The Georgia Catholic Conference witnesses to spiritual values in public affairs, and provides an agency for corporate Catholic service to the statewide community. Under the direction of the Catholic bishops of Georgia, the Conference promotes public policy positions related to Georgia governmental programs, legislation and policies which affect the common good and interest of the Catholic Church.

The Georgia Catholic Conference follows the legislative activity of the Georgia General Assembly during its forty-day legislative session.

The following is the status of current bills that the Conference is following.

HB 30 was introduced in 2023 and proposes a standard definition of “anti-Semitism” to facilitate clarification of the word’s meaning for use in proving discrimination against Jewish people. The definition adopts the one drafted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), adopted in 37 states and used by a 2019 federal executive order as well as by every federal agency. HB 30 passed the House of Representatives in 2023 but stalled in the Senate. After diligent work since the last legislative session, Senator John Kennedy (R. Macon) negotiated a revision for presentation to the Senate. On January 25, the full Senate considered and passed the revised bill. The House agreed to the changes, thus, the bill needs only approval by the Governor, an action expected in the near future.Archbishop Hartmayer and the three Atlanta auxiliary bishops signed a letter in support of HB 30 as revised. Read more in the article from The Georgia Bulletin.

School Choice
SB 233 https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/64762 (Sen Dolezal) passed the Senate in 2023 but failed in House. The bill would provide for a “Promise Scholarship Account” (Voucher) for each student. The bill will remain active in2024 and the Conference supports it.

In addition, we are continuing to follow legislation to increase of the cap to$150 million for Student Scholarship Organizations (SSO) such as G.R.A.C.E. Scholars.

Death Penalty
The Catholic Church in Georgia and disability groups have advocated for a reduced standard of proof in the penalty phase of a capital case when the defendant introduces evidence of intellectual disability. Every other state provides that intellectual disability of the defendant need only be proven by preponderance of the evidence. Georgia requires proof by the highest legal standard – proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The Conference expects a bill to be introduced in the near future. More here: https://gacadp.org/id/

Post expires at 9:38pm on Friday January 30th, 2026