Thank Our 2021 Legislative Champions!

2021 Legislative Wins

The 2021 legislative session ended with a number of wins for moms, babies, and families across the state of Georgia. Below is a summary of the victories we saw this year.

HB 146 -Provides three weeks of paid parental leave for teachers and eligible state employees following the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child
HB 231 – Expands the applicability of protective orders for victims of stalking to include people with whom they have had a current or past pregnancy or relationship
HB 287 – Includes tobacco and vaping products in the course of instruction regarding alcohol and drugs required each year for all students in grades kindergarten through 12
-No cuts to maternal and infant health programs in the state budget (HB 81

Despite these victories, we know that there is more work ahead to increase health outcomes for moms and babies. We saw several legislative priorities introduced this year that did not make it across the finish line but will be eligible for passage during the 2022 session. This includes

-Extending postpartum Medicaid coverage to 12 months after delivery (HB 72HB 381SB 173
-Providing workplace accommodations (i.e. food/water breaks, place to sit, lifting restrictions) for all pregnant and postpartum employees and ensuring they are protected from discrimination (HB 650
-Ensuring ALL Georgia employees have access to paid parental leave for at least 6 weeks after the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child
-Protect the dignity of incarcerated pregnant people (HB 377
-Increase tobacco and vaping taxes (HB 394HB 670)

We look forward to working with lawmakers and advocates to uplift and move these policy priorities next session!

Thanking Our Legislative Champions!

The following legislators worked hard during this session to ensure that maternal and infant health policies were prioritized. Thanking legislators for their work helps us keep the momentum for more progress next session. Please take the time to email them and let them know that their efforts are greatly appreciated!

Below you can find their contact information and potential language to use (click each name). Do not send group emails. Each legislator should receive an individual thank you email with their legislative aide copied. This is just a template. Feel free to make the message your own!


Paid Parental Leave
Representative Houston Gaines
President Pro Tempore Butch Miller

Tobacco & Vaping Education
Chairwoman Bonnie Rich
Chairwoman Kay Kirkpatrick

Stalking Protective Orders
Representative Houston Gaines
Representative Bee Nguyen

Tobacco Tax
Chairman Ron Stephens
Representative James Beverly

Georgia Women’s CARE Act
Representative Kim Schofield
Chairwoman Sharon Cooper

Postpartum Medicaid Extension
Representative Carolyn Hugley
Representative Renitta Shannon
Senator Gail Davenport

Workplace Accommodations
Representative Park Cannon

2022 Advocacy Stakeholder Planning Meeting

Please join us on August 13, 2021 from 10 AM to 12 PM as we plan out our 2022 Advocacy Agenda to improve maternal and child health in Georgia. This event is open to all HMHBGA members in good standing, organizational partners, and invited stakeholders. The meeting will take place via Zoom video conference.

Anyone is welcome to become an HMHBGA member by signing up here.

Not sure if your membership is active? Email us at thecoaliton@hmhbga.org

AGENDA:

I. 2021 Legislative Recap

II. What We Expect in 2022– Threats, Challenges & Opportunities

III. Partner Priorities: Impacting Maternal & Child Health in the Next Legislative Session

IV. Planning for: HMHBGA Legislative Breakfast & Capitol Awareness Day

V. Other agenda items

REGISTER HERE

2021 Legislative Session Wrap-Up

The 2021 Legislative Session Comes to A Close

On Wednesday, March 31 the Georgia General Assembly ended the 2021 legislative session. The legislature is expected to reconvene in November 2021 to redistrict based on 2020 Census data. Below is a summary of what happened this year. 

Paid Parental Leave Bill Headed to Governor’s Desk

HB 146 (Houston Gaines, R – Athens) is on its way to be signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp after passing the full Senate and House. This bill will provide three weeks of paid parental leave to state employees for the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child. Once the bill is signed, it will go into effect July 1, 2021. 

HMHBGA is grateful for the work of lawmakers and advocates for getting this important law to the finish line. This policy will help teachers and other state employees take care of themselves and their families after birth, adoption, and foster placement with less worry about missing a paycheck. Paid parental leave is important for the health and wellbeing of families and is an important step in improving maternal and infant health in our state. We will continue to work to ensure this benefit is available to all families across Georgia in the future. 

Updates on HMHBGA Supported Bills

HMHBGA supported a number of bills related to postpartum Medicaid extension, workplace accommodations, doula coverage, and tobacco & vaping taxes. Below is a summary of where bills stand after Sine Die.

The following bills passed and are on the way to Governor Kemp for consideration:

HB 146 – Paid Parental Leave for State Employees 
(Houston Gaines, R – Athens) Would provide for three weeks of paid parental leave for eligible state employees and eligible local board of education employees following the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child.

HB 231 – Stalking Protective Orders
(Houston Gaines, R – Athens) Would expand the applicability of protective orders for victims of stalking to include people with whom they have had a current or past pregnancy or relationship.

HB 287 – Tobacco and Vaping Education
(Bonnie Rich, R – Suwanee) Would include tobacco and vapor products in the course of instruction regarding alcohol and drugs required each year for all students in grades kindergarten through 12.

The following did not pass this year but will be up for consideration during the 2022 legislative session:


HB 72 – New Mothers Medicaid Expansion Act
(Carolyn Hugley, D – Columbus) Would extend Pregnancy Medicaid to 12 months after delivery. Was not heard in committee for consideration

HB 197 – Family Care Act Extension 
(Regina Lewis-Ward, D – McDonough) Would extend the Family Care Act, which allows employees to use sick time to care for immediate family members, to 2025. Was not heard in committee for consideration

HB 377 – Georgia Women’s Care Act
(Sharon Cooper, R – Marietta) Would revise provisions related to the arrests of pregnant women, require pregnancy testing upon detention, and enact delayed sentencing for postpartum female inmates. Stalled in House Rules Committee

HB 381 – Expanding Medicaid to Improve Health Outcomes for New Mothers Act
(Renitta Shannon, D – Decatur) Would extend Pregnancy Medicaid to 12 months after delivery. Was not heard in committee for consideration

HB 394 – Tobacco & Vaping Tax
(Ron Stephens, R – Savannah) Would raise the tobacco tax to $1.87 per pack and tax vaping products at 39% of the wholesale cost. Was not heard in committee for consideration

HB 650 – Working for Two Act
(Park Cannon, D – Atlanta) Would require certain accommodations in the workplace for pregnant and postpartum employees and protect such employees from discrimination based on their perinatal status. Was not heard in committee for consideration

HB 670 – Tobacco & Vaping Taxes
(James Beverly, D – Macon) Would raise taxes on cigarettes to $2.00 per pack and vaping products to 40% of the wholesale price. Was not heard in committee for consideration

HB 722 – Georgia Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Act
(Park Cannon, D – Atlanta) Would require perinatal facilities in this state to implement evidence based implicit bias programs for its health care professionals. Was not heard in committee for consideration

HB 727 – Doula Medicaid Reimbursement
(Park Cannon, D – Atlanta) Would provide for Medicaid coverage for prenatal, birth, and postpartum doula services. Was not heard in committee for consideration

HB 825 – Medicaid Coverage for Donor Milk
(Sharon Cooper, R – Marietta) Would provide Medicaid coverage for medically necessary donor breast milk. Was not heard in committee for consideration

SB 173 – Medicaid Coverage for Lactation & Postpartum Care
(Gail Davenport, D – Jonesboro) Would extend Pregnancy Medicaid to 12 months after delivery to provide coverage for lactation services. Was not heard in committee for consideration

2021 Legislative Session Wrap Up
Below is a summary of bills we monitored throughout the session related to maternal, infant, child, and general health. Legislation on this list is not necessarily endorsed by HMHBGA.  

The following bills passed and are on the way to Governor Kemp for consideration:

HB 146 – Paid Parental Leave for State Employees 
(Houston Gaines, R – Athens) Would provide for three weeks of paid parental leave for eligible state employees and eligible local board of education employees following the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child.

HB 154 – Protection of Children 
(Bert Reeves, R – Marietta) Would strengthen, clarify, and update provisions relating to the protection of children, including foster children and adopted children.

HB 163 – Medicaid Express Lane Eligibility 
(Sharon Cooper, R – Marietta) Would implement express lane enrollment, which would automatically enroll and renew eligible children in Medicaid based on SNAP data.

HB 231 – Stalking Protective Orders
(Houston Gaines, R – Athens) Would expand the applicability of protective orders for victims of stalking to include people with whom they have had a current or past pregnancy or relationship.

HB 287 – Tobacco and Vaping Education
(Bonnie Rich, R – Suwanee) Would include tobacco and vapor products in the course of instruction regarding alcohol and drugs required each year for all students in grades kindergarten through 12.

HB 307 – Georgia Telehealth Act
(Sharon Cooper, R – Marietta) Would authorize health care providers to provide telemedicine services from home and allow patients to receive telehealth services from home, work, or school.

HB 509 – Reasonably Priced Health Insurance
(Houston Gaines, R – Athens) Would require certain insurers to make at least one reasonably priced comprehensive major medical health insurance policy available to residents in this state without limitation or exclusion based on preexisting conditions.

HB 567 – Newborn Screening and Genetics Advisory Committee
(Sharon Cooper, R – Marietta) Would create a Newborn Screening and Genetics Advisory Committee and require newborns to be screened for new disorders recommended by the committee. 

SB 20 – Child Advocate Advisory Committee(Chuck Payne, R – Dalton) Would revise the composition of the Child Advocate Advisory Committee to include a foster parent, a former foster child, and a court appointment special advocate (CASA).

HR 52 – Joint Study Committee on Lead Exposure
(Katie Dempsey, R – Rome) Would create a Joint Study Committee to study prevention of childhood lead exposure. 

The following did not pass this year but will be up for consideration during the 2022 legislative session:

House
HB 9 – Telehealth Services in Schools
(Sandra Scott, D – Rex) Would require the Department of Education to develop guidelines for the use of telehealth services in public schools for mental health and behavioral health services. 

HB 11 – Safe Patient Limits Act
(Sandra Scott, D – Rex) Would limit the number of patients that may be assigned to a registered professional nurse in specified situations in hospitals.

HB 38 – Repeal Sterilization Procedures 
(Kim Schofield, D – Atlanta) Would repeal certain provisions related to the performance of reproductive sterilization procedures. 

HB 41 – Health Benefit Plan Network Access and Adequacy Act
(Kim Schofield, D – Atlanta) Would increase consumer access to health care by improving network adequacy and under certain circumstances charge out-of-network services at in-network rates.

HB 49 – Mental Health Parity Act 
(Shelly Hutchinson, D – Snellville) Would require mental health substance use services to be treated in line with other health insurance claims.

