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2024 State Legislative Wrap-up

The 2024 Georgia state legislative session adjourned “sine die” on Thursday, March 28, at about 20 minutes past midnight. As is often the case with “the session” this one was a mixed bag of issues we supported that passed, and others not so much.  In the DCH/Medicaid budget we did gain a 6% increase in the 99213, and a 3% increase in the 99214.  Effective July 1, these 2 codes will be at 90% of 2024 Medicare rates. Also, the Senate approved a study committee on Firearm Safe Storage; and the House passed a bill to create a Commission on Infant & Women’s Health (HB 1046).

As with all bills, the Governor has 40 days after “sine die” to either sign, or veto, or let them become law without his signature. That day is May 7.

Here’s a final review of some of the key bills we followed and how they fared:

FY25 Budget Bill, begins July 1, 2024:

 

HB 916, the Fiscal Year 2025 budget bill. Included funds for increasing two PCP codes, e.g. 99213 and 99214, commonly used by pediatricians and other PC physicians to maintain a strong Medicaid program. Supported. Passed.

 

Other bills…

HB 161, established the offense of making firearm accessible to a minor child. Supported. Failed.

HB 874, would require all schools to have defibrillators and personnel and plans to address a cardiac emergency. We supported.  Passed

HB 971, would provide tax credits for purchase of gun storage safes, trigger locks and other firearm storage devices. Supported. Passed the House

but failed to pass Senate.

HB 1046, would create Ga. Commission on Maternal and Infant Health. Supported. Passed.

 

SB 395, would make opioid antagonists more available in schools. Supported. Passed.

SB 402, would allow a teen driver to have one passenger in the vehicle under 21. Passed Senate, failed in House.

SB 432, would require recess for grades K-8. Supported. Failed.

 

SB 519, would have prohibited use of puberty blockers in gender affirming care. Opposed. Passed Senate and House did not take up.

 

A special thank you to members of the Chapter Legislative Committee for their diligence and attention to these issues and for their attendance at the Committee meetings during the session. As always, we especially encourage you to reach out to your state legislators in the coming months—especially during the summer—when they have a less-busy schedule and you can build or forge your relationship with them. Your voice matters, and as pediatricians we can be a powerful advocate for our patients and our practices. 

 

Melinda Willingham, MD, Chair

Should you have any questions about bills or our issues, contact Rick Ward, the Chapter executive director, for more

information. (rward@gaaap.org.)  Thank you!

 

On the calendar…

June 12-15                    Pediatrics By the Sea; Amelia Island, Fla.

July 25-28                     AAP Academy Leadership Forum, Chicago

Key House Leaders on Child Health Issues

Matt Hatchett, Dublin
Chair, Appropriations Committee

Rep. Butch Parrish, Swainsboro
Chair, Appropriations Sub-committee on Community Health/Medicaid

Rep. Katie Dempsey, Rome
Chair, Appropriations Sub-committee on Public Health (DPH, DBHDD, DHS)

Rep. Jon Burns, Statesboro
Speaker of the House

Rep. Jan Jones, Milton
Speaker Pro Tem

Rep. Chuck Efstration, Dacula
House Majority Leader

Rep. Sharon Cooper, Marietta
Chair, Health & Human Services

 

Key Senate Leaders on Child Health Issues

Lt. Governor Burt Jones, Jackson
President of the Senate

Sen. Blake Tillery, Vidalia
Chair, Appropriations Committee

Sen. Ben Watson, MD, Savannah
Chair, Health & Human Services Committee

Chair, Appropriations Sub-committee on Community Health (Medicaid)

Sen. Steve Gooch, Dahlonega
Senate Majority Leader

Sen. John Kennedy
Senate President Pro Tem

 

Further Information

For a complete text of any these bills you can visit the Georgia General Assembly website:  www.legis.state.ga.us.   For more information on these or other bills, contact Rick Ward, at the Chapter office, at jcaceres-aponte@gaaap.org. Thanks to the members of the Legislative Committee for their efforts during the session and to all our members who contacted their legislators about our issues.  Your support and participation in the legislative process is vitally important to our advocacy.