January 14, 2020
After the fanfare of opening day yesterday, the General Assembly settled into a quiet anxiety today ahead of the State of the State Address on Thursday, where Governor Kemp is expected to unveil his much-awaited budget proposals--and likely cuts thereto. Legislators gaveled in and out without much ado, although the House did insist on its position on HB 276, Rep. Brett Harrell’s (R-Snellville) marketplace facilitator sales tax bill, and appointed a conference committee to hammer out differences with the Senate. Take this as a sign that lawmakers are serious about finding new ways to boost state revenue with budget negotiations quickly approaching. There was not much else to see here today, but know that it is the calm before the storm. So sit back, relax, and catch up on new legislation of note in today’s #GoldDomeReport.
In today’s Report:
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Legislators Speak at Healthcare Unscrambled
Early this morning, healthcare advocates braved the rain and traffic for Georgians for a Healthy Future’s tenth annual Healthcare Unscrambled Breakfast. The event saw a bipartisan panel discussion with Sens. Ben Watson (R-Savannah) and Harold Jones (D-Augusta) joining Reps. Beth Moore (D-Peachtree Corners) and Jodi Lott (R-Evans) that touched on topics ranging from balanced billing to maternal mortality to Medicaid waivers. All members present spoke to the General Assembly’s desire to improve healthcare transparency and affordability for Georgians. Senator Watson noted that balanced billing (and surprise billing) remains a high priority on the Senate Majority Caucus’ agenda. Sen. Jones echoed this sentiment and posited that both sides are eager to find a solution. The discussion livened as Reps. Moore and Lott sparred over Gov. Kemp’s Medicaid waivers--the freshman Moore focusing on provisions related to essential health benefits. As the clock ticked ever closer to the hour of convening, the panel members concluded with more comments about their dedication to improving the healthcare environment in Georgia.
The following legislation of interest was introduced in the House today:
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