Welcome back to another episode of Unprecedented Times – A Zoom-based series full of viral intrigue, delayed audio, questionable attempts at pretending to be in front of the Golden Gate Bridge, and truly remarkable legislative protocols. In the last episode (which lasted 3 months) legislative leaders shared their screens and home décor with us as they held hearings on the economy, FY21 budget, and select other new-world issues. And now, overcoming such obstacles as 1983-style yoga pants, cats on keyboards, surprising facial hair, and failed attempts at sourdough bread, our fearless leaders, determined (and required by law) to pass an appropriations bill for the next fiscal year (which starts in a mere 15 days, oh by the way), reconvene in the mostly peopleless people’s house to carry on. Stay tuned as our bemasked electeds take on 11% budget cuts, voting from chamber galleries, and wondering where all the lobbyists went.

I’ll be watching.  Will you?

Polly McKinney
Advocacy Director
Voices for Georgia’s Children
pmckinney@georgiavoices.org

P.S. Though no significant legislative action has been taken since last time I wrote you, we nevertheless have listed all the child-relevant bills and their status following Crossover Day in case you were curious. Also, we could use your help by acting on the action alert at the end of this update.  Thanks!

P.P.S. If you want to spend a few minutes reading the COVID-19 House and Senate (historic!) protocols for the final legislative days, click these:

Click here to download the Senate memo for reconvening.
Click here to download the House reopening report.

 

DBHDD = Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities

DCS = Department of Community Supervision

DECAL = Department of Early Care and Learning

GDEcD = Department of Economic Development

DHS = Department of Human Services (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

CJCC = Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (attached to GBI)

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

GDC = Georgia Department of Corrections

GOSA = Governor’s Office of Student Achievement

GSFC = Georgia Student Finance Commission

GPDC = Georgia Public Defenders Council

PAC = Prosecuting Attorneys Council

TCSG = Technical College System of Georgia

USG = University System of Georgia

Final Amended FY20 Budget (as agreed upon by the House and Senate)
FY21 Budget (House changes to the Governor's Recommendations)

HB 984 (Burchette-176th) Changes provisions relating to sentencing to provide credit for time served and changes provisions relating to the commencement of a sentence when the case has been appealed. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.

HB 994 (Reeves-34th) Requires a juvenile court justice, in certain circumstances, to hold a hearing to determine whether or not to transfer a child to adult court when such a hearing is requested by the prosecutor. When a child has been adjudicated to have engaged in criminal gang activity, the bill requires the child to participate in an evidenced-based intervention program that has demonstrated efficacy in addressing factors that impact adolescent gang involvement before being discharged from the custody of or released under supervision by DJJ. Expands the definition of “Criminal Gang Activity” to include child molestation, aggravated child molestation, enticing a child for indecent purposes; and felony obstruction or hindering of a law enforcement officer. The bill also adds new offenses to the list of crimes that require registration on the state’s Sex Offender Registry, including (among others) burglary with the intent to commit a sexual offense, and any conduct involving criminal gang activity that involves an underlying sexual offense or intent to commit a sex offense. The bill also Prohibits gang offenses from being merged (which will likely result in more incarceration time). STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Referred to the Senate Committee on Assignments.

HR 1327 (Setzler-35th) Creates the House Study Committee on Claims of Wrongfully Convicted Persons. STATUS: House Appropriations Committee.

SB 288 (Anderson-43rd) Restricts access to criminal records where arrests did not result in a conviction, or where certain conditions have since been met (e.g., ten years have elapsed since the conviction, or drug court treatment program or mental health treatment program have been completed). STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Special Committee on Access to the Civil Justice System.

SB 320 (Payne-54th) Creates a penalty for persons who are classified as sexually dangerous predators who fail to verify or update registration information on the Sexual Offender Registry as required by law. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

SB 393 (Strickland-17th) Allows the GBI provide personnel to serve as special assistant attorneys general, special assistant district attorneys, special assistant solicitors-general, or special assistant United States Attorneys when requested by the appropriate agency or as directed by the Governor. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

SB 402 (Robertson-29th) Allows a judge to issue an unsecured judicial release if such unsecured judicial release is noted on the release order and the person is not charged with a bail restricted offense (such as murder, armed robbery, etc.). STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

SB 423 (Albers-56th) “Max Gruver Act” – Expands the definition of hazing to include forcing or subjecting a minor or student to participate in certain hazing activity which could hurt or endanger the person whether or not the person is willing to participate. The bill also stiffens penalties for hazing and requires TCSG and USG to develop hazing awareness education. The bill also requires reporting by schools of known incidents, and it includes student organizations as parties responsible for hazing. IT creates whistleblower protections for people reporting the hazing. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Education Committee.

SB 435 (Strickland-17th) Allows a defendant convicted of a nonviolent offense and sentence to petition the court to vacate the conviction and sentence if the offense was committed as a direct result of the defendant being the victim of a trafficking offense.  At that time, the courts must also restrict access to the criminal history record information for the offense that was vacated. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

HB 364 (Bodie-62nd) Allows some defendants to have a second conviction cleared if they were 17-25 years old the first time they were sentenced and at least five years have passed. (Currently, certain first-time offenders can have their criminal convictions cleared after completing their sentence, but they can only take advantage of that opportunity once). STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 440 (Ballinger-23rd) Raises the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to include 17-year-olds. STATUS: House Juvenile Justice Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 878 (Frye-118th) States that counties and municipalities are not limited by current law in adopting ordinances or resolutions regarding the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 883 (Gilliard-162nd) Creates the Georgia Gang Prevention and Intervention Task Force to develop and maintain a comprehensive state plan for strategic, coordinated, and collaborative efforts between educational institutions and community and social services organizations for programs and initiatives designed to prevent and intervene in criminal gang participation by youth. The body would essentially provide direction, technical assistance and, when funds are available, grants to advance the work. STATUS: House Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 950 (Kinnard-102nd) Revises the handling of arrest-only criminal history record information; allows the automatic restriction of an individual’s criminal history record information upon arrest and makes such criminal history record information publicly available only upon the issuance of an indictment, accusation, or other charging instrument. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 951 (Kinnard-102nd) Forbids the imposition of a probation periods that exceed 24 months. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 954 (Rich-97th) Defines the crime of porch piracy to be when a person takes, removes, or otherwise appropriates any envelope, bag, package, or other sealed article of another person without the permission of such other person from the porch, steps, or immediate vicinity of any entrance or exit of a dwelling. The bill also defines crime of theft by possession of stolen mail if a person possesses stolen mail addressed to three or more different mailboxes or addresses and possesses a minimum of ten separate pieces of stolen mail. Both newly defined crimes are deemed felonies and are punishable by imprisonment for 1-5 years. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 971 (Gravely-67th) Changes annual training for juvenile court intake officers from 8 hours per year to 8 hours initially and then 2 hours for each year following. The bill also allows the court to consider any evidence, including hearsay evidence, that the court finds to be relevant, reliable, and necessary to determine the needs of a child adjudicated as a dependent child and the most appropriate case plan and permanency plan. STATUS: House Juvenile Justice Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 977 (Jones-91st) Authorizes counties and municipal corporations to adopt ordinances governing and punishing the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana. The bill sets maximum punishment for the violation of any such ordinance to a maximum of $1,000.00 and stipulates that any fines and bond forfeitures arising from the prosecution of such cases shall be retained by the county and is paid into its treasury. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1040 (Dunahoo-30th) Increases the total maximum fee when pay-only probation is imposed from 3 months to 6 months of ordinary probation supervision fees. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1053 (Wilensky-79th) “The Promise Act” – Defines cyberbullying to be when such person engages in threatening conduct toward another person through the use of public media forums with the intent to convey such threatening conduct to the other person. The bill goes on to increase penalties for a first offense and recurring offenses. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1149 (McLeod-105th) Allows a person convicted of certain charges related to marijuana or controlled substances to file an application in the originating court to have the conviction vacated and their record expunged. The application must be filed five or more years after the person has completed their sentence, probation or parole period (whichever occurs later). The person filing the application must prove that vacating the judgment and expunging the record is in keeping with public safety and supported by his or her conduct since the conviction. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1150 (McLeod-105th) Makes possession of one ounce or less or marijuana no longer a misdemeanor crime, and removes jurisdiction of municipal courts to use discretion over such charges. Mandates that the Department of Revenue issue one-year, renewable licenses authorizing the growing, purchasing, processing, and selling of marijuana on varying scales, with large-scale license to cultivate marijuana costing $10,000 – $25,000. A retailer license would authorize selling marijuana to consumers 21 years old and older. The bill also imposes a tax on marijuana sales, taking the place of a state excise tax on marijuana that is in current law. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 326 (Karinshak-48th) Allows a defendant convicted of a nonviolent offense and sentence to petition the court to vacate the conviction and sentence if the offense was committed as a direct result of the defendant being the victim of a trafficking offense.  At that time, the courts must also restrict access to the criminal history record information for the offense that was vacated. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 949 (Carson-46th) Reduces the state income tax level from a graduated rate of about 5.75% to a flat 5.375%. The bill was amended to include content of HB 934, which revises the tax credit for adoption of foster children from $2000/year to $6000/year for five years and then $2000/year for the following taxable years until the child turns 18. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Finance Committee.

HB 555 (Carpenter-4th) Adds public child welfare case manager to the list of people for whom arrest warrants may be issued by a superior court judge, a state court judge, or a probate court judge for any offense alleged to have been committed while in the performance of the case manager’s duties. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.

HB 578 (Dempsey-13th) Adds persons seeking to serve as volunteers, interns, students, or employees to the list of individuals for whom the Department of Human Services can review of certain law enforcement conviction data when considering final selection service. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee where it was voted on during prior to resumption of the session and recommended Do Pass. This vote will likely be officially ratified once the session resumes.

HB 823 (Gaines-117th) Creates a lifetime disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle by persons convicted of trafficking other persons for labor or sexual servitude while using a commercial motor vehicle. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Public Safety Committee. The bill will be heard in committee this MONDAY.

HB 855 (Wiedower-119th) Allows children in foster care to be placed in special education classes or related services if it’s found that trauma impacts their education or classroom behavior. The Department of Education is to provide guidance on how evaluation will be initiated and determining eligibility. All children in foster care entering a new school system shall be immediately evaluated for eligibility for special education or related services. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Education and Youth Committee.

