitous that my (male) (female) child, born ( insert name of child ), on ( insert birthdate of child ), should receive the benefits and advantages of a good home, to the end that (she) (he) may be fitted for the requirements of life, consent to this surrender.

Page 257

I, the undersigned, ( insert relationship to child ) of the aforesaid child, do hereby surrender the child to ( insert name, surname not required, of each person to whom surrender is made ), PROVIDED each such person is named as petitioner in a petition for adoption of the child filed in accordance with Chapter 8 of Title 19 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated within 60 days from the date hereof. Furthermore, I promise not to interfere in the management of the child in any respect whatever; and, in consideration of the benefits guaranteed by ( insert name, surname not required, of each person to whom surrender is made ) in thus providing for the child, I do relinquish all right, title, and claim to the child herein named, it being my wish, intent, and purpose to relinquish absolutely all parental control over the child. It is also my wish, intent, and purpose that if each such person is not named as petitioner in a petition for adoption as provided for above within the 60 day period, other than for excusable neglect, or, if said petition for adoption is filed within 60 days but the adoption action is dismissed with prejudice or otherwise concluded without an order declaring the child to be the adopted child of each such person, then I do hereby surrender the child as follows: (Mark one of the following as chosen) I wish the child returned to me, and I expressly acknowledge that this provision applies only to the limited circumstance that the child is not adopted by the person or persons designated herein and further that this provision does not impair the validity, absolute finality, or totality of this surrender under any circumstance other than the failure of the designated person or persons to adopt the child and that no other provision of this surrender impairs the validity, absolute finality, or totality of this surrender once the revocation period has elapsed; or I surrender the child to ( insert name of designated licensed child-placing agency ), a licensed child-placing agency, for placement for adoption; or I surrender the child to the Department of Human Resources, as provided by subsection (k) of Code Section 19-8-5, for placement for adoption; and ( insert name of designated licensed child-placing agency ) or the Department of Human Resources may petition the superior court for custody of the child in accordance with the terms of this surrender. Furthermore, I hereby agree that the child is to be adopted either by each person named above or by any other such person as may be chosen by the ( insert name of designated licensed child-placing agency ) or the Department of Human Resources and I do expressly

Page 258

waive any other notice or service in any of the legal proceedings for the adoption of the child. Furthermore, I understand that under Georgia law an agent appointed by the court is required to conduct an investigation and render a report to the court in connection with the legal proceeding for the legal adoption of the child and I hereby agree to cooperate fully with such agent in the conduct of this investigation. Furthermore, I hereby certify that I have received a copy of this document and that I understand I may only withdraw this surrender by giving written notice, delivered in person or mailed by registered mail, to ( insert name and address of agent of each person to whom surrender is made ) within ten days from the date hereof; that the ten days shall be counted consecutively beginning with the day immediately following the date hereof; however, if the tenth day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday then the last day on which the surrender may be withdrawn shall be the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday; and I understand that it may NOT be withdrawn thereafter. Furthermore, I hereby certify that I have not been subjected to any duress or undue pressure in the execution of this surrender document and do so freely and voluntarily. Witness my hand and seal thisday of,. (d) The surrender of rights by a biological father who is not the legal father of the child pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection (e) of Code Section 19-8-4, 19-8-5, 19-8-6, or 19-8-7 shall conform substantially to the following form: SURRENDER OF RIGHTS FINAL RELEASE FOR ADOPTION NOTICE TO ALLEGED BIOLOGICAL FATHER: This is an important legal document and by signing it you are surrendering all of your right, title, and claim to the child identified

Page 259

herein, so as to facilitate the child's placement for adoption. You are to receive a copy of this document and as explained below have the right to withdraw your surrender within ten days from the date you sign it. I, the undersigned, alleged biological father of a (male) (female) child, born ( insert name of child ) to ( insert name of mother ) on ( insert birthdate of child ), being solicitous that said child should receive the benefits and advantages of a good home, to the end that (she) (he) may be fitted for the requirements of life, consent to this surrender. I, the undersigned, do hereby surrender the child. I promise not to interfere in the management of the child in any respect whatever; and, in consideration of the benefits provided to the child through adoption, I do relinquish all right, title, and claim to the child herein named, it being my wish, intent, and purpose to relinquish absolutely all control over the child. Furthermore, I hereby agree that the child is to be adopted and I do expressly waive any other notice or service in any of the legal proceedings for the adoption of the child. Furthermore, I understand that under Georgia law an agent appointed by the court is required to conduct an investigation and render a report to the court in connection with the legal proceeding for the legal adoption of the child and I hereby agree to cooperate fully with the agent appointed by the court in the conduct of this investigation. Furthermore, I hereby certify that I have received a copy of this document and that I understand I may only withdraw this surrender by giving written notice, delivered in person or mailed by registered mail, to ( insert name and address of child-placing agency representative, Department of Human Resources representative, person to whom surrender is made, or petitioner's representative, as appropriate ) within ten days from the date hereof; that the ten days shall be counted consecutively beginning with the day immediately following the date hereof; however, if the tenth day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday then the last day on which the surrender may be withdrawn shall be the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday; and I understand that it may NOT be withdrawn thereafter. Furthermore, I hereby certify that I have not been subjected to any duress or undue pressure in the execution of this surrender document and do so freely and voluntarily. Witness my hand and seal thisday of,.

Page 260

(f) Reserved. (h) The affidavit of a legal mother required by subsection (g) of Code Section 19-8-4, 19-8-5, 19-8-6, or 19-8-7 shall meet the following requirements: (1) The affidavit shall set forth: (A) Her name; (B) Her relationship to the child; (C) Her age; (D) Her marital status; (E) The identity and last known address of any [Illegible Text] or former [Illegible Text]; (F) The identity, last known address, and relationship to the mother of the biological father of her child, provided that the mother shall have the right not to disclose the name and address of the biological father of her child should she so desire; (G) Whether or not the biological father of the child has lived with the child, contributed to its support, provided for the mother's support or medical care during her pregnancy or during her hospitalization for the birth of the child, or made an attempt to legitimate the child; and (H) All financial assistance received by or promised her either directly or indirectly, from whatever source, in connection with her pregnancy, the birth of the child, or the placement or arranging for the placement of the child for adoption (including the date, amount or value, description, payor, and payee), provided that financial assistance provided directly by the mother's husband, mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, grandfather, or grandmother need not be detailed and instead the mother need only state the nature of the assistance received; and

Page 261

(2) The affidavit shall conform substantially to the following form: MOTHER'S AFFIDAVIT NOTICE TO MOTHER: This is an important legal document which deals with your child's right to have its father's rights properly determined. If you decline to disclose the name and address of the biological father of your child, understand that you may be required to appear in court to explain your refusal and that your name may be used in connection with the publication of notice to the biological father. Understand that you are providing this affidavit under oath and that the information provided will be held in strict confidence and will be used only in connection with the adoption of your child. STATE OF GEORGIA COUNTY OF Personally appeared before me, the undersigned officer duly authorized to administer oaths,, who, after having been sworn, deposes and says as follows: That my name is. That I am the mother of a (male) (female) child born ( insert name of child ) in the State of, County of on ( insert birthdate of child ). That I amyears of age, having been born in the State of, County ofon. That my social security account number is. That my marital status at the time of the conception of my child was (check the status and complete the appropriate information): () Single, never having been married. () Separated but not legally divorced; the name of my spouse is; his last known address is; we were married in the State of, County ofon; we have been separated since; we last had sexual relations on. () Divorced; the name of my previous spouse is; we were married in the State of, County ofon; his last known address is; divorce granted in the State of, County ofon.

Page 262

() Legally married; the name of my spouse (was) (is); we were married in the State of, County ofon; and his last known address is. () Married through common-law marriage relationship prior to January 1, 1997; the name of my spouse (was) (is); his last known address is; our relationship began in the State of, County ofon. () Widowed; the name of my deceased spouse was; we were married in the State of, County ofon; and he died onin the County of, State of. That my name and marital status at the time of the birth of my child was (check the status and complete the appropriate information): Name () Single, never having been married. () Separated, but not legally divorced; the name of my spouse (was) (is); his last known address is; we were married in the State of, County ofon; we have been separated since; we last had sexual relations on. () Divorced; the name of my former spouse is; we were married in the State of, County ofon; his last known address is; divorce granted in the State of, County of. () Legally Married; the name of my spouse (was) (is); we were married in the State of, County ofon; and his last known address is. () Married through common-law relationship prior to January 1, 1997; the name of my spouse (was) (is); his last known address is; our relationship began in the State of, County ofon. () Widowed; the name of my deceased spouse was; we were married in the State of,

Page 263

County ofon; and he died on in the County of, State of. That the name of the biological father of my child is (complete appropriate response): Known to me and is (); Known to me but I expressly decline to identify him because; or Unknown to me because . That the last known address of the biological father of my child is (complete appropriate response): Known to me and is; Known to me but I expressly decline to provide his address because; or Unknown to me because . That, to the best of my knowledge, I (am) (am not) of American Indian heritage. If so: (A) The name of my American Indian tribe isand the percentage of my American Indian blood ispercent. (B) My relatives with American Indian blood are: . (C) I (am) (am not) a member of an American Indian tribe. If so, the name of the tribe is. (D) I (am) (am not) registered with an American Indian tribal registry. If so, the American Indian tribal registry is:and my registration or identification number is:. (E) A member of my family (is) (is not) a member of an American Indian tribe. If so, the name of each such family member is:and the name of the corresponding American Indian tribe is:.

Page 264

(F) A member of my family (is) (is not) registered with an American Indian tribal registry. If so, the name of each such family member is:and the name of the corresponding American Indian tribal registry is:and their corresponding registration or identification numbers are:. That to the best of my knowledge, the biological father (is) (is not) of American Indian heritage. If so: (A) The name of his American Indian tribe isand the percentage of his American Indian blood ispercent. (B) His relatives with American Indian blood are: . (C) He (is) (is not) a member of an American Indian tribe. If so, the name of the tribe is:. (D) He (is) (is not) registered with an American Indian tribal registry. If so, the American Indian tribal registry is:and his registration or dentification number is:. That the date of birth of the biological father (was, 19) or (is not known to me). That the biological father (is) (is not) on active duty in a branch of the United States armed forces. If so: (A) The branch of his service is (Army) (Navy) (Marine) (Air Force) (Coast Guard). (B) His rank is. (C) His duty station is. If applicable, please provide any additional available information regarding his military service. . That the biological father of my child, whether or not identified herein (strike each inappropriate phrase):

Page 265

(Was) (Was not) married to me at the time this child was conceived; (Was) (Was not) married to me at any time during my pregnancy with this child; (Was) (Was not) married to me at the time that this child was born; (Did) (Did not) marry me after the child was born and recognize the child as his own; (Has) (Has not) been determined to be the child's father by a final paternity order of a court; (Has) (Has not) legitimated the child by a final court order; (Has) (Has not) lived with the child; (Has) (Has not) contributed to its support; (Has) (Has not) provided for my support during my pregnancy or hospitalization for the birth of the child; (Has) (Has not) provided for my medical care during my pregnancy or hospitalization for the birth of the child; and (Has) (Has not) made any attempt to legitimate the child. That I have received or been promised the following financial assistance, either directly or indirectly, from whatever source, in connection with my pregnancy, the birth of my child, and its placement for adoption:. That I recognize that if I knowingly and willfully make a false statement in this affidavit, I will be guilty of the crime of false swearing. SECTION 11 . (a) This Act shall become effective on July 1, 1999.

Page 266

(b) The provisions of this Act shall apply to petitions for adoption filed on or after July 1, 1999, except that each surrender of rights filed pursuant to a petition filed on or after July 1, 1999, shall be effective if such surrender of rights complies with the provisions of law in effect on the date of the execution of such surrender of rights. SECTION 12 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 13, 1999. HEALTHNEWBORN HEARING SCREENING; SPECIAL LICENSING OF RETIRED PHYSICIANS FOR NONCOMPENSATED PRACTICE; EXEMPTION FROM AUDIOLOGIST LICENSING REQUIREMENTS FOR PURPOSES OF INFANT SCREENINGS. Code Sections 31-1-3.2 and 43-34-45.1 Enacted. Code Section 43-44-7 Amended. No. 160 (House Bill No. 717). AN ACT To amend Chapter 1 of Title 31 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions regarding health, so as to provide for legislative findings and intent; to provide for a definition; to establish an advisory committee on newborn infants and provide for its selection, compensation, powers, qualifications, and duties; to provide for newborn screening of newborn infants under certain conditions and for education of parents and guardians regarding the importance of such screening and early identification and intervention; to provide for hospital and other reports; to provide for rules; to require the provision of information and encourage cooperative efforts; to amend Code Section 43-44-7 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to licensing of speech-language pathology and audiology, so as to provide for an exemption for certain infant screening; to amend Article 2 of Chapter 34 of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to physicians, so as to provide for licensing retired physicians; to provide for a short title; to provide for conditions and limitations; to provide for liability and immunity from liability; to provide for statutory construction; to provide for automatic repeal and expiration of licenses; 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 1 of Title 31 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions regarding health, is amended by adding after Code Section 31-1-3.1 a new Code section to read as follows:

Page 267

31-1-3.2. (a) The General Assembly finds, determines, and declares: (1) That hearing loss occurs in newborn infants more frequently than any other health condition for which newborn infant screening is required; (2) That 80 percent of the language ability of a child is established by the time the child is 18 months of age and that hearing is vitally important to the healthy development of such language skills; (3) That early detection of hearing loss in a child and early intervention and treatment has been demonstrated to be highly effective in facilitating a child's healthy development in a manner consistent with the child's age and cognitive ability; (4) That children with hearing loss who do not receive such early intervention and treatment frequently require special educational services and that such services are publicly funded for the vast majority of children with hearing needs in the state; (5) That appropriate testing and identification of newborn infants with hearing loss will facilitate early intervention and treatment and may therefore serve the public purposes of promoting the healthy development of children and reducing public expenditure; (6) The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the American Academy of Audiology, and the American Academy of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery have recently endorsed the implementation of universal newborn hearing screenings and recommended that such screenings be performed in all birthing hospitals and coordinated by state departments of public health; and (7) That consumers should be entitled to know whether the hospital at which they choose to deliver their infant provides newborn hearing screening. (b) As used in this Code section, the term `newborn infant' means an infant after delivery but before discharge from the hospital. (c) For reasons specified in subsection (a) of this Code section, the General Assembly determines that it would be beneficial and in the best interests of the development of the children of the state that newborn infants' hearing be screened. (d) (1) There is established an advisory committee on hearing in newborn infants for the purpose of studying and collecting the informational data specified in this Code section and reporting such information to the General Assembly and Governor by December 1 of the first year following the year this Code section first becomes

Page 268

effective, and for the purpose of providing recommendations to hospitals, physicians, and other health care institutions, the Department of Human Resources, and the public concerning, but not limited to, the following: (A) Appropriate methodologies to be implemented for hearing screening of newborn infants, which methodologies shall be objective and physiologically based. An audiologist licensed pursuant to Chapter 44 of Title 43 shall perform such screening and a person not licensed as an audiologist may perform such screening provided such screening by the unlicensed person is performed pursuant to the exception in subsection (h) of Code Section 43-44-7; (B) The number of births sufficient to qualify a hospital or health institution to arrange otherwise for hearing screenings; and (C) Guidelines for reporting and the means to assure that identified children received referral for appropriate follow-up services. The advisory committee on hearing in newborn infants shall present its findings and recommendations to the Board of Human Resources. Said board shall consider the findings and recommendations of such advisory committee in the adoption of rules and regulations for purposes of such screening. (2) The advisory committee on hearing in newborn infants shall consist of at least 11 members who shall be appointed by the director of the Division of Public Health of the Department of Human Resources. Such advisory committee shall be a joint subcommittee of: (A) The Maternal Infant Health Council; and (B) The State Interagency Coordinating Council for Early Intervention. There shall be one member from each of these councils on the advisory committee. Members appointed to the committee shall have training, experience, or interest in the area of hearing conditions of children and shall include at least one audiologist, one pediatrician, one hospital administrator from a hospital which offers perinatal services, one deaf or hard of hearing adult, and one parent of a deaf or hard of hearing child. In addition, the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall appoint one member from the House of Representatives, and the President of the Senate shall appoint one member from the Senate to serve on the advisory committee. (3) The members of the advisory committee on hearing in newborn infants shall serve without compensation. (4) The advisory committee on hearing in newborn infants shall meet as often as necessary to study and collect the information necessary and report to the General Assembly and Governor by December 1 of

Page 269

the first year following the year this Code section first becomes effective, to develop and make the recommendations specified in paragraph (1) of this subsection in a sufficiently timely manner to allow for state-wide hearing screening of newborn infants by July 1 of the second year following the year this Code section first becomes effective, and to make recommendations to promote universal newborn infant hearing screening pursuant to subsection (h) of this Code section. (5) This subsection is automatically repealed effective July 1 of the fifth year following the year this Code section first becomes effective. (e) It is the intent of the General Assembly that, by July 1 of the second year following the year this Code section first becomes effective, newborn hearing screening be conducted on no fewer than 95 percent of all newborn infants born in hospitals in this state, using procedures established by rule and regulation of the Board of Human Resources after review of any recommendations of the advisory committee on hearing in newborn infants, created in subsection (d) of this Code section. Toward that end, on and after July 1 of the first year following the year this Code section first becomes effective, every licensed or certified hospital and physician shall educate the parents of newborn infants born in such hospitals of the importance of screening the hearing of newborn infants and follow-up care. Education shall not be considered a substitute for the hearing screening described in this subsection. Every licensed or permitted hospital shall report annually to the Department of Human Resources concerning the following: (1) The number of newborn infants born in the hospital; (2) The number of newborn infants screened; (3) The number of newborn infants who passed the screening, if administered; and (4) The number of newborn infants who did not pass the screening, if administered. (f) The advisory committee on hearing in newborn infants shall determine which hospitals or other health care providers in this state are ordering and administering newborn hearing screening to newborn infants on a voluntary basis and the number of newborn infants screened. The advisory committee on hearing in newborn infants shall report to the General Assembly and Governor by December 1 of the first year following the year this Code section first becomes effective concerning the following: (1) The number of hospitals and other health care providers administering such voluntary screenings; (2) The number of newborn infants screened as compared to the total number of infants born in such hospitals and institutions;

Page 270

(3) The number of newborn infants who passed the screening, if administered; and (4) The number of newborn infants who did not pass the screening, if administered. (g) Subject to available appropriations, the advisory committee on hearing in newborn infants shall make the report described in subsection (f) of this Code section available throughout the state and specifically available to physicians whose practice includes the practice of obstetrics or the care of newborn infants, to consumer groups, to managed care organizations, and to the media. (h) If the number of newborn infants screened does not equal or exceed 95 percent of all newborn infants born in hospitals in this state by July 1 of the second year following the year this Code section first becomes effective or falls below 95 percent at any time thereafter, the advisory committee shall continue to work with hospitals and physicians to achieve that goal. The advisory committee shall advise and assist hospitals and physicians regarding the conditions and procedures under which a parent or guardian of a child may object to and thereby exempt the child from such screening for religious reasons. The advisory committee shall study and address those hospitals with a low volume of births, as determined by the Department of Human Resources based upon recommendations by the advisory committee on hearing in newborn infants, which may arrange otherwise for newborn infant hearing screening. (i) A physician, registered professional nurse, including a certified nurse midwife, or other health professional attending a birth outside a hospital or institution shall provide information, as established by the department, to parents regarding places where the parents may have their infants' screening and the importance of such screening. (j) The department shall encourage the cooperation of local health departments, health care clinics, school districts, health care providers, and any other appropriate resources to promote the screening of newborn infants' hearing and early identification and intervention for those determined to have hearing loss for those infants born outside a hospital or institution. SECTION 1.1 . Article 2 of Chapter 34 of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to physicians, is amended by adding after Code Section 43-34-45 a new Code section to read as follows: 43-34-45.1. (a) This Code section shall be known and may be cited as the Georgia Volunteers in Medicine Health Care Act.

Page 271

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the board may issue a special license to qualifying physicians under the terms and conditions set forth in this Code section. The special license may only be issued to a person who: (1) Is currently licensed to practice medicine in any medical-licensing jurisdiction in the United States and whose license is in good standing; or (2) Is retired from the practice of medicine and not currently engaged in such practice either full time or part time and has, prior to retirement, maintained full licensure in good standing in any medicallicensing jurisdiction in the United States. (c) The special licensee shall be permitted to practice medicine only in the noncompensated employ of public agencies or institutions or not-for-profit agencies, not-for-profit institutions, nonprofit corporations, or not-for-profit associations which provide medical services only to indigent patients in medically underserved or critical-need population areas of the state, as determined by the board. (d) The person applying for the special license under this Code section shall submit to the board a copy of his or her medical degree, a copy of his or her license in his or her current or previous licensing and regulating jurisdiction, and a notarized statement from the employing agency, institution, corporation, or association, on a form prescribed by the board, whereby he or she agrees unequivocally not to receive compensation for any medical services he or she may render while in possession of the special license. (e) The examination by the board, any application fees, and all licensure and renewal fees must be waived for the holder of the special license under this Code section and do not apply to such person. (f) If at the time application is made for the special license the physician is not in compliance with the continuing medical education requirements established by the board, the physician shall be issued a nonrenewable temporary license to practice for six months provided the applicant is otherwise qualified for such license. (g) The liability of persons practicing medicine under and in compliance with a special license issued under this Code section and the liability of their employers for such practice shall be governed by Code Section 51-1-29.1. (h) Nothing contained in this Code section shall be construed to authorize the holder of the special license provided for in this Code section to perform surgery or any surgical procedure. (i) This Code section, being in derogation of the common law, shall be strictly construed.

Page 272

SECTION 1.2 . Code Section 43-44-7 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to licensing of speech-language pathology and audiology, is amended by adding at the end a new subsection to read as follows: (h) A person who is not licensed as an audiologist may perform nondiagnostic electro-physiologic screening of the auditory system, using otoacoustic emissions or auditory brainstem response technology, as part of a planned and organized screening effort for the initial identification of communication disorders in infants under the age of three months, provided that: (1) The person not licensed as an audiologist has completed a procedure specific training program directed by an audiologist licensed under this chapter; (2) The screening equipment and protocol used are fully automated and the protocol is not accessible for alteration or adjustment by the person not licensed as an audiologist; (3) The results of the screening are determined automatically by the programmed test equipment, without discretionary judgment by the person not licensed as an audiologist, and are only reported as `pass or fail' or `pass or refer; ' (4) An audiologist licensed under this chapter is responsible for the training of the person not licensed as an audiologist, the selection of the screening program protocol, the determination of administration guidelines, the periodic monitoring of the performance of the person not licensed as an audiologist, and the screening program results; and (5) The participation of the person not licensed as an audiologist in such an automated screening program is limited to the recording of patient demographic information; the application of earphones, electrodes, and other necessary devices; the initiation of the test; the recording of the results; and the arrangement of the referral for those who do not pass the screening to an audiologist licensed under this chapter for follow-up evaluation. SECTION 2 . Section 1 of this Act shall become effective only if funds are specifically appropriated for purposes of Section 1 of this Act in an appropriations Act making specific reference to Section 1 of this Act and shall become effective when funds so appropriated become available for expenditure; the commissioner of human resources shall not be required to enforce any portion of Section 1 of this Act for which funds are not specifically appropriated. The remainder of this Act shall become effective July 1, 1999.

Page 273

SECTION 2.1 . Section 1.1 of this Act shall be automatically repealed July 1, 2002, upon which date any special license issued pursuant to Section 1.1 of this Act shall also expire. SECTION 3 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 13, 1999. LOCAL GOVERNMENTHOMEOWNER TAX RELIEF GRANTS TO COUNTIES AND LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS; AD VALOREM TAX CREDITS. Code Title 36, Chapter 89 Enacted. No. 161 (House Bill No. 553). AN ACT To amend Title 36 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to local government, so as to provide for homeowner tax relief grants to counties and local school districts; to define terms; to provide for the purpose of such grants; to authorize appropriations for such grants and specify the manner of such appropriation; to provide for calculation of the amount of such grants; to require the granting of certain credits against county and school ad valorem taxes as a condition of such grants; to provide for amount and manner of granting of such credits; to provide for administration and the adoption of rules and regulations by the state revenue commissioner; to provide for return to the state treasury of excess grant amounts; to provide for recovery of erroneously granted credit amounts; to provide for other 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 . Title 36 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to local government, is amended by adding a new Chapter 89 to read as follows: CHAPTER 89 36-89-1. As used in this chapter, the term: (1) `County millage rate' means the ad valorem tax millage rate levied by a county for county purposes and applying to all qualified homesteads in the county, not including any millage levied for purposes of

Page 274

bonded indebtedness and not including any millage levied for school purposes. (2) `Eligible assessed value' means a certain stated amount of the assessed value of each qualified homestead in the state. The amount of the eligible assessed value for any given year shall be fixed in that year's General Appropriations Act. (3) `Fiscal authority' means the political subdivision which levies and collects ad valorem taxes on behalf of a local school district and may, if appropriate, include a local school district itself but will generally refer to a county or municipality which levies and collects ad valorem taxes on behalf of a local school district. (4) `Qualified homestead' means a homestead qualified for any exemption, state, county, or school, authorized under Code Section 48-5-44. (5) `School millage rate' means the ad valorem tax millage rate levied by or on behalf of a local school district and applying to all qualified homesteads in the local school district, not including any millage levied for purposes of bonded indebtedness and not including any millage levied for county purposes. (6) `State millage rate' means the state millage levy. 36-89-2. In any year the General Assembly may appropriate funds for homeowner tax relief grants to counties and local school districts, in order to provide for more effective regulation and management of the finance and fiscal administration of the state and pursuant to and in furtherance of the provisions of Article III, Section IX, Paragraph II(c) of the Constitution; Article VII, Section III, Paragraph III of the Constitution; Article VIII, Section I, Paragraph I of the Constitution; and other provisions of the Constitution. 36-89-3. In any year the General Assembly may appropriate to the Department of Revenue funds to provide homeowner tax relief grants to counties and local school districts. When funds are so appropriated, the General Appropriations Act shall specify the amount appropriated and the eligible assessed value of each qualified homestead in the state for the specified tax year. If for any reason the amount appropriated in the General Appropriations Act is insufficient to fund the eligible assessed value stated in the General Appropriations Act, the amount appropriated may be adjusted in amendments to the General Appropriations Act. 36-89-4. (a) When funds are appropriated as provided in Code Section 36-89-3, such grants shall be allotted to each county and local school district in the state as follows:

Page 275

(1) Immediately following the actual preparation of ad valorem property tax bills, each county tax commissioner shall notify the Department of Revenue of the total amount of tax revenue which would be generated by applying the sum of the state and county millage rates to the eligible assessed value of each qualified homestead in the county. The total amount of actual tax credits, so calculated, given to all qualified homesteads in the county shall be the amount of the grant to that county; and (2) Immediately following the actual preparation of ad valorem property tax bills, each local school district's fiscal authority shall notify the Department of Revenue of the total amount of tax revenue which would be generated by applying the school millage rate to the eligible assessed value of each qualified homestead in the local school district. The total amount of actual tax credits, so calculated, given to all qualified homesteads in the local school district shall be the amount of the grant to that local school district. Credit amounts computed under paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection shall be applied to reduce the otherwise applicable tax liability on a dollar-for-dollar basis, but the credit granted shall not in any case exceed the amount of the otherwise applicable tax liability after the granting of all applicable constitutional homestead exemptions and millage rollbacks. (b) The grant of funds to each county shall be conditioned on the county reducing each qualified homestead's otherwise applicable liability for county taxes for county purposes by a credit amount calculated in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section. (c) The grant of funds to each local school district shall be conditioned on the local school district and its fiscal authority reducing each qualified homestead's otherwise applicable liability for school taxes by a credit amount calculated in paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of this Code section. (d) Each county and each fiscal authority shall show the credit amount on the tax bill, together with a prominent notice in substantially the following form: 'This reduction in your bill is the result of homeowner's tax relief enacted by the Governor and the General Assembly of the State of Georgia.' 36-89-5. (a) The state revenue commissioner shall administer this chapter and shall adopt rules and regulations for the administration of this chapter, including specific instructions to local governments. The state revenue commissioner may adopt procedures for partial or installment distribution of grants when the commissioner determines that a full distribution

Page 276

will only result in the necessity of return of funds under subsection (b) of this Code section. (b) If any excess funds remain from the funds granted to any county or local school district under this chapter, after the county or local school district complies with the credit requirements of Code Section 38-89-4, such excess funds shall be returned by the county or local school district to the Department of Revenue. 36-89-6. Any credit under this chapter which is erroneously or illegally granted shall be recoverable by the political subdivision granting such credit in the same manner as any other delinquent tax. SECTION 2 . This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval. SECTION 3 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 15, 1999. MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFICSEAT SAFETY BELT; FAILURE TO USE. Code Section 40-8-76.1 Amended. No. 173 (House Bill No. 727). AN ACT To amend Code Section 40-8-76.1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the use of safety belts in passenger vehicles, so as to provide that the failure to use a safety belt in a motor vehicle which has a safety belt or belts shall not be considered by a finder of fact evidence of negligence or causation and shall not be considered in determining liability or to diminish a recovery for damages; to provide an effective date; 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 the use of safety belts in passenger vehicles, is amended by striking in its entirety subsection (d) and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (d) The failure of an occupant of a motor vehicle to wear a seat safety belt in any seat of a motor vehicle which has a seat safety belt or belts

Page 277

shall not be considered evidence of negligence or causation, shall not otherwise be considered by the finder of fact on any question of liability of any person, corporation, or insurer, shall not be any basis for cancellation of coverage or increase in insurance rates, and shall not be evidence used to diminish any recovery for damages arising out of the ownership, maintenance, occupancy, or operation of a motor vehicle. SECTION 2 . This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval. SECTION 3 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 16, 1999. FOOD, DRUGS, AND COSMETICSPHARMACISTS; DEFINITIONS; STATE BOARD OF PHARMACY; POWERS; FOREIGN GRADUATES; LICENSES; SUSPENSIONS; NUCLEAR PHARMACY LAW ENACTED. Code Title 26, Chapter 4 Amended. No. 262 (Senate Bill No. 100). AN ACT To amend Chapter 4 of Title 26 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, the Georgia Pharmacy Practice Act, so as to change the provisions relating to definitions; to change the provisions relating to powers of the State Board of Pharmacy; to change the provisions relating to eligibility of foreign pharmacy school or college graduates for certain licenses; to provide for inactive licenses and license reactivation; to change the provisions relating to disciplinary actions; to change the provisions relating to temporary license suspension and provide for summary license suspension; to provide for nuclear pharmacies; to provide a short title; to define certain terms; to provide for licensure of nuclear pharmacies and pharmacists and exemptions; to establish licensure requirements; to provide for general requirements for nuclear pharmacies; to establish minimal radiopharmaceutical equipment requirements; to provide sanctions; to provide for the suspension or revocation of licenses; to provide for refusal of licenses; to provide for rules and regulations; to provide for construction; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . Chapter 4 of Title 26 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, the Georgia Pharmacy Practice Act, is amended by striking Code Section

Page 278

26-4-4, defining the practice of pharmacy, and inserting in its place the following: 26-4-4. The `practice of pharmacy' means the interpretation, evaluation, or dispensing of prescription drug orders in the patient's best interest; participation in drug and device selection, drug administration, drug regimen reviews, and drug or drug related research; provision of patient counseling and the provision of those acts or services necessary to provide pharmacy care; performing capillary blood tests and interpreting the results as a means to screen for or monitor disease risk factors and facilitate patient education, and a pharmacist performing such functions shall report the results obtained from such blood tests to the patient's physician of choice; and the responsibility for compounding and labeling of drugs and devices. SECTION 1.1 . Said chapter is further amended by adding after paragraph (23) of Code Section 26-4-5, relating to definitions, a new paragraph to read as follows: (23.5) `Narcotic treatment program clinic pharmacy' means a pharmacy which is attached to, located in, or otherwise a part of and operated by a narcotic treatment program which provides an opiate replacement treatment program, as designated or defined by the Department of Human Resources or such other state agency as may be designated as the state authority for the purposes of implementing the narcotic treatment program authorized by federal and state laws and regulations. SECTION 2 . Said chapter is further amended by striking and at the end of paragraph (17) of subsection (a) of Code Section 26-4-28, relating to powers of the Georgia State Board of Pharmacy, striking the period at the end of paragraph (18) of that subsection and inserting a semicolon, and adding thereafter the following: (19) Restricting the inspection or examination of records or access to any area licensed and under the control of any registrant, which has been issued a permit by the board, to members of the board, agents for the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, the Georgia Department of Medical Assistance, or other federal agencies or agencies of this state otherwise entitled to such inspections or examinations by law, subpoena, or court order. This paragraph specifically prohibits inspections or examinations of board registrants or any requirement which forces board registrants to allow inspection or examination, or both, of their records by representatives for any nongovernment affiliated, private

Page 279

organization for any purpose since the access of patient prescription records is restricted by this chapter and access by such private organizations is unnecessary in that this access only duplicates existing record-keeping and inspection requirements already addressed by the laws and regulations of the board and other government organizations. This restriction shall also prohibit a private, nongovernment affiliated organization from examining or copying continuing education certificates maintained by individual registrants. Nothing in this paragraph shall prohibit the pharmacist in charge from voluntarily allowing appropriate agencies and organizations to inspect or examine the records and pharmacy area under the control of the pharmacist in charge provided such inspections or examinations are for the purposes of ensuring the quality of care provided to patients; and (20) Serving as the sole governmental or other authority which shall have the authority to approve or recognize accreditation or certification programs for specialty pharmacy practice or to determine the acceptability of entities which may accredit pharmacies or certify pharmacists in a specialty of pharmacy practice, and the board may require such accreditation or certification as a prerequisite for specialty or advanced pharmacy practice. Such accreditation and certification standards for specialties shall be set forth in rules promulgated by the board with such rules to contain the required qualifications or limitations. Any accreditation or certification for specialty pharmacy practice approved or recognized by the board shall be deemed sufficient to meet any and all standards, licensure, or requirements, or any combination thereof, otherwise set forth by any private entity or other government agency to satisfy its stated goals and standards for such accreditation or certification. Nothing in this paragraph shall prohibit private entities, government agencies, professional organizations, or educational institutions from submitting accreditation or certification programs for the review and potential approval or recognition by the board. Accreditation and certification for specialty pharmacy practice under this paragraph shall be subject to the following conditions: (A) Applications shall be submitted as set forth in rules promulgated or approved by the board for accreditation or certification; (B) Only a pharmacist registered by this state and maintaining an active license in good standing is eligible for certification in a specialty pharmacy practice by the board; (C) Only a pharmacy registered by this state and maintaining an active license in good standing is eligible for accreditation for specialty pharmacy practice by the board; (D) Any board approved or recognized accreditation for a specialty pharmacy practice of a pharmacy is to be deemed sufficient and

