Governor Vetoes Georgia Crime Scene Clean-up Bill
ATLANTA — May 16, 2019 — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp vetoed Senate Bill 153, which would have regulated the crime scene clean-up industry through the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI). Had the bill become law, companies performing crime scene clean-up in Georgia would have been required to register, carry proper insurance, and employ technicians that were background checked, fingerprinted, and drug screened.
According to the governor’s veto message, he chose not to sign the bill because it had not received adequate review and fiscal analysis. The message states, “Senate Bill 153 would impose unfunded and extensive regulation on the crime- and trauma-scene cleaning services industry through the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.” It goes on to explain that the Georgia Occupational Regulation Review Council (GORRC) must review and approve all new occupational regulations in the state. According to the governor’s message, the crime scene clean-up bill did not receive mandated review and approval by GORRC.
The bill, which would have made Georgia the first state to regulate crime scene clean-up, came about three years after a CBS46 investigation into the industry revealed that the absence of regulations was resulting in unprofessional and damaging behavior by some companies. CBS46 found that members of one business were taking light-hearted photographs with victims’ personal belongings. Such actions reflect a lack of respect for the solemn work of crime scene clean-up.
Although the bill passed both the Georgia House and Senate, the governor’s veto means that crime scene clean-up will remain an unregulated industry for now.