Public Policy for the People: 18 March
Volume 5, Issue 6 • 2019 Legislative Session • March 18, 2019
Calls to Action: Educate the Senate on the importance of DD Waivers
and IPSE funding! See below for more information!
- Catch our Public Policy Phone Calls at 9:30 AM on 3/25. Dial in at 1-888-355-1249, Code: 232357
- Join our Advocacy Network
- Read Public Policy for the People: 4/1
Be in the Know: Rumblings Under the Gold Dome
With only 7 legislative days left, we are entering the final sprint! As we race to the finish line of Sine Die on April 2, here are a few things to keep in mind.
First, the Senate is still working on their version of the FY2020 Budget. Once they finalize their version of the budget, the House and Senate will enter something called a Conference Committee to iron out their differences. This means there is still time to influence the budget process and we need your help to do so. If you have not already contacted the Senate Appropriation's Committee, specifically the Human Development and Public Health Subcommittee, then we need you to do so today! We need your help to educate the following Senators:
- Senator Renee Unterman (Chairman)
- Senator Dean Burke (Vice-chair)
- Senator Chuck Hufstetler
- Senator Greg Kirk
- Senator Butch Miller
- Senator Horacena Tate
- Senator Ben Watson
CALL TO ACTION:
When you contact them, please educate them on the importance of:
- Supporting the Governor’s recommendation for 125 NOW & COMP waivers, and adding an additional $17.8 million to DBHDD’s FY20 budget to fund 525 more NOW & COMP waivers.
- For Inclusive Post-Secondary Education, increasing legislative funding from the existing $500,000 to $1,000,000 in total within the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities Budget.
SB 106, Georgia's partial Medicaid expansion bill, continues to be a hot topic down at the Gold Dome. Assigned to the House Access to Quality Healthcare Special Committee, the bill would, among other things, empower Governor Kemp to apply for a 1115 Medicaid Waiver to extend Medicaid coverage to Georgians living at or below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level. For a more complete analysis of what this could mean for Georgia, be sure to check out last week's Public Policy for the People featuring a guest article by Laura Colbert, Executive Director of Georgians for a Healthy Future.
As for voting, the House agreed to the Senate's changes to HB 316 last Thursday. The bill now waits for the Governor's signature before it becomes law. The final vote in the House was 101 Yea and 69 Nay. During discussion on the floor of the House, the importance of ensuring the system is accessible to voters with disabilities was raised multiple times to the detriment of proponents of hand marked ballots. Beyond simply deciding on an electronic voting machine system that prints a receipt, the bill also increases the number of years a voter may be inactive before they are removed from the voter rolls from three to five years, and places restrictions on when a polling place may be changed in advance of an election
Finally, with Crossover Day behind us, we thought it might be helpful to separate the bills we are tracking into two categories. First, you can find here a list of bills GCDD is tracking that made Crossover Day, meaning they still have a chance of passing this legislative session. The other list, which you can find here, includes all the bills GCDD is tracking, many of which did not pass before Crossover Day. Remember, if a bill did not pass by Crossover Day, it cannot be passed into law this year. However, a dead bill could be revived next year, the second year of the 2-year cycle.
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.
A 2 Year Cycle: The Georgia General Assembly runs on a 2 year cycle. We are currently in year 1 of the cycle. This means that any bill that does not pass this year remains active next year. Sometimes this works to our advantage since it gives us more time to pass a bill without starting over. However, this can also works to our disadvantage as a bill we oppose this year still has a chance of being passed next year. If a bill does not pass by the end of a 2 year cycle, it is dead and must be reintroduced in the next 2 year cycle.
Other Days of Note:
- March 19 - Independent Living Day!
- April 2 - Sine Die!