News from Under the Gold Dome


On Tuesday, February 20, the House reconvened for another week of the 2024 legislative session. During week seven of the session, we met in the House Chamber for three days. It was a short but packed week as we continued to prepare for the “Crossover Day” deadline on February 29, which is the last day that legislation can be passed out of its chamber of origin and remain eligible to be signed into law this year. With that in mind, we continued to make significant progress this week by voting on legislation to enhance public safety, behavioral healthcare, and education in Georgia.

On Thursday, the House unanimously passed House Bill 993, which would introduce criminal penalties for individuals who knowingly and intentionally groom minors and use electronic means to persuade, induce, entice, or coerce them into committing sexual offenses or acts of human trafficking.

To help confront the opioid crisis in Georgia, the House passed House Bill 1170, which would require government buildings and courthouses that contain Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to provide opioid antagonists to assist in the event of an opioid overdose on those premises.

The House also passed House Bill 986 to address election interference using artificial intelligence (AI), specifically deep fake technology that is intended to deceive voters and influence the outcome of an election. Known as the “AI Transparency Protection Act,” HB 986 would introduce felony offenses for both the creation and solicitation of deep fake content through artificial intelligence-generated campaign advertisements aimed at interfering with elections. The term deep fake refers to a video recording, video file, sound recording, sound file, electronic image, or photograph that is created through technological means, rather than through the ability of another person to physically or verbally impersonate such person and appears to depict a real person’s speech or conduct that did not occur in reality.

Finally, the House advanced legislation to improve behavioral healthcare for Georgians in order to ensure individuals have access to the resources and support needed to effectively address their mental health concerns. House Bill 1077 will establish a student loan repayment initiative tailored for behavioral health practitioners in Georgia. Under HB 1077, eligible providers would include licensed psychiatrists, addiction medicine specialists, psychologists, social workers, professional counselors, and marriage and family therapists. While these providers are completing their internships in qualified programs, they would be eligible to apply for this loan repayment program.

We also passed the following House bills and resolution during the seventh week of session:

• House Bill 472, would expand enhanced disability benefits to sworn officers, commissioners, and deputy commissioners employed by the motor carrier compliance division of the Department of Public Safety

• House Bill 579, would amend current law relating to the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Act to allow students who previously qualified for the scholarship to remain eligible throughout the students' education

• House Bill 896, would allow a former spouse after divorce to petition the court to restore their legal surname to the given surname on their birth certificate. The motion could be filed at any time after the judgment and decree of divorce is entered, with no publication in a legal organ required.

• House Bill 907, The bill would require drivers on a two-lane road to pull to the edge or curb of the road to give the funeral procession the right-of-way

• House Bill 994, would hold boat operators liable for injury or damage when negligence occurs on the part of the operator. A rented boat operator would be held liable for negligent operation.

The Georgia House of Representatives will resume its work on Monday, February 26, and when we return, only two legislative days will remain until we reach “Crossover Day” on Thursday. With this deadline rapidly approaching, it is important that I hear from you about issues that are significant to you and your family. I hope you will reach out to me with your thoughts.

I remain dedicated to serving your interests as your state representative, and I hope that you will contact me with any questions or concerns you may have regarding the legislative session or with any proposals or recommendations for future legislation.

You can also stay in touch by visiting our website at to watch a live stream of the House in action, as well as archived committee meetings, and review legislation that we are considering.

Follow me on facebook for updates throughout the year.

Thank you for allowing me to be your representative.


Representative Butch Parrish

Capitol Address

HM-1 State Capitol

Atlanta, GA 30334

404.656 .5141 Office

District Address

132 Victory Drive

Swainsboro, GA 30401

478.237.3838 - Office