HB 885 (Petrea-166th) Allows certain information within inmate files of the Department of Corrections (with the exception of medical records) shall not be classified as confidential state secrets when requested by the district attorney for purposes of responding to proposed actions of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles regarding inmates sentenced for a serious violent felony or a felony of a sexual nature against a person less than 18 years of age. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Public Safety Committee.

HB 911 (Setzler-35th) Defines the offenses of improper sexual contact by a foster parent in the first degree when he or she engages in sexually explicit conduct with his or her foster child; and in the second degree when a foster parent and engages in sexual contact, excluding sexually explicit conduct, with his or her foster child. STATUS:PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.

HB 912 (Reeves-34th) Allows caregivers of children in foster care to arrange for short-term babysitting of those children by a person 18 or older. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Referred to the Senate Committee on Assignments.

HB 913 (Reeves-34th) Among other tweaks to the adoption code, the lowers the age that a person is allowed to petition for adoption from 25 to 21 years old; restores previous law that was unintentionally omitted through the Adoption Code rewrite (in 2018) to allow the required search of the putative father registry to be performed as of the date the adoption petition is filed, and allow the results to be attached as an amendment to the petition; creates an exception to the required fingerprint criminal history reports for petitioners in proceedings to domesticate foreign adoptions and adult adoptions and provides that an affidavit from DFCS can satisfy the requirements of the subsection to prevent the petitioner from incurring the cost of an additional criminal records check; clarifies the court’s authority to determine it is in the best interests of the child to grant an adoption in the case of a child born in another country than the United States; and adds a new subsection to address recent scams wherein individuals are intentionally misrepresenting a pregnancy or intention to place child for adoption when the individual is either not pregnant or has no intention of placing child for adoption, and no money is being obtained by the individual as a result but the potential adoptive parents are expending money in reliance on the misrepresentations and are emotionally exploited. (Much thanks to Melissa Carter of the Barton Child Law and Policy Center at Emory Law School for her assistance with this summary!). STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.

HB 993 (Dempsey-13th) Facilitates the sharing of records pertaining to child abuse between the Division of Children and Family Services and the Department of Public Health. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Referred to the Senate Committee on Assignments.

HR 1168 (Park-101st) Creates the House Study Committee on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) to Improve the Health of Women and Children. STATUS: House Special Rules Committee.

 

SB 335 (Brass-28th) Impacts foster youth and families in four ways. First, it allows free admission to state parks by foster children and their foster families, relative caregiver, or fictive kin. Second, the bill establishes that dependency cases that are time limited and cases of TPR take priority over all other civil and criminal hearings. Third, the bill allows DFCS to contract with child-placing agencies to assist in dependency/delinquency and voluntary custody cases. Finally, the bill allows DFCS to require varying levels of training for foster parents based on experience, the age and needs of the child, and level of care being provided by the foster parent. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Juvenile Justice Committee.

SB 337 (Thompson-14th) Adds simulated (or photoshopped) images and videos to definitions of electronic, sexually explicit harassment. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

SB 439 (Brass-28th) Requires enhanced notice to and improved participation of foster, pre-adoptive, and relative caregivers in certain hearings and the court’s consideration of issues relevant to a child’s placement, care, well-being, and permanency raised by such persons.  More specifically, the bill requires the Council of Juvenile Court Judges to allow such persons to electronically file an objection to the placement change and for the court to consider such objection when making a decision. The bill also makes it easier for such a caregiver to adopt the child in certain circumstances following termination of parental rights. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Juvenile Justice Committee.

SB 477 (Strickland-17th) Changes procedure when an officer investigates a family violence complaint by changing the term from “primary aggressor” to “predominant aggressor”, and adding threats that created the fear of physical injury to the list of things to be considered when the officer is determining who is the predominant aggressor. The bill also states that “such officer shall not threaten, suggest, or otherwise indicate that all parties will be arrested”. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Juvenile Justice Committee.

SR 769 (Stone-23rd) Creates the Senate Domestic Violence Courts Study Committee. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Rules Committee.

HB 43 (Setzler-35th) Amended to include language from a number of bills as follows: 1. “The Maternity Supportive Housing Act”- Creates a mechanism in the Department of Human Services to oversee residential homes each of which could house up to six pregnant women aged 18 years or older at any one time during the woman’s pregnancy and up to 18 months after childbirth, with the condition that no other services besides housing could be provided. 2. “Georgia Loves Our Adolescents Act of 2020” – Requires DHS to submit an annual report to the chairpersons of the House Committee on Juvenile Justice and the Senate Education and Youth Committee detailing the number of applications to serve as foster parents received by DFCS and the number of referrals of such applicants to private agencies for the preceding calendar year. 3. Updates the form and criteria for a person petitioning to be an equitable caregiver for a child by adding the condition that the child will suffer physical harm or long-term emotional harm to the list of reasons that prevent a person from permission to be an equitable caregiver. The bill also clarifies that a person convicted of domestic violence is not eligible. The bill also sets a time frame of five years preceding the filing for the petitioner to have complied with appropriate behavior to merit equitable caregiver status. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 16 (Scott-76th) Provides for in-state tuition at units of the University System of Georgia and branches of the Technical College System of Georgia for youth who are from foster care or homeless situations. The bill also excludes foster care assistance from consideration as income for purposes of calculating financial aid. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Higher Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 726 (Taylor-173rd) Requires law enforcement agencies to enter the report of missing persons into the data base of missing persons maintained by the National Institute of Justice of the United States Department of Justice. The term “missing persons” is defined as a person whose whereabouts are unknown and who is believed to be in danger because of age, physical or mental health, or physical or mental disability as well as environmental or weather conditions. STATUS: House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 934 (Reeves-34th) Revises the tax credit for adoption of foster children from $2000/year to $6000/year for five years and then $2000/year for the following taxable years until the child turns 18. STATUS: House Ways and Means Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1012 (Werkheiser-157th) Disallows and recaptures any tax credit earned, claimed, transferred, or sold by a production company or qualified interactive entertainment production company that violates state or federal child labor laws or rules. STATUS: House Ways and Means Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1034 (Werkheiser-157th) Establishes civil penalties for violations of provisions related to employment of minors and requires the Commissioner of Labor to appoint administrative adjudicators to hear and decide appeals for such violations. STATUS: House Industry and Labor Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1068 (Efstration-104th) Updates the form and criteria for a person petitioning to be an equitable caregiver for a child by adding the condition that the child will suffer physical harm or long-term emotional harm to the list of reasons that prevent a person from permission to be an equitable caregiver. The bill also clarifies that a person convicted of domestic violence is not eligible. The bill also sets a time frame of of five years preceding the filing for the petitioner to have complied with appropriate behavior to merit equitable caregiver status. STATUS: House Juvenile Justice Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1069 (Holcomb-81st) Eliminates the statute of limitations for rape, aggravated sodomy, and aggravated sexual battery. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1074 (Efstration-104th) “Georgia Loves Our Adolescents Act of 2020” – Requires DHS to submit an annual report to the chairpersons of the House Committee on Juvenile Justice and the Senate Education and Youth Committee detailing the number of applications to serve as foster parents received by DFCS and the number of referrals of such applicants to private agencies for the preceding calendar year. STATUS: House Juvenile Justice Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1076 (Holcomb-81st) “Sexual Assault Reform Act of 2020” – Improves systems and increases oversight regarding sexual assault, particularly by physicians and assistants to patients. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1103 (Smyre-135th) Requires the licensing and permitting authorities of personal care homes and child-caring institutions and the approving agencies of foster care homes to notify local law enforcement agencies, fire departments, licensing departments, and planning and zoning departments of any such license, permittance, or approval. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1129 (Park-101st) Revises the tax credit for qualified caregiving expenses for a caregiver who is a taxpayer and provides care to one or more qualifying family members during a taxable year. A qualified family members is an individual who is at least 62 years of age; or has been determined to be disabled by the Social Security Administration; or is at least 18 years of age during the taxable year, requires assistance with one or more activities of daily living as determined by a licensed physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner, and qualifies as a dependent of the qualifying family member. STATUS: House Ways and Means Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1131 (Park-101st) Creates a graduated tax credit based on taxpayer income for certain child and dependent care expenses. STATUS: House Ways and Means Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1140 (Clark-108th) Revises the presumption in cases in which the custody of any child is at issue that a child’s interests are best served by equal or approximately equal parenting time with each parent, rebuttable by clear and convincing evidence to the contrary. The bill also removes consideration for the potential payment of child support by the other parent from the list of things which a judge must use in determining the best interests of a child. In addition, the bill opens up the age at which a child’s opinion is taken into consideration in custody determinations. STATUS: House Judiciary Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1144 (Nguyen-89th) Prohibits employment retaliation against persons who fulfill a lawful requirement to report a suspected case of child abuse. STATUS: House Juvenile Justice Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1146 (Parsons-44th) Revises the offense of improper sexual contact by employee or agent in the first degree and second degrees to include employees of ‘Recreational or scholastic facilit[ies]’  (a public or private facility that conducts any youth activity in which a participation fee or registration is required). STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1152 (Schofield-60th) Repeals the family cap on benefits from the temporary assistance for needy families program (TANF). STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 35 (Jackson-2nd) Prohibits sex offenders from residing near or loitering near their victims and the victims’ immediate family members. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Judiciary Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 287 (Jones-22nd) Eliminates the statute of limitations for rape, aggravated sodomy, and aggravated sexual battery. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Judiciary Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 325 (Karinshak-48th) Changes the statute of limitations for when a corporation may be prosecuted for trafficking of persons for labor or sexual servitude to ten years within commission of the crime or within ten years after the victim turns 18 if the crime was committed before the age of 18. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 331 (Robertson-29th) Makes it illegal for any person to knowingly possess or control or produce any material or medium which contains images that depict a naked or nearly naked, suggestively posed, and inappropriately sexualized child or children with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desire of such person or the person viewing such images. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 332 (Jackson-2nd) Prohibits the possession, sale, loan, give away, distribution, transmission, exhibition, showing, or manufacture of childlike sex dolls. This does not include anatomically correct dolls or mannequins that are designed for educational purposes or for use in law enforcement or treatment and evaluation of sexual abuse or sex crimes. The first offense is a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature, and the second offense is a felony to be punished by imprisonment for 1-5 years, or a fine not to exceed $10,000.00, or both. Selling or distributing such a doll is punishable by 1-10 years, a fine not to exceed $25,000.00, or both. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 333 (Jackson-2nd) Creates a prevention program within the Department of Human Services, Division of Family and Children Services relating to reducing crime and further engaging fathers to be better parents. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Urban Affairs Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 334 (Jackson-2nd) Provides licensure standards and regulation of certified community midwives. The bill outlines duties for practice, need for written consent from clients, and state and national licensure requirements. The bill also creates the Certified Community Midwife Board, and outlines the structure, to serve as the governing and licensing body. Licenses are valid for three years. Violations may result in a fine up to $500 and a misdemeanor. STATUS: Senate Health and Human Services Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 368  (Harbin-16th) Prohibits child-placing agencies from being required to perform, assist, counsel, recommend, consent to, refer, or participate in any placement of a child for foster care or adoption when the placement violates certain religious or moral convictions of the child-placing agency. The bill also prohibits discrimination of such child-placing agencies by entities of state and local government; and states that certain actions shall not form the basis of a civil action. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 427 (Mullis-53rd) Requires DCH to engage an actuary to conduct an actuarial study of the fiscal impact of carving out pharmacy benefits from the state’s current Medicaid care management organizations and sets out actions for the state based on the results of the study. STATUS: Senate Health and Human Services Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER

