3 house bills proposed in Georgia could bring changes in Columbus

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - New bills proposed in Georgia could be bringing some changes in Columbus.

Voting on three bills is currently underway by the Georgia General Assembly on the House side in Atlanta.

House Bill 673 would provide punishments and additional fines for using distracting devices while driving motor vehicles and higher punishments for deaths caused by distracted motorists.

House Bill 375 would allow religious organizations to deny adoptions to a community if it doesn't meet their criteria legally. Some believe that the $9 billion film industry could be impacted by this bill.

"It would be naive to think that what happens in Atlanta doesn't affect what happens in Columbus, so it's pretty important to us that films stay here," explained Jef Holbrook with the Springer Film Institute.

House Bill 969 changes the burden of proof for forfeitures and seizures. Meaning instead of those seizures being based on the amount of evidence, it would be based on the clear and convincing evidence that the property seized is rightly subject to forfeiture.

Harris County Sheriff Mike Jolley says some of the members of the General Assembly are wanting to change the law to help defense lawyers and their clients- drug dealers.

"The county will suffer and the citizens will suffer and who will be the beneficiaries of that? The drug dealers and their lawyers," says Jolly.

The Georgia General Assembly on the House side in Atlanta is still ironing out the issues before voting on these bills.

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