Page 280

shall satisfy any standards or qualifications required for payment of services rendered as set forth by any insurance company, carrier, or similar third-party payor plan in any policy or contract issued, issued for delivery, delivered, or renewed on or after July 1, 1999; (E) Any board approved or recognized specialty certification issued to a pharmacist is deemed sufficient and shall satisfy any standards or qualifications required for payment of services rendered as set forth by any insurance company, carrier, or similar third-party payor plan in any policy or contract issued, issued for delivery, delivered, or renewed on or after July 1, 1999; and (F) The board may deny, revoke, limit, suspend, probate, or fail to renew the accreditation or specialty certification of a pharmacy, pharmacist, or both for cause as set forth in Code Section 26-4-60 or for a violation of Chapter 13 of Title 16 or if the board determines that a pharmacy, pharmacist, or both, no longer meet the accreditation or certification requirements of the board. Before such action, the board shall serve upon the pharmacist in charge of a pharmacy or pharmacist an order to show cause why accreditation or certification should not be denied, revoked, limited, suspended, or probated or why the renewal should not be refused. The order to show cause shall contain a statement for the basis therefor and shall call upon the pharmacist in charge of a pharmacy, the pharmacist, or both, to appear before the board at a time and place not more than 60 days after the date of the service of the order. SECTION 3 . Said chapter is further amended by striking subsection (b) of said Code Section 26-4-28 and inserting in its place the following: (b) Proceedings by the board in the exercise of its authority to cancel, suspend, or revoke any license issued under the terms of this chapter shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the `Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.' In all such proceedings the board shall have authority to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of any book, writing, or document upon the issuance of a subpoena therefor signed by the secretary of the board. In any hearing in which the fitness of a licensee or applicant to practice pharmacy is in question, the board may exclude all persons from its deliberation of the appropriate action to be taken and may, when it deems it necessary, speak to a licensee or applicant in private. SECTION 4 . Said chapter is further amended by striking paragraph (4) of subsection (a) of Code Section 26-4-41, relating to qualifications for license to practice pharmacy, and inserting in its place the following:

Page 281

(4) Have graduated and received a professional undergraduate degree from a college or school of pharmacy as the same may be approved by the board; provided, however, that, since it would be impractical for the board to evaluate a school or college of pharmacy located in another country, the board may accept a graduate from such a school or college as long as the graduate has completed all requirements of the Foreign Pharmacy Equivalency Certification Program administered by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. This shall include successful completion of all required examinations and the issuance of the equivalency certificate and be based upon an individual evaluation by the board of the applicant's educational experience, professional background, and proficiency in the English language; . SECTION 5 . Said chapter is further amended by striking subsection (c) of Code Section 26-4-42, relating to license transfers, which reads as follows: (c) To obtain a license to engage in the practice of pharmacy, a foreign pharmacy graduate applicant shall obtain the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination Committee's certification which shall include, but not be limited to, successfully passing the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Examination as well as attaining a passing score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) as established by the board. Additionally, a foreign pharmacy graduate applicant shall: (1) Have submitted a written application in the form prescribed by the board; (2) Have attained the age of majority; (3) Be of good moral character; (4) Have possessed at the time of initial licensure as a pharmacist all qualifications necessary to have been eligible for licensure at that time in this state; (5) Have graduated and been granted a pharmacy degree from a college or school of pharmacy recognized by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination Committee; (6) Have successfully passed an examination approved by the board; and (7) Have paid the fees specified by the board., and inserting in its place the following: (c) To obtain a license to engage in the practice of pharmacy in this state, a pharmacist who is a graduate of a pharmacy school or college

Page 282

located in another country must complete all requirements of the Foreign Pharmacy Equivalency Certification Program administered by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. This shall include without being limited to successful completion of all required examinations and the issuance of the equivalency certificate, and an individual evaluation by the board of the applicant's proficiency in the English linguage. Additionally, a foreign pharmacy graduate applicant shall: (1) Have submitted a written application in the form prescribed by the board; (2) Have attained the age of majority; (3) Be of good moral character; (4) Have possessed at the time of initial licensure as a pharmacist all qualifications necessary to have been eligible for licensure at that time in this state; (5) Have graduated and been granted a pharmacy degree from a college or school of pharmacy recognized by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination Committee; (6) Have successfully passed an examination approved by the board; and (7) Have paid the fees specified by the board. SECTION 6 . Said chapter is further amended by adding following Code Section 26-4-44 a new Code section to read as follows: 26-4-44.1. (a) The board shall provide by rule for an inactive pharmacist license status for those individuals who elect to apply for such status. Persons who are granted inactive status shall be exempt from the requirements of continuing pharmaceuticals education. (b) The board shall provide by rule for reactivation of a pharmacist license for those persons who wish to have an active license. Such individuals must first file a reactivation application with the board and comply with the requirements for reactivation as set forth by board rule. SECTION 7 . Said chapter is further amended by striking paragraph (3) of subsection (b) of Code Section 26-4-46, relating to eligibility for pharmacy intern licenses, which reads as follows:

Page 283

(3) An individual who does not otherwise meet the requirements of paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection and who has established educational equivalency by obtaining a Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination Committee (EPGEC) certificate, who is currently licensed by the board for the purpose of obtaining practical experience as a requirement for licensure as a pharmacist., and inserting in its place the following: (3) An individual who does not meet the requirements of paragraph (1) and (2) of this subsection and is a graduate of a pharmacy school or college located in another country but who has completed all requirements of the Foreign Pharmacy Equivalency Certification Program administered by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. This shall include without being limited to successful completion of all required examinations, the issuance of the equivalency certificate, and an individual evaluation by the board of the applicant's proficiency in the English language. SECTION 8 . Said chapter is further amended by striking subsection (c) of Code Section 26-4-60, relating to disciplinary actions, and inserting in its place the following: (c) Any person whose license to practice pharmacy in this state has been suspended, revoked, or restricted pursuant to this chapter, whether voluntarily or by action of the board, shall have the right, at reasonable intervals, to petition the board for reinstatement of such license pursuant to rules and regulations promulgated by the board. Such petition shall be made in writing and in the form prescribed by the board. The board may, in its discretion, grant or deny such petition, or it may modify its original finding to reflect any circumstances which have changed sufficiently to warrant such modifications. SECTION 9 . Said chapter is further amended by striking Code Section 26-4-61, relating to temporary license suspension, which reads as follows: 26-4-61. Notwithstanding any provisions of Chapter 13 of Title 50, the `Georgia Administrative Procedure Act,' the board may, without a hearing, temporarily suspend a license for not more than 60 days if the board finds that a pharmacist or pharmacy intern has violated a law or rule that the board is empowered to enforce, and if continued practice by the pharmacist or pharmacy intern would create an imminent risk of harm to the public. The suspension shall take effect upon written notice to the pharmacist or pharmacy intern, specifying the law or rule violated. At the time it issues the suspension notice, the board shall schedule a

Page 284

disciplinary hearing to be held under Chapter 13 of Title 50, the `Georgia Administrative Procedure Act,' within 20 days thereafter. The pharmacist or pharmacy intern shall be provided with at least ten days notice of any hearing held under this subsection., and inserting in its place the following: 26-4-61. (a) The provisions of subsection (c) of Code Section 50-13-18 with respect to emergency action by a state examining board and summary suspension of a license are adopted and incorporated by reference into this Code section. (b) Whenever a notice of summary suspension, notice of hearing, initial or recommended decision, or final decision of the board in a disciplinary proceeding is docketed, it shall be personally served upon the licensee or applicant or served by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of record with the board. If such material is served by certified mail and is returned marked `unclaimed' or `refused' or is otherwise undeliverable and if the licensee or applicant cannot, after reasonable effort, be located, the director for the board shall be deemed to be the agent for service for such licensee or applicant for purposes of this Code section and service upon the director shall be deemed to be service upon the licensee or applicant. (c) If any licensee or applicant after reasonable notice fails to appear at any hearing of the board for that licensee or applicant, the board may proceed to hear the evidence against such licensee or applicant and take action as if such licensee or applicant had been present. SECTION 10 . Said chapter is further amended by adding at the end a new article to read as follows: ARTICLE 10 26-4-170. This article shall be known and may be cited as the `Nuclear Pharmacy Law.' 26-4-171. As used in this article, the term: (1) `Authentication of product history' means, but is not limited to, identifying the purchasing source, the ultimate fate, and any intermediate handling of any component of a radiopharmaceutical. (2) `Board' means the State Board of Pharmacy.

Page 285

(3) `Compounding of radiopharmaceuticals' means the addition of a radioactive substance to nonradioactive substances or the use of a radioactive substance in preparation for single or multidose dispensation upon the prescription order of a physician who is licensed to use radioactive materials. Compounding of radiopharmaceuticals may include: loading and eluting of radionuclide generators; using manufactured reagent kits to prepare radiopharmaceuticals; preparing reagent kits; aliquoting reagents; formulation and quality assurance testing of radiochemicals for use as radiopharmaceuticals; and radiolabeling of compounds or products, including biological products, for use as radiopharmaceuticals. (4) `Department' means the Department of Natural Resources. (5) `Internal test assessment' means, but is not limited to, conducting those tests of quality assurance necessary to ensure the integrity of the test. (6) `Manufacturing of radiopharmaceuticals' means the preparation, derivation, or production of a product to which a radioactive substance is or will be added to provide a radiopharmaceutical for sale, resale, redistribution, or reconstitution. (7) `Nuclear pharmacy' means a pharmacy providing radiopharmaceutical service. (8) `Radiopharmaceutical' means radioactive drugs and chemical products used for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes and includes the terms radioactive pharmaceuticals, radioisotopes, and radioactive tracers. (9) `Radiopharmaceutical quality assurance' means, but is not limited to, the performance of appropriate chemical, biological, and physical tests on radiopharmaceuticals and their component materials and the interpretation of the resulting data to determine their suitability for use in humans and animals, including internal test assessment, authentication of product history, and the keeping of proper records. (10) `Radiopharmaceutical service' means, but is not limited to, the compounding, dispensing, labeling, and delivering of radiopharmaceuticals; the participation in radiopharmaceutical selection and radiopharmaceutical utilization review; the maintenance of radiopharmaceutical quality assurance; and the responsibility for advising, where necessary or where regulated, of therapeutic values, hazards, and use of radiopharmaceuticals; and the offering or performing of those acts, services, operations, or transactions necessary in the conduct, operation, management, and control of a nuclear pharmacy. 26-4-172. (a) All persons, firms, pharmacies, or corporations which receive, possess, transfer, or manufacture for sale or resale radiopharmaceuticals

Page 286

shall be licensed in accordance with the provisions of this article. No person may receive, acquire, possess, compound, or dispense any radiopharmaceutical except in accordance with the provisions of this article and the conditions of rules and regulations promulgated by the Board of Natural Resources for radioactive materials and administered by the department. The requirements of this article are in addition to, and not in substitution of, other applicable statutes and regulations administered by the State Board of Pharmacy or the department. (b) Nothing in this article shall be construed as requiring a licensed physician to obtain a separate license as a nuclear pharmacist, when his or her use of radiopharmaceuticals is limited to the diagnosis and treatment of his or her own patients. (c) Nothing in this article shall be construed so as to require a licensed clinical laboratory, which is licensed by the Department of Human Resources to handle radioactive materials, to obtain the services of a nuclear pharmacist, or to have a nuclear pharmacy license, unless the laboratory is engaged in the commercial sale or resale of radiopharmaceuticals. (d) Nothing in this article shall be construed to require a department of nuclear medicine which is located in a hospital of 250 beds or less, which has a board certified radiologist in the practice of nuclear medicine, and which is licensed by the department to handle radioactive materials to obtain the services of a nuclear pharmacist or to have a nuclear pharmacy license. 26-4-173. (a) An applicant for a license as a nuclear pharmacist shall: (1) Be a currently licensed pharmacist in the State of Georgia; (2) Meet the minimum requirements and be licensed to possess and use radioactive materials for medical use, as authorized by the department; and (3) Have met all requirements for training and experience established by the board in rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to this authority; provided, however, rules and regulations prescribing training and experience requirements for nuclear pharmacists shall have first been approved by the department. (b) A license as a nuclear pharmacist shall be issued to any pharmacist who makes application to the board, together with a required fee, and meets the requirements of subsection (a) of this Code section. 26-4-174. (a) A permit to operate a nuclear pharmacy shall only be issued in accordance with Article 6 of this chapter with the added designation that

Page 287

the pharmacist in charge be a nuclear pharmacist. All personnel performing tasks in the preparation and distribution of radiopharmaceuticals shall be under the supervision of a licensed nuclear pharmacist. All acts of compounding and dispensing radiopharmaceuticals shall be performed by the nuclear pharmacist or by a pharmacist or pharmacy intern under the direct supervision and control of a nuclear pharmacist. A nuclear pharmacist shall be responsible for all operations of the nuclear pharmacy and shall be in personal attendance at all times when the acts of compounding and dispensing are performed and the pharmacy is open for business. (b) Nuclear pharmacies shall have adequate space, commensurate with the scope of services provided and, as required by rules and regulations promulgated by the board pursuant to implementation of this article, shall meet minimal space requirements established for all pharmacies in the state. The nuclear pharmacy area shall be separate from the pharmacy areas for nonradiopharmaceuticals and shall be secured from unauthorized personnel. (c) Nuclear pharmacies shall only dispense radiopharmaceuticals which comply with acceptable professional standards of radiopharmaceutical quality assurance. (d) Nuclear pharmacies shall maintain records of acquisition and disposition of all radiopharmaceuticals in accordance with requirements of the board and the department. (e) Nuclear pharmacies shall comply with all applicable laws and regulations of federal and state agencies, including those laws and regulations governing nonradioactive drugs and pharmaceuticals. (f) Radiopharmaceuticals are to be dispensed only upon prescription order by a physician who is authorized by the department to possess, use, and administer radioactive materials. (g) A nuclear pharmacist may transfer to authorized persons radioactive materials not intended for drug use, in accordance with department regulations for radioactive materials. A nuclear pharmacy may also furnish radioactive materials for use to physicians, for individual patient use in accordance with subsection (f) of this Code section. (h) In addition to any labeling requirements required by rules and regulations of the board for nonradiopharmaceuticals, the immediate outer container of a radiopharmaceutical to be dispensed shall also be labeled as required in rules and regulations of the board and of the department. (i) The amount of radioactivity dispensed in each individual preparation shall be determined by the nuclear pharmacist through radiometric methods immediately prior to dispensing.

Page 288

(j) Nuclear pharmacies may redistribute federal Food and Drug Administration approved radiopharmaceuticals if the pharmacy does not process the radiopharmaceuticals in any manner or violate the product packaging. Such redistribution may only be made to another nuclear pharmacy or other authorized person or institution. 26-4-175. Nuclear pharmacies shall meet all requirements for items and articles of equipment as required through rules and regulations of the board. Nuclear pharmacies shall also have equipment required for the safe handling and storage of radioactive materials, as established by rules of the department. 26-4-176. The board may limit, suspend, or revoke licenses issued under the provisions of this article, or impose any other reasonable sanctions upon holders of such licenses upon proof of any of the violations specified in Code Sections 26-4-60 and 26-4-113. 26-4-177. The board may refuse to grant a license to any person, firm, or corporation for any of the grounds set forth in Code Sections 26-4-60 and 26-4-113. In addition, the board may refuse to grant a license if any applicant shall make any false statement in the application or cheats in any manner upon any examination administered pursuant to this article. 26-4-178. The board is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this article. 26-4-179. Nothing in this article shall be construed to repeal the authority of the Department of Natural Resources to regulate the use of radioactive materials. SECTION 11 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 19, 1999.

Page 289

INSURANCEHEALTH INSURANCE; CONFIDENTIALITY OF PATIENTS' MEDICAL INFORMATION OBTAINED FROM PHARMACIES; TIME LIMIT FOR PAYMENT OF CLAIMS; NOTICES OF PREMIUM INCREASES. Code Title 33 Amended. No. 263 (House Bill No. 159). AN ACT To amend Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to insurance, so as to provide for confidentiality of patients' medical information obtained by health insurers from pharmacies or pharmacists; to prohibit release of certain information to third parties without patient consent; to define a term; to provide a penalty for violations; to provide for time limits for payment of claims under certain health benefit plans and provide for sanctions; to change certain provisions relating to required policy provisions for individual accident and sickness insurance; to provide for notice prior to certain premium increases; change certain provisions relating to required provisions of group accident and sickness insurance policies; to provide for applicability; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to insurance, is amended by adding a new Code Section 33-24-59.4 to read as follows: 33-24-59.4. (a) As used in this Code section, the term `insurer' means an accident and sickness insurer, fraternal benefit society, nonprofit hospital service corporation, nonprofit medical service corporation, health care corporation, health maintenance organization, provider sponsored health care corporation, or the plan administrator of any health benefit plan established pursuant to Article 1 of Chapter 18 of Title 45; and such term includes any entity which administrates or processes claims on behalf of any of the foregoing. (b) Any medical information concerning a patient that was obtained by or released to an insurer from a pharmacy or pharmacist shall be confidential and privileged and may be released by such insurer to a third party for consideration only if such release is specifically authorized by such patient or a person otherwise authorized to act therefor. Any insurer possessing patient medical information which was obtained from a pharmacy or pharmacist shall not release such information to any third party for consideration without the explicit written consent of the patient or a person otherwise authorized to act therefor, which consent

Page 290

was obtained after written notice by the insurer to such patient or person otherwise authorized to act therefor of the purpose of such release, the party or parties to whom the information will be released, and any consideration paid or to be paid to the insurer for such information. (c) The provisions of subsection (b) of this Code section shall not prohibit the release of medical information by an insurer to a third party for purposes of appropriate medical research without notice to or the written consent of a patient or person authorized to act therefor, provided that such release does not provide any information that identifies a patient, prescriber, pharmacy, or pharmacist, including without limitation any name, address, or telephone number of a patient, prescriber, pharmacy, or pharmacist. Information released in accordance with the provisions of this subsection may be used for appropriate medical research. (d) Violation of this Code section by any insurer to which any license or certificate of authority has been issued under this title shall constitute an unfair trade practice punishable under Article 1 of Chapter 6 of this title. SECTION 2 . Said title is further amended by adding a new Code Section 33-24-59.5 to read as follows: 33-24-59.5. (a) As used in this Code section, the term: (1) `Benefits' means the coverages provided by a health benefit plan for financing or delivery of health care goods or services; but such term does not include capitated payment arrangements under managed care plans. (2) `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 dental or vision care plan or policy, or managed care plan; but health benefit plan does not include policies issued in accordance with Chapter 31 of this title; disability income policies; or Chapter 9 of Title 34, relating to workers' compensation. (3) `Insurer' means an accident and sickness insurer, fraternal benefit society, nonprofit hospital service corporation, nonprofit medical service corporation, health care corporation, health maintenance organization, provider sponsored health care corporation, or any similar entity and any self-insured health benefit plan not subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal Employee Retirement Income

Page 291

Security Act of 1974, 29 U.S.C. Section 1001, et seq., which entity provides for the financing or delivery of health care services through a health benefit plan, or the plan administrator of any health benefit plan established pursuant to Article 1 of Chapter 18 of Title 45. (b) (1) All benefits under a health benefit plan will be payable by the insurer which is obligated to finance or deliver health care services under that plan upon such insurer's receipt of written proof of loss or claim for payment for health care goods or services provided. The insurer shall within 15 working days after such receipt mail to the insured or other person claiming payments under the plan payment for such benefits or a letter or notice which states the reasons the insurer may have for failing to pay the claim, either in whole or in part, and which also gives the person so notified a written itemization of any documents or other information needed to process the claim or any portions thereof which are not being paid. Where the insurer disputes a portion of the claim, any undisputed portion of the claim shall be paid by the insurer in accordance with this chapter. When all of the listed documents or other information needed to process the claim have been received by the insurer, the insurer shall then have 15 working days within which to process and either mail payment for the claim or a letter or notice denying it, in whole or in part, giving the insured or other person claiming payments under the plan the insurer's reasons for such denial. (2) Receipt of any proof, claim, or documentation by an entity which administrates or processes claims on behalf of an insurer shall be deemed receipt of the same by the insurer for purposes of this Code section. (c) Each insurer shall pay to the insured or other person claiming payments under the health benefit plan interest equal to 18 percent per annum on the proceeds or benefits due under the terms of such plan for failure to comply with subsection (b) of this Code section. SECTION 3 . Said title is further amended by striking paragraph (8) of subsection (b) of Code Section 33-29-3, relating to required policy provisions for individual accident and sickness insurance, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (8) Time of payment of claims. The policy shall include a provision incorporating and restating the substance of the provisions of subsections (b) and (c) of Code Section 33-24-59.5, relating to time limits for payment of claims for benefits under health benefit policies and sanctions for failure to pay timely. If a policy provides benefits for loss of time, such policy shall also provide that, subject to proof of such loss, all accrued benefits payable under the policy for loss of time will

Page 292

be paid not later than at the expiration of each period of 30 days during the continuance of the period for which the insurer is liable and any balance remaining unpaid at the termination of such period will be paid immediately upon receipt of such proof. SECTION 4 . Chapter 29 of Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to individual accident and sickness insurance, is amended by adding at the end a new Code section to read as follows: 33-29-22. Notice of any premium increase shall be mailed or delivered to each holder of an individual accident and sickness insurance policy not less than 60 days prior to the effective date of such increase. SECTION 5 . Said title is further amended by striking paragraph (5) of subsection (b) of Code Section 33-30-6, relating to required provisions of group accident and sickness insurance policies, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (5) A provision incorporating and restating the substance of the provisions of subsections (b) and (c) of Code Section 33-24-59.5, relating to time limits for payment of claims for benefits under health benefit policies and sanctions for failure to pay timely. If a policy provides benefits for loss of time, such policy shall also provide that, subject to proof of such loss, all accrued benefits payable under the policy for loss of time will be paid not later than at the expiration of each period of 30 days during the continuance of the period for which the insurer is liable and any balance remaining unpaid at the termination of such period will be paid immediately upon receipt of such proof. SECTION 6 . Sections 2, 3, and 4 of this Act shall apply to plans, policies, or contracts issued, delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed on or after the date this Act becomes effective. SECTION 7 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 19, 1999.

Page 293

MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFICDRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL, DRUGS, OR OTHER INTOXICATING SUBSTANCES; PENALTIES; DUI ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE RISK REDUCTION PROGRAMS; CLINICAL EVALUATIONS; TREATMENT PROGRAMS; FINES. Code Section 40-6-391 Amended. No. 266 (House Bill No. 635). AN ACT To amend Code Section 40-6-391 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the offense of driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicating substances, so as to change certain penalty provisions applicable to a person who is convicted of a violation of said Code section; to require certain persons convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicating substances to complete a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program; to require certain persons convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicating substances to undergo a clinical evaluation and, in some instances, complete a substance abuse treatment program; to authorize a judge to suspend a portion of the amount of certain fines if the defendant undergoes certain treatment; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . Code Section 40-6-391 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the offense of driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicating substances, is amended by striking subsection (c) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (c) to read as follows: (c) Every person convicted of violating this Code section shall, upon a first or second conviction thereof, be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon a third or subsequent conviction thereof, be guilty of a high and aggravated misdemeanor and shall be punished as follows: (1) First conviction with no conviction of and no plea of nolo contendere accepted to a charge of violating this Code section within the previous five years, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained or pleas of nolo contendere were accepted to the date of the current arrest for which a conviction is obtained or a plea of nolo contendere is accepted: (A) A fine of not less than $300.00 nor more than $1,000.00, which fine shall not, except as provided in subsection (g) of this Code section, be subject to suspension, stay, or probation;

Page 294

(B) A period of imprisonment of not less than ten days nor more than 12 months, which period of imprisonment may, at the sole discretion of the judge, be suspended, stayed, or probated, except that if the offender's alcohol concentration at the time of the offense was 0.08 grams or more, the judge may suspend, stay, or probate all but 24 hours of any term of imprisonment imposed under this subparagraph; (C) Not less than 40 hours of community service, except that for a conviction for violation of subsection (k) of this Code section where the person's alcohol concentration at the time of the offense was less than 0.08 grams, the period of community service shall be not less than 20 hours; and (D) Completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program approved by the Department of Human Resources. The sponsor of any such program shall provide written notice of such approval to the person upon enrollment in the program; (2) For the second conviction within a five-year period of time, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained or pleas of nolo contendere were accepted to the date of the current arrest for which a conviction is obtained or a plea of nolo contendere is accepted: (A) A fine of not less than $600.00 nor more than $1,000.00, which fine shall not, except as provided in subsection (g) of this Code section, be subject to suspension, stay, or probation; (B) A period of imprisonment of not less than 90 days nor more than 12 months. At the sole discretion and under such terms and conditions as the judge shall impose, the judge may suspend, stay, or probate all but 48 hours of any term of imprisonment imposed under this subparagraph; (C) Not less than 80 hours of community service, except that for a second conviction for violation of subsection (k) of this Code section where the person's alcohol concentration at the time of the offense was less than 0.08 grams, the period of community service shall be not less than 40 hours; (D) Completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program approved by the Department of Human Resources. The sponsor of any such program shall provide written notice of such approval to the person upon enrollment in the program; and (E) Undergoing a clinical evaluation as defined in Code Section 40-5-1 and, if indicated by such evaluation, completion of a substance abuse treatment program as defined in Code Section 40-5-1; or

Page 295

(3) For the third or subsequent conviction within a five-year period of time, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained or pleas of nolo contendere were accepted to the date of the current arrest for which a conviction is obtained or a plea of nolo contendere is accepted: (A) A fine of not less than $1,000.00 and not more than $5,000.00, which fine shall not, except as provided in subsection (g) of this Code section, be subject to suspension, stay, or probation; (B) A mandatory period of imprisonment of not less than 120 days nor more than 12 months. At the sole discretion and under such terms and conditions as the judge shall impose, the judge may suspend, stay, or probate all but ten days of any term of imprisonment imposed under this subparagraph; (C) Not less than 20 days of community service, except that for a third or subsequent conviction for violation of subsection (k) of this Code section where the person's alcohol concentration at the time of the offense was less than 0.08 grams, the period of community service shall be not less than 40 hours; (D) Completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program approved by the Department of Human Resources. The sponsor of any such program shall provide written notice of such approval to the person upon enrollment in the program; and (E) Undergoing a clinical evaluation as defined in Code Section 40-5-1 and, if indicated by such evaluation, completion of a substance abuse treatment program as defined in Code Section 40-5-1. For the purpose of imposing a sentence under this subsection, a plea of nolo contendere shall constitute a conviction. SECTION 2 . Said Code section is further amended by striking subsection (g) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (g) to read as follows: (g) (1) If the payment of the fine required under subsection (c) of this Code section will impose an economic hardship on the defendant, the judge, at his or her sole discretion, may order the defendant to pay such fine in installments and such order may be enforced through a contempt proceeding or a revocation of any probation otherwise authorized by this Code section. (2) In the sole discretion of the judge, he or she may suspend up to one-half of the fine imposed under paragraphs (2) or (3) of subsection (c) of this Code section for a second or subsequent conviction

Page 296

conditioned upon the defendant's undergoing treatment in a substance abuse treatment program as defined in Code Section 40-5-1. SECTION 3 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 19, 1999. HEALTHDEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY HEALTH, BOARD OF COMMUNITY HEALTH, AND COMMISSIONER OF COMMUNITY HEALTH; CREATION. Code Titles 31 and 49 Amended. Code Title 31, Chapter 37 Repealed. No. 268 (Senate Bill No. 241). AN ACT To amend Title 31 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to health, so as to create a new Department of Community Health and transfer to that department certain functions and duties previously performed by the Department of Medical Assistance, Health Planning Agency, and State Personnel Board; to provide for legislative intent and definitions; to create a Board of Community Health and provide for the appointment, qualification, terms, organization, removal, and compensation and expenses of its members; to provide for vacancies on the board and for its powers, duties, and functions; to provide for divisions of that department and for directors thereof; to provide for the Office of Women's Health and an advisory council; to provide for contracts and other powers, duties, and functions; to provide for the transfer of employees to the Department of Community Health and for retirement and other merit system and employment rights; to provide for transitional services; to provide for additional personnel; to provide for rules, regulations, policies, procedures, and orders of the Department of Community Health and provide for rights, privileges, duties, and entitlements under certain contracts, agreements, and transactions; to provide for a commissioner of community health and the appointment, removal, powers, and duties thereof; to provide that certain entities previously attached to the board of regents will be attached to the Department of Community Health for administrative purposes and be subject to the department in certain respects; to change the powers, duties, and functions of the Health Strategies Council; to establish the Composite State Board of Medical Examiners as a separate agency independent from the Secretary of State and joint-secretary of the state examining boards; to provide for an executive director of the Composite State Board of Medical Examiners and provide for the powers, duties, and functions of that board and director; to provide for that

Page 297

director's compensation; to provide for the applicability to that board and its licensees of certain laws relating to state examining boards and attach that board to the Department of Community Health for administrative purposes; to abolish the Board of Medical Assistance; to provide that the commissioner of community health will perform certain duties and functions previously performed by the commissioner of medical assistance, executive director of the Health Planning Agency and commissioner of personnel administration and that the Board of Community Health will perform certain duties and functions previously performed by the Board of Medical Assistance and State Personnel Board; to make conforming amendments to numerous other provisions of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated; to specifically repeal Chapter 37 of Title 31 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to health care personnel, and Article 6 of Chapter 4 of Title 49 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, The Medical Assistance for the Aged Act; 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 . Title 31 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to health, is amended by adding after Chapter 5 thereof a new chapter to read as follows: CHAPTER 5A 31-5A-1. Given the growing concern and complexities of health issues in this state, it is the intent of the General Assembly to create a Department of Community Health dedicated to health issues. Recognizing that the manner in which health care is currently administered at the state level is fragmented and often unresponsive to health care issues, the new department is created for the following purposes: (1) To serve as the lead planning agency for all health issues in the state to remedy the current situation wherein the responsibility for health care policy, purchasing, planning, and regulation is spread among many different agencies; (2) To permit the state to maximize its purchasing power inasmuch as the state now has none of its health care purchasing coordinated; (3) To minimize duplication and maximize administrative efficiency in the state's health care systems by removing overlapping functions and streamlining uncoordinated programs; (4) To allow the state to develop a better health care infrastructure that is more responsive to the consumers it serves while improving access to and coverage for health care; and

Page 298

(5) To focus more attention and departmental procedures on the issue of wellness, including diet, exercise, and personal responsibility. 31-5A-2. Notwithstanding the provisions of Code Section 31-1-1, as used in this chapter, the term: (1) `Board' means the Board of Community Health established under Code Section 31-5A-3. (2) `Commissioner' means the commissioner of community health established under Code Section 31-5A-6. (3) `Department' means the Department of Community Health established under Code Section 31-5A-4. (4) `Department divisions' means the Division of Health Planning, Division of Medical Assistance, Division of Public Employee Health Benefits, and any other division of the department established by the board. (5) `Division of Health Planning' means the Division of Health Planning established as such pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection (b) of Code Section 31-5A-4. (6) `Division of Medical Assistance' means the Division of Medical Assistance established as such pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection (b) of Code Section 31-5A-4. (7) `Division of Public Employee Health Benefits' means the Division of Public Employee Health Benefits established as such pursuant to paragraph (3) of subsection (b) of Code Section 31-5A-4. (8) `Predecessor agency' means the State Personnel Board, solely with respect to actions regarding the state health benefit plan, the Health Planning Agency, and the Department of Medical Assistance. (9) `State health benefit plan' means the health insurance plan authorized under Article 1 of Chapter 18 of Title 45 and Part 6 of Article 17 of Chapter 2 of Title 20. (10) `State Personnel Board' means the board established under Article IV, Section III of the Constitution. 31-5A-3. (a) There is created the Board of Community Health which shall establish the general policy to be followed by the Department of Community Health. The powers, functions, and duties of the Board of Medical Assistance as they existed on June 30, 1999, with regard to the Department of Medical Assistance, and the powers, functions, and duties of the State Personnel Board as they existed on June 30, 1999, with

Page 299

regard to the state health benefit plan, are transferred to the Board of Community Health effective July 1, 1999. The board shall consist of nine members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. (b) The Governor shall designate the initial terms of the members of the board as follows: three members shall be appointed for one year; three members shall be appointed for two years; and three members shall be appointed for three years. Thereafter, all succeeding appointments shall be for three-year terms from the expiration of the previous term. (c) Vacancies in office shall be filled by appointment by the Governor in the same manner as the appointment to the position on the board which becomes vacant, and the appointment shall be submitted to the Senate for confirmation at the next session of the General Assembly. 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) Members of the board may be removed from office under the same conditions for removal from office of members of state examining boards provided in Code Section 43-1-17. (e) There shall be a chairperson of the board elected by and from the membership of the board who shall be the presiding officer of the board. (f) The members of the board shall receive a per diem allowance and expenses as shall be set and approved by the Office of Planning and Budget in conformance with rates and allowances set for members of other state boards. 31-5A-4. (a) The Department of Community Health is created and established to perform the functions and assume the duties and powers exercised on June 30, 1999, by the State Personnel Board solely with respect to the state health benefit plan, the Health Planning Agency, and the Department of Medical Assistance. The department shall also assume powers and responsibility with respect to the expenditure of any funds appropriated to the department including, without being limited to, funds received by the state pursuant to the settlement of the lawsuit filed by the state against certain tobacco companies, State of Georgia, et al. v. Philip Morris, Inc., et al. , Civil Action #E-61692, V19/246 (Fulton County Superior Court, December 9, 1998). (b) The divisions of the department shall be as follows: (1) The Health Planning Agency, as it existed on June 30, 1999, is continued in existence on and after July 1, 1999, but shall thereafter be the Division of Health Planning within the department; (2) The Department of Medical Assistance, as it existed on June 30, 1999, is continued in existence on and after July 1, 1999, but shall

Page 300

thereafter be the Division of Medical Assistance within the department; (3) The Health Benefit Services Division of the State Merit System of Personnel Administration, as it existed on June 30, 1999, is continued in existence on and after July 1, 1999, but shall thereafter be the Division of Public Employee Health Benefits within the department; and (4) Such other divisions as the board may establish within the department. (c) The executive director of the Health Planning Agency in office on June 30, 1999, the commissioner of medical assistance in office on June 30, 1999, and the director of the Health Benefit Services Division of the State Merit System of Personnel Administration in office on June 30, 1999, shall become directors of the respective divisions which those predecessor agencies or divisions have become on and after July 1, 1999, and until such time as the commissioner appoints other directors of such divisions. (d) (1) There is created in the department the Office of Women's Health. Attached to the office shall be an 11 member advisory council. The members of the advisory council shall be appointed by the Governor and shall be representative of major public and private agencies and organizations in the state and shall be experienced in or have demonstrated particular interest in women's health issues. Each member shall be appointed for two years and until his or her successor is appointed. The members shall be eligible to succeed themselves. The council shall elect its chairperson from among the councilmembers for a term of two years. The Governor may name an honorary chairperson of the council. (2) The Office of Women's Health shall serve in an advisory capacity to the Governor, the General Assembly, the board, the department, and all other state agencies in matters relating to women's health. In particular, the office shall: (A) Raise awareness of women's nonreproductive health issues; (B) Inform and engage in prevention and education activities relating to women's nonreproductive health issues; (C) Serve as a clearing-house for women's health information for purposes of planning and coordination; (D) Issue reports of the office's activities and findings; and (E) Develop and distribute a state comprehensive plan to address women's health issues. (3) The Office of Women's Health shall have a full-time executive director appointed by the commissioner and shall be provided with