HB 54 – Menstrual Hygiene Education
(Debra Bazemore, D – South Fulton) Would provide instruction on best practices and risks associated with tampons during sex education and AIDS prevention instruction in core curriculum. 

HB 57 – Breastfeeding in Penal Institutions 
(Sandra Scott, D – Rex) Would provide policies for breast milk storage and the breastfeeding of a newborn, require prenatal and postpartum care, and require the provision of breast pumps in penal institutions.

HB 72 – New Mothers Medicaid Expansion Act
(Carolyn Hugley, D – Columbus) Would extend Pregnancy Medicaid to 12 months after delivery. 

HB 96 – Presumption in Child Custody Cases
(Jasmine Clark, D – Lilburn) Would revise presumption in cases in which the custody of any child is at issue.

HB 197 – Family Care Act Extension 
(Regina Lewis-Ward, D – McDonough) Would extend the Family Care Act, which allows employees to use sick time to care for immediate family members, to 2025. 

HB 209 – Medicaid Expansion Program
(Donna McLeod, D – Lawrenceville) Would expand Medicaid coverage to eligible people up to 150% of the federal poverty line. [House Health & Human Services] 

HB 215 – Telehealth Options Under Medicaid
(Mary Robichaux, D – Roswell) Would extend the use of temporary Medicaid telehealth options during the pandemic emergency to a permanent status. Would also provide certification and training to providers through telehealth options. [House Health & Human Services Committee] 

HB 257 – Maternity Supportive Housing Act 
(Ed Setzler, R – Acworth) Would provide registration of maternity supportive housing for pregnant women. 

HB 377 – Georgia Women’s Care Act
(Sharon Cooper, R – Marietta) Would revise provisions related to the arrests of pregnant women, require pregnancy testing upon detention, and enact delayed sentencing for postpartum female inmates. 

HB 381 – Expanding Medicaid to Improve Health Outcomes for New Mothers Act
(Renitta Shannon, D – Decatur) Would extend Pregnancy Medicaid to 12 months after delivery. 

HB 382 – Positive Alternatives for Pregnancy and Parenting Grant Program Repeal
(Renitta Shannon, D – Decatur) Would redirect public health funds from the Positive Alternatives for Pregnancy and Parenting Grant Program (Crisis Pregnancy Centers) to evidence-based programs.

HB 394 – Tobacco & Vaping Tax
(Ron Stephens, R – Savannah) Would raise the tobacco tax to $1.87 per pack and tax vaping products at 39% of the wholesale cost.

HB 448 – Medicaid & PeachCare Disclosure of Cost Data
(David Knight, R – Griffin) Would require all contracts with Medicaid and PeachCare programs to disclose all cost related data to the state. 

HB 650 – Working for Two Act
(Park Cannon, D – Atlanta) Would require certain accommodations in the workplace for pregnant and postpartum employees and protect such employees from discrimination based on their perinatal status. 

HB 670 – Tobacco & Vaping Taxes
(James Beverly, D – Macon) Would raise taxes on cigarettes to $2.00 per pack and vaping products to 40% of the wholesale price. 

HB 722 – Georgia Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Act
(Park Cannon, D – Atlanta) Would require perinatal facilities in this state to implement evidence based implicit bias programs for its health care professionals. 

HB 727 – Doula Medicaid Reimbursement
(Park Cannon, D – Atlanta) Would provide for Medicaid coverage for prenatal, birth, and postpartum doula services. 

HB 825 – Medicaid Coverage for Donor Milk
(Sharon Cooper, R – Marietta) Would provide Medicaid coverage for medically necessary donor breast milk. 

Senate
SB 55 – Georgia Family Medical Leave Act 
(Gloria Butler, D – Stone Mountain) Would create a program to compensate wage loss sustained by any individual who is unable to work due to such individual’s own sickness or injury, the sickness or injury of a family member, or the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a new child. 

SB 83 – Medicaid Public Option
(Sally Harrell, D – Atlanta) Would provide for a Medicaid public option program to provide healthcare coverage to individuals not eligible for Medicare, Medicaid, or the PeachCare for Kids Program. 

SB 91 – Feminine Hygiene Products to Students
(Donzella James, D – Atlanta) Would require boards of education to provide free feminine hygiene products to students. 

SB 111 – Georgia Community Midwife Act
(Lester Jackson, D – Savannah) Would provide for the licensure and regulation of community midwives.

SB 170 – Home Childbirth
(Lester Jackson, D – Savannah) Would require health benefit policies to provide coverage for expenses incurred in home childbirth.

SB 116 – Maternity Supportive Housing Residences
(Randy Robertson, R – Cataula) Would provide for registration of maternity supportive housing residences to provide housing for pregnant women.

SB 173 – Medicaid Coverage for Lactation & Postpartum Care
(Gail Davenport, D – Jonesboro) Would extend Pregnancy Medicaid to 12 months after delivery to provide coverage for lactation services. 

House & Senate Resolutions
HR 78 – Racism Public Health Crisis
(Sandra Scott, D – Rex) Would declare racism a public health crisis in Georgia.

HR 131 – House Study Committee on Health in Georgia
(Karen Bennett, D – Stone Mountain) Would create a House Study Committee on Health, which will study various health conditions impacting Georgians. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HR 146 – House Study Committee on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
(Sam Park, D – Lawrenceville) Would create a House Study Committee on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) to Improve the Health of Women and Children. 

HR 163 – House Study Committee to Evaluate Workplace Safety and Labor Law Enforcement
(Spencer Frye, D – Athens) Would create a House Study Committee to Evaluate Workplace Safety and Labor Law Enforcement.

HR 186 – Medicaid Sustainability Study Committee
(Debbie Buckner, D – Junction City) Would create a Joint Medicaid Sustainability Study Committee. 

HR 268 – Addressing Involuntary Sterilization in ICE Custody 
(Yasmin Neal, D – Jonesboro) Would urge the Congress of the United States to abolish the practice of involuntary sterilization of women in custody of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. 

SR 42 – Family Medical Leave Fund
(Gloria Butler, D – Stone Mountain) Would create a Family Medical Leave Fund as a trust fund from which funds can be used to provide a program for individuals who need to take leave from work due to their own sickness or nonwork related injury, the sickness or injury of a family member, or the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child. 

SR 107 – Family Leave Policy Study Committee 
(Jennifer Jordan, D – Atlanta) Would create a Senate Comprehensive Approach to Family Leave Policies within State Government Study Committee.

Helpful Reminder

Red text notes any updates that have occurred since the last newsletter.
‘No Action’ means there has been no update since the last newsletter.
‘SB’ or ‘HB’ refer to Senate and House BILLS. ‘SR’ or ‘HR’ refer to Senate
and House RESOLUTIONS.
Bills are used to propose changes or additions to existing statutory
law, while resolutions usually express legislative opinion or recognition
on some matter and do not have the effect of law.

2022 Advocacy Stakeholder Planning Meeting

Please join us on August 13, 2021 from 10 AM to 12 PM as we plan out our 2022 Advocacy Agenda to improve maternal and child health in Georgia. This event is open to all HMHBGA members in good standing, organizational partners, and invited stakeholders. The meeting will take place via Zoom video conference.

Anyone is welcome to become an HMHBGA member by signing up here.

Not sure if your membership is active? Email us at thecoaliton@hmhbga.org

AGENDA:

I. 2021 Legislative Recap

II. What We Expect in 2022– Threats, Challenges & Opportunities

III. Partner Priorities: Impacting Maternal & Child Health in the Next Legislative Session

IV. Planning for: HMHBGA Legislative Breakfast & Capitol Awareness Day

V. Other agenda items

REGISTER HERE

Project 236

Project 236 is an advocacy tool that can be used to understand the state of maternal and infant health in your legislative district! Outcomes include rates of preterm birth, low birthweight, infant mortality, and prenatal care inadequacy. In this age of virtual advocacy, we hope that this can be used as a way to advocate for improved maternal and infant health in your own backyard.

We encourage you to engage with your legislators on why investment in maternal and infant health is necessary for the health of Georgia’s families. You can access the fact sheet for your district below.

PROJECT 236 SHEETS

Keeping Current @ the Capitol – Sine Die Edition

Today is Sine Die!

Today, March 31, is Sine Die, the final day of the 2021 Georgia legislative session. Bills have until the end of today to pass both chambers (House & Senate) before heading to Governor Kemp’s desk. If a bill does not proceed before the close of Sine Die, it is still eligible for consideration during the 2022 legislative session. Once the General Assembly adjourns, the Governor has 40 days to sign or veto legislation. If a bill is not signed or vetoed by the end of the 40 days, it automatically becomes law. 

Stay tuned for our 2021 Legislative Wrap-Up next week!

Paid Parental Leave Bill Headed to Governor’s Desk

HB 146 (Houston Gaines, R – Athens) is on its way to be signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp after passing the full Senate and House. This bill will provide three weeks of paid parental leave to state employees for the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child. Once the bill is signed, it will go into effect July 1, 2021. 

HMHBGA is grateful for the work of lawmakers and advocates for getting this important law to the finish line. This policy will help teachers and other state employees take care of themselves and their families after birth, adoption, and foster placement with less worry about missing a paycheck. We will continue to work to ensure this benefit is available to all families across Georgia in the future. 

