Home » legislative updates » Voices’ Legislative Update – 1/15/18

Voices’ Legislative Update – 1/15/18

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Forty days has the session
For bills and bucks to make impression
Upon our state so green and fair.
I hope to keep from tearing hair.

All that to say, here we go, folks! Our 236 elected friends in the General Assembly, plus the Governor, plus the Lieutenant Governor (who, btw, is also President of the Senate), plus staff, lobbyists, advocates, and other citizens are all getting on this wild steer in the Rodeo of Life to see if we can stay on long enough to make good policy decisions for kids. So far, we have hung on for the Governor’s State of the State, the release of his budget recommendations, and a committee hearing and vote on last year’s ill-fated (now updated) adoption bill. And this is just the beginning!

Next week, right after the barrel racing, there will be joint hearings on the budgets (T, W) and two more fun-filled legislative days (Th, F), punctuated, no doubt, by grub from local chuck wagons, a lasso contest or two, and maybe even some bill wrangling. In the middle of all that, Voices will release our child-focused Behavioral Health Workforce Analysis, and, with any luck, the cowpokes up in Washington D.C. will avoid a stampede by reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). That would be great so that the state does not have to make yucky choices about kids’ healthcare.

Anyway, watch yer topknot, and see you next week.

Polly

 


 

“Get your acronym on” with this handy key!

CJCC = Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (attached to GBI)

CJCJ = Council of Juvenile Court Judges (attached to Juvenile Courts)

DBHDD = Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities

DCS = Department of Community Supervision

DECAL = Department of Early Care and Learning

DHS = Department of Human Services (which houses DFCS = Department of Family and Children Services, as well as DCSS = Division of Child Support Services )

DJJ = Department of Juvenile Justice

DOE = Department of Education

DOL = Department of Labor

DOR = Department of Revenue

DPH = Department of Public Health

GBI = Georgia Bureau of Investigation

GDC = Georgia Department of Corrections

GDEcD = Department of Economic Development

GOSA = Governor’s Office of Student Achievement

GPDC = Georgia Public Defenders Council

GSFC = Georgia Student Finance Commission

PAC = Prosecuting Attorneys Council

TCSG = Technical College System of Georgia

USG = University System of Georgia

 


Child Health
NOTE: All the Child Health amendments were regarding monies to serve children (0-21 years old) with Autism as follows:

  • $1.25 Million Added for Crisis Services (DBHDD)
  • $2.27 Million Added to develop capacity for behavioral health services (DBHDD and DCH)
  • $300,000 in existing funds for telehealth services (DBHDD) and three positions for behavioral health services (DBHDD) plus one program coordinator (DCH) and one program support coordinator position to provide behavioral health services (DPH)
  • $1.1 Million allocated within the State Health Benefits Plan to reflect enrollment growth to match Medicaid age requirements for the treatment of autism (DCH)

Child Welfare

  • $15.1 Million Added for out-of-home care for children in foster care (DFCS)

Juvenile Justice

  • $1.3 Million Added to provide for youth who pose a public safety risk during determination of competency to stand trial. $403,000 was also redirected from Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) operations for this purpose. (DJJ)
  • $750,000 Added for equipment for the conversion of Central PDC to a 56 bed Cadwell Regional Youth Detention Center (DJJ)

Education

  • $15 Million Added for 194 school buses statewide (DOE)
  • $86.6 Million Added for increased public school enrollment (QBE) (DOE)
  • $16.4 Million Added for State Commission Charter school supplement (DOE)
  • $1 Million Subtracted from the Special Needs Scholarship (DOE)
  • $17.6 Million Added for Forestland Protection grants reimbursements to school districts and local municipalities and counties
  • (DOR)
  • $10.75 Million Added for Dual Enrollment (GSFC)

Higher Education

  • $46,000 Added for Zell Miller Scholarship students attending private postsecondary institutions
  • $18.13 Million Added for Zell Miller Scholarship students attending public postsecondary institutions
  • $1 Million Added for two mobile welding laboratories for HOPE Career Grant welding training on-site around the state

Child Health

  • Regarding children (0-21 years old) with Autism:
    • $5.9 Million Added for Crisis Services (DBHDD)
    • $948,000 Added to develop capacity for behavioral health services (DPH and DCH)
    • $367,500 in existing funds for telehealth services (DBHDD) and three positions for behavioral health services (DBHDD) plus one program coordinator (DCH) and one program support coordinator position to provide behavioral health services (DPH)
    • $2.2 Million allocated within the State Health Benefits Plan to reflect enrollment growth to match Medicaid age requirements for the treatment of autism
  • Regarding recommendations from the Commission on Children’s Mental Health:
    • $79,000 Added to prevent opioid abuse by children and youth (DBHDD)
    • $84,000 Added for one-time funds for crisis respite services (DBHDD)
    • $10.32 Million Added for crisis services for children and youth (DBHDD)
    • $4.29 Million Added for the Georgia Apex Program (GAP) for an additional 13 grants (DBHDD)
    • $382,500 Added for telemedicine service (DBHDD)
    • $1.1 Million Added for child/youth suicide prevention (DBHDD)
    • $611,000 Added for high fidelity wraparound services training (DBHDD)
    • $3.06 Million Added for supported employment and education assistance for an additional 500 young adults at the rate of $6,120 per year (DBHDD)
    • $2.26 Million Added for care coordinator positions to improve mental health outcomes for children in foster care (DHS)
  • $1.92 Million Added for 122 new residency slots in primary care medicine (DCH)
  • $581,000 Subtracted for school nurses (This may be because Georgia is slated to receive $35 Million in federal Medicaid dollars for school nurses) (DOE)