HB 521 (Gaines-117th) Authorizes temporary licenses for dentists licensed in other states to provide dental care to indigent populations in Georgia. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

HB 719 (Silcox-52nd) Modernizes HIV-related laws to align with science and support best public health practices for preventing and treating HIV. The bill eliminates 5 of the 7 charges that someone living with HIV can face including charges for sharing needles, donating blood or organs, enhanced penalties for spitting on a peace officer, enhanced penalties for spitting on a correctional officer, solicitation. Regarding the 2 remaining charges that the bill leaves in place, there would be a shift from the concept of “exposure” to “specific intent.” Specific intent is the highest burden that a prosecutor would have to prove in court. The prosecution must prove the defendant intended to transmit HIV and must prove this with evidence at trial. Furthermore, a person living with HIV would now be able to mount a defense because the “sexual act must include significant risk based on scientifically supported levels of risk of transmission.” [Much thanks to Jeff Graham of Georgia Equality for assistance with this summary!]. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Referred to the Senate Committee on Assignments.

HB 789 (Newton-123rd) Creates a surprise bill rating system based upon the number of physician specialty groups (meaning an in-network medical group of anesthesiologists, pathologists, radiologists, or emergency medicine physicians) contracted with a hospital within a health insurer’s network and requires insurers to include hospital surprise bill ratings online and in print provider directories, and advertise such ratings elsewhere. The bill also states that if a hospital’s surprise bill rating is less than four, each insurer advertising such hospital as in-network must describe which qualified hospital-based specialty group types are not contracted with such hospital. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

HB 791 (Stephens-164th) Allows pharmacists to dispense up to 90-day supplies for maintenance medications. Exceptions for this 90-day supply include Schedule II, III, IV, or V controlled substances. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

HB 842 (Williams-145th) Prohibit providers and health insurers from discriminating against potential organ transplant recipients due solely to the physical or mental disability of the potential recipient. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

HB 882 (Houston-170th) Eliminates the sunset period for state and some local tax exemptions for the sale of food and food ingredients to qualified food banks and for the use of food and food ingredients donated to qualified nonprofit agencies., The bill also expands the exemption for the use of food and food ingredients donated to qualified nonprofit agencies to include disaster relief. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Finance Committee.

HB 888 (Hawkins-27th) “Surprise Billing Consumer Protection Act” – Develops mechanisms to resolve payment disputes between private plan insurers and out-of-network providers regarding the provision of healthcare services; requires the department to maintain an all-payer health claims data base; provides for in-network cost-sharing amounts in healthcare plan contracts; establishes an arbitration process; and requires the Commissioner of Insurance to contract with one or more resolution organizations. Also, the bill prohibits facilities from charging more than the deductible, copay or in-network payment level determined by a patient’s existing insurance plan. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

HB 918 (Cooper-43rd) Amends the Pharmacy Audit Bill of Rights to define the auditing process and timelines, loosens definitions of fraud to not include omission errors, and lengthens the time for pharmacies to correct these errors. The bill also adds sections to the Pharmacy Audit Bill of Rights to lessen the cost burden on pharmacies in the case of fraud, overpayment, or misfiling prescriptions. The bill further defines the role of the Commissioner of Insurance in investigating complaints during these audits and regulation and licensure of PBMs. Section 3 of the bill expands definitions of “steering” to prevent more agreements/practices with affiliated pharmacies. The bill removes exceptions for using specialty retail pharmacies. Anti-steering rules would not apply to care management organizations such as Medicaid. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

HB 946 (Knight-130th) Increases licensing fees for pharmacy benefits managers (PBM)and increases penalties for bad actors, and requires PBMs to contract with physicians who are active in the appropriate medical area.  The bill also requires a PBM to report to the Georgia Composite Medical Board and the State Board of Pharmacy any adverse patient outcomes as a result of a PBM requiring a prior authorization which delayed an insured’s access to initially prescribed medication or that resulted in the utilization of a different medication than initially prescribed.   STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Insurance and Labor Committee.

HB 947 (Knight-130th) Mandates Department of Community Health to hire an actuary to conduct a study on the fiscal impact of providing all pharmacy benefits for all Medicaid beneficiaries exclusively through a Medicaid fee-for-service program. If the study report shows a potential annual savings of over $20M, then Medicaid CMO plans should stop providing pharmacy benefits and all beneficiaries should start receiving pharmacy benefits through DCH. Payment to these Medicaid CMOs will decrease by 7.5% (based on the year before) to pay for pharmacy benefits being newly provided by DCH. If the savings calculated by the actuary are between $10M and $20M, DCH can choose to implement this plan, but are not required to. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

HB 991 (Hatchett-150th) “Healthcare Transparency and Accountability Act” – Creates the Healthcare Transparency and Accountability Oversight Committee which has authority to review the performance and conduct of all state healthcare plan contractors, their affiliate subcontractors, and their subcontractor pharmacy benefits managers. Requires that all contractors of DCH health plans or subcontracted Pharmacy Benefits Managers provide an Annual Prescription Drug Transparency Report that outlines: payments kept by PBMs; fees paid to pharmacies; discrepancies between payments to pharmacies and PBM affiliated pharmacies; number of prior authorizations required and resulting delays in care; and the top prescription drugs that were subject to prior authorizations and most frequently prescribed drugs. These rates shall be open records and are not considered confidential or trade secrets. This report is given to a Healthcare Transparency and Accountability Oversight Committee, made up of a physician, a pharmacist, a consumer insured by a state healthcare plan, and six legislators. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Referred to the Senate Committee on Assignments.

HB 1021 (Hitchens-161st) Doubles the additional fine for violation of traffic laws or ordinances under “Joshua’s Law” from 1.5% to 3% of the original fine. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Referred to the Senate Committee on Assignments.

HB 1032 (Hatchett-150th) Exempts ambulatory surgical facilities that operate only in non-sterile environments from requiring the same certifications as in-patient surgical facilities. These ambulatory facilities are also not subject to prior review and certificate of need. Facilities that are exempt from obtaining a certificate of need cannot be denied licensure based on not meeting ‘operating room environment’ standards. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Referred to the Senate Committee on Assignments.

HB 1035 (Martin-49th) Repeals the sunset provision on sales and use taxes for non-profit health centers. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Referred to the Senate Committee on Assignments.

HB 1054 (Cooper-43rd) Adds voluntary newborn screening of Krabbe Disease to those screenings available through the Department of Public Health. The bill also requires the department to submit a budget request to the General Assembly when any new disorder is approved by the department after recommendation by the Newborn Screening and Genetics Advisory Committee (also established by this bill). STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

HB 1092 (Powell-32nd) Authorize the delegation by a physician to an advanced practice registered nurse to order radiographic imaging tests in non-life-threatening situations and increases the number of advanced practice registered nurses with whom a delegating physician can enter into a nurse protocol agreement and supervise at one time from 4 to 6 nurses. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Referred to the Senate Committee on Assignments.

HR 1282 (Hutchinson-107th) Creates the House Study Committee on Evaluating, Simplifying, and Eliminating Duplication of Regulatory Requirements for Mental Health and Social Services Providers. STATUS: House Special Rules Committee.

SB 272 (Robertson-29th) Prohibits the sale to and by minors of drug products containing dextromethorphan. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

SB 303 (Watson-1st) Requires insurers to be more transparent about prices for nonemergency health care services. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Special Committee on Access to Quality Health Care.

SB 313 (Burke-11th) Establishes stricter regulations and licensure for pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) such as audits by the Insurance Commissioner, fines for violations of drug pricing guidelines, and establishing annual licensure requirements for all PBMs. The bill prohibits ‘steering’ by PBMs (e.g. requiring the use of a specific affiliated pharmacy or advertising or promoting its affiliated pharmacy). The bill requires PBMs utilize the national average drug acquisition cost as the benchmark (defined by Medicaid’s average acquisition cost) for pharmacy’s reimbursement rates for drugs. PBMs cannot reimburse at lower rates at pharmacies that they are not affiliated with. The bill also defines appeals processes in instances where specialty pharmacies are reimbursed at a lower rate than other pharmacies. All payments collected by PBMs are to be paid directly to the pharmacies for products or to health plans to offset costs or copays for the insured. The bill prohibits withholding coverage or requiring prior authorization for lower cost, therapeutically equivalent drugs. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Special Committee on Access to Quality Health Care.

SB 321 (Hufstetler-52nd) Increases the number of physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) a physician can authorize and supervise at any one time from 4 to 6, and allows APRNs to practice in places in addition to the supervising physician’s office. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Regulated Industries Committee.

SB 323 (Kirkpatrick-32nd) Makes it a crime to administer conscious sedation in a dental facility or during the practice of dentistry in a medispa, without a license to practice dentistry from the board. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Health and Human Services Committee.

