Weekly Legislative Update: February 25 (Legislative Day 22)

Don’t Forget to Register for Lobby Day on Wednesday, March 11th   

Please register for GJP’s Annual Enhance the Chance Lobby Day at the Capitol to be held on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 from 8:30am – 1:00pm.

Again, this will be our opportunity to come together and speak to lawmakers about the difficulties faced by people with criminal records who are trying to secure jobs, housing, and other opportunities in Georgia and about the negative impacts on taxpayers and communities. 

For logistics information including the day’s agenda, travel options and parking, please visit our website

Come Celebrate “Ban the Box” in Georgia on Wednesday, March 4th (4:30pm – 6:30pm)

Again, we at GJP are so happy that Governor Deal signed an executive order  on Monday making Georgia the fourteenth state, and the first in the South, to enact “ban the box” for state employment. This fair chance hiring policy postpones questions about a job applicant’s criminal history until it is demonstrated that he or she is one of the most qualified candidates and also requires applicants have the opportunity to explain his or her criminal history before denial.

“Ban the box” has been a top legislative priority for the Georgia Justice Project for the last couple of years and we are excited to see it accomplished. GJP will host an event on Wednesday, March 4th at our office from 4:30pm to 6:30pm to celebrate this positive step for Georgians with criminal histories to fairly access state employment opportunities. This will also be an opportunity to discuss the potential impact of the new policy in Georgia and to thank those individuals and organizations who worked so hard to make this happen.

If you would like to attend the celebration of “ban the box” in Georgia, please R.S.V.P. to Kenneth Westberry by sending an email to Kenneth@GJP.org or by calling  (404) 827-0027 ext. 254. 

Status of 2015 Reentry Bills 

  • HB 310 – First Offender Act revisions improve the effectiveness of Georgia’s “second chance” law by requiring that all defendants are informed of their eligibility  and those not offered have a retroactive remedy.  The bill has been assigned to the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee and was scheduled for it’s first hearing today at 1:00pm. The hearing was canceled due to inclement weather. 
  • HB 328 – Private Background Check Reporting requires certain private background checking companies to either provide notice to the job applicant when they are going to provide negative information to an employer or check with the courthouse before reporting criminal record information. The bill will provide a state remedy for Georgians when these companies violate this provision. This bill has been assigned to the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee and was scheduled for it’s first hearing today at 1:00pm. The hearing was canceled due to inclement weather. 
  • HB 9 – “Ban the Box” for All Employment– makes it unlawful for any employer (public or private) to ask about an applicant’s criminal record on the initial application. The bill has been assigned to the House Industry and Labor Committee but has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.
  • HB 134 – Work Opportunity Tax Credit – offers a tax credit to employers that hire people convicted of a felony within one year of release or conviction. The bill has been assigned to the House Ways and Means Committee but has not yet been scheduled for a hearing. 

**Please continue to stay tuned for information about the status of these bills and how you may be helpful in ensuring their passage this year.

Click below for previous updates from the 2015 session:

February 2, 2015 

February 9, 2015

February 16, 2015