SB2 allows the State to confiscate “any motor vehicle operated by a person who commits a third or subsequent offense of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer”. Note that this does not have an exception for cars not belonging to the driver in question, and even if it did it would still be in violation of the property rights of the owner.
SB4 codifies into law that if a person files a restraining order due to harassment, workplace violence, domestic violence, stalking, or elder abuse and requests to be notified that it has been served, said notification is to happen with 24 hours of the order being served by either telephone or ‘electronic means’, providing that the person requesting notification has also provided a telephone number or email address. This wouldn’t have done much good in one case we recently had in Albany where a woman was murdered within 6 hours of her ex-boyfriend being served with a restraining order, but it is a step in the right direction and is quite possibly the best that can be realistically hoped for or expected.
SB5 would force everyone riding in a pickup truck to wear a seatbelt. Current law allows adults to ride in the back of a pickup without one. Personally, summer evenings spent riding around in the back of my dad’s pickup were some of my fondest childhood memories. In addition to my own nostalgia, this is yet another government intrusion into personal liberty. It is NOT government’s job to protect you from your own stupid and/or crazy decisions.
SB6 would disallow the DMV from suspending restricted licenses for 6 months upon violation of the restriction and would instead force the defendent to pay a civil fine ranging from not more than $100 for the first offense out to not more than $500 for the third and subsequent offenses. Yes, there is the ‘public safety’ argument as to why the license should be suspended. My point there is that do you honestly expect these people aren’t driving on suspended licenses? I would say that the more honest and law abiding probably are not, but that situations can make people desperate and if it is a choice between driving on a suspended license and MAYBE getting caught vs not driving to work and therefore losing your job, most people are going to choose to keep their jobs.
SB7 is known as the ‘Truth in Testimony Act’ and basically says that you can be made to swear to tell the truth when testifying in the General Assembly. While it does bring in the penalty of perjury, the false statement must concern a ‘material fact’ in order to face prosecution. It also exempts those whose testimony is classified as privileged under the GA Constitution’s Article III, Section IV, Paragraph IX. Which, upon looking at said Constitution, turns out to be only the members of the General Assembly. While I was leaning towards being FOR SB7, I OPPOSE it due to the exception.
SB8 allows students in K-12 to carry ‘auto-injectable epinephrine’ – aka EpiPens. To me, this makes sense, particularly on larger campuses or campuses – such as the 9th grade campus my wife works at – that share a school nurse with another campus. It still has to be prescribed, and it has to be accompanied by a parent note basically releasing the school from any liability. Both the doctor and parent notes have to be refiled every school year as well any time a change is made to the prescription. If a student uses it in an unprescribed manner, he/she is still subject to disciplinary procedures. I see nothing wrong with this bill.
SB9 would repeal the provision that a concealed handgun be kept in a holster. Since I am against any measure limiting how, when, or where law abiding citizens carry weapons, is there any wonder I support this measure? Note that Lt. Governor Cagle has indicated that there will be no action on this bill in this term, and that gun supporters should ‘be happy’ with the freedoms we finally won back in the last legislative term.
SB12 goes in the opposite direction of SB9 in that it prohibits the sale, manufacture, or possession of ammunition that does not have a uniquely identifiable code etched into it. Honestly, my personal weapon of choice is the Taser C2. This particular weapon already has this feature built in to it – even going so far as to notify Taser Inc when the weapon is fired. But that is my personal preference, and I do not believe the State has the right to track ammunition for any reason.
SB13 basically makes it much easier for a person convicted of a serious violent felony to receive life imprisonment without parole rather than either death or life imprisonment. It also clarifies that life without parole means just that: if you get sentenced to life without parole, the only way you will get out of prison before you die is if an appellate court reverses the trial court’s decision. There are also several notation changes, specifically changing every occurrence of ‘defendant’ to ‘accused’. I’ll have to rely on my lawyer friends to know if there is an actual distinction there, though there really isn’t to my (not legally trained) mind. Because it gives the judge much more leniency in offering a harsh sentence but not condemning the convicted to death, I support this measure.
SB14 disallows anyone on the national or state sex offender registry from serving on a local board of education. This bill was recently discussed over at Peach Pundit, but I oppose it because of the lack of distinction – in GA and several other states at least – between generic sex offenders (who in most cases simply made a single idiotic decision) and sexual predators (who will likely strike again).
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