As the Georgia General Assembly gets into full swing next week, Rep. Tommy Benton is working to get two pieces of legislation from last year made into law.
Benton (R-Jefferson) represents House District 31, which includes most of Jackson County.
One is his House Bill 40, which would require the addition of bitter tasting chemical denatonium benzoate to antifreeze sold in Georgia.
The other is legislation requested by local school superintendents that would end a requirement that school attendance notifications sent to parents and guardians be sent by registered mail.
The first bill, Benton says, would save the lives of pets. The second would save Jackson County’s school system about $10,000 a year.
“The antifreeze bill, I dropped that on (Jan. 10),” Benton said this Monday. “It was read for the first time and assigned to a committee.”
The bill stalled in the Senate last year.
“It’s a good bill, a good safety bill,” he said. “It probably should have been done years ago. Since I’ve been working on this, four other states have passed similar legislation. There are now 13 or 14 other states who have this in place.”
Benton introduced the legislation at the request of a former student, whose dogs had been poisoned by antifreeze. He also points out that a Cobb County police officer and a Forsyth County firefighter were both poisoned to death by Lynn Turner, who died recently while serving life sentences for those crimes.