Georgia is now the 47th state to have added hate crime legislation to the books, criminalizing various types of bias-motivated violence or intimidation. House Bill 426 was signed into effect by Gov. Brian Kemp this afternoon at the State capital in Atlanta, and will go into effect on July 1, 2020. Kemp stated that the bill "does not fix every problem or right every wrong. But this bipartisan legislation is a powerful step forward. It’s a sign of progress, and it’s a milestone worth applauding."
The approval of the hate crimes legislation comes after a deal was struck by legislators removing any language protecting police and first responders. "The law will allow additional penalties to be imposed for certain crimes when motivated by a victim’s race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender or disability. It also mandates the collection and reporting of data on hate crimes investigated by law enforcement."