Legislation to Watch

House Legislation

HB 146 – Paid Parental Leave for State Employees 
(Houston Gaines, R – Athens) Would provide for three weeks of paid parental leave for eligible state employees and eligible local board of education employees following the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child. [House Health & Human Services Committee; Senate Insurance & Labor Committee] Passed full Senate (52-0) & full House (153-8). Headed to Governor’s desk

HB 154 – Protection of Children 
(Bert Reeves, R – Marietta) Would strengthen, clarify, and update provisions relating to the protection of children, including foster children and adopted children. [House Juvenile Justice Committee; Senate Judiciary Committee] Passed full Senate (51-0) 

HB 163 – Medicaid Express Lane Eligibility 
(Sharon Cooper, R – Marietta) Would implement express lane enrollment, which would automatically enroll and renew eligible children in Medicaid based on SNAP data. [House Health & Human Services Committee; Senate Health & Human Services Committee] Headed to Governor’s desk 

HB 231 – Stalking Protective Orders
(Houston Gaines, R – Athens) Would expand the applicability of protective orders for victims of stalking to include people with whom they have had a current or past pregnancy or relationship. [House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee] Passed full Senate (53-0) 

HB 287 – Tobacco and Vaping Education
(Bonnie Rich, R – Suwanee) Would include tobacco and vapor products in the course of instruction regarding alcohol and drugs required each year for all students in grades kindergarten through 12. [House Education Committee; Senate Education & Youth Committee] Passed full Senate (50-0)

HB 307 – Georgia Telehealth Act
(Sharon Cooper, R – Marietta) Would authorize health care providers to provide telemedicine services from home and allow patients to receive telehealth services from home, work, or school. [House Health & Human Services Committee; Senate Health & Human Services Committee] Passed full Senate (52-0)

HB 509 – Reasonably Priced Health Insurance
(Houston Gaines, R – Athens) Would require certain insurers to make at least one reasonably priced comprehensive major medical health insurance policy available to residents in this state without limitation or exclusion based on preexisting conditions. [House Insurance Committee; Senate Insurance & Labor] Passed full Senate (51-1). Headed to Governor’s desk

HB 567 – Newborn Screening and Genetics Advisory Committee
(Sharon Cooper, R – Marietta) Would create a Newborn Screening and Genetics Advisory Committee and require newborns to be screened for new disorders recommended by the committee. [House Health & Human Services Committee] Passed full Senate (51-0) 

HR 52 – Joint Study Committee on Lead Exposure
(Katie Dempsey, R – Rome) Would create a Joint Study Committee to study prevention of childhood lead exposure. [House Health & Human Services Committee] Favorably passed by committee. No update

HR 78 – Racism Public Health Crisis
(Sandra Scott, D – Rex) Would declare racism a public health crisis in Georgia.[House Human Relations & Aging Committee] No update

HR 131 – House Study Committee on Health in Georgia
(Karen Bennett, D – Stone Mountain) Would create a House Study Committee on Health, which will study various health conditions impacting Georgians. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HR 146 – House Study Committee on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
(Sam Park, D – Lawrenceville) Would create a House Study Committee on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) to Improve the Health of Women and Children. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HR 163 – House Study Committee to Evaluate Workplace Safety and Labor Law Enforcement
(Spencer Frye, D – Athens) Would create a House Study Committee to Evaluate Workplace Safety and Labor Law Enforcement. [House Industry & Labor Committee] No update

HR 186 – Medicaid Sustainability Study Committee
(Debbie Buckner, D – Junction City) Would create a Joint Medicaid Sustainability Study Committee. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HR 268 – Addressing Involuntary Sterilization in ICE Custody 
(Yasmin Neal, D – Jonesboro) Would urge the Congress of the United States to abolish the practice of involuntary sterilization of women in custody of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. [House Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee] No update

Senate Legislation

SB 20 – Child Advocate Advisory Committee(Chuck Payne, R – Dalton) Would revise the composition of the Child Advocate Advisory Committee to include a foster parent, a former foster child, and a court appointment special advocate (CASA). [Senate Education & Youth Committee; House Juvenile Justice Committee; House Education & Youth Committee] Passed committee favorably

SB 116 – Maternity Supportive Housing Residences
(Randy Robertson, R – Cataula) Would provide for registration of maternity supportive housing residences to provide housing for pregnant women. [Senate Health & Human Services Committee; House Health & Human Services] No update

SR 42 – Family Medical Leave Fund
(Gloria Butler, D – Stone Mountain) Would create a Family Medical Leave Fund as a trust fund from which funds can be used to provide a program for individuals who need to take leave from work due to their own sickness or nonwork related injury, the sickness or injury of a family member, or the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child.[Senate Insurance & Labor Committee] No update

SR 107 – Family Leave Policy Study Committee 
(Jennifer Jordan, D – Atlanta) Would create a Senate Comprehensive Approach to Family Leave Policies within State Government Study Committee. [Senate Rules Committee] No update

Helpful Reminder

Red text notes any updates that have occurred since the last newsletter.
‘No Action’ means there has been no update since the last newsletter.
‘SB’ or ‘HB’ refer to Senate and House BILLS. ‘SR’ or ‘HR’ refer to Senate
and House RESOLUTIONS.
Bills are used to propose changes or additions to existing statutory
law, while resolutions usually express legislative opinion or recognition
on some matter and do not have the effect of law.


Project 236

Project 236 is an advocacy tool that can be used to understand the state of maternal and infant health in your legislative district! Outcomes include rates of preterm birth, low birthweight, infant mortality, and prenatal care inadequacy. In this age of virtual advocacy, we hope that this can be used as a way to advocate for improved maternal and infant health in your own backyard.

We encourage you to engage with your legislators on why investment in maternal and infant health is necessary for the health of Georgia’s families. You can access the fact sheet for your district below.

Project 236 Sheets

Keeping Current @ the Capitol – Week of March 22, 2021

Parental Leave Bill Passes Senate Committee

On March 16, HB 146 (Houston Gaines, R – Athens) unanimously passed the Senate Insurance & Labor Committee. This bill would provide three weeks of paid parental leave to state employees for the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child. The bill is now expected to move on to the full Senate for a vote before being sent to the Governor’s desk for signature. HMHBGA is in full support of this bill and will continue to monitor its progress.

To watch the committee hearing visit here (begins at 16:20).


Legislation to Watch

House Legislation

HB 146 – Paid Parental Leave for State Employees 
(Houston Gaines, R – Athens) Would provide for three weeks of paid parental leave for eligible state employees and eligible local board of education employees following the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child. [House Health & Human Services Committee; Senate Insurance & Labor Committee] Passed committee favorably

HB 154 – Protection of Children
(Bert Reeves, R – Marietta) Would strengthen, clarify, and update provisions relating to the protection of children, including foster children and adopted children. [House Juvenile Justice Committee; Senate Judiciary Committee] Passed committee favorably

HB 163 – Medicaid Express Lane Eligibility 
(Sharon Cooper, R – Marietta) Would implement express lane enrollment, which would automatically enroll and renew eligible children in Medicaid based on SNAP data. [House Health & Human Services Committee; Senate Health & Human Services Committee] Passed full Senate

HB 231 – Stalking Protective Orders
(Houston Gaines, R – Athens) Would expand the applicability of protective orders for victims of stalking to include people with whom they have had a current or past pregnancy or relationship. [House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee] No update

HB 287 – Tobacco and Vaping Education
(Bonnie Rich, R – Suwanee) Would include tobacco and vapor products in the course of instruction regarding alcohol and drugs required each year for all students in grades kindergarten through 12. [House Education Committee; Senate Education & Youth Committee] Passed committee favorably

HB 307 – Georgia Telehealth Act
(Sharon Cooper, R – Marietta) Would authorize health care providers to provide telemedicine services from home and allow patients to receive telehealth services from home, work, or school. [House Health & Human Services Committee; Senate Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HB 509 – Reasonably Priced Health Insurance
(Houston Gaines, R – Athens) Would require certain insurers to make at least one reasonably priced comprehensive major medical health insurance policy available to residents in this state without limitation or exclusion based on preexisting conditions. [House Insurance Committee; Senate Insurance & Labor] Passed committee favorably

HB 567 – Newborn Screening and Genetics Advisory Committee
(Sharon Cooper, R – Marietta) Would create a Newborn Screening and Genetics Advisory Committee and require newborns to be screened for new disorders recommended by the committee. [House Health & Human Services Committee] Passed committee favorably

HR 52 – Joint Study Committee on Lead Exposure
(Katie Dempsey, R – Rome) Would create a Joint Study Committee to study prevention of childhood lead exposure. [House Health & Human Services Committee] Favorably passed by committee. No update

HR 78 – Racism Public Health Crisis
(Sandra Scott, D – Rex) Would declare racism a public health crisis in Georgia.[House Human Relations & Aging Committee] No update

HR 131 – House Study Committee on Health in Georgia
(Karen Bennett, D – Stone Mountain) Would create a House Study Committee on Health, which will study various health conditions impacting Georgians. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HR 146 – House Study Committee on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
(Sam Park, D – Lawrenceville) Would create a House Study Committee on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) to Improve the Health of Women and Children. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HR 163 – House Study Committee to Evaluate Workplace Safety and Labor Law Enforcement
(Spencer Frye, D – Athens) Would create a House Study Committee to Evaluate Workplace Safety and Labor Law Enforcement. [House Industry & Labor Committee] No update

HR 186 – Medicaid Sustainability Study Committee
(Debbie Buckner, D – Junction City) Would create a Joint Medicaid Sustainability Study Committee. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HR 268 – Addressing Involuntary Sterilization in ICE Custody 
(Yasmin Neal, D – Jonesboro) Would urge the Congress of the United States to abolish the practice of involuntary sterilization of women in custody of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. [House Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee] No update

Senate Legislation

SB 20 – Child Advocate Advisory Committee(Chuck Payne, R – Dalton) Would revise the composition of the Child Advocate Advisory Committee to include a foster parent, a former foster child, and a court appointment special advocate (CASA). [Senate Education & Youth Committee; House Juvenile Justice Committee; House Education & Youth Committee] No update

SB 116 – Maternity Supportive Housing Residences
(Randy Robertson, R – Cataula) Would provide for registration of maternity supportive housing residences to provide housing for pregnant women. [Senate Health & Human Services Committee; House Health & Human Services] No update

SR 42 – Family Medical Leave Fund
(Gloria Butler, D – Stone Mountain) Would create a Family Medical Leave Fund as a trust fund from which funds can be used to provide a program for individuals who need to take leave from work due to their own sickness or nonwork related injury, the sickness or injury of a family member, or the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child.[Senate Insurance & Labor Committee] No update

SR 107 – Family Leave Policy Study Committee 
(Jennifer Jordan, D – Atlanta) Would create a Senate Comprehensive Approach to Family Leave Policies within State Government Study Committee. [Senate Rules Committee] No update

Helpful Reminder
Red text notes any updates that have occurred since the last newsletter.
‘No Action’ means there has been no update since the last newsletter.
‘SB’ or ‘HB’ refer to Senate and House BILLS. ‘SR’ or ‘HR’ refer to Senate
and House RESOLUTIONS.
Bills are used to propose changes or additions to existing statutory
law, while resolutions usually express legislative opinion or recognition
on some matter and do not have the effect of law.
Project 236

Project 236 is an advocacy tool that can be used to understand the state of maternal and infant health in your legislative district! Outcomes include rates of preterm birth, low birthweight, infant mortality, and prenatal care inadequacy. In this age of virtual advocacy, we hope that this can be used as a way to advocate for improved maternal and infant health in your own backyard.

We encourage you to engage with your legislators on why investment in maternal and infant health is necessary for the health of Georgia’s families. You can access the fact sheet for your district below.

Project 236 Fact Sheets

Keeping Current @ the Capitol – Week of March 15, 2021

Congress Passes COVID-19 Relief Package

On March 11, 2021 President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (HR 1319). This $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill includes provisions that will help in improving maternal and infant health across the country. They include: 

  • An option for states to extend Medicaid coverage to 12 months postpartum 
  • $50 million in emergency funding for the Title X Family Planning Program 
  • $150 million in emergency funding for Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) programs
  • $3.88 billion to increase the availability of treatment services for mental health and substance use disorder treatment, including $40 million for grants for health care providers to promote mental health among the health professional workforce.

