renee podium3For the whole of my political career, I have focused my efforts on sponsoring meaningful legislation that will truly make a difference for Georgia citizens. While some of my legislative platforms have taken years to pass, I never gave up. I knew that despite the hurdles and time it took to get certain pieces legislation passed that in the end, good policy would win out, making Georgia even stronger.


Senator Unterman has sponsored numerous pieces of legislation during her time in the Georgia General Assembly. Senator Unterman has also been instrumental in assisting the passage of legislation authored by other members of the General Assembly. Fueled by her passion for children, sound healthcare policies and the elderly, Renee’s legislative focus has been set on ensuring protection for those that need it most.

Legislative Highlights

Ava and Governor DealAva’s Law- Autism Coverage for Children Under 6: Senator Unterman was instrumental in pushing for this legislation from the start. The autism coverage bill passed out of Senator Unterman’s Health & Human Services Committee and out of the Senate chamber for a number of years before receiving a hearing in the House of Representatives. In May of 2015, after a 7 year push, Governor Deal signed Ava’s Law.

Ava’s mother, Anna Bullard had this to say about Senator Unterman’s efforts regarding Ava’s Law- “Senator Unterman understands first hand the struggles families with children with autism face. She stood by us and our children even when it seemed hopeless and continued to fight for what was right. Ava’s law will give children who have insurance in the commercial market coverage for treatment that will change their life and give them the opportunity to live independently in the great state of Georgia. We could not have passed Ava’s Law without Senator Unterman’s tireless efforts to help children and families in Georgia.”


renee and kidRachel’s Act / Safe Harbor Sexual Exploitation Law- Senator Unterman championed and ultimately passed two initiatives pertaining to child trafficking in Georgia. The legislation addresses several inconsistencies in the prosecution of human trafficking cases in Georgia.  A determined Senator Unterman explains, “This has been a long four-year journey of advocacy, education, and sincere determination of explaining to Georgia citizens exactly what is happening to vulnerable children in the child sex trafficking trade. Georgia is a state that deeply cares about the children who are being sold for a profit in the sex trade industry, and this legislation is meant to send a clear message that we do not tolerate these actions and believe in severe punishments for profiteers”.


Metal theftMetal Theft- Metal theft has been a huge issue in the Peach State. After years of work and research, Senator Unterman sponsored and ultimately passed House Bill 872, which makes it more difficult to sell stolen metal. Senator Unterman commented on the passage of the legislation, “In recent years, metal thieves have resorted to stealing from local churches, family homes, and even cemeteries – just to make a few dollars at a scrap yard. With the passage of this bill, we are now one step closer to putting a stop to this growing epidemic.”


Protections Against Elderly Abuse– Throughout her legislative career Senator Unterman has fought tirelessly on behalf of Georgia’s aging community. In 2013 Senator Unterman carried House Bill 78 in the Senate, which expanded penalties for individuals engaged in the sexual or financial exploitation of the elderly. As a result of House Bill 78, it is now a felony to commit a crime against the elderly, including inflicting physical pain or injury, sexual abuse, mental anguish, unreasonable confinement or deprivation of essential services. Senator Unterman comments, “I commend Governor Nathan Deal for signing House Bill 78 into law. This legislation represents another step forward in strengthening Georgia’s elder abuse laws and is important to protecting Georgia’s rapidly growing aging population.”

Hidden Predator ActHidden Predator Act- Prior to the Governor’s signing of Georgia’s, Hidden Predator Act, our state had some of the weakest laws in the nation regarding the statute of limitations against those committing sexual abuse crimes. The Hidden Predator act, House Bill 17, expands the statute of limitations, from 5 years to 30 years. The legislation also allows for “retro-action”, providing a two-year time frame for sexual abuse victims, whose civil claims were blocked by the statute of limitations in the past, to file a case against their perpetrator. Additionally, the bill allows for victims and guardians to access investigation records. Senator Unterman successfully carried House Bill 17 through the Senate chamber, where it would eventually be signed into law.

