Session 2017: Week 10
Session 2017: Week 10
Monday, March 13 marked the tenth week of our legislative session. As we draw nearer to sine die, my colleagues and I continue to work with diligence to review bills and pass them onto the floor for vote. The following important pieces were passed:
Senate Bill 85
This bill would benefit Georgia’s craft brewery and distillery industries, restricting the amount of products they can sell directly to their visitors. The present requirement only allows craft brewery and distillery industries to deliver their products to visitors via a facility tour. SB 85 would allow them to sell products both on and off the facility’s premises with a limit of 288 ounces per consumer per day for malt beverage brewers and a limit of 2,250 milliliters per consumer per day for spirit distilleries. An exception would be added to the current Georgia three-tier system, allowing direct sales from breweries rather than selling to a wholesale distributor and retailer.
Senate Bill 169
This bill was passed with overwhelming support and would create a license plate specifically designed for the support of law enforcement officers. The license plate would contain the phrase “Back the Badge” and would be sold to the public. All proceeds would go to the Peace Officers’ Annuity and Benefit Fund of Georgia that provides retirement help and pension benefits to peace officers and retired law enforcement officers. This bill would allow the public to support and thank their law enforcement officers who put their lives in danger for Georgia citizens every day.
Senate Bill 96
Passed with unanimous support, this bill would allow a larger amount of non-physician medical personnel to determine or pronounce a death that seems to be of natural causes in a nursing home or hospice, regardless of the organ donor’s status. Medical personnel like registered professional nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants would be allowed to pronounce death if no medical practitioner can be found on the premises due to absence. Timely organ donation is essential to maintaining the usability of the organ upon extraction from the deceased.
Senate Bill 47
This bill would allow out-of-state physicians, physician assistants, and athletic trainers to provide care to the sports team and coaching staff during a Georgia game if permitted to do so by the sports team. All physicians must have licensure in another state; however, they will not be permitted to provide care of consultation to Georgia residents, practice at any Georgia health care facility, or write prescriptions while in Georgia.
Senate Bill 109
With the creation of the Recognition of Emergency Medical Services Personnel Licensure Interstate Compact (REPLICA), this bill would allow EMS services to provide care to Georgia citizens in the event of an emergency declared directly by the governor. This bill would also advocate for the licensure of military members and their spouses seeking a separation from active duty, encourage the adherence to EMS personnel laws in member states, and allow the reciprocal recognition of member states to member state licenses. Additionally, it would promote member state cooperation and expedite information exchange between EMS personnel licensure and rules between member states. The compact enaction of 10 more states is required for this to become fully operational. This bill was created with Georgia’s most recent tragic crises in mind, including recent forest fires, hurricanes, and tornadoes.
Senate Resolution 152
Yet another bill passed with overwhelming support, this bill would benefit Georgia water supply with the creation of the Joint House and Senate Study Committee on Stream Buffers to evaluate current data on stream buffers, which are strips of natural vegetation that separate water from land property. This committee would also be responsible for maintaining and/or discovering a balance between water protection and property privacy rights in relation to their stream buffers.
Senate Resolution 224
With the creation of a different committee, the Joint House and Study Committee on Storm-Water Management Fees, this bill would attempt to improve the practices of storm water collection and disposal fees. Presently, storm-water management plans are in place in local Georgia governments but they unfairly charge private property owners; therefore, the committee would be responsible for protecting water quality, creating meetings, and filing a report for legislative solutions by December 31, 2017.
House Bill 146
This bill was one of the first to receive final approval by both chambers of the General Assembly and would make Georgia fire departments provide insurance coverage to their firefighters who are suffering from cancer. Firefighters are exposed to more carcinogens than the general population, so this bill would attempt compensation for their life-risking work. This bill was passed with overwhelming support on to the Governor Deal’s desk for final consideration.
Conclusively, the House honored some of its deserving citizens on Tuesday, March 14, also known as National Guard Day at the Capitol. Adjutant General Joe Jarrard and members of the Georgia National Guard were recognized with House Resolution 173, praising the Georgia Department of Defense’s 10,908 Army National Guard Soldiers, 2,896 Air National Guard Airmen and 509 State Defense Force members. By acting as ready military forces, supporting homeland defense, and providing civil authorities with defense support consented by the governor, these men and women proudly serve the U.S Department of Defense. As the eighth largest National Guard in the country, Georgia’s National Guard are deserving of appreciation and honor.
As we draw nearer to the last days of the 2017 session, I hope you will reach out to me if you have
any questions on bills that may be up for consideration during these final weeks. As your
representative, your thoughts and opinions on these important issues are essential to my decision-making process, and I appreciate your input and am happy to answer your questions.
You are always welcome to stop by my office located at your 228-A State Capitol Atlanta, GA 30334, and you can reach me at my Capitol office phone number, which is (404) 656-5099, or by email at email@example.com.
You can learn more about me on my Facebook page. Visit www.house.ga.gov to livestream House proceedings, to view both live and archived committee meetings and to review legislation that my colleagues and I are considering.
Stay up-to-date on the current legislative session and check back here next week. Thank you for allowing me to serve as your representative!
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