Page 301

staff personnel, office and meeting facilities, and other necessary items by the department. The council shall meet upon the call of its chairperson, the board, or the commissioner. (e) The board of regents is authorized to contract with the department for health benefits for members, employees, and retirees of the board of regents and the dependents of such members, employees, and retirees and for the administration of such health benefits. The department is also authorized to contract with the board of regents for such purposes. (f) In addition to its other powers, duties, and functions, the department: (1) Shall be the lead agency in coordinating and purchasing health care benefit plans for state and public employees, dependents, and retirees and may also coordinate with the board of regents for the purchase and administration of such health care benefit plans for its members, employees, dependents, and retirees; (2) Is authorized to plan and coordinate medical education and physician workforce issues; (3) Is authorized to convene at least quarterly a state agency coordinating committee comprised of the commissioners, directors, chairpersons, or their designees, of the following agencies involved in health related activities: the Department of Human Resources, including the Division of Public Health, the Division of Mental Health, Mental Retardation, and Substance Abuse, and the Office of Aging thereof, the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Department of Corrections, the Insurance Department, the State Merit System of Personnel Administration, the State Board of Workers' Compensation, and the Governor's Office of Planning and Budget. The board of regents may also designate a person to serve on the coordinating committee. The committee will convene for the purposes of planning and coordinating health issues that have interagency considerations. The commissioner of the department will serve as the chairperson of the state agency coordinating committee and will report to the Governor the activities, findings, and recommendations of the committee; (4) Shall investigate the lack of availability of health insurance coverage and the issues associated with the uninsured population of this state. In particular, the department is authorized to investigate the feasibility of creating and administering insurance programs for small businesses and political subdivisions of the state and to propose cost-effective solutions to reducing the numbers of uninsured in this state; and (5) Shall study and recommend any additional functions needed to carry out the purposes of the department, including the creation of a

Page 302

consumer medical advocate. Such recommendations shall be made to the Governor and General Assembly by December 31, 1999. 31-5A-5. (a) To assist in the transition of functions, until July 1, 2000, the State Merit System of Personnel Administration shall perform payroll, accounting, and purchasing services and other general support services on behalf of the Division of Public Employee Health Benefits. (b) All persons employed in a predecessor agency on June 30, 1999, shall, on July 1, 1999, become employees of the department within the division which such predecessor agency has become. Such employees shall be subject to the employment practices and policies of the department on and after July 1, 1999, but the compensation and benefits of such transferred employees shall not be reduced as a result of such transfer. Employees who are subject to the rules of the State Personnel Board and thereby under the State Merit System of Personnel Administration and who are transferred to the department shall retain all existing rights under the State Merit System of Personnel Administration. Retirement rights of such transferred employees existing under the Employees' Retirement System of Georgia or other public retirement systems on June 30, 1999, shall not be impaired or interrupted by the transfer of such employees and membership in any such retirement system shall continue in the same status possessed by the transferred employees on June 30, 1999. Accrued annual and sick leave possessed by said employees on June 30, 1999, shall be retained by said employees as employees of the department. (c) (1) The department shall conform to federal standards for a merit system of personnel administration in any respects necessary for receiving federal grants and the board is authorized and empowered to effect such changes as may, from time to time, be necessary in order to comply with such standards. (2) The department is authorized to employ, on a full-time or part-time basis, such medical, supervisory, institutional, and other professional personnel and such clerical and other employees as may be necessary to discharge the duties of the department under this chapter. The department is also authorized to contract for such professional services as may be necessary. (3) Classified employees of the department under this chapter shall in all instances be employed and dismissed in accordance with rules of the State Personnel Board. (4) All personnel of the department are authorized to be members of the Employees' Retirement System of Georgia as provided in Chapter 2 of Title 47. All rights, credits, and funds in that retirement system which are possessed by state personnel transferred by provisions of this

Page 303

chapter to the department, or otherwise had 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. (d) The department shall succeed to all rules, regulations, policies, procedures, and administrative orders of the predecessor agencies which were in effect on June 30, 1999, or scheduled to go into effect on or after July 1, 1999, and which relate to the functions transferred to the department by this chapter. Such rules, regulations, policies, procedures, and administrative orders shall remain in effect until amended, repealed, superseded, or nullified by proper authority or as otherwise provided by law. (e) The rights, privileges, entitlements, and duties of parties to contracts, leases, agreements, and other transactions entered into before July 1, 1999, by any predecessor agency and which pertain to the functions transferred to the department by this chapter shall continue to exist; and none of these rights, privileges, entitlements, and duties are impaired or diminished by reason of the transfer of the functions to the department. In all such instances, the Department of Community Health shall be substituted for the predecessor agency, and the Department of Community Health shall succeed to the rights and duties under such contracts, leases, agreements, and other transactions. (f) (1) The Governor is authorized to transfer to the Division of Public Employee Health Benefits of the department, by executive order, employees of the State Merit System of Personnel Administration who were performing functions for the Health Benefit Services Division of that system on June 30, 1999, whether or not they were also performing functions other than functions for that division. Employees so transferred shall become employees of the Division of Public Employee Health Benefits of the department. (2) The commissioner is authorized to transfer department employees from one division to another division within the department. 31-5A-6. There is created the position of commissioner of community health. The commissioner shall be the chief administrative officer of the department and shall be subject to appointment and removal by the Governor. Subject to the general policy established by the board, the commissioner shall supervise, direct, account for, organize, plan, administer, and execute the functions vested in the department. SECTION 2 . Part 6 of Article 7 of Chapter 3 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to medical scholarships, is amended by striking Code

Page 304

Section 20-3-516, relating to funds for the State Medical Education Board, and inserting in its place the following: 20-3-516. The funds necessary for the loans or scholarships provided for by this part and to administer the terms of this part shall come from funds made available to the State Medical Education Board from appropriations to the Department of Community Health for medical scholarships or other purposes. The State Medical Education Board shall be assigned to the Department of Community Health for administrative purposes only, except that such department shall prepare and submit the budget for that board in concurrence with that board. SECTION 3 . Title 31 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to health, is amended by adding after paragraph (6) of Code Section 31-6-2, relating to health planning and development definitions, the following paragraph: (6.1) `Department' means the Department of Community Health established under Chapter 5A of this title. SECTION 4 . Said title is further amended by striking paragraph (19) of said Code Section 31-6-2 and inserting in its place the following: (19) Reserved. SECTION 5 . Said title is further amended by striking subsections (g), (h), and (i) of Code Section 31-6-20, relating to Health Strategies Council creation, and inserting in their place the following: (g) The functions of the council shall be to: (1) Adopt the state health plan and submit it to the board for approval which shall include all of the components of the council's functions and be regularly updated; (2) Review, comment on, and make recommendations to the department on proposed rules for the administration of this chapter, except emergency rules, prior to their adoption by the department; (3) Conduct an ongoing evaluation of Georgia's existing health care resources for accessibility, including but not limited to financial, geographic, cultural, and administrative accessibility, quality, comprehensiveness, and cost; (4) Study long-term comprehensive approaches to providing health insurance coverage to the entire population; and

Page 305

(5) Perform such other functions as may be specified for the council by the department or its board. (h) The council shall prepare an annual report to the board and the General Assembly which presents information and updates on the functions outlined in subsection (g) of this Code section. The annual report shall include information for Georgia's congressional delegation which highlights issues regarding federal laws and regulations influencing Medicaid and medicare, insurance and related tax laws, and longterm health care. (i) The council at the department's request shall involve and coordinate functions with such state entities as necessary. (j) As used in subsections (g), (h), and (i) of this Code section, the term: (1) `Board' means the Board of Community Health established under Chapter 5A of Title 31. (2) `Department' means the Department of Community Health established under Chapter 5A of Title 31. SECTION 6 . Said title is further amended by striking subsection (a) of Code Section 31-6-21, relating to the creation of the Health Planning Agency, and inserting in its place the following: (a) The Department of Community Health, established under Chapter 5A of this title, is authorized to administer the certificate of need program established under this chapter and, within the appropriations made available to the department by the General Assembly of Georgia and consistently with the laws of the State of Georgia, a state health plan adopted by the Health Strategies Council and approved by the board. The department shall provide, by rule, for procedures to administer its functions until otherwise provided by the Board of Community Health. SECTION 7 . Said title is further amended by striking Code Section 31-6-22, relating to the planning agency executive director, and inserting in its place the following: 31-6-22. The department shall be directed by the commissioner of community health. SECTION 8 . Said title is further amended by striking Code Section 31-6-48, relating to abolition of prior units, and Code Section 31-6-49, relating to transitional provisions, and inserting in their respective places the following:

Page 306

31-6-48. The State Health Planning and Development Agency, the State-wide Health Coordinating Council, and the State Health Planning Review Board existing immediately prior to July 1, 1983, are abolished, and their respective successors on and after July 1, 1983, shall be the Health Planning Agency, the Health Policy Council, and the Health Planning Review Board, as established in this chapter, except that on and after July 1, 1991, the Health Strategies Council shall be the successor to the Health Policy Council and except that on and after July 1, 1999, the Department of Community Health shall be the successor to the Health Planning Agency. For purposes of any existing contract with the federal government, or federal law referring to such abolished agency, council, or board, the successor department, council, or board established in this chapter shall be deemed to be the abolished agency, council, or board and shall succeed to the abolished agency's, council's, or board's functions. The State Health Planning and Development Commission is abolished. 31-6-49. All matters transferred to the Health Strategies Council and the Health Planning Review Board by the previously existing provisions of this Code section and that are in effect on June 30, 1999, shall automatically remain in such council or board on and after July 1, 1999, until otherwise disposed of. All matters transferred to the Health Planning Agency by the previously existing provisions of this Code section and that are in effect on June 30, 1999, shall automatically be transferred to the Department of Community Health on July 1, 1999. SECTION 9 . Said title is further amended by striking paragraph (1) of Code Section 31-8-151, relating to Indigent Care Trust Fund definitions, and inserting in its place the following: (1) `Department' means the Department of Community Health created by Chapter 5A of this title. SECTION 10 . Said title is further amended by striking Code Section 31-34-8, relating to funding of a loan program of the State Medical Education Board, and inserting in its place the following: 31-34-8. The funds necessary to carry out the loan program authorized by this chapter may come from funds made available to the board from private, federal, or state sources. Funds appropriated by the General Assembly for the purposes of this chapter shall be appropriated to the Department

Page 307

of Community Health for the specific purpose of the cancelable loan program authorized by this chapter. The board shall be assigned to the Department of Community Health for administrative purposes only, except that such department shall prepare and submit the budget for that board in concurrence with that board. SECTION 11 . Said title is further amended by striking and reserving Chapter 37 thereof, relating to health care personnel. SECTION 12 . Chapter 34 of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to license to practice medicine, is amended by striking Code Section 43-34-22, relating to continuation in office of the board, and inserting in its place the following: 43-34-22. The terms of office of members of the Composite State Board of Medical Examiners in office on June 30, 1999, shall expire July 1, 1999, except that the Governor by executive order may provide that such terms expire after July 1, 1999, but no later than July 1, 2000, and upon the appointment and qualification of their respective successors. Those successors shall be appointed by the Governor for terms of office beginning on the later of July 1, 1999, or the date immediately following the expiration of the terms of office of those members in office on June 30, 1999, with four of such successors to have initial terms of one year, four of such successors to have initial terms of two years, and five of such successors to have initial terms of three years. The Governor shall specify the initial terms of office for each of those successors at the time of their appointment. Upon the expiration of such initial terms, successors to members of the board whose terms of office expire shall serve for terms of four years each. Members of the board shall serve for the terms specified and until their respective successors are appointed and qualified. All reappointments and new appointments shall be made so that the various geographic regions of the state shall be represented. Any vacancy that may occur in the board as a result of death, resignation, removal from the state, or other cause shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as regular appointments are made. SECTION 13 . Said chapter is further amended by striking Code Section 43-34-24, relating to board organization, and inserting in its place the following: 43-34-24. (a) Immediately after the appointment and qualification of the members, the board shall meet and organize and shall elect a president and

Page 308

vice-president. Each member of the board shall be reimbursed as provided for in subsection (f) of Code Section 43-1-2. (b) The board shall hold two regular meetings each year, one in May or June and one in October. Called meetings may be held at the discretion of the president. The board shall adopt a seal, which must be affixed to all licenses issued by the board. (c) The board shall from time to time adopt such rules and regulations as it may deem necessary for the performance of its duties and shall examine and pass upon the qualifications of applicants for the practice of medicine. 43-34-24.1. (a) The board shall not be under the jurisdiction of the joint-secretary or the Secretary of State but shall be an independent state agency attached to the Department of Community Health for administrative purposes only, as provided in Code Section 50-4-3, except that such department shall prepare and submit the budget for the board. The board shall not be a state examining board but shall have with respect to all matters within the jurisdiction of the Composite State Board of Medical Examiners as provided under this chapter the powers, duties, and functions of such examining boards as provided in Chapter 1 of this title. (b) The board shall appoint and fix the compensation of an executive director of such board who shall serve at the pleasure of the board. Any reference in this chapter to the executive director shall mean the executive director appointed pursuant to this subsection. The executive director shall have, with respect to the board, the same powers, duties, and functions granted to the joint-secretary with respect to state examining boards under Chapter 1 of this title but without being subject to any approval or other powers exercised by the Secretary of State with regard to state examining boards. (c) Meetings and hearings of the board shall be held at the site of the office of the board or at such other site as may be specified by the president of the board. A majority of the members of the board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business of the board. (d) Licenses issued by the board which are subject to renewal shall be valid for up to two years and shall be renewable biennially on the renewal date established by the board. (e) The board, through the executive director, may hire investigators for the purpose of conducting investigations for the board and those persons shall be designated as investigators and have the powers, duties, and status of investigators for state examining boards under Code Section 43-1-5.

Page 309

(f) The venue of any action involving members of the board shall be governed by the laws of this state relating to venue. The executive director of the board shall not be considered a member of the board in determining the venue of any such action and no court shall have jurisdiction of any such action solely by virtue of the executive director residing or maintaining a residence within its jurisdiction. (g) The board shall give point credit to veterans in the same manner as required for state examining boards under Code Sections 43-1-9 through 43-1-13. (h) Persons appointed to the board shall be subject to Senate confirmation as provided in Code Section 43-1-16 and subject to removal as provided in Code Section 43-1-17. (i) Initial judicial review of a final decision of the board shall be had solely in the superior court of the county of domicile of the board. (j) The board, through the executive director, shall hire such personnel as it deems necessary to carry out its functions under this chapter and may appoint professionally qualified persons to serve as members of peer review committees; provided, however, that no licensing, investigative, or disciplinary duties or functions of the board may be delegated to any medical association or related entity by contract or otherwise. (k) The board shall make a report no later than December 31 of each year covering the activities of the board for that calendar year, which report shall be submitted to the commissioner of community health, and shall be made available to any member of the General Assembly upon request. SECTION 14 . Code Section 44-5-149 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to creation of the Advisory Board on Anatomical Gift Procurement, is amended by striking subparagraphs (a)(1)(H) and (a)(1)(J) and inserting in their place the following: (H) One representative of the Department of Community Health; (I) Reserved; and. SECTION 15 . Article 1 of Chapter 18 of Title 45 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to state employees' health insurance, is amended by striking paragraph (1) of Code Section 45-18-1, relating to definitions, and inserting in its place the following: (1) `Board' means the Board of Community Health established under Chapter 5A of Title 31.

Page 310

(1.1) `Commissioner' means the commissioner of community health. SECTION 16 . Chapter 4 of Title 49 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to social services, is amended by striking and reserving Article 6 thereof, The Medical Assistance for the Aged Act. SECTION 17 . Title 49 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to social services, is amended by striking Code Section 49-4-141, relating to definitions regarding medical assistance, and inserting in its place the following: 49-4-141. As used in this article, the term: (1) `Applicant for medical assistance' means a person who has made application for certification as being eligible, generally, to have medical assistance paid in his or her behalf pursuant to the state plan and whose application has not been acted upon favorably. (2) `Board' means the Board of Community Health established under Chapter 5A of Title 31. (3) `Commissioner' means the commissioner of the department. (4) `Department' means the Department of Community Health established under Chapter 5A of Title 31. (5) `Medical assistance' means payment to a provider of a part or all of the cost of certain items of medical or remedial care or service rendered by the provider to a recipient of medical assistance, provided such items are rendered and received in accordance with such provisions of Title XIX of the federal Social Security Act of 1935, as amended, regulations promulgated pursuant thereto by the secretary of health and human services, all applicable laws of this state, the state plan, and regulations of the department which are in effect on the date on which the items are rendered. (6) `Provider of medical assistance' means a person or institution, public or private, which possesses all licenses, permits, certificates, approvals, registrations, charters, and other forms of permission issued by entities other than the department, which forms of permission are required by law either to render care or to receive medical assistance in which federal financial participation is available and which meets the further requirements for participation prescribed by the department and which is enrolled, in the manner and according to the terms prescribed by the department, to participate in the state plan.

Page 311

(7) `Recipient of medical assistance' means a person who has been certified eligible, pursuant to the state plan, to have medical assistance paid in his or her behalf. (8) `State plan' means all documentation submitted by the commissioner in behalf of the department to and for approval by the secretary of health and human services, pursuant to Title XIX of the federal Social Security Act, as amended (Act of July 30, 1965, P.L. 89-97, Stat. 343, as amended). (9) `Third party' means an individual, institution, corporation, or public or private agency, other than the department, that is legally liable to pay all or any part of the medical costs incurred by a recipient of medical assistance on account of any sickness, injury, disease, or disability to such a recipient. SECTION 18 . Said title is further amended by striking subsection (a) of Code Section 49-4-142, relating to the creation of the Department of Medical Assistance, and inserting in its place the following: (a) The Department of Community Health established under Chapter 5A of Title 31 is authorized to adopt and administer a state plan for medical assistance in accordance with Title XIX of the federal Social Security Act, as amended (Act of July 30, 1965, P.L. 89-97, 79 Stat. 343, as amended), provided such state plan is administered within the appropriations made available to the department. The department is authorized to establish the amount, duration, scope, and terms and conditions of eligibility for and receipt of such medical assistance as it may elect to authorize pursuant to this article. Further, the department is authorized to establish such rules and regulations as may be necessary or desirable in order to execute the state plan and to receive the maximum amount of federal financial participation available in expenditures made pursuant to the state plan; provided, however, the department shall establish reasonable procedures for notice to interested parties and an opportunity to be heard prior to the adoption, amendment, or repeal of any such rule or regulation. The department is authorized to enter into such reciprocal and cooperative arrangements with other states, persons, and institutions, public and private, as it may deem necessary or desirable in order to execute the state plan. SECTION 19 . Said title is further amended by striking Code Section 49-4-143, relating to the creation of the Board of Medical Assistance, and Code Section 49-4-144, relating to the creation of the position of commissioner of medical assistance, and inserting in their respective places the following: 49-4-143. The Board of Community Health established under Chapter 5A of Title 31 is empowered to establish the general policy to be followed by the

Page 312

department. The Board of Medical Assistance which existed June 30, 1999, is abolished July 1, 1999, and no person shall be appointed to such board on or after July 1, 1999. 49-4-144. The commissioner of community health established under Chapter 5A of Title 31 shall be the chief administrative officer of the department and, subject to the general policy established by the board, shall supervise, direct, account for, organize, plan, administer, and execute the functions vested in the department. SECTION 20 . Said title is further amended by striking Code Section 49-4-155, relating to successors to certain rules, and Code Section 49-4-156, relating to rights under existing transactions, and inserting in their places the following: 49-4-155. The Department of Community Health shall succeed to all the rules, regulations, policies, procedures, and administrative orders of the Department of Human Resources transferred to the Department of Medical Assistance pursuant to the previously existing provisions of this Code section and that are in effect on June 30, 1999, and shall further succeed to any rights, privileges, entitlements, obligations, and duties of the Department of Human Resources that are in effect on June 30, 1999, to which the Department of Medical Assistance succeeded pursuant to the previously existing provisions of Code Section 49-4-156. 49-4-156. Reserved. SECTION 21 . Said title is further amended by striking paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 49-10-1, relating to membership of the Georgia Board for Physician Workforce, and inserting in its place the following: (a)(1) The Joint Board of Family Practice which existed on January 1, 1998, is continued in existence but on and after July 1, 1998, shall become and be known as the Georgia Board for Physician Workforce. The Georgia Board for Physician Workforce, referred to in this chapter as the `board,' shall be attached to the Department of Community Health for administrative purposes only, as defined by Code Section 50-4-3, except that such department shall prepare and submit the budget for that board in concurrence with that board. SECTION 22 . The Official Code of Georgia Annotated is amended by striking from each of the following Code sections the term Health Planning Agency

Page 313

wherever it appears and inserting Department of Community Health; by striking the term planning agency wherever it appears and inserting department; by striking the term the agency wherever it appears and inserting the department; by striking the term The agency wherever it appears and inserting The department; by striking the term planning agency's wherever it appears and inserting department's; by striking the term agency's wherever it appears and inserting department's; by striking the term final agency decision wherever it appears and inserting final department decision; and by striking the term successor agency wherever it appears and inserting successor department: (1) Code Section 31-6-2, relating to planning agency definitions; (2) Code Section 31-6-20, except for subsections (g), (h), and (i), relating to Health Strategies Council generally; (3) Subsection (b) of Code Section 31-6-21, relating to the Health Planning Agency creation; (4) Code Section 31-6-21.1, relating to rules of the Health Planning Agency; (5) Code Section 31-6-40, relating to certificate of need requirement; (6) Code Section 31-6-40.1, relating to health care facility acquisition; (7) Code Section 31-6-40.2, relating to new perinatal services; (8) Code Section 31-6-41, relating to certificate of need scope; (9) Code Section 31-6-42, relating to qualifications for certificate of need; (10) Code Section 31-6-43, relating to certificate of need applications; (11) Code Section 31-6-44, relating to Health Planning Review Board; (12) Code Section 31-6-45, relating to certificate of need revocation; (13) Code Section 31-6-45.1, relating to automatic certificate of need revocation; (14) Code Section 31-6-45.2, relating to termination of medical assistance participation; (15) Code Section 31-6-46, relating to annual reports; (16) Code Section 31-6-47, relating to chapter exemptions; (17) Code Section 31-6-50, relating to capital expenditures review; (18) Code Section 31-6-70, relating to hospital reports; (19) Code Section 31-7-155, relating to home health agency certificate of need;

Page 314

(20) Code Section 31-7-282, relating to health data collection; (21) Code Section 31-16-7, relating to kidney dialyzer reuse; (22) Code Section 33-45-3, relating to continuing care provider certificates of authority; (23) Code Section 43-1B-6, relating to patient self-referral regulation; (24) Code Section 43-34-27, relating to licenses to practice medicine; (25) Code Section 50-13-9.1, relating to rule waivers; (26) Code Section 50-13-42, relating to article applicability; and (27) Code Section 50-26-19, relating to health care facility financing. SECTION 23 . Article 1 of Chapter 18 of Title 45 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to state employees' health insurance, is amended by striking from each of the following Code sections the terms commissioner of personnel administration, State Personnel Board, and State Merit System of Personnel Administration wherever they appear and inserting in their respective places commissioner of community health, Board of Community Health, and Department of Community Health: (1) Code Section 45-18-12, relating to health insurance fund creation; (2) Code Section 45-18-13, relating to deposits from the health insurance fund; (3) Code Section 45-18-15, relating to rules for the article's administration; (4) Code Section 45-18-16, relating to certification to departments; and (5) Code Section 45-18-18, relating to discharge of certain debts. SECTION 24 . The Official Code of Georgia Annotated is amended by striking from the following Code sections the term Department of Medical Assistance wherever it occurs and inserting in its place Department of Community Health, by striking the term Department of Medical Assistance's wherever it occurs and inserting in its place Department of Community Health's, by striking the term Board of Medical Assistance wherever it occurs and inserting in its place Board of Community Health, and by striking the term commissioner of medical assistance wherever it occurs and inserting in its place commissioner of community health: (1) Code Section 9-2-21, relating to parties to tort actions; (2) Code Section 15-21-143, relating to members of the Brain and Spinal Injury Trust Fund Authority;

Page 315

(3) Code Section 19-11-27, relating to accident and sickness insurance coverage for children; (4) Code Section 20-2-133, relating to free public education; (5) Code Section 31-2-6, relating to actions against persons regulated by the Department of Human Resources; (6) Code Section 31-6-45.2, relating to termination of medical assistance participation; (7) Code Section 31-6-47, relating to exemptions from the chapter; (8) Code Section 31-7-75, relating to hospital authority powers; (9) Code Section 31-7-282, relating to health care data collection; (10) Code Section 31-8-106, relating to information provided to longterm care facility residents; (11) Code Section 31-8-155, relating to transfers to a trust fund; (12) Code Section 33-21-29, relating to point-of-service options; (13) Code Section 33-24-56.1, relating to reimbursement of medical expenses; (14) Code Section 42-5-2, relating to government responsibility regarding inmates; (15) Code Section 42-5-54, relating to inmate medical insurance information; (16) Code Section 43-27-2, relating to creation of the State Board of Nursing Home Administrators; (17) Code Section 43-27-5, relating to general powers of the State Board of Nursing Home Administrators; (18) Code Section 49-2-11, relating to acceptance of federal funds; (19) Code Section 49-4-6, relating to income disregarded for eligibility; (20) Code Section 49-4-146, relating to time for actions on claims; (21) Code Section 49-4-146.3, relating to forfeiture of property for Medicaid fraud; (22) Code Section 49-4-147, relating to medical assistance liens; (23) Code Section 49-4-147.2, relating to liability for interest; (24) Code Section 49-4-148, relating to recovery against third parties; (25) Code Section 49-4-149, relating to department liens; (26) Code Section 49-4-149.1, relating to family supplementation;

Page 316

(27) Code Section 49-4-150, relating to maintenance of records; (28) Code Section 49-4-151, relating to obtaining information; (29) Code Section 49-4-152, relating to research projects; (30) Code Section 49-4-153, relating to administrative hearings; (31) Code Section 49-4-156.1, relating to reimbursement for certain community care; (32) Code Section 49-4-157, relating to statutory construction; (33) Code Section 49-5-253, relating to creation of the Georgia Policy Council for Children and Families; and (34) Code Section 49-5-272, relating to PeachCare for Kids definitions. SECTION 25 . Chapter 34 of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to license to practice medicine, is amended by striking from the following Code sections wherever it appears the term joint-secretary and inserting in its place executive director: (1) Code Section 43-34-21, relating to creation of the Composite State Board of Medical Examiners; (2) Code Section 43-34-27, relating to licensing requirements to practice medicine; (3) Code Section 43-34-32, relating to temporary licenses; (4) Code Section 43-34-35, relating to issuance of licenses; (5) Code Section 43-34-36, relating to recording licenses; (6) Code Section 43-34-37, relating to investigations; and (7) Code Section 43-34-39, relating to orders revoking a license. SECTION 26 . Part 6 of Article 17 of Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to school health insurance plans, is amended by striking from the following Code sections the term `Board' means the State Personnel Board wherever it appears and inserting in its place `Board' means the Board of Community Health established under Chapter 5A of Title 31, by striking the term `Commissioner' means the commissioner of personnel administration wherever it appears and inserting in its place `Commissioner' means the commissioner of community health established under Chapter 5A of Title 31, and by striking the term commissioner of personnel administration wherever it appears and inserting in its place commissioner of community health:

Page 317

(1) Code Section 20-2-880, relating to definitions regarding health insurance for school teachers; (2) Code Section 20-2-896, relating to administrative discharge of debts regarding health insurance for school teachers; (3) Code Section 20-2-910, relating to definitions regarding health insurance for public school employees; and (4) Code Section 20-2-924, relating to administrative discharge of debts regarding health insurance for public school employees. SECTION 27 . This Act shall become effective on July 1, 1999, except that Sections 12, 13, and 25 of this Act and any other provisions of this Act relating to the transfer of the Composite State Board of Medical Examiners from the jurisdiction of the Secretary of State shall not become effective upon July 1, 1999, if the Governor by executive order issued before that date determines such transfer to be impracticable on that date, in which event those sections and provisions shall become effective upon the effective date specified in that executive order but no later than July 1, 2000. SECTION 28 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 19, 1999. INSURANCEHEALTH INSURANCE; CONTRACEPTIVES; COVERAGE. Code Section 33-24-59.1 Enacted. No. 269 (House Bill No. 374). AN ACT To amend Article 1 of Chapter 24 of Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to insurance generally, so as to provide for legislative findings; to require health insurers to provide coverage for any prescription drug or device approved for use as a contraceptive; to provide for definitions; to provide for terms and conditions of such coverage; to prohibit certain constructions; to provide for regulations and notice to policyholders; to provide for applicability; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . Article 1 of Chapter 24 of Title 33, relating to insurance generally, is amended by inserting a new Code section to be designated Code Section 33-24-59.1 to read as follows:

Page 318

33-24-59.1. (a) The General Assembly finds and declares that: (1) Maternal and infant health are greatly improved when women have access to contraceptive supplies to prevent unintended pregnancies; (2) Because many Americans hope to complete their families with two or three children, many women spend the majority of their reproductive lives trying to prevent pregnancy; (3) Research has shown that 49 percent of all large group insurance plans do not routinely provide coverage for contraceptive drugs and devices. While virtually all health care plans cover prescription drugs generally, the absence of prescription contraceptive coverage is largely responsible for the fact that women spend 68 percent more in out-of-pocket expenses for health care than men; and (4) Requiring insurance coverage for prescription drugs and devices for contraception is in the public interest in improving the health of mothers, children, and families and in providing for health insurance coverage which is fairer and more equitable. (b) As used in this Code section, the term: (1) `Health benefit policy' means any individual or group plan, policy, or contract for health care services issued, delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed in this state, including those contracts executed by the State of Georgia on behalf of state employees under Article 1 of Chapter 18 of Title 45 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, by a health care corporation, health maintenance organization, preferred provider organization, accident and sickness insurer, fraternal benefit society, hospital service corporation, medical service corporation, provider sponsored health care corporation, or other insurer or similar entity. (2) `Insurer' means an accident and sickness insurer, fraternal benefit society, hospital service corporation, medical service corporation, health care corporation, health maintenance organization, or any similar entity authorized to issue contracts under this title. (c) Every health benefit policy that is delivered, issued, executed, or renewed in this state or approved for issuance or renewal in this state by the Commissioner on or after July 1, 1999, which provides coverage for prescription drugs on an outpatient basis shall provide coverage for any prescribed drug or device approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for use as a contraceptive. This Code section shall not apply to limited benefit policies described in paragraph (4) of subsection (e) of Code Section 33-30-12. Likewise, nothing contained in this Act

Page 319

shall be construed to require any insurance company to provide coverage for abortion. (d) No insurer shall impose upon any person receiving prescription contraceptive benefits pursuant to this Code section any: (1) Copayment, coinsurance payment, or fee that is not equally imposed upon all individuals in the same benefit category, class, coinsurance level or copayment level, receiving benefits for prescription drugs; or (2) Reduction in allowable reimbursement for prescription drug benefits. (e) This Code section shall not be construed to: (1) Require coverage for prescription coverage benefits in any contract, policy, or plan that does not otherwise provide coverage for prescription drugs; (2) Preclude the use of closed formularies, provided, however, that such formularies shall include oral, implant, and injectable contraceptive drugs, intrauterine devices, and prescription barrier methods. SECTION 2 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 19, 1999. INSURANCEBREAST CANCER PATIENT CARE ACT; HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE; NOTICES. Code Title 33, Chapter 24, Article 3 Enacted. No. 270 (House Bill No. 604). 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 a short title; to provide for legislative findings; to provide definitions; to require health insurers to provide coverage for periods of inpatient care following a mastectomy or lymph node dissection; to provide for coverage by insurers of postmastectomy and postlymph node dissectomy care; to provide for notice to policyholders; 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 24 of Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to insurance generally, is amended by adding at the end a new article to read as follows:

Page 320

ARTICLE 3 33-24-70. This article shall be known and may be cited as the `Breast Cancer Patient Care Act.' 33-24-71. The General Assembly finds and declares that: (1) Whereas, until recently health care insurers covered costs of hospital stays of a patient who had undergone a mastectomy or lymph node dissection until that patient was discharged by a physician. Now some insurers are making mastectomies and lymph node dissections an outpatient procedure and refusing to pay for any hospital inpatient care following the procedure; (2) There is sufficient scientific data to question the safety and appropriateness of such treatment of breast cancer patients; and (3) The length of postmastectomy or postlymph node dissection inpatient stay should be a clinical decision made by a physician in agreement with the patient based on the unique characteristics of the patient and the surgery involved. 33-24-72. (a) As used in this Code section, the term: (1) `Attending physician' means any surgeon or other physician attending the breast cancer patient. (2) `Health benefit policy' means any individual or group plan, policy, or contract for health care services issued, delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed in this state, including, but not limited to, those contracts executed by the State of Georgia on behalf of indigents and on behalf of state employees under Article 1 of Chapter 18 of Title 45, by a health care corporation, health maintenance organization, preferred provider organization, accident and sickness insurer, fraternal benefit society, hospital service corporation, medical service corporation, or other insurer or similar entity; except that such term does not include any policy of limited benefit insurance as defined in paragraph (4) of subsection (e) of Code Section 33-30-12. (3) `Insurer' means an accident and sickness insurer, fraternal benefit society, hospital service corporation, medical service corporation, health care corporation, health maintenance organization, managed care plan other than a dental plan, or any similar entity authorized to issue contracts under this title and also means any state program funded under Title XIX of the federal Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C.A.

Page 321

Section 1396 et seq., and any other publicly funded state health care program. (4) `Lymph node dissection' means the removal or a part of the lymph node system under the arm using general anesthesia as part of a diagnostic process that is used to evaluate the spread of cancer and to determine the need for further treatment. (5) `Mastectomy' means surgical removal of one or both breasts. (b) Every health benefit policy that provides surgical benefits for mastectomies that is delivered, issued, executed, or renewed in this state or approved for issuance or renewal in this state by the Commissioner on or after July 1, 1999, shall provide coverage in a licensed health care facility for inpatient care following a mastectomy or lymph node dissection until the completion of the appropriate period of stay for such inpatient care as determined by the attending physician in consultation with the patient. Coverage shall be provided also for such number of follow-up visits as determined to be appropriate by the attending physician after consultation with the patient. Such follow-up visits shall be conducted by a physician, a physician's assistant, or a registered professional nurse with experience and training in postsurgical care. In consultation with the patient, such attending physician, physician's assistant, or registered professional nurse shall determine whether any follow-up visit or visits will be conducted at home or at the office. (c) Every insurer shall provide notice to policyholders regarding the coverage required by this Code section. The notice shall be in writing and prominently positioned in any of the following literature: (1) The next mailing to the policyholder; (2) The yearly informational packets sent to the policyholder; or (3) Other literature mailed before January 1, 2000. (d) No insurer covered under this Code section shall deselect, terminate the services of, require additional utilization review, reduce capitation payment, or otherwise penalize an attending physician or other health care provider who orders care consistent with the provisions of this Code section. For purposes of this subsection, health care provider shall include the attending physician and hospital. SECTION 2 . This Act shall become effective on July 1, 1999. SECTION 3 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 19, 1999.

