After 40 legislative days at the State Capitol, the Georgia Senate is adjourned Sine Die. Here are a few highlights from the 2017 Legislative Session:
HB9 – Sanctuary Campuses 
The Georgia General Assembly passed legislation to defund any public or private university that refuses to comply with immigration officials and immigrations laws. HB9 is an important step towards keeping our students, faculty, and staff safe on campus.
HB44 – FY2018 Budget
As constitutionally mandated, the legislature passed (and the Governor signed) a balanced budget for fiscal year 2018 that prioritizes education, transportation, and public safety. The $25 billion budget includes well-deserved pay raises for educators, law enforcement officers, and DFCS case workers.  The FY2018 budget also funds initiatives that benefit foster parents, families in the military, and rural communities throughout Georgia.
HB146 – Insurance Coverage For Firefighters
The legislature passed House Bill 146, which will ensure that firefighters are eligible for special health insurance plans that cover the treatment of various cancers incurred in the line of duty.  HB146 is the least we can do as a legislative body to thank those who run towards – not away from – the fire.
SB52 – Providing Mental Health Services
SB52, which I sponsored, passed earlier this week in the General Assembly. If signed into law by Governor Deal, this bill will provide Licensed Professional Counselors the authority to perform emergency examinations for involuntary evaluation and treatment for mental illness, alcohol, or drug abuse.
HB154 – Improving Dental Hygiene In Georgia
To enhance access to dental care, the legislature passed HB154.  This legislation allows licensed dental hygienists to provide preventative dental services in underserved areas without supervision from a dentist.
HB155 and HB199: Growing Jobs
During the 2017 Legislative Session, we passed HB155 and HB199. HB155 creates a tax credit for certified musical or theatrical productions and recorded musical performances in Georgia.  HB199 expands the tax credit given to interactive entertainment companies who bring jobs and investment to communities throughout the state.  Both pieces of legislation grow jobs and keep Georgia competitive.
HB338: Improving Educational Outcomes
To ensure that Georgia students have access to quality schools, the legislature passed HB338.  Under this legislation, a Chief Turnaround Officer and turnaround coaches will work with local school boards to improve outcomes in chronically failing schools throughout Georgia.
HB452: Keeping Georgians Safe
To keep Georgians safe, the legislature passed HB 452.  This bill requires the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to post information to their website about recently released illegal aliens with a history of violent or serious crimes.  This bill is the end product of a long-standing effort to improve public safety without burdening law enforcement.
SB160: Back The Badge
The General Assembly passed SB160, which strengthens the punishments for those who are convicted of aggravated assault or battery against a police officer.  The “Back the Badge Act of 2017” will help keep our brave men and women in uniform safe as they work to maintain peace in communities throughout Georgia.
SB206: Let Georgia Hear
This session, we passed SB206, which ensures that children who are born deaf or with hearing impairments receive coverage for the costly hearing aids they desperately need. While SB206 ultimately saves our state money and resources, I sponsored this legislation because it will change lives. SB206 gives children all across the state of Georgia a chance at a normal life. SB206 will #LetGAHear!
HB280: Campus Carry
In the closing minutes of the 40th day, the House passed Campus Carry (HB280). This legislation permits individuals, 21 and over, with weapons carry license to carry firearms on college campuses, but it does not permit the carrying of firearms at athletic events or student housing.
For more information on the legislation mentioned above – or for a full list of bills considered by the Georgia General Assembly – click HERE.
As always, I am honored to serve you in the State Senate.  If I can ever be of assistance, please call (404.656.7454), e-mail ( or engage on Facebook.  I look forward to seeing you soon!
P.K. Martin
District 9
Georgia State Senate