Return-to-Work Bill Approved by House Retirement Committee with 30-Year Minimum Requirement
The House Retirement Committee met for the first time this session and approved HB 385 by Rep. Shaw Blackmon (R-Bonaire). This PAGE-supported legislation allows retired educators to return to work full-time after a 12-month waiting period following retirement while continuing to draw full Teacher Retirement System (TRS) benefits. Employment is restricted to high-needs areas in each region as determined by Regional Education Service Agencies (RESAs).
A new provision added to the version of the bill which passed today (though not yet available on the state website as of publication of this report) would also limit participation to retired educators who have a minimum of 30 years of experience. Unused sick leave can be used to reach the 30-year requirement.
The bill lacks an updated financial certification due to the addition of the 30-year requirement. Rep. John Carson (R-Marietta), chair of the House Retirement Committee, said the review would be complete by the end of the week. HB 385, which is part of Gov. Brian Kemp’s teacher pipeline initiative, now moves to House Rules which will schedule it for a House floor vote.
Reminder: educators should not base retirement and employment decisions on pending legislation.
Senate Republicans Announce Legislative Priorities
Senate Republican leadership held a press conference announcing their legislative agenda for the 2022 legislative session. Sen. Bo Hatchett (R-Cornelia), a floor leader for Kemp, announced the Senate leaders’ intentions to file a bill that will address Critical Race Theory (CRT).
PAGE expects the bill to be available in the coming days. The news conference is pictured below.
Judiciary Non-Civil Committee Hears, but Does Not Vote On, Obscene Materials in Schools Bill
SB 226 by Sen. Jason Anavitarte (R-Dallas) was heard today in the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee, which took no action on the bill. The bill has changed significantly since it was introduced and assigned to the House committee charged with changes to state criminal code. SB 226 now requires local boards of education to adopt complaint resolution processes to address parent complaints of student access of obscene materials in schools.
While presenting the bill, Anavitarte cited his desire to provide clarity for parents. The committee contemplated the addition of an amendment allowing discussion of obscene materials complaints during public comment portions of local board meetings. Members engaged in a robust discussion on the merits of local control, the definition of obscene material, copyright laws, and whether SB 226 would be better vetted in an education committee.
House Education Sets Meeting Practices During First Committee Meeting of 2022 Session
Chairman Matt Dubnik (R-Gainesville) outlined organizational practices the House Education Committee will follow at the committee's first meeting of the 2022 legislative session. The committee will have three subcommittees
Academic Achievement, chaired by Rep. Mike Cheokas (R-Americus)
Academic Support, chaired by Rep. Will Wade (R-Dawsonville)
Academic Innovation, chaired by Rep. Jones (R-South Forsyth)
Bills assigned to the education committee will be discussed first in one of the subcommittees and, if approved, will move on the full education committee.
Dubnik explained that allowing time for discussion among and questions from lawmakers will be a priority during committee meetings. He urged advocates and members of the public who wish to speak to the committee about particular bills to sign up to do so at the start of meetings. He also said that comments can be submitted to the committee.
A full list of education committee members is available HERE.
Adjournment Resolution Approved – Sine Die Set for April 4
The Senate approved the adjournment resolution for the remainder of the 2022 legislative session:
Thursday, Jan. 27 - Day 8
Tuesday, Feb. 1 – Day 9
Wednesday, Feb. 2 - Day 10
Thursday, Feb. 3 – Day 11
Monday, Feb. 7 – Day 12
Tuesday, Feb. 8 - Day 13
Wednesday, Feb. 9 - Committee Work Day
Thursday, Feb. 10 – Day 14
Friday, Feb. 11 – Day 15
Monday, Feb. 14 - Day 16
Tuesday, Feb. 15 - Day 17
Wednesday, Feb. 16 - Committee Work Day
Thursday, Feb. 17 - Day 18
Tuesday, Feb. 22 – Day 19 (PAGE Day on Capitol Hill)
Wednesday, Feb. 23 – Committee Work Day
Thursday, Feb. 24 – Day 20
Monday, Feb. 28 - Day 21
Tuesday, Mar. 1 – Day 22
Wednesday, Mar. 2 – Committee Work Day
Thursday, Mar. 3 – Day 23
Friday, Mar. 4 - Day 24
Tuesday, Mar. 8 – Day 25
Wednesday, Mar. 9 – Day 26
Thursday, Mar. 10 – Committee Work Day
Friday, Mar. 11 – Day 27
Monday, Mar. 14 – Committee Work Day
Tuesday, Mar. 15 - Day 28 (Crossover Day)
Wednesday, Mar. 16 – Day 29
Thursday, Mar. 17 – Day 30
Friday, Mar. 18 – Day 31
Monday, Mar. 21 – Day 32
Tuesday, Mar. 22 – Day 33
Wednesday, Mar. 23 – Day 34
Thursday, Mar. 24 – Committee Work Day
Friday, Mar. 25 - Day 35
Monday, Mar. 28 - Day 36
Tuesday, Mar. 29 - Day 37
Wednesday, Mar. 30 - Day 38
Thursday, Mar. 31 - Committee Work Day
Friday, Apr. 1 – Day 39
Saturday, Apr. 2 – Committee Work Day
Sunday, Apr. 3 – Committee Work Day
Monday, Apr. 4 - Day 40 (Sine Die)