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Gold Dome

January 14, 2020

Gold Dome Report - 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:

  • Legislators Speak at Healthcare Unscrambled
  • New Legislation

Did You Know: While our team publishes this report at the end of each day, you can follow the action in real-time with us on Twitter? Follow our team (George Ray, Helen Sloat, and Sam Marticke) or search for #GoldDomeReport for up-to-the-minute updates throughout the legislative session!


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.

New Legislation

The following legislation of interest was introduced in the House today:

  • HB 752, authored by Rep. Dave Belton (R-Buckhead), amends Title 43 to provide for background checks consisting specifically of fingerprinting conducted by the Georgia Information Crime Center and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in order to obtain a license to practice physical therapy in the state. This legislation is a cleanup of HB 39, the physical therapy interstate compact bill passed last spring. This bill was referred to the House Regulated Industries Committee.
     
  • HB 755, authored by Rep. Dave Belton (R-Buckhead), amends Title 20 to require a local board of education to provide each local charter school with an annual allotment sheet itemizing the state, local, and federal allocations to be provided to the local charter school by the school system for the upcoming fiscal year by no later than July 1 of each year. The bill also requires school systems to give at least 30 days of notice to the local charter school if a determination is made that an adjustment of the allocation is required. This bill was referred to the House Education Committee.