Georgia lawmakers pass hate crimes, more police protections

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ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s legislature on Tuesday passed hate crimes legislation deemed essential by state leaders, sending the measure to Gov. Brian Kemp’s desk.

The price Republicans exacted for moving that legislation forward was simultaneous passage of a bill that would mandate penalties for crimes targeting police and other first responders.

The action comes after Senate Republicans had added police as a protected class to the hate crimes legislation last week, but then moved those protections to a separate bill in a deal between the parties.

Kemp’s office said in a statement that he’ll sign the hate crimes bill, pending a legal review.