2018 Legislative Session

Thursday, March 29, 2018 was the final day of the Georgia Legislative session.  The ACLU of Georgia prevailed on the major issues we addressed as well as winning a First Amendment federal lawsuit to allow access to the Capitol for protestors with signs.
 

LEGISLATION 
ACLU of Georgia focused special attention on FIVE areas in the Georgia Legislative session.  We used the following tactic: direct lobbying, working with coalition partners, media outreach, and mobilizing ACLU members and supporters through email alerts, People Power, social media post on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well as ads on Facebook and Instagram. For the last days of the session, we organized volunteers to lobby their legislators. 

Together, we achieved our overall objectives in each area to champion our principles. Your phone calls, texts and emails to as well your conversations with your elected officials in the state legislature made these extraordinary victories happen!
 

Criminal Justice Reform
Senate Bill 407 is Governor Deal's comprehensive criminal justice reform bill. Central to the bill are improvements to pretrial justice in Georgia, primarily as it relates to misdemeanor cash bail.
ACLU of Georgia position: SUPPORTED
Outcome: Bill was PASSED

Medical Marijuana
House Bill 764 / House Bill 65 adds PTSD and intractable pain to this list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. 
ACLU of Georgia position: SUPPORTED
Outcome: Bill was PASSED
 

Voter Rights 
Senate Bill 309 and Senate Bill 363: These bills limit voter rights by rolling back from 8pm to 7pm, the closing time for voting inside the city of Atlanta and reduced weekend early voting throughout the state.
ACLU of Georgia position: OPPOSED 
Outcome: Bill was DEFEATED

LBGTQ+ Rights

Senate Bill 375 gives faith-based child-placing agencies a license to discriminate against LGBT parents who are looking to provide a safe and loving home to abused and neglected children. 

ACLU of Georgia position: OPPOSED
Outcome: Bill was DEFEATED
 

Immigration 
Senate Bill 452, known as the "Deportation Pipeline Bill," would transform local police officers into federal immigration officers and mandate that, on the basis of a suspicion alone, they detain or transport people to a state or federal detention center. 

ACLU of Georgia position: OPPOSED
Outcome: Bill was DEFEATED
 
 
FIRST AMENDMENT LAWSUIT
 
A federal judge ruled that police must allow protesters to wave signs in the Georgia Capitol as they oppose an immigration enforcement bill.
 
U.S. District Judge William Duffey granted a temporary restraining order Thursday allowing the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia and others to silently display posters in the Capitol Rotunda and the balcony around the Rotunda.
 
The court order bars Capitol police and other law enforcement from prohibiting the protest activities.
 
“Today is a victory for the First Amendment. Georgians demand that their constitutional freedoms and rights be respected, especially in the Gold Dome,” said Sean Young, the legal director for the ACLU of Georgia. Click here to read the article.
 

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