Legislation affecting Georgia’s college campuses, taxes and fledgling medical marijuana program awaits action as lawmakers enter the session’s final two days.
The General Assembly convenes for 40 legislative days each year, and bills tend to pile up toward the end.
Lawmakers already passed a state budget, the only measure members are constitutionally required to approve each year. But lawmakers have dozens of other priorities that they’re hoping to move to Gov. Nathan Deal’s desk before adjourning for the year on Thursday.
Here’s a look at some of the items expected to dominate the session’s final days:
GUNS ON CAMPUS
A bill lifting Georgia’s ban on guns on public college campuses awaits a vote in the state Senate despite Gov. Nathan Deal’s veto of a similar proposal last spring.
The measure would allow anyone age 21 and up to carry a concealed handgun on campus with a state-issued permit. The bill exempts student housing, preschools and sports facilities.
A Senate committee also added an exemption for buildings where high school-age students attend classes at some technical colleges. But Senate leaders haven’t scheduled it for a vote yet.
The bill easily passed the Republican-controlled House earlier this month. If the Senate votes before Thursday’s adjournment, the House would have to approve the revised bill to send it to the governor.
Deal last year said he was concerned about permitting guns in child care facilities, administrative offices and in buildings that hold disciplinary hearings. When lawmakers made no changes, the Republican governor issued a forceful veto that referred to campuses.
Deal hasn’t specifically said whether he could sign this year’s bill. Deal’s office has said that he’s continuing to talk with supporters.
The rush to pass bills before the end of the 40th day can lead to dramatic last-minute changes to legislation -accidental or intentional. Legislation dealing with taxes is the most frequent vehicle