Page 322

STATE GOVERNMENTELECTRONIC COMMERCE STUDY COMMITTEE; RECREATION; SUNSET. Code Section 50-29-12 Amended. No. 271 (Senate Bill No. 61). AN ACT To amend Code Section 50-29-12 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to electronic signature pilot projects, so as to recreate the Electronic Commerce Study Committee and provide for its membership, organization, terms of office, vacancies, meetings, powers, and reports; to provide for allowances and expenses; to provide for an effective date; to provide for termination of the Electronic Commerce Study Committee and the repeal of laws relating thereto; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . Code Section 50-29-12 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to electronic signature pilot projects, is amended by striking subsection (d) thereof and inserting in its place the following: (d) There is created the Electronic Commerce Study Committee to be composed of 13 members. The committee shall study the issues relating to electronic records and signatures. The President of the Senate shall appoint five members to the committee, three of whom shall be members of the Senate and two of whom shall be citizen members with recognized interest and expertise in electronic commerce. The Speaker of the House of Representatives shall appoint five members to the committee, three of whom shall be members of such House and two of whom shall be citizen members with recognized interest and expertise in electronic commerce. The members of the committee shall serve for terms of office beginning at the time of their appointment and expiring December 31 of each even-numbered year. Vacancies occurring on the committee shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment to serve out the remaining unexpired term of office. The President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives shall also each designate from among their legislator appointees one cochair of the committee to serve as cochair during their terms of office as a member of the committee. The GeorgiaNet Authority shall appoint one member to the committee. The Georgia Information Technology Policy Council shall appoint one member to the committee. The Secretary of State shall appoint one member to the committee. The committee, upon the call of either cochair, is authorized to conduct meetings at such places and at such times as it considers expedient and to do all other things which are necessary or convenient to enable it to fully and

Page 323

adequately exercise its powers, perform its duties, and accomplish its objectives and purposes. Members of the committee who are state officials, other than legislative members, and state employees shall receive no compensation for their services on the committee, but they shall be reimbursed for expenses incurred by them in the performance of their duties as members of the committee. 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. The committee shall make a report of its findings and recommendations, with suggestions for proposed legislation, if any, on or before December 15 of each year. The Electronic Commerce Study Committee created in this subsection shall be terminated on December 31, 2000, and this subsection shall be repealed in its entirety on December 31, 2000. SECTION 2 . This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval. SECTION 3 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 19, 1999. COMMERCE AND TRADEGEORGIA ELECTRONIC RECORDS AND SIGNATURES ACT; DEFINITIONS; LEGAL EFFECT; VALIDITY; ADMISSIBILITY; FRAUD; BURDEN OF PROOF. Code Sections 10-12-3 and 10-12-4 Amended. No. 272 (Senate Bill No. 62). AN ACT To amend Chapter 12 of Title 10 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, the Georgia Electronic Records and Signatures Act, so as to change the provisions relating to definitions; to provide for the legal effect, validity, and admissibility of electronic records, electronic signatures, and secure electronic signatures; to provide for contesting an electronic record or signature on the basis of fraud; to provide for compliance with rules of evidence requiring authentication or identification of a record or signature; to provide for burden of proof; to provide for exceptions; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . Chapter 12 of Title 10 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, the Georgia Electronic Records and Signatures Act, is amended by striking Code Sections 10-12-3 and 10-12-4, which read as follows:

Page 324

10-12-3. As used in this chapter the term: (1) `Electronic signature' means an electronic or digital method executed or adopted by a party with the intent to be bound by or to authenticate a record, which is unique to the person using it, is capable of verification, is under the sole control of the person using it, and is linked to data in such a manner that if the data are changed the electronic signature is invalidated. (1.1) `Person' means a natural person, corporation, trust, partnership, incorporated or unincorporated association, or any other legal entity, and also includes any department, agency, authority, or instrumentality of the state or its political subdivisions. (2) `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. `Record' includes both electronic records and printed, typewritten, and tangible records. 10-12-4. Any person may, but shall not be required to, accept or agree to be bound by an electronic record which is executed or adopted with an electronic signature and, where that acceptance or agreement is otherwise required to be witnessed or notarized, which is witnessed or notarized using an electronic signature. Where a person or other entity accepts or agrees to be bound by an electronic record as provided in this Code section, then: (1) Any rule of law which requires a record of that type to be in writing shall be deemed satisfied; (2) Any rule of law which requires a signature shall be deemed satisfied; and (3) Any rule of law which requires a witness or notary shall be deemed satisfied by the electronic signature of such witness or notary., and inserting in their place the following: 10-12-3. As used in this chapter the term: (1) `Electronic' means, without limitation, analog, digital, electronic, magnetic, mechanical, optical, chemical, electromagnetic, electromechanical, electrochemical, or other similar means. (2) `Electronic record' means information created, transmitted, received, or stored by electronic means and retrievable in human perceivable form.

Page 325

(3) `Electronic signature' means a signature created, transmitted, received, or stored by electronic means and includes but is not limited to a secure electronic signature. (4) `Person' means a natural person, corporation, trust, partnership, incorporated or unincorporated association, or any other legal entity, and also includes any department, agency, authority, or instrumentality of the state or its political subdivisions. (5) `Record' means information created, transmitted, received, or stored either in human perceivable form or in a form that is retrievable in human perceivable form. (6) `Secure electronic signature' means an electronic or digital method executed or adopted by a party with the intent to be bound by or to authenticate a record, which is unique to the person using it, is capable of verification, is under the sole control of the person using it, and is linked to data in such a manner that if the data are changed the electronic signature is invalidated. (7) `Signature' means any symbol or method that a person causes to be attached to or logically associated with a record with the intent to sign such record. 10-12-4. (a) Records and signatures shall not be denied legal effect or validity solely on the grounds that they are electronic. (b) In any legal proceeding, an electronic record or electronic signature shall not be inadmissible as evidence solely on the basis that it is electronic. (c) When a rule of law requires a writing, an electronic record satisfies that rule of law. (d) When a rule of law requires a signature, an electronic signature satisfies that rule of law. (e) When a rule of law requires an original record or signature, an electronic record or electronic signature shall satisfy such rule of law. (f) Nothing in this Code section shall prevent a party from contesting an electronic record or signature on the basis of fraud. (g) Nothing in this Code section shall relieve any party to a legal proceeding from complying with applicable rules of evidence requiring authentication or identification of a record or signature as a condition precedent to its admission into evidence. (h) Where the authenticity or the integrity of an electronic record or signature is challenged in a court of law, the proponent of the electronic

Page 326

record or signature shall have the burden of proving that the electronic record or signature is authentic. (i) Notwithstanding the preceding subsections of this Code section, the legal validity, effect, and admissibility of electronic records and electronic signatures shall be limited as follows: (1) Each department, agency, authority, or instrumentality of the state or its political subdivisions shall determine how and the extent to which it will create, send, receive, store, recognize, accept, be bound by, or otherwise use electronic records or electronic signatures. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require any department, agency, authority, or instrumentality of the state or its political subdivisions to create, send, receive, store, recognize, accept, be bound by, or otherwise use electronic records or electronic signatures; (2) A consumer shall not be required to create, send, receive, recognize, accept, be bound by, or otherwise use electronic records or electronic signatures without such consumer's consent. This paragraph shall apply to natural persons when engaged in transactions involving money, property, or services primarily used for household purposes; and (3) The provisions of this Code section shall not apply to any rule of law governing the creation or execution of a will or testamentary or donative trust, living will, or health care power of attorney, or to any record that serves as a unique and transferable physical token of rights and obligations, including, without limitation, negotiable instruments and instruments of title wherein possession of the instrument is deemed to confer title. (j) Any rule of law which requires a notary shall be deemed satisfied by the secure electronic signature of such notary. SECTION 2 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 19, 1999. EDUCATIONLIABILITY INSURANCE FOR LOCAL SCHOOL OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES; INCLUSION OF NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS WITHIN COVERAGE. Code Section 20-2-991.1 Enacted. No. 273 (Senate Bill No. 192). AN ACT To amend Article 18 of Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to liability insurance for state and local school

Page 327

officials and employees, so as to authorize local school boards to include provisions insuring certain nonprofit volunteer organizations and their members in insurance policies and indemnity contracts purchased for school officials and employees; to impose certain restrictions; to provide for an effective date and applicability; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . Article 18 of Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to liability insurance for state and local school officials and employees, is amended by adding a new Code section, to be designated as Code Section 20-2-991.1, to read as follows: 20-2-991.1. A policy of liability insurance or contract of indemnity purchased pursuant to Code Section 20-2-991 by a board of education of a county, city, or independent school system may, in the board's discretion, include provisions insuring nonprofit organizations, their members, and school volunteers against damages arising out of the performance of volunteer duties in support of the educational purposes of the school system, when such duties are authorized by the board or its designee; provided, however, that the inclusion of such provisions relating to nonprofit organizations and their members (1) has no effect whatsoever on the cost of the policy or contract so purchased either at its initial purchase or upon renewal and (2) does not require the expenditure of state, county, federal, or local funds for the administration of such provisions. SECTION 2 . This Act shall become effective on July 1, 1999, and shall apply to policies and contracts that are entered into or renewed on or after that date. SECTION 3 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 19, 1999. INSURANCEMANAGED HEALTH CARE PLANS; ATHLETIC TRAINERS AS HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS; REIMBURSEMENT. Code Section 33-20A-3 Amended. Code Section 33-24-27.2 Enacted. No. 274 (House Bill No. 93). AN ACT To amend Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to insurance, so as to include athletic trainers within the definition of health

Page 328

care providers for purposes of managed health care plans; to provide for reimbursement under insurance policies for services within the scope of practice of athletic trainers; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to insurance, is amended by striking paragraph (3) of Code Section 33-20A-3, relating to definitions relative to managed health care plans, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (3) `Health care provider' or `provider' means any physician, dentist, podiatrist, pharmacist, optometrist, psychologist, clinical social worker, advance practice nurse, registered optician, licensed professional counselor, physical therapist, marriage and family therapist, chiropractor, athletic trainer qualified pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (a) of Code Section 43-5-8, occupational therapist, speech language pathologist, audiologist, dietitian, or physician's assistant. SECTION 2 . Said title is further amended by adding a new Code Section 33-24-27.2 to read as follows: 33-24-27.2. (a) Notwithstanding any provisions in policies or contracts which might be construed to the contrary, from and after July 1, 1999, all individual, group, or blanket policies of accident and sickness insurance and individual or group service or indemnity contracts issued by nonprofit corporations or by health care corporations which are issued, delivered, issued for delivery, amended, or renewed in this state and which provide coverage for services which are within the lawful scope of practice of an athletic trainer qualified pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (a) of Code Section 43-5-8 shall be deemed to provide that any person covered under such policies or contracts shall be entitled to receive reimbursement for services under such policies or contracts regardless of whether such services are rendered by a duly licensed doctor of medicine or by an athletic trainer qualified pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (a) of Code Section 43-5-8. Nothing contained herein shall require an insurance to offer such coverage. (b) This Code section shall not be construed so as to impair the obligation of any policy or contract which is in existence prior to July 1, 1999. SECTION 3 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 19, 1999.

Page 329

DOMESTIC RELATIONSSECURITIES SALESPERSONS AND INVESTMENT ADVISER REPRESENTATIVES; DENIAL OR REVOCATION OF REGISTRATION; CHILD SUPPORT ORDERS; GUARANTEED EDUCATIONAL LOANS; DEFAULT; CHILD CUSTODY; FAMILY VIOLENCE. Code Sections 10-5-4, 19-6-28.1, 19-9-1, 19-9-3, 19-11-9.3, and 20-3-295 Amended. No. 275 (House Bill No. 230). AN ACT To amend Chapter 5 of Title 10 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, the Georgia Securities Act of 1973, Chapters 6, 9, and 11 of Title 19 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to alimony and child support generally, child custody, and enforcement of the duty to support, respectively, and Code Section 20-3-295, relating to certified lists of borrowers in default, administrative hearings, and appeals, so as to authorize the denial, suspension, denial of the renewal of, or revocation of the registration of a securities salesperson or investment adviser representative upon notice that an applicant for or a holder of such a registration is not in compliance with an order for child support or is a borrower of a guaranteed educational loan under the Georgia Higher Education Loan program who is in default and has not made satisfactory arrangements to ensure voluntary repayment; to provide for hearings and appeals; to provide that in child custody proceedings a court shall not refuse to consider otherwise admissible evidence of acts of family violence merely because there has been no previous finding of family violence; to authorize ordering supervised visitation; 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 5 of Title 10 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, the Georgia Securities Act of 1973, is amended in Code Section 10-5-4, relating to denial, suspension, or revocation of the registration of a dealer, salesperson, investment adviser, or investment adviser representative, by inserting two new subsections to be designated subsections (e) and (f) to read as follows: (e) The commissioner, by order, may deny, suspend, deny renewal of, or revoke the registration of a salesperson or investment adviser representative upon notice to the commissioner by either a court of competent jurisdiction or the child support agency within the Department of Human Resources that the applicant for or holder of such a registration

Page 330

is not in compliance with an order for child support as defined in Code Section 19-6-28.1 or Code Section 19-11-9.3. Notwithstanding the provisions of Code Section 10-5-16, the hearings and appeals procedures provided in Code Section 19-6-28.1 or Code Section 19-11-9.3, where applicable, shall be the only such procedures required under this subsection. (f) The commissioner, by order, may deny, suspend, deny renewal of, or revoke the registration of a salesperson or investment adviser representative upon notice to the commissioner by the Georgia Higher Education Assistance Corporation that the applicant for or holder of either such license is a borrower in default who is not in satisfactory repayment status as defined in Code Section 20-3-295. Notwithstanding the provisions of Code Section 10-5-16, the hearings and appeals procedures provided in Code Section 20-3-295, where applicable, shall be the only such procedures required under this subsection. SECTION 2 . Chapter 6 of Title 19 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to alimony and child support generally, is amended in Code Section 19-6-28.1, relating to the suspension of or denial of an application for or renewal of a license for noncompliance with a child support order, by striking in its entirety paragraph (2) of subsection (a) and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (2) `Licensing entity' means any state agency, department, or board of this state which issues or renews any license, certificate, permit, or registration to authorize a person to drive a motor vehicle, to hunt or fish, or to engage in a profession, business, or occupation including those under Article 3 of Chapter 7 of Title 2, the `Georgia Pesticide Use and Application Act of 1976'; Article 13 of Chapter 1 of Title 7, relating to mortgage lenders and mortgage brokers; Chapter 5 of Title 10, the `Georgia Securities Act of 1973,' relating to securities salespersons and investment adviser representatives; Part 2 of Article 1 of Chapter 6 of Title 12, relating to forresters; Chapter 4 of Title 26, relating to pharmacists; Chapter 23 of Title 33, relating to insurance agents, counselors, and other personnel; Chapter 1 of Title 43, relating to professions and businesses; Chapter 39A of Title 43, relating to real estate appraisers; or Chapter 40 of Title 43, relating to real estate brokers and salespersons. SECTION 3 . Chapter 9 of Title 19 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to child custody, is amended in Code Section 19-9-1, relating to determination of child custody, by striking paragraph (2) of subsection (a) and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Page 331

(2) In addition to other factors that a court may consider in a proceeding in which the custody of a child or visitation by a parent is at issue and in which the court has made a finding of family violence: (A) The court shall consider as primary the safety and well-being of the child and of the parent who is the victim of family violence; (B) The court shall consider the perpetrator's history of causing physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or causing reasonable fear of physical harm, bodily injury, or assault to another person; (C) If a parent is absent or relocates because of an act of domestic violence by the other parent, such absence or relocation for a reasonable period of time in the circumstances shall not be deemed an abandonment of the child or children for the purposes of custody determination; and (D) The court shall not refuse to consider relevant or otherwise admissible evidence of acts of family violence merely because there has been no previous finding of family violence. The court may, in addition to other appropriate actions, order supervised visitation pursuant to Code Section 19-9-7. SECTION 4 . Said chapter is further amended in Code Section 19-9-3, relating to determination of child custody, by striking paragraph (3) of subsection (a) and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (3) In addition to other factors that a court may consider in a proceeding in which the custody of a child or visitation by a parent is at issue and in which the court has made a finding of family violence: (A) The court shall consider as primary the safety and well-being of the child and of the parent who is the victim of family violence; (B) The court shall consider the perpetrator's history of causing physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or causing reasonable fear of physical harm, bodily injury, or assault to another person; (C) If a parent is absent or relocates because of an act of domestic violence by the other parent, such absence or relocation for a reasonable period of time in the circumstances shall not be deemed an abandonment of the child or children for the purposes of custody determination; and (D) The court shall not refuse to consider relevant or otherwise admissible evidence of acts of family violence merely because there has been no previous finding of family violence. The court may, in addition to other appropriate actions, order supervised visitation pursuant to Code Section 19-9-7.

Page 332

SECTION 5 . Chapter 11 of Title 19 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to enforcement of the duty to support, is amended in Code Section 19-11-9.3, relating to suspension or denial of a license for noncompliance with a child support order, by striking in its entirety paragraph (9) of subsection (a) and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (9) `Licensing entity' means any state agency, department, or board of this state which issues or renews any license, certificate, permit, or registration to authorize a person to drive a motor vehicle, or to engage in a profession, business, or occupation including those under Article 3 of Chapter 7 of Title 2, the `Georgia Pesticide Use and Application Act of 1976'; Article 13 of Chapter 1 of Title 7, relating to mortgage lenders and mortgage brokers; Chapter 5 of Title 10, the `Georgia Securities Act of 1973,' relating to securities salespersons and investment adviser representatives; Part 2 of Article 1 of Chapter 6 of Title 12, relating to foresters; Chapter 4 of Title 26, relating to pharmacists; Chapter 23 of Title 33, relating to insurance agents, counselors, and other personnel; Chapter 1 of Title 43, relating to professions and businesses; Chapter 39A of Title 43, relating to real estate appraisers; or Chapter 40 of Title 43, relating to real estate brokers and salespersons. SECTION 6 . Code Section 20-3-295, relating to certified lists of borrowers in default, administrative hearings, and appeals, is amended by striking in its entirety paragraph (8) of subsection (a) and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (8) `Licensing entity' means any state agency, department, or board of this state which issues or renews any license, certificate, permit, or registration to authorize a person to engage in a profession, business, or occupation, including those under Article 3 of Chapter 7 of Title 2, the `Georgia Pesticide Use and Application Act of 1976'; Article 13 of Chapter 1 of Title 7, relating to mortgage lenders and mortgage brokers; Chapter 5 of Title 10, the `Georgia Securities Act of 1973,' relating to securities salespersons and investment adviser representatives; Part 2 of Article 1 of Chapter 6 of Title 12, relating to foresters; Chapter 4 of Title 26, relating to pharmacists; Chapter 23 of Title 33, relating to insurance agents, counselors, and other personnel; Chapter 1 of Title 43, relating to professions and businesses; Chapter 39A of Title 43, relating to real estate appraisers; or Chapter 40 of Title 43, relating to real estate brokers and salespersons.

Page 333

SECTION 7 . This Act shall become effective on July 1, 1999. SECTION 8 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 19, 1999. LOCAL GOVERNMENTENTERPRISE ZONE EMPLOYMENT ACT OF 1997; RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION AND REHABILITATION; AD VALOREM TAX EXEMPTIONS. Code Sections 36-88-3 and 36-88-8 Amended. No. 276 (House Bill No. 381). AN ACT To amend Chapter 88 of Title 36 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, the Enterprise Zone Employment Act of 1997, so as to provide that new residential construction and residential rehabilitation shall be qualified business enterprises for purposes of Chapter 36; to change the definition of business enterprise; to change certain provisions regarding ad valorem tax exemptions; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . Chapter 88 of Title 36 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, the Enterprise Zone Employment Act of 1997, is amended by striking paragraph (2) of Code Section 36-88-3, relating to definitions, and inserting in its place a new paragraph (2) to read as follows: (2) `Business enterprise' means any business which is engaged primarily in manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, processing, telecommunications, tourism, research and development industries, new residential construction, and residential rehabilitation. SECTION 2 . Said chapter is further amended by striking subsection (b) of Code Section 36-88-8, relating to ad valorem tax ememptions, and inserting in its place a new subsection (b) to read as follows: (b) If the project consists of new residential construction, residential rehabilitation, or other rehabilitation of an existing structure and the value of the improvement exceeds the value of the land by a ratio of five to one, then the exemption schedule in subsection (a) of this Code

Page 334

section shall also apply whether or not the project is carried out by a qualifying business or service enterprise. SECTION 3 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 19, 1999. MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFICDEFINITIONS; RECORDS RELATING TO MOTOR VEHICLES; ACCESS BY REGULATED PERSONS; TITLES FOR OLDER VEHICLES; FAILURE TO APPEAR IN TRAFFIC CASE; PENALTY. Code Sections 40-1-1, 40-2-130, 40-3-4, and 40-13-63 Amended. No. 277 (House Bill No. 421). AN ACT To amend Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to motor vehicles and traffic, so as to change certain provisions relating to definitions; to authorize certain private persons regulated by the state revenue commissioner to access certain records relating to motor vehicles under specific circumstances; to change certain provisions relating to exclusion of certain older vehicles from title requirements; to change the provisions relating to the penalty for failure to appear in a traffic case; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to motor vehicles and traffic, is amended by striking paragraph (43) of Code Section 40-1-1, relating to definitions, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (43) `Person' means every natural person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, or trust. SECTION 2 . Said title is further amended in Code Section 40-2-130, relating to records of certificates of registration of motor vehicles, by striking the word and at the end of paragraph (7) of subsection (c), by striking the symbol . at the end of paragraph (8) of said subsection and inserting in lieu thereof the symbol and word ; and, and by adding a new paragraph (9) to read as follows: (9) Any private person who has met the requirements of Code Section 40-2-25, provided that the information shall be used for the

Page 335

sole purpose of effectuating the registration or renewal of motor vehicles by electronic or similar means and that the private person requesting the information has entered into an agreement to provide electronic services to the commissioner or a county tag agent; provided further, that the information made available pursuant to this subsection for such purpose shall be limited to the vehicle identification number, the license tag number, the date of expiration of registration, and the amount of tax owed. SECTION 3 . Said title is further amended by striking subparagraph (A) of paragraph (14) of Code Section 40-3-4, relating to exclusions from title requirements, and inserting in its place a new subparagraph (A) to read as follows: (14)(A) A vehicle, other than a mobile home or crane, the model year of which is prior to 1986. SECTION 4 . Said title is further amended by striking Code Section 40-13-63, relating to the penalty for failure to appear in traffic cases, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 40-13-63. The willful failure of any person to appear in accordance with the written promise contained on the citation and complaint and served upon such person shall constitute an offense which shall be punishable by fine in an amount not to exceed $200.00 or by confinement in jail for a period not to exceed three days. SECTION 5 . This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval. SECTION 6 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 19, 1999. INSURANCERATE REGULATION; CONSUMER'S INSURANCE ADVOCATE. Code Section 33-9-3 Amended. Code Title 33, Chapter 57 Enacted. No. 279 (Senate Bill No. 200). AN ACT To amend Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to insurance, so as to change certain provisions relating to applicability of rate

Page 336

regulation; to create the Consumers' Insurance Advocate and deputy advocate; to provide definitions; to provide powers; to provide for compensation; to provide for entries of appearance; to provide for notice and discovery; to provide for remedies; to provide for employment of consultants, experts, witnesses, and other employees; to provide for the publication of certain information; to provide for access to documents and other information; to provide that other remedies are not affected; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to insurance, is amended by striking Code Section 33-9-3, relating to applicability of rate regulation, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 33-9-3. (a) This chapter shall apply to all insurance on risks or on operations in this state, except: (1) Reinsurance other than joint reinsurance to the extent stated in Code Section 33-9-19; (2) Life insurance; (3) Disability income, specified disease, or hospital indemnity policies; (4) Insurance of vessels or craft, their cargoes, marine builders' risks, marine protection and indemnity, or other risks commonly insured under marine, as distinguished from transportation, insurance policies. Inland marine insurance shall be deemed to include insurance defined by statute, or by interpretation thereof or, if not so defined or interpreted, by ruling of the Commissioner or as established by general custom of the business, as inland marine insurance; (5) Insurance against loss of or damage to aircraft, insurance of hulls of aircraft, including their accessories and equipment, or insurance against liability arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of aircraft; (6) Title insurance; or (7) Annuities. (a.1) The Commissioner may by rule or regulation establish criteria by which defined commercial risks may be exempted from the filing requirements of this chapter. (b) (1) This chapter shall apply to all insurers, including stock and mutual companies, Lloyd's associations, and reciprocal and

Page 337

interinsurance exchanges, which under any laws of this state write any of the kinds of insurance to which this chapter applies. (2) The provisions of this chapter regarding rates shall apply to any insurer, fraternal benefit society, health care plan, nonprofit medical service corporation, nonprofit hospital service corporation, health maintenance organization, or preferred provider organization providing any accident or sickness insurance or health benefit plan issued, delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed in this state to the extent required by subsection (c) of this Code section. (c) Provisions of this chapter regarding rates shall apply only to a proposed rate for any insurance or health benefit plan: (1) Which alone or in combination with any previous rate change for such insurance or plan would result in a rate increase of: (A) Any amount, but no decrease shall be subject to such provisions; provided, however, (B) The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to accident and sickness insurance; or (2) Made within 36 months after any rate change described by paragraph (1) of this subsection. SECTION 2 . Said title is further amended by adding a new Chapter 57 at the end thereof to read as follows: CHAPTER 57 33-57-1. The General Assembly recognizes the importance of effectively managed and economical insurance and health management funding products and services to the citizens of the State of Georgia. It is further recognized that the citizens of Georgia should receive adequate insurance and health management funding products and services at the lowest reasonable cost to the consumer while maintaining the ability of insurance and health management funding companies to furnish their products and services. It is further recognized that the Insurance Department has been established for the purpose, among other things, of regulating insurance and health management funding companies, the rates which they charge the consumer, and for representing the public interest. The General Assembly is aware, however, that the department and the Commissioner must be furnished with all available information concerning the effects of its decisions in any proceedings before it. It is the purpose of this chapter to ensure that the department and the Commissioner receive such information, particularly in those cases that directly involve Georgia's citizens. It is further the intent of the General

Page 338

Assembly that consumers have reasonable choices among the products and services offered by insurance and health management funding companies and that these companies are accountable to consumers. 33-57-2. As used in this chapter, the term: (1) `Administrator' means the administrator appointed pursuant to Code Section 10-1-395. (2) `Advocate' means the Consumers' Insurance Advocate in the Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs. (3) `Commissioner' means the Commissioner of Insurance created in Code Section 33-2-1. (4) `Consumer' means a beneficiary or user, whether directly or indirectly, of any insurance products or services which are under the jurisdiction of the Commissioner or of the department other than products and services of a domestic supplemental life and health insurer. (5) `Department' means the Insurance Department created pursuant to Code Section 33-2-1. (6) 'Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs' means the office of the administrator created in Code Section 10-1-395. 33-57-3. There are created the Consumers' Insurance Advocate and deputy advocate within the Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs. The advocate and deputy advocate may be attorneys licensed to practice in the courts of this state and shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The advocate shall receive compensation in an amount to be determined by the Governor but not to exceed that provided or authorized by law for the district attorney for the Atlanta Judicial Circuit, excluding all city and county supplemental compensation and expenses. In addition to such compensation, the advocate shall also receive reimbursement for his or her reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of his or her duties, as provided by law for state employees. The advocate shall have discretion to employ an individual in the position of deputy advocate, and such person shall receive such compensation as shall be determined by the advocate, together with reimbursement of expenses on the same terms as the advocate. No person employed as advocate or deputy advocate shall engage in the private practice of law while employed as the Consumers' Insurance Advocate. The advocate shall submit a written report of quarterly activities, decisions, information obtained, and expenditures of the advocate's office. The report shall be submitted to the Insurance

Page 339

Committee of the Georgia House of Representatives and to the Insurance and Labor Committee of the Georgia Senate not less than 30 days after the end of each quarter of each calendar year. 33-57-4. (a) The advocate shall be entitled to appear, as a party or otherwise, on behalf of the consumers of this state of products or services provided by any person, firm, or corporation subject to the jurisdiction of the Commissioner or of the department in all proceedings or other matters pending before the department or the Commissioner. (b) The advocate shall also appear in the same representative capacity as specified in subsection (a) of this Code section in similar administrative proceedings affecting the consumers of this state before any federal administrative agency or body which has regulatory jurisdiction over products or services purchased by consumers. (c) The advocate shall be authorized in the same representative capacity as specified in subsection (a) of this Code section to initiate proceedings, by complaint or otherwise, before any federal or state administrative agency before which he or she is otherwise authorized to appear, with respect to matters properly within the cognizance of those agencies. When such complaint or other request is filed with the Commissioner, the Commissioner shall respond to such complaint or other request within 45 days. (d) The advocate shall be authorized in the same representative capacity as specified in subsection (a) of this Code section to initiate or intervene as of right or otherwise appear in any judicial proceeding involving or arising out of any action taken by an administrative agency in a proceeding in which the advocate is authorized to appear under subsection (a), (b), or (c) of this Code section. (e) The advocate shall be authorized to publish by available means, including Internet access, such information as the advocate may deem to be in the public interest relating to the duties and purposes of the advocate's office and findings, research, and studies conducted by that office, except any information which is confidential or privileged as otherwise provided by law. (f) The advocate shall be authorized to hear complaints and to present and advocate positions affecting rates or benefits for any insurance products and services afforded to state employees and may for this purpose appear before any state officer or state entity providing or administering such benefits. 33-57-5. (a) In addition to other requirements of service and notice imposed by law, a copy of any request for insurance or health benefit plan rate filing:

Page 340

(1) Which alone or in combination with any previous rate filing would result in a rate increase of: (A) Any amount, but no decrease shall be subject to such provisions; provided, however, (B) Rate information, including information submitted, requested for submission, or required to be submitted to the Commissioner or department for purposes of determining whether insurance rates are excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, and any correspondence or paper filed with or issued by the department or by the Commissioner in connection with such rate information shall be served by copy upon the advocate, and the Office of Consumer Affairs shall require by rule or regulation that financial information of insurers, including a summary of products offered, basic rates applicable to such products, financial statements, officers' salaries, notifications of rate increases, and, as to health insurers, actuarial summaries and opinions relating to consumer choice options on managed care products shall be submitted to the department and the advocate on a quarterly basis; or (2) Made within 36 months after any rate filing described by paragraph (1) of this subsection shall also be served on the advocate, and the advocate shall be notified of any other correspondence or paper filed with or issued by the department or by the Commissioner in connection with such rate filing. A notice of such filing shall be sent to the advocate certified mail, return receipt requested. The department or the Commissioner shall not proceed to hear or determine any petition, complaint, proceeding, or request for rate filing in which the advocate is entitled to appear unless it shall affirmatively appear that the advocate was given at least ten days' written notice thereof, unless such notice is affirmatively waived in writing or the advocate appears and specifically waives such notice. The advocate may also request copies of any application, complaint, pleading, notice, or other document filed with or issued by the department or by the Commissioner. (b) In any case of a rate filing which is subject to the provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section, the advocate is authorized to take depositions and obtain discovery of any matter which is not privileged and which is relevant to the subject matter involved in any proceeding or petition before the department or by the Commissioner in the same manner and subject to the same procedures which would otherwise be applicable if such proceeding was then pending before a superior court. Copies of materials and information obtained through such discovery shall be made available to the department. The superior courts and judges and clerks thereof are authorized to issue all orders, injunctions, and subpoenas and to take all actions necessary to carry out this subsection.

Page 341

33-57-6. The administrator shall employ and fix the compensation of at least one actuary as a regular full-time employee to assist the advocate, and the administrator is authorized to employ and fix the compensation of such other assistants as the advocate may need, including without limitation consultants, expert witnesses, accountants, attorneys, investigators, stenographers, or other technical or clerical assistants as may be necessary to carry out the advocate's duties; provided, however, that no such employment may occur nor may any contracts for payment of fees or expenses be paid for consultants, expert witnesses, accountants, attorneys, investigators, stenographers, or other technical or clerical assistants unless such employment or such contracts are first approved by the administrator and can be achieved using funds appropriated to the Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs for such purposes. The office of the advocate shall keep suitable and proper records of all such expenditures. The compensation of the advocate and such staff shall be paid from state funds appropriated to the Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs for such purposes. 33-57-7. Services of all consultants, expert witnesses, accountants, actuaries, attorneys, investigators, stenographers, or other technical or clerical assistants employed by the department may be available to the advocate in the performance of his or her duties upon the approval of the department; and such consultants, expert witnesses, accountants, actuaries, attorneys, investigators, stenographers, or other technical or clerical assistants shall make such appraisals and audits as the advocate, with the approval of the department, may request. The advocate and his or her staff shall have access to all records, files, reports, documents, and other information in the possession or custody of the department or of the Commissioner to the same extent as the department or as the Commissioner has access thereto and subject to the same limitations imposed on the use thereof by the department or by the Commissioner. A written report of the cost of all services provided for the advocate pursuant to this Code section shall be submitted by the advocate along with each quarterly report made to committees of the General Assembly pursuant to Code Section 33-57-3. 33-57-8. This chapter shall not be construed to prevent any party interested in any proceeding or action before the department, the Commissioner, any court, or any administrative body from appearing in person or by representing counsel in such proceeding or action. However, nothing in this chapter shall apply to a domestic supplemental life and health insurer.

