The 2020 legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly ended late Friday evening. Lawmakers were forced to recess in March due to the pandemic, but reconvened for its 30th legislative day on June 15. Among some of the biggest items to pass was a new Hate Crimes Bill (see more below) and a state budget with 10% in cuts because of the recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s a wrap-up summary from WABE.
Gov. Brian Kemp signs Georgia’s Hate Crimes Bill (HB426) Friday afternoon in the north wing of the Georgia State Capitol. Also attending: Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, Speaker David Ralston and guests. You can watch it via streaming by clicking here.
Statement from Gov. Kemp: “Today we took an important, necessary step forward for Georgia. We stood together as fellow Georgians to affirm one simple but powerful motto: Georgia is a state too great to hate. The signing of HB 426 is a sign of progress and a milestone worth applauding. This legislation will enhance public safety and ensure that justice is served for all Georgians – regardless of race, gender, religion, nationality, or sexual orientation. Today we reaffirmed our desire to put progress ahead of politics. While this legislation does not right every wrong, it is an important step, and we will continue to do our part as state leaders to ensure that Georgia is a place where all people can live, learn, and prosper. Working together, will continue to fight for fairness and do the right thing – even when no one is watching.”
What the bill says and how it got to Kemp’s desk. HB 426
Aug. 11 runoff ballot:
Floyd County Sheriff, Republican
- Tom Caldwell
- Dave Roberson
- The runoff winner earns the seat; there is no Democratic candidate.
U.S. House, District 14: Includes voters in Floyd, Gordon, Polk and Chattooga counties as well as eight hours. Bartow is in the 11th District.
- John Cowan
- Marjorie Taylor Greene.
- The winner faces Democrat Kevin Van Ausdal in the Nov. 3 general election.
- Polk: The 14th District Race and the State Senate 31st District Race between Jason Anavitarte and Boyd Austin. The winner races Democrat Tianna Smith in the Nov. 3 general election.
- Chattooga County: 14th Congressional District, county commission (Blake Elsberry vs. Jason Winters), probate judge (Teresa Pope, Gary Woods).
- Gordon: No other races than the 14th District.
- Bartow County: No runoffs (in 11th Congressional District)
KEY ELECTION DATES
- July 20: Advance voting begins for runoff, ends Aug. 7.
- Aug. 11: Primary runoff.
- Nov. 3: General election.