A number of Senate bills have gained approval in the House and are now headed to the Governor’s desk to await his signature. Among them is Senate Bill 421, legislation enhancing penalties for “swatting” and drive-by shootings and ensuring “a safer Georgia.” The bill, sponsored by the Senate Committee on Education and Youth Chairman Sen. Clint Dixon, R-Gwinnett, would also increase the penalties for the offense of transmitting a false public alarm and aggravated assault.

“The safety of Georgians has always been top of mind,” said Lt. Governor Burt Jones. “I am proud to lead the fight against crimes like ‘swatting’ and drive-by shootings to keep Georgians safe. With the passage of SB 421, we take a great step forward in making Georgia the safest state in the nation.”

Sen. Dixon was one of several lawmakers personally impacted by swatting, which led him to introduce the legislation.

“When the 2024 Legislative Session began, I aimed to enact anti-swatting legislation, spurred by swatting calls that impacted a number of elected officials, including myself,” said Dixon. “I believe this bill will play a vital role in combating crimes such as ‘swatting’ and drive-by shootings. I extend my gratitude to Rep. Max Reeves, R–Duluth, for carrying this crucial measure in the House, and to my colleagues in both the Senate and the House for standing against these threats to public safety. With this legislation, we’ve taken a significant step towards making Georgia the safest state to live, work, and raise a family.”

Another Senate bill that has made it through both chambers is SB 465, or “Austin’s Law,” which addresses the sale and distribution of substances such as fentanyl.

“Today, the General Assembly made a tremendous step in combating the fentanyl crisis in our state,” said Jones. “I am hopeful that the passage of ‘Austin’s Law’ will help to prevent the senseless deaths of Georgians. With the passage of this bill, those who traffic illicit substances like fentanyl will be held accountable for their deadly actions.”

Wednesday the Senate passed House Bill 935, which would establish the Back the Blue Fund. The legislation will distribute voluntary contributions made through vehicle registration applications to sheriffs for the purpose of providing bonuses to deputy sheriffs and jailers. The Lt. Governor introduced the initial measure as a State Senator in 2022.

“We want our law enforcement officers to know that we support them, and we will always back the blue,” said Jones. “I will never waver in my support for our brave men and women in law enforcement.”

Also on Wednesday, the Senate approved a substitute to House Bill 1104, which would protect the rights of women and girls by prohibiting public schools and private schools that participate in sports with public schools from allowing biological males to compete in sports designated for females. Also, HB 1104 would prohibit schools from allowing individuals to use multiple-occupancy restrooms and changing areas that are different from their biological sex, no matter what gender identity they claim.


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