The General Assembly met on Tuesday, Feb. 7, for our 13th day of the 40-day legislative session. Committees have been very busy hearing bills with some passing out of the Senate and moving on to the House for their consideration.
Two special occasions were recognized last week. On Thursday, Feb. 9, we recognized February 9, 2017 as Stop Violence Against Women Day, and on Friday, Feb. 10, we recognized Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz on his recent selection to the Baseball Hall of Fame's 2017 inductees.
The House and the Senate neared agreement on the 2017 Amended Budget after the Senate passed HB 43, the amended FY 2017 budget 53-1. Leaders look to resolve differences and we expect the House to agree to final passage by the end of this week.
SB 4 – Established the Georgia Mental Health Treatment Task Force to develop applications for a Medicaid waiver and block grant funding and to prohibit the submission of a mental health Medicaid waiver application without legislative approval. The Bill provides, among other things, for the task force to assess whether the current Medicaid program provides adequate and effective mental health care services, to determine the impact on the state's hospitals, emergency rooms, law enforcement, prisons and related institutions and services resulting from a lack of treatment of those with mental illness and substance abuse disorders, to assess which services and practices work best to prevent further deterioration supportive housing, crisis stabilization programs, community residential rehabilitation, assertive community treatment services, telemedicine and addiction treatment programs and to determine what policy changes may be necessary for the state to provide quality medical care for our citizens suffering from mental illness and substance abuse disorders.
SB 12 – The purpose of this legislation is to increase access to preventative dental care for the under-served population across Georgia. This legislation was fully supported by members of the Georgia Dental Association and the Georgia Hygienists Association.
As your senator, I am honored to serve on the following committees: Chairman of the consolidated Judiciary, Appropriations, Banks and Banking, Education and Youth and Ethics Committees.
I want to hear from you! Please feel free to share your thoughts, questions or concerns with me at any time. My phone number is 404.463.1314, or you can email me or visit me at my capitol office, which is located at 325-A Coverdell Office Building. Please follow me for updates on Facebook.