Starting July 1, Georgia will implement a series of new laws and budgetary measures focusing on crime reduction, public service improvements, and financial support.

Crime Reduction:

  • Fentanyl Overdose: Drug dealers linked to fentanyl deaths face felony charges and potential life sentences.
  • Illegal Drag Racing: Repeat offenders risk felonies, hefty fines, and imprisonment.

Fiscal Year 2025 Budget:

  • $36.1 Billion Budget: Funds new school buses and provides raises for law enforcement, state employees, and teachers.

Support for Kids and Parents:

  • State ID Cards: Free for kids in state custody.
  • Social Media Safety: Guidelines and restrictions for minors.
  • School Vouchers: $6,500 for private school tuition for students in low-performing schools.
  • Parental Leave: Doubled paid leave for state workers.

Housing and Consumer Protection:

  • Covenant Breaches: Homeowners given time to fix issues before legal action.
  • Safety Standards: Rental units must meet health and safety standards.
  • Telemarketing Penalties: Companies face fines for illegal calls.

Miscellaneous Laws:

  • Squatting: Trespassers face misdemeanor charges.
  • Livestock Theft: Now a felony.
  • Immigration Enforcement: State law enforcement must work with federal officials.

Key New Laws:

Renters and Homeowners:

  • Safe at Home Act: Ensures properties meet health and safety standards, limits upfront rent payments.
  • Squatters Reform Act: Squatters must present a valid lease within three days or face criminal charges.

Education:

  • Naloxone in Schools: Allows carrying naloxone to combat fentanyl overdoses.
  • Addy’s Law: Increases fines for drivers passing stopped school buses, encourages safer bus routes.
  • AEDs in Schools: Requires defibrillators in every public school.
  • Social Media Restrictions: Requires parental permission for minors’ social media accounts, mandates cyberbullying courses.
  • School Vouchers: $6,500 scholarships for private school education for students in low-performing public schools.

State Budget:

  • $66.5 Billion Budget: Includes raises for teachers (up to $2,500) and state employees (up to $3,000), bonuses, grants, and infrastructure funding.
  • Tax Relief: Reduces income tax rate to 5.39%.

Driving:

  • Street Racing: Increased penalties and allows police to arrest participants and spectators.
  • Amber Lights: Permits no longer required for amber, flashing, or rotating lights on vehicles.

These laws aim to enhance public safety, improve education and housing standards, and provide financial benefits to state workers.

Resources

New Georgia laws 2024: See what takes effect July 1 (stateaffairs.com)

More than 100 new Georgia laws go into effect on July 1 – WSB-TV Channel 2 – Atlanta (wsbtv.com)

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