Kemp signs series of bills on social issues, natural resources

Published: May. 10, 2022 at 5:46 PM EDT
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ATLANTA - Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is continuing this week to sign a raft of bills recently passed by lawmakers.

On Monday, the governor signed Senate Bill 403, which partners behavioral health professionals with law enforcement officers responding to emergency calls involving a mental health crisis.

Kemp then went on to sign S.B. 361, which will provide a tax credit for individuals and corporations which make donations to a qualified law enforcement foundation. This will help support the men and women in blue with additional resources to fight crime.

The governor also signed S.B. 424 which is Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan’s Fostering Success Act.

The new law will enhance follow-up services for aged-out foster youths through a state tax credit. Funds generated through the program will directly support critical areas of assistance, such as education, and housing.

“These foster kids just because their birth certificate says they age out of the system, they age out,” Duncan said.

“And to watch folks like Pam Parish with Connections Homes and others that are now going to be empowered with up to $20-million statewide to be able to come in and wrap around these services around these kids and to give them the same chance that I had with parents that were helping me go to college or helping me transition into a career or to just block and tackle the different aspects of life,” he added.

On Tuesday, Kemp signed six pieces of legislation aiming to strengthen Georgia’s forestry industry, promote conservation efforts and protect the state’s natural resources.

The legislation includes:

  • HB 997, which exempts forestry equipment from statewide ad valorem taxes, pending a statewide referendum question (agricultural equipment is already exempt)
  • HB 1349, which updates Georgia’s No Net Loss requirement to encompass over 200,000 acres of hunting and fishing land added since 2005
  • HB 343, which imposes stronger penalties on poaching
  • HB 586, which extends the sunset on the Conservation Use Value Assessment (CUVA)
  • HB 1147, which provides for year-round hunting season on raccoons and opossums on non-public land
  • HB 1148, which implements stronger requirements for deer brought into Georgia from states with confirmed cases of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

“The bills I signed into law will help us treat the forestry industry the same way that we do agriculture as well as protect hunting, fishing, and conservation land and more,” Kemp said.

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