The new laws that go into effect on July 1 in Georgia

The first day of July is always a big day for Georgians as the majority of newly passed state laws are scheduled to go into effect.

This year, some of the biggest changes target teen drivers who are now required to take a driver’s education under "Joshua’s Law."

Colleges and universities around Georgia will also have to adjust to new regulations. The state is tightening the belt on hazing violations with the "Max Gruver Act." However, state law is becoming more lenient with campus sports. House Bill 617 now allows student-athletes to profit off their name and fame.

And when it comes to crime, porch pirates will now face tougher penalties under House Bill 94.

Stealing packages now becomes a felony and convicted thieves could face up to five years in prison.

"I hate when my packages go missing so I think it’s a great thing," said Atlanta resident Charise Fox.

A few of Georgia’s new laws kicked in almost immediately and have been in place for several months now. This includes the controversial election law and the state’s citizen arrest legislation that was changed because of the Ahmaud Arbery case.

Additionally, what began as a temporary adjustment to the pandemic is officially here to stay. Many folks were excited to learn that they can continue to order cocktails to-go from restaurants.

"A lot of people were scared to go back out so I think it’s a really good thing," said Atlanta resident Brooke Santos.

Georgia is now among several states to sign into law legislation that would eliminate the need to change the clock twice a year. However, it’s one of the few pieces of legislation that also must get federal approval.

"I don’t think they will but I would rather not fall back," said Atlanta resident Nate Grider. "Let’s just keep it straight.

Unless Congress agrees to the perpetual Daylight Saving Time, states with this law may still have to ‘fall back' and reset their clocks again this year.

"The falling back is just so nice," said Santos.

Federal legislation to the clock switch was introduced to Congress earlier this year. No word yet on when Congress will make a decision or how long the consideration process will be.


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