SB 340 (Beach-21st) Makes September 1 of each year ‘Childhood Cancer Awareness Day’ in Georgia. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Recommended Do Pass by the House Health and Human Services Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee.

SB 345 (Kirkpatrick-32nd) Establishes criteria for nonprofit organizations to prepare and provide food in accordance with Department of Public Health requirements. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Recommended Do Pass by the House Health and Human Services Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee.

SB 349 (James-35th) Requires schools with students in grades 6-12 to provide free feminine hygiene products in all female-designated student restrooms. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Health and Human Services Committee.

SB 352 (Burke-11th) States that when an insurer’s provider directory includes a provider as a participating provider for a network plan at such time as a prospective covered person selects his or her health benefit plan, such insurer shall cover the provider charges at in-network rates for the duration of the contract year for such covered person, regardless of whether such provider remains in the insurer’s network plan, and shall ensure that the covered person shall not be responsible for more than the amount for which he or she would have been responsible had the services been delivered by an in-network provider. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Insurance Committee.

SB 359 (Hufstetler-52nd) “Surprise Billing Consumer Protection Act” – Develops mechanisms to resolve payment disputes between private plan insurers and out-of-network providers regarding the provision of healthcare services; requires the department to maintain an all-payer health claims data base; provides for in-network cost-sharing amounts in healthcare plan contracts; establishes an arbitration process; and requires the Commissioner of Insurance to contract with one or more resolution organizations. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Special Committee on Access to Quality Health Care.

SB 375 (Mullis-53rd) Prevents sale of tobacco or vaping products to anyone under 21 years of age, and allows law enforcement officer shall seize any cigarettes, tobacco products, tobacco related objects, alternative nicotine products, or vapor products that have been sold to and are in the possession of a person under 21 years of age. The bill also stiffens penalties for underage use of such products, including revocation of a driver’s license for a second violation within 12 weeks of the first violation. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Ways and Means Committee.

SB 387 (Jordan-6th) Requires the GaDOE to promulgate rules and regulations so that food that has been prepared in whole or in part by students as part of a course of instruction relating to the preparation of food and that is suitable for serving and consumption may be may distributed to students at the school, including those who may be dealing with hunger or food insecurity. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Education Committee.

SB 391 (Kirkpatrick-32nd) Requires health insurers to provide coverage for early refills of a 30 day supply of certain prescription medications under certain emergency situations. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Special Committee on Access to Quality Health Care.

SB 408 (Strickland-17th) Repeals the sunset provision on allowing employees to use existing sick leave for the care of an immediate family member. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Industry and Labor Committee.

SB 482 (Burke-11th) Establishes of the Georgia All-Payer Claims Database (GAPCD) and the GAPCD Advisory Committee for the purpose of making recommendations regarding the creation of the framework and implementation plan for the GAPCD to facilitate the reporting of health care and health quality data resulting in transparent and public reporting of safety, quality, cost, and efficiency information at all levels of health care. objectives of the GAPCD shall be to facilitate data-driven, evidence-based improvements in access, quality, and cost of health care and to promote and improve public health through the understanding of health care expenditure patterns and operation and performance of the health care system. Specific uses of the GAPCD include, but are not limited to: establishing baseline health care cost information; monitoring and analyzing health care costs; assessing population health; measuring utilization of health care services; identifying health disparities; informing consumers of cost and quality of health care; supporting the planning and evaluation of health care operations and care; improving coordination of care; enabling oversight of health insurance premium medical loss ratios; and conducting waste, fraud, and abuse studies.STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The bill will be heard in committee this TUESDAY.

SB 483 (Brass-28th) Allows certain Medicaid reimbursement for patients treated pursuant to a behavioral rehabilitation joint venture (an agreement between a public or private general acute care hospital which has vacant beds and an institution for mental diseases to authorize the institution for mental diseases to manage up to 16 of the hospital’s vacant beds as behavioral rehabilitation swing beds) and states that proceeds from the rural tax credit program received by a behavioral rehabilitation joint venture is not counted against a hospital’s cap. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Special Committee on Access to Quality Health Care.

SR 263 (Mullis-53rd) Creates the Senate Emergency Medical Services Study Committee. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by Senate Rules Committee.

SR 722 (Jordan-6th) Creates the Senate Comprehensive Approach to Family Leave Policies within State Government Study Committee. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by Senate Rules Committee.

