Georgia Association of Physician Assistants

Member Login

Legislative Report Days 11-14 (of 40)

Have A Question?

Have a question or something to share with GAPA? Get in touch, and we’ll be happy to talk about it!

Legislative Report Days 11-14 (of 40)

GAPA Legislative Report

Days 11-14

Mourning the passing of Chairman Richard Smith (R-Columbus)
Governor signs bill defining antisemitism
Senate Republican Caucus unveils legislative priorities
Resolution commending Morehouse PA program
Healthcare wellness legislation passes in final form
Prior Approval/ Gold Carding legislation advances

This week, legislators worked in session Monday through Thursday, days 11-14 (of 40).  The schedule going forward was tweaked to accommodate Chairman Smith’s funeral. As such, we will be in session Tuesday through Friday.  Crossover Day, the final day that all bills must pass from one chamber to the other to remain viable stand alone bills, continues to be set for Thursday, February 28th.

Chairman Richard Smith

The state mourns the unexpected passing of Representative Richard Smith (R-Columbus).  Chairman Smith was first elected in 2004, previously served as the Chairman of the Insurance Committee, and he had served as the Rules Committee Chairman since 2020.  Chairman Smith was honorable, accessible, and humble.  We appreciate his friendship and his service to both his district and the entire state.


The Governor signed HB30 into law this week.  The bill creates a definition of antisemitism as a second part of the nearly four year effort to eliminate hate crimes.  At the bill signing ceremony, Governor Kemp said, “…reaffiriming our commitment to a Georgia where all people can live, learn, and prosper in safety.  Because there is no place for hate in our state.”

Senate Republican Caucus Priorities
This week the Senate Republicans announced their priorities for the 2024 session.  These priorities focus on: Tax Relief, Tort Reform, Education, Workforce, and Public Safety.
  • Tax Relief: Support the accelerating of the state income tax reduction as well as SB 349 by Senator Chuck Hufstetler, a statewide floating homestead exemption.
  • Tort Reform: Last year, Senate Republicans tested the waters looking for consensus opportunities to improve Georgia’s troublesome litigation environment.  This year, at a minimum, we will pass legislation to limit direct-action lawsuits carried by Senator Blake Tillery.
  • Education: Senate Republicans unanimously support Senator Greg Dolezal’s SB 233, which provides school choice for students in underperforming schools.
  • Workforce:  A recent Senate study committee addressed deficiencies in our workforce. As a result, our caucus prioritized improving career and credentialing pathways for veterans and military spouses seeking employment in Georgia’s healthcare system.  Senator Larry Walker will lead the charge on this policy proposal.
  • Public Safety: Limiting no-cash bail for violent offenders under the leadership of Senator Randy Robertson in an effort to crack down on gang activity and ensure public safety.
Bills (moving)
HB455 allows healthcare professionals to participate in certain professional programs that address career fatigue and wellness to participate without reprisal by the various licensing boards unless they are a danger.  This bill passed in final form.
SB 387 relates to prior authorization/ gold carding.  The bill passed committee by substitute.
New Bills
HR991 This resolution commends the Morehouse School of Medicine PA program.

HB 1077 : This bill creates a grant program, the Behavioral Health Provider Student Load Repayment Program to repay a portion of eligible student loan expenses.  Dollar amounts are based on the percentage of medicaid patients seen in the practice.  Additionally, the bill provides for certain appropriated funds to be distributed to eligible institutions that sponsor certain clinical behavioral health training programs in an effort to increase the number of training positions.

Healthcare provider requirements
HB1081: This bill requires providers to screen and insurers to cover preeclampsia biomarker testing for pregnant women at their first prenatal visit.
SB 441: This bill requires particular disclosure to patients/ guardians regarding the risks of opioids.  There are exemptions for those undergoing cancer care, who are in hospice or Long-term care, and those receiving a prescription for substance abuse treatment.
HB 1066 mandates insurance coverage for medically necessary expenses for fertility preservation when a medically necessary treatment mhy directly or indirectly cause infertility.  
HB1109 This bill adds surviving relations of victims of a wrongful death action to the period of limitations for a cause of action.

HB1114 This bill, on behalf of the Governor, seeks to obtain data from insurers to understand the insurance landscape for tort reform.  The initial report will be due November 2024.SB430: This bill removes the sign requirement for the covid liability protections.

Share This :