February 24, 2024

Crossover Day Approaches

We are six days away from Crossover Day, February 29th. My committee meetings are now in overdrive. As you know, I am on the following committees: Appropriations, Judiciary, Governmental Affairs, Public Health, Juvenile Justice, and Technology and Infrastructure Innovation.



We are six days away from Crossover Day, February 29th. My committee meetings are now in overdrive. As you know, I am on the following committees: Appropriations, Judiciary, Governmental Affairs, Public Health, Juvenile Justice, and Technology and Infrastructure Innovation. Each day I have to choose what committees to attend or not attend since I often have multiple committees meeting at the same time. Sometimes agendas are not released until hours or even minutes before meetings begin, so I have to make constant judgment calls regarding where my presence and involvement is most needed. On some bills, I am a co-sponsor and need to be in attendance. Often my presence is needed to block bad legislation. The committee process is frequently the best opportunity to influence a bill, and I always have to be aware that there are more Republicans appointed to every committee than Democrats, so they have an advantage every hour of the day.

Below are photos from Thursday morning at the Capitol, February 22nd. As you can see, there were huge crowds coming to meet with their legislators. I met with Mary Flaa and labor supporters in opposition to SB 362. I also met with Sally Stanhope, Chamblee teacher and Stone Mountain Action Committee & HB 794 advocate extraordinaire. Rep. Omari Crawford brought track and field athletes from across DeKalb County, and GA highway patrol officers in Georgia gathered for a group portrait. Also in attendance yesterday were our friends from GEEARS (GA Early Education Alliance) who advocate for mothers and young children, many with their young children in strollers. Throngs of amazing teachers from the Georgia Association of Educators met with their legislators, as did CASA volunteers who advocate for foster children. Multiple school groups roamed the halls, and there was a Champions of Change awards ceremony honoring me and Rep. Todd Jones for our work on behavioral health legislation. Unfortunately, I could not attend because I was speaking on the House floor during the ceremony in support of HB 1073. What a day! Even though the Capitol is crowded, confusing, and chaotic, we always want you to come visit your State Capitol!


We received disappointing news this week that the Republican House leadership is proceeding with a Certificate of Need (CON) bill and not including any provisions in relation to Medicaid expansion. As I have reported earlier, there has been an ongoing effort, and I've been involved extensively, on advocacy and negotiation for some form of Medicaid expansion through the CMS waiver process to be joined with CON reform. However, these discussions for a joint approach to CON and Medicaid expansion have ended, and the House Republican leadership is proceeding only with CON. However, it's always true that nothing is over until the Sine Die final gavel happens...and there are rumors that discussions may come forward again after Crossover Day. The only thing I'm sure is true is that it's never over until we adjourn. The current CON bill, HB 1339, does include a "study committee" for Medicaid expansion. A study committee at this point is particularly irritating.


I have also been spending time in the last week on negotiations in relation to the 2025 Budget that sets forth our spending for the Fiscal Year that begins July 1, 2024 and ends June 30, 2025. Most of my work has been focused through my Appropriations Subcommittee on Human Resources and specifically on expanded mental health funding. Our House budget proposals anticipate more funding than was proposed by the Governor, and I am guessing that we will vote on the House proposal for Fiscal Year 2025 on February 28 or 29. You may watch the Joint House and Senate Appropriations Conference Committee meeting on Monday, February 26th at 8:00am at this Georgia General Assembly link.


We know now that Thursday, February 29 is Crossover Day. As you may remember, Crossover Day is the last day that either the House or Senate can pass a bill that will be eligible for final passage during the 2024 Session before Sine Die. February 29 will be a very long day, with lots of tension, and most of the anxiety and work that day will concern the terrible bills that have been offered by legislators and their final attempts in passing those bills. As always, I encourage you to watch the live stream of both the House and Senate at https://www.legis.ga.gov/. Next week on Facebook I will be updating you on particular bills that I've been working for and following, and give you some highlights of what will be our more important actions on Crossover Day. Follow me at https://www.facebook.com/marymoliver/


There are 56 bills that have been submitted during the 2023-2024 Session that include the keyword "firearms." (https://www.legis.ga.gov/search?k=firearms&s=1031&p=1).

39 include the word "weapons:"


12 include the keyword "guns:"


These include a bill I sponsored, HB 135, which penalizes for failure in adequately securing a firearm. I am the first co-sponsor for several gun safety bills, including HB 44, a universal background check bill; HB 45, which calls for a three-day waiting period on gun purchases; and HB 161, the pediatric safe storage bill. My colleague Senator Elena Parent has teamed with Senator Sally Harrell to introduce SB 522, or Donna's Law, a voluntary do-not-sell firearms bill. Will any of these bills see the light of day?