HB 113 (Carson-46th) Prohibits minors driving with a permit to use cell phones or other communication device while driving. Violation results in a misdemeanor and a fine of $150 (or $300 if the individual was using a cell phone at the time of an accident). The bill also allows individuals younger than 17 to apply for a GA license or permit if they have received a license or permit from another state based on their previous driving record and if they have completed a driver’s education requirements in Georgia. The bill restricts Class D license holders from operating Class C vehicles while using cell phones or during the first six months of obtaining their license. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 544 (Efstration-104th) Revises procedures regarding emergency involuntary treatment, adding the affidavit from the witnesses to the patients record for review by the examining physician and also clarifies why a person can be involuntarily committed. Additionally, the court must notify the people who provided the affidavits when the patient is discharged and of that patient’s court-ordered treatment plan.  The same notification would apply for court-ordered outpatient treatment. STATUS: House Judiciary Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 725 (Taylor-173rd) Allows the state to add two or more dental service organization administrators (chosen by DCH via competitive bid) for dental services for Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids, and allows for an amendment to the state plan if necessary. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 731 (Stephens-164th) Increases state excise taxes on cigarettes by $1.50/pack; and on little cigars and loose and smokeless tobacco by 42%. STATUS: House Ways and Means Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 760 (Cooper-43rd) Clarifies that peace officers are not liable during the transportation of those for evaluation for involuntary commitment and that a person may be taken for evaluation by a peace officer without that person having to commit a penal offense first. STATUS: House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 801 (Scott-76th) Limits the number of patients assigned to a registered professional nurse in a hospital as follows: One patient per nurse in each setting: Postanesthesia care patients under the age of 18, patients in operating rooms (provided that one other person serves as a scrub assistant per patient), critical trauma patients in emergency units, patients in active labor and during birth (one for the mother and one for each baby born), and immediate postpartum (the two hours immediately after birth). Two patients per nurse in each setting: Critical care patients, postanesthesia care patients 18 or older, critical care emergency patients and antepartum patients requiring continuous fetal monitoring. Three patients per nurse in each setting: Step down or immediate care patients, basic or comprehensive emergency medical services patients, postpartum couplets (or 6 total patients), telemetry, and acute rehabilitation. Four patients per nurse in each setting: All pediatric units, psychiatric, medical and surgical, observational, specialty care, and any unit not otherwise listed. Hospitals may face penalties up to $25K/day or sanctions such as revocation of the hospital’s license during which violations continue. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 809 (Kausche-50th) Increases the age for purchasing tobacco products to 21. The bill also updates language to define ‘electronic smoking product’, clarifies rules for in-person sales of tobacco products, and updates retailer signage requirements. The bill effectively bans online sale of tobacco products by banning sales of tobacco products or tobacco-related objects that are not person-to-person transactions (with the exception of vending machines. STATUS: House Regulated Industries Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 813 (McLeod-105th) Expands Medicaid to persons who live up to 150% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), and provides health insurance subsidies for people living at 150%-500% of FPL up to 5% of the individual’s income. STATUS: House Special Committee on Access to Quality Health Care. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 832 (Carpenter-4th) Requires local governments that operates parks or recreation used by a youth (under 18 years old) athletic organization for games, practices, or training is equipped with at least one vessel (with a capacity of at least 150 gallons) that can be used in the event of a heat related injury or emergency. STATUS: House Governmental Affairs Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 843 (Douglas-78th) Requires schools to provide recess for students in Kindergarten through 8th grade except for days when there is physical education, structured activities or when other reasonable activities conflict. The bill specifies that local boards of education must establish written policies to ensure that recess is a safe experience, is scheduled so that it provides a break during academic learning, and is not withheld for disciplinary or academic reasons. STATUS: House Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 864 (Rich-97th) Reduces the tax on some tobacco products by 50%, taxes e-cigarettes at a rate lower than all other tobacco products and leaves some e-cigarettes from being taxed at all. Vapor products must be sold face-to-face. The bill also raises the minimum age of purchase from 18 to 21 and establishes new licensures for selling any vapor products, including devices used for consumption of combustible vapor products. STATUS: Recommended DO Pass by the House Ways and Means Committee. THE BILL WAS TABLED BY THE HOUSE AND DID NOT COME OFF THE TABLE. THEREFORE, THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 909 (Cooper-43rd) Increases the age from 18 to 21 years old for the purchase of cigarettes, tobacco, tobacco related objects, vapor products, and marijuana flavored products.   STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 952 (Cooper-43rd) Prohibits pharmacies from restricting the quantity of controlled drugs that are dispensed or to restrict the prescriber, with the exception of pharmacists using their best judgement. Corporations that own multiple pharmacies cannot take action against individuals such exclusion practices. Pharmacists who do not practice based upon ethical standards may have their license suspended, revoked, or restricted. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Special Committee on Access to Quality Health Care. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 956 (Belton-112th) Allows Georgia to enter into an interstate compact known as the “Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact” for speech-language pathologists and audiologists, allowing such professionals from other states to practice in Georgia, and vice-versa. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Regulated Industries Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 961 (Park-101st) Requires the Department of Community Health, in collaboration with the State Board of Pharmacy, to annually identify up to 15 prescription drugs on which the state expends significant health care funds for which the wholesale acquisition cost has increased by 50 percent or more over the past five years or by 15 percent or more over the past 12 months. This list will then be provided to the AG for the AG to investigate manufacturers’ explanation for a rise in cost. The AG will collaborate with DCH to produce a report on the findings to the General Assembly and post it online. Information released to the public cannot compromise financial, competitive, or proprietary nature of the information. STATUS: House Insurance Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 963 (Gilliard-162nd) Creates the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired to serve as the principal entity of the state to advocate on behalf of people who are blind or visually impaired so that they have access from cradle to grave to quality services to achieve the most positive outcomes. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 981 (Mitchell-88th) Bans use of electronic smoking devices and vaping in public places and defines these devices with exceptions for medical devices regulated by the Food & Drug Administration. The bill increases the age of purchase of tobacco and vaping products to 21 and adds vaping to definitions of retailers, smoking areas, and secondhand smoke. Smoking and vaping are banned from all enclosed places of employment and such ban should be communicated with all employees. The bill further removes international airports from the list of places exempted from indoor smoking/vaping, but adds manufacturers, retailers, and vapor product storage facilities to the list of exempted places. Public places should post signs either saying “No Smoking” or “No Vaping” in words, or with symbols in the case of international airports. STATUS: House Governmental Affairs Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 989 (Park-101st) Creates an advisory working group to review tools and protocols for the screening of children for trauma within the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment Program. STATUS: House Health & Human Services Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1013 (Buckner-137th) Expands eligibility for adults to enroll in PeachCare who are below 133% the federal poverty level. The program shall include coverage of the essential health benefits outlined in the Affordable Care Act and extend maternal and newborn care benefits to a year after birth. Those with income less than 100% the FPL won’t pay premiums. The bill also bans work requirements. STATUS: House Special Committee on Access to Quality Health Care. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1024 (Newton-123rd) Allows for freestanding emergency departments that (1) operate under an affiliate hospital’s license that is within 35 miles, (2) complies with the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, (3) operates 24/7, (4) provides care to Medicaid and Medicare recipients, and (5) is not located within 3 miles of another hospital-based emergency department. The bill also increases bed capacity specifically designated for use by patients in need of behavioral health or developmental disabilities services. STATUS: House Special Committee on Access to Quality Health Care. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1060 (Ehrhart-36th) Makes it a felony for any licensed medical professional to provide a minor with treatments including use of puberty suppressants, hormone therapy, and enumerated surgical procedures (e.g., mastectomy, vasectomy, hysterectomy). Violation would subject the licensed medical professional to a prison term of 1-10 years and revocation of their medical license. STATUS: House Health & Human Services Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1063 (Park-101st) Prevents a Medicaid recipient who is a dual enrollee in Medicare from being terminated from enrollment in Medicaid unless a manual review verifies his/her status. The manual review must include an actual determination of whether or not an individual is eligible to receive services as a dual enrollee. The bill also states that a dual enrollee’s Medicaid coverage shall not be terminated based only on the enrollee’s inadvertent failure to renew or to complete an administrative requirement. STATUS: House Health & Human Services Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1064 (Jackson-64th) Raises the age for tobacco or vaping product purchase to 21. STATUS: House Regulated Industries Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1079 (Schofield-60th) Expands Medicaid to cover adult individuals who live at or below 138% of the federal poverty level.   STATUS: House Special Committee on Access to Quality Health Care. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1105 (Newton-123rd) “Patient Protection Through Health Information Exchange Act” – In order to maintain a certificate of need, the bill requires hospitals to participate in a survey disclosing whether such hospitals maintain technology allowing the electronic sharing of certain patient information with other hospitals, and requires the Department of Community Health to collect the survey results and submit a report to the legislature. STATUS: House Special Committee on Access to Quality Health Care. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1113 (Barton-5th) Expands the tax credit for rural physicians to dentists, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants and increases the amount of the tax credit from $5000 to $10,000 and the number of years it can be claimed from 5 years to 10 years. The bill also eliminates the restriction relating to returning to practice in a rural county. STATUS: House Ways and Means Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1128 (Park-101st) Allows the Insurance Commissioner to audit end enforce penalties against pharmacy benefits managers. The bill also sets the lowest allowable drug pricing at NADAC averages plus a $10.49 dispensing fee. The bill also reinforces ‘steering’ language to ban PBMs from reimbursing their own or affiliate pharmacies at higher rates and banning patients from using other pharmacies. The Commissioner also shall create a PBM network for patients that will provide for access within a reasonable distance from their home. PBMs shall publish a report on accessibility and failing to do so will result in suspension or revocation of PBM licenses by the Commissioner. PBMs must notify patients of any conflict of interest that interferes with the PBMs ability to act in the patient’s best interest. PBMs also may not reimburse at a lower rate to 340B entities, or those with plans participating in federal drug discount plans. PBMs contracted with state health plans also must publish quarterly reports through 2022 covering dispensing fees, copays, drug reimbursement, and the amount charged to the pan sponsor for each claim. A report using aggregated data shall be provided to the Governor and the General Assembly. STATUS: House Special Committee on Access to Quality Health Care. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1151 (Schofield-60th) “Health Benefit Plan Network Access and Adequacy Act” – Requires health insurers to maintain a network that is sufficient in numbers and appropriate types of providers, including those that serve predominantly low-income, medically underserved individuals, to assure that all covered services to covered persons, including children and adults, will be accessible without unreasonable travel or delay. STATUS: House Insurance Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1153 (Schofield-60th) Mandates that short-term health insurance policies include all essential health benefits required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (except for pediatric vision and dental coverage), limits such policies to 181 days, and requires that such plans provide visible notice that coverage does not meet federal requirements to qualify as minimum essential coverage under the ACA. The bill prohibits short-term health insurance policies from excluding persons with pre-existing conditions. STATUS: House Special Committee on Access to Quality Health Care. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HR 1280 (Dempsey-13th) Creates the Joint Study Committee on Childhood Lead Exposure. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Health & Human Services Committee. The bill now rests in Senate Rules Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 101 (Beach-21st) Requires volunteer coaches with youth athletic associations to undergo training to reduce the likelihood of injuries to youth athletes engaged in high risk athletics (e.g.  any organized sport in which there is a significant possibility for a youth athlete to sustain a serious physical injury, including, but not limited to, the sports of football, basketball, baseball, volleyball, soccer, ice or field hockey, cheerleading, and lacrosse. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Education and Youth Committee. THE SENATE TABLED THE BILL AND THEREFORE THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 226 (Robertson-29th) Requires all occupants of a passenger vehicle, whether in a front seat or back seat, be restrained by a seat safety belt. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Public Safety Committee. THE SENATE TABLED THE BILL AND THEREFORE THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 298 (Unterman-45th) Prohibits sale or distribution of cigarettes, tobacco, tobacco related objects, and vapor products (including those that do not contain nicotine) to individuals under the age of 21. The bill also prohibits the use of labeling or packaging made to be attractive to minors. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 339 (Harrell-40th) Creates the ‘Georgia Reliable Insurance Network (GRIN)’ or ‘network’ within DCH.  It is a Medicaid public option network created to provide health care coverage to persons not otherwise eligible for Medicare, Medicaid, or PeachCare for Kids and funded by premiums assessed on enrollees. STATUS: Senate Appropriations Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 348 (Kirkpatrick-32nd) Sets standards for the number of providers that a health insurer contracts with, coverage standards, and how members can find provider lists. Provider adequacy is to be assessed by the Insurance Commissioner based on a variety of measures. Plans will be judged as either ‘adequate’ or ‘unsatisfactory,’ which comes with recommendations for revising the plan to receive a satisfactory judgement by the Commissioner. A designation of ‘unsatisfactory’ does not appear to impede the insurer from offering the plan. STATUS: Senate Insurance and Labor Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 350 (James-35th) Requires that female-designated restrooms in state properties provide free feminine hygiene products. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate State Institutions and Property Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 376 (Jordan-6th) Limits cost sharing for those covered by health insurance to paying no more than $100 per 30-day supply of insulin. This $100 cap could be incurred through copays, deductibles, or coinsurance, but not insurance premiums. STATUS: Senate Insurance and Labor Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 383 (Davenport-44th) Creates the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired to serve as the principal entity of the state to advocate on behalf of people who are blind or visually impaired so that they have access from cradle to grave to quality services to achieve the most positive outcomes. STATUS: Senate Health and Human Services Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 458 (Tippins-37th) Expands the use of speed detection devices in school and college campus zones and requires the posting of signage that such devices are in use. STATUS: Senate Public Safety Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 479 (Martin-9th) Prohibits the use of a stand-alone electronic device or wireless telecommunications device by persons under 18 years of age while operating a motor vehicle. The bill also states any violation is a misdemeanor and punishable by a fine of not less than $25.00 but not greater than $100.00. STATUS: Senate Public Safety Committee. TABLED BY SENATE AND THEREFORE THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1007 (Douglas-78th) Requires volunteer coaches with youth athletic associations that serve children under 15 years old to undergo training to reduce the likelihood of injuries to youth athletes engaged in high risk athletics. STATUS: House Health & Human Services Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 577 (Cannon-58th) The “Working for Two Act” – Requires accommodations in the workplace for pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions. The bill requires the Commissioner of Labor to promulgate rules and regulations regarding such and gives the department the power to assess a civil penalty of up to $1,000.00 for each act of misconduct, but limits the cumulative fine to $5,000.00 . STATUS: House Health & Human Services Committee.

HB 693 (Shannon-84th) Requires the Department of Community Health to allow mothers giving birth to newborns to retain Medicaid eligibility for one year following such birth. STATUS: House Appropriations Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 717 (Mathiak-73rd) “Georgia Licensed Midwife Act” – Allows for the licensure and regulation of midwives. People 18 years and older apply for licensure. Before performing midwifery services to a client, a licensed midwife shall provide (in a language that is understandable to the client)  a written disclosure containing information regarding the midwife’s professional standing and other such practical information (e.g. regarding licensure and training, fees and method of billing, and whether the midwife has liability insurance). Licensed midwives may seek consultation with a licensed physician or certified nurse midwife. The midwife is permitted to order prenatal, postpartum, and well-woman laboratory analyses, obstetric ultrasounds; administer prescription drugs prescribed by a licensed physician or other authorized health care professional; and precept apprentices and student midwives and supervise midwifery assistants. The bill also creates the Advisory Board for Licensed Midwives, which would have six members, all appointed by the governor. The bill also states that any health insurance policy, including Medicaid, that covers maternity care shall not deny coverage provided by a licensed midwife in any setting and shall reimburse at the same rate as for other providers. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 745 (Thomas-56th) “Georgia Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Act” – Requires perinatal facilities to implement evidence based implicit bias programs for its health care professionals and the compilation and tracking of data on severe maternal morbidity and pregnancy-related deaths. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 746 (Kendrick-93rd) Allows individuals who plan to receive an abortion to opt out of receiving informational materials regarding the fetus, including fetal images or the sound of a heartbeat. The physician or the office who is to perform the abortion shall document this decision in the patient’s medical record for at least three years. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 800 (Scott-76th) Allows any licensed out-of-state obstetrical/gynecological provider within 50 miles of the Georgia border to be considered an in-state provider so long as the health care provider is licensed in good standing in the bordering state. These providers would receive the same Medicaid rate as others like Georgia providers. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 881 (Cooper-43rd) Authorizes the leaving of a newborn child (no more than 30 days old) with an ambulance service or in a newborn safety incubator and sets standards for newborn safety incubators. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Referred to the Senate Committee on Assignments.

