May 26, 2017 Radio Commentary

New Laws: Two for Guns, Three for Opioids

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, May 26, 2017 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

When Governor Deal vetoed last year’s campus carry bill, he was concerned that it would have allowed firearms on preschool campuses or in disciplinary hearings or in faculty and administrative offices.

Since this year’s campus carry bill alleviates those concerns and restricts firearms in even more sensitive places, Governor Deal explained his change-of-heart this way: “While H.B. 280 addresses the rights and restrictions relating to weapons carry license holders on a college campus, it in effect may have greater significance for students who are going to or coming from a campus.  Unfortunately, in parts of the state, the path to higher education travels through dangerous territory…. In recent years, we’ve witnessed college students fall victim to violent attacks in or while traveling to libraries and academic buildings, and while traveling to and from their homes to class.”

H.B. 280, also, prohibits the carrying of concealed weapons onto or into athletic events; student housing, dormitories, fraternities and sororities; preschools and childcare facilities; as well as rooms or spaces used by colleges, career academies or other special schools. Four days after signing the campus carry bill, Governor Deal signed H.B. 292 to prevent providers of credit and financial services from discriminating against a business, simply, because it is lawfully engaged in buying, selling, or producing firearms or ammunition.

On the same day, Governor Deal signed three drug bills to accomplish the following:  “The three bills I signed into law today will enable us to more effectively fight the ongoing opioid epidemic that impacts individuals, families and communities across Georgia.  I am confident that this legislation will help save lives and give hope to the victims ensnared by this epidemic as well as their loved ones.”

The first of those three drug bills is S.B. 88 requiring the Community Health Department to create standards for drug treatment programs that want a license to do business in Georgia.

The second is S.B. 121 that takes Naloxone (nal’ex son’) off the dangerous drug list, so it can be used in emergencies to counteract drug overdoses and a drug dispenser can include it in rescue kits.  It, also, codifies the governor’s executive orders of 2016.

The third is H.B. 249 that moves Prescription Drug Monitoring from the Drugs and Narcotics Agency to the Public Health Department.  The governor signed H.B. 249 on May 4th and it becomes law July 1st.  However, S.B. 88 became law when the governor signed it on May 4th, and S.B. 121 became law upon the governor’s signature on April 18th.  For Georgia Insight I’m Sue Ella Deadwyler, your Capitol correspondent.