10:00am House Session
10:00am Senate Session
House Rules Committee
State lawmakers recently tabled legislation that would have created a federally-mandated state health care exchange. That leaves Georgia with some unused cash. Georgia received a $1 million grant from the federal government to create a state healthcare exchange. Forming the exchange is mandatory for all states under Pres. Obama’s healthcare reform law.
Georgia’s unemployment rate has been hovering around 10 percent for over a year. Creating jobs was a much talked about issue during last fall's election. Although no jobs creation bills have been taken up this year, if you ask Republican leadership under the gold dome about the issue, they’ll tell you the session isn’t over yet.
Census Bureau data show Georgia's total state government tax collections dropped about 8 percent in fiscal year 2010. Georgia collected about $14.8 billion in taxes in fiscal year 2010, down from about $16.1 billion in fiscal year 2009. Revenues had dropped about 11 percent the year before.
Georgia physicians are not giving up their fight to convince legislators to increase the state's cigarette tax. They say raising the cost of cigarettes by a dollar will mean fewer people will smoke, and smokers will smoke less. Cigarettes are responsible for 1 of every 5 deaths in the U.S. Dr. Harry Heiman says smoking costs Georgia over 2-billion dollars a year.
A Senate committee today passed a measure that creates a commission to scrutinize bills relating to health insurance. Members of the 16-member panel would represent hospitals, consumers, health insurance companies and small businesses. Sen. Tim Golden of Valdosta says having experts look at the bill would strengthen the decision-making process.