Week six has passed of the 2021 legislative session. We are about halfway through the session, and it’s almost tomato seed-planting time for me.
The meetings are many, and one-on-one discussions about legislation are nonstop. I have been getting lots of emails and phone calls about bills that are in committee or on the floor for a vote. I do my best to call folks back as soon as I can--that includes at 7:30 in the morning … sorry about that. Of course, most are on Budget issues and Elections, followed closely by the “Right to Visit Bill” (HB 290), and coming on strong is HB 120, giving instate tuition to Illegal aliens who have DACA status. I appreciate all the different sides of these issues as we work them out for Georgia. Please don’t hesitate to let me know what you think.
Casino Gambling/Gaming is still being talked about in the form of a constitutional amendment that Georgians would vote on. The proceeds of gambling would go towards health care. If you want more info or have a comment, let me know by using the contact info below. I will be glad to send you the most recent bill to look over, too.
The House unanimously passed HB 163 to automatically enroll thousands of Georgia’s most vulnerable children in health insurance. This would require the Georgia Department of Community Health to submit an amendment to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to implement “express lane” eligibility in Medicaid and the PeachCare for Kids Program. Upon federal approval of this plan, the Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS) would automatically enroll and renew eligible children who already qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids. This bill was one of those “why didn’t we do that already” bills.
Who knew that it was against the law to use a mount for a telecommunications device on the front windshield of a motor vehicle? Well, it is, and HB 165 will make it easier to be device hands-free while driving.
Vaping has been an issue here and across our state. We passed HB 287, which will require that mandatory instruction on vaping be included when students are learning about alcohol and drug use in every grade.
Adoption reform has been a House priority for the past few years. We have done a lot, and this year we continue to make it easier for Georgians to be able to adopt. House Bill 154 will do many things including lowering the age at which a person is allowed to petition for adoption from 25 to 21 years old. This change would allow an older sibling or another close relative to petition for adoption as an avenue for the child to remain with these family members if it is deemed as the best option. It would create a civil cause of action to address adoption scams where individuals intentionally misrepresent a pregnancy or intention to place a child for adoption. If you are interested in adoption, I can provide you with a copy of the bill to review.
I greatly appreciate any feedback I receive from my constituents, and I welcome you to contact my office for questions or concerns about the legislative session. My Capitol office number is 404-656-7153, and my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please contact me anytime.