122012Unterman_DementiaGroupPic-300x200Georgia Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias State Plan Task Force- During the 2013-2014 legislative session Senator Unterman was successful in the creation of the Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias State Task Force. The task force is assigned with issuing plans to improve services, safety, treatment, housing, and public education for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. “Alzhiemers related disease has been called, “a looming national health crisis, and it affects far more people than we realize: Not only people who have dementia themselves, but also their families and the organizations that may employ caregivers,” said Cynthia Haley Dunn, community affairs manager with the state Division of Aging Services. Senator Unterman has been a champion for the elderly and continues to be a strong voice under the Gold Dome on behalf of our state’s growing aging population.

sponsored legislation

2015 Accomplishments


Senator Unterman has sponsored vital legislation throughout her career as an elected official. See below for a comprehensive listing of legislation championed by Senator Unterman.

2017-2018 Legislative Session


Senate Bill 4:

Enhancing Mental Health Treatment in Georgia Act”; Georgia Mental Health Treatment Task Force

Senate Bill 8:                           

Surprise Billing and Consumer Protection Act

Senate Bill 12:

Dental Hygienists; perform certain functions under general supervision; authorize licensed dental hygienists

Senate Bill 17:

Alcoholic Beverages; provide governing authorities of counties in which the sale for consumption is lawful; authorize certain time on Sundays

Senate Bill 39:

Pimping and Pandering; increase the penalty provisions

Senate Bill 40:

Mental Health; transport certain mentally ill patients; authorization of emergency medical services personnel

Senate Bill 41:

Pharmacists and Pharmacies; durable medical equipment suppliers; provide for the licensure; definition; requirements; discipline and revocation

Senate Bill 81:

“Jeffrey Dallas Gay, Jr., Act.”; opioid antagonists under conditions the state health officer may impose; provide state health officer may issue standing order permitting certain persons and entities to obtain

Senate Bill 118:

Autism; age limit for coverage for autism spectrum disorders for an individual covered under a policy or contract; change

Senate Bill 166:

“Nurse Licensure Compact”; Georgia Board of Nursing exercise certain powers with respect to compact; authorize

Senate Bill 193:

Positive Alternatives for Pregnancy and Parenting Grant Program; program mission and practice

Senate Bill 220:

Medical Practice; requirements for advertising or publicizing of medical specialty certification

Senate Bill 221:

Optometrists; administer pharmaceutical agents by injection; authorize doctors of optometry

Senate Bill 241:

Controlled Substances; electronic data base of prescription information; provisions

Senate Bill 242:

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses; delegating physician can enter into a protocol agreement at any one time for nurses

2015-2016 Legislative Session

Senate Bill 3:
‘Supporting and Strengthening Families Act’; power of attorney from parent to another person; care of minor child; provide for

Senate Bill 8:
Crimes and Offenses: children who have been sexually exploited; make provisions; create Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund Commission

Senate Bill 78:
Civil Practice; appeals from magistrate courts; change provisions

Senate Bill 79:
Victim Compensation; expand the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council’s powers and duties relative to claims

Senate Bill 197:
Buford, City of; provide for corporate boundaries

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Senate Bill 14:
Georgia Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias State Plan Task Force; create

Senate Bill 65:
Mental Health; authorize licensed professional counselor to perform certain acts; secure certification

Senate Bill 202:
Health; bill of rights for residents of long-term care facilities; provide definitions

Senate Bill 291:
Georgia Adult and Aging Services Agency; create

 Senate Bill 292:
Alzheimer’s Disease Registry; establish within the Department of Public Health

Senate Bill 350:
Human Services, Dept.of; bidding out of child welfare services state wide through contracts with community based providers

Senate Bill 352:
Georgia Council on Lupus Education and Awareness; create

Senate Bill 419:
“Georgia Administrative Procedure Act”; applies to the administration of programs, grants, and other activities of the department

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Senate Bill 55:
Georgia Student Extracurricular Partnership Act; allow public school students living in attendance zone participate in extracurricular activities

Senate Bill 282:
Nurse Licensure Compact; provide multistate licensures to practice as registered nurse

Senate Bill 321:
Secondary Metal Recyclers; comprehensive revision of provisions

Senate Bill 355:
Domestic Relations; child abuse; expand mandatory reporting requirements; provide for procedure; exception

Senate Bill 372:
“Disposition of Veterans’ Cremated Remains Act”; provide for a determination; deceased veteran; certain notifications

Senate Bill 407:
Health; repeal creation of the Health Strategies Council, Clinical Laboratory, Blood Bank, and Tissue Bank Committee

Senate Bill 414:
Music Therapists; require licensure by the Secretary of State; establishment of Music Therapy Advisory Group

Renee Cap

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