Legislative Days 13 - 16
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.
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.
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.