Page 342

SECTION 3 . This Act shall become effective on July 1, 1999. SECTION 4 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 20, 1999. INSURANCEMANAGED CARE PLANS; HEALTH MAINTENANCE ORGANIZATIONS; OUT OF NETWORK PROVIDER ACCESS, CHOICE, AND REIMBURSEMENT; DISCLOSURES TO ENROLLEES; FINANCIAL INCENTIVE AND DISINCENTIVE PROHIBITIONS. Code Title 33 Amended. No. 280 (Senate Bill No. 210). AN ACT To amend Chapter 20A of Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, the Patient Protection Act of 1996, relating to managed care plans, and Chapter 21 of Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to health maintenance organizations, so as to require managed care plans and health maintenance organizations to make certain additional disclosures and include a consumer choice option providing additional access to and reimbursement of out of network providers and hospitals; to prohibit such plans and organizations from using certain financial incentive and disincentive programs; to provide for timely payment by such plans and organizations for certain services; to prohibit certain penalties by such plans and organizations against health care providers and hospitals and provide for violations; to change certain terms and designations; to provide for applicability; 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 20A of Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, the Patient Protection Act of 1996, is amended by striking paragraphs (1) and (2) of Code Section 33-20A-5, relating to standards for certification, and inserting in their place the following: (1) Disclosure TO ENROLLEES AND PROSPECTIVE ENROLLEES. (A) A managed care entity shall disclose to enrollees and prospective enrollees who inquire as individuals into a plan or plans offered by the managed care entity the information required by this

Page 343

paragraph. In the case of an employer negotiating for a health care plan or plans on behalf of his or her employees, sufficient copies of disclosure information shall be made available to employees upon request. Disclosure of information under this paragraph shall be readable, understandable, and on a standardized form containing information regarding all of the following for each plan it offers: (i) The health care services or other benefits under the plan offered as well as limitations on services, kinds of services, benefits, or kinds of benefits to be provided; (ii) Rules regarding copayments, prior authorization, or review requirements including, but not limited to, preauthorization review, concurrent review, postservice review, or postpayment review that could result in the patient's being denied coverage or provision of a particular service; (iii) Potential liability for cost sharing for out of network services, including but not limited to providers, drugs, and devices or surgical procedures that are not on a list or a formulary; (iv) The financial obligations of the enrollee, including premiums, deductibles, copayments, and maximum limits on out-of-pocket expenses for items and services (both in and out of network); (v) The number, mix, and distribution of participating providers. An enrollee or a prospective enrollee shall be entitled to a list of individual participating providers upon request; (vi) Enrollee rights and responsibilities, including an explanation of the grievance process provided under this chapter; (vii) An explanation of what constitutes an emergency situation and what constitutes emergency services; (viii) The existence of any limited utilization incentive plans; (ix) The existence of restrictive formularies or prior approval requirements for prescription drugs. An enrollee or a prospective enrollee shall be entitled, upon request, to a description of specific drug and therapeutic class restrictions; (x) The existence of limitations on choices of health care providers; (xi) A statement as to where and in what manner additional information is available; (xii) A statement that a summary of the number, nature, and outcome results of grievances filed in the previous three years

Page 344

shall be available for inspection. Copies of such summary shall be made available at reasonable costs; and (xiii) A summary of any agreements or contracts between the managed care plan and any health care provider or hospital as they pertain to the provisions of Code Sections 33-20A-6 and 33-20A-7. Such summary shall not be required to include financial agreements as to actual rates, reimbursements, charges, or fees negotiated by the managed care plan and any health care provider or hospital; provided, however, such summary may include a disclosure of the category or type of compensation, whether capitation, fee for service, per diem, discounted charge, global reimbursement payment, or otherwise, paid by the managed care plan to each class of health care provider or hospital under contract with the managed care plan. (B) Such information shall be disclosed to each enrollee under this chapter at the time of enrollment and at least annually thereafter. (C) Any managed care plan licensed under Chapter 21 of this title is deemed to have met the certification requirements of this paragraph; (2) Access to services. A managed care entity must demonstrate that its plan: (A) Makes benefits available and accessible to each enrollee electing the managed care plan in the defined service area with reasonable promptness and in a manner which promotes continuity in the provision of health care services; (B) When medically necessary provides health care services 24 hours a day and seven days a week; (C) Provides payment or reimbursement for emergency services and out-of-area services; and (D) Complies with the provisions of Code Section 33-20A-9.1 relating to nomination and reimbursement of out of network health care providers and hospitals; and. SECTION 2 . Said chapter is further amended by striking Code Section 33-20A-6, relating to financial incentive programs, and Code Section 33-20A-7, relating to provider penalties, and inserting in their place the following: 33-20A-6. (a) A managed care plan may not use a financial incentive or disincentive program that directly or indirectly compensates a health care provider or hospital for ordering or providing less than medically

Page 345

necessary and appropriate care to his or her patients or for denying, reducing, limiting, or delaying such care. Nothing in this Code section shall be deemed to prohibit a managed care entity from using a capitated payment arrangement consistent with the intent of this Code section. (b) A managed care plan shall make full and timely payment or reimbursement to any health care provider or hospital in the same manner and subject to the same penalties as required of insurers for group accident and sickness insurance policies under paragraph (5) of Code Section 33-30-6. 33-20A-7. (a) No health care provider may be penalized for considering, studying, or discussing medically necessary or appropriate care with or on behalf of his or her patient. (b) No health care provider may be penalized by a managed care plan for providing testimony, evidence, records, or any other assistance to an enrollee who is disputing a denial, in whole or in part, of a health care treatment or service or claim therefor. (c) A finding of a violation of this Code section or Code Section 33-20A-6 by a managed care plan shall constitute an unfair trade practice punishable under Article 1 of Chapter 6 of this title. SECTION 3 . Said chapter is further amended by adding after Code Section 33-20A-9 a new Code section to read as follows: 33-20A-9.1. (a) It is the intent of the General Assembly to allow citizens to have the right to choose their own health care providers and hospitals with as few mandates from government and business as possible. It is also the intent to allow these choices with minimal additional cost to any business or consumer in this state. (b) As used in this Code section, the term `consumer choice option' means a plan for health care delivery which grants enrollees a right to receive covered services outside of any plan provider panel and under the terms and conditions of the plan. (c) Except for managed care plans offering a consumer choice option under subparagraph (d) (2) (C) of this Code section, every managed care plan offered pursuant to Article 1 of Chapter 18 of Title 45 or offered by a managed care entity shall offer a separate consumer choice option to enrollees at least annually with the following provisions: (1) Every enrollee of a managed care plan shall have the right to nominate one or more out of network health care providers or

Page 346

hospitals for use by that enrollee and that enrollee's eligible dependents, if: (A) Such health care provider or hospital is located within and licensed by the state; (B) Such health care provider or hospital agrees to accept reimbursement from both the plan and the enrollee at the rates and on the terms and conditions applicable to similarly situated participating providers and hospitals. The reimbursement rates for the plan may be proportionally reduced from those paid to participating providers if the cost-sharing provisions in paragraph (3) of subsection (d) of this Code section are utilized in the consumer choice option; (C) Such health care provider or hospital agrees to adhere to the managed care plan's quality assurance requirements and to provide the plan with necessary medical information related to such care; and (D) Such health care provider or hospital meets all other reasonable criteria as required by the managed care plan of in network providers and hospitals. Each nominated health care provider or hospital which meets the requirements of subparagraphs (A), (B), (C), and (D) of this paragraph shall be reimbursed by the plan, subject to the agreement in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, as though it belonged to the managed care plan's provider network. Such reimbursement shall be full and final payment for the health care services provided to the enrollee and no health care provider or hospital shall bill the enrollee for any portion of a payment exclusive of the requirements of subparagraph (B) of this paragraph. (d) (1) An enrollee who selects the consumer choice option shall be responsible for any increases in premiums and cost sharing associated with the option; provided, however, that any differential in cost sharing as provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection shall only apply when the enrollee goes out of network. (2) Any increases in premiums for the consumer choice option shall be limited as follows: (A) For health benefit plans offered by health maintenance organizations under Chapter 21 of this title, the managed care entity may offer both of the following options, but must offer either: (i) The actuarial basis of the option taking into account administrative and other costs associated with the exercise of this option or a 17.5 percent increase in premium over the plan without the option, whichever is less, or

Page 347

(ii) The actuarial basis of the option with cost sharing as provided under paragraph (3) of this subsection taking into account administrative and other costs associated with the exercise of this option or a 15 percent increase in premium over the plan without the option and with cost sharing as provided under paragraph (3) of this subsection, whichever is less; (B) For all other managed care plans under this chapter, the managed care entity may offer both of the following options, but must offer either: (i) The actuarial basis of the option taking into account administrative and other costs associated with the exercise of this option or a 10 percent increase in premium over the plan without the option, whichever is less; or (ii) The actuarial basis of the option with cost sharing as provided under paragraph (3) of this subsection taking into account administrative and other costs associated with the exercise of this option or a 7.5 percent increase in premium over the plan without the option and with cost sharing as provided under paragraph (3) of this subsection, whichever is less; (C) Notwithstanding subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, for all other managed care plans under this chapter, a health benefit plan may offer at no additional premiums or cost sharing a preferred provider organization network plan under Article 2 of Chapter 30 of this title, which plan contains standards for participating providers and hospitals which: (i) Meets the requirements of subparagraphs (A), (C), and (D) of paragraph (1) of subsection (c) of this Code section; and (ii) Includes only health care providers and hospitals which agree to accept the reimbursement from both the plan and the enrollee at the rates and on the terms and conditions applicable to similarly situated participating providers and hospitals and under any cost-sharing conditions required of other similarly situated preferred providers, which reimbursement shall be accepted as full and final payment for the covered health care services provided to the enrollee and no preferred provider shall bill the enrollee for any portion of a payment exclusive of the requirements of this subparagraph. Managed care plans offering the preferred provider organization network plan under this subparagraph shall not place capacity limits on the number or classes of providers authorized to be preferred providers except where the services regularly performed by a particular class of providers are not covered services within the scope of the health benefit plan or plans offered by the managed

Page 348

care plan pursuant to Article 2 of Chapter 30 of this title. This subparagraph shall not supersede any other requirement of this title regarding the coverage of a certain class or classes of providers. (3) Except as provided in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (2) of this subsection for a consumer choice option without cost sharing, any increases in cost sharing for the consumer choice option, as compared to in network cost sharing, shall be limited as follows: (A) If deductibles are used in network, any deductibles in the consumer choice option shall not exceed a 20 percent difference between in and out of network; provided, however, that deductibles cannot be accumulated separately between in network and out of network; (B) If copayments are used in network, any copayments in the consumer choice option shall not exceed a 20 percent difference between in and out of network; (C) In all cases, any coinsurance in the consumer choice option shall not exceed 10 percentage points difference between in and out of network; and (D) In all cases, the maximum differential for out-of-pocket expenditures of the consumer choice option shall not exceed 20 percent as compared to in network; provided, however, that out-of-pocket expenditures cannot be accumulated separately between in network and out of network. Further, all cost sharing that is counted towards the out-of-pocket limit for the consumer choice option shall be the same as that counted towards the in network plan. (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 paragraph (2) and (3) of this subsection to the Insurance Commissioner's Office with copies to the Consumers' Insurance Advocate on or after July 1, 2001. (e) The consumer choice option shall have substantially the same covered benefits as the managed care plan without the option. (f) For an enrollee who chooses the consumer choice option, the managed care entity shall provide such enrollee with a form to be completed by the enrollee nominated health care provider or hospital. This form shall indicate such health care provider's or hospital's agreement to accept reimbursement as provided in subparagraph (c)(1)(B) of this Code section and such health care provider's or

Page 349

hospital's agreement to adhere to the quality assurance requirements and other reasonable criteria of the plan as provided in subparagraphs (c)(1)(C) and (c)(1)(D) of this Code section. The form required by this subsection shall be one page, shall be signed and dated by the nominated health care provider or hospital, and shall be mailed to the managed care entity at the address indicated on the form. In a timely manner and upon receipt of such form from a nominated health care provider or hospital, the plan shall indicate acceptance of the health care provider or hospital and provide any necessary information to the health care provider or hospital including but not limited to a complete copy of the reimbursement terms, quality assurance requirements, and any other reasonable criteria required by the managed care plan of in network health care providers and hospitals. A plan may refuse to approve for reimbursement an enrollee nominated health care provider or hospital only upon a showing by clear and convincing evidence that the health care provider or hospital does not meet the requirements of paragraph (1) of subsection (c) of this Code section. SECTION 4 . Chapter 21 of Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to health maintenance organizations, is amended by striking and at the end of paragraph (3) of subsection (b) of Code Section 33-21-3, relating to grounds for certificate of authority issuance, striking the period at the end of paragraph (4) of that subsection and inserting ; and, and adding immediately thereafter the following paragraph: (5) Has arrangements to comply with the provisions of Code Section 33-20A-9.1, relating to nomination and reimbursement of providers which are not on that health maintenance organization's provider panel. SECTION 5 . Said chapter is further amended by striking and at the end of subparagraph (c)(3)(I) of Code Section 33-21-13, relating to contents of evidence of coverage, striking the period at the end of subparagraph (J) of said paragraph and inserting ; and, and adding immediately thereafter the following subparagraph: (K) A summary of any agreements or contracts between the health maintenance organization and any provider in the same manner and subject to the same conditions as required for summaries of managed care plan contracts and agreements under division (1)(A)(xiii) of Code Section 33-20A-5. SECTION 6 . Said chapter is further amended by striking subsection (a) of Code Section 33-21-28, relating to applicability of title to health maintenance organizations, and inserting in its place the following:

Page 350

(a) Except as otherwise provided by law, all provisions of this title which are not in conflict with this chapter shall apply to health maintenance organizations and all other persons subject to this chapter, and specifically, the requirements and restrictions of Code Sections 33-20A-6, 33-20A-7, 33-20A-7.1, 33-20A-8, and 33-20A-9.1 shall apply to health maintenance organizations and all other persons subject to this chapter. SECTION 7 . This Act shall become effective on July 1, 1999, for purposes of preparing for implementation of the consumer choice option and shall be applicable to any contract, policy, or other agreement of a managed care plan or health maintenance organization if such contract, policy, or agreement provides for health care services or reimbursement therefor and is issued, issued for delivery, delivered, or renewed on or after January 1, 2000. SECTION 8 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 20, 1999. INSURANCEMANAGED CARE PLANS; PATIENTS' RIGHTS TO INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF PLAN DETERMINATIONS; STANDARD OF CARE FOR BENEFIT ADMINISTRATION OR CLAIMS REVIEW OR ADJUSTMENT; TORT ACTIONS. Code Title 33, Chapter 20A Amended. Code Section 51-1-48 Enacted. No. 281 (House Bill No. 732). AN ACT To amend Chapter 1 of Title 51 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions regarding torts, so as to establish a standard of care for certain entities which administer benefits or review or adjust claims under a managed care plan and provide for recovery for violations of that standard; to prohibit waivers, modifications, shifting, or delegation of liability; to provide conditions for maintaining certain causes of action; to provide for court orders and abatement of actions; to provide that certain other liability is not created; to amend Chapter 20A of Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, the Patient Protection Act of 1996, relating to managed care plans, so as to provide for a short title; to provide for definitions; to provide certain enrollees of managed care plans with an independent review of plan determinations and provide for standards, conditions, and procedures relating thereto; to provide for

Page 351

duties, powers, and functions of the Health Planning Agency with regard to such reviews and provide for certification of independent review organizations; to provide for expert reviewers and decisions thereof; to provide for costs and expedited reviews; to provide for immunity from liability and presumptions; to prohibit certain conflicts of interest; to provide for quality assurance; to provide for applicability; 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 1 of Title 51 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions regarding torts, is amended by adding at the end new Code sections to read as follows: 51-1-48. (a) Any claim administrator, health care advisor, private review agent, or other person or entity which administers benefits or reviews or adjusts claims under a managed care plan shall exercise ordinary diligence to do so in a timely and appropriate manner in accordance with the practices and standards of the profession of the health care provider generally. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, any injury or death to an enrollee resulting from a want of such ordinary diligence shall be a tort for which a recovery may be had against the managed care entity offering such plan, but no recovery shall be had for punitive damages for such tort. (b) The provisions of this Code section may not be waived, shifted, or modified by contract or agreement and responsibility therefor shall be a duty which shall not be delegated. Any effort to waive, modify, delegate, or shift liability for a breach of the duty provided by this Code section, through a contract for indemnification or otherwise, shall be invalid. (c) This Code section shall not create any liability on the part of an employer of an enrollee or that employer's employees, unless the employer is the enrollee's managed care entity. This Code section shall not create any liability on the part of an employee organization, a voluntary employee beneficiary organization, or a similar organization, unless such organization is the enrollee's managed care entity and makes coverage determinations under a managed care plan. (d) As used in this Code section and in Code Section 51-1-49, the terms `claim administrator,' `enrollee,' `health care advisor,' and `private review agent,' shall be defined as set forth in Chapter 46 of Title 33 except that `enrollee' shall include the enrollee's eligible dependents; `managed care entity' and `managed care plan' shall be defined as set forth in Code Section 33-20A-3; and `independent review' means a review pursuant to Article 2 of Chapter 20A of Title 33, the `Patient's Right to Independent Review Act.'

Page 352

51-1-49. (a) No person may maintain a cause of action pursuant to Code Section 51-1-48 unless the affected enrollee or the enrollee's representative: (1) Has exhausted the grievance procedure provided for under Code Section 33-20A-5 and before instituting the action: (A) Gives written notice of intent to file suit to the managed care entity; and (B) Agrees to submit the claim to independent review if required under subsection (c) of this Code section; or (2) Has filed a pleading alleging in substance that: (A) Harm to the enrollee has already occurred for which the managed care entity may be liable; and (B) The grievance procedure or independent review is not timely or otherwise available or would not make the enrollee whole, in which case the court, upon motion by the managed care entity, shall stay the action and order such grievance procedure or independent review to be conducted and exhausted. (b) The notice required by paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section must be delivered or mailed to the managed care entity not fewer than 30 days before the action is filed. (c) The managed care entity receiving notice of intent to file suit may obtain independent review of the claim, if notice of a request for review is mailed or delivered to the Health Planning Agency, or its successor agency, and the affected enrollee within ten days of receipt of the notice of intent to file suit. SECTION 2 . Chapter 20A of Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, the Patient Protection Act of 1996, is amended by designating Code Sections 33-20A-1 through 33-20A-10 as Article 1 of said chapter and substituting this article for this chapter and This article for This chapter wherever such terms appear in the newly designated Article 1. SECTION 3 . Said chapter is further amended by adding at the end thereof a new article to read as follows: ARTICLE 2 33-20A-30. This article shall be known and may be cited as the `Patient's Right to Independent Review Act.'

Page 353

33-20A-31. As used in this article: (1) `Eligible enrollee' means a person who: (A) Is an enrollee or an eligible dependent of an enrollee of a managed care plan or was an enrollee or an eligible dependent of an enrollee of such plan at the time of the request for treatment; and (B) Seeks a treatment which reasonably appears to be a covered service or benefit under the enrollee's evidence of coverage; provided, however, that this subparagraph shall not apply if the notice from a managed care plan of the outcome of the grievance procedure was that a treatment is experimental. (2) `Grievance procedure' means the grievance procedure established pursuant to Code Section 33-20A-5. (3) `Independent review organization' means any organization certified as such by the planning agency under Code Section 33-20A-39. (4) `Medical and scientific evidence' means: (A) Peer reviewed scientific studies published in or accepted for publication by medical journals that meet nationally recognized requirements for scientific manuscripts and that submit most of their published articles for review by experts who are not part of the editorial staff; (B) Peer reviewed literature, biomedical compendia, and other medical literature that meet the criteria of the National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine for indexing in Index Medicus, Excerpta Medicus (EMBASE), Medline, and MEDLARS data base or Health Services Technology Assessment Research (HSTAR); (C) Medical journals recognized by the United States secretary of health and human services, under Section 1861(t) (2) of the Social Security Act; (D) The following standard reference compendia: the American Hospital Formulary Service-Drug Information, the American Medical Association Drug Evaluation, the American Dental Association Accepted Dental Therapeutics, and the United States Pharmacopoeia-Drug Information; or (E) Findings, studies, or research conducted by or under the auspices of federal government agencies and nationally recognized federal research institutes including the Federal Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, National Institutes of Health, National

Page 354

Cancer Institute, National Academy of Sciences, Health Care Financing Administration, and any national board recognized by the National Institutes of Health for the purpose of evaluating the medical value of health services. (5) `Medical necessity,' `medically necessary care,' or `medically necessary and appropriate' means care based upon generally accepted medical practices in light of conditions at the time of treatment which is: (A) Appropriate and consistent with the diagnosis and the omission of which could adversely affect or fail to improve the eligible enrollee's condition; (B) Compatible with the standards of acceptable medical practice in the United States; (C) Provided in a safe and appropriate setting given the nature of the diagnosis and the severity of the symptoms; (D) Not provided solely for the convenience of the eligible enrollee or the convenience of the health care provider or hospital; and (E) Not primarily custodial care, unless custodial care is a covered service or benefit under the eligible enrollee's evidence of coverage. (6) `Planning agency' means the Health Planning Agency established under Chapter 6 of Title 31 or its successor agency. (7) `Treatment' means a medical service, diagnosis, procedure, therapy, drug, or device. (8) Any term defined in Code Section 33-20A-3 shall have the meaning provided for that term in Code Section 33-20A-3 except that `enrollee' shall include the enrollee's eligible dependents. 33-20A-32. An eligible enrollee shall be entitled to appeal to an independent review organization when: (1) The eligible enrollee has received notice of an adverse outcome pursuant to a grievance procedure or the managed care entity has not complied with the requirements of Code Section 33-20A-5 with regard to such procedure; or (2) A managed care entity determines that a proposed treatment is excluded as experimental under the managed care plan, and all of the following criteria are met: (A) The eligible enrollee has a terminal condition that, according to the treating physician, has a substantial probability of causing death within two years from the date of the request for independent

Page 355

review or the eligible enrollee's ability to regain or maintain maximum function, as determined by the treating physician, would be impaired by withholding the experimental treatment; (B) After exhaustion of standard treatment as provided by the evidence of coverage or a finding that such treatment would be of substantially lesser or of no benefit, the eligible enrollee's treating physician certifies that the eligible enrollee has a condition for which standard treatment would not be medically indicated for the eligible enrollee or for which there is no standard treatment available under the evidence of coverage of the eligible enrollee more beneficial than the treatment proposed; (C) The eligible enrollee's treating physician has recommended and certified in writing treatment which is likely to be more beneficial to the eligible enrollee than any available standard treatment; (D) The eligible enrollee has requested a treatment as to which the eligible enrollee's treating physician, who is a licensed, board certified or board eligible physician qualified to practice in the area of medicine appropriate to treat the eligible enrollee's condition, has certified in writing that scientifically valid studies using accepted protocols, such as control group or double-blind testing, published in peer reviewed literature, demonstrate that the proposed treatment is likely to be more beneficial for the eligible enrollee than available standard treatment; and (E) A specific treatment recommended would otherwise be included within the eligible enrollee's certificate of coverage, except for the determination by the managed care entity that such treatment is experimental for a particular condition. 33-20A-33. Except where required pursuant to Code Section 51-1-49, a proposed treatment must require the expenditure of a minimum of $500.00 to qualify for independent review. 33-20A-34. (a) The parent or guardian of a minor who is an eligible enrollee may act on behalf of the minor in requesting independent review. The legal guardian or representative of an incapacitated eligible enrollee shall be authorized to act on behalf of the eligible enrollee in requesting independent review. Except as provided in Code Section 51-1-49, independent review may not be requested by persons other than the eligible enrollee or a person acting on behalf of the eligible enrollee as provided in this Code section. (b) A managed care entity shall be required to pay the full cost of applying for and obtaining the independent review.

Page 356

(c) The eligible enrollee and the managed care entity shall cooperate with the independent review organization to provide the information and documentation, including executing necessary releases for medical records, which are necessary for the independent review organization to make a determination of the claim. 33-20A-35. (a) In the event that the outcome of the grievance procedure under Code Section 33-20A-5 is adverse to the eligible enrollee, the managed care entity shall include with the written notice of the outcome of the grievance procedure a statement specifying that any request for independent review must be made to the planning agency on forms developed by the planning agency, and such forms shall be included with the notification. Such statement shall be in simple, clear language in boldface type which is larger and bolder than any other typeface which is in the notice and in at least 14 point typeface. (b) An eligible enrollee must submit the written request for independent review to the planning agency. Instructions on how to request independent review shall be given to all eligible enrollees with the written notice required under this Code section together with instructions in simple, clear language as to what information, documentation, and procedure are required for independent review. (c) Upon receipt of a completed form requesting independent review as required by subsection (a) of this Code section, the planning agency shall notify the eligible enrollee of receipt and assign the request to an independent review organization on a rotating basis according to the date the request is received. (d) Upon assigning a request for independent review to an independent review organization, the planning agency shall provide written notification of the name and address of the assigned organization to both the requesting eligible enrollee and the managed care entity. (e) No managed care entity may be certified by the Commissioner under Article 1 of this chapter unless the entity agrees to pay the costs of independent review to the independent review organization assigned by the planning agency to conduct each review involving such entity's eligible enrollees. 33-20A-36. (a) Within three business days of receipt of notice from the planning agency of assignment of the application for determination to an independent review organization, the managed care entity shall submit to that organization the following: (1) Any information submitted to the managed care entity by the eligible enrollee in support of the eligible enrollee's grievance procedure filing;

Page 357

(2) A copy of the contract provisions or evidence of coverage of the managed care plan; and (3) Any other relevant documents or information used by the managed care entity in determining the outcome of the eligible enrollee's grievance. Upon request, the managed care entity shall provide a copy of all documents required by this subsection, except for any proprietary or privileged information, to the eligible enrollee. The eligible enrollee may provide the independent review organization with any additional information the eligible enrollee deems relevant. (b) The independent review organization shall request any additional information required for the review from the managed care entity and the eligible enrollee within five business days of receipt of the documentation required under this Code section. Any additional information requested by the independent review organization shall be submitted within five business days of receipt of the request, or an explanation of why the additional information is not being submitted shall be provided. (c) Additional information obtained from the eligible enrollee shall be transmitted to the managed care entity, which may determine that such additional information justifies a reconsideration of the outcome of the grievance procedure. A decision by the managed care entity to cover fully the treatment in question upon reconsideration using such additional information shall terminate independent review. (d) The expert reviewer of the independent review organization shall make a determination within 15 business days after expiration of all time limits set forth in this Code section, but such time limits may be extended or shortened by mutual agreement between the eligible enrollee and the managed care entity. The determination shall be in writing and state the basis of the reviewer's decision. A copy of the decision shall be delivered to the managed care entity, the eligible enrollee, and the planning agency by at least first-class mail. (e) The independent review organization's decision shall be based upon a review of the information and documentation submitted to it. (f) Information required or authorized to be provided pursuant to this Code section may be provided by facsimile transmission or other electronic transmission. 33-20A-37. (a) A decision of the independent review organization in favor of the eligible enrollee shall be final and binding on the managed care entity and the appropriate relief shall be provided without delay. A managed care entity bound by such decision of an independent review organization shall not be liable pursuant to Code Section 51-1-48 for abiding by

Page 358

such decision. Nothing in this Code section shall relieve the managed care entity from liability for damages proximately caused by its determination of the proposed treatment prior to such decision. (b) A determination by the independent review organization in favor of a managed care entity shall create a rebuttable presumption in any subsequent action that the managed care entity's prior determination was appropriate and shall constitute a medical record for purposes of Code Section 24-7-8. (c) In the event that, in the judgment of the treating health care provider, the health condition of the enrollee is such that following the provisions of Code Section 33-20A-36 would jeopardize the life or health of the eligible enrollee or the eligible enrollee's ability to regain maximum function, as determined by the treating health care provider, an expedited review shall be available. The expedited review process shall encompass all elements enumerated in Code Sections 33-20A-36 and 33-20A-40; provided, however, that a decision by the expert reviewer shall be rendered within 72 hours after the expert reviewer's receipt of all available requested documents. 33-20A-38. Neither independent review organization nor its employees, agents, or contractors shall be liable for damages arising from determinations made pursuant to this article, unless an act or omission thereof is made in bad faith or through gross negligence, constitutes fraud or willful misconduct, or demonstrates malice, wantonness, oppression, or that entire want of care which would raise the presumption of conscious indifference to the consequences. 33-20A-39. (a) The planning agency shall certify independent review organizations that meet the requirements of this Code section and any regulations promulgated by the planning agency consistent with this article. The planning agency shall deem certified any independent review organization meeting standards developed for this purpose by an independent national accrediting organization. To qualify for certification, an independent review organization must show the following: (1) Expert reviewers assigned by the independent review organization must be physicians or other appropriate providers who meet the following minimum requirements: (A) Are expert in the treatment of the medical condition at issue and are knowledgeable about the recommended treatment through actual clinical experience; (B) Hold a nonrestricted license issued by a state of the United States and, for physicians, a current certification by a recognized

Page 359

American medical specialty board in the area or areas appropriate to the subject of review; and (C) Have no history of disciplinary action or sanctions, including, but not limited to, loss of staff privileges or participation restriction, taken or pending by any hospital, government, or regulatory body; (2) The independent review organization shall not be a subsidiary of, nor in any way owned or controlled by, a health plan, a trade association of health plans, a managed care entity, or a professional association of health care providers; and (3) The independent review organization shall submit to the planning agency the following information upon initial application for certification, and thereafter within 30 days of any change to any of the following information: (A) The names of all owners of more than 5 percent of any stock or options, if a publicly held organization; (B) The names of all holders of bonds or notes in excess of $100,000.00, if any; (C) The names of all corporations and organizations that the independent review organization controls or is affiliated with, and the nature and extent of any ownership or control, including the affiliated organization's type of business; and (D) The names of all directors, officers, and executives of the independent review organization, as well as a statement regarding any relationships the directors, officers, and executives may have with any health care service plan, disability insurer, managed care entity or organization, provider group, or board or committee. (b) Neither the independent review organization nor any expert reviewer of the independent review organization may have any material professional, familial, or financial conflict of interest with any of the following: (1) A managed care plan or entity being reviewed; (2) Any officer, director, or management employee of a managed care plan which is being reviewed; (3) The physician, the physician's medical group, health care provider, or the independent practice association proposing a treatment under review; (4) The institution at which a proposed treatment would be provided; (5) The eligible enrollee or the eligible enrollee's representative; or (6) The development or manufacture of the treatment proposed for the eligible enrollee whose treatment is under review.

Page 360

(c) As used in subsection (b) of this Code section, the term `conflict of interest' shall not be interpreted to include a contract under which an academic medical center or other similar medical research center provides health care services to eligible enrollees of a managed care plan, except as subject to the requirement of paragraph (4) of subsection (b) of this Code section; affiliations which are limited to staff privileges at a health care facility; or an expert reviewer's participation as a contracting plan provider where the expert is affiliated with an academic medical center or other similar medical research center that is acting as an independent review organization under this article. An agreement to provide independent review for an eligible enrollee or managed care entity is not a conflict of interest under subsection (b) of this Code section. (d) The independent review organization shall have a quality assurance mechanism in place that ensures the timeliness and quality of the reviews, the qualifications and independence of the experts, and the confidentiality of medical records and review materials. (e) The planning agency shall provide upon the request of any interested person a copy of all nonproprietary information filed with it pursuant to this article. The planning agency shall provide at least quarterly a current list of certified independent review organizations to all managed care entities and to any interested persons. 33-20A-40. (a) For the purposes of this article, in making a determination as to whether a treatment is medically necessary and appropriate, the expert reviewer shall use the definition provided in paragraph (5) of Code Section 33-20A-31. (b) For the purposes of this article, in making a determination as to whether a treatment is experimental, the expert reviewer shall determine: (1) Whether such treatment has been approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration; or (2) Whether medical and scientific evidence demonstrates that the expected benefits of the proposed treatment would be greater than the benefits of any available standard treatment and that the adverse risks of the proposed treatment will not be substantially increased over those of standard treatments. For either determination, the expert reviewer shall apply prudent professional practices and shall assure that at least two documents of medical and scientific evidence support the decision. 33-20A-41. The planning agency shall provide necessary rules and regulations for the implementation and operation of this article.

Page 361

SECTION 4 . For purposes of certifying independent review organizations by the Health Planning Agency, or its successor agency, this Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval. For all other purposes, this Act shall become effective on July 1, 1999, and shall be applicable to any contract, policy, or other agreement of a managed care plan or health maintenance organization if such contract, policy, or agreement provides for health care services or reimbursement therefor and is issued, issued for delivery, delivered, or renewed on or after July 1, 1999. SECTION 5 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 20, 1999. JAMES D. MASON MEMORIAL INTERSECTIONDESIGNATED. No. 2 (Senate Resolution No. 17). A RESOLUTION Designating the James D. Mason Memorial Intersection; and for other purposes. WHEREAS, James D. Mason (Jimmy) was born on January 26, 1937, in Centerville, Georgia, located in the area of Gwinnett County where his family had settled in 1838; and WHEREAS, Jimmy began his life of public service by volunteering to serve in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict; he then returned to Snellville and formed Mason Brothers Construction Company with his brother, Wayne Mason; together they built the first subdivisions in the area, built Snellville's first shopping center, and helped organize the first bank formed in Snellville, Gwinnett County Bank, in 1969; and, in addition, they donated property for Snellville parks and the public cemetery; and WHEREAS, from 1961 until December of 1966, Jimmy served three terms on the Snellville City Council; from January, 1967, until January, 1975, he served in the General Assembly as a Representative from Gwinnett County at the inception of Gwinnett's big growth; and WHEREAS, during his four terms in the House of Representatives, Jimmy sponsored legislation that revamped Gwinnett government, preparing the county for its transition from its rural past to a booming metropolitan community; and WHEREAS, from April, 1975, until July, 1992, Jimmy served as a member of the State Properties Commission; and in July, 1992, Jimmy was appointed

Page 362

to serve on the Board of Directors of the Georgia Ports Authority where he served in the capacities of chair, vice chair, secretary-treasurer, and member; and WHEREAS, he has been described as one of the most influential men in the making of modern Gwinnett; and WHEREAS, after more than three decades on the political and business scene in Gwinnett and Georgia, Jimmy died June 5, 1998; and WHEREAS, Jimmy was a man who loved his family, his work, his county, and his state, and it is only fitting and proper that he be honored by this state in his home county. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA that the intersection of State Route 124 and State Route 78 is hereby designated as the James D. Mason Memorial Intersection, and that the Department of Transportation is authorized and directed to erect appropriate signs so identifying the intersection. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of the Senate is authorized and directed to transmit appropriate copies of this resolution to the Department of Transportation and the family of James D. Mason. Approved April 22, 1999. EDUCATIONSCHOOL SAFETY; SCHOOL VIOLENCE. Code Sections 16-11-127.1, 20-2-145, and 20-8-5 Amended. Code Section 20-2-751.4 Enacted. No. 282 (House Bill No. 84). AN ACT To provide for matters relating to school safety and school violence; to amend Code Section 16-11-127.1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to prohibitions and criminal penalties for carrying weapons within school safety zones, at school functions, or on school property, so as to include razor blades within the definition of the term weapon; to amend Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to education, so as to require that the comprehensive character education program developed by the State Board of Education for elementary and secondary schools address methods to discourage bullying; to define a certain term; to require local boards of education to adopt policies that prohibit bullying of a student by another student and provide for the assignment of certain students to alternative schools; to provide for notification of students and parents of anti-bullying policies; to change certain provisions applicable to every county having a population of 100,000 or more according to the United States decennial census of 1980

Page 363

or any future such census which empower a local board of education to authorize certain school security personnel to carry certain firearms or weapons and to make such provisions applicable state wide; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . Code Section 16-11-127.1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to prohibitions and criminal penalties for carrying weapons within school safety zones, at school functions, or on school property, is amended by striking in its entirety paragraph (2) of subsection (a) and inserting in lieu thereof a new paragraph (2) of subsection (a) to read as follows: (2) `Weapon' means and includes any pistol, revolver, or any weapon designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind, or any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, any other knife having a blade of two or more inches, straight-edge razor, razor blade, spring stick, metal knucks, blackjack, any bat, club, or other bludgeon-type weapon, or any flailing instrument consisting of two or more rigid parts connected in such a manner as to allow them to swing freely, which may be known as a nun chahka, nun chuck, nunchaku, shuriken, or fighting chain, or any disc, of whatever configuration, having at least two points or pointed blades which is designed to be thrown or propelled and which may be known as a throwing star or oriental dart, or any weapon of like kind, and any stun gun or taser as defined in subsection (a) of Code Section 16-11-106. This section excludes any of these instruments used for classroom work authorized by the teacher. SECTION 2 . Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to education, is amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 20-2-145, relating to the comprehensive character education program for elementary and secondary schools, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 20-2-145 to read as follows: 20-2-145. The State Board of Education shall develop by the start of the 1997-1998 school year a comprehensive character education program for levels K-12. This comprehensive character education program shall be known as the `character curriculum' and shall focus on the students' development of the following character traits: courage, patriotism, citizenship, honesty, fairness, respect for others, kindness, cooperation, self-respect, self-control, courtesy, compassion, tolerance, diligence, generosity, punctuality, cleanliness, cheerfulness, school pride, respect for the environment,

Page 364

respect for the creator, patience, creativity, sportsmanship, loyalty, perseverance, and virtue. Such program shall also address, by the start of the 1999-2000 school year, methods of discouraging bullying and violent acts against fellow students. Local boards may implement such a program at any time and for any grade levels, and the state board shall encourage the implementation of such plan. SECTION 3 . Said title is further amended in Subpart 2 of Part 2 of Article 16 of Chapter 2, relating to public school disciplinary tribunals, by adding a new Code Section 20-2-751.4 to read as follows: 20-2-751.4. (a) As used in this Code section, the term `bullying' means: (1) Any willful attempt or threat to inflict injury on another person, when accompanied by an apparent present ability to do so; or (2) Any intentional display of force such as would give the victim reason to fear or expect immediate bodily harm. (b) Each local board of education shall adopt policies, applicable to students in grades six through 12, that prohibit bullying of a student by another student and shall require such prohibition to be included in the student code of conduct for middle and high schools in that school system. Local board policies shall require that, upon a finding that a student has committed the offense of bullying for the third time in a school year, such student shall be assigned to an alternative school. Each local board of education shall ensure that students and parents of students are notified of the prohibition against bullying, and the penalties for violating the prohibition, by posting such information at each middle and high school and by including such information in student and parent handbooks. (c) Any school system which is not in compliance with the requirements of this Code section shall be ineligible to receive state funding pursuant to Code Sections 20-2-161 and 20-2-260. The requirements of this Code section shall apply notwithstanding any contrary provision of Code Section 20-2-751.3. SECTION 4 . Said title is further amended in Code Section 20-8-5, relating to law enforcement powers of school security personnel, by striking subsection (d) and inserting in its place a new subsection (d) to read as follows: (d) School security personnel who are certified by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council may be authorized by a local board of education to carry a standard issue firearm or weapon generally

