Wednesday, March 2, 2011

GPJC Legislative Platform!!

Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition


HB 1457 Parent and Student Privacy Act, Rep. Stephanie Benfield

Status: Not yet assigned to a committee


As it stands without this bill, schools are required to provide students' contact information to military recruiters, without telling students or their parents. Many people never know that their information will be handed over or that they could opt out. HB 1457 would require schools to send a letter notifying students and parents that their information will be sent to recruiters. This letter will give an option to withhold the information by indicating on the letter and returning it to the school.

  • Would protect students' and parents' privacy by notifying them that schools hand over their information to military recruiters by default, and would provide an easy way to keep their information private.

SB 7 – “Hurt and Run” bill, Sen. Bill Heath

Status: Assigned to the Senate Insurance and Labor Committee


SB 7 would ban undocumented workers from collecting workers' compensation benefits for on-the-job injuries.

  • Would encourage unscrupulous employers to hire undocumented workers, subject workers to unsafe working conditions, and escape accountability.

SB 27 – “Force Employers to Use Inaccurate Database” bill, Sen. Judson Hill

Status: Not yet assigned to a committee


SB 27 requires use of e-Verify by public contractors and sub-contractors and establishes non-compliance penalties, including civil and criminal sanctions.

  • E-Verify databases are loaded with errors. Businesses that use e-Verify report that 10-15% of eligible workers are deemed ineligible by e-Verify, and the errors disproportionately affect lawful residents and naturalized citizens.

  • Congress intended that e-Verify be a voluntary program. The error-prone and inaccurate e-Verify databases are unable to handle mandatory participation by all government contractors and subcontractors, resulting in lost time and resources.

HB 87 – “Show Me Your Papers” Arizona copycat bill, Rep. Matt Ramsey

Status: in House Non-civil Judiciary Committee


HB 87 among other things requires that private employers use e-Verify and establishes civil sanctions in case of non-compliance. It also requires that state and local law enforcement officers investigate the immigration status of individuals they “reasonably suspect” of being undocumented and authorizes police to detain people for a period necessary to determine their status and subsequently arrest those determined to have unlawful status and transport them to a federal jail. The bill also creates criminal penalties for any individual that encourages an undocumented person to come to Georgia or transports or harbors them once they arrive. Further, it provides additional incentives for localities to enter into harmful 287(g) or “Secure Communities” Agreements. It also provides for a private right of legal action by any “legal resident” against any Georgia official or agency for purposes of forcing them to enforce provisions of the bill.

  • Will hurt state and local economies, lead to a tremendous loss in tourism revenues, and subject the state to exorbitant litigation costs .

  • Would lead to racial profiling, as it would encourage law enforcement to stop people based on how they look, rather than based on evidence of criminal activity. This would destroy trust and divert law enforcement resources away from community policing.

SB 40 – Senator Jack Murphy


This is the Senate version of HB 87, with significant variations. This bill is undergoing revision in Committee meetings.

HB 59 – “Destroying the DREAMS” bill, Rep. Tom Rice

Status: Passed from the House Higher Education Committee


HB 59 would prohibit all 35 public universities and colleges in Georgia from admitting undocumented immigrant students, regardless of their academic qualifications. On October 13, 2010, the Board of Regents passed a policy limiting access to higher education for undocumented students. The policy goes into effect in fall 2011.

  • Denying higher education access to Georgia’s undocumented students fails to capitalize on the state’s investment in the students’ K-12 education.

  • Banning access to higher education inhibits economic growth. College graduates who are likely to remain in Georgia earn higher wages and therefore generate significantly more in income, sales, and property taxes. Their increased earning power and disposable income stimulates growth in Georgia's economy.

  • Enforcement of this policy is a waste of resources. Only 501 of 310,000 students within the university system were found to be undocumented and they already pay out-of-state tuition.

HB 94 – Racial Profiling, Rep. Tyrone Brooks

Status: in House Judiciary Committee


HB 94 would prohibits law enforcement officers from using race or ethnicity in determining whether to stop a motorist. (Note: similar bill to HB 177). It would also require annual training of police to teach them that race and ethnicity are impermissible to use in stopping vehicles. Further, it would require law enforcement officers to document the race, ethnicity, and gender of a stopped motorist and passengers, as well as the reason for the stop, and to keep this record public.

  • Public records would show whether traffic stops, searches, and tickets are being administered in a racially biased manner and allow citizens to take action against the bias.

Education Cuts


The legislature is also considering cuts to funding for public education proposed by Governor Nathan Deal. The changes would reduce funding to the HOPE scholarship so that it would:

  • no longer pay for full public college tuition except for students with at least a 3.7 grade point average and at least a 1200 on the SAT -- only about 10 percent of current HOPE recipients. (Students with at least a college GPA of 3.0 would qualify for 90% of public college tuition).

  • no longer cover extras, like fees, books and remedial classes.

  • shrink awards for students of private colleges in Georgia from $4000 to $3600.

Pre-kindergarten programs would also see deep cuts. Deal's plan would reduce pre-k from 6.5 hours a day to 4.


Please write and call your legislators and tell them how you feel about this proposed legislation. You can use the descriptions above as talking points.


Go to and type your zip code in the box on the right. If necessary, you can enter your full address on the page that comes up next to further narrow down legislators.

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