The Legislative Services Committee and the Office of Legislative Counsel for the Georgia General Assembly recently published a preliminary copy of the Summary of General Statutes Enacted at the 2015 Session of the General Assembly of Georgia (index so far not included).
The Summary of General Statutes includes concise summaries of Acts of state-wide application enacted during an assembly session. The Acts are organized by the title they amend in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.). Information provided includes the Act and bill numbers, a brief summary, the citation for the code section enacted or amended, and the effective date. The Summary of General Statutes also includes a table of O.C.G.A. sections enacted, amended, and repealed.
Attorneys and researchers can use the Summary of General Statutes to determine the following:
- Which O.C.G.A. titles (ex. Title 24, Evidence) do or do not contain any alterations
- Which O.C.G.A. sections were enacted, amended, or repealed by an Act
- Effective date of an Act
Determining the effective date of an Act is significant for two reasons. First, O.C.G.A. § 1-3-4 provides that, unless specified in an Act, Acts approved “by the Governor or which becomes law without his approval on or after the first day of January and prior to the first day of July of a calendar year shall become effective on the first day of July.” Therefore, an attorney would want to determine if the Act takes effect prior to July 1st. Second, if the Act does take effect prior to July 1st, an attorney will need to make sure any print or online code they are referring to contains the new language, and if not, they will need to locate a copy of the new language.
Quite often there is a significant gap between the enactment of Acts, their effective dates, and the publication of amendments in the O.C.G.A. When this occurs, researchers will need to use the Georgia General Assembly’s Signed by Governor webpage to locate the enacted version of the Acts that take effect prior to their publication in the O.C.G.A. An example of an Act that is currently in effect and not yet published in the O.C.G.A. is “Haleigh’s Hope Act,” which took effect on April 16, 2015.