Child Welfare

  • $15.1 Million Added for growth in Out-of-Home Care for children in foster care (DHS)
  • $7.46 Million Added for a $2.50 per day increase for relative foster care rates (DHS)
  • $2.67 Million Added for a $2.50 increase for child placement agency (CPA) foster parent per diem rates (DHS)
  • $2.43 Million Added to increase child caring institution (CCI) per diem rates by 2.5% (DHS)
  • $1.17 Million Added to increase child placement agency (CPA) administrative costs by 2.5% (DHS)
  • The following additions are for accountability courts in the state (GBI/CJCC).  I include this information because accountability courts can make families stronger since, by design, they approach justice by attempting to address the root behavioral cause of an offense.  Georgia has increased the number and type of accountability courts drastically under the Deal administration. This year is no exception:
    • $2.12 Million Added to expand 53 existing courts and to create three new adult felony drug courts
    • $1.06 Million Added to expand 28 existing courts and to create three new mental health courts
    • $741,000 Added to expand 18 existing courts and to create three new family dependency treatment courts
    • $514,000 Added to expand 15 existing courts and to create two new veterans’ courts
    • $475,000 Added to expand 21 existing courts and to create two new DUI accountability courts

Juvenile Justice

  • $1.87 Million Added to provide for youth who pose a public safety risk during determination of competency as provided in SB 175 (2017 Session) (DJJ)
  • $531,800 Added to increase the per diem rates for child caring institutions by 2.5% (DJJ)
  • $87,700 Added to expand 14 existing juvenile accountability courts (CJCC)
  • $122,600 Added for one Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI) statewide coordinator position (CJCJ)
  • $111,700 Added for a Children in Need of Services (CHINS) statewide coordinator position (CJCJ)
  • $2.4 Million Added for 24 additional assistant district attorney positions to support juvenile courts (PAC)

Education

  • $4 Million Subtracted from the Georgia Network of Educational Therapeutic Supports (GNETS) for declining enrollment (DOE)
  • $264,000 Subtracted for Residential Treatment Facilities based on attendance (DOE)
  • $1 Million Added for enrollment growth and training and experience in preschool disability services (DOE)
  • $119.53 Million Added for a 0.38% enrollment growth in public schools (DOE)
  • $1.25 Million Subtracted for differentiated pay for newly certified math and science teachers (DOE)
  • $9.85 Million Added for the State Commission Charter School supplement (DOE)
  • $30.06 Million Added for Equalization grants (DOE)
  • $1.56 Million Added to establish a statewide leadership academy for principals per HB 338 (2017 Session) (GOSA)
  • $34.38 Million Added for Dual Enrollment (once called “Move on When Ready”)
  • $1.84 Million Added for REACH GA Scholarships for 226 additional scholarships statewide and expand into 44 new school systems (GSFC)
  • $361.7 Million Added for the Teachers’ Retirement system

Higher Education

  • The Governor’s Office of Workforce Development is being Transferred from the GDEcD to the Technical College System of Georgia to leverage workforce development initiatives and educational resources to meet industry workforce training demands. Funds for the customized recruitment initiative (DOL) are being transferred as well.
  • $1.22 Million in existing funds allocated to increase the HOPE Grant award amount by 3% (GSFC)
  • $92,500 Added to meet the projected need for Zell Miller Scholarship students attending private postsecondary institutions (GSFC)
  • $29.66 Million Added to meet the projected need for Zell Miller Scholarship students attending public postsecondary institutions (GSFC)
  • $1 Million Added for marketing to promote the educational opportunities available at the state’s technical colleges and develop a skilled workforce (TCSG)

 


 

vulnerable youth

HB 654 (Beskin-54th) Adjusts provisions involving calculations of child support payments, so that in certain circumstances the court may allow for the use of separate worksheets to show the final child support amount to be paid for all such children and the adjusted amount of support to be paid as each child becomes ineligible to receive support STATUS: House Judiciary Committee.

HB 668 (Price-48th) Allows a petition for guardianship to be filed for a proposed ward who is 17 years old if the petitioner has a good faith reason to believe that the child will still need a guardian upon turning 18 years old STATUS: House Judiciary Committee.

