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Friday, July 07, 2017

NOTES FROM THE SENATE, JULY 7, 2017

NEW LAWS TAKING EFFECT JULY 1 - PART I

When legislation is written and passed by the Legislature, the author can put a definite date for the bill as law goes into effect. Sometimes that language may say" upon signature of the Governor" which means the day the Governor signs the legislation, the law is effective. Or, in the cases of some legislation concerning taxes the effective date will most likely be Jan. 1 to coincide with the tax reporting year. Or if the legislation may have long-term implementation issues, the date may be a date certain in the future to give time for preparations.

But, normally, most legislation when signed by the Governor, takes effect July 1. So July 1, 2017 is no exception and this column touches on some of the new laws that just went into effect July 1.


AS OF JULY 1, THE "LAW OF THE LAND"

AGRICULTURE
SB 78-Authorizes the Commissioner of Agriculture to waiver any rule of the department on adulteration or misbranding of food when proof is provided the rule can be achieved by other means or the strict adherence would cause substantial hardship
HB 49-Updates licensure requirements for livestock dealers and livestock market operators by allowing the department to establish 3 year licenses. A current list must be published by the Department and the law continues to exempt 4-H Clubs and FFA chapters from this requirement.
APPROPRIATIONS
HB 44-The FY 2018 FY Budget totals $24.9 billion in state funds for the operation of the state. Includes continuation funding and appropriates new spending for raises, retirement systems, new programs and additional transportation funds from the recent fuel tax change. Funds a number of human needs improvements
HB 202-Changes the base salary of the Governor to $175,000 but only applies to the next elected governor. Law allows legislators to use office allotment for conference travel expenses
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TOURISM
HB 470-Creates the Defense Community Economic Development Fund that, when funds are appropriated, would promote job development, recruitment and expansion of employment at military installations or in the surrounding community. This grant program could also be used to prepare a community for a federal review like BRAC.
HB 87-Allows Secretary of State to extend annual registration of businesses to three years.
EDUCATION
HB 139-Requires local school systems to place an identifier on the every student's record whose parent or parents are members of the military.
HB 198-Requires local school systems that are already providing information on immunizations and health issues, to parents of students in grades 6-12 to include information on flu and the flu vaccine.
HB 463-Allows Department of Early Care and Learning to establish a nonprofit corporation support educational excellence which would be eligible to receive grants.
HB 338- Creates position of Chief Turnaround Officer under State Board of Education to work with low-performing schools to create a turnaround plan with local systems utilizing turnaround coaches. Creates an Education Turnaround Advisory Council. Allows for suspension of local school board members of systems failing for 5 years.
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
SB 102 - Creates a statewide system of emergency cardiac centers. Establishes the Office of Cardiac Care office within the Department of Public Health. Creates levels I, II, or III based of criteria in the bill for care provided. The office will establish a data reporting system and provide communications information on cardiac care.
HB 249 - Permits prescribers to obtain Nalozone, an opioid treatment medication used for overdoses. Provides for a state-wide electronic database monitored by the Ga. Drugs and Narcotics Agency and transfers that agency to DPH. Prescribers are mandated to seek and review information from the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program when prescribing opiates. Limits prescription to a 3 day supply. While the bill is effective July 1, 2017, the mandate takes effect July 1, 2018.
SB 153-Optometrists will be authorized after a 30 hour training course to administer some injections like Botox.
HB 241- Authorizes the Department of Public Health to conduct newborn screenings for Krabbe disease, a rare but fatal disease in infants. Optional for parents with a fee of between $3.00 and $5.00.
SB 47-Allows physicians, PA's and athletic trainers licensed in other states to care for team members and staff who are visiting the state under nationally sanctioned athletic events. Care limited to players and coaches.
SB 106- Clarifies that pain management clinics are not authorized to provide treatment or services unless a doctor, PA or Advanced Practice Nurse is on-site. Registered nurse anesthetists are exempt if examination by a doctor has already occurred and has prescribed treatment.
HB 206-Increases the personal needs allowance of nursing home residents to $70 per month.
SB 16-Keeps THC concentration at 5% but expands the medical conditions for which medical marijuana can be prescribed. Includes now autism, severe Tourette's Syndrome, end of stage Alzheimer and severe peripheral neuropathy. Also allows out of state persons to possess low THC oil if they have registration cards issued by another state.

Full transcripts of bills may be found at http://www.legis.ga.gov/en-US/default.aspx . Simply type the bill number into the box at the top left-hand corner of the screen and specify if it is in the House or the Senate. The FY 2018 budget (H.B. 44) may be found at http://www.senate.ga.gov/sbeo/en-US/AppropriationsDocuments.aspx. As always, I welcome any questions you may have.

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