Read AMCHP Summary

Read NFP Summary

Legislation to Watch

House Legislation
HB 146 – Paid Parental Leave for State Employees 
(Houston Gaines, R – Athens) Would provide for three weeks of paid parental leave for eligible state employees and eligible local board of education employees following the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child. [House Health & Human Services Committee; Senate Insurance & Labor Committee] No update

HB 154 – Protection of Children 
(Bert Reeves, R – Marietta) Would strengthen, clarify, and update provisions relating to the protection of children, including foster children and adopted children. [House Juvenile Justice Committee; Senate Judiciary Committee] No update

HB 163 – Medicaid Express Lane Eligibility 
(Sharon Cooper, R – Marietta) Would implement express lane enrollment, which would automatically enroll and renew eligible children in Medicaid based on SNAP data. [House Health & Human Services Committee; Senate Health & Human Services Committee] Passed full Senate 52-0

HB 231 – Stalking Protective Orders
(Houston Gaines, R – Athens) Would expand the applicability of protective orders for victims of stalking to include people with whom they have had a current or past pregnancy or relationship with. [House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee] No update

HB 287 – Tobacco and Vaping Education
(Bonnie Rich, R – Suwanee) Would include tobacco and vapor products in the course of instruction regarding alcohol and drugs required each year for all students in grades kindergarten through 12. [House Education Committee; Senate Education & Youth Committee] No update

HB 307 – Georgia Telehealth Act
(Sharon Cooper, R – Marietta) Would authorize health care providers to provide telemedicine services from home and allow patients to receive telehealth services from home, work, or school. [House Health & Human Services Committee; Senate Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HB 509 – Reasonably Priced Health Insurance
(Houston Gaines, R – Athens) Would require certain insurers to make at least one reasonably priced comprehensive major medical health insurance policy available to residents in this state without limitation or exclusion based on preexisting conditions. [House Insurance Committee; Senate Insurance & Labor] No update

HB 567 – Newborn Screening and Genetics Advisory Committee
(Sharon Cooper, R – Marietta) Would create a Newborn Screening and Genetics Advisory Committee and require newborns to be screened for new disorders recommended by the committee. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HR 52 – Joint Study Committee on Lead Exposure
(Katie Dempsey, R – Rome) Would create a Joint Study Committee to study prevention of childhood lead exposure. [House Health & Human Services Committee] Favorably passed by committee. No update

HR 78 – Racism Public Health Crisis
(Sandra Scott, D – Rex) Would declare racism a public health crisis in Georgia.[House Human Relations & Aging Committee] No update

HR 131 – House Study Committee on Health in Georgia
(Karen Bennett, D – Stone Mountain) Would create a House Study Committee on Health, which will study various health conditions impacting Georgians. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HR 146 – House Study Committee on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
(Sam Park, D – Lawrenceville) Would create a House Study Committee on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) to Improve the Health of Women and Children. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HR 163 – House Study Committee to Evaluate Workplace Safety and Labor Law Enforcement
(Spencer Frye, D – Athens) Would create a House Study Committee to Evaluate Workplace Safety and Labor Law Enforcement. [House Industry & Labor Committee] No update

HR 186 – Medicaid Sustainability Study Committee
(Debbie Buckner, D – Junction City) Would create a Joint Medicaid Sustainability Study Committee. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HR 268 – Addressing Involuntary Sterilization in ICE Custody 
(Yasmin Neal, D – Jonesboro) Would urge the Congress of the United States to abolish the practice of involuntary sterilization of women in custody of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. [House Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee] No update

Senate Legislation
SB 20 – Child Advocate Advisory Committee(Chuck Payne, R – Dalton) Would revise the composition of the Child Advocate Advisory Committee to include a foster parent, a former foster child, and a court appointment special advocate (CASA). [Senate Education & Youth Committee; House Juvenile Justice Committee; House Education & Youth Committee] No update

SB 116 – Maternity Supportive Housing Residences
(Randy Robertson, R – Cataula) Would provide for registration of maternity supportive housing residences to provide housing for pregnant women. [Senate Health & Human Services Committee; House Health & Human Services] No update

SR 42 – Family Medical Leave Fund
(Gloria Butler, D – Stone Mountain) Would create a Family Medical Leave Fund as a trust fund from which funds can be used to provide a program for individuals who need to take leave from work due to their own sickness or nonwork related injury, the sickness or injury of a family member, or the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child.[Senate Insurance & Labor Committee] No update

SR 107 – Family Leave Policy Study Committee 
(Jennifer Jordan, D – Atlanta) Would create a Senate Comprehensive Approach to Family Leave Policies within State Government Study Committee. [Senate Rules Committee] No update

Helpful Reminder

Red text notes any updates that have occurred since the last newsletter.
‘No Action’ means there has been no update since the last newsletter.
‘SB’ or ‘HB’ refer to Senate and House BILLS. ‘SR’ or ‘HR’ refer to Senate
and House RESOLUTIONS.
Bills are used to propose changes or additions to existing statutory
law, while resolutions usually express legislative opinion or recognition
on some matter and do not have the effect of law.

Project 236

Project 236 is an advocacy tool that can be used to understand the state of maternal and infant health in your legislative district! Outcomes include rates of preterm birth, low birthweight, infant mortality, and prenatal care inadequacy. In this age of virtual advocacy, we hope that this can be used as a way to advocate for improved maternal and infant health in your own backyard.

We encourage you to engage with your legislators on why investment in maternal and infant health is necessary for the health of Georgia’s families. You can access the fact sheet for your district below.

Find Your Legislator

Keeping Current @ the Capitol – 2021 Crossover Update

Monday, March 8 was Crossover Day for the Georgia General Assembly. In order for bills to progress to law, they have to pass both the House of Representatives and Senate. They are then sent to the Governor’s desk for approval. Legislative Day 28 is known as Crossover Day and is the last day a bill can cross from one chamber to the other. 

See what bills crossed over below. These items are bills we are monitoring throughout the session related to maternal, infant, child, and general health. Legislation on this list is not necessarily endorsed by HMHBGA. 

What Crossed Over

House
HB 146 – Paid Parental Leave for State Employees 
(Houston Gaines, R – Athens) Would provide for three weeks of paid parental leave for eligible state employees and eligible local board of education employees following the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child. [House Health & Human Services Committee; Senate Insurance & Labor Committee] Passed 155-2

HB 154 – Protection of Children 
(Bert Reeves, R – Marietta) Would strengthen, clarify, and update provisions relating to the protection of children, including foster children and adopted children. [House Juvenile Justice Committee; Senate Judiciary Committee] Passed 160-4

HB 163 – Medicaid Express Lane Eligibility 
(Sharon Cooper, R – Marietta) Would implement express lane enrollment, which would automatically enroll and renew eligible children in Medicaid based on SNAP data. [House Health & Human Services Committee; Senate Health & Human Services Committee] Passed 166-0

HB 231 – Stalking Protective Orders
(Houston Gaines, R – Athens) Would expand the applicability of protective orders for victims of stalking to include people with who they have had a current or past pregnancy or relationship with. [House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee] Passed 174-0

HB 287 – Tobacco and Vaping Education
(Bonnie Rich, R – Suwanee) Would include tobacco and vapor products in the course of instruction regarding alcohol and drugs required each year for all students in grades kindergarten through 12. [House Education Committee; Senate Education & Youth Committee] Passed 156-0

HB 307 – Georgia Telehealth Act
(Sharon Cooper, R – Marietta) Would authorize health care providers to provide telemedicine services from home and allow patients to receive telehealth services from home, work, or school. [House Health & Human Services Committee; Senate Health & Human Services Committee] Passed 158-0

HB 509 – Reasonably Priced Health Insurance
(Houston Gaines, R – Athens) Would require certain insurers to make at least one reasonably priced comprehensive major medical health insurance policy available to residents in this state without limitation or exclusion based on preexisting conditions. [House Insurance Committee; Senate Insurance & Labor] Passed 121-11

HB 567 – Newborn Screening and Genetics Advisory Committee
(Sharon Cooper, R – Marietta) Would create a Newborn Screening and Genetics Advisory Committee and require newborns to be screened for new disorders recommended by the committee. [House Health & Human Services Committee] Passed 166-2

Senate
SB 20 – Child Advocate Advisory Committee(Chuck Payne, R – Dalton) Would revise the composition of the Child Advocate Advisory Committee to include a foster parent, a former foster child, and a court appointment special advocate (CASA). [Senate Education & Youth Committee; House Juvenile Justice Committee; House Education & Youth Committee] Passed 48-0

SB 116 – Maternity Supportive Housing Residences
(Randy Robertson, R – Cataula) Would provide for registration of maternity supportive housing residences to provide housing for pregnant women. [Senate Health & Human Services Committee; House Health & Human Services] Passed 32-17

What Did Not Cross Over

House
HB 9 – Telehealth Services in Schools
(Sandra Scott, D – Rex) Would require the Department of Education to develop guidelines for the use of telehealth services in public schools for mental health and behavioral health services. [House Education Committee]

HB 11 – Safe Patient Limits Act
(Sandra Scott, D – Rex) Would limit the number of patients that may be assigned to a registered professional nurse in specified situations in hospitals. [House Health & Human Services Committee] 

HB 38 – Repeal Sterilization Procedures 
(Kim Schofield, D – Atlanta) Would repeal certain provisions related to the performance of reproductive sterilization procedures. 

HB 41 – Health Benefit Plan Network Access and Adequacy Act
(Kim Schofield, D – Atlanta) Would increase consumer access to health care by improving network adequacy and under certain circumstances charge out-of-network services at in-network rates.