Page 365

used for law enforcement purposes for the purpose of carrying out law enforcement duties. SECTION 5 . This Act shall become effective on July 1, 1999. SECTION 6 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 22, 1999. COURTSDISTRICT ATTORNEYS; SPECIAL DRUG PROSECUTORS. Code Sections 15-18-14 and 15-18-45 Amended. No. 284 (Senate Bill No. 1). AN ACT To amend Chapter 18 of Title 15 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to prosecuting attorneys, so as to provide that, subject to available funds, the district attorney in each judicial circuit shall appoint one additional assistant district attorney who shall prosecute as directed by the district attorney primarily cases involving violations of Article 2 of Chapter 13 of Title 16, known as the Georgia Controlled Substances Act; to provide a short title; to provide for the designation of such additional assistant district attorneys authorized under this Act as special drug prosecutors; to provide that such special drug prosecutors shall be subject to the classification, compensation, benefits, policies, and personnel related provisions of law applicable to other assistant district attorneys; to provide that each person employed as a special drug prosecutor shall complete an initial training program prescribed by the Prosecuting Attorneys' Council of the State of Georgia within 12 months of such employment and such in-service training as the council shall by rule prescribe; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . This Act shall be known and may be cited as the Special Drug Prosecutor Act. SECTION 2 . Chapter 18 of Title 15 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to prosecuting attorneys, is amended by striking in its entirety subsection (b) of Code Section 15-18-14, relating to the appointment, qualifications,

Page 366

and compensation of assistant district attorneys, and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (b) to read as follows: (b) (1) Subject to the provisions of this Code section, the district attorney in each judicial circuit is authorized to appoint: (A) One attorney for each superior court judge authorized for the circuit, excluding senior judges, plus one additional attorney to assist the district attorney in the performance of the duties of the district attorney's office and consistent with their constitutional and statutory duties to protect the rights of victims of crimes as now or in the future may be defined by applicable law; (B) Subject to the availability of funding and at the option of the Department of Human Resources, at least one assistant district attorney to perform duties described specifically under Code Sections 19-11-23 and 19-11-53 and generally under Article 1 of Chapter 11 of Title 19, the `Child Support Recovery Act,' Article 2 of Chapter 11 of Title 19, the `Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act,' and Article 3 of Chapter 11 of Title 19, the `Uniform Interstate Family Support Act.' The district attorney retains the authority to appoint one or more assistant district attorneys, who shall be county employees, to perform the aforementioned statutory duties, so long as such appointments are pursuant to a contract for such services with the Department of Human Resources. Once the election to make this position a state position is made, under this statutory provision, it shall be irrevocable. Contractual funds shall be paid by the Department of Human Resources to the Department of Administrative Services in accordance with the compensation provisions of this Code section, or at the election of the appointed attorney, to the appointed attorney's judicial circuit, in accordance with the compensation provisions of that judicial circuit; and (C) Subject to funds being appropriated by the General Assembly, such additional assistant district attorneys as may be authorized by the Prosecuting Attorneys' Council of the State of Georgia. (2) Subject to the provisions of this Code section and subject to such funds as may be appropriated by the General Assembly or which are otherwise available to the State of Georgia for such purpose, the district attorney in each judicial circuit shall appoint one additional assistant district attorney who shall prosecute, as directed by the district attorney, primarily cases involving violations of Article 2 of Chapter 13 of Title 16, known as the `Georgia Controlled Substances Act.' This assistant district attorney shall be designated as a `special drug prosecutor.' Such assistant district attorney shall be subject to the classification, compensation, benefits, policies, and personnel related provisions of subsections (c) through (i) of this Code section and

Page 367

Code Section 15-18-19. In the event that the funds appropriated or otherwise available in any fiscal year for purposes of this paragraph are sufficient to implement this paragraph in some but not all judicial circuits, the Judicial Council of Georgia shall designate the judicial circuits in which this paragraph shall be implemented for such fiscal year. SECTION 3 . Said chapter is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 15-18-45, relating to the authority of the Prosecuting Attorneys' Council of the State of Georgia to conduct or approve training programs, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 15-18-45 to read as follows: 15-18-45. (a) The council shall be authorized to conduct or approve for credit or reimbursement, or both, basic and continuing legal education courses or other appropriate training programs for the district attorneys, solicitors-general, and other prosecuting attorneys of this state and the members of the staffs of such officials. The council, in accordance with such rules as it shall adopt, shall be authorized to provide reimbursement, in whole or in part, for the actual expenses incurred by any district attorney, solicitor-general, or other prosecuting attorney of this state or any member of the staffs of such officials in attending any such approved course or training program from such funds as may be appropriated or otherwise made available to the council. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, such officials and members of their staffs shall be authorized to receive reimbursement for actual expenses incurred in attending approved courses or training programs, provided that no person shall be entitled to claim reimbursement under both this Code section and Code Section 15-18-12. The council shall adopt such rules governing the approval of courses and training programs for credit or reimbursement as may be necessary to administer this Code section properly. (b) Each person designated as a special drug prosecutor pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection (b) of Code Section 15-18-14 shall complete an initial training program prescribed by the Prosecuting Attorneys' Council of the State of Georgia within 12 months of such employment and such in-service training as the council shall by rule prescribe. SECTION 4 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 22, 1999.

Page 368

INSURANCEHEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR MORBIDLY OBESE PATIENTS; MORBID OBESITY ANTI-DISCRIMINATION ACT ENACTED. Code Section 33-24-59.4 Enacted. No. 285 (Senate Bill No. 24). AN ACT To amend Article 1 of Chapter 24 of Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to insurance generally, so as to require health insurers to offer comprehensive medical or surgical coverage for the treatment of morbidly obese patients when said treatment is ordered, conducted, or supervised by health care providers specializing in the management of patients so afflicted; to provide for a short title; to provide for legislative findings; to provide definitions; to provide for the issuance of rules and regulations by the Commissioner of Insurance; to provide for adjustment of current contracts; 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 24 of Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to insurance generally, is amended by adding at the end thereof the following: 33-24-59.4. (a) This Code section shall be known and may be cited as the `Morbid Obesity Anti-discrimination Act.' (b) The General Assembly finds and declares that: (1) Whereas many health care insurers cover the costs of treatment for patients diagnosed as morbidly obese by their physicians, many other insurers refuse to cover such costs; (2) There is sufficient scientific data that implicate morbid obesity as the cause of many other medical problems and costly health complications, such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and stroke. These data indirectly question the safety and appropriatenes of the continued refusal of some insurers to cover the medically indicated treatment of the morbidly obese patient. The association of morbid obesity with the aforementioned devastating diseases refutes any claim of a purely cosmetic indication for the treatment of morbid obesity and clearly designates morbid obesity as a life-threatening disease; (3) The cost of managing the complications of morbid obesity, largely due to inadequate treatment, far outweighs the cost of expeditious,

Page 369

effective medical treatment. Therefore, insurers who continue to refuse to pay for the primary treatment of morbid obesity are contributing to the high cost of management of secondary complications; (4) Guidelines developed by the National Institute of Health, the American Society for Bariatric Surgery, the American Obesity Association, and Shape Up America and embraced by the American Medical Association and the American College of Surgeons recommend that patients who are morbidly obese receive responsible, affordable medical treatment for their obesity; and (5) The diagnosis of morbid obesity should be a clinical decision made by a physician based on the guidelines set by the appropriate health and medical associations and organizations. The treatment modality should also be a clinical decision made by the physician based on set guidelines. (c) (1) As used in this Code section, the term: (A) `Health benefit policy' means any individual or group plan, policy, or contract for health care services issued, delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed in this state which provides major medical benefits, including those contracts executed by the State of Georgia on behalf of indigents and on behalf of state employees under Article 1 of Chapter 18 of Title 45, by a health care corporation, health maintenance organization, preferred provider organization, accident and sickness insurer, fraternal benefit society, hospital service corporation, medical service corporation, or other insurer or similar entity. (B) `Health care providers' means those physicians and medical institutions that are specifically qualified to treat in a comprehensive manner the entire complex of illness and disease associated with morbid obesity. (C) `Insurer' means an accident and sickness insurer, fraternal benefit society, hospital service corporation, medical service corporation, health care corporation, health maintenance organization, or any similar entity authorized to issue contracts under this title and also means any state program funded under Title XIX of the federal Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C.A. Section 1396 et seq., and any other publicly funded state health care program. (D) `Morbid obesity' means a weight which is at least 100 pounds over or twice the ideal weight for frame, age, height, and gender as specified in the 1983 Metropolitan Life Insurance tables. Morbid obesity also means a body mass index (BMI) equal to or greater than 35 kilograms per meter squared with comorbidity or coexisting medical conditions such as hypertension, cardiopulmonary conditions,

Page 370

sleep apnea, or diabetes or a BMI of 40 kilograms per meter squared without such comorbidity. BMI equals weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. (2) Every health benefit policy that is delivered, issued, executed, or renewed in this state or approved for issuance or renewal in this state by the Commissioner on or after July 1, 1999, which provides major medical benefits may offer coverage for the treatment of morbid obesity. (d) The Commissioner of Insurance shall adopt rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this Code section in collaboration with the Division of Public Health of the Department of Human Resources and in compliance with current guidelines established by professional medical organizations relating to the treatment of morbid obesity. SECTION 2 . All contracts relating to the provision of health care services in effect on July 1, 1999, shall be appropriately adjusted to reflect any change in services provided as required by Section 1 of this Act. SECTION 3 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 22, 1999. EDUCATIONPUBLIC SCHOOL DISCIPLINE; STUDENT CODES OF CONDUCT; CONTENTS; FILING; DISTRIBUTION. Code Section 20-2-751.4 Enacted. No. 286 (Senate Bill No. 49). AN ACT To amend Subpart 2 of Part 2 of Article 16 of Chapter 2 of Title 20, the Public School Disciplinary Tribunal Act, so as to require that student codes of conduct include provisions addressing verbal assault, physical assault or battery, and disrespectful conduct toward teachers, administrators, other school personnel, other students, and persons attending school-related functions; to provide for the filing of such provisions with the State Board of Education and for their review as to form; to provide for the distribution of student codes of conduct in conjunction with student handbooks and for parents' and guardians' acknowledgments of receipt; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

Page 371

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . Subpart 2 of Part 2 of Article 16 of Chapter 2 of Title 20, the Public School Disciplinary Tribunal Act, is amended by adding a new Code section, to be designated as Code Section 20-2-751.4, to read as follows: 20-2-751.4. (a) (1) Each student code of conduct shall contain provisions that address the following conduct of students during school hours and at school-related functions, in a manner that is appropriate to the age of the student: (A) Verbal assault of teachers, administrators, and other school personnel; (B) Physical assault or battery of teachers, administrators, and other school personnel; (C) Disrespectful conduct toward teachers, administrators, and other school personnel; (D) Verbal assault of other students; (E) Physical assault or battery of other students; (F) Disrespectful conduct toward other students; and (G) Verbal assault of, physical assault or battery of, and disrespectful conduct toward persons attending school-related functions. (2) No later than August 15, 2000, each local board of education shall send to the State Board of Education a copy of the provisions of its student code of conduct that address the items identified in paragraph (1) of this subsection. The state board shall review such provisions to ensure that each of the items identified in paragraph (1) of this subsection is addressed and shall notify a local board of education, no later than October 15, 2000, of any items which are not addressed in its submission to the state board. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as authorizing or requiring the state board to review or approve the substance of the student codes of conduct. (b) Any student handbook which is prepared by a local board or school shall include a copy or summary of the student code of conduct for that school or be accompanied by a copy of the student code of conduct for that school. If a student handbook contains a summary of the student code of conduct, then a full copy of the student code of conduct shall be made available for review at the school. When distributing a student code of conduct, a local school shall include a form on which the student's parent or guardian may acknowledge his or her receipt of the

Page 372

code, and the local school shall request that the form be signed and returned to the school. SECTION 2 . This Act shall become effective on July 1, 2000. SECTION 3 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 22, 1999. MILITARY, EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, AND VETERANS AFFAIRSEMERGENCY MANAGEMENT; 911 ADVISORY COMMITTEE. Code Title 38, Chapter 3 Amended. Code Section 46-5-123 Amended. No. 287 (Senate Bill No. 51). AN ACT To amend Chapter 3 of Title 38 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, known as the Georgia Emergency Management Act of 1981, so as to change the definition of the term emergency management; to change the provisions relating to the authority of the director of emergency management; to require certain emergency management personnel to be certified and to provide requirements for certification; to require certain emergency management personnel to complete annual continuing educational courses; to provide for recertification of certain emergency management personnel; to amend Code Section 46-5-123 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to creation of the 911 Advisory Committee, so as to change the composition of the 911 Advisory Committee; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . Chapter 3 of Title 38 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, known as the Georgia Emergency Management Act of 1981, is amended by striking in its entirety paragraph (1) of Code Section 38-3-3, relating to definitions applicable to said chapter, and inserting in lieu thereof a new paragraph (1) to read as follows: (1) `Emergency management' means the preparation for the carrying out of all emergency functions other than functions for which military forces are primarily responsible to prevent, minimize, and repair injury and damage resulting from emergencies, energy emergencies, disasters, or the imminent threat thereof, of manmade or

Page 373

natural origin caused by enemy attack, sabotage, acts of domestic or international terrorism, civil disturbance, fire, flood, earthquake, wind, storm, wave action, oil spill or other water contamination requiring emergency action to avert danger or damage, epidemic, air contamination, blight, drought, infestation, explosion, riot or other hostile action, radiological action, or other causes. These functions include, without limitation, fire-fighting services; police services; emergency medical services; rescue; engineering; warning services; communications; defense from radiological, chemical, biological, and other special weapons to include weapons of mass destruction; evacuation of persons from stricken areas; emergency welfare services; consequence management functions to include victim services; emergency transportation; plant protection; temporary restoration of public utility services; and other functions related to civilian protection, together with all other activities necessary or incidental to the preparation for and carrying out of the foregoing functions. SECTION 2 . Said chapter is further amended by striking in its entirety subsection (c) of Code Section 38-3-20, relating to the creation of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (c) to read as follows: (c) The director may employ such professional, technical, clerical, stenographic, and other personnel, may fix their compensation, and may make such expenditures within the appropriation therefor, or from other funds made available for purposes of emergency management, as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of Article 1, this article, and Article 3 of this chapter, the duties of the agency and the director described in Part 4 of Article 2 of Chapter 5 of Title 46, the `Georgia Emergency Telephone Number 911 Service Act of 1977,' as amended. SECTION 3 . Said chapter is further amended by striking in their entirety paragraphs (1) through (3) of subsection (a) of Code Section 38-3-27, relating to local organizations for emergency management, and inserting in lieu thereof new paragraphs (1) through (3) to read as follows: (a) (1) The governing body of each county of this state may establish a local organization for emergency management in accordance with the state emergency management plan and program. If a county fails to establish an organization for emergency management in accordance with the state emergency management plan and program, any municipality in such county may establish its own organization for emergency management. In cases where a county has an organization for emergency management, such organization shall include participation

Page 374

by each city within the county unless the governing authority of any particular city elects to implement its own organization for emergency management. Any two or more of the above-mentioned political subdivisions may, with the approval of the director, contract with each other so as to form one emergency management organization for the entire area included in the bounds of the contracting political subdivisions. The executive officer or governing body of the political subdivision is authorized to nominate a local director to the director of emergency management who shall have the authority to make the appointment. The local director shall have direct responsibility for the organization, administration, and operation of the local organization for emergency management, subject to the direction and control of the executive officer or governing body and shall serve at the pleasure of such executive officer or governing body. Each local organization for emergency management shall perform emergency management functions within the territorial limits of the political subdivision within which it is organized and, in addition, shall conduct such functions outside of such territorial limits as may be required pursuant to Article 1, this article, and Article 3 of this chapter. (2) A local director appointed pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection who is paid a salary for full-time service as a director by the political subdivision or political subdivisions shall have the following minimum qualifications: (A) The director shall be at least 21 years of age; (B) The director shall not have been convicted of a felony. The executive officer or governing body of a political subdivision which nominates a local director shall furnish the director of emergency management two sets of fingerprints of the nominee. The director of emergency management shall forward fingerprints received concerning each nominee to the Georgia Crime Information Center of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for the purpose of criminal identification through the fingerprint system of identification established by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the fingerprint system of identification established by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Georgia Crime Information Center shall report the findings of its records search and the records search of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to the director of emergency management; (C) The director shall have completed a high school education or its equivalent and shall have successfully completed all initial courses required by the director of emergency management within 180 days following the date of nomination to office or within an extended period as determined by the director of emergency management and shall have successfully completed subsequent courses required by the director of emergency management within

Page 375

an appropriate period as determined by the director of emergency management; (D) The director shall be capable of writing plans for responding to and recovering from disasters in his jurisdiction and shall be routinely available to respond to emergency scenes, command posts, or operation centers; to coordinate emergency response of public and private agencies and organizations; to attend training; and to attend meetings convented by the appointing authority or the director of emergency management; and (E) The director shall not be self-employed or have any other occupation in the private sector which conflicts with his duties as a local director. (3) (A) If a local director appointed pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection is a part-time director, such part-time director shall meet the minimum qualifications in subparagraphs (A) through (D) of paragraph (2) of this subsection. If such local director is employed under a 40 to 90 percent (time required on job) work contract, such local director shall be required to devote at least 80 hours per month on emergency management matters but not more than 30 hours in any one week during normal business hours of other county offices. If such local director is employed under a 25 to 39 percent (time required on job) work contract, such local director shall be required to devote at least 40 hours per month on emergency management matters but not more than 15 hours in any one week during normal business hours of other county offices. (B) If the part-time paid director is also a part-time paid employee of the federal or state government, he must have written authorization from the appropriate appointing authority to hold the position of director and to comply with the provisions of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph and subparagraph (D) of paragraph (2) of this subsection. (C) If the part-time paid director is also a part-time paid employee of county or municipal government in another capacity, that government must enact an order or ordinance specifying that such director will be permitted to comply with the provisions of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph and subparagraph (D) of paragraph (2) of this subsection. The order or ordinance shall also specify that the individual, when acting as director, shall relinquish authorities and responsibilities associated with his other governmental employment and shall name a person to assume those authorities and responsibilities until such time as the director shall cease to function as director. In no case shall the county or municipal government seek or receive any reimbursement for the part-time paid director's

Page 376

salary if such director is employed and compensated by the county or municipality in another capacity. (D) If the part-time paid director is also a part-time paid employee in the private sector, he shall have a letter from his employer stating that he shall, without penalty, be permitted to comply with the provisions of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph and subparagraph (D) of paragraph (2) of this subsection. (E) If the part-time paid director is self-employed, he must certify, by letter, that his schedule shall permit him to comply with the provisions of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph and subparagraph (D) of paragraph (2) of this subsection. (F) Except as provided in his subparagraph, any director or deputy director of a local emergency management organization appointed after July 1, 1999, shall be a certified emergency manager under the Georgia Emergency Management Agency's Certified Emergency Manager Program. The curriculum of the Certified Emergency Manager Program and requirements for certification shall be determined by the director of emergency management and shall include, but not be limited to, professional development series training, independent study courses, emergency preparedness courses, and field-delivered courses. Certification may be obtained by an appointed director or deputy director within six months of his or her appointment. Certification shall expire biennially. As a condition of certification renewal, such emergency management personnel shall be required to satisfactorily complete continuing education requirements provided for in subparagraph (G) of this paragraph. (G) Emergency management personnel certified under the Certified Emergency Manager Program shall complete annually a minimum of 24 hours of continuing education to maintain certification. The continuing education shall include programs and courses sponsored or approved by the director of emergency management. Personnel who lose their certification because of their failure to meet continuing education requirements will be eligible for recertification under provisions included in the Certified Emergency Manager Program. SECTION 4 . Code Section 46-5-123 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to creation of the 911 Advisory Committee, is amended by striking subsection (a) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (a) to read as follows: (a) For the purposes of the development and implementation of a plan for the state-wide emergency telephone number `911' system, there

Page 377

is created the `911' Advisory Committee to be composed of the director of emergency management, who shall serve as chairperson; the commissioner of administrative services or his or her designee; and ten other members appointed by the Governor, as follows: (1) Three members appointed from nominees of the Georgia Municipal Association; (2) Three members appointed from nominees of the Association County Commissioners of Georgia; and (3) Four members who are experienced in and currently involved in the management of emergency telephone systems. SECTION 5 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 22, 1999. INSURANCEHEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR ANESTHESIA AND RELATED SURGICAL FACILITY CHARGES IN CONJUNCTION WITH DENTAL CARE. Code Section 33-24-28.4 Enacted. No. 288 (Senate Bill No. 66). AN ACT To amend Article 1 of Chapter 24 of Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the regulation of insurance generally, so as to provide for definitions; to provide that certain insurers, nonprofit health care plans, health maintenance organizations, and other related benefit providers shall be required to make available coverage for general anesthesia and associated hospital or ambulatory surgical facility charges in conjunction with dental care under certain circumstances; to authorize certain insurers, nonprofit health care plans, health maintenance organizations, and other related benefit providers to require prior authorization for coverage for general anesthesia and associated hospital or ambulatory surgical facility charges for dental care under certain circumstances; to authorize certain insurers, nonprofit health care plans, health maintenance organizations, and other related benefit providers to restrict coverage for general anesthesia and associated hospital and ambulatory surgical facility charges to dental care that is provided by certain dentists under certain circumstances; to provide for applicability; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

Page 378

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . Article 1 of Chapter 24 of Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the regulation of insurance generally, is amended by adding a new Code Section 33-24-28.4 to read as follows: 33-24-28.4. (a) As used in this Code section, the term `general anesthesia' means the use of an anesthetic that is complete and affects the entire body, causing loss of consciousness when the anesthetic acts upon the brain. Such anesthetics are usually administered intravenously or through inhalation. (b) (1) Any individual or group plan, policy, or contract for health care services which is issued, delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed in this state by a health care insurer, health maintenance organization, accident and sickness insurer, fraternal benefit society, nonprofit hospital service corporation, nonprofit medical service corporation, health care plan, or any other person, firm, corporation, joint venture, or other similar business entity that pays for, purchases, or furnishes health care services to patients, insureds, or beneficiaries in this state shall be subject to the provisions of this Code section. (2) Any entity listed in paragraph (1) of this subsection and located or domiciled outside of this state shall be subject to the provisions of this Code section if it receives, processes, adjudicates, pays, or denies any claim for health care services submitted by or on behalf of any patient, insured, or other beneficiary who resides or receives health care services in this state. (c) Any entity that provides a health care services plan, policy, or contract subject to this Code section shall provide coverage for general anesthesia and associated hospital or ambulatory surgical facility charges in conjunction with dental care provided to a person insured or otherwise covered under such plan if such person is: (1) Seven years of age or younger or is developmentally disabled; (2) An individual for which a successful result cannot be expected from dental care provided under local anesthesia because of a neurological or other medically compromising condition of the insured; or (3) An individual who has sustained extensive facial or dental trauma, unless otherwise covered by workers' compensation insurance. (d) Any entity that provides a health care services plan, policy, or contract subject to this Code section may require prior authorization for general anesthesia and associated hospital or ambulatory surgical facility

Page 379

charges for dental care in the same manner that prior authorization is required for such benefits in connection with other covered medical care. (e) Any entity that provides a health care services plan, policy, or contract subject to this Code section may restrict coverage under this Code section to include only procedures performed by: (1) A fully accredited specialist in pediatric dentistry or other dentist fully accredited in a recognized dental specialty for which hospital or ambulatory surgical facility privileges are granted; (2) A dentist who is certified by virtue of completion of an accredited program of post-graduate training to be granted hospital or ambulatory surgical facility privileges; or (3) A dentist who has not yet satisfied certification requirements but has been granted hospital or ambulatory surgical facility privileges. (f) This Code section shall not apply to limited benefit insurance policies as defined in paragraph (4) of subsection (e) of Code Section 33-30-12. SECTION 2 . This Act shall apply to all plans, policies, or contracts issued, delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed in this state on or after July 1, 1999. SECTION 3 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 22, 1999. EDUCATIONSCHOOL SAFETY PLANS; RELATED TRAINING AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE. Code Section 20-2-1185 Amended. No. 289 (Senate Bill No. 74). AN ACT To amend Article 27 of Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to loitering at or disrupting elementary and secondary schools, so as to change the provisions relating to school safety plans; to require that school safety plans address preparedness for certain accidents, acts of violence, and acts of terrorism; to require that school safety plans be prepared with input from law enforcement, fire service, public safety, and emergency management agencies, reviewed annually, and submitted to local emergency management agencies; to require a certain approval by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency in

Page 380

connection with state funding assistance for public school safety equipment; to provide that school safety plans should address security issues involving school functions held during noninstructional hours; to direct the Georgia Emergency Management Agency to provide certain training and technical assistance; 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 27 of Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to loitering at or disrupting elementary and secondary schools, is amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 20-2-1185, relating to school safety plans, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 20-2-1185, to read as follows: 20-2-1185. (a) Every public school shall prepare a school safety plan to help curb the growing incidence of violence in schools, to respond effectively to such incidents, and to provide a safe learning environment for Georgia's children, teachers, and other school personnel. Such plan shall also address preparedness for natural disasters, hazardous materials or radiological accidents, acts of violence, and acts of terrorism. School safety plans of public schools shall be prepared with input from students enrolled in that school, parents or legal guardians of such students, teachers in that school, community leaders, other school employees and school district employees, and local law enforcement, fire service, public safety, and emergency management agencies. School safety plans of private schools may be prepared with input from students enrolled in that school, parents or legal guardians of such students, teachers in that school, other school employees, and local law enforcement, fire service, public safety, and emergency management agencies. Such plans shall be reviewed and, if necessary, updated annually. Such plans of public schools shall be submitted to the local emergency management agency. (b) A public school may request funding assistance from the state for the installation of safety equipment including, but not limited to, video surveillance cameras, metal detectors, and other similar security devices. Funding may be provided to a public school in accordance with a school safety plan prepared by the school and approved by the local board of education, the Department of Education, and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency. (c) School safety plans prepared by public schools shall address security issues in school safety zones as defined in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 16-11-127.1. School safety plans should also address security issues involving the transportation of pupils to and from school and school functions when such transportation is furnished by the

Page 381

school or school system and school functions held during noninstructional hours. (d) The Georgia Emergency Management Agency shall provide training and technical assistance to public school systems, and may provide this same training and technical assistance to private school systems, and independent private schools throughout this state in the area of emergency management and safe school operations. This training and technical assistance shall include, but not be limited to, crisis response team development, site surveys and safety audits, crisis management planning, exercise design, safe school planning, emergency operations planning, search and seizure, bomb threat management, and model school safety plans. SECTION 2 . This Act shall become effective on July 1, 1999. SECTION 3 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 22, 1999. CRIMES AND OFFENSESASSAULT AND BATTERY; CRIMES AGAINST FAMILY MEMBERS; CRUELTY TO CHILDREN; EXCEPTIONS FOR CERTAIN CORPORAL PUNISHMENT OF CHILDREN. Code Title 16, Chapter 5, Article 2 Amended. No. 290 (Senate Bill No. 113). AN ACT To amend Article 2 of Chapter 5 of Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the crimes of assault and battery, so as to provide for the Crimes Against Family Members Act of 1999; to provide enhanced penalties for the commission of offenses of simple assault, aggravated assault, simple battery, and aggravated battery against persons in a domestic context; to change the definition of the crime of cruelty to children in the second degree; to provide penalties for certain crimes of violence committed in front of children; to provide that in no event shall enhanced penalties for the crimes of simple assault or simple battery be applicable to corporal punishment administered by a parent or guardian to a child or administered by a person acting in loco parentis; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

Page 382

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . This Act shall be known and may be cited as the Crimes Against Family Members Act of 1999. SECTION 2 . Article 2 of Chapter 5 of Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the crimes of assault and battery, is amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 16-5-20, relating to the crime of simple assault, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 16-5-20 to read as follows: 16-5-20. (a) A person commits the offense of simple assault when he or she either: (1) Attempts to commit a violent injury to the person of another; or (2) Commits an act which places another in reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving a violent injury. (b) Except as provided in subsections (c) and (d) of this Code section, a person who commits the offense of simple assault shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. (c) Any person who commits the offense of simple assault in a public transit vehicle or station shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. For purposes of this Code section, `public transit vehicle' means a bus, van, or rail car used for the transportation of passengers within a system which receives a subsidy from tax revenues or is operated under a franchise contract with a county or municipality of this state. (d) If the offense of simple assault is committed between past or present spouses, persons who are parents of the same child, parents and children, stepparents and stepchildren, foster parents and foster children, or other persons excluding siblings living or formerly living in the same household, the defendant shall be punished for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. In no event shall this subsection be applicable to corporal punishment administered by a parent or guardian to a child or administered by a person acting in loco parentis. SECTION 3 . Said article is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 16-5-21, relating to the crime of aggravated assault, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 16-5-21 to read as follows:

Page 383

16-5-21. (a) A person commits the offense of aggravated assault when he or she assaults: (1) With intent to murder, to rape, or to rob; (2) With a deadly weapon or with any object, device, or instrument which, when used offensively against a person, is likely to or actually does result in serious bodily injury; or (3) A person or persons without legal justification by discharging a firearm from within a motor vehicle toward a person or persons. (b) Except as provided in subsections (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), and (i) of this Code section, a person convicted of the offense of aggravated assault shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 20 years. (c) A person who knowingly commits the offense of aggravated assault upon a peace officer while the peace officer is engaged in, or on account of the performance of, his or her official duties shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 20 years. (d) Any person who commits the offense of aggravated assault against a person who is 65 years of age or older shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than three nor more than 20 years. (e) (1) As used in this subsection, the term `correctional officer' shall include superintendents, wardens, deputy wardens, guards, and correctional officers of state, county, and municipal penal institutions who are certified by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council pursuant to Chapter 8 of Title 35 and employees of the Department of Juvenile Justice who are known to be employees of the department or who have given reasonable identification of their employment. (2) A person who knowingly commits the offense of aggravated assault upon a correctional officer while the correctional officer is engaged in, or on account of the performance of, his or her official duties shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 20 years. (f) Any person who commits the offense of aggravated assault in a public transit vehicle or station shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than three nor more than 20 years. For purposes of this Code section, `public transit vehicle' has the same meaning as in subsection (c) of Code Section 16-5-20.

Page 384

(g) A person convicted of an offense described in paragraph (3) of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 20 years. (h) Any person who commits the offense of aggravated assault involving the use of a firearm upon a student or teacher or other school personnel within a school safety zone as defined in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 16-11-127.1 shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 20 years. (i) If the offense of aggravated assault is committed between past or present spouses, persons who are parents of the same child, parents and children, stepparents and stepchildren, foster parents and foster children, or other persons excluding siblings living or formerly living in the same household, the defendant shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than three nor more than 20 years. SECTION 4 . Said article is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 16-5-23, relating to the crime of simple battery, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 16-5-23 to read as follows: 16-5-23. (a) A person commits the offense of simple battery when he or she either: (1) Intentionally makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with the person of another; or (2) Intentionally causes physical harm to another. (b) Except as otherwise provided in subsections (c), (d), (e), and (f) of this Code section, a person convicted of the offense of simple battery shall be punished as for a misdemeanor. (c) Any person who commits the offense of simple battery against a person who is 65 years of age or older or against a female who is pregnant at the time of the offense shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. (d) Any person who commits the offense of simple battery in a public transit vehicle or station shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished for a, misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. For purposes of this Code section, `public transit vehicle' has the same meaning as in subsection (c) of Code Section 16-5-20. (e) Any person who commits the offense of simple battery against a police officer, law enforcement dog, correction officer, or detention officer engaged in carrying out official duties shall, upon conviction

Page 385

thereof, be punished for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. (f) If the offense of simple battery is committed between past or present spouses, persons who are parents of the same child, parents and children, stepparents and stepchildren, foster parents and foster children, or other persons excluding siblings living or formerly living in the same household, the defendant shall be punished for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. In no event shall this subsection be applicable to corporal punishment administered by a parent or guardian to a child or administered by a person acting in loco parentis. SECTION 5 . Said article is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 16-5-24, relating to the crime of aggravated battery, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 16-5-24 to read as follows: 16-5-24. (a) A person commits the offense of aggravated battery when he or she maliciously causes bodily harm to another by depriving him or her of a member of his or her body, by rendering a member of his or her body useless, or by seriously disfiguring his or her body or a member thereof. (b) Except as provided in subsections (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), and (h) of this Code section, a person convicted of the offense of aggravated battery shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 20 years. (c) A person who knowingly commits the offense of aggravated battery upon a peace officer while the officer is engaged in, or on account of the performance of, his or her official duties shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than ten nor more than 20 years. (d) Any person who commits the offense of aggravated battery against a person who is 65 years of age or older shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 20 years. (e) (1) As used in this subsection, the term `correctional officer' shall include superintendents, wardens, deputy wardens, guards, and correctional officers of state, county, and municipal penal institutions who are certified by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council pursuant to Chapter 8 of Title 35 and employees of the Department of Juvenile Justice who are known to be employees of the department or who have given reasonable identification of their employment. (2) A person who knowingly commits the offense of aggravated battery upon a correctional officer while the correctional officer is

Page 386

engaged in, or on account of the performance of, his or her official duties shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than ten nor more than 20 years. (f) Any person who commits the offense of aggravated battery in a public transit vehicle or station shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 20 years. For purposes of this Code section, `public transit vehicle' has the same meaning as in subsection (c) of Code Section 16-5-20. (g) Any person who commits the offense of aggravated battery upon a student or teacher or other school personnel within a school safety zone as defined in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 16-11-127.1 shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 20 years. (h) If the offense of aggravated battery is committed between past or present spouses, persons who are parents of the same child, parents and children, stepparents and stepchildren, foster parents and foster children, or other persons excluding siblings living or formerly living in the same household, the defendant shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than three nor more than 20 years. SECTION 6 . Said article is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 16-5-70, relating to the crime of cruelty to children, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 16-5-70 to read as follows: 16-5-70. (a) A parent, guardian, or other person supervising the welfare of or having immediate charge or custody of a child under the age of 18 commits the offense of cruelty to children in the first degree when such person willfully deprives the child of necessary sustenance to the extent that the child's health or well-being is jeopardized. (b) Any person commits the offense of cruelty to children in the first degree when such person maliciously causes a child under the age of 18 cruel or excessive physical or mental pain. (c) Any person commits the offense of cruelty to children in the second degree when: (1) Such person, who is the primary aggressor, intentionally allows a child under the age of 18 to witness the commission of a forcible felony, battery, or family violence battery; or (2) Such person, who is the primary aggressor, having knowledge that a child under the age of 18 is present and sees or hears the act, commits a forcible felony, battery, or family violence battery.

