Current law only requires owners and managers to get the nationwide screening while other employees need only a statewide review which is less expensive.
House Bill 350 already won approval in the House of Representatives and now heads to the governor for his signature or veto.
The more extensive screening like what surrounding states require was prompted by the arrest of a Warner Robins daycare worker whose out-of-state convictions did not show up until discovered during an abuse investigation.
Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, sponsored the bill in the Senate. He said that to minimize the $45-50 higher expense per employee, workers would only have to be screen every five years and that they could transfer proof of screening if they take a new job in that time.
But Sen. Horacena , D-Atlanta, said that wouldn’t ensure a worker who got fired for criminal activity within that five-year period didn’t get hired by another daycare center.
“Even though we say this about trying to protect our most precious commodity, it sounds like we’re just trying to protect somebody’s pocketbook,” she said before seeking to be excused from the vote because of a conflict of interest.