Gov. Nathan Deal's plan to avoid losing more than $450 million in federal money for Medicaid has cleared another legislative hurdle. A House committee on Tuesday endorsed the proposal to let an appointed board set special hospital fees to support Medicaid. Senate Bill 24 is headed to the full House.
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and House Speaker David Ralston say they'll support a plan to replace a hospital "bed tax" with assessments coming from a state agency. The legislative leaders made their endorsements at the Georgia Chamber of Commerce's annual "Eggs and Issues" breakfast. The meal is typically used by the Governor and leaders to announce parts of their agendas.
Democrats in the state Senate say lobbyists’ gifts to lawmakers should be capped at $100 a year. They also support finding a permanent source for funds for an independent ethics commission that’s not appointed by the Governor.
Columbus is set to receive about $1.6 million from travel websites that failed to divert money from hotel reservations to pay the city's hotel occupancy tax. The Columbus City Council voted Tuesday to approve a settlement with Expedia.com and Hotels.com.