Georgia Prepares for Sweeping Changes as New Laws Take Effect July 1, 2024

Georgia Prepares for Sweeping Changes as New Laws Take Effect July 1, 2024

By Janell Williams

As the calendar inches closer to July 1, 2024, Georgia residents and businesses alike are bracing for a series of significant legislative changes set to take effect across the state. From criminal justice reforms to economic incentives, the new laws promise to reshape various aspects of daily life and governance in the Peach State.

Telephone Consumer Protection Act: Companies can be held liable for illegal telemarketing calls made by third-party contractors.

Safe At Home Act: Required rental units to be fit to live in and properties to meet local and state housing codes as well as health and safety standards.

HOA Regulations: Homeowners and condo associations must give property owners time to address contract violations.

Georgia Squatter Reform Act: Squatters can face misdemeanor trespassing charges, fines for back rent, and eviction within three days of police notification.

School Vouchers and Parental Leave: Parents can receive vouchers up to $6,500 for better-performing schools.

Drug Overdose Prevention in Schools: Schools are now permitted to provide opioid antagonists to help prevent drug overdoses.

Defibrillators in Schools: Schools are now required to have automated defibrillators located outside school buildings instead of inside.

Addy's Law: This law mandates that public school systems plan bus routes to avoid having students cross roads where the speed limit exceeds 40 mph. It also strengthens penalties for drivers who pass a school bus that is picking up children.

Paid Parental Leave: State workers will get double parental leave, up to 240 hours.

Protecting Georgia's Children on Social Media Act: Children will receive guides for social media use and internet safety in schools. Mandatory scoliosis testing will be eliminated, and schools can use non-bus vehicles for transportation.

Free State ID Cards: Teens between the ages of 14 and 17 in the custody of the Division of Family & Children Services will get free state ID cards.

Livestock Theft Penalties: Stealing livestock in Georgia will result in a $10,000 fine and 2-15 years in prison.

Illegal Drag Racing: Repeat offenders may face felony charges, license suspension, fines, and 3 months to 10 years in prison.

Emergency Vehicle Requirements: Tow trucks and other emergency vehicles must have flashing or revolving amber lights.

Death certificates: Advanced practice registered nurses and physician assistants will be able to sign death certificates.

Expedited licenses: Marriage and family therapists will be able to get expedited licenses.

License requirement removed: Beauticians who blow-dry hair, wash hair or apply makeup no longer need to have a license.

Georgia Criminal Alien Track and Report Act: State law enforcement must work with federal immigration officials to report and detain suspected illegal immigrants charged with crimes.

Cash Bail: Cash bail will be required for 30 additional charges, including 18 misdemeanors such as theft by taking, criminal trespass, and forgery.

Fentanyl Deaths: New laws will punish drug dealers responsible for fentanyl-related deaths.

For a full list of the 709 bills signed, visit Georgia Legislation 2024.

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