HB 49 – Mental Health Parity Act 
(Shelly Hutchinson, D – Snellville) Would require mental health substance use services to be treated in line with other health insurance claims. [House Insurance Committee]

HB 54 – Menstrual Hygiene Education
(Debra Bazemore, D – South Fulton) Would provide instruction on best practices and risks associated with tampons during sex education and AIDS prevention instruction in core curriculum. [House Education Committee] 

HB 57 – Breastfeeding in Penal Institutions 
(Sandra Scott, D – Rex) Would provide policies for breast milk storage and the breastfeeding of a newborn, require prenatal and postpartum care, and require the provision of breast pumps in penal institutions. [House Health & Human Services Committee]

HB 72 – New Mothers Medicaid Expansion Act
(Carolyn Hugley, D – Columbus) Would extend Pregnancy Medicaid to 12 months after delivery. [House Health & Human Services Committee]

HB 96 – Presumption in Child Custody Cases
(Jasmine Clark, D – Lilburn) Would revise presumption in cases in which the custody of any child is at issue. [House Juvenile Justice Committee] 

HB 197 – Family Care Act Extension 
(Regina Lewis-Ward, D – McDonough) Would extend the Family Care Act, which allows employees to use sick time to care for immediate family members, to 2025. [House Industry & Labor Committee] 

HB 209 – Medicaid Expansion Program
(Donna McLeod, D – Lawrenceville) Would expand Medicaid coverage to eligible people up to 150% of the federal poverty line. [House Health & Human Services] 

HB 215 – Telehealth Options Under Medicaid
(Mary Robichaux, D – Roswell) Would extend the use of temporary Medicaid telehealth options during the pandemic emergency to a permanent status. Would also provide certification and training to providers through telehealth options. [House Health & Human Services Committee] 

HB 257 – Maternity Supportive Housing Act 
(Ed Setzler, R – Acworth) Would provide registration of maternity supportive housing for pregnant women. [Health & Human Services Committee]

HB 377 – Georgia Women’s Care Act
(Sharon Cooper, R – Marietta) Would revise provisions related to the arrests of pregnant women, require pregnancy testing upon detention, and enact delayed sentencing for postpartum female inmates. [House Health & Human Services Committee] 

HB 381 – Expanding Medicaid to Improve Health Outcomes for New Mothers Act
(Renitta Shannon, D – Decatur) Would extend Pregnancy Medicaid to 12 months after delivery. [House Health & Human Services Committee] 

HB 382 – Positive Alternatives for Pregnancy and Parenting Grant Program Repeal
(Renitta Shannon, D – Decatur) Would redirect public health funds from the Positive Alternatives for Pregnancy and Parenting Grant Program (Crisis Pregnancy Centers) to evidence-based programs. [House Health & Human Services Committee] 

HB 394 – Tobacco & Vaping Tax
(Ron Stephens, R – Savannah) Would raise the tobacco tax to $1.87 per pack and tax vaping products at 39% of the wholesale cost. [House Ways & Means Committee]

HB 448 – Medicaid & PeachCare Disclosure of Cost Data
(David Knight, R – Griffin) Would require all contracts with Medicaid and PeachCare programs to disclose all cost related data to the state. [House Special Committee On Access to Quality Health Care Committee] 

HB 650 – Working for Two Act
(Park Cannon, D – Atlanta) Would require certain accommodations in the workplace for pregnant and postpartum employees and protect such employees from discrimination based on their perinatal status. [House Industry & Labor Committee] 

HB 670 – Tobacco & Vaping Taxes
(James Beverly, D – Macon) Would raise taxes on cigarettes to $2.00 per pack and vaping products to 40% of the wholesale price. [House Ways & Means Committee]

HB 722 – Georgia Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Act
(Park Cannon, D – Atlanta) Would require perinatal facilities in this state to implement evidence based implicit bias programs for its health care professionals. [House Health & Human Services Committee]

HB 727 – Doula Medicaid Reimbursement
(Park Cannon, D – Atlanta) Would provide for Medicaid coverage for prenatal, birth, and postpartum doula services. [House Health & Human Services Committee] 

Senate
SB 55 – Georgia Family Medical Leave Act 
(Gloria Butler, D – Stone Mountain) Would create a program to compensate wage loss sustained by any individual who is unable to work due to such individual’s own sickness or injury, the sickness or injury of a family member, or the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a new child. [Senate Insurance & Labor Committee] 

SB 83 – Medicaid Public Option
(Sally Harrell, D – Atlanta) Would provide for a Medicaid public option program to provide healthcare coverage to individuals not eligible for Medicare, Medicaid, or the PeachCare for Kids Program. [Senate Appropriations Committee]

SB 91 – Feminine Hygiene Products to Students
(Donzella James, D – Atlanta) Would require boards of education to provide free feminine hygiene products to students. [Senate Education & Youth Committee]

SB 111 – Georgia Community Midwife Act
(Lester Jackson, D – Savannah) Would provide for the licensure and regulation of community midwives. [Senate Health & Human Services Committee] 

SB 170 – Home Childbirth
(Lester Jackson, D – Savannah) Would require health benefit policies to provide coverage for expenses incurred in home childbirth. [Senate Insurance & Labor Committee] 

SB 173 – Medicaid Coverage for Lactation & Postpartum Care
(Gail Davenport, D – Jonesboro) Would extend Pregnancy Medicaid to 12 months after delivery to provide coverage for lactation services. [Senate Appropriations Committee] 

House & Senate Resolutions

Legislative resolutions (‘HR’ & ‘SR’) express legislative opinion or recognition on some matter and do not have the effect of law. Resolutions can recognize legislative days (i.e. Maternal Mental Health Day), commend a person or entity, or establish a study committee.

Joint resolutions need to pass both the House and the Senate and therefore needed to crossover by March 8, 2021. Standalone resolutions can be passed up until Sine Die (last day of session). Below are a list of resolutions that have been introduced this session. Resolutions that have been read and adopted passed.

House Resolutions
HR 52 – Joint Study Committee on Lead Exposure
(Katie Dempsey, R – Rome) Would create a Joint Study Committee to study prevention of childhood lead exposure. [House Health & Human Services Committee] Favorably passed by committee. No update

HR 78 – Racism Public Health Crisis
(Sandra Scott, D – Rex) Would declare racism a public health crisis in Georgia.[House Human Relations & Aging Committee] No update

HR 131 – House Study Committee on Health in Georgia
(Karen Bennett, D – Stone Mountain) Would create a House Study Committee on Health, which will study various health conditions impacting Georgians. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HR 146 – House Study Committee on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
(Sam Park, D – Lawrenceville) Would create a House Study Committee on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) to Improve the Health of Women and Children. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HR 163 – House Study Committee to Evaluate Workplace Safety and Labor Law Enforcement
(Spencer Frye, D – Athens) Would create a House Study Committee to Evaluate Workplace Safety and Labor Law Enforcement. [House Industry & Labor Committee] No update

HR 186 – Medicaid Sustainability Study Committee
(Debbie Buckner, D – Junction City) Would create a Joint Medicaid Sustainability Study Committee. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HR 268 – Addressing Involuntary Sterilization in ICE Custody 
(Yasmin Neal, D – Jonesboro) Would urge the Congress of the United States to abolish the practice of involuntary sterilization of women in custody of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. [House Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee] No update

Senate Resolutions
SR 42 – Family Medical Leave Fund
(Gloria Butler, D – Stone Mountain) Would create a Family Medical Leave Fund as a trust fund from which funds can be used to provide a program for individuals who need to take leave from work due to their own sickness or nonwork related injury, the sickness or injury of a family member, or the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child.[Senate Insurance & Labor Committee] No update

SR 107 – Family Leave Policy Study Committee 
(Jennifer Jordan, D – Atlanta) Would create a Senate Comprehensive Approach to Family Leave Policies within State Government Study Committee. [Senate Rules Committee] No update

Helpful Reminder
Red text notes any updates that have occurred since the last newsletter.
‘No Action’ means there has been no update since the last newsletter.
‘SB’ or ‘HB’ refer to Senate and House BILLS. ‘SR’ or ‘HR’ refer to Senate
and House RESOLUTIONS.
Bills are used to propose changes or additions to existing statutory
law, while resolutions usually express legislative opinion or recognition
on some matter and do not have the effect of law.
Project 236

Project 236 is an advocacy tool that can be used to understand the state of maternal and infant health in your legislative district! Outcomes include rates of preterm birth, low birthweight, infant mortality, and prenatal care inadequacy. In this age of virtual advocacy, we hope that this can be used as a way to advocate for improved maternal and infant health in your own backyard.

We encourage you to engage with your legislators on why investment in maternal and infant health is necessary for the health of Georgia’s families. You can access the fact sheet for your district below.

Project 236 Fact Sheet

Keeping Current @ the Capitol – Week of March 1, 2021

Preparing for Crossover Day

Crossover Day is scheduled for Monday, March 8th. In order for bills to progress to law, they have to pass both the House of Representatives and Senate. Legislative Day 28 is known as Crossover Day and is the last day a bill can be passed from one chamber to the other. Bills that fail to cross over before the end of this day will no longer be considered for the rest of session, but can be picked back up next year. Learn more here

The next edition of Keeping Current @ the Capitol® will be sent next Wednesday and will review status of all the bills we’re tracking and whether or not they progressed. Stay tuned!

Sine Die Set

Sine Die, the 40th Legislative Day, is the last day of Georgia’s General Assembly. All bills that have passed both chambers by this day will go to the Governor’s desk for signature to be enacted into law (unless it is vetoed). The Legislative Calendar has been set for the rest of the legislative session and is as follows:

  • Tuesday, March 2: Committee workday 
  • Wednesday, March 3: Legislative Day 26
  • Thursday, March 4: Committee workday
  • Friday, March 5: Legislative day 27
  • Monday, March 8: Legislative Day 28 (Crossover Day) 
  • Tuesday, March 9: Legislative Day 29
  • Wednesday, March 10: Legislative Day 30 
  • Thursday, March 11: Legislative Day 31
  • Monday, March 15: Legislative Day 32
  • Tuesday, March 16: Legislative Day 33
  • Wednesday, March 17: Legislative Day 34
  • Thursday, March 18: Legislative Day 35
  • Monday, March 22: Legislative Day 36
  • Tuesday, March 23: Legislative Day 37
  • Wednesday, March 24: Committee workday
  • Thursday, March 25: Legislative Day 38
  • Friday, March 26: Committee workday
  • Monday, March 29: Legislative Day 39
  • Tuesday, March 30: Committee workday
  • Wednesday, March 31: Legislative Day 40 (Sine Die) 

Legislation to Watch
The items below are bills we are monitoring throughout the session related to maternal, infant, child, and general health. Legislation on this list is not necessarily endorsed by HMHBGA. 

