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Welcome to my Legislative Update!
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Tuesday, February 7th marked legislative day 13 of 40. Hard to believe that by the end of next week, we will be halfway finished with the 2017 session! We had a productive week in the Senate as we passed a number of bills dealing with health care, agriculture and public safety initiatives.

Most notably, we also passed our version of amended Fiscal Year 2017 Budget. The 2017 amended budget includes a state fund revenue estimate of around $24 billion and was transmitted to the House immediately for review. If the House agrees with our version on the AFY 2017 budget, it will then go to Governor Deal for final approval.

Senate Action

Legislative Days 13 - 16

 

Healthcare Measures


Senate Bill 4
In an effort to ensure that our state provides citizens with access to quality care, we passed a few bills aimed at bettering our healthcare systems. The first was Senate Bill 4, which will enhance Mental Health Treatment options in Georgia. SB 4 would create the Georgia Mental Health Treatment Task Force. The taskforce will ensure that the state’s health system is providing proper and essential mental health services. They will assess all aspects of the state’s approach toward mental health treatment.
 
Senate Bill 14
Senate Bill 14 pertains to donations that are made to rural hospital organizations and would expand current rural healthcare tax credits. The bill grants limited liability corporations (LLC), shareholders of “S” corporations or members of partnerships the right to receive an income tax credit equal to 70 percent or $10,000, whichever is less. Our rural healthcare systems are in dire need of assistance and we are in hopes that initiatives such as this will encourage citizens to donate much needed funding.  

Senate Bill 52
Senate Bill 52 would eliminate the sunset date on a provision in current Georgia law authorizing licensed professional counselors (LPCs) to perform emergency examinations and certifications of those who need involuntary treatment.
 
Senate Bill 12
Scope issues are often brought forth for debate during session. Scope issues occur when a certain segment of a profession would like to perform duties outside of their “designated” practice area. In this case, Senate Bill 12 authorizing licensed dental hygienists to act in the place of a licensed dentist if he or she is absent, is one of those issues. SB 12 does provide that before performing dental duties, the dental hygienist must be given permission to do so by the dentist. Currently, Georgia law states that a dentist must supervise the work of a dental hygienist while performing certain duties. The bill now goes to the House for further review.
 
Senate Bill 40
Senate Bill 40 permits emergency medical services (EMS) personnel to decide to transport anyone that may need involuntary treatment to a hospital. Emergency personnel will not be held liable for any civil damages unless those damages are a result of deliberate negligence.
 

Agriculture 


Senate Bill 69
In an effort to cut red tape and overregulation where agriculture is concerned, we passed Senate Bill 69. Under current Georgia law, no product may be labeled “organic” unless the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDOA), or an entity on behalf of GDOA certifies the product. On Wednesday, we passed Senate Bill 69 which would repeal the GDOA registration requirement of those who produce, process, distribute or handle any organic product. These entities will still be required to register with the USDA.  
 


Public Safety


Senate Bill 18
Senate Bill 18 would allow any certified peace officer employed by any state entity, who retired in good standing, to retain their badge and weapon as compensation. SB 18 would also allow a retired Georgia resident who served as a law enforcement officer for at least 10 years, to carry a handgun anywhere in the state.

Sponsored Resolutions

 
On Wednesday, February 8th, I had the pleasure of commending the Georgia Economic Developers Association (GEDA) through Senate Resolution 165. SR 165 recognized this organization's efforts and contributions to improve the economic development climate in our state.

Georgia has become known for our strong workforce, pro-business environment, renowned Universities and Technical colleges, QuickStart, and competitive cost structure, all of which have helped create our reputation as the go to business state. Georgia has been ranked by several sources, including Site Selection Magazine for four consecutive years and Area Development Magazine for the last three years, as the No. 1 state in the nation to do business.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development was also named the No. 1 "Best in Class" state-level economic development agency in the country. The state of Georgia and members of GEDA announced over $5.2 billion in investments and created 34,703 jobs through the location of 412 projects in the 2016 calendar year. This organization is committed to growing our economy and state through various projects and I was thrilled to honor their outstanding accomplishments.
Senate Resolution 193, recognized John Schuerholz for the great work he has done with the Atlanta Braves organization. Within his 26 years of service, Schuerholz had the opportunity to sit in the positions of general manager and executive vice president. Currently, he holds the title as vice chairman of the Braves organization. Schuerholz led the Braves to several titles including the 1995 World Series and he will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017. 
As always, I will continue to work for the betterment of Georgia and our district. As session comes close to the halfway point, it is very important for me to receive input and concerns from our citizens. If you need anything at all or have questions or concerns in regards to pending legislation, please contact my Capitol office and we will do our best to address your concerns. Thank you for allowing me to serve in this capacity as I am humbled you have entrusted me to protect our interests under the Gold Dome!

Respectfully,
Mike Dugan
Senator of Georgia's 30th
Copyright © |2017| Senator Mike Dugan, All rights reserved.

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Senator Mike Dugan · 106 Champion Drive · Carrollton, GA 30116 · USA

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