Public Policy for the People: 18 February, 2019


public policy for the people LS

Volume 5, Issue 4 2019 Legislative Session February 18, 2019

Call to Action: Sign Up for Advocacy Days!

Keep Up-To-Date

  • Catch our Public Policy Phone Calls at 9:30 AM on  2/25, 3/11, 3/25. Dial in at 1-888-355-1249, Code: 232357
  • Join our Advocacy Network
  • Read Public Policy for the People: 2/18, 3/4, 3/18, 4/1

Who are my state legislators?

Looking Ahead

2019 GCDD Advocacy Days
Feb 22: Inclusive Post-Secondary Education Day
Feb 27: Direct Support Professionals Day
Mar 5: Supported Decision Making Day

Click here to register online!

Be in the Know: Rumblings Under the Gold Dome

Exciting news advocates, we have a legislative calendar. We now know that the state legislative session will officially come to a close on April 2, 2019. From looking at the calendar, we can already tell this is going to be a fast legislative session. Bills are going to be moving at lightning speed to reach the finish line and become law. With that in mind, we are going to need your help to impact the legislative session. If you are not already registered for one of our three remaining Advocacy Days, be sure to click the registration link above. Also, be sure to the check out our partners' advocacy events below.

As for what is happening under the Gold Dome, there has been a significant focus on access to healthcare in Georgia. Indeed, with 63 counties lacking a pediatrician, 75 lacking an OBGYN, and 8 counties lacking any doctor, it is not a surprise that the legislature appears ready to tackle this issue.

The House of Representative's Access to Quality Healthcare Special Committee met to discuss the plight of rural Georgia. Specifically, they heard from Majority Caucus Chairman Matt Hatchett regarding his bill, HB 198, which among other things seeks to repeal the Certificate of Need for "the development and provision of all healthcare facilities and services, with the exception of long term care and home health facilities and services," in an effort to lower healthcare costs and insurance rates. To learn more about Certificate of Need, check out this AJC article.

Governor Kemp's Floor Leader, Senator Blake Tillery, introduced the Patients First Act, otherwise known as SB 106. "The Patients First Act is a step toward lowering insurance premiums, enhancing access to quality care, and improving health outcomes in every part of our state," said Governor Kemp. "By working with Lt. Governor Duncan, Speaker Ralston, and the legislature, we will craft a Georgia-centric healthcare system that ensures a bright and healthy future for all Georgians - no matter their zip code."

As Governor Kemp and the legislature explore potential methods for expanding Medicaid in a Georgia way, we at GCDD will be educating all members of the Georgia General Assembly about the importance of taking into consideration the needs of Georgians with disabilities before any decisions are made. We ask that you help us in this goal.

Finally, Senator Greg Kirk introduced SR 193 and SR 194 to create either a Senate or Joint Study Committee on Transferring Oversight of Developmental Disabilities to the Department of Community Health. We will keep you updated as we learn more.

Don't forget, the House and Senate have a fairly comprehensive video recording system. It is easy to stream committee meetings, floor sessions, or even watch a recording of a past meeting.

Learn the Lingo

Crossover Day: The 28th Day of the legislative session, Crossover Day marks the last day a bill can pass from its original chamber into the other chamber. For example, a house bill must be voted out of the House and be sent to the Senate before the end of Crossover Day, or the bill is dead until the next legislative session. This year Crossover Day is on March 7, 2019.

Sine Die: The very last day of the legislative session here in Georgia. If a bill has not passed both the House of Representatives and the Senate by the stroke of midnight, the bill is dead until the next legislative session. This year Sine Die is on April 2, 2019.

Bills to Watch:

  • HB 1: Rename the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship the Senator Eric Johnson Scholarship (Rep. Jesse Petrea).
  • HB 18: Automatic registration of voters who obtain, renew, or change their name or address on a drivers license card in Georgia (Rep. Sandra Scott).
  • HB 19: Comprehensive state civil rights law protecting individuals from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Expands to cover discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and age. Removes the term handicap and leaves the pre-existing term of disability (Rep. Sandra Scott).
  • HB 37: Expand Medicaid Now Act (Rep. Robert Trammell).
  • HB 40: To require local school systems to conduct screenings for dyslexia (Rep. Sandra Scott).
  • HB 57: Eligible electors mailed an absentee ballot for each primary, election, or runoff in which they are eligible to vote (Rep. Dar'shun Kendrick).
  • HB 69: Altering the prior school year requirement for the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program (Rep. Scot Turner).
  • HB 79: Establishment of procedural safeguards that require adherence to due process and equal protection rights of blind parents in the context of child welfare, foster care, adoption, and family law (Rep. Carl Gilliard).
  • HB 135: Allows for residents in Long-term Care Facilities to implement electronic monitoring of their room (Rep. Demetrius Douglas).
  • HB 176: Any agency that utilizes applications to provide services or assistance to persons in this state shall provide voter registration applications (Rep. Renitta Shannon).
  • HB 248: Widens who can assist a voter with a disability or a voter that is illiterate in the voting process to allow any person of the elector's choosing other than such elector's employer, any agent of such employer, or an agent or officer of such elector's union (Rep. Kimberly Alexander).
  • HB 283: The Georgia Voting Rights Act which among many things would create a Georgia Voting Rights Commission and provide for an independent Legislative & Congressional Reapportionment Office (Rep. Scott Holcom
  • HR 52: Encourage all schools, local educational agencies, and the state educational agency to recognize that dyslexia has a profound educational impact that must be addressed (Rep. John Corbett).
  • SB 10: to provide that possession of certain quantities of marijuana constitute a misdemeanor (Sen. Harold Jones)
  • SB 22: Increased Privacy and security for mail-in absentee ballots (Sen. Donzella James)
  • SB 24: Requires the registration of certain electric personal assistive mobility devices (Sen. Donzella James)
  • SB 34: Change provisions relating to persons who are ineligible for weapons carry licenses as it relates to Georgians with disabilities (Sen. Emanuel Jones).
  • SB 48: To require that all kindergarten through second grade students are screened for dyslexia and increase dyslexia focused professional development for teachers (Sen. P.K. Martin IV).
  • SB 74: Among other things, eliminates the certificate of need requirements for all health care facilities except certain long-term care facilities and services (Sen. Matt Brass).

How does a bill become a law?

Other Days of Note:

  • Feb. 19 - State of the Judiciary
  • Mar. 4 - National Federation of the Blind, Georgia Affiliate Day!
  • Mar. 13 - The Arc Georgia Day at the Capitol!
  • Mar. 19 - Independent Living Day!

Tags: GCDD, Advocacy, public policy