Though the proposed legislation I mentioned above are modest gun safety reforms, some of these 56 firearm bills are radical in scope, including HB 1364, which says that any establishment that bans guns will be held liable for the safety of those who are not allowed to carry their guns onto "such property." Does this include the Georgia State Capitol, which bans guns? Restaurants? College campuses? Certain Republicans are emboldened this year in a way they have not been for many years. Again, we must fight off the bad bills as much as support the good ones. The list of bad bills is getting longer with each passing day. Thanks to Moms Demand Action for their presence at the Capitol this week and the ER doctors who hold signs on the South Steps every day of Session. Like them, we cannot stop fighting.


Another project I am working on this Session with Rep. Todd Jones is the drafting and passage of HB 986, creating a specific crime for use of AI “deepfakes” campaign images. Interesting project that the far right has identified as evil. Wonder what the Senate will do.



Please check out my latest press appearances! Recently I appeared on GPB Lawmakers to discuss mental health parity.

I also joined Bill Nigut on WABE's Politically Georgia to discuss the state of affairs at the Capitol. Listen to that podcast here.

Photo Credit: Sarah Kallis / GPB News

HB 1073

HB 1073 aims to make our local zoning laws more equal, more fair, and more open to the reality about the variety of treatment facilities that are coming forward on behalf of our families. I was pleased to speak in support of HB 1073 Thursday on the House floor.

Rep. Oliver HB 1073 2.22.24


Polling questions from last newsletter:

Question #1: Should Georgia limit state tax credits for the film industry? Total votes: 456

Yes: 61% (277) No: 39% (179)

Question #2: Should Georgia eliminate tax credits for data centers? Total votes: 398

Yes: 75% (300) No: 25% (98)


Should there be speed cameras in school zones? In 2021, Gwinnett County installed school zone speed cameras as part of its School Zone Safety Program. WSB-Channel 2 stated that the speed cameras have reduced speeding in those areas by 90%. Many other school districts have done so in Georgia. Due to complaints about unfair speeding tickets, particularly tickets issued by faulty cameras outside of school hours, legislators have proposed HB 1126, which would ban all speed cameras in school zones across the state of Georgia. My Chief of Staff was the only person to speak at the Motor Vehicles House Committee hearing and WSB-Channel 2 used a clip of her on the news. The entire committee voted for the bill.

Read HB 1126 here: https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/66655



The DeKalb County House Delegation meets every Monday at noon or following adjournment of Session. We will make every effort to stream every meeting live on Facebook. Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DeKalbStateDelegation


I enjoyed visiting with the wonderful students from Global Village Project in Decatur on New Americans Day! Thanks to Crispin Ilombe Wilondja for bringing them to their State Capitol. Please come again!

On Wednesday I met with my former student from the Barton Child Law Center, Veena Black. She is a STEM teacher at Briarlake Elementary, a 2024 Georgia Teacher of the Year finalist, and a 2023-24 Georgia Department of Education Teacher Policy Fellow!

Jeff Breedlove, strategic advisor for the Georgia Council for Recovery, and I are proud that there is an opioid overdose reversal kit inside the Georgia State Capitol. This live-saving kit is very visible and accessible.

I enjoyed meeting with Andres Parra and Rafael Aragon of Mi Familia Vota, as well as the two GSU law students to my right. Environmental justice advocacy is alive and well at the Georgia State Capitol, even if we are not passing any bills to protect Georgia's natural resources.

On February 20th I enjoyed hearing Ken Poston in conversation with Bill Torpy talk at the Carter Center about his new book Zenith Man. Joining him was Alvin Ridley, the star of the story — very cool.

Thanks to Joshira Lee for serving as my page this week!


Monday, February 26th - DeKalb County CEO Mike Thurmond book event at DeKalb History Center - James Oglethorpe, Father of Georgia: A Founder’s Journey from Slave Trader to Abolitionist

Tuesday, February 27th - Voices for Georgia's Children event at Georgia Freight Depot

Wednesday, February 28th - DeKalb CEO Mike Thurmond book event at Atlanta History Center

Thursday, February 29th - Crossover Day at the Capitol

Wednesday, March 6th - Donna's Law, SB 522, Press Conference at the Capitol

Thursday, March 7th - GA Win List event at Georgia Freight Depot

Sunday, March 9th - The Oscars!

Thursday, March 28th - SINE DIE


I am on the following legislative committees. You can watch live every time they meet. Click on the links below for livestreams, agendas, archives and more.



  • Appropriations - Human Resources
  • Governmental Affairs - State and Local Government
  • Judicial - Leverett (two)

You can search for and track bills, watch the House (or Senate) in Session, watch committee hearings, monitor legislation by committee, and find contact information —- all on the revamped General Assembly website. Here are quick links:

Make your views known and tell me what issues interest you the most.