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Official Opinions

Opinion In Reference To
97-27

Official Code of Georgia Annotated 16-11-126(e) requires that this state recognize and give effect to firearms permits issued by other states whose laws recognize and give effect to a Georgia permit. Only the states of Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, and Texas do so.

97-25

The language of O.C.G.A. ¿ 50-13-4(a)(4) would not prohibit the Board of Natural Resources and the Director of the Environmental Protection Division from adopting regulations and taking such actions as are necessary to ensure that Georgia's regulatory authority to administer its environmental programs is at least as stringent as federal regulatory authority established pursuant to the federal environmental laws and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.

97-24

Owners and insurers are required to surrender to the State Revenue Commissioner license plates of vehicles which become salvage or total loss vehicles.

97-23

The essential intent of Code Subsection 12-8-21(c) is the reduction of solid waste by 25 percent; this goal remains effective in applying related provisions of the "Georgia Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Act," notwithstanding that the goal was originally expressed in terms of a calendar date which has passed.

97-22

(1) Peace officers are exempt from licensure by the Georgia Board of Private Detective and Security Agencies in very limited circumstances. (2) A peace officer engaged in the private detective or security business may not employ other peace officers, unless those individuals are licensed or registered by the Board. (3) All peace officers, licensed by the Board and intending to carry firearms, must obtain a Board-issued weapons permit.

97-21

A person may not be employed simultaneously with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Division of Forensic Sciences and as a county deputy coroner.

97-20

Applicability of the Open Records Act to records of the Fraud and Compliance Division of the State Board of Workers' Compensation.

97-19

The magistrate court relinquishes its authority to set and amend bonds when an indictment or accusation is filed in the superior court; however, the superior court may delegate its authority, as appropriate, under O.C.G.A. ¿ 17-6-1(h) or O.C.G.A. ¿ 15-1-9.1(e).

97-18

The executive directors and members of the State Examining Boards, as well as other public officers defined in O.C.G.A. ¿ 21-5-3(15)(A)-(E), must file the financial disclosure reports required under the Ethics in Government Act, O.C.G.A. ¿ 21-5-50.

97-17

The effect of the statutory provisions regarding involuntary separation retirement benefits on consolidation and redirection efforts of the state agencies.

97-17

The effect of the statutory provisions regarding involuntary separation retirement benefits on consolidation and redirection efforts of the state agencies.

97-16

The Department of Agriculture's authority to inspect scales used exclusively for weighing packages to be shipped by the United Parcel Service, Inc. has been preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994.

97-15

The State may recover from local school systems any overpayments occasioned by the school system's inaccurate count of students eligible for the special instructional assistance program and for any other overpayment caused by an inaccurate student count.

97-14

The Department of Transportation must receive in return for the disposal of access rights under O.C.G.A. ¿ 32-6-133(b), the fair market value of such rights or other substantial benefit in aid of the performance of the Department's governmental mission. A gift of any portion of access rights to the property owner would be a prohibited gratuity under the Georgia Constitution, Article III, Section VI, Paragraph VI.

97-12

Local school board members may not provide professional services for compensation to the school systems they represent.

97-13

The Teachers Retirement System and the Employees' Retirement System of Georgia may seek, but are not required to seek, the assistance and approval of the Department of Administrative Services regarding custodian agreements for the Systems' investment securities.

97-11

The State Board of Education has the authority to provide for exemption of students with disabilities from the graduation assessments. In addition, pursuant to a State Board rule, local school systems may modify the administration of the test to accommodate students with disabilities.

97-9

The Georgia Military College may not pledge real property to secure borrowing.

97-10

Application of the Ex Post Facto Clause of Art. I, Sec. X of the United States Constitution to the Sentence Reform Act of 1994

97-10

Application of the Ex Post Facto Clause of Art. I, Sec. X of the United States Constitution to the Sentence Reform Act of 1994.

97-8

The Ethics in Government Act establishes a total dollar limit for contributions which may be given to any individual candidate within a calendar year, regardless of the number of campaign committees a person may have in existence or their purpose.

97-6

The described use of appropriated funds violates the gratuities clause. For its expenditure or forbearance to collect, the State must receive something new, worth the money paid or let go, as determined by the appropriate state agency as a fiduciary of public funds.

97-7

The term "capital outlay projects for educational purposes" set forth at Article VIII, Section VI, Paragraph IV(b)(1) of the Georgia Constitution includes school buses and equipment with an extended useful life.

97-5

Parties to a civil action to establish paternity are not entitled to a trial by jury.

97-4

The State Patrol cannot be prevented from carrying out its duties on public roads and highways.

97-3

Paper ballots may be used as an alternative to voting machines where ballot questions contemplated by the constitutional amendment authorizing a 1% sales and use tax for educational purposes cannot be made to adhere to the 75-word limitation contained in O.C.G.A. ¿ 21-2-325(b).

97-2

Notwithstanding the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) interpretation to the contrary, the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) does not authorize another state to object to activities wholly within the geographical boundaries of Georgia. Also, Georgia's participation in the CZMA Program would not constitute consent to waiver of its Eleventh Amendment immunity or consent for other states to assert regulatory jurisdiction within Georgia.

97-1

Official Code of Georgia Annotated ¿ 16-10-9 prohibits an individual who is employed as a staff member in the judicial branch of state government or in the General Assembly from being employed as a graduate research, laboratory, or teaching assistant at any unit of the University System of Georgia.

96-26

The use of ultrasound to diagnose pregnancy in animals constitutes the practice of veterinary medicine.

96-25

Questions regarding Pub. L. 104-208, amending the Gun Control Act of 1968, under the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997.

96-24

Seizure and disposition by law enforcement agencies of stolen property acquired by pawn shops.

96-23

School-age children placed in a facility by the Department of Human Resources or the Department of Children and Youth Services and who remain in that facility for more than sixty days must be provided a free education by the local school system in which the facility is located unless the child is in a Youth Detention Center, confined pursuant to a court sentence or unable to leave the facility.

96-22

Candidates for certification as a peace officer may not carry a weapon while on patrol with a field training officer unless they comply with the mandatory licensing requirements of O.C.G.A. ¿ 16-11-126 through 16-11-129.

96-21

Ultimate Fighting matches that encompass boxing, kick boxing, or contact karate are subject to O.C.G.A. Chapter 31, the rules and regulations developed thereunder, and the authority of the Georgia Boxing Commission.

96-19

The State Board of Education lacks the statutory authority to hire its own staff or to designate Department of Education employees as staff for the Board.

96-20

The vendor disclosure requirement of O.C.G.A. ¿ 45-1-6 does not require disclosure of transactions, such as loans, extensions of credit and deposits, made in the ordinary course of business.

96-18

Official Code of Georgia Annotated ¿ 21-2-76 does not prohibit persons who hold office in political parties from serving as members of county boards of elections or boards of elections and registration as created under O.C.G.A. ¿ 21-2-40.

96-17

Updating of crimes and offenses for which the Georgia Crime Information Center is authorized to collect and file fingerprints.

96-16

Under the plain language of O.C.G.A. ¿ 35-8-20.1(a), a newly appointed police chief who assumes his term of employment in a new police agency after December 31, 1992, must take the 60 hours of chief executive training unless the appointed chief has previously completed the training.

96-15

Referral of a complaint of possible fraud, waste, or other abuse in the programs of a public employer for investigation is not, in and of itself, a prohibited disclosure of the identity of the complainant; if the investigation determines that the complaint was made with knowledge of its falsity, or with reckless disregard for the possibility that it was false, the complainant may be subject to disciplinary action.

96-14

To hold the office of sheriff, even as an interim appointment, an appointee must seek certification as a peace officer as required under O.C.G.A. ¿ 15-16-1(c)(1)(J) or get a waiver as prescribed under the same Code Section.

96-13

The duties of law enforcement officers and emergency medical technicians to facilitate organ donations under O.C.G.A. ¿ 17-6-11(b.1) must be performed harmoniously with the coroner's duty to take charge of the body of a fatally injured individual as required under O.C.G.A. ¿ 45-16-24.

96-12

The authority of the State School Superintendent and the State Board of Education.

96-11

The Georgia Superior Court Clerks' Cooperative Authority may not assume responsibilities from the Secretary of State pertaining to maintaining records of commissioned notaries public.

96-9

Candidates for election to statewide judicial office are not required to file with the Secretary of State the expanded financial disclosure forms outlined in O.C.G.A. ¿ 21-5-50(c).

96-8

An RDC lacks authority to abrogate its duty to be accountable for the nonprofit corporations it is authorized to create.

96-10

This will thank you for your January 2, 1996, appointment of me as a Special Attorney General. You asked us to render an opinion on the applicability of the United States Department of Defense Joint Ethics Regulation ("JER") to National Guard personnel while in a non-mobilized state status. Your request stems, in turn, from a similar request by Adjutant General William P. Bland, Jr.

96-7

Where there is governmental oversight or involvement, a student-run newspaper at a state educational institution is subject to the free speech requirements of the First Amendment and, therefore, may not exclude materials from publication based on their content absent a compelling state interest for doing so.

96-6

Teaching of Creationism in Public Schools.

96-5

Official Code of Georgia Annotated ¿ 16-11-178 prohibits the receipt of a handgun by a person involuntarily hospitalized within the past five (5) years; that period of time is calculated from the person's release from hospitalization. Official Code of Georgia Annotated ¿ 35-3-34(d.1)(2) requires that judges of the probate courts and clerks of the superior courts advise the Bureau of all persons involuntarily hospitalized after March 22, 1995, the date the bill was signed by the Governor.

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