Some call it the “guns everywhere” bill, but it does not quite cover everything. Legislators passed “The Safe Carry Protection Act” in the final hours of this year’s legislative session. They did not, however, include an effective date anywhere in the nearly 30 page document that cleared the House and Senate.
Pharmacy officials say robberies are occurring with greater frequency in Georgia. Ironically, the officials link the increase to the state’s recent success in cracking down on the scourge of “pill mills’’ in the state. Pill mills are clinics or doctor’s offices that prescribe oxycodone and other powerful narcotics without a legitimate medical purpose. Georgia became a pill mill magnet after neighboring states, including Florida, passed tougher laws regulating pain clinics.
A safe prediction for the upcoming session of the Georgia General Assembly is that dozens of bills involving health care will be up for consideration. That’s the case every year under the Gold Dome. But given the likelihood this year of a short session, ending in mid-March, it’s also a good bet that many health bills will be sidetracked or stalled before they come to a vote. Here’s a roundup of some of the important legislative issues in health care.
Almost a dozen new laws will go into effect across Georgia on January 1, 2014. They range from an overhaul of the state’s juvenile justice system to an updated city charter. Almost a dozen new laws will go into effect across Georgia on January 1, 2014. They range from an overhaul of the state’s juvenile justice system to an updated city charter. Ethics Changes Some of the most talked-about legislation of 2013 were two companion ethics laws that will change how lobbyists do business at the state Capitol.
State lawmakers will be back at the Capitol in two weeks to start the 2014 General Assembly session and advocates have already been working on their legislative agendas. “We are also expecting it to be a very fast session—gavel in, gavel out—and that just means we have to be ready to hit the ground running,” said Liz Coyle, deputy director of Georgia Watch, a consumer advocacy group.
Tuesday may not have seemed like an election day, but voters across the state filled local offices and three vacant General Assembly seats. Northwest Georgia insurance agent and entrepreneur Bruce Thompson, former Gwinnett County prosecutor Chuck Efstration and retired Army lieutenant Brian Prince secured seats in the state legislature.
Educators want the state to give them more flexibility to make budget and classroom decisions. That has been one of the consistent requests Representative Brooks Coleman, R-Duluth, and others on the joint education committee have received as they have toured the state over the last few months.
Three special elections Tuesday for Georgia’s General Assembly head to runoffs next month after no candidate won more than 50 percent of the votes. A fourth race included just one candidate. He wins by default.
More than 11,000 Georgians lost HOPE grants to attend state technical colleges when the state Legislature imposed tougher academic requirements in 2011, and more than half have not re-enrolled in school as of this fall, according to Technical College System of Georgia statistics.