Georgia General Assembly:
Legislative Days 1-4 (of 40)
- Swearing in of legislators and constitutional officers
- Representative Jon Burns was elected Speaker
- Senator John Kennedy was elected President Pro Tempore
- Legislative calendar set
- Governor’s Healthcare Workforce Commission issues final report.
- Senate announces committee assignments.
Legislators returned to Atlanta to kick off the 2023 legislative session. The week was filled with pomp and circumstance, including the swearing-in of legislators and constitutional officers, the election of House and Senate leadership, the Chamber of Commerce’s annual Eggs and Issues breakfast, the Governor’s gala, and more. Remarkably, amidst the myriad of events, state business continued. For the first time (in at least 20 plus years), the general assembly agreed to a legislative schedule that takes us all the way to the end of session. Notable dates include:
- Monday, March 6th, crossover day (the last day for bills to pass from one chamber to the other), and
- Wednesday, March 29, sine die (the final day of session)
Next week, legislators will be out of session, but they will be diligently working on hearing from executive branch members and representatives regarding the Governor’s budgets.
Governor’s Healthcare Workforce Commission
After working diligently for over six months, the Governor’s Healthcare Workforce commission issued their final report, including recommendations. Notably,
“Commission recognizes that Georgia is now in the minority of states with restrictions on certain healthcare occupations such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants, and that research also suggests that in appropriate circumstances, removing practice restrictions on certain
healthcare occupations and granting full practice authority has the potential to
improve access to care without compromising quality or increasing costs. Our
Commission believes that exploring updating scope of practice limitations could potentially ease pressure on the healthcare workforce in two ways: by allowing certain categories of healthcare occupations to independently operate under their own licenses without additional clinical supervision, and by allowing them to perform more advanced work in healthcare settings that could decrease work burden on other clinical providers.”
The commission went further by acknowledging”
“(The) need for healthcare providers to operate at top of license to ensure both satisfaction in one’s work and efficiency in care provision. Beyond having all healthcare workers operate at the top of their licenses, stakeholders could consider modifying healthcare workers’ scope of practice in all settings to rebalance workload currently reserved for higher licensed individuals. Doing so would free the higher licensed individuals to practice more advanced procedures and see more patients in aggregate. Such a change could empower the current workforce to meet rising demand for healthcare and possibly help retention through creating a more purposeful and sustainable work environment.”
There is real reason to be optimistic that stakeholders hear our concerns about current practice limitations!
The Senate unveiled its committee assignments. The new structure removed the Special Judiciary Committee and replaced it with the Committee on Children and Families.
Notable Chairmanships include:
- Appropriations: Senator Blake Tillery
- Children and Families: Senator Kay Kirpatrick
- Judiciary: Senator Brian Strickland
- Health and Human Services: Senator Ben Watson
- Insurance and Labor: Senator Larry Walker
- Regulated Industries: Senator Bill Cowsert
- Rules: Senator Matt Brass
For a complete list of Chairmanships as well as links to the committees: https://ltgov.georgia.gov/press-releases/2023-01-12/senate-announces-new-committee-chairs
We are still waiting for announcements from the House regarding committee assignments.