While most people were celebrating the ushering in of a new year and a new decade when the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2020 at this moment in time also assured in a whole host of new laws in the state of Georgia for 2020 – laws you’ll want to be aware of going forward.
Governor Brian Kemp signed more than 300+ bills into laws throughout 2019 and many of them took effect as soon 2020 started. Others have very specific “trigger dates” throughout the year that you’ll want to be aware of, too.
Changes to Child Abuse Registry
Previous to 2020 individuals that had been convicted of child abuse in the state of Georgia were required to submit their information to the statewide child abuse registry if they were 13 years of age or older.
The state government has decided that punishing children between the ages of 13 and 17 with this kind of registration may be unfair and have made changes to this criminal registry.
Now, individuals convicted of child abuse in the state of Georgia 18 years of age or older are going to have to register. Those convicted of child abuse in the state younger than 18 years of age do not have to register any longer.
Heartbeat Bill Outlaws Abortions After a Heartbeat is Present
Going into effect on January 1, 2020 at the stroke of midnight is the Georgia Heartbeat Bill, a law that prohibits the abortions of any fetus after a heartbeat has been detected by a medical professional.
The bill has already been signed into law and technically went into effect a single second after midnight on the first, but it has been functionally put into a bit of a holding pattern as a number of courts are looking at whether or not this law is constitutionally legal.
The fight is expected to be protracted and will have a huge impact not only in the state of Georgia but should also have a major impact on similar bills regarding abortion that are passed in neighboring states as well as throughout the US in general.
It isn’t unreasonable to assume that regardless of how the state courts rule on this law that it eventually finds itself in front of the Supreme Court of the United States of America.
Stronger Anti-Gang Laws
Some of the strongest new laws for 2020 are specifically designed at toughening the already tough anti-gang laws that the state of Georgia has on their books.
Law enforcement agencies are going to be able to work across county lines when working on gang related cases, and that’s just one of the new changes to these laws. Individuals that are charged with gang-related laws can face up to 20 years in prison when they are convicted, but 20/20 also adds the death penalty to individuals that are charged and convicted of gang-related murders in the state.
Combine that with new legislation designed specifically to more effectively seize property used by gangs as well as any other individual convicted under new anti-gang legislation and these are probably the largest changes to the laws in the state of Georgia in 2020.