Under the Gold Dome – Update for the Week of February 20th
This week officially marks the midway point of the 2023 Legislative Session. Crossover Day (the day by which a bill must pass either the House or Senate to stay alive for the session) is March 6th. Most legislators state that the session has a slower feel to it than previous years, but things should start picking up as we enter the second half and get closer to Crossover Day.
One of the amazing groups in Georgia that we follow is Voice for Children. Their legislative team is at the Capitol every day during session (and sometimes on other days too to watch committee meetings, commission reports, etc.) If you want a comprehensive overview of legislation moving through the chambers that impacts children (and many times, their families), check out the Voices Legislative Update. Here’s a snapshot of what’s been going on since our last blog post:
Budget – Last week, House Appropriations committees heard from state agency heads about budget requests for the FY24 budget. The Health Appropriations and Human Services Appropriations subcommittees heard from the Department of Community Health, Public Health, Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, and Human Services among others. You can find recordings of the meetings here.
The Senate continues to hold appropriations hearings on the amended FY23 budget. Keep in mind that the Medicaid continuous coverage requirement which was put in place during the pandemic ends on April 1st.
Education – The most notable bill is SB 88 which is the “Parent and Children Protection Act,” heard in committee last week. The room was full of advocates and media interested in SB 88 since it deals with gender identity and sexual orientation.
Mental health legislation will be carried again this year by Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur, and Rep. Todd Jones, R-South Forsyth. House Bill 520 would expand the state’s loan forgiveness program for mental health care providers; create new authorities for sharing and collecting data; and include a funding mechanism that would allow the Georgia General Assembly to appropriate funds in the Fiscal Year 2024 budget for crisis services in Fulton, Laurens and Muscogee counties.
Find your Cobb delegation members by heading our civics page here.