HomeGeorgia NewsFrom housing standards to school safety, Georgia's new laws that go into...

From housing standards to school safety, Georgia’s new laws that go into effect July 1 to transform daily life

Atlanta, Georgia – Starting July 1, Georgia will see the implementation of several new laws that aim to address a wide range of issues, from consumer protection to school safety. These changes will affect various aspects of daily life for Georgians, introducing new regulations and protections across the state.

Consumer protection and housing standards

One significant change is the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. This law will hold companies accountable for illegal telemarketing calls made by third-party contractors. The aim is to reduce the number of unwanted calls and ensure businesses adhere to stricter standards when it comes to consumer communication.

The Safe At Home Act will also take effect, mandating that rental units meet local and state housing codes as well as health and safety standards. This law ensures that tenants have a right to live in properties that are safe and fit for habitation, improving living conditions for many renters across Georgia.

Read also: Atlanta schools take bold step, new limits on cellphones aim to boost student focus

HOA regulations and squatter reforms

Homeowners and condo associations will now be required to give property owners time to address contract violations. This new regulation aims to provide a fairer process for property owners, allowing them to rectify issues before facing penalties from their associations.

The Georgia Squatter Reform Act introduces stricter measures against squatters. Under this law, squatters can be charged with misdemeanor trespassing, fined for back rent, and evicted within three days of police notification. This reform is designed to protect property owners and deter illegal occupation of properties.

Educational reforms and safety measures

Several new laws will impact the education sector. Parents can now receive vouchers up to $6,500 for enrolling their children in better-performing schools. This initiative aims to provide more educational opportunities for students across the state.

To combat the opioid crisis, schools will be permitted to provide opioid antagonists, which can help prevent drug overdoses. Additionally, schools are now required to have automated defibrillators located outside school buildings, ensuring quicker access during emergencies.

Addy’s Law will enhance school bus safety by mandating that public school systems plan bus routes to avoid having students cross roads where the speed limit exceeds 40 mph. The law also strengthens penalties for drivers who illegally pass a school bus during student pick-up times.

Read also: Nine Georgia school districts to benefit from $900 million federal grant for clean buses

Parental leave and social media safety

State workers will benefit from the new Paid Parental Leave law, which doubles their parental leave up to 240 hours. This change supports working parents by providing them with more time to care for their newborns without worrying about job security.

The Protecting Georgia’s Children on Social Media Act will provide students with guides on social media use and internet safety. The law also eliminates mandatory scoliosis testing and allows schools to use non-bus vehicles for transportation, offering more flexibility in school logistics.

Free state ID cards for teens in foster care

In a move to support teens in foster care, the state will now offer free state ID cards to individuals aged 14 to 17 who are in the custody of the Division of Family & Children Services. This initiative aims to help these young individuals have easier access to identification, which is crucial for many aspects of their daily lives.

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These new laws reflect Georgia’s commitment to improving the quality of life for its residents through enhanced consumer protection, housing standards, educational opportunities, and safety measures. As these changes take effect, Georgians can expect to see significant impacts on their communities and daily routines.

Aurelia Whitlock

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