HB 910 (Mathiak-73rd) Establishes licensure for midwives within the Secretary of State’s office and creates the Advisory Group for Licensed Midwives, which will advise the Secretary regarding rules and regulations pertaining to licensure, oversight and practice of midwives. STATUS: House Regulated Industries Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 958 (Setzler-35th) “The Maternity Supportive Housing Act”- Creates a mechanism in the Department of Human Services to oversee residential homes each of which could house up to six pregnant women aged 18 years or older at any one time during the woman’s pregnancy and up to 18 months after childbirth, with the condition that no other services besides housing could be provided. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Referred to the Senate Committee on Assignments.

HB 1090 (Silcox-52nd) Requires state entities and local governments to provide (To the extent reasonably possible) reasonable break time to an employee who needs to express breast milk, as well as a location to express milk and when possible, accommodations for cold storage of the milk. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Referred to the Senate Committee on Assignments.

HB 1094 (Gaines-117th) Authorizes paid parental leave for qualifying life events after six continuous months of employment with the state or if an hourly employee, after he or she has worked a minimum of 700 hours over the six-month period immediately preceding the requested paid parental leave date. Qualifying life events are the birth of a child of the employee; the placement of a minor child for adoption with the employee; or the placement of a minor child for foster care with the employee. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Insurance and Labor Committee.

HB 1114 (Cooper-43rd) Extends Medicaid coverage for lactation care and services to pregnant and lactating women and to children who are breastfeeding or receiving their mother’s milk and extends postpartum care for mothers for a period of six months following the date the woman gives birth. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

HR 1248 (Clark-108th) Creates the House Study Committee on Infant and Maternal Mortality Among African Americans.   STATUS: House Health & Human Services Committee.

SB 306 (Seay-34th) Allows Georgia to enter into an interstate compact known as the “Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact” for speech-language pathologists and audiologists, allowing such professionals from other states to practice in Georgia, and vice-versa. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Health and Human Services Committee.

SB 307 (Unterman-45th) “The Living Hope Home Act”- Creates a mechanism in the Department of Human Services to oversee residential homes each of which could house up to six pregnant women aged 18 years or older at any one time during the woman’s pregnancy and up to 18 months after childbirth, with the condition that no other services besides housing could be provided. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Health and Human Services Committee.

SB 327 (Karinshak-48th) Requires employers to provide reasonable break time to an employee who needs to express breast milk for her nursing child, and not to reduce her pay as a result of that time taken. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Health and Human Services Committee.

SB 354 (Parent-42nd) Includes participation in a four-year degree program as a state approved activity for purposes of the Georgia Childcare and Parent Services program (CAPS). STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1 (Petrea-166th) Changes the name of the ‘Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Act” to the “Senator Eric Johnson Scholarship Act”. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 263 (Stovall-74th) Allows a parent or guardian to enroll a student in a school using the address of an individual residing in the school’s attendance zone who has approved such use.  The bill prohibits the parent or guardian from paying or providing any other valuable consideration to the individual for the use of the individual’s address, with the exception that a parent or guardian may reimburse for expenses incurred by the resident in the care of the student. STATUS: House Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 444 (Reeves-34th) Changes the name of the “Move on When Ready Act” to the “Dual Enrollment Act” and limits the eligibility for dual enrollment for high schoolers in Georgia based on courses, credit hours, and grades in which students can participate. Under the bill, only courses such as English, math, science, social studies, a foreign language, or CTAE (career, technical, and agricultural education) are eligible for dual enrollment credit. The bill limits (with exceptions) funding to up to 30 credit hours per student and limits dual enrollment to entering or enrolled 11th or 12th grade students. Students are also limited to retaking two courses, in the case of withdrawal or failure, except in the case of extenuating circumstances. Participating high schools are also subject to increased oversight by the Georgia Student Finance Commission. Schools must enter into the participation agreement that outlines the school’s financial obligation to cover tuition, fees, and books for students and provide enrollment data to the Office of Planning and Budget. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. PASSED SENATE, changes agreed to by HOUSE. The bill now goes to the Governor for his consideration.

HB 476 (Stovall-74th) Mandates that child entertainer students performing during one or more school days shall not be counted absent from school. STATUS: House Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 736 (Belton-112th) Establishes a tax credit of $3000/year for up to 5 years for teachers who agree to teach in a turnaround school in a high demand subject area (primarily STEM). STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Referred to the Senate Committee on Assignments.

HB 741 (Belton-112th) Requires in each turnaround school to retain or designate a master teacher to provide support and mentoring for teachers therein in order for the school to sustain its teacher development efforts and ensure teachers continue to improve in their practices. STATUS: House Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 755 (Belton-112th) Requires school districts to provide an allotment sheet itemizing the state, federal, and local allocations to any local charters by July 1st each year. If the allocation has to be adjusted, the local board must give the charter 30 days’ notice before making the adjustment. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Education and Youth Committee.

HB 764 (Jones-25th) Permits unused state facilities to be made available for use by local charter schools and state charter schools. STATUS: House Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 783 (Thomas-39th) Raises the age of mandatory education for children from 16 to 17. STATUS: House Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 784 (Lumsden-12th) Excludes meetings of a local board of education to discuss, vote upon, review, or assess school safety plans from open meetings laws. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by House Government Affairs Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 840 (Wiedower-119th) Requires biennial review of nonpublic postsecondary educational institutions rather than programs. STATUS: House Higher Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 845 (Glanton-75th) Increases compensation for certified elementary and secondary special education teachers. STATUS: House Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 880 (Glanton-75th) Creates a pilot program to plan, implement, and improve sustainable community schools, including but not limited to schools with whole child model school plans (e.g. school plans which  have been appropriately developed to promote and implement effective coordination of wraparound services and supports for the school and provide for processes to actively engage community partners. STATUS: House Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 892 (Moore-95th) Requires the Department of Education to update its model bullying policy to include a procedure for determining whether a bullying incident must be reported to law enforcement, for referring a victim of bullying for counseling, and for training teachers annually on bullying prevention. STATUS: House Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 896 (Trammell-132nd) Grants in-state tuition to all students who attended Georgia high schools for at least three years. Students without lawful immigration status have to file an affidavit with the institution that they have submitted an application to legalize their immigration status. This information cannot be shared with law enforcement agencies. STATUS: House Higher Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 898 (Wilensky-79th) Allows counties and municipalities to consider the effect of a proposed zoning action on local school systems and the potential overcrowding of schools within such local school systems. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Governmental Affairs Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 908 (Smith-41st) Each local school system shall post in a prominent location on its website the information relating to enrollment of students in school to which they are not originally assigned. The posting must include all relevant dates and deadlines. STATUS: House Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 920 (Clark-98th) Allows students who are undocumented for federal immigration purposes, to be eligible for waivers of out-of-state tuition and fees if he/she has attended a secondary school in this state for three consecutive years immediately before graduating from a georgia high school; applied for enrollment in a Georgia postsecondary educational institution within 24 months after high school graduation; and submitted an official transcript verifying his/her attendance record and graduation from a Georgia high school. STATUS: House Higher Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 939 (Carson-46th) Removes the sunset clause on Georgia’s tax credit for private school voucher program. STATUS: House Ways and Means Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 940 (Kinnard-102nd) Requires mandatory pre-kindergarten and kindergarten for all children prior to entering into first grade and lowers the age of compulsory school attendance from six years old to four years old. STATUS: House Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 957 (Jones-47th) Changes charter school law to include charter school teachers in the health insurance fund for public school teachers; require proof of residency either at the time of application or enrollment; extend the terms of members appointed to the State Charter Schools Commission; provide for ownership and handling of student records by state charter schools; and revise the deadline for the virtual school performance audit. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Education and Youth Committee.

HB 997 (Carpenter-4th) Requires students other than nonimmigrant aliens as defined in federal law to be classified as in-state for tuition purposes if the student has graduated from a Georgia High School or gotten a Georgia GED; has established and maintained domicile in the State of Georgia for four years immediately preceding the first day of classes for the term; has been physically present in the United States since on or before his or her twelfth birthday; and has not reached the age of 30 years at the time of enrollment application. STATUS: House Higher Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1001 (Stovall-74th) Requires the placement of video monitoring cameras and equipment in all self-contained classrooms where students receive special education and related services under the eligibility categories of significant speech and language impairment, particularly nonverbal; severe intellectual disability; or profound intellectual disability. STATUS: House Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1023 (Dreyer-59th) Waives fees for students who serve full time or part time as graduate teaching or research assistants at units of the University System of Georgia. STATUS: House Higher Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1026 (Dickey-140th) Revises the number of REACH scholars for participating school systems from 12 to 8 for systems with five or more high schools and from 7 to 5 for systems with less than five high schools. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Referred to the Senate Committee on Assignments.

HB 1031 (Evans-83rd) Prevents utilities from recovering finance costs from public schools. STATUS: House Energy, Utilities, and Telecommunications Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1041 (Mathiak-73rd) Increases the penalties for schools regarding distribution of harmful materials to minors. The bill requires oversight by the State Board of Education in prescribing preventive measures for distribution of harmful materials to minors and establishes a review committee, and minimum standards for filtering content of online materials that are harmful to minors. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1055 (Jasperse-11th) Allows home study students to participate in extracurricular and interscholastic activities in the student’s resident public school system. STATUS: House Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1056 (Smith-41st) Allows a teacher who has accepted a certain number of consecutive school year contracts and who receives certain annual performance ratings to request a new evaluator for the following school year. STATUS: House Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1059 (Ehrhart-36th) Revises eligibility for the Special Needs Scholarship by adding physical or mental impairment or a record of such an impairment to the list of qualifying conditions and allows students adopted or placed in a permanent guardianship from foster care to be considered for eligibility. The bill extends the prior school year attendance requirement to cover pre-school special education. STATUS: House Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1084 (Cheokas-138th) Creates the Georgia Endowment for Teaching Professionals to foster a public-private partnership for support of postsecondary teaching professionals for USG and TCSG in high demand courses, subjects, and disciplines. Among other things, the purpose of the Endowment is to support the efforts of the Georgia Research Alliance in the advancement of education and economic development, to support through education the efforts of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, and to support the improvement of public postsecondary education in Georgia through the identification of key courses, subjects, and disciplines in demand for the development of business and industry. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Referred to the Senate Committee on Assignments.

