Governor Kemp Signs the “Blind Bill” Sponsored by Rep. Gilliard

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Thursday, May 9th, 2019

State Representative Carl Gilliard (D- Garden City) announced that House Bill 79, or the “Blind Bill,” was signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp on Thursday, May 2, 2019. Sponsored by Rep. Gilliard, HB 79 will prevent government agencies and local authorities from discriminating against parents and legal guardians who are blind.

“I am grateful to Governor Kemp for signing this incredible bill, which now protects blind citizens of their right to be a parent, caretaker or foster parent in Georgia,” said Rep. Gilliard. “It was an honor to sponsor this meaningful legislation during the 2019 legislative session, and it was especially impactful to witness this bill become law with the Governor’s signature. With Governor Kemp’s support, we can protect residents and hundreds of blind parents in the state from potential discrimination and unfair societal biases.”

House Bill 79 seeks to prevent discrimination against blind citizens while protecting the best interests of children that are parented by blind individuals. This bill will prevent courts, the Department of Human Services and any child-placing agency from denying child placement, custody, visitation, guardianship or adoption to an individual because the individual is blind. Further, the bill will mandate that the Department of Human Services circulate and implement these new rules throughout the state by the end of the year.

Rep. Gilliard was joined by the National Federation of the Blind of Georgia and Jackie Anderson during the bill signing ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion in Atlanta. Jackie Anderson is a blind parent in Georgia.