History of Choose Life of Georgia
Choose Life of Georgia, Inc. is a non-profit organization that receives the revenue from the sale and renewal of Choose Life specialty plates ($10 per plate). The goal of CLG is to channel resources into frontline life-affirming agencies to increase the one to two percent of abortion vulnerable women choosing adoption for their children. Funds are distributed quarterly to pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes in Georgia.
In 2006 HB1053 was filed which proposed the availability of the Choose Life tag, and a portion of the fee collected would support agencies that encourage adoption as a positive choice for women with unintended pregnancies. While many states have approved the Choose Life tag, Georgia is the only state in the nation that requires a constitutional amendment to share revenue with non-profits.
The omnibus license tags package, HB 1053 contained the Choose Life license plate as well as 27 other plates. The process that led to the passage of HB 1053 was an inclusive process that resulted from a multi-year endeavor. The original House version included every tag that was offered to the committee. In addition, the Senate added several tags prior to the final passage. Planned Parenthood refused to offer a “pro-choice” tag for representatives to consider. In other states there have been legal battles fought over the tags, but the inclusive process used in Georgia was difficult to challenge. The omnibus tag bill passed by large margins in the House (145 to 16) and Senate (47 to 5). To ensure the tag was produced, 1,000 tags were required to be pre-sold by July 1, 2007.
The specialty license plate constitutional amendment is one of only three constitutional amendments approved by both chambers during the 2005 session. HR 1564 allows revenues collected for specialty license tags to be given to non-profit 501(c)3 organizations. After approval in the House (126 to 29) and the Senate (45 to 4), Governor Perdue signed the bill, and the amendment was placed on the November ballot for approval of the voters.
Sixty-eight percent of the voters approved the constitutional amendment in November 2006. By June 7, 2007 the 1,000 tag requirement was met, and the license plates were put into production. The first tags were issued in October 2007.