Days 15-18 (of 40)
- GAPA priority legislative PASSES!
- Legislation regarding PA:MD ratio introduced
- Midyear Budget Passes House
- Tax Reform Bills
- Tort: Direct Action advances
This week, legislators worked in session Tuesday through Friday, legislative days 15-18. Next week, they will be in session on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
GAPA Legislative Priorities
HB 557, a culmination of four years of immediate work and many more before, passed in final form. The bill allows PAs and APRNs to prescribe a 5-day supply of hydrocodone and oxycodone and related compounds to adult patients in an emergency. The bill also simplifies some of the procedures of adding/changing supervising physicians at the Composite Medical Board. Finally, the bill allows PAs and APRNs to write for disability parking placards. The bill passed both the House and Senate overwhelmingly and now heads to the Governor for consideration. A HUGE thank you to the following legislative leaders who were absolutely instrumental to the bill’s passage:
- Representative Ron Stephens (R-Savannah)
- Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones (R-Alpharetta) & her stellar Chief of Staff, Tyler Mashburn.
- Lieutenant Governor Burt Jones and his exceptional Health Policy Advisor Ines Owens.
- Senator Larry Walker (R-Perry)
- Representative Butch Parrish (R-Swainsboro)
We will keep you apprised of next steps.
SB460 by Senator Dixon was introduced this week. The bill would allow a delegating physician to enter into PA job descriptions or APRN protocol agreements with a combined equivalent of 8 PAsand APRNs.
Please keep an eye out for any forthcoming ‘calls to action.’ Your voice can make a difference in our success.
New legislation of Interest
- HB 1154 This bill creates a mandated benefit under Medicaid for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Additionally, it amends the lactating services definition to include bottle fed.
- HB 1176 This bill requires that all insurers who provide coverage for breast pumps and supplies to also provide coverage for infant formula when a covered member is medically unable to breastfeed.
- HB 1178 This bill disallows step therapy for serious mental illness.
- HB 1204: This bill is an insurance mandate for medically necessary expenses for standard fertility preservation services when medically necessary treatment for cancer, lupus, sickle cell, directly or indirectly causes infertility.
- HB 1215 The bill requires every perinatal facility to implement an evidenced based implicit bias program for all healthcare providers who are involved in the perinatal care of patients.
HB 1077 creates a student loan repayment program for certain behavioral health providers. This bill passed committee.
The House passed the SFY2024 amended budget this week, allowing them to turn their attention to the SFY2025 Budget. The Senate has already begun its amended budget deliberations.
To peruse the Governor and House version of the midyear adjusted budget, please see Midyear Budget House Tracking Sheet. The House publishes a fantastic overview of the budget which can be found here.
This week, the House passed House Bill 1015, HB 1019 and HB1021. From Speaker Burns on the bills, “Cutting taxes and returning more money to taxpayers continues to be a priority for the Georgia House of Representatives, and today’s passage of HB 1015, HB 1019, and HB 1021 will help return over a billion dollars to Georgia families, homeowners, and taxpayers alike. Taken together, these bills will accelerate the state income tax cut from 5.75 percent to 5.39 percent, double the homestead exemption from $2,000 to $4,000, and increase the child tax deduction from $3,000 to $4,000 per child.”
Additionally, the Speaker, the Lt Governor, and chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee held a press conference to unveil legislation to make tax business tax incentives “more transparent, accountable, and deliver the best RIO for the State”. This package of legislation, HB 1180, HB 1181, HB 1182, and HB 1192 are based on the work of the Joint Tax Credit Review. These bills cap the film tax credit, limit the carry forward period for many tax credits, sunsets and eliminates many tax exemptions.