House Legislation

HB 9 – Telehealth Services in Schools
(Sandra Scott, D – Rex) Would require the Department of Education to develop guidelines for the use of telehealth services in public schools for mental health and behavioral health services. [House Education Committee] No update

HB 11 – Safe Patient Limits Act
(Sandra Scott, D – Rex) Would limit the number of patients that may be assigned to a registered professional nurse in specified situations in hospitals. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HB 38 – Repeal Sterilization Procedures 
(Kim Schofield, D – Atlanta) Would repeal certain provisions related to the performance of reproductive sterilization procedures. No update

HB 41 – Health Benefit Plan Network Access and Adequacy Act
(Kim Schofield, D – Atlanta) Would increase consumer access to health care by improving network adequacy and under certain circumstances charge out-of-network services at in-network rates. No update

HB 49 – Mental Health Parity Act 
(Shelly Hutchinson, D – Snellville) Would require mental health substance use services to be treated in line with other health insurance claims. [House Insurance Committee] No update

HB 54 – Menstrual Hygiene Education
(Debra Bazemore, D – South Fulton) Would provide instruction on best practices and risks associated with tampons during sex education and AIDS prevention instruction in core curriculum. [House Education Committee] No update

HB 57 – Breastfeeding in Penal Institutions 
(Sandra Scott, D – Rex) Would provide policies for breast milk storage and the breastfeeding of a newborn, require prenatal and postpartum care, and require the provision of breast pumps in penal institutions. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HB 72 – New Mothers Medicaid Expansion Act
(Carolyn Hugley, D – Columbus) Would extend Pregnancy Medicaid to 12 months after delivery. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HB 96 – Presumption in Child Custody Cases
(Jasmine Clark, D – Lilburn) Would revise presumption in cases in which the custody of any child is at issue. [House Juvenile Justice Committee] No update

HB 146 – Paid Parental Leave for State Employees 
(Houston Gaines, R – Athens) Would provide for three weeks of paid parental leave for eligible state employees and eligible local board of education employees following the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child. [House Health & Human Services Committee; Senate Insurance & Labor Committee] No update

HB 154 – Protection of Children 
(Bert Reeves, R – Marietta) Would strengthen, clarify, and update provisions relating to the protection of children, including foster children and adopted children. [House Juvenile Justice Committee] Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee

HB 163 – Medicaid Express Lane Eligibility 
(Sharon Cooper, R – Marietta) Would implement express lane enrollment, which would automatically enroll and renew eligible children in Medicaid based on SNAP data. [House Health & Human Services Committee; Senate Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HB 197 – Family Care Act Extension 
(Regina Lewis-Ward, D – McDonough) Would extend the Family Care Act, which allows employees to use sick time to care for immediate family members, to 2025. [House Industry & Labor Committee] No update

HB 209 – Medicaid Expansion Program
(Donna McLeod, D – Lawrenceville) Would expand Medicaid coverage to eligible people up to 150% of the federal poverty line. [House Health & Human Services] No update

HB 215 – Telehealth Options Under Medicaid
(Mary Robichaux, D – Roswell) Would extend the use of temporary Medicaid telehealth options during the pandemic emergency to a permanent status. Would also provide certification and training to providers through telehealth options. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HB 231 – Stalking Protective Orders
(Houston Gaines, R – Athens) Would expand the applicability of protective orders for victims of stalking to include people with who they have had a current or past pregnancy or relationship with. [House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee] No update

HB 257 – Maternity Supportive Housing Act 
(Ed Setzler, R – Acworth) Would provide registration of maternity supportive housing for pregnant women. [Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HB 287 – Tobacco and Vaping Education
(Bonnie Rich, R – Suwanee) Would include tobacco and vapor products in the course of instruction regarding alcohol and drugs required each year for all students in grades kindergarten through 12. [House Education Committee] Assigned to Senate Education & Youth Committee

HB 307 – Georgia Telehealth Act
(Sharon Cooper, R – Marietta) Would authorize health care providers to provide telemedicine services from home and allow patients to receive telehealth services from home, work, or school. [House Health & Human Services Committee] Passed full House (158-0) and assigned to Senate Health & Human Services Committee 

HB 377 – Georgia Women’s Care Act
(Kim Schofield, D – Atlanta) Would revise provisions related to the arrests of pregnant women, require pregnancy testing upon detention, and enact delayed sentencing for postpartum female inmates. [House Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee] Reassigned to House Health & Human Services Committee

HB 381 – Expanding Medicaid to Improve Health Outcomes for New Mothers Act
(Renitta Shannon, D – Decatur) Would extend Pregnancy Medicaid to 12 months after delivery. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HB 382 – Positive Alternatives for Pregnancy and Parenting Grant Program Repeal
(Renitta Shannon, D – Decatur) Would redirect public health funds from the Positive Alternatives for Pregnancy and Parenting Grant Program (Crisis Pregnancy Centers) to evidence-based programs. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HB 394 – Tobacco & Vaping Tax
(Ron Stephens, R – Savannah) Would raise the tobacco tax to $1.87 per pack and tax vaping products at 39% of the wholesale cost. [House Ways & Means Committee] No update

HB 448 – Medicaid & PeachCare Disclosure of Cost Data
(David Knight, R – Griffin) Would require all contracts with Medicaid and PeachCare programs to disclose all cost related data to the state. [House Special Committee On Access to Quality Health Care Committee] No update

HB 509 – Reasonably Priced Health Insurance
(Houston Gaines, R – Athens) Would require certain insurers to make at least one reasonably priced comprehensive major medical health insurance policy available to residents in this state without limitation or exclusion based on preexisting conditions. [House Insurance Committee] Passed the full House (121-11)

HB 567 – Newborn Screening and Genetics Advisory Committee
(Sharon Cooper, R – Marietta) Would create a Newborn Screening and Genetics Advisory Committee and require newborns to be screened for new disorders recommended by the committee. Introduced and assigned to House Health & Human Services Committee

HB 650 – Working for Two Act
(Park Cannon, D – Atlanta) Would require certain accommodations in the workplace for pregnant and postpartum employees and protect such employees from discrimination based on their perinatal status. Introduced and assigned to House Industry & Labor Committee

HB 670 – Tobacco & Vaping Taxes
(James Beverly, D – Macon) Would raise taxes on cigarettes to $2.00 per pack and vaping products to 40% of the wholesale price. Introduced

HR 52 – Joint Study Committee on Lead Exposure
(Katie Dempsey, R – Rome) Would create a Joint Study Committee to study prevention of childhood lead exposure. [House Health & Human Services Committee] Favorably passed by committee. No update

HR 78 – Racism Public Health Crisis
(Sandra Scott, D – Rex) Would declare racism a public health crisis in Georgia.[House Human Relations & Aging Committee] No update

HR 131 – House Study Committee on Health in Georgia
(Karen Bennett, D – Stone Mountain) Would create a House Study Committee on Health, which will study various health conditions impacting Georgians. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HR 146 – House Study Committee on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
(Sam Park, D – Lawrenceville) Would create a House Study Committee on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) to Improve the Health of Women and Children. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HR 163 – House Study Committee to Evaluate Workplace Safety and Labor Law Enforcement
(Spencer Frye, D – Athens) Would create a House Study Committee to Evaluate Workplace Safety and Labor Law Enforcement. [House Industry & Labor Committee] No update

HR 186 – Medicaid Sustainability Study Committee
(Debbie Buckner, D – Junction City) Would create a Joint Medicaid Sustainability Study Committee. Introduced and assigned to House Health & Human Services Committee

Senate Legislation

SB 20 – Child Advocate Advisory Committee
(Chuck Payne, R – Dalton) Would revise the composition of the Child Advocate Advisory Committee to include a foster parent, a former foster child, and a court appointment special advocate (CASA). [Senate Education & Youth Committee; House Juvenile Justice Committee; House Education & Youth Committee] No update

SB 55 – Georgia Family Medical Leave Act 
(Gloria Butler, D – Stone Mountain) Would create a program to compensate wage loss sustained by any individual who is unable to work due to such individual’s own sickness or injury, the sickness or injury of a family member, or the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a new child. [Senate Insurance & Labor Committee] No update

SB 83 – Medicaid Public Option
(Sally Harrell, D – Atlanta) Would provide for a Medicaid public option program to provide healthcare coverage to individuals not eligible for Medicare, Medicaid, or the PeachCare for Kids Program. [Senate Appropriations Committee] No update

SB 91 – Feminine Hygiene Products to Students
(Donzella James, D – Atlanta) Would require boards of education to provide free feminine hygiene products to students. [Senate Education & Youth Committee] No update

SB 111 – Georgia Community Midwife Act
(Lester Jackson, D – Savannah) Would provide for the licensure and regulation of community midwives. [Senate Health & Human Services Committee] No update

SB 116 – Maternity Supportive Housing Residences
(Randy Robertson, R – Cataula) Would provide for registration of maternity supportive housing residences to provide housing for pregnant women. [Senate Health & Human Services Committee] Passed full Senate (32-17) 

SB 170 – Home Childbirth
(Lester Jackson, D – Savannah) Would require health benefit policies to provide coverage for expenses incurred in home childbirth. [Senate Insurance & Labor Committee] No update 

SB 173 – Medicaid Coverage for Lactation & Postpartum Care
(Gail Davenport, D – Jonesboro) Would extend Pregnancy Medicaid to 12 months after delivery to provide coverage for lactation services. [Senate Appropriations Committee] No update

SR 42 – Family Medical Leave Fund
(Gloria Butler, D – Stone Mountain) Would create a Family Medical Leave Fund as a trust fund from which funds can be used to provide a program for individuals who need to take leave from work due to their own sickness or nonwork related injury, the sickness or injury of a family member, or the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child.[Senate Insurance & Labor Committee] No update

SR 107 – Family Leave Policy Study Committee 
(Jennifer Jordan, D – Atlanta) Would create a Senate Comprehensive Approach to Family Leave Policies within State Government Study Committee. Introduced and assigned to Senate Rules Committee

Helpful Reminder
Red text notes any updates that have occurred since the last newsletter.
‘No Action’ means there has been no update since the last newsletter.
‘SB’ or ‘HB’ refer to Senate and House BILLS. ‘SR’ or ‘HR’ refer to Senate
and House RESOLUTIONS.
Bills are used to propose changes or additions to existing statutory
law, while resolutions usually express legislative opinion or recognition
on some matter and do not have the effect of law.

Project 236

Project 236 is an advocacy tool that can be used to understand the state of maternal and infant health in your legislative district! Outcomes include rates of preterm birth, low birthweight, infant mortality, and prenatal care inadequacy. In this age of virtual advocacy, we hope that this can be used as a way to advocate for improved maternal and infant health in your own backyard.

We encourage you to engage with your legislators on why investment in maternal and infant health is necessary for the health of Georgia’s families. You can access the fact sheet for your district below.

PROJECT 236 FACT SHEETS

Keeping Current @ the Capitol – Week of February 22, 2021

Parental Leave Bill Passes Full House

House Bill 146, sponsored by Representative Houston Gaines (R – Athens), passed the full House last week with a vote of 155-2. This bill would provide three weeks of paid parental leave to state employees for the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child. The bill will now move to the Senate for consideration and has been assigned to the Insurance & Labor Committee. Learn more here.

To watch the full vote visit here (begins at 1:01:44).

Thank You Attendees!

HMHBGA and March of Dimes would like to thank all of those who attended last Thursday’s legislative event, Advocacy in A Virtual World & Beyond! Attendees were able to hear from both organizations regarding their policy priorities this session and were equipped with tools to uplift advocacy items that are important to them throughout the session. Legislative panelists shared tips on how to engage policy makers in a virtual age, thoughts on the budget, and what they are working on to improve the health of Georgia’s moms and babies. HMHBGA was also happy to introduce our new Executive Director Ky Lindberg. The event closed with acceptance speeches from this year’s Charlotte Wilen Advocates of the Year. 