HB 1085 (Dempsey-13th) Expands the definition of “approved school” regarding tuition equalization grants at private colleges and universities. STATUS: House Higher Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1091 (Clark-98th) Requires all students attending secondary schools that receive state funds to complete and pass a separate semester course focused solely on economics and personal finance. STATUS: House Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1095 (Erwin-28th) Prohibits a teacher who receives in two consecutive school years any combination of two unsatisfactory, ineffective, or needs development annual summative performance evaluations from receiving a renewable certificate from the Professional Standards Commission, but allows such a teacher to request a new evaluator for the following school year. STATUS: House Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1106 (Glanton-75th) Creates a certification program for whole child model schools in order to promote and ensure effective coordination of wraparound services and supports for the school and provide for processes to actively engage community partners. STATUS: House Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HR 893 (Scott-76th) Constitutional Amendment – Allows 16-year-olds to vote in school district elections and elections affecting school funding. STATUS: House Governmental Affairs Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HR 1249 (Kausche-50th) Creates the House Study Committee on Increasing Access to Pre-K and After-School Programs. STATUS: House Education Committee.

HR 1410 (Davis-87th) Constitutional Amendment – Waives the state’s defense of sovereign immunity regarding actions of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and makes the board subject to an oversight panel. STATUS: House Higher Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 102 (Jones-10th) Creates the “Unlocking the Promise (UP) Community Schools Program,” a grant program that would serve as comprehensive service delivery centers offering academic, health care, and community involvement programs in addition to existing classroom instruction. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Education Committee.

SB 276 (Jackson-2nd) Requires that the Technical College System of Georgia classify certain active duty service members as in-state for tuition purposes. STATUS: Senate Higher Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 282 (Beach-21st) Requires University System of Georgia designated research universities to ensure that at least 90% of early action admissions are offered to Georgia resident students. STATUS: Senate Higher Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 318 (Ligon-3rd) Prevents the creation of “free speech zones” at public institutions of higher education and requires such institutions to develop materials, programs, and procedures related to expressive activity. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Higher Education Committee.

SB 343 (Jackson-2nd) Raises the age of mandatory education for children from 16 to 17. STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 367 (Martin-9th) Reduces number of end of course (tests) which must be given in high school from 8 tests to 4 tests.  The bill also moves the writing assessment from grade 11 to 12; the testing window for elementary schools to within 25 school days of the last day of school in a term; and requires the GaDOE to set the high school testing window. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Education Committee. The bill will be heard in committee this WEDNESDAY.

SB 386 (Unterman-45th) Expands the Special Needs Scholarship program eligibility to all students who have a Section 504 Plan as well as those who have been adopted or placed in permanent guardianship from foster care. The bill also eliminates the mandate that the State Board of Education report the number of students who seek a waiver from the public school attendance requirement to the General Assembly. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Education Committee.

SB 398 (Harrell-40th) Prohibits the assignment of graded homework for students in grades kindergarten through two, with exceptions made, as deemed appropriate by the local school system. For students who do have graded homework, the bill states that if a student’s failure to complete or turn in a homework assignment will have any negative impact on the student’s overall grade in the course, result in disciplinary consequences, a reduced time for recess or other noninstructional activities, or reduced privileges, then the homework shall be deemed graded. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Education and Youth Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 400 (Parent-42nd) Requires the Office of Student Achievement to establish objectives and participation targets for the Move On When Ready program (also referred to as “Dual Enrollment”). STATUS: Senate Higher Education Committee. THE BILL WAS TABLED BY THE SENATE AND THEREFORE THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 403 (Jones-25th) Allows for the lottery game of sports wagering in this state to be overseen by the Georgia Lottery Corporation and its board of directors, and creates the Georgia Mobile Sports Wagering Integrity Commission. Proceeds of the game would be used for improvements and enhancements for educational purposes and programs that support school technology grants and pre-kindergarten funding. STATUS: Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 404 (Dolezal-27th) Allows local boards of education in a high growth school system to impose, levy, and collect educational development impact fees within any area of its school system which has had enrollment growth of at least 15 percent over the preceding five-year period. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Education and Youth Committee. THE SENATE TABLED THE BILL AND THEREFORE THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 416 (Mullis-53rd) Changes the name of the Office of College and Career Transitions to the Office of College and Career Academies, and directs the commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia to appoint a director of academies, and goes on to direct the office to work with TCSG, the State Workforce Development Board, and the Department of Economic Development to support efforts to recruit new industries and to expand existing industries by demonstrating the preparation of technically skilled high school graduates. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Education Committee.

SB 421 (Jones-10th) Creates a certification program for sustainable whole child model schools and a grant for pilot programs to plan, implement, and improve sustainable whole child model schools. STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 430 (Ligon-3rd) Allows home study students and private school students to enroll in one or more courses at a college and career academy within the student’s resident school system, so long as space is available in such course or courses. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Education Committee.

SB 431 (Wilkinson-50th) Defines ‘on-time graduation rate’ as the graduation rate of the four-year cohort of students that attend a school continuously from October 1 of the calendar year four years prior to the calendar year of the regular date of graduation of that cohort and graduate on or before that regular date of graduation. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Education Committee.

SB 440 (Thompson-14th) Creates a statewide charter school for individuals between ages 21 and 35 who have not attained a high school diploma or a GED. STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 447 (Martin-9th) Defines an array of terminology associated with work-based learning, internship and apprenticeship. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Education Committee.

SB 456 (Harrell-40th) Requires tuition, fees, and other charges for part-time students of the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia to be charged at a per credit hour rate. STATUS: Senate Higher Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 457 (Orrock-36th) Mandates fee waiver for students who serve full time or part time as graduate teaching or research assistants at units of the University System of Georgia. STATUS: Senate Higher Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 465 (Harrell-40th) Establishes definition and criteria for temporary classrooms and requires a written plan for converting the temporary classroom into a permanent classroom within five years (for each temporary classroom that is in use at any public school of this state as of July 1 ,2020). STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 466 (Martin-9th) Removes the needs improvement rating from the group of performance evaluation ratings which may adversely impact an educator’s ability to obtain a renewable certificate from the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.  The bill also establishes a pilot program of at least ten local school systems to try a personnel evaluation system as an alternative to the current evaluation system. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Education Committee.

SB 486 (Martin-9th) Requires administration of either the SAT or the ACT to all public school students in grade 11 and requires the Department of Education to coordinate with local school superintendents regarding the timing of test administration and students transitioning to and from the Department of Juvenile Justice. The policy is contingent upon appropriations by the General Assembly. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Education and Youth Committee. THE SENATE TABLED THE BILL AND THEREFORE THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 505 (Mullis-53rd) Requires public school instruction for 9-12 grades on the Bill of Rights to include content related to the following: the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution and had origins in rationalism, empiricism, and religious texts, including, but not limited to, the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament of the Bible. STATUS: Senate Hopper. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SR 87 (Parent-42nd) Creates the Senate Study Committee on Digital Education and Screen Time in Georgia Public Schools. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by Senate Rules Committee.

SR 521 (Jackson-2nd) Creates the Senate Study Committee on Creating an Agricultural and Mechanical University System.   STATUS: Senate Rules Committee.

SR 776 (Dolezal-27th) Constitutional Amendment to accompany SB 404 regarding development impact fees for education. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Education and Youth Committee. THE SENATE TABLED THE BILL AND THEREFORE THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SR 833 (Martin-9th) Creates the Joint Study Committee on Preparing Our Future Workforce. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Education Committee.

HB 230 (Holcomb-81st) Allows the creation of benefit corporations in Georgia. (FYI, For regular corporations have a primary legal obligation to make money for their shareholders, meaning that they could land in legal trouble for too much charitable giving.) Benefit corporations are able to have a wholistic mission that includes both making money for shareholders and giving back to the community (think Tom’s shoes or Bomba’s socks). This is a relatively new form of business, so HB 230 is allowing them to be created in Georgia. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE (2019). Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill now rests in Senate Rules Committee.

HB 488 (Momtahan-17th) Increases vendor reporting requirements and penalties for theft regarding the sale and purchase of store valued cards (e.g. gift cards). The bill creates the definition of “organized retail theft”. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Referred to the Senate Committee on Assignments.

HB 720 (Sainz-180th) Clarifies that a term of probation shall follow the mandatory term of imprisonment for persons convicted of a sexual offense and establishes some criteria for risk assessment of those convicted. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Referred to the Senate Committee on Assignments.

HB 724 (Wilson-80th) Authorizes counties to adopt ordinances governing and punishing the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana in the unincorporated areas of a county. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 727 (Anulewicz-42nd) Requires domestic violence and sexual abuse awareness training to be available through continuing education for barbers and cosmetologists. STATUS: House Regulated Industries Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 743 (Mitchell-88th) Allows student athletes participating in intercollegiate athletics at postsecondary educational institutions to receive compensation for the use of his/her name, image, or likeness and allows for professional representation of such student athletes (though they must disclose representation to the university). This bill prevents universities from enforcing rules that keep student athletes from receiving certain compensation, including student athletes’ eligibility to participate in sports or receive scholarships or other financial aid. This bill is set to become effective January 1, 2023. STATUS: House Higher Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 749 (McLaurin-51st) Creates protections to preserve naturally occurring affordable housing and naturally occurring workforce housing in certain designated areas. STATUS: House Governmental Affairs Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 751 (Pullin-131st) Prohibits the enforcement of federal and other extreme risk protection orders in Georgia.  (“extreme risk protection order” means an executive order or written order or warrant issued by a federal or state court or signed by a judge or comparable officer, to prohibit a named individual from owning, possessing, or receiving a firearm). This bill preemptively states that no laws, judges, or law enforcement officials may pursue action to remove firearms from individuals without due process.   STATUS: House Judiciary Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 787 (Ballinger-23rd) Allows Georgia residents to carry a weapon in Georgia if licensed to carry in any other state. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 804 (Gilliard-162nd) Prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals with disabilities by paying less than the required minimum wage. STATUS: House Industry and Labor Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 805 (Gilliard-162nd) Changes the amount of the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour. STATUS: House Industry and Labor Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 862 (Kendrick-93rd) Establishes a one-time Cybersecurity Task Force, consisting of 11 members (six appointed by the Speaker of the House and five appointed by the Lt. Governor) as well as lawmakers, cybersecurity experts, manufacturers, ethicists, privacy experts, and a representative of GBI. The task force will make recommendations on a variety of topics including privacy protection for all data collected or shared, actions for the General Assembly, and strategies for encouraging investment in better security measures. The task force will deliver a final report by January 2022. STATUS: House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 890 (Watson-172nd) Allows driver license revocation notices to be sent via regular mail (as opposed to certified mail). STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Motor Vehicles Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 914 (Clark-147th) Allows military spouses licensed in other states to practice certain professions and occupations to obtain a license by endorsement to practice in Georgia. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Veterans, Military, and Homeland Security Committee.

