The Georgia House of Representatives passed the "Back the Badge" license plate bill on Thursday by a vote of 165-1. The measure now goes to Governor Nathan Deal's desk for his signature, reports Fox 5 Atlanta.
Under Senate Bill 169, the proceeds from the plate would go to the Peace Officers' Annuity and Benefit Fund. The POAB is a state-supervised fund that pays retirement and death benefits to law enforcement all over Georgia. Currently, it is funded primarily through a small percentage of traffic fines.
Georgia lost nine law enforcement officers in the line of duty last year. The "Back the Badge" plate is the brainchild of Sumter County resident Aaron Cosby. The farmer said he wanted to get a license plate supporting police officers after police officers Jody Smith and Nicholas Smarr were shot and killed in Americus in December.
When Cosby could not find a specialty plate that fit the bill, he decided to create one instead. Cosby reached out to the Department of Revenue and state Senator Greg Kirk, R - Americus, to help move the idea forward.