Charlotte Wilen Advocates of the Year

Legislation to Watch

House Legislation

HB 9 – Telehealth Services in Schools
(Sandra Scott, D – Rex) Would require the Department of Education to develop guidelines for the use of telehealth services in public schools for mental health and behavioral health services. [House Education Committee] No update

HB 11 – Safe Patient Limits Act
(Sandra Scott, D – Rex) Would limit the number of patients that may be assigned to a registered professional nurse in specified situations in hospitals. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HB 38 – Repeal Sterilization Procedures 
(Kim Schofield, D – Atlanta) Would repeal certain provisions related to the performance of reproductive sterilization procedures. No update

HB 41 – Health Benefit Plan Network Access and Adequacy Act
(Kim Schofield, D – Atlanta) Would increase consumer access to health care by improving network adequacy and under certain circumstances charge out-of-network services at in-network rates. No update

HB 49 – Mental Health Parity Act 
(Shelly Hutchinson, D – Snellville) Would require mental health substance use services to be treated in line with other health insurance claims. [House Insurance Committee] No update

HB 54 – Menstrual Hygiene Education
(Debra Bazemore, D – South Fulton) Would provide instruction on best practices and risks associated with tampons during sex education and AIDS prevention instruction in core curriculum. [House Education Committee] No update

HB 57 – Breastfeeding in Penal Institutions 
(Sandra Scott, D – Rex) Would provide policies for breast milk storage and the breastfeeding of a newborn, require prenatal and postpartum care, and require the provision of breast pumps in penal institutions. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HB 72 – New Mothers Medicaid Expansion Act
(Carolyn Hugley, D – Columbus) Would extend Pregnancy Medicaid to 12 months after delivery. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HB 96 – Presumption in Child Custody Cases
(Jasmine Clark, D – Lilburn) Would revise presumption in cases in which the custody of any child is at issue. [House Juvenile Justice Committee] No update

HB 146 – Paid Parental Leave for State Employees 
(Houston Gaines, R – Athens) Would provide for three weeks of paid parental leave for eligible state employees and eligible local board of education employees following the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child. [House Health & Human Services Committee] Passed full House (155-2) and assigned to Senate Insurance & Labor Committee

HB 154 – Protection of Children 
(Bert Reeves, R – Marietta) Would strengthen, clarify, and update provisions relating to the protection of children, including foster children and adopted children. [House Juvenile Justice Committee] Passed full House (160-4) by substitute

HB 163 – Medicaid Express Lane Eligibility 
(Sharon Cooper, R – Marietta) Would implement express lane enrollment, which would automatically enroll and renew eligible children in Medicaid based on SNAP data. [House Health & Human Services Committee] Passed full House (166-0) by substitute and assigned to Senate Health & Human Services Committee

HB 197 – Family Care Act Extension 
(Regina Lewis-Ward, D – McDonough) Would extend the Family Care Act, which allows employees to use sick time to care for immediate family members, to 2025. [House Industry & Labor Committee] No update

HB 209 – Medicaid Expansion Program
(Donna McLeod, D – Lawrenceville) Would expand Medicaid coverage to eligible people up to 150% of the federal poverty line. [House Health & Human Services] No update

HB 215 – Telehealth Options Under Medicaid
(Mary Robichaux, D – Roswell) Would extend the use of temporary Medicaid telehealth options during the pandemic emergency to a permanent status. Would also provide certification and training to providers through telehealth options. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HB 257 – Maternity Supportive Housing Act 
(Ed Setzler, R – Acworth) Would provide registration of maternity supportive housing for pregnant women. [Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HB 287 – Tobacco and Vaping Education
(Bonnie Rich, R – Suwanee) Would include tobacco and vapor products in the course of instruction regarding alcohol and drugs required each year for all students in grades kindergarten through 12. [House Education Committee] Passed full House (156-0) 

HB 307 – Georgia Telehealth Act
(Sharon Cooper, R – Marietta) Would authorize health care providers to provide telemedicine services from home and allow patients to receive telehealth services from home, work, or school. [House Health & Human Services Committee] Favorably passed committee by substitute

HB 377 – Georgia Women’s Care Act
(Kim Schofield, D – Atlanta) Would revise provisions related to the arrests of pregnant women, require pregnancy testing upon detention, and enact delayed sentencing for postpartum female inmates. [House Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee] No update

HB 381 – Expanding Medicaid to Improve Health Outcomes for New Mothers Act
(Renitta Shannon, D – Decatur) Would extend Pregnancy Medicaid to 12 months after delivery. Assigned to House Health & Human Services Committee 

HB 382 – Positive Alternatives for Pregnancy and Parenting Grant Program Repeal
(Renitta Shannon, D – Decatur) Would redirect public health funds from the Positive Alternatives for Pregnancy and Parenting Grant Program (Crisis Pregnancy Centers) to evidence-based programs. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HB 394 – Tobacco & Vaping Tax
(Ron Stephens, R – Savannah) Would raise the tobacco tax to $1.87 per pack and tax vaping products at 39% of the wholesale cost. [House Ways & Means Committee] No update

HB 448 – Medicaid & PeachCare Disclosure of Cost Data
(David Knight, R – Griffin) Would require all contracts with Medicaid and PeachCare programs to disclose all cost related data to the state. Introduced and assigned to House Special Committee On Access to Quality Health Care Committee

HR 52 – Joint Study Committee on Lead Exposure
(Katie Dempsey, R – Rome) Would create a Joint Study Committee to study prevention of childhood lead exposure. [House Health & Human Services Committee] Favorably passed by committee

HR 78 – Racism Public Health Crisis
(Sandra Scott, D – Rex) Would declare racism a public health crisis in Georgia.[House Human Relations & Aging Committee] No update

HR 131 – House Study Committee on Health in Georgia
(Karen Bennett, D – Stone Mountain) Would create a House Study Committee on Health, which will study various health conditions impacting Georgians. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HR 146 – House Study Committee on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
(Sam Park, D – Lawrenceville) Would create a House Study Committee on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) to Improve the Health of Women and Children. Introduced and assigned to the House Health & Human Services Committee

HR 163 – House Study Committee to Evaluate Workplace Safety and Labor Law Enforcement
(Spencer Frye, D – Athens) Would create a House Study Committee to Evaluate Workplace Safety and Labor Law Enforcement. Introduced and assigned to House Industry & Labor Committee

Senate Legislation

SB 20 – Child Advocate Advisory Committee
(Chuck Payne, R – Dalton) Would revise the composition of the Child Advocate Advisory Committee to include a foster parent, a former foster child, and a court appointment special advocate (CASA). [Senate Education & Youth Committee; House Juvenile Justice Committee] Assigned to House Education & Youth Committee

SB 55 – Georgia Family Medical Leave Act 
(Gloria Butler, D – Stone Mountain) Would create a program to compensate wage loss sustained by any individual who is unable to work due to such individual’s own sickness or injury, the sickness or injury of a family member, or the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a new child. [Senate Insurance & Labor Committee] No update

SB 83 – Medicaid Public Option
(Sally Harrell, D – Atlanta) Would provide for a Medicaid public option program to provide healthcare coverage to individuals not eligible for Medicare, Medicaid, or the PeachCare for Kids Program. [Senate Appropriations Committee] No update

SB 91 – Feminine Hygiene Products to Students
(Donzella James, D – Atlanta) Would require boards of education to provide free feminine hygiene products to students. [Senate Education & Youth Committee] No update

SB 111 – Georgia Community Midwife Act
(Lester Jackson, D – Savannah) Would provide for the licensure and regulation of community midwives. [Senate Health & Human Services Committee] No update

SB 116 – Maternity Supportive Housing Residences
(Randy Robertson, R – Cataula) Would provide for registration of maternity supportive housing residences to provide housing for pregnant women. [Senate Health & Human Services Committee] Favorably passed by committee

SB 170 – Home Childbirth
(Lester Jackson, D – Savannah) Would require health benefit policies to provide coverage for expenses incurred in home childbirth. Assigned to Senate Insurance & Labor Committee

SB 173 – Medicaid Coverage for Lactation & Postpartum Care
(Gail Davenport, D – Jonesboro) Would extend Pregnancy Medicaid to 12 months after delivery provide coverage for lactation services. Introduced and assigned to Senate Appropriations Committee

SR 42 – Family Medical Leave Fund
(Gloria Butler, D – Stone Mountain) Would create a Family Medical Leave Fund as a trust fund from which funds can be used to provide a program for individuals who need to take leave from work due to their own sickness or nonwork related injury, the sickness or injury of a family member, or the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child.[Senate Insurance & Labor Committee] No update
Helpful Reminder
Red text notes any updates that have occurred since the last newsletter.
‘No Action’ means there has been no update since the last newsletter.
‘SB’ or ‘HB’ refer to Senate and House BILLS. ‘SR’ or ‘HR’ refer to Senate
and House RESOLUTIONS.
Bills are used to propose changes or additions to existing statutory
law, while resolutions usually express legislative opinion or recognition
on some matter and do not have the effect of law.
Project 236

Project 236 is an advocacy tool that can be used to understand the state of maternal and infant health in your legislative district! Outcomes include rates of preterm birth, low birthweight, infant mortality, and prenatal care inadequacy. In this age of virtual advocacy, we hope that this can be used as a way to advocate for improved maternal and infant health in your own backyard.

We encourage you to engage with your legislators on why investment in maternal and infant health is necessary for the health of Georgia’s families. You can access the fact sheet for your district below.

Project 236 Fact Sheets

Keeping Current @ the Capitol – Week of February 15, 2021

Parental Leave Bill Passes Committee

House Bill 146, sponsored by Representative Houston Gaines (R – Athens), passed the House Health & Human Services (HHS) Committee last week. This bill would provide three weeks of paid parental leave to state employees for the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child. The bill is now expected to move on to the full House for a vote before being sent to the Senate for consideration. HMHBGA is in full support of this bill and will continue to monitor its progress.

To watch the committee hearing visit here (begins at 53:46).

Legislative Calendar Set Through March 1

The Legislative Calendar has been set through March 1 and is as follows:

  • Tuesday, February 16: Legislative Day 17
  • Wednesday, February 17: Legislative Day 18
  • Thursday, February 18: Legislative Day 19
  • Monday, February 22: Legislative Day 20
  • Tuesday, February 23: Legislative Day 21
  • Wednesday, February 24: Legislative Day 22
  • Thursday, February 25: Legislative Day 23
  • Friday, February 26: Legislative Day 24
  • Monday March 1: Legislative Day 25

You can read the adjournment resolution here. Barring a suspension due to COVID-19, the Legislature is expected to continue through the regular 40-day session.

