Health care, immigration and education at the forefront as Georgia General Assembly convenes in 2017

A primer on some of the top issues expected to come up during the legislative session that begins Monday:

Religious liberty

The issue: Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed a “religious liberty” bill this past spring, putting to rest absolutely nothing. Advocates on both sides expect it to return in 2017, despite a reluctance among statehouse leaders to expend capital on such a lightning rod issue. Key proponents have said they expect various versions of legislation in both chambers seeking to protect faith-based groups, particularly those opposed to same-sex marriage. Critics, including some of the state’s major business leaders, deride such legislation as discriminatory toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and they say it could damage the state’s reputation of tolerance and inclusion. Likely legislation includes a push to protect private adoption agencies (some of which receive state grants) that only want to place children with opposite-sex adoptive parents.



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