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 following are several theme “days” in which the Georgia Catholic Conference is participating in order to give combined support to important issues.
February 5 – opposition to the death penalty as well as support for the intellectual disability bill mentioned below.
February 22 – March for Life.
Details for participation are included on the Georgia Life Alliance website. We encourage participation in these advocacy days as a way to support Catholic social teaching.
The following is the status of current bills that the Conference is following.
After extremely swift action in both the Georgia Senate and House of Representatives, HB 30 passed by substantial bipartisan majorities and Governor Kemp signed the bill into law on January 31. The new law will establish 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. Archbishop Hartmayer and the three Atlanta auxiliary bishops signed a letter in support of HB 30 as revised.
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 in 2024 and the Conference supports it.
Death Penalty and Intellectual Disability
On January 31, a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee heard two hours of testimony on HB 1041, a bill which would set a procedure for determining whether a person accused of murder is intellectually disabled and, thus, should not be tried in a case where the death penalty may be imposed. The Catholic Conference and the Archdiocese of Atlanta office of Disabilities Ministry testified in favor of the bill. The subcommittee took no action at the conclusion of the hearing but will continue discussion offline and will likely hold a later hearing.
In addition, we are continuing to follow legislation to increase of the cap for Student Scholarship Organizations (SSO) such as G.R.A.C.E. Scholars to $150 million.
Post expires at 9:09pm on Friday February 6th, 2026