News 12 at 11 O'clock / January 1, 2014
Augusta, Ga. (WRDW) -- A fresh start to 2014 with new laws on the books.
Many, folks have been anxiously waiting for.
"It's been something we've been anticipating coming for quite a while," said Sallie Rich, a daycare director in Augusta.
She and more than 6,000 licensed childcare facilities will now require fingerprint background checks for all employees.
"We don't want somebody coming from another state who has a record that we're unaware of," she said.
The previous requirement was just a name check. Now, it's a lot more complicated.
All employees are required to be checked by January 2017 and every five years after that.
"it's going to cost about $75,000 for our organization," said Rich.
Another bill costing companies an extra buck, falls into classrooms of schools across Georgia.
"they expect schools to stock the Epipen for crisis," said Carol Roundtree, Assistant Superintendent for Student Services.
The medicine that treats severe allergic reactions. is now a requirement in all schools in both Georgia and South Carolina.
"we will have trained personnel in the building who can act incase there is an emergency", said Roundtree.
Moving down the books, another new law gives judges more flexibility in sentencing minors who commit felonies.
The new law is designed so that only the most serious young offenders are placed in custody. Others convicted on lesser charges will be sent into community-based programs. Supporters say it will cut costs and reduce the number of young offenders who return to jail.
Another law, is a major win for middle and high school athletes -as a Georgia's "Return to Play Act" is in play this year.
It's aimed at increasing awareness about the risks of concussions in youth. It would require schools to make parents aware of the risks of concussions.