Georgia Crossover Day: The latest - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Georgia Crossover Day: The latest

ATLANTA, GA (WTOC) -

Crossover Day is the day dozens of the bills proposed by Georgia lawmakers will die, because they fail to get a vote by the full House or Senate. It's always a controversial day as those backing bills watch their measures expire until next year, if ever.

Around 2,300 resolutions introduced have been over the last two years by the House and Senate. Most of these hit the trash on Crossover Day because they don't get to the floor for a vote by either house. In the capital, both the House of Representatives and Senate debate bills. The house has to vote yes on a bill for it to cross to the Senate, and visa versa. If it doesn't make it to the other side, it dies. 

Here's a look at some of those have already crossed over.

BRUNCH BILL: HB 57

Right now, on Sunday morning, if you want to sip on a mimosa or Bloody Mary, you have to wait to order until 12:30 p.m. A Senate bill would let you order that drink at 11:00 am. Restaurant owners say the increased profit would be stellar. One of those is Brian Huskey, who owns B. Matthew's Eatery. 

"We would see somewhere between a $200-500 increase in sales on Sunday if this mimosa mandate or brunch bill passes, and I believe it," Huskey said.

ADOPTION BILL: HB 159

A proposal that would allow adoption agencies in Georgia to refuse to work with same-sex couples passed through the House and Senate and is now on the governor's desk. The sponsor of the proposal said the measure was needed to ensure that religious organizations could participate in the adoption process. We will keep you updated if the governor signs this into legislation.

MISDEMEANOR BOND: SB 407

Another bill crossed over from the Senate into the House would keep fewer nonviolent offenders behind bars. For the most part, if you were to get a misdemeanor, you wouldn't sit in jail. This would free up space in county detention centers and taxpayer dollars. The Chatham County sheriff says if the governor signs this bill, the state will actually allow something he's already doing. 

"Once they've been here 10 hours, if they can't bond out, then we let them sign their own bond and they're gone. So it's nothing to me. The governor is two years behind me. I've been doing it all along," Chatham County Sheriff John Wilcher said. 

Here are a few bills that did not cross over.

RENAMING TALMADGE BRIDGE: HR 1054

The renaming of the Talmadge Bridge to the Juliette Gordon Low Bridge has not even made it out of House committee. The House secretary office says it's unlikely it will.

LEGALIZE MARIJUANA: SR 614 AND LEGALIZE MARIJUANA SALES: SB 344

Proposals to legalize marijuana and the sale of marijuana in the state of Georgia are not likely to make the cut.

HANDS-FREE DRIVING: HB 673

This bill, which would reduce distracted driving, crossed over at 11:35 p.m. Wednesday with a vote of 151-20. This would enact a hands-free driving law for Georgia.


The bill sponsor, John Carson, says Georgia's skyrocketing car insurance premiums, not fatal car accidents, drove his interest in changing the law. 

"I would call this the DUI issue of our generation. Distracted driving is the DUI issue of our generation, and we've got to stop it," Carson said.

There are 10 more days of legislative session to debate these bills that have crossed over. Now that the bill is in the other chamber, it has to get voted on by them as well. Once both chambers vote yes, it heads up to Governor Nathan Deal's desk where he decides if he will sign it into law or not.

We will continue to follow this legislation and bring you the latest results.

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