Advocacy in a Virtual World & Beyond
Join us on February 18 from 11AM-12:30PM. HMHBGA, ​in partnership with the March of Dimes, will hold a​n educational session (via Zoom) on how to advocate for maternal and infant health policies in a virtual age. Things may look different this year and we want to make sure advocates’ voices are being heard! Attendees will be equipped with the tools to uplift policy priorities that are important to them throughout the session.

You will also hear from legislators (pre-recorded) describing how they ​plan to address maternal and infant healthcare issues in 2021 and how these issues may impact Georgia’s families. Winners of the Charlotte Wilen Advocates of the Year Award will also be honored. This award is presented to legislators who made a tremendous difference in the lives of Georgia’s mothers and infants through their efforts during the 2020 legislative session. 

Panelists

Charlotte Wilen Advocates of the Year

REGISTER HERE

Legislation to Watch

The items below are bills we are monitoring throughout the session related to maternal, infant, child, and general health. Legislation on this list is not necessarily endorsed by HMHBGA.

House Legislation
HB 9 – Telehealth Services in Schools
(Sandra Scott, D – Rex) Would require the Department of Education to develop guidelines for the use of telehealth services in public schools for mental health and behavioral health services. [House Education Committee] No update

HB 11 – Safe Patient Limits Act
(Sandra Scott, D – Rex) Would limit the number of patients that may be assigned to a registered professional nurse in specified situations in hospitals. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HB 38 – Repeal Sterilization Procedures 
(Kim Schofield, D – Atlanta) Would repeal certain provisions related to the performance of reproductive sterilization procedures. No update

HB 41 – Health Benefit Plan Network Access and Adequacy Act
(Kim Schofield, D – Atlanta) Would increase consumer access to health care by improving network adequacy and under certain circumstances charge out-of-network services at in-network rates. No update

HB 49 – Mental Health Parity Act 
(Shelly Hutchinson, D – Snellville) Would require mental health substance use services to be treated in line with other health insurance claims. [House Insurance Committee] No update

HB 54 – Menstrual Hygiene Education
(Debra Bazemore, D – South Fulton) Would provide instruction on best practices and risks associated with tampons during sex education and AIDS prevention instruction in core curriculum. [House Education Committee] No update

HB 57 – Breastfeeding in Penal Institutions 
(Sandra Scott, D – Rex) Would provide policies for breast milk storage and the breastfeeding of a newborn, require prenatal and postpartum care, and require the provision of breast pumps in penal institutions. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HB 58 – Georgia Women’s Care Act
(Kim Schofield, D – Atlanta) Would revise provisions related to the arrests of pregnant women, require pregnancy testing upon detention, and enact delayed sentencing for postpartum female inmates. Now HB 377 (see below)

HB 72 – New Mothers Medicaid Expansion Act
(Carolyn Hugley, D – Columbus) Would extend Pregnancy Medicaid to 12 months after delivery. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HB 96 – Presumption in Child Custody Cases
(Jasmine Clark, D – Lilburn) Would revise presumption in cases in which the custody of any child is at issue. [House Juvenile Justice Committee] No update

HB 146 – Paid Parental Leave for State Employees 
(Houston Gaines, R – Athens) Would provide for three weeks of paid parental leave for eligible state employees and eligible local board of education employees following the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child. [House Health & Human Services Committee] Favorably Passed Committee

HB 154 – Protection of Children 
(Bert Reeves, R – Marietta) Would strengthen, clarify, and update provisions relating to the protection of children, including foster children and adopted children. [House Juvenile Justice Committee] Favorably Passed Committee by Substitute 

HB 163 – Medicaid Express Lane Eligibility 
(Sharon Cooper, R – Marietta) Would implement express lane enrollment, which would automatically enroll and renew eligible children in Medicaid based on SNAP data. [House Health & Human Services Committee] Favorably Passed Committee by Substitute 

HB 197 – Family Care Act Extension 
(Regina Lewis-Ward, D – McDonough) Would extend the Family Care Act, which allows employees to use sick time to care for immediate family members, to 2025. [House Industry & Labor Committee] No update

HB 209 – Medicaid Expansion Program
(Donna McLeod, D – Lawrenceville) Would expand Medicaid coverage to eligible people up to 150% of the federal poverty line. [House Health & Human Services] No update

HB 215 – Telehealth Options Under Medicaid
(Mary Robichaux, D – Roswell) Would extend the use of temporary Medicaid telehealth options during the pandemic emergency to a permanent status. Would also provide certification and training to providers through telehealth options. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HB 257 – Maternity Supportive Housing Act 
(Ed Setzler, R – Acworth) Would provide registration of maternity supportive housing for pregnant women. [Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HB 287 – Tobacco and Vaping Education
(Bonnie Rich, R – Suwanee) Would include tobacco and vapor products in the course of instruction regarding alcohol and drugs required each year for all students in grades kindergarten through 12. [House Education Committee] Favorably Passed Committee

HB 307 – Georgia Telehealth Act
(Sharon Cooper, R – Marietta) Would authorize health care providers to provide telemedicine services from home and allows patients to receive telehealth services from home, work, or school. Introduced and assigned to House Health & Human Services Committee

HB 381 – Expanding Medicaid to Improve Health Outcomes for New Mothers Act
(Renitta Shannon, D – Decatur) Would extend Pregnancy Medicaid to 12 months after delivery. Introduced and assigned to House Health & Human Services Committee

HB 382 – Positive Alternatives for Pregnancy and Parenting Grant Program Repeal
(Renitta Shannon, D – Decatur) Would redirect public health funds from the Positive Alternatives for Pregnancy and Parenting Grant Program (Crisis Pregnancy Centers) to evidence-based programs. Introduced and assigned to House Health & Human Services Committee

HB 394 – Tobacco & Vaping Tax
(Ron Stephens, R – Savannah) Would raise the tobacco tax to $1.87 per pack and tax vaping products at 39% of the wholesale cost. Introduced and assigned to House Ways & Means Committee

HB 377 – Georgia Women’s Care Act
(Kim Schofield, D – Atlanta) Would revise provisions related to the arrests of pregnant women, require pregnancy testing upon detention, and enact delayed sentencing for postpartum female inmates. Introduced and assigned to House Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee

HR 52 – Joint Study Committee on Lead Exposure
(Katie Dempsey, R – Rome) Would create a Joint Study Committee to study prevention of childhood lead exposure. Introduced and assigned to House Health & Human Services Committee

HR 78 – Racism Public Health Crisis
(Sandra Scott, D – Rex) Would declare racism a public health crisis in Georgia. Introduced and assigned to House Human Relations & Aging Committee

HR 131 – House Study Committee on Health in Georgia
(Karen Bennett, D – Stone Mountain) Would create a House Study Committee on Health, which will study various health conditions impacting Georgians. Introduced and assigned to House Health & Human Services Committee

Senate Legislation
SB 20 – Child Advocate Advisory Committee
(Chuck Payne, R – Dalton) Would revise the composition of the Child Advocate Advisory Committee to include a foster parent, a former foster child, and a court appointment special advocate (CASA). [Senate Education & Youth Committee; House Juvenile Justice Committee] Passed full Senate (48-0)

SB 55 – Georgia Family Medical Leave Act 
(Gloria Butler, D – Stone Mountain) Would create a program to compensate wage loss sustained by any individual who is unable to work due to such individual’s own sickness or injury, the sickness or injury of a family member, or the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a new child. [Senate Insurance & Labor Committee] No update

SB 83 – Medicaid Public Option
(Sally Harrell, D – Atlanta) Would provide for a Medicaid public option program to provide healthcare coverage to individuals not eligible for Medicare, Medicaid, or the PeachCare for Kids Program. Assigned to Senate Appropriations Committee 

SB 91 – Feminine Hygiene Products to Students
(Donzella James, D – Atlanta) Would require boards of education to provide free feminine hygiene products to students. [Senate Education & Youth Committee] No update

SB 111 – Georgia Community Midwife Act
(Lester Jackson, D – Savannah) Would provide for the licensure and regulation of community midwives. Introduced and assigned to Senate Health & Human Services Committee

SB 116 – Maternity Supportive Housing Residences
(Randy Robertson, R – Cataula) Would provide for registration of maternity  3 supportive housing residences to provide housing for pregnant women. Introduced and assigned to the Senate Health & Human Services Committee

SB 170 – Home Childbirth
(Lester Jackson, D – Savannah) Would require health benefit policies to provide coverage for expenses incurred in home childbirth. Introduced

SR 42 – Family Medical Leave Fund
(Gloria Butler, D – Stone Mountain) Would create a Family Medical Leave Fund as a trust fund from which funds can be used to provide a program for individuals who need to take leave from work due to their own sickness or nonwork related injury, the sickness or injury of a family member, or the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child. Introduced and assigned to Senate Insurance & Labor Committee

Helpful Reminder

Red text notes any updates that have occurred since the last newsletter.
‘No Action’ means there has been no update since the last newsletter.
‘SB’ or ‘HB’ refer to Senate and House BILLS. ‘SR’ or ‘HR’ refer to Senate
and House RESOLUTIONS.
Bills are used to propose changes or additions to existing statutory
law, while resolutions usually express legislative opinion or recognition
on some matter and do not have the effect of law.

Project 236

Project 236 is an advocacy tool that can be used to understand the state of maternal and infant health in your legislative district! Outcomes include rates of preterm birth, low birthweight, infant mortality, and prenatal care inadequacy. In this age of virtual advocacy, we hope that this can be used as a way to advocate for improved maternal and infant health in your own backyard.

We encourage you to engage with your legislators on why investment in maternal and infant health is necessary for the health of Georgia’s families. You can access the fact sheet for your district below.

Project 236 Fact Sheets

Keeping Current @ the Capitol – Week of February 8, 2021

Georgia Receives “F” Rating for Tobacco Policies

The American Lung Association gave Georgia “F” ratings for tobacco taxes, prevention funding, access to cessation services, and flavored tobacco products in its “State of Tobacco Control 2021″ report. Georgia has one of the lowest tobacco tax rates in the nation, ranking 49th of 50 states. Currently, the Georgia tobacco tax is only 37 cents per pack, whereas the national average is $1.81 per pack. Raising the tobacco tax to the national average is estimated to generate $400-$500 million in additional revenue, which is needed given the strain COVID-19 has put on Georgia’s healthcare system and rural communities.

HMHBGA supports the American Lung Association’s call to action to increase the state’s tobacco tax and equalize taxes on all related products. Smoking during pregnancy puts moms and babies at higher risk for medical complications including placental hemorrhage, fetal growth restriction, and preterm birth. Maternal smoking during pregnancy and second hