By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
State Sen. Ben Watson: SB 449 passes, heads to House
Ben Watson
State Sen. Ben Watson

State Sen. Ben Watson, MD, Guest writer.

We have now officially hit the halfway point of the 2022 Legislative Session. As I have mentioned previously, the Georgia state constitution allows no more than forty legislative days for the General Assembly to meet, except for special sessions that may be called by the Governor.

Over the last year we have heard extensive testimony from parents concerned that their children are being exposed to inappropriate or subversive material while in the classroom. While we need to ensure students are provided with a robust and thorough education, we need to also make sure curriculum reasonably contains material parents approve. Senate Bill 449 would grant parents explicit rights regarding the oversight of their child’s education, including the right to direct the upbringing and the moral or religious training of their minor child and the right to review all instructional materials intended for use in the classroom. This bill passed easily in the Senate, and I expect will also easily pass when it comes in front of the House of Representatives.

Many residents here in the Coastal Empire are attracted to the ocean, and of course boating is a popular leisure activity. In an effort to protect boaters, the senate unanimously passed S.B. 469, which would require all vessels operating on the coastal waters of Georgia at night to have either three unexpired pyrotechnic distress signals or one electric distress light onboard. Additionally, SB 469 would require all vessels operating during the day to have one orange flag as a distress signal. The legislation also alters the definition of “personal flotation device,” and all of the above would conform to the federal requirements by the United States Coast Guard.

Another bill to pass unanimously was S.B. 397, which would allow for state-approved high school equivalency (HSE) diplomas and update language in Georgia Code to replace “general education” (GED) with “high school equivalency” HSE diplomas. HOPE HSE vouchers will be available to each eligible student who receives pre-certification from TCSG (Technical College System of Georgia) to take an approved examination seeking a diploma through the HSE program.

The senate voted unanimously to pass S.B. 505 relating to Telephone Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (T-CPR) Training and Continuing Education for Communications Officers. Specifically, SB 505 would require that communications officers complete training on high-quality telephone cardiopulmonary resuscitation in addition to general basic training.

Thank you for your continued interest in the General Assembly.

I am in 325-A Coverdell Legislative Office Building. My office phone number is (404) 656-7880 and my email is ben.watson@senate. I look forward to continuing to serve you.

Sign up for our E-Newsletters