Buford, GA – Governor Brian P. Kemp, accompanied by First Lady Marty Kemp, Lieutenant Governor Burt Jones, Attorney General Chris Carr, Colonel Chris Wright, Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Mike Register, and members of the General Assembly, signed SB 44 today at the Georgia Sheriffs' Association Command Staff Conference. He also signed several other pieces of legislation designed to support public safety and crack down on criminals throughout the state.
SB 44 - sponsored by Senator Bo Hatchett, co-sponsored by President Pro Tempore John Kennedy, Senate Majority Leader Steve Gooch, Senate Majority Whip Randy Robertson, and Sen. Lee Anderson, and carried by Rep. Soo Hong in the House - increases penalties for criminal gang activities, especially for those who recruit children. It also codifies judicial best practices and cuts down on the revolving door of criminal justice by ensuring judges consider an offenders’ criminal record and history of returning to court before issuing a bond that frees an offender on their own recognizance.
SB 44 was a major part of Governor Kemp’s legislative agenda this session to crack down on gang activity, protect Georgia’s children from being lured into a life of violent crime, and keep criminals off the street.
“I’m proud to sign SB 44 into law today and send a clear message to gangs in our state: come after our children, and we will come after you,” said Governor Brian Kemp. “This bill will help us stop the spread of gangs, hold offenders accountable, and keep our communities safe. I want to thank Sen. Bo Hatchett, President Pro Tem John Kennedy, Senate Majority Leader Steve Gooch, Senate Majority Whip Randy Robertson, Sen. Lee Anderson, Rep. Soo Hong, Rep. Brian Strickland, Rep. Tyler Paul Smith, the Prosecuting Attorneys Council, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and the General Assembly for their leadership on this issue. I also want to thank Lt. Governor Burt Jones and Attorney General Chris Carr for contributing to this important legislation.”
In addition to SB 44, Governor Kemp also signed the following bills:
HB 139, sponsored by Rep. Clint Crowe, co-sponsored by Rep. Derrick McCollum, Rep. Danny Mathis, and Rep. Carter Barrett and carried by Senator John Albers in the Senate, eliminates the requirement that prosecutors disclose the home addresses and other personal information of non-sworn employees of law enforcement agencies who are called to testify at criminal trials.
HB 227, sponsored by Rep. Rob Leverett, co-sponsored by Rep. Bruce Williamson, Rep. Tyler Paul Smith, Rep. Victor Anderson, Rep. James Burchett, and Rep. David Huddleston, and carried by Sen. Bill Cowsert in the Senate, increases penalties for those who illegally damage critical infrastructure.
HB 268, sponsored by Rep. John Corbett, Rep. Alan Powell, Rep. Jason Ridley, Rep. Danny Mathis, and Rep. Matt Barton, and carried by Sen. John Albers in the Senate, creates a grant program at the CJCC for local law enforcement agencies and multi-jurisdiction taskforces for the prevention, reduction, investigation, and prosecution of motor vehicle crimes. It also establishes the Georgia Motor Crime Prevention Advisory Board.
HB 373, sponsored by Rep. Sheila Jones, Rep. Steven Sainz, Rep. Dexter Sharper, Rep. Derrick McCollum, and Rep. Sandra Scott, and carried by Sen. Donzella James in the Senate, designates 9/11 as First Responders Appreciation Day.
SB 60, sponsored by Sen. Bo Hatchett, Sen. Frank Ginn, Sen. John Albers, Sen. Randy Robertson, and President Pro Tem John Kennedy, and carried by Rep. Lauren McDonald in the House, addresses issues related to stolen materials like catalytic converters and makes it harder for thieves to sell these illegally possessed goods.
SB 155 (Figo’s Law), sponsored by Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick, Sen. John Albers, Sen. Randy Robertson, Sen. Brian Strickland, and Sen. Shawn Still, and carried by Rep. Dale Washburn in the House, revises and updates language regarding penalties imposed on individuals that harm a public safety animal or search and rescue animal.
SB 215, sponsored by Sen. Matt Brass, Sen. Michael ‘Doc’ Rhett, Sen. Larry Walker, Sen. Randy Robertson, Sen. Jason Esteves, and Sen. Steve Gooch, and carried by Rep. Houston Gaines in the House, allows law enforcement officers to request that their personally identifiable information be removed from local, publicly available property records.