HB 159 (Reeves-34th) Substantially revises general provisions applicable to adoptions, including provisions regarding the following: allowing a nonresident to allow an adoption of his or her child, adoption of foreign-born children, waiver to revoke a surrender of parental rights, the age for individuals to access the Adoption Reunion Registry, and the annulment of an adoption under certain circumstances. The Senate Judiciary Committee amended the bill to include language from a past version of HB 359, which was vetoed by the governor following the 2017 session STATUS: PASSED HOUSE (2017). Amended and recommended Do Pass by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

 

juvenile justice

HB 657 (Petrea-166th) Creates a felony charge and mandatory minimum of 1-5 years for anyone who knowingly and intentionally provides a firearm to someone who is on probation as a felony first offender or to any person who has been convicted of a felony in any state STATUS: House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

HB 663 (Bennett- 94th) and SB 316 (Jackson-2nd) Creates added categories and penalties for the commission of hate crimes. These crimes target a victim or his or her property because of the defendant’s belief regarding the victim’s race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, mental disability, or physical disability STATUS HB 663: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. STATUS SB 316: Senate Judiciary Committee.

HB 670 (Powell-32nd) Adds one legislative representative to the Georgia State Council for Interstate Juvenile Supervision and clarifies that the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate each makes one such appointment STATUS: House Juvenile Justice Committee.

SB 326 (James-35th) Provides that prior to posting bail for a juvenile or receiving a child from the custody of DJJ, a person, adult blood relative, or stepparent shall file a sworn and notarized affidavit with the court stating that he or she has legal custody of the alleged delinquent child or that he or she is an adult blood relative or stepparent. The bill also requires a criminal history records check of those arrested to determine if the person is classified as a wanted or missing person or is reasonably believed to be subjected to labor or sexual servitude.  The bill also requires personnel rendering patient care in a hospital or related institution to receive written material on industry best practices in recognizing signs typically displayed by persons who have been or are being subjected to labor or sexual servitude, and requires the GBI to collect information which would assist in the identification of any person believed to be subjected to labor or sexual servitude STATUS: Senate Hopper.

 

HB 653 (Spencer-180th) Provides that certain professional licensing boards are authorized but not required to suspend the license of a person upon notice of nonpayment or default on a federal educational loan or service conditional scholarship. This pertains particularly to those licenses issued by the authority of Georgia Composite Medical Board STATUS: House Hopper.

HB 669 (Trammel-132nd) Authorizes the state to allocate appropriations to expand Medicaid and get federal funds for payments to medical providers on behalf of Medicaid recipients STATUS: House Appropriations Committee.

HB 673 (Carson-46th) Prohibits driving while: conducting wireless communication without using a hands-free accessory, using more than a single touch or swipe of a finger on a wireless device to initiate or terminate communication; reaching for a wireless telecommunications device in such a manner that requires the driver to maneuver in such a way that he or she is no longer in a seated driving position properly restrained by a safety belt, watching motion upon the screen of a wireless telecommunications device other than those related to the functioning or navigation of the vehicle. Violation will be considered a misdemeanor and shall be punishable with a fine of at least $150.00. Upon a second offense the driver shall be required to complete a defensive driving course STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

HB 678 (Smith-134th) Requires healthcare providers to tell patients which health insurance plans they accept before non-emergency treatment.  If they do not have an agreement with a patient’s health insurance provider, they must disclose the estimated amount the health care provider, group practice, diagnostic and treatment center, or health center will bill the patient or prospective patient for health care services when the patient asks. Information about who ancillary providers will be in the process of treatment must also be provided when asked.  Likewise, insurance providers must make accessible information which could help clients assess out-of-network costs STATUS: House Hopper.

SB 318 (Rhett-33rd) Allows for the execution of a physician’s certificate for emergency examination of a person for involuntary evaluation and treatment for mental illness or alcohol or drug abuse based on consultation with an emergency medical technician or paramedic who has personally observed the person STATUS: Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

SB 325 (Kirkpatrick-32nd) Allows Georgia to join an Interstate Medical Licensure Compact which allows physicians to become licensed in multiple states. According to the bill, the Compact creates another pathway for licensure and does not otherwise change a state’s existing Medical Practice Act. It also affirms that the practice of medicine occurs where the patient is located at the time of the physician-patient encounter, and therefore, requires the physician to be under the jurisdiction of the state medical board where the patient is located STATUS: Senate Hopper.

 

None yet!

 

education

HB 667 (Bentley-139th) Prevents local boards of education from participating in an athletic association which does not provide for instant replays to review rulings on the field for high school football playoff and championship games STATUS: House Education Committee.

HB 672 (Thomas-39th) Allows the use of speed detection devices by school security personnel, defined as a certified law enforcement officer employed by a local board of education, a county or a municipal law enforcement agency for patrol of a school STATUS: House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

SB 320 (Henson-41st) Requires public elementary and secondary schools to allow parents and guardians to register to vote when enrolling their children for school STATUS: Senate Ethics Committee.

 

misc

HB 671 (Dunahoo-30th) Creates a specialty license plate honoring the Georgia Beekeepers Association STATUS: House Motor Vehicles Committee.

SR 587 (McKoon-29th) Amends the Constitution so as to make English the official language of the State of Georgia, and requires official state actions be in English, prohibits any requirement that any language other than English be used in any documents, regulations, orders, transactions, proceedings, meetings, programs, or publications, prohibits discrimination, penalties, or other limits on participation against persons who speak only English STATUS: Senate Hopper.

 

 

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