ATLANTA — Senate Bill 288, a bill preventing Georgia public schools from interacting with any interscholastic sports body that does not release annual financial statements, passed the Georgia Senate on Thursday by a vote of 54 to 0.
Sen. Charlie Bethel, R–Dalton, sponsored the bill to ensure Georgia students participate in extracurricular athletics in a transparent environment.
“These organizations are subsidized by taxpayers who deserve to know how these dollars are being used,” said Bethel. “By requiring the release of comprehensive annual financial reports, we are increasing the level of accountability for all involved in the management of student athletic activities.”
SB 288 amends current law to define “athletic association” as a body that governs, writes rules, sanctions or organizes interscholastic athletic events in which Georgia public schools participate. In order for an athletic association to participate in an interscholastic event, SB 288 requires the annual distribution of the previous year’s financial report to all members. The report must cover all activities and include a summary of assets, liabilities, incomes and operating expenses.
SB 288 now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Bethel is an administration floor leader representing the 54th Senate District, which includes Murray and Whitfield counties and portions of Catoosa and Gordon counties. He may be reached by phone at (404) 656-6436 or by email at Charlie.Bethel@senate.ga.gov.