2018-02-21 / Other News

Legislative pace quickens at Capitol

House News
Representative Gerald Greene

On Monday, Feb. 12 my House colleagues and I reconvened at the Georgia State Capitol for week six of the 2018 legislative session. The legislative pace has quickened considerably, and this week, the House was hard at work passing meaningful legislation for the good of our state and its citizens.

To start our week, the House passed House Bill 487, which would provide more flexibility to emergency response volunteers. HB 487 would also ensure that those who volunteer with the Civil Air Patrol do not lose seniority, pay, vacation, compensatory time, sick time or earned accumulated overtime at work because of their assistance in emergencies.

In an effort to increase transparency and eradicate surprise hospital billing for scheduled procedures, the House passed House Bill 678 this week. Under HB 678, hospitals, health care providers, and insurers would be required to disclose to patients which doctors in their treatment team are part of their insurance network, which health care plans they participate in and which hospitals they are affiliated with prior to providing nonemergency services. The House’s passage of this legislation is a positive step forward in eliminating this frustrating practice and increasing transparency between patients, health care providers, and insurers.

On Tuesday, Feb. 13 we overwhelmingly passed House Bill 79, a measure that would protect our information from being unnecessarily saved for an undetermined period of time. HB 79 would require law enforcement agencies that obtain license plate information through automated license plate recognition systems to destroy unused data after 30 months.

This week, we unanimously passed House Bill 749, a measure that would benefit Georgia’s retired veterans and their families by specifying that military retirement income is excluded from Georgia income tax.

My colleagues and I passed a bipartisan bill that would support Georgia students. House Bill 740 would prohibit schools from expelling or suspending students in public preschool through third grade for five or more days per school year without first providing the student with a multi-tiered system of supports. The RTI program brings together educational professionals to help identify students’ academic, behavioral, and social-emotional learning needs, and if appropriate, the program screens students for hearing, vision, and speech-language disabilities.

On Thursday, Feb. 15 the House passed a measure to protect our state’s elderly and disabled adult populations. House Bill 635 would authorize district attorneys in each judicial circuit to establish an Adult Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation Multidisciplinary Team to coordinate investigations of and responses to suspected elder or disabled adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

Finally, on Tuesday, Feb. 13 State Representative Kevin Tanner (R-Dawsonville), Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, introduced House Bill 930, a critically important trans- portation measure that would create a new regional governance and funding structure for transit in the 13-county metropolitan Atlanta region.

We will reconvene on Tuesday, Feb. 20 for legislative

Day 23, be assured that I will be working diligently on behalf of you, your family and your neighbors. If you have any questions or concerns on any upcoming legislation, please do not hesitate to contact me. My Capitol office phone number is 404-656-5105, and my email address is gerald.greene@house.ga. gov.

As always, thank you for allowing me to serve as your state representative and that is the way it is under the gold dome.

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