State Session Resumes Soon – Hate Crimes Bill On Agenda

The horrific murder of Ahmaud Arbery has brought renewed interest in the passage of a hate crimes bill in Georgia, and we need your help. While there is important support from key leadership in the Georgia legislature (see Speaker of the House David Ralston, Governor Brian Kemp, Representative Chuck Efstration), HB426 still needs to get out of the Senate Judiciary Committee so that it can get serious consideration.

The Georgia Legislative Black Caucus issued this important statement in support of HB426 (Hate Crimes legislation). As Representative Bennett said, “As a state we need to be unequivocal in our opposition to racial and other forms of violence. Passage of House Bill 426 is an excellent first step towards sending that message.”

We need you to contact Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee now, urging them to swiftly pass HB 426 in its current state. We are making it easy for you:

1. Text “hatefreega” to 52886 to sign the Petition demanding hate crimes legislation in Georgia.
2. Click here to easily send an email to our Senators and Lieutenant Governor demanding passage of HB 426.
3. Below are the phone numbers for Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan and the Senators of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Call them today! Here are key talking points:

* I am calling to urge you and your colleagues to vote YES on HB 426.
* HB 426 would protect everyone who is the target of a bias-motivated crime.
* Georgia is one of just five states in the nation that does not protect its citizens against hate crimes. The time for Georgia to rectify this is now.
* Atlanta is home to many corporate headquarters, and the eyes of the nation are on Georgia. We must show that we are a welcoming state that protects ALL its residents.

Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan 404-656-5030, Geoff.Duncan@ltgov.ga.gov

Senate Judiciary Committee:
Jesse Stone (Chair) (404) 463-1314 jesse.stone@senate.ga.gov
Bill Cowsert (404) 463-1366 bill.cowsert@senate.ga.gov
Blake Tillery (404) 656-0089 blake.tillery@senate.ga.gov
Bill Heath (404) 656-3943 billheath@billheath.net
Harold Jones II (404) 463-3942 harold.jones@senate.ga.gov
John Kennedy (404) 656-0045 john.kennedy@senate.ga.gov
William Ligon Jr. (404) 463-1383 william.ligon@senate.ga.gov
Elena Parent (404) 656-5109 elena.parent@senate.ga.gov
Michael Rhett (404) 656-0054 michael.rhett@senate.ga.gov
Brian Strickland (404) 656-7454 brian.strickland@senate.ga.gov

The time for action is now. The time for unity is now. In the wake of the tragic murder of Ahmaud Arbery, let us all come together in unity and build a better Georgia for tomorrow. (Shared from our friends at The People’s Agenda).
Here is the senate version of the bill SB 166 as left at the emergency closing of session.

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