HB 916 (Beasley-Teague-65th) Repeals the imposition of the death penalty. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 941 (Efstration-104th) Gives the Attorney General the authority to employ peace officers. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 960 (Hutchinson-107th) Changes general provisions regarding law enforcement officers and agencies, and jails, so as to revise terminology referring to persons who are noncitizens and present in the United States without official documentation from “illegal alien” to “undocumented person”. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 969 (Efstration-104th) Amends existing Georgia code in order to allow Georgia to be certified by the Fair Housing Assistance Program. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee where it was voted on during prior to resumption of the session and recommended Do Pass. This vote will likely be officially ratified once the session resumes.

HB 983 (Williams-145th) Allows a sexual offender who is in a state or privately operated hospice facility, skilled nursing home, or residential health care facility, with the approval of the sheriff of the county where such sexual offender resides, to satisfy the annual registration requirements by registering at any time during the sexual offender’s month of birth and removes the requirement that a sexual offender who resides in a such, be fingerprinted. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee where it was voted on during prior to resumption of the session and recommended Do Pass. This vote will likely be officially ratified once the session resumes.

HB 995 (Bonner-72nd) “Forming Open and Robust University Minds (FORUM) Act” – Prevents the creation of “free speech zones” at public institutions of higher education, deeming unrestricted outdoor areas of campuses of public institutions of higher education to be public forums for the campus community. STATUS: House Higher Education Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1010 (Schofield-60th) Prohibits discrimination in housing, education, and employment on the basis of hairstyle. STATUS: House Industry and Labor Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1017 (LaRiccia-169th) Revises when dependents qualify for a payment of indemnification for death suffered in the line of duty by a law enforcement officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, emergency management specialist, state highway employee, or prison guard under the Georgia State Indemnification Fund, by adding surviving children who are under the age of 19 or, if a student enrolled in an institution of postsecondary education at the time of such death, under the age of 24. The bill also states that in case of an organic brain damage suffered in the line of duty, such awards would go to the legal guardian of the organically brain damaged person. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Referred to the Senate Committee on Assignments.

HB 1022 (Cooper-43rd) Provides a tenant a 7-day right to make amends before an eviction may be filed. STATUS: House Judiciary Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1083 (Petrea-166th) Requires the reporting by public safety officials regarding undocumented individuals in their custody to United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1108 (Burchette-176th) Clarifies and revises procedures and requirements for the payment of certain gross settlements involving minors’ claims. STATUS: House Special Committee on Access to Quality Health Care. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

HB 1128 (Park-101st) Allows the Insurance Commissioner to audit end enforce penalties against pharmacy benefits managers. The bill also sets the lowest allowable drug pricing at NADAC averages plus a $10.49 dispensing fee. The bill also reinforces ‘steering’ language to ban PBMs from reimbursing their own or affiliate pharmacies at higher rates and banning patients from using other pharmacies. The Commissioner also shall create a PBM network for patients that will provide for access within a reasonable distance from their home. PBMs shall publish a report on accessibility and failing to do so will result in suspension or revocation of PBM licenses by the Commissioner. PBMs must notify patients of any conflict of interest that interferes with the PBMs ability to act in the patient’s best interest. PBMs also may not reimburse at a lower rate to 340B entities, or those with plans participating in federal drug discount plans. PBMs contracted with state health plans also must publish quarterly reports through 2022 covering dispensing fees, copays, drug reimbursement, and the amount charged to the pan sponsor for each claim. A report using aggregated data shall be provided to the Governor and the General Assembly. STATUS: House Special Committee on Access to Quality Health Care. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 84 (Kirk-13th) Removes the fee for the issuance of a renewal and temporary renewal for a weapons carry license. STATUS: Senate Public Safety Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 144 (Anderson-24th) Allows a licensed tobacco dealer to apply for a special event tobacco permit for off-premise sales of cigars, cigarettes, or loose or smokeless tobacco for a special event or a temporary location offsite from the licensed location for a period of 1-10 days. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Recommended Do Pass by the House Ways and Means Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee.

SB 286 (Anderson-43rd) Prohibits discrimination on the basis of such protective hairstyle in any program or activity conducted by an educational institution that receives, or benefits from, state financial assistance, or enrolls pupils who receive state student financial aid. It also prohibits discrimination in employment so long as the hairstyle does not impede performance of duties. STATUS: Senate Insurance and Labor Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 316 (Thompson-14th) Allows military spouses licensed in other states to practice certain professions in Georgia. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Government Affairs Committee.

SB 357 (Heath-31st) Allows places of worship to allow the carrying of weapons or long guns by individuals with a valid license in places of worship or in schools or school buses operated by the places of worship. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Judiciary Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 365 (Karinshak-48th) Establishes state regulations which are consistent with the federal Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act by requiring a state background check of criminal history and involuntary hospitalization of a potential firearms buyer or transferee. These records would be reviewed by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 366 (Karinshak-48th) Imposes background check requirements for transferring firearms. Exceptions include antiques, transferring firearms between family members, in cases of preventing imminent death or bodily harm, and hunting/target shooting. Violations result in misdemeanor for the first offense and a felony and time served for repeat offenses. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 378 (Jackson-2nd) States that no person, other than a dealer, shall manufacture any firearm in this state unless he or she has registered with the director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and received a license for such manufacture. The license issued under this Code is valid only for the firearm identified for manufacturing. The bill also requires the GBI to conduct a background check with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) prior to issuing a license. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 394 (Albers-56th) Gives the Attorney General the authority to employ peace officers. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

SB 449 (Wilkinson-50th) Allows Georgia residents to carry a weapon in Georgia if licensed to carry in any other state. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SB 455 (Beach-21st) Allows youth who turn 18 years old on or before the date of an election to vote in the preceding primary. STATUS: Senate Ethics Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SR 821 (Burke-11th) Constitutional Amendment – Provides for sports betting in this state. STATUS: Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee. THE BILL DID NOT CROSS OVER.

SR 841 (Kennedy-18th) Constitutional Amendment – Provides that the people of this state may petition the judiciary for declaratory relief from certain acts of this state or certain local governments or officers or employees thereof that violate the laws or Constitution of this state or the Constitution of the United States. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Judiciary Committee.

SR 904 (Jones-10th) Recognizes March 17, 2020, as Children’s Day at the state capitol. STATUS: Senate Read and Adopted.

2 Minute Advocacy Ask

Budgets


The “Ask”:

Call members of the Senate Appropriations Committee and ask them to preserve or reallocate funding in the FY21 budget for one or more (your choice!) of the list below.

  • Georgia’s Pre-K (We recommend using Georgia Lottery Reserves to address the reduction) Why? Numerous third-party analyses of this successful program make it clear that preserving all 84,000 slots is a key investment in the future educational success for each Pre-K student. Additionally, as the state opens up, parents will be depending on safe, educational and enriching childcare so they can return to the workforce and so their children can gain the social emotional skills needed to thrive and overcome trauma suffered as a result of the pandemic.

  • Telehealth and Telemedicine
    Why? The COVID-19-related retooling of telehealth regulations has not only provided improved access to care for children and youth who struggle with transportation, but we have heard anecdotally that the revised regulations pertaining to presentation sites and technology tools, etc. have resulted in reduced no-show rates for services related to an array of psychiatric and developmental therapies, as well as triage for non-life-threatening conditions.

  • Child Welfare Caseworkers and Eligibility Workers
    Why? In addition to the critical importance of processing SNAP and Medicaid eligibility applications in this widespread crisis, we also anticipate a significant influx of child abuse and neglect cases when children resume in-person schooling and enrichment programs where mandated reporters, such as teachers and counselors will once again engage with children and youth.

  • Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health in Various Agencies (DBHDD, DJJ, GaDOE, CJCC/Juvenile Courts)
    Why? The stress and trauma of the COVID-19 pandemic is overwhelming for not just adults, but the children they care for.  Loss of relatives, insecurity about the health and economic stability of parents and caregivers, isolation from friends, mentors, family, favorite places and activities and ongoing therapies can result in trauma, instability and mental and developmental challenges for kids.

  • The DFCS Afterschool Care Program
    Why? This program currently serves approximately 75,000 children in Georgia through 259 programs, however, the program currently faces a $5 million budget cut for FY2021. Now more than ever, we need to support working families and make sure that the children and youth of Georgia have access to high quality enrichment programming.

  • Maternal Mortality Prevention (e.g. existing funds in the Georgia Department of Public Health for Maternal Mental Health and Maternal Mortality, as well as Postpartum Medicaid as conceived in HB 1114.)

Why? Providing access to healthcare for new mothers can reduce Georgia’s maternal mortality rate and ensure better health outcomes for the babies, saving state expenses and lives in years to come.


The Details:

The governor’s revised revenue estimate for the FY2021 (FY21) budget of minus 11% for all agencies, while attempting to address concerns about Georgia’s lower-than-expected revenues, nevertheless, would result in significant limitations to many of the services, initiatives and supports that help children and families survive in tough times such as this pandemic. Strategic and thoughtful investments in children, youth and families will not only stave off disaster for many, many kids, but can also shore up our economy by guaranteeing that those who do and will make up Georgia’s workforce are physically and mentally healthy, educated, and able to reach their full potential.

The How:
Click here to contact members of the Senate Appropriations Committee.