By: Joe Hellriegel
January 1, 2014, 5:30pm
Last night was full of celebration while ringing in the New Year, but the state of Georgia is bringing in the New Year with new laws.
Starting today, only juveniles who commit serious offenses will be held in custody. Those accountable for minor offenses will be placed in community based programs. According to the Department of Juvenile Justice website, it costs over $90,000 to hold an offender compared to $3,000 if placed in the alternative program.
Also starting today, a new state law will bar lobbyists from spending more than $75 at a time while seeking to influence Georgia lawmakers. Under the new laws, lobbyists will not be able to spend more than $75 at a time. Previously, lobbyists could spend as much as they wanted as long as it was noted on disclosure reports filed with the state.
A new state law requiring all employees at Georgia childcare facilities to take a national fingerprint-based background check goes into effect today. The law requires all new employees hired on or after Jan. 1 to have satisfactory national background checks based on fingerprints. Existing employees hired before Jan. 1, will have until 2017 to meet the requirement, unless they move to a new childcare facility where the new law will be applied.
Concussions have been a hot topic lately from every level of sports. The "Return to Play Act" creates new guidelines of concussions for coaches, parents and student athletes. The law requires schools to give parents and their children information about concussion dangers, symptoms and treatments at the beginning of the season, no matter what sport they compete in.
The "Return To Play Act" also states that a student athlete must be taken out of an activity if he or she is showing signs of a concussion and must be cleared through a licensed health care provider before returning to practice or competition.