ATLANTA (AP) — A Georgia House bill intended to fix unintended consequences of a 2011 state crackdown on illegal immigration appears to have stalled in a Senate committee in favor of a more limited Senate version.
The bill sponsored by Rep. Dustin Hightower, R-Carrollton, was on the agenda Wednesday for a Senate committee. But committee Chairman Sen. Jesse Stone, R-Waynesboro, declined to bring it up for discussion or a vote. Instead he held a vote on a slightly amended version of the Senate bill. Members of the committee said the House and Senate bills would likely end up in a conference committee to sort out the differences.
Both bills aim to address complaints from several state agencies that the 2011 law was creating extra work and delays in processing public benefits, including professional licenses.
In addition to resolving those complaints, the House bill also adds several items to the list of public benefits that people in the country illegally are not eligible for. The list includes grants, homestead exemptions, public and assisted housing, and retirement benefits.