Legislative Report – January 14, 2013

 The Georgia General Assembly begins its 2013 session on January 14. Since this is a new term of the legislature, all bills must begin afresh and there are no carry over bills from the last session.

In addition to the overarching considerations related to the State budget, school safety and legislative ethics, the Georgia Catholic Conference will be concerned with proposals related to education, immigration, and welfare, particularly the welfare of children. As bills are introduced, I will share specific concerns.

Immigration Since the end of the 2012 session, federal courts have declared unconstitutional parts of HB 87, the oppressive anti-immigration law adopted in 2011. In addition, the administration has created opportunities for the undocumented to obtain some benefits. We will closely monitor how the Georgia General Assembly addresses immigration this session.

­Abortion / Fetal Pain.  During the 2012 session, we successfully supported HB 954 which prohibited abortions (with some exceptions) after twenty weeks gestation. In December, the ACLU filed a lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court challenging the constitutionality of that law and the Court has temporarily prevented the law from becoming effective. This is an unfortunate, though not surprising, development but the State Attorney General is vigorously defending the constitutionality of the law. We do not expect a decision from the Superior Court until next fall.