Twenty-eight bills passed through senate in last week

Published 3:11 pm Friday, March 8, 2019


During our seventh week here under the Gold Dome, the Senate passed 28 pieces of legislation. With just two legislative days before Crossover Day, committees regularly held meetings late into evening hours. I have included some of the bills we passed last week in my newsletter.


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The Senate passed SB106, “The Patients First Act”.

This bill will allow the Governor to submit an application to the United States Secretaries of Health and Human Services and the Treasury for an 1115 waiver and a 1332 waiver of applicable provisions of the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. If the waiver is approved, the state is authorized to implement waivers that could extend Medicaid coverage to citizens with incomes below 100% of the poverty line with certain other conditions that could include work requirements and incentives to visit primary care physicians instead of emergency rooms.

The 1332 waiver would allow the state to employ innovative tactics, like high-risk pools and re-insurance programs, to encourage more health insurance companies to join the Georgia market and drive down costs for citizens purchasing individual health insurance plans.

SB 68: Adds “financial management” to the list of skills and training required of local board of education members. Requires the Department of Audits and Accounts to designate certain schools as high risk and requires those designated schools to submit and approved correction plan.

SB 73: Allows for fines collected for the Peace Officer’s Annuity and Benefit Fund to be deducted and remitted by the clerk of the court directly to the secretary-treasurer of the fund.

SB 66: Streamlines the deployment of wireless broadband in public rights of way.

SB 18: Allows physicians to enter into direct primary care agreements with patients for a fee and without being subject to insurance regulations.

SB 115: Allows the Georgia Composite Medical Board to issue telemedicine licenses to physicians outside of Georgia who are licensed in Georgia.

SB 118: Requires health benefit plans to provide coverage for telemedicine and telehealth services.

HB 62:” Margie’s Law” Requires health care facilities to notify a patient when a mammogram demonstrates dense breast tissue.

SB 15: “Keeping Georgia’s Schools Safe Act”; Requires public and private schools to perform threat assessments. Requires GEMA to develop a program for certifying school safety coaches. Creates a smartphone app to anonymously report suspicious activity.

SB 65: Provides that the transfer of a title between legal entities owned by the same person does not require a second TAVT fee payment.

SB 149: Eliminates the requirement that a law enforcement officer have a vehicle towed that does not have the proper tag validation.

HB 183: Allows a taxpayer to appeal their property tax assessment even if they failed to file a property tax return.