A Senate committee has passed legislation that would make some types of mass picketing illegal and could result in hefty fines and prison time.

The bill passed without objection from lawmakers, but faced considerable opposition from labor groups. Sen. Don Balfour, the bill’s sponsor, says the legislation does not affect free speech rights, but most who spoke against the bill during the hearing disagreed.

Senate Bill 469 bans mass picketing at private residences or at the site of labor disputes when such protests are blocking or threatening business entrances or certain public areas. People found guilty could be subject to a fine of $1,000 per day of the violation. Any union or organization assisting such efforts could be subject to a fine of $10,000 per day.

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Online:

http://www.legis.ga.gov

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