Page 387

(d) A person convicted of the offense of cruelty to children in the first degree as provided in this Code section shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 20 years. (e) A person convicted of the offense of cruelty to children in the second degree shall be punished as for a misdemeanor upon the first or second conviction. Upon conviction of a third or subsequent offense of cruelty to children in the second degree, the defendant shall be guilty of a felony and shall be sentenced to a fine not less than $1,000.00 nor more than $5,000.00 or imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than three years or shall be sentenced to both fine and imprisonment. SECTION 7 . Nothing herein shall be construed to validate a relationship between people of the same sex as a marriage under the laws of this State. 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 April 22, 1999. PROFESSIONS AND BUSINESSESSPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGISTS AND AUDIOLOGISTS; DEFINITIONS; BOARD MEETINGS; LICENSURE EXEMPTION; STANDARDS; TEMPORARY LICENSES. Code Sections 43-44-3, 43-44-5, 43-44-7, 43-44-8, and 43-44-11 Amended. No. 291 (Senate Bill No. 133). AN ACT To amend Chapter 44 of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to speech-language pathologists and audiologists, so as to change the provisions relating to definitions; to change the provisions relating to meeting times of the board; to provide for an additional exemption from licensure; to change the standards for licensure; to provide for temporary licenses; to repeal existing laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . Chapter 44 of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to speech-language pathologists and audiologists, is amended by striking

Page 388

paragraphs (6) and (7) of Code Section 43-44-3, relating to definitions, in their entirety and inserting in their places the following: (6) `The practice of audiology' means the application of principles, methods, and procedures of identification of hearing loss, measurement, testing, evaluation, case management, prediction, prevention, consultation, counseling, instruction, and research related to hearing, hearing disorders, and auditory and vestibular function and dysfunction; intervention as related to such principles, methods, and procedures; interpretation of the results of such principles, methods, and procedures; the evaluation, recommendations, fitting, and dispensing of hearing aids, auditory trainers, and other assistive devices designed to ameliorate the effects of a hearing disorder; and the planning, directing, conducting, and participating in hearing conservation programs and programs of habilitation, rehabilitation, and intervention for disorders of hearing, auditory function and processing, and vestibular function, including but not limited to auditory training, speechreading, and vestibular rehabilitation, which vestibular function and rehabilitation the audiologist is qualified to perform by virtue of education, training, and experience. (7) `The practice of speech-language pathology' means the application of principles, methods, and procedures for the measurement, testing, evaluation, prediction, consultation, counseling, instruction, intervention, research, habilitation, or rehabilitation related to the development and disorders of speech or language including but not limited to voice, resonance, fluency, cognition, and swallowing for the purpose of evaluating, preventing, ameliorating, modifying, or otherwise treating such disorders and conditions in individuals or groups of individuals. SECTION 2 . Said chapter is further amended by striking Code Section 43-44-5, relating to meetings and officers, in its entirety and inserting in its place the following: 43-44-5. The board shall hold a regular annual meeting at which it shall elect from its membership a chairperson and vice chairperson. In addition to its annual meeting, the board shall hold such other meetings as are necessary for the performance of its duties under this chapter. The members of the board shall be reimbursed as provided for in subsection (f) of Code Section 43-1-2. SECTION 3 . Said chapter is further amended by striking Code Section 43-44-7, relating to license requirements and exemptions, in its entirety and inserting in its place the following:

Page 389

43-44-7. (a) No person shall practice or hold himself or herself out as being able to practice speech-language pathology or audiology in this state unless that person is licensed in accordance with this chapter. Nothing in this chapter, however, shall be construed so as to prevent a person licensed under any other law of this state from operating within the scope of that person's license. (b) (1) Licensure is not required of a speech-language pathologist certified by the Department of Education or Professional Standards Commission or successor agency while that person is working as an employee of an educational institution, provided that no fees are charged for the services either directly or through a third party, except for Medicaid. (2) Registration as a speech-language pathology aide is not required of a public education communication aide while that person is working as an employee of an educational institution, provided that no fees are charged for the services either directly or through a third party. (c) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent participation by a student, intern, or fellow in supervised clinical services which are directly related to meeting the qualifications for licensure as stipulated by this chapter. (d) Licensees shall conspicuously post their speech-language pathology or audiology license at all times in their principal office or place of business. (e) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to entitle any person licensed under this chapter to engage in the practice of selling and dispensing hearing aids unless such person is licensed as an audiologist under this chapter. (f) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to limit in any way the rights of hearing aid dealers or dispensers licensed under the laws of this state. (g) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to restrict hearing testing or any other act by a physician licensed under Chapter 34 of this title operating within the scope of his or her license or the performing of hearing testing by persons acting under the supervision of a licensed physician, provided that the physician must be on the premises while such acts are being performed. (h) A person who is not licensed as an audiologist may perform nondiagnostic electro-physiologic screening of the auditory system, using otoacoustic emissions or auditory brainstem response technology, as part of a planned and organized screening effort for the initial

Page 390

identification of communication disorders in infants under the age of three months, provided that: (1) The person not licensed as an audiologist has completed a procedure specific training program directed by an audiologist licensed under this chapter; (2) The screening equipment and protocol used are fully automated and the protocol is not accessible for alteration or adjustment by the person not licensed as an audiologist; (3) The results of the screening are determined automatically by the programmed test equipment, without discretionary judgment by the person not licensed as an audiologist, and are only reported as `pass or fail' or `pass or refer.' (4) An audiologist licensed under this chapter is responsible for the training of the person not licensed as an audiologist, the selection of the screening program protocol, the determination of administration guidelines, the periodic monitoring of the performance of the person not licensed as an audiologist, and the screening program results; and (5) The participation of the person not licensed as an audiologist in such an automated screening program is limited to the recording of patient demographic information; the application of earphones, electrodes, and other necessary devices; the initiation of the test; the recording of the results; and the arrangement of the referral for those who do not pass the screening to an audiologist licensed under this chapter for follow-up evaluation. SECTION 4 . Said chapter is further amended by striking paragraphs (1) and (4) of subsection (a) of Code Section 43-44-8, relating to license requirements, in their entirety and inserting in their respective places the following: (1) Hold a master's or higher degree, with a major emphasis in speech-language pathology or audiology, or both, from an accredited educational institution; . (4) Submit evidence of no less than nine months of full-time paid clinical experience in the area for which a license is requested. This clinical experience must be obtained under the supervision of one or more licensed speech-language pathologists or audiologists or one or more speech-language pathologists or audiologists who hold the Certificate of Clinical Competence of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Supervision must be provided by individuals licensed or certified in the appropriate area. This experience must follow completion of the requirements listed in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of this subsection. `Full-time' is defined as at least 30 hours per week. The nine months of full-time paid experience must be obtained

Page 391

within a period of 24 consecutive months. This requirement may also be fulfilled by 18 months of half-time paid experience of at least 15 hours per week which must be completed within a period of 36 months; . SECTION 5 . Said chapter is further amended by adding a new subsection (b.1) after subsection (b) of Code Section 43-44-11, relating to temporary licenses, to read as follows: (b.1) The board may, in its discretion, upon payment of fees, grant a temporary license to an applicant who has satisfied the requirements of paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of subsection (a) of Code Section 43-44-8 and who is engaged in a paid clinical experience pursuant to paragraph (4) of said subsection. Such temporary license shall be valid for one year and subject to renewal for only one additional year. A person holding a temporary license shall be subject to the same disciplinary action as a person holding a full license. SECTION 6 . This Act shall become effective on July 1, 1999. SECTION 7 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 22, 1999. MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFICHEIDI'S LAW; HOMICIDE BY VEHICLE; BAIL; DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL, DRUGS, OR OTHER INTOXICATING SUBSTANCES; DRIVING WHILE A LICENSE IS SUSPENDED; SERIOUS INJURY BY VEHICLE; IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICES; PROBATION. Code Sections 17-6-1, 17-10-3.1, 40-5-64, 40-5-121, 40-6-391, 40-6-393, 40-6-394, 42-8-110, and 42-8-111 Amended. No. 292 (Senate Bill No. 164). AN ACT To amend Title 17 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to criminal procedure, so as to change certain provisions relating to bailable offenses; to change certain provisions relating to punishments for certain violations of Code Section 40-6-391; to amend Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to motor vehicles and traffic, so as to change certain provisions relating to limited driving permits for certain

Page 392

offenders; to change certain provisions relating to driving while a license is suspended or revoked; to change certain provisions relating to driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicating substances; to change certain provisions relating to homicide by vehicle; to change certain provisions relating to serious injury by vehicle; to amend Article 7 of Chapter 8 of Title 42 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to ignition interlock devices as a condition of probation, so as to change certain provisions relating to court ordered installation of ignition interlock devices; to provide legislative findings and declarations; to provide a short title; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . The General Assembly finds and declares as follows: WHEREAS, Heidi Marie Flye (Woodyard), age 32, was a vibrant, beautiful, and loving wife, mother, daughter, and sister who lived a life dedicated to her family, her religion, and unselfish acts of kindness; and WHEREAS, Cathryn Nicole Flye (Cady), age 6, and Audrey Marie Flye, age 4, were the beloved children of Heidi Flye; and WHEREAS, on July 13, 1998, Heidi Marie Flye, Cathryn Nicole Flye, and Audrey Marie Flye were killed in a motor vehicle collision which involved the drunk driver who had been convicted of driving under the influence in Georgia less than a year before he killed Heidi Marie Flye, Cathryn Nicole Flye, and Audrey Marie Flye; and WHEREAS, the entire county of Forsyth has felt the impact and sorrow of the premature and senseless deaths of Heidi Marie Flye, Cathryn Nicole Flye, and Audrey Marie Flye; and WHEREAS, the deaths of Heidi Marie Flye, Cathryn Nicole Flye, and Audrey Marie Flye could have been prevented had the driver who killed them been required to have an ignition interlock device installed on his vehicle; and WHEREAS, Heidi Marie Flye, Cathryn Nicole Flye, and Audrey Marie Flye are, unfortunately, among the more prominent examples of the over 600 people in Georgia who are killed each year by individuals who drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs; and WHEREAS, drunk drivers account for over one-third of the total fatalities that occur each year in motor vehicle accidents; and WHEREAS, the likelihood of being killed in a motor vehicle crash is much greater if the driver of the other vehicle is under the influence of alcohol or drugs; and

Page 393

WHEREAS, drunk drivers represent an economic cost of over $1.1 billion to the state and people of Georgia; and WHEREAS, an ignition interlock program has been shown to be effective in reducing both the number of drunk drivers on the highways and the number of fatalities caused by repeat offenders; and WHEREAS, it is fitting to honor the memory of all victims of drunken driving and Heidi Marie Flye, Cathryn Nicole Flye, and Audrey Marie Flye in particular by strengthening the laws requiring the installation and use of ignition interlock devices. SECTION 2 . This Act shall be known and may be cited as Heidi's Law. SECTION 3 . Title 17 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to criminal procedure, is amended by striking subsection (f) of Code Section 17-6-1, relating to bailable offenses, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (f) (1) Except as provided in subsection (a) of this Code section or as otherwise provided in this subsection, the judge of any court of inquiry may by written order establish a schedule of bails and unless otherwise ordered by the judge of any court, a person charged with committing any offense shall be released from custody upon posting bail as fixed in the schedule. (2) For offenses involving an act of family violence, as defined in Code Section 19-13-1, the schedule of bails provided for in paragraph (1) of this subsection shall require increased bail and shall include a listing of specific conditions which shall include, but not be limited to, having no contact of any kind or character with the victim or any member of the victim's family or household, not physically abusing or threatening to physically abuse the victim, the immediate enrollment in and participation in domestic violence counseling, substance abuse therapy, or other therapeutic requirements. (3) For offenses involving an act of family violence, the judge shall determine whether the schedule of bails and one or more of its specific conditions shall be used, except that any offense involving an act of family violence and serious injury to the victim shall be bailable only before a judge when the judge or the arresting officer is of the opinion that the danger of further violence to or harassment or intimidation of the victim is such as to make it desirable that the consideration of the imposition of additional conditions as authorized in this Code section should be made. Upon setting bail in any case involving family violence, the judge shall give particular consideration to the exigencies of the case at hand and shall impose any specific conditions as he or she may deem necessary. As used in this Code

Page 394

section, the term `serious injury' means bodily harm capable of being perceived by a person other than the victim and may include, but is not limited to, substantially blackened eyes, substantially swollen lips or other facial or body parts, substantial bruises to body parts, fractured bones, or permanent disfigurements and wounds inflicted by deadly weapons or any other objects which, when used offensively against a person, are capable of causing serious bodily injury. (4) If probable cause is shown that the offense charged is in furtherance of a pattern of criminal gang activity as defined by Code Section 16-15-3, the court shall require increased bail and shall include as a condition of bail or pretrial release that the defendant shall not have contact of any kind or character with any other member or associate of a criminal street gang and that the defendant shall not have contact of any kind or character with the victim or any member of the victim's family or household. (5) For offenses involving violations of Code Section 40-6-393, bail or other release from custody shall be set by a judge on an individual basis and not a schedule of bails pursuant to this Code section. SECTION 4 . Said title is further amended by striking Code Section 17-10-3.1, relating to punishment for certain violations of Code Section 40-6-391, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 17-10-3.1. (a) In any case where a person is sentenced to a period of imprisonment under Code Section 40-6-391 upon conviction for violating subsection (k) of said Code section, it is within the authority and discretion of the sentencing judge in cases involving the first such violation to allow the sentence to be served on weekends by weekend confinement or during the nonworking hours of the defendant. A weekend shall commence and shall end in the discretion of the sentencing judge, and the nonworking hours of the defendant shall be determined in the discretion of the sentencing judge; provided, however, that the judge shall retain plenary control of the defendant at all times during the sentence period. Confinement during the nonworking hours of a defendant during any day may be counted as serving a full day of the sentence. (b) Any confinement of a person pursuant to a sentence to a period of imprisonment under Code Section 40-6-391 upon conviction for violating subsection (k) of said Code section shall be served in a county jail, provided that for the first such violation such person shall be kept segregated from all offenders other than those confined for violating subsection (k) of Code Section 40-6-391. SECTION 5 . Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to motor vehicles and traffic, is amended by striking subsection (a) of Code Section

Page 395

40-5-64, relating to limited driving permits for certain offenders, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (a) To whom issued . Notwithstanding any contrary provisions of Code Section 40-5-57 or 40-5-63 or any other Code sections of this chapter, any person who has not been previously convicted or adjudicated delinquent for a violation of Code Section 40-6-391 within five years, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained or pleas of nolo contendere were accepted to the date of the current arrest for which a conviction is obtained or a plea of nolo contendere is accepted, may apply for a limited driving permit when and only when that person's driver's license has been suspended in accordance with paragraph (2) of subsection (a.1) of Code Section 40-5-22, subsection (d) of Code Section 40-5-57, paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 40-5-63, or paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 40-5-67.2 or as otherwise provided by Code Section 40-5-63.1. SECTION 6 . Said title is further amended by striking subsection (a) of Code Section 40-5-121, relating to driving while license suspended or revoked, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (a) Except when a license has been revoked under Code Section 40-5-58 as a habitual violator, any person who drives a motor vehicle on any public highway of this state at a time when his privilege to do so is suspended, disqualified, or revoked shall be guilty of a misdemeanor for a first conviction thereof and, upon a first conviction thereof or plea of nolo contendere within five years, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained to the date of the current arrest for which a conviction is obtained, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than two days nor more than 12 months, and there may be imposed in addition thereto a fine of not less than $500.00 nor more than $1,000.00. For the second or subsequent conviction within five years, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained or pleas of nolo contendere were accepted to the date of the current arrest for which a conviction is obtained or a plea of nolo contendere is accepted, such person shall be guilty of a high and aggravated misdemeanor and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than ten days nor more than 12 months and there may be imposed in addition thereto a fine of not less than $1,000.00 nor more than $2,500.00. SECTION 7 . Said title is further amended by striking subsection (c) of Code Section 40-6-391, relating to driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicating substances, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (c) Every person convicted of violating this Code section shall, upon a first or second conviction thereof, be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon

Page 396

a third or subsequent conviction thereof, be guilty of a high and aggravated misdemeanor and shall be punished as follows: (1) First conviction with no conviction of and no plea of nolo contendere accepted to a charge of violating this Code section within the previous five years, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained or pleas of nolo contendere were accepted to the date of the current arrest for which a conviction is obtained or a plea of nolo contendere is accepted: (A) A fine of not less than $300.00 nor more than $1,000.00, which fine shall not, except as provided in subsection (g) of this Code section, be subject to suspension, stay, or probation; (B) A period of imprisonment of not less than ten days nor more than 12 months, which period of imprisonment may, at the sole discretion of the judge, be suspended, stayed, or probated, except that if the offender's alcohol concentration at the time of the offense was 0.08 grams or more, the judge may suspend, stay, or probate all but 24 hours of any term of imprisonment imposed under this subparagraph; (C) Not less than 40 hours of community service, except that for a conviction for violation of subsection (k) of this Code section where the person's alcohol concentration at the time of the offense was less than 0.08 grams, the period of community service shall be not less than 20 hours; and (D) If the defendant is sentenced to a period of imprisonment for less than 12 months, a period of probation of 12 months less any days during which the defendant is actually incarcerated; (2) For the second conviction within a five-year period of time, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained or pleas of nolo contendere were accepted to the date of the current arrest for which a conviction is obtained or a plea of nolo contendere is accepted: (A) A fine of not less than $600.00 nor more than $1,000.00, which fine shall not, except as provided in subsection (g) of this Code section, be subject to suspension, stay, or probation; (B) A period of imprisonment of not less than 90 days nor more than 12 months. At the sole discretion and under such terms and conditions as the judge shall impose, the judge may suspend, stay, or probate all but 48 hours of any term of imprisonment imposed under this subparagraph; (C) Not less than 80 hours of community service, except that for a second conviction for violation of subsection (k) of this Code section where the person's alcohol concentration at the time of the

Page 397

offense was less than 0.08 grams, the period of community service shall be not less than 40 hours; and (D) If the defendant is sentenced to a period of imprisonment for less than 12 months, a period of probation of 12 months less any days during which the defendant is actually incarcerated; or (3) For the third or subsequent conviction within a five-year period of time, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained or pleas of nolo contendere were accepted to the date of the current arrest for which a conviction is obtained or a plea of nolo contendere is accepted: (A) A fine of not less than $1,000.00 and not more than $5,000.00, which fine shall not, except as provided in subsection (g) of this Code section, be subject to suspension, stay, or probation; (B) A mandatory period of imprisonment of not less than 120 days nor more than 12 months. At the sole discretion and under such terms and conditions as the judge shall impose, the judge may suspend, stay, or probate all but ten days of any term of imprisonment imposed under this subparagraph; (C) Not less than 20 days of community service, except that for a third or subsequent conviction for violation of subsection (k) of this Code section where the person's alcohol concentration at the time of the offense was less than 0.08 grams, the period of community service shall be not less than 40 hours; and (D) If the defendant is sentenced to a period of imprisonment for less than 12 months, a period of probation of 12 months less any days during which the defendant is actually incarcerated. For the purpose of imposing a sentence under this subsection, a plea of nolo contendere or an adjudication of delinquency based on a violation of this Code section shall constitute a conviction. SECTION 8 . Said title is further amended by striking paragraph (1) of subsection (j) of Code Section 40-6-391, relating to driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicating substances, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (j) (1) The clerk of the court in which a person is convicted a second or subsequent time under subsection (c) of this Code section within five years, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained or pleas of nolo contendere were accepted to the date of the current arrest for which a conviction is obtained or a plea of nolo contendere is accepted, shall cause to be published a notice of conviction for each such person convicted. Such notices of

Page 398

conviction shall be published in the manner of legal notices in the legal organ of the county in which such person resides or, in the case of nonresidents, in the legal organ of the county in which the person was convicted. Such notice of conviction shall be one column wide by two inches long and shall contain the photograph taken by the arresting law enforcement agency at the time of arrest, name, and address of the convicted person and the date, time, place of arrest, and disposition of the case and shall be published once in the legal organ of the appropriate county in the second week following such conviction or as soon thereafter as publication may be made. SECTION 9 . Said title is further amended by striking Code Section 40-6-393, relating to homicide by vehicle, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 40-6-393. (a) Any person who, without malice aforethought, causes the death of another person through the violation of subsection (a) of Code Section 40-6-163 or subsection (b) of Code Section 40-6-270 or Code Section 40-6-390 or 40-6-391 or subsection (a) of Code Section 40-6-395 commits the offense of homicide by vehicle in the first degree and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than three years nor more than 15 years. (b) Any person who causes the death of another person, without an intention to do so, by violating any provision of this title other than subsection (a) of Code Section 40-6-163 or subsection (b) of Code Section 40-6-270 or Code Section 40-6-390 or 40-6-391 or subsection (a) of Code Section 40-6-395 commits the offense of homicide by vehicle in the second degree when such violation is the cause of said death and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as provided in Code Section 17-10-3. (c) Any person who, after being declared a habitual violator as determined under Code Section 40-5-58 and while such person's license is in revocation, causes the death of another person, without malice aforethought, by operation of a motor vehicle, commits the offense of homicide by vehicle in the first degree and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than five years nor more than 20 years, and adjudication of guilt or imposition of such sentence for a person so convicted may be suspended, probated, deferred, or withheld but only after such person shall have served at least one year in the penitentiary. SECTION 10 . Said title is further amended by striking Code Section 40-6-394, relating to serious injury by vehicle, and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Page 399

40-6-394. Whoever, without malice, shall cause bodily harm to another by depriving him of a member of his body, by rendering a member of his body useless, by seriously disfiguring his body or a member thereof, or by causing organic brain damage which renders the body or any member thereof useless through the violation of Code Section 40-6-390 or 40-6-391 shall be guilty of the crime of serious injury by vehicle. A person convicted under this Code section shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than 15 years. SECTION 11 . Article 7 of Chapter 8 of Title 42 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to ignition interlock devices as a condition of probation, is amended by adding at the end of Code Section 42-8-110, relating to the purchase or lease of ignition interlock devices by counties, municipalities, or private entities, a new subsection (e) to read as follows: (e) If a county, municipality, or other political subdivision of this state contracts with a private entity to operate a provider center or leases ignition interlock devices from a private entity, such contract shall include provisions that will allow persons who are found by the court to be indigent and unable to pay the fees or deposits for such ignition interlock device to participate in the ignition interlock program. SECTION 12 . Said article is further amended by striking Code Section 42-8-111, relating to court ordered installation of ignition interlock devices, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 42-8-111 to read as follows: 42-8-111. (a) In addition to any other provision of probation, upon a conviction of a second charge of violating Code Section 40-6-391 for which a person is granted probation, the court shall order that such person not drive a motor vehicle for a period of not less than six months unless such vehicle is equipped with a functioning, certified ignition interlock device. For the purposes of this subsection, a plea of nolo contendere shall constitute a conviction. Any person who is ordered to obtain and use an ignition interlock device, as a condition of probation, shall complete the DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program and submit to the court or probation department a certificate of completion of the DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program and certification of installation of a certified ignition interlock device. (b) Except as otherwise provided in this article, the court may order the installation of a certified ignition interlock device on any vehicle which

Page 400

any person subject to subsection (a) of this Code section owns or operates. (c) If use of an ignition interlock device is ordered, the court shall include in the record of conviction or violation submitted to the Department of Public Safety notice of the requirement for, and the period of the requirement for, the use of a certified ignition interlock device. The records of the Department of Public Safety shall contain a record reflecting mandatory use of such device and the person's driver's license shall contain a notation that the person may only operate a motor vehicle equipped with a functioning, certified ignition interlock device. (d) Except as provided in Code Section 42-8-112, no provision of this article shall be deemed to reduce any period of driver's license suspension or revocation otherwise imposed by law. (e) The fee for issuance of any driver's license indicating that use of an ignition interlock device is required shall be $15.00, except that for habitual violators required to use an ignition interlock device as a condition of a probationary license the fee shall be as prescribed in Code Section 40-5-58. Upon expiration of the period of time for which such person is required to use an ignition interlock device the person may apply for and receive a regular driver's license upon payment of the fee provided for in Code Section 40-5-25. SECTION 13 . This Act shall become effective on the first day of the month following the month in which it is approved by the Governor or in which it becomes law without such approval. SECTION 14 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 22, 1999. EDUCATIONCAPITAL OUTLAY FUNDS; LOW-WEALTH CAPITAL OUTLAY GRANTS TO LOCAL SCHOOL SYSTEMS. Code Section 20-2-262 Enacted. No. 293 (House Bill No. 149). AN ACT To amend Part 10 of Article 6 of Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to capital outlay funds, so as to provide for legislative findings and intent; to define certain terms; to provide for low-wealth capital outlay grants to be made by the State Board of Education to local school systems; to establish criteria for eligibility for such grants; to

Page 401

provide for an effective date and automatic repeal; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . Part 10 of Article 6 of Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated is amended by adding a new Code section, to be designated as Code Section 20-2-262, to read as follows: 20-2-262. (a) The General Assembly finds that many local school systems in Georgia have relatively weak local tax bases and are unable to raise revenues sufficient to meet their facility needs. The General Assembly further finds that even with current levels of state capital outlay support, these systems must wait for years before they can accumulate funds to initiate construction projects that are needed immediately. For some systems, the availability of the local option sales tax does not resolve their problem, because their commercial tax base is as meager as their property wealth. The difficulty is compounded if the per capita income in the school system is low, because residents have less ability to take advantage of property tax and sales tax options to meet their facility needs. It is the intent of the General Assembly to provide for state capital outlay grants specifically targeted to low-wealth school systems, on a trial basis, in order to help such systems initiate what they have been unable to accomplish with existing revenue sources. (b) As used in this Code section, the terms `full-time equivalent student count' and `weighted full-time equivalent student count' shall have the same meaning as provided in Code Section 20-2-260. (c) The State Board of Education shall provide eligible local school systems with low-wealth capital outlay grants as provided for in this Code section, subject to appropriation by the General Assembly. Such grants shall provide sufficient funds to cover 90 percent of the cost of the local school system's first priority project, as contained in the system's most recently approved local facilities plan. (d) Local school systems which meet the following criteria shall be eligible for a low-wealth capital outlay grant: (1) The amount of sales tax revenues per unit in the full-time equivalent student count of the local school system is less than 75 percent of the state-wide average sales tax revenues per unit in the full-time equivalent student count; (2) The value of property per unit in the weighted full-time equivalent student count of the local school system is less than 75 percent of

Page 402

the state-wide average value of property per unit in the weighted full-time equivalent student count; (3) The per capita income of residents of the local school district is less than 75 percent of the state-wide average per capita income level; (4) The local school system's millage rate for maintenance and operation is at least 60 percent of the system's constitutional authority to recommend; or if the school system is not a recommending authority, the appropriations to the system represent a minimum of 60 percent of the amount that would be generated by a rate of 20 mills; or if the school system is eligible to receive local option sales tax proceeds for maintenance and operation purposes, the combination of property tax revenue and sales tax revenue represents a minimum of 60 percent of the amount that would be generated by a rate of 20 mills; (5) A special purpose local option sales tax is in effect in the local school district or the local school system has in place a millage rate for debt service on bonds, or both; and (6) The local school system is currently participating in advance funding from the state for capital outlay projects and will continue in that status for a minimum of one additional fiscal year beyond the fiscal year for which the grant is made. SECTION 2 . This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval and shall be automatically repealed on June 30, 2002. SECTION 3 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 22, 1999. EDUCATIONPRIVATE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES AUTHORITY; DEFINITION; SCOPE; MEDICAL LOANS AND SCHOLARSHIPS. Code Sections 20-3-201, 20-3-513, and 20-3-514 Amended. No. 294 (House Bill No. 211). AN ACT To amend Chapter 3 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to postsecondary education, so as to change the definition of the term institution of higher education for purposes of Article 6 of said

Page 403

chapter, the Private Colleges and Universities Authority Act, and thereby change the scope and operation of said article; to change provisions relating to the conditions of repayment of medical loans and scholarships and the signing of contracts relating to medical loans and scholarships; 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 3 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to postsecondary education, is amended in Code Section 20-3-201, relating to definitions of terms applicable in Article 6 of said chapter, the Private Colleges and Universities Authority Act, by striking paragraph (9) of the Code section and inserting in its place a new paragraph to read as follows: (9) `Institution for higher education' means a nonprofit educational institution which is not owned or controlled by the state or any political subdivision, agency, instrumentality, district, or municipality thereof, which provides a program of education beyond the high school level and which: (A) Admits as regular students only individuals having a certificate of graduation from a high school, or the recognized equivalent of such a certificate; (B) Provides an educational program for which it awards a bachelor's degree or provides an educational program, admission into which is conditioned upon the prior attainment of a bachelor's degree or its equivalent, for which it awards a postgraduate degree, or provides not less than a two-year program which is acceptable for full credit toward such a degree; and (C) Is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association or, if not so accredited, is an institution whose credits are accepted, on transfer, by the university system and its educational units for credit on the same basis as if transferred from an institution so accredited, or any nonprofit corporation organized solely for the benefit of such an institution; provided, however, that a nonprofit educational institution which is otherwise an institution for higher education as defined in this paragraph shall be deemed to be an institution for higher education notwithstanding such institution's maintenance of a special early-admission policy for gifted high school students. SECTION 2 . Said chapter is further amended by striking Code Section 20-3-513, regarding the determination of the amount of medical loans and scholarships, and inserting in its place the following Code section:

Page 404

20-3-513. Students whose applications are approved shall receive a loan or scholarship in an amount to be determined by the State Medical Education Board to defray the tuition and other expenses of the applicant in an accredited four-year medical school in the United States which has received accreditation or provisional accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education of the American Medical Association or the Bureau of Professional Education of the American Osteopathic Association for a program in medical education designed to qualify the graduate for licensure by the Composite State Board of Medical Examiners of Georgia. The loans and scholarships shall be paid in such manner as the State Medical Education Board shall determine and may be prorated so as to pay to the medical college or school to which any applicant is admitted such funds as are required by that college or school with the balance being paid directly to the applicant; all of which shall be under such terms and conditions as may be provided under rules and regulations of the State Medical Education Board. The loans or scholarships to be granted to each applicant shall be based upon the condition that the full amount of the loans or scholarships shall be repaid to the State of Georgia in services to be rendered by the applicant by practicing his or her profession in a State Medical Education Board approved rural county in Georgia of 35,000 population or less according to the United States decennial census of 1990 or any future such census or at any hospital or facility operated by or under the jurisdiction of the Department of Human Resources or at any facility operated by or under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections or at any facility operated by or under the jurisdiction of the Department of Juvenile Justice. For each year of practicing his or her profession in such State Medical Education Board approved location, the applicant shall receive credit for the amount of the scholarship received during any one year in medical school, with the interest due on such amount. SECTION 3 . Said chapter is further amended by striking subsection (a) of Code Section 20-3-514, relating to contracts for medical loans and scholarships, and inserting in its place the following subsection: (a) Each applicant before being granted a loan or scholarship shall enter into a contract with the State of Georgia agreeing to the terms and conditions upon which the loan or scholarship is granted, which contract shall include such terms and provisions as will carry out the full purpose and intent of this part. The form of such contract shall be prepared and approved by the Attorney General, and each contract shall be signed by the chairman of the State Medical Education Board, countersigned by the executive director of the State Medical Education Board, and shall be signed by the applicant. For the purposes of this part the disabilities of minority of all applicants granted loans or scholarships

Page 405

pursuant to this part are removed, and the said applicants are declared to be of full lawful age for the purpose of entering into the contract provided for in this Code section and such contract so executed by an applicant is declared to be a valid and binding contract the same as though the said applicant were of the full age of majority. The State Medical Education Board is vested with full and complete authority to bring an action in its own name against any applicant for any balance due the State Medical Education Board on any such contract. SECTION 4 . (a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this Code section, this Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval. (b) Sections 2 and 3 of this Act shall become effective on July 1, 1999. SECTION 5 . All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. Approved April 23, 1999. CORPORATIONS, PARTNERSHIPS, AND ASSOCIATIONSELECTRONIC FILING OF DOCUMENTS WITH THE SECRETARY OF STATE; ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES; EVIDENCE; PROXIES; MERGER OF PARENT CORPORATION INTO A SUBSIDIARY CORPORATION; FOREIGN CORPORATIONS. Code Title 14, Chapters 2, 3, 9, and 11 Amended. No. 295 (House Bill No. 224). AN ACT To amend Title 14 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to corporations, partnerships, and associations, so as to provide that certain documents filed with the Secretary of State may be signed by an attorney in fact; to provide that certain documents filed with the Secretary of State electronically may bear the electronic name of the person executing the document in lieu of a signature; to provide for fees; to provide that the Secretary of State may provide for the electronic filing of documents; to define a certain term; to provide for the evidentiary value of documents electronically transmitted; to delete certain provisions relative to the contents of articles of incorporation; to provide that a shareholder may by means of electronic transmission appoint a proxy to vote for him or her; to provide that a parent corporation may merge itself into a subsidiary

Page 406

corporation; to provide that such merger shall not require shareholder approval under certain conditions; to change the definition of the term beneficial owner; to change the provisions relating to which activities of a foreign corporation do not constitute transacting business; to change certain provisions relative to the publication of notice of incorporation; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1 . Title 14 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to corporations, partnerships and associations, is amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 14-2-120, relating to filing documents relative to business corporations, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 14-2-120. (a) A document must satisfy the requirements of this Code section and of any other Code section that adds to or varies these requirements to be entitled to filing by the Secretary of State. (b) This chapter must require or permit filing the document in the office of the Secretary of State. (c) The document must contain the information required by this chapter. It may contain other information as well. (d) The document must be typewritten or printed. (e) The document must be in the English language. A corporate name need not be in English if written in English letters or Arabic or Roman numerals, and the certificate of existence required of foreign corporations need not be in English if accompanied by a reasonably authenticated English translation. (f) The document must be executed: (1) By the chairperson of the board of directors of a domestic or foreign corporation, by its president, or by another of its officers; (2) If directors have not been selected or the corporation has not been formed, by an incorporator; or (3) If the corporation is in the hands of a receiver, trustee, or other court appointed fiduciary, by that fiduciary; provided, however, that the person executing the document may do so as an attorney in fact. Powers of attorney relating to the execution of the document do not need to be shown to or filed with the Secretary of State. (g) The person executing the document shall sign it and state beneath or opposite his or her signature his or her name and the capacity in

Page 407

which he or she signs; provided, however, that if the document is electronically transmitted, the electronic version of such person's name may be used in lieu of a signature. The document may but need not contain: (1) The corporate seal; (2) An attestation by the secretary or an assistant secretary; or (3) An acknowledgment, verification, or proof. (h) The document must be delivered to the office of the Secretary of State for filing and must be accompanied by one exact or conformed copy (except as provided in Code Sections 14-2-503 and 14-2-1509), the correct filing fee, any certificate required by Code Section 14-2-201.1, 14-2-1006.1, 14-2-1105.1, or 14-2-1403.1, and any penalty required by this chapter or other law. (i) Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter, the Secretary of State may authorize the filing of documents by electronic transmission, following the provisions of Chapter 12 of Title 10, the `Georgia Electronic Records and Signatures Act,' and the Secretary of State shall be authorized to promulgate such rules and regulations as are necessary to implement electronic filing procedures. SECTION 2 . Said title is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 14-2-127, relating to the evidentiary effect of a copy of a filed document, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 14-2-127. A certificate attached to a copy of a document or electronic transmission filed by the Secretary of State, bearing his or her signature, which may be in facsimile, and the printed or embossed seal of this state, or its electronic equivalent, is prima-facie evidence that the original document has been filed with the Secretary of State. SECTION 3 . Said title is further amended by inserting immediately following paragraph (7) of Code Section 14-2-140, relating to definitions relative to business corporations, a new paragraph to read as follows: (7.1) `Electronic transmission' or `electronically transmitted' means any process of communication not directly involving the physical transfer of paper that is suitable for the retention, retrieval, and reproduction of information by the recipient. SECTION 4 . Said title is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 14-2-202, relating to articles of incorporation relative to business corporations, and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Page 408

14-2-202. (a) The articles of incorporation must set forth: (1) A corporate name for the corporation that satisfies the requirements of Code Section 14-2-401; (2) The number of shares the corporation is authorized to issue; (3) The street address and county of the corporation's initial registered office and the name of its initial registered agent at that office; (4) The name and address of each incorporator; and (5) The mailing address of the initial principal office of the corporation, if different from the initial registered office. (b) The articles of incorporation may set forth: (1) The names and addresses of the individuals who are to serve as the initial directors; (2) Provisions not inconsistent with law regarding: (A) The purpose or purposes for which the corporation is organized; (B) Managing the business and regulating the affairs of the corporation; (C) Defining, limiting, and regulating the powers of the corporation, its board of directors, and shareholders; (D) A par value for authorized shares or classes of shares; and (E) The imposition of personal liability on shareholders for the debts of the corporation to a specified extent and upon specified conditions; (3) Any provision that under this chapter is required or permitted to be set forth in the bylaws; (4) A provision eliminating or limiting the liability of a director to the corporation or its shareholders for monetary damages for any action taken, or any failure to take any action, as a director, except liability: (A) For any appropriation, in violation of his or her duties, of any business opportunity of the corporation; (B) For acts or omissions which involve intentional misconduct or a knowing violation of law; (C) For the types of liability set forth in Code Section 14-2-832; or (D) For any transaction from which the director received an improper personal benefit,

Page 409

provided that no such provision shall eliminate or limit the liability of a director for any act or omission occurring prior to the date when such provision becomes effective; and (5) A provision that, in discharging the duties of their respective positions and in determining what is believed to be in the best interests of the corporation, the board of directors, committees of the board of directors, and individual directors, in addition to considering the effects of any action on the corporation or its shareholders, may consider the interests of the employees, customers, suppliers, and creditors of the corporation and its subsidiaries, the communities in which offices or other establishments of the corporation and its subsidiaries are located, and all other factors such directors consider pertinent; provided, however, that any such provision shall be deemed solely to grant discretionary authority to the directors and shall not be deemed to provide to any constituency any right to be considered. (c) The articles of incorporation need not set forth any of the corporate powers enumerated in this chapter. SECTION 5 . Said title is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 14-2-501, relating to the registered office and registered agent relative to business corporations, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 14-2-501. Each corporation must continuously maintain in this state: (1) A registered office that may be the same as any of its places of business; and (2) A registered agent, who may be: (A) A person who resides in this state and whose business office is identical with the registered office; (B) A domestic corporation or nonprofit domestic corporation whose business office is identical with the registered office; or (C) A foreign corporation or nonprofit foreign corporation authorized to transact business in this state whose business office is identical with the registered office. SECTION 6 . Said title is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 14-2-722, relating to proxies, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 14-2-722. (a) A shareholder may vote his or her shares in person or by proxy.

Page 410

(b) A shareholder or his or her agent or attorney in fact may appoint a proxy to vote or otherwise act for the shareholder by signing an appointment form or by an electronic transmission. An electronic transmission must contain or be accompanied by information from which it can be determined that the shareholder, the shareholder's agent, or the shareholder's attorney in fact authorized the electronic transmission. (c) An appointment of a proxy is effective when a signed appointment form or electronic transmission of the appointment is received by the inspector of election or the officer or agent of the corporation authorized to tabulate votes. An appointment is valid for 11 months unless a longer period is expressly provided in the appointment. (d) An appointment of a proxy is revocable unless the appointment form or electronic transmission states that it is irrevocable and the appointment is coupled with an interest. Appointments coupled with an interest include the appointment of: (1) A pledgee; (2) A person who purchased or agreed to purchase the shares; (3) A creditor of the corporation who extended it credit under terms requiring the appointment; (4) An employee of the corporation whose employment contract requires the appointment; or (5) A party to a voting agreement created under Code Section 14-2-731. (e) The death or incapacity of the shareholder appointing a proxy does not affect the right of the corporation to accept the proxy's authority unless notice of the death or incapacity is received by the secretary or other officer or agent authorized to tabulate votes before the proxy exercises his or her authority under the appointment. (f) An appointment made irrevocable under subsection (d) of this Code section is revoked when the interest with which it is coupled is extinguished. (g) A transferee for value of shares subject to an irrevocable appointment may revoke the appointment if he or she did not know of its existence when he or she acquired the shares and the existence of the irrevocable appointment was not noted conspicuously on the certificate representing the shares or on the information statement for shares without certificates. (h) Subject to Code Section 14-2-724 and to any express limitation on the proxy's authority stated in the appointment form or electronic

Page 411

transmission, a corporation is entitled to accept the proxy's vote or other action as that of the shareholder making the appointment. (i) Any copy, facsimile transmission, or other reliable reproduction of the writing or electronic transmission created pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section may be substituted or used in lieu of the original writing or electronic transmission for any and all purposes for which the original writing or electronic transmission could be used, provided that such copy, facsimile transmission, or other reproduction shall be a complete reproduction of the entire original writing or electronic transmission. (j) A corporation may adopt bylaws authorizing additional means or procedures for shareholders to exercise rights granted by this Code section. SECTION 7 . Said title is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 14-2-1006.1, relating to the publication of notice of change of name, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 14-2-1006.1. (a) Together with the articles of amendment which change the name of the corporation, the corporation shall deliver to the Secretary of State an undertaking, which may appear in the articles of amendment or be set forth in a letter or other instrument executed by an incorporator or any person authorized to act on behalf of the corporation, to publish a notice of the filing of the articles of amendment as required by subsection (b) of this Code section. (b) No later than the next business day following the delivery of the articles of amendment and certificate as provided in subsection (a) of this Code section, the corporation shall mail or deliver to the publisher of a newspaper which is the official organ of the county where the registered office of the corporation is located or which is a newspaper of general circulation published within such county whose most recently published annual statement of ownership and circulation reflects a minimum of 60 percent paid circulation a request to publish a notice in substantially the following form: `NOTICE OF CHANGE OF CORPORATE NAME Notice is given that articles of amendment which will change the name of(present corporate name) to(proposed corporate name) have been delivered to the Secretary of State for filing in accordance with the Georgia Business Corporation Code. The registered office of the corporation is located at(address of registered office).'

Page 412

The request for publication of the notice shall be accompanied by a check, draft, or money order in the amount of $40.00 in payment of the cost of publication. The notice shall be published once a week for two consecutive weeks commencing within ten days after receipt of the notice by the newspaper. Failure on the part of the corporation to mail or deliver the notice or payment therefor or failure on the part of the newspaper to publish the notice in compliance with this subsection shall not invalidate the articles of amendment or the change of the name of the corporation. SECTION 8 . Said title is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 14-2-1104, relating to the merger of a subsidiary corporation into a parent corporation, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 14-2-1104. (a) A parent corporation owning at least 90 percent of the outstanding shares of each class of a subsidiary corporation may either merge the subsidiary into itself or merge itself into the subsidiary corporation without approval of the shareholders of the parent or subsidiary except as provided in subsection (b) of this Code section. (b) If a parent corporation merges itself into a subsidiary corporation as provided in subsection (a) of this Code section, the parent corporation shall comply with the requirements of Code Section 14-2-1103 unless: (1) Immediately following the effective time of the merger, the articles of incorporation and the bylaws of the surviving corporation are identical, except for any differences in the articles of incorporation permitted by amendments enumerated in Code Section 14-2-1002, to the articles of incorporation and the bylaws of the parent corporation immediately prior to the effective time of the merger; (2) Each shareholder of the parent corporation whose shares were outstanding immediately prior to the effective time of the merger will receive a like number of shares of the surviving corporation, with designations, preferences, limitations, and relative rights identical to those previously held by each shareholder; (3) The number and kind of shares of the surviving corporation outstanding immediately following the effective time of the merger, plus the number and kind of shares issuable as a result of the merger and by conversion of securities issued pursuant to the merger or the exercise of rights and warrants issued pursuant to the merger, will not exceed the total number and kind of shares of the parent corporation authorized by its articles of incorporation immediately prior to the effective time of the merger; and

Page 413

(4) The directors of the parent corporation become or remain the directors of the surviving corporation upon the effective time of the merger. (c) The board of directors of the parent shall adopt a plan of merger that sets forth: (1) The names of the parent and subsidiary; and (2) The manner and basis of converting the shares of the parent or subsidiary into shares, obligations, or other securities of the surviving corporation or any other corporation or into cash or other property in whole or in part. (d) Within ten days after the corporate action is taken, the surviving corporation shall mail a copy or summary of the plan of merger to each shareholder of the subsidiary or parent who does not waive the mailing requirement in writing. (e) If the parent corporation is the surviving corporation, articles of merger or a certificate of merger under this Code section may not contain amendments to the articles of incorporation of the parent corporation (except for amendments enumerated in Code Section 14-2-1002). SECTION 9 . Said title is further amended by striking in its entirety paragraph (4) of Code Section 14-2-1110, relating to definitions relative to fair price requirements, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (4) `Beneficial owner' means a person shall be considered to be the beneficial owner of any equity securities: (A) Which such person or any of such person's affiliates or associates owns, directly or indirectly; (B) Which such person or any of such person's affiliates or associates, directly or indirectly, has: (i) The right to acquire, whether such right is exercisable immediately or only after the passage of time, pursuant to any agreement, arrangement, or understanding or upon the exercise of conversion rights, exchange rights, warrants or options, or otherwise; or (ii) The right to vote pursuant to any agreement, arrangement, or understanding; or (C) Which are owned, directly or indirectly, by any other person with which such person or any of such person's affiliates or associates has any agreement, arrangement, or understanding for the purpose of acquiring, holding, voting, or disposing of equity

Page 414

securities; provided, however, that a person shall not be considered to be a beneficial owner of any equity securities which (i) have been tendered pursuant to a tender or exchange offer made by such person or such person's affiliates or associates until such tendered stock is accepted for purchase or exchange or (ii) such person or such person's affiliates or associates have the right to vote pursuant to any agreement, arrangement, or understanding if the agreement, arrangement, or understanding to vote such stock arises solely from a revocable proxy or consent given in response to a proxy or consent solicitation made to ten or more persons. SECTION 10 . Said title is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 14-2-1131, relating to definitions relative to business combinations with interested stockholders, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 14-2-1131. For purposes of this part, the definitions contained in Code Section 14-2-1110 shall be applicable with the following exceptions: (1) For purposes of this part, `business combination' means: (A) Any merger or consolidation of the resident domestic corporation or any subsidiary with: (i) any interested shareholder; or (ii) any other corporation, whether or not itself an interested shareholder, which is, or after the merger or consolidation would be, an affiliate of an interested shareholder that was an interested shareholder prior to the consummation of the transaction other than as a result of the interested shareholder's ownership of the resident domestic corporation's voting stock; (B) Any sale, lease, transfer, or other disposition, other than in the ordinary course of business, in one transaction or in a series of transactions, to any interested shareholder or any affiliate or associate of any interested shareholder, other than the resident domestic corporation or any of its subsidiaries, of any assets of the resident domestic corporation or any subsidiary having, measured at the time the transaction or transactions are approved by the board of directors of the resident domestic corporation, an aggregate book value as of the end of the resident domestic corporation's most recently ended fiscal quarter of 10 percent or more of the net assets of the resident domestic corporation as of the end of such fiscal quarter; (C) The issuance or transfer by the resident domestic corporation, or any subsidiary, in one transaction or a series of transactions, of any equity securities of the resident domestic corporation or any subsidiary which have an aggregate market value of 5 percent or

Page 415

more of the total market value of the outstanding common and preferred shares of the resident domestic corporation whose shares are being issued to any interested shareholder or any affiliate or associate of any interested shareholder, other than the resident domestic corporation or any of its subsidiaries, except pursuant to the exercise of warrants or rights to purchase securities offered pro rata to all holders of the resident domestic corporation's voting shares or any other method affording substantially proportionate treatment to the holders of voting shares, and except pursuant to the exercise or conversion of securities exercisable for or convertible into shares of the resident domestic corporation, or any subsidiary, which securities were outstanding prior to the time that any interested shareholder became such; (D) The adoption of any plan or proposal for the liquidation or dissolution of the resident domestic corporation; (E) Any reclassification of securities, including any reverse stock split, or recapitalization of the resident domestic corporation, or any merger or consolidation of the resident domestic corporation with any of its subsidiaries, which has the effect, directly or indirectly, of increasing by 5 percent or more the proportionate amount of the outstanding shares of any class or series of equity securities of the resident domestic corporation or any subsidiary which is directly or indirectly beneficially owned by any interested shareholder or any affiliate of any interested shareholder; (F) Any receipt by the interested shareholder, or any affiliate or associate of the interested shareholder, other than in the ordinary course of business, of the benefit, directly or indirectly (except proportionately as a shareholder of the corporation), of any loans, advances, guarantees, pledges, or other financial benefits or assistance or any tax credits or other tax advantages provided by or through the resident domestic corporation or any of its subsidiaries; or (G) Any share exchange with (i) any interested shareholder or (ii) any other corporation, whether or not itself an interested shareholder, which is, or after the share exchange would be, an affiliate of an interested shareholder that was an interested shareholder prior to the consummation of the transaction; (2) For purposes of this part and Part 2 of this article, the presumption of `control' created by paragraph (7) of Code Section 14-2-1110 shall not apply where such person holds voting stock, in good faith and not for the purpose of circumventing this part or Part 2 of this article, as an agent, bank, broker, nominee, custodian, or trustee for one or more owners who do not individually or as a group have control of the corporation; and

Page 416

(3) For purposes of this part, a `resident domestic corporation' means: (A) An issuer of voting stock which is organized under the laws of this state and which has at least 100 beneficial owners in this state and either: (i) Has its principal office located in this state; (ii) Has at least 10 percent of its outstanding voting shares beneficially owned by residents of this state; (iii) Has at least 10 percent of the holders of its outstanding voting shares beneficially owned by residents of this state; or (iv) Owns or controls assets located in this state which represent the lesser of (I) substantially all of its assets or (II) assets having a market value of at least $25 million. For purposes of this Code section, `substantially all of the corporate assets' means either one-half of the value of the assets of the corporation or the assets of the corporation located in this state which generate more than one-half of the total revenues of the corporation, all on a consolidated basis; and (B) For purposes of divisions (ii) and (iii) of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, a holder of voting shares that is a corporation shall be deemed to be located in this state if such corporation is organized under the laws of this state. SECTION 11 . Said title is further amended by striking in its entirety paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 14-2-1302, relating to the right to dissent, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (1) Consummation of a plan of merger to which the corporation is a party: (A) If approval of the shareholders of the corporation is required for the merger by Code Section 14-2-1103 or 14-2-1104 or the articles of incorporation and the shareholder is entitled to vote on the merger; or (B) If the corporation is a subsidiary that is merged with its parent under Code Section 14-2-1104; . SECTION 12 . Said title is further amended by striking in its entirety subsection (b) of Code Section 14-2-1501, relating to the requirement that a foreign corporation have a certificate of authority to transact business, and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (b) to read as follows:

Page 417

(b) The following activities, among others, do not constitute transacting business within the meaning of subsection (a) of this Code section: (1) Maintaining or defending any action or any administrative or arbitration proceeding or effecting the settlement thereof or the settlement of claims or disputes; (2) Holding meetings of its directors or shareholders or carrying on other activities concerning its internal affairs; (3) Maintaining bank accounts, share accounts in savings and loan associations, custodian or agency arrangements with a bank or trust company, or stock or bond brokerage accounts; (4) Maintaining offices or agencies for the transfer, exchange, and registration of its securities or appointing and maintaining trustees or depositories with respect to its securities; (5) Effecting sales through independent contractors; (6) Soliciting or procuring orders, whether by mail or through employees or agents or otherwise, where the orders require acceptance without this state before becoming binding contracts and where the contracts do not involve any local performance other than delivery and installation; (7) Making loans or creating or acquiring evidences of debt, mortgages, or liens on real or personal property, or recording same; (8) Securing or collecting debts or enforcing any rights in property securing the same; (9) Owning, without more, real or personal property; (10) Conducting an isolated transaction not in the course of a number of repeated transactions of a like nature; (11) Effecting transactions in interstate or foreign commerce; (12) Serving as trustee, executor, administrator, or guardian, or in like fiduciary capacity, where permitted so to serve by the laws of this state; (13) Owning (directly or indirectly) an interest in or controlling (directly or indirectly) another entity organized under the laws of, or transacting business within, this state; or (14) Serving as a manager of a limited liability company organized under the laws of, or transacting business within, this state. SECTION 13 . Said title is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 14-2-1622, relating to the annual registration for the Secretary of State, and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Page 418

14-2-1622. (a) Each domestic corporation and each foreign corporation authorized to transact business in this state shall deliver to the Secretary of State for filing an annual registration that sets forth: (1) The name of the corporation and the state or country under whose law it is incorporated; (2) The street address and county of its registered office and the name of its registered agent at that office in this state; (3) The mailing address of its principal office; and (4) The names and respective addresses of its chief executive officer, chief financial officer, and secretary, or individuals holding similar positions. (b) Information in the annual registration must be current as of the date the annual registration is executed on behalf of the corporation. (c) The first annual registration must be delivered to the Secretary of State between January 1 and April 1, or such other date as the Secretary of State may specify by rules or regulations, of the year following the calendar year in which a domestic corporation was incorporated or a foreign corporation was authorized to transact business. Subsequent annual registrations must be delivered to the Secretary of State between January 1 and April 1, or such other date as the Secretary of State may specify by rules or regulations, of the following calendar years. (d) The initial annual registration of a domestic corporation shall be filed within 90 days after the day its articles of incorporation are delivered to the Secretary of State for filing. However, the initial annual registration of a domestic corporation whose articles of incorporation are delivered to the Secretary of State for filing subsequent to October 1 shall be filed between January 1 and April 1 of the year next succeeding the calendar year in which its certificate of incorporation is issued by the Secretary of State. (e) If an annual registration does not contain the information required by this Code section, the Secretary of State shall promptly notify the reporting domestic or foreign corporation in writing and return the report to it for correction. If the report is corrected to contain the information required by this Code section and delivered to the Secretary of State within 30 days after the effective date of notice, it is deemed to be timely filed. SECTION 14 . Said title is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 14-3-120, relating to the filing of documents relative to nonprofit corporations, and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Page 419

14-3-120. (a) A document must satisfy the requirements of this Code section and of any other Code section that adds to or varies these requirements to be entitled to filing by the Secretary of State. (b) This chapter must require or permit filing the document in the office of the Secretary of State. (c) The document must contain the information required by this chapter. It may contain other information as well. (d) The document must be typewritten or printed. (e) The document must be in the English language. However, a corporate name need not be in English if written in English letters or Arabic or Roman numerals, and the certificate of existence required of foreign corporations need not be in English if accompanied by a reasonably authenticated English translation. (f) The document must be executed: (1) By the chairperson of the board of directors of a domestic or foreign corporation, its president, or by another of its officers; (2) If directors have not been selected or the corporation has not been formed, by an incorporator; or (3) If the corporation is in the hands of a receiver, trustee, or other court appointed fiduciary, by that fiduciary; provided, however, the person executing the document may do so as an attorney in fact. Powers of attorney relating to the execution of the document do not need to be shown to or filed with the Secretary of State. (g) The person executing a document shall sign it and state beneath or opposite the signature his or her name and the capacity in which he or she signs; provided, however, that if the document is electronically transmitted, the electronic version of such person's name may be used in lieu of a signature. The document may, but need not, contain: (1) The corporate seal; (2) An attestation by the secretary or an assistant secretary; or (3) An acknowledgment, verification, or proof. (h) The document must be delivered to the office of the Secretary of State for filing and must be accompanied by one exact or conformed copy (except as provided in Code Sections 14-3-503 and 14-3-1509), the correct filing fee, any certificate required by this chapter, and any penalty required by this chapter or other law.

Page 420

(i) Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter, the Secretary of State may authorize the filing of documents by electronic transmission, following the provisions of Chapter 12 of Title 10, the `Georgia Electronic Records and Signatures Act,' and the Secretary of State shall be authorized to promulgate such rules and regulations as are necessary to implement electronic filing procedures. SECTION 15 . Said title is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 14-3-122, relating to filing fees, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 14-3-122. (a) The Secretary of State shall collect the following fees when the documents described in this subsection are delivered for filing: Document Fee (1) Articles of incorporation $ 60.00 (2) Application for certificate of authority 70.00 (3) Annual registration 15.00 (4) Agent's statement of resignation No fee (5) Certificate of judicial dissolution No fee (6) Application for reservation of a corporate name No fee (7) Statement of change of address of registered agent..... $5.00 per corporation but not less than 20.00 (8) Application for reinstatement 20.00 (9) Any other document required or permitted to be filed by this chapter 20.00 (b) Each corporation, domestic or foreign, that fails or refuses to file its annual report for any year shall not be required to pay any penalty for so failing or refusing to file its annual report, but such corporation may be subject to administrative dissolution as provided in Code Section 14-3-1420. SECTION 16 . Said title is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 14-3-127, relating to the evidentiary effect of copy of filed document, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 14-3-127. A certificate attached to a copy of a document or electronic transmission filed by the Secretary of State, bearing his or her signature, which may be

Page 421

in facsimile, and the printed or embossed seal of this state, or its electronic equivalent, is prima-facie evidence that the original document has been filed with the Secretary of State. SECTION 17 . Said title is further amended by inserting immediately following paragraph (11) of Code Section 14-3-140, relating to definitions relative to nonprofit corporations, a new paragraph to read as follows: (11.1) `Electronic transmission' or `electronically transmitted' means any process of communication not directly involving the physical transfer of paper that is suitable for the retention, retrieval, and reproduction of information by the recipient. SECTION 18 . Said title is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 14-3-202, relating to articles of incorporation relative to nonprofit corporations, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 14-3-202. (a) The articles of incorporation must set forth: (1) A corporate name for the corporation that satisfies the requirements of Code Section 14-3-401; (2) The street address and county of the corporation's initial registered office and the name of its initial registered agent at that office; (3) The name and address of each incorporator; (4) Whether or not the corporation will have members; (5) The mailing address of the initial principal office of the corporation, if different from the initial registered office; and (6) A statement that the corporation is organized pursuant to the Georgia Nonprofit Corporation Code. (b) The articles of incorporation may set forth: (1) The purpose or purposes for which the corporation is organized, which may be, either alone or in combination with other purposes, the transaction of any lawful activity; (2) The names and addresses of the individuals who are to serve as the initial directors; (3) Provisions not inconsistent with law regarding: (A) Managing and regulating the affairs of the corporation;

Page 422

(B) Defining, limiting, and regulating the powers of the corporation, its board of directors, and members (or any class of members); and (C) The characteristics, qualifications, rights, limitations, and obligations attaching to each or any class of members; (4) A provision eliminating or limiting the liability of a director to the corporation or its members for monetary damages for any action taken, or any failure to take any action, as a director, except liability: (A) For any appropriation, in violation of his or her duties, of any business opportunity of the corporation; (B) For acts or omissions which involve intentional misconduct or a knowing violation of law; (C) For the types of liability set forth in Code Sections 14-3-860 through 14-3-864; or (D) For any transaction from which the director received an improper personal benefit, provided that no such provision shall eliminate or limit the liability of a director for any act or omission occurring prior to the date when such provision becomes effective; (5) Any provision that under this chapter is required or permitted to be set forth in the bylaws; and (6) Provisions not inconsistent with law regarding the distribution of assets on dissolution. (c) One or more incorporators named in the articles must sign the articles unless the filing is being signed by an attorney in fact. (d) The articles of incorporation need not set forth any of the corporate powers enumerated in this chapter. SECTION 19 . Said title is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 14-3-501, relating to registered offices and registered agents, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 14-3-501. Each corporation must continuously maintain in this state: (1) A registered office with the same address as that of the registered agent; and (2) A registered agent, who may be:

Page 423

(A) A person who resides in this state and whose office is identical with the registered office; (B) A domestic business or nonprofit corporation formed under this chapter or under Chapter 2 of this title whose office is identical with the registered office; or (C) A foreign business or nonprofit corporation authorized to transact business in this state whose office is identical with the registered office. SECTION 20 . Said title is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 14-3-1005.1, relating to notice of intent to change corporate name, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 14-3-1005.1. (a) Together with the articles of amendment which change the name of the corporation, the corporation shall deliver to the Secretary of State an undertaking, which may appear in the articles of amendment or be set forth in a letter or other instrument executed by an incorporator or any person authorized to act on behalf of the corporation, to publish a notice of the filing of the articles of amendment as required by subsection (b) of this Code section. (b) No later than the next business day following the delivery of the articles of amendment and certificate as provided in subsection (a) of this Code section, the corporation shall mail or deliver to the publisher of a newspaper which is the official organ of the county where the registered office of the corporation is located or which is the newspaper of general circulation published within such county whose most recently published annual statement of ownership and circulation reflects a minimum of 60 percent paid circulation a request to publish a notice in substantially the following form: `NOTICE OF CHANGE OF CORPORATE NAME Notice is given that articles of amendment which will change the name of(present corporate name) to(proposed corporate name) have been delivered to the Secretary of State for filing in accordance with the Georgia Nonprofit Corporation Code. The registered office of the corporation is located at(address of registered office).' The request for publication of the notice shall be accompanied by a check, draft, or money order in the amount of $40.00 in payment for the cost of publication. The notice shall be published once a week for two consecutive weeks commencing within ten days after receipt of the

Page 424

notice by the newspaper. Failure on the part of the corporation to mail or deliver the notice or payment therefor or failure on the part of the newspaper to publish the notice in compliance with this subsection shall not invalidate the articles of amendment or the change of the name of the corporation. SECTION 21 . Said title is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 14-3-1622, relating to the annual registration of corporations, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 14-3-1622. (a) Each domestic corporation and each foreign corporation authorized to transact business in this state shall deliver to the Secretary of State for filing an annual registration that sets forth: (1) The name of the corporation and the state or country under whose law it is incorporated; (2) The street address and county of its registered office and the name of its registered agent at that office in this state; (3) The mailing address of its principal office, if any; and (4) The names and respective addresses of its chief executive officer, chief financial officer, and secretary, or individuals holding similar positions. (b) Information in the annual registration must be current as of the date the annual registration is executed on behalf of the corporation. (c) The first annual registration must be delivered to the Secretary of State between January 1 and April 1, or such other date as the Secretary of State may specify by rules or regulations, of the year following the calendar year in which a domestic corporation was incorporated or a foreign corporation was authorized to transact business. Subsequent annual registrations must be delivered to the Secretary of State between January 1 and April 1, or such other date as the Secretary of State may specify by rules or regulations, of the following calendar years. (d) The initial annual registration of a domestic corporation shall be filed within 90 days after the day its articles of incorporation are delivered to the Secretary of State for filing. However, the initial annual registration of a domestic corporation whose articles of incorporation are delivered to the Secretary of State for filing subsequent to October 1 shall be filed between January 1 and April 1 of the year next succeeding the calendar year in which its certificate of incorporation is issued by the Secretary of State. (e) If an annual registration does not contain the information required by this Code section, the Secretary of State shall promptly notify the

Page 425

reporting domestic or foreign corporation in writing and return the report to it for correction. If the report is corrected to contain the information required by this Code section and delivered to the Secretary of State within 30 days after the effective date of notice, it is deemed to be timely filed. SECTION 22 . Said title is further amended by inserting immediately following paragraph (2) of Code Section 14-9-101, relating to definitions relative to limited partnerships, a new paragraph to read as follows: (2.1) `Electronic transmission' or `electronically transmitted' means any process of communication not directly involving the physical transfer of paper that is suitable for the retention, retrieval, and reproduction of information by the recipient. SECTION 23 . Said title is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 14-9-104, relating to the registered office and agents, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 14-9-104. (a) Each limited partnership shall continuously maintain in this state: (1) A registered office which may, but need not, be a place of its business in this state; and (2) A registered agent for service of process on the limited partnership. The address of the business office of the registered agent shall be the same as the address of the registered office referred to in paragraph (1) of this subsection. (b) An agent for service of process must be an individual resident of this state, a domestic corporation, or a foreign corporation authorized to do business in this state. (c) A limited partnership may change its registered office or its registered agent by filing an amendment to its annual registration setting forth: (1) The name of the limited partnership; (2) The address of its then registered office; (3) If the address of its registered office is to be changed, the new address of the registered office; (4) The name or names of its then registered agent or agents; (5) If its registered agent or agents are to be changed, the name or names of its successor registered agent or agents and the written consent of each successor agent to his or her or its appointment; and

Page 426

(6) That the address of its registered office and the address of the business office of its registered agent or agents, as changed, will be identical. (d) If the Secretary of State finds that such statement conforms to subsection (a) of this Code section, he or she shall file such statement in his or her office; and upon such filing the change of address of the registered office or the change of the registered agent or agents, or both, as the case may be, shall become effective. (e) Any registered agent of a limited partnership may resign as such agent upon filing a written notice thereof with the Secretary of State. The appointment of such agent shall terminate upon the expiration of 30 days after receipt of such notice by the Secretary of State. There shall be attached to such notice an affidavit of such agent, if an individual, or of an officer thereof, if a corporation, that at least ten days prior to the date of filing such notice a written notice of the agent's intention to resign was mailed or delivered to the limited partnership for which such agent is acting. Upon such resignation becoming effective, the address of the business office of the resigned registered agent shall no longer be the address of the registered office of the limited partnership. (f) A registered agent may change his or her or its business address and the address of the registered office of any limited partnership of which he or she or it is a registered agent to another place within this state by filing a statement as required in subsection (c) of this Code section, except that it need be signed only by the registered agent and need not be responsive to paragraph (5) of subsection (c) of this Code section and must recite that a copy of the statement has been mailed or delivered to a representative or agent of each such limited partnership other than the notifying registered agent. (g) Whenever a limited partnership shall fail to appoint or maintain a registered agent in this state, or whenever its registered agent cannot with reasonable diligence be found at the registered office, then the Secretary of State shall be an agent of such limited partnership upon whom any process, notice, or demand may be served. Service on the Secretary of State of any such process, notice, or demand shall be made by delivering to and leaving with him or her or with any other person or persons designated by the Secretary of State to receive such service a copy of such process, notice, or demand. The plaintiff or his or her attorney shall certify in writing to the Secretary of State that he or she has forwarded by registered mail such process, service, or demand to the last registered office or agent listed on the records of the Secretary of State, that service cannot be effected at such office, and that it therefore appears that the limited partnership has failed either to maintain a registered office or appoint a registered agent in this state. Any such service by certification to the Secretary of State shall be answerable in

Page 427

not more than 30 days. The provisions of this subsection may be used notwithstanding any inconsistent provisions of Chapter 11 of Title 9. (h) The Secretary of State shall keep a record of all processes, notices, and demands served upon him or her under this Code section and shall record therein the time of such service and his or her action with reference thereto. SECTION 24 . Said title is further amended by inserting immediately following Code Section 14-9-108 a new Code section to read as follows: 14-9-109. A certificate attached to a copy of a document or electronic transmission filed by the Secretary of State, bearing his or her signature, which may be in facsimile, and the printed or embossed seal of this state, or its electronic equivalent, is prima-facie evidence that the original document has been filed with the Secretary of State. SECTION 25 . Said title is further amended by striking in its entirety subsection (a) of Code Section 14-9-202, relating to the amendment of a certificate of limited partnership, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: (a) A certificate of limited partnership is amended by filing a certificate of amendment thereto in the office of the Secretary of State. The certificate must set forth: (1) The name of the limited partnership; (2) The date of filing of the certificate of limited partnership; (3) The amendment to the certificate; and (4) If the amendment is to become effective later than the time of filing, the effective date, or effective time and date, which may not be later than 90 days after the filing date of the amendment. SECTION 26 . Said title is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 14-9-206, relating to filing a certificate of limited partnership with the Secretary of State, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 14-9-206. (a) A signed copy, and facsimile thereof, of the certificate of limited partnership and of any certificates of amendment, cancellation, or merger, or of any judicial decree of amendment, cancellation, or merger must be delivered to the Secretary of State; provided, however, that if the document is electronically transmitted, the electronic version of such

Page 428

person's name may be used in lieu of a signature. A person who executes a certificate as an agent or fiduciary need not exhibit evidence of his or her authority as a prerequisite to filing. Unless the Secretary of State finds that a certificate does not conform to law, upon receipt of all filing fees required by law he or she shall: (1) Stamp or otherwise endorse his or her official title and the date and time of receipt on both the original and the facsimile copy; (2) File the signed copy in his or her office; and (3) Return the facsimile of the signed copy to the person who filed it or to his or her representative. (b) Upon the later of the filing of a certificate of amendment pursuant to this Code section or the effective time, or effective date and time, of the amendment pursuant to paragraph (4) of subsection (a) of Code Section 14-9-202, or upon the recording pursuant to Code Section 14-9-205 of a certificate of amendment, the certificate of limited partnership is amended as set forth in the certificate of amendment. (c) Upon the later of the filing of a certificate of cancellation pursuant to this Code section or the effective time or the effective date and time of the cancellation pursuant to paragraph (4) of Code Section 14-9-203, or upon the recording pursuant to Code Section 14-9-205 of a certificate of cancellation, the certificate of limited partnership is canceled. (d) Upon the later of the filing of a certificate of merger pursuant to this Code section or the effective time or the effective date and time pursuant to paragraph (4) of subsection (b) of Code Section 14-9-206.1 of a certificate of merger, or upon the recording pursuant to Code Section 14-9-205 of a certificate of merger, the constituent entities named in the certificate are merged. (e) Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter, the Secretary of State may authorize the filing of documents by electronic transmission, following the provisions of Chapter 12 of Title 10, the `Georgia Electronic Records and Signatures Act,' and the Secretary of State shall be authorized to promulgate such rules and regulations as are necessary to implement electronic filing procedures. SECTION 27 . Said title is further amended by inserting immediately following Code Section 14-9-206.2 a new Code section to read as follows: 14-9-206.3. (a) A limited partnership may correct a document filed by the Secretary of State if the document: (1) Contains an incorrect statement; or

Page 429

(2) Was defectively executed, attested, sealed, verified, or acknowledged. (b) A document is corrected: (1) By preparing articles of correction that: (A) Describe the document, including its filing date, or attach a copy of the document to the articles; (B) Specify the incorrect statement and the reason it is incorrect or the manner in which the execution was defective; and (C) Correct the incorrect statement or defective execution; and (2) By delivering the articles of correction to the Secretary of State for filing. (c) Articles of correction are effective on the effective date of the document they correct except as to persons relying on the uncorrected document and adversely affected by the correction. As to those persons, articles of correction are effective when field. SECTION 28 . Said title is further amended by striking in its entirety Code Section 14-9-906, relative to the cancellation of a certificate of limited partnership, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 14-9-906. A foreign limited partnership authorized to transact business in this state may apply for a certificate of withdrawal by delivering to the Secretary of St