2016 legislative session wraps up early Friday morning

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It was supposed to end at midnight, but the 2016 session of the Georgia General Assembly didn't end until early Friday morning. 

When it was all over, two major last-minute items had failed: expansion of medical marijuana and a new version of the Religious Freedom Bill.

Among the legislation that did pass: more efficient testing of rape kits and limits on the private use of fireworks. The MARTA expansion bill was also approved as well as the the bill that would allow stun guns on college campuses. 

FOX 5's Claire Simms was at the Capitol until the very end. Check out some of her Tweets:



UPDATE: 9:45 p.m.

The Senate gave final approval to the MARTA expansion bill. Senate Bill 369 allows the city of Atlanta to hold a special referendum to establish a sales tax to pay for MARTA projects.

“This compromise is the result of a lot of people coming together to find a solution,” said Sen. Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta, in a news release. “I want to thank House Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones for her leadership in this process. The plan that will now go to the voters is truly a win-win situation for Atlanta, Fulton County and MARTA.”

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UPDATE: 8:20 p.m.

Families who support the medical cannabis expansion bill met with Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle about a compromise.



UPDATE 5:55 p.m.

Members of the House approved the medical marijuana bill by a vote of 157-7.  The bill expands the list of conditions that qualify for Georgia's medical cannabis registry.  SB 145 still needs final approval from the Senate.  

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UPDATE 4:55 p.m.

The Senate voted unanimously to agree to the House's version of the fireworks bill. House Bill 727 reigns in the hours during which consumers can shoot off fireworks.  

Under the bill, instead of the cutoff being 2 a.m. every day, the time would move up to 10 p.m.  Fireworks could be used for extended hours on July 3, July 4, December 31 and January 1 each year.  


UPDATE 3:30 p.m.

The House gave final approval to a bill that would legalize stun guns and Tasers on college and technical school campuses.  

Members voted to agree to the Senate substitute to HB 792.  The measure allows students 18 years and older to carry electroshock weapons for self defense purposes.  


UPDATE 12:30 p.m.

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While lawmakers have already addressed two of the most controversial issues--religious freedom and campus carry--they still have important issues to tackle.  

Just before noon, members of the House unanimously passed the Rape Kit Testing bill for the second time this year. The original bill got hung up in the Senate when a committee refused to hold a hearing on the measure.

Senate Bill 304 would require medical professionals to immediately notify law enforcement after performing a rape kit, if the victim asks for an investigation into the assault. Officers would then have 96 hours to collect the kit from the care provider and 30 days to turn that kit over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for testing.  

Senators still have to approve the bill by the end of the day for it to have a chance at becoming law. 

"I hope that it gets called for a vote in the Senate today and I think if it does, it will pass," said the bill's sponsor, Rep. Scott Holcomb, D -Atlanta.  "I have to continue to make the case and to make sure that it doesn't get forgotten."  

The bill to expand the list of conditions that qualify for the state's medical cannabis registry also needs a last-minute vote.  The bill would add autism and PTSD, among others.  

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Allen Peake, R -Macon, originally filed language that would have allowed for in-state growth and cultivation of marijuana for patients, but it did not survive pushback.  The scaled-back bill also faced a roadblock in the Senate.  Peake was able to revive the bill by piggybacking off Senate Bill 145.  He hopes both chambers will approve the measure by the time the clock strikes midnight.

Stay with FOX5Atlanta.com for ongoing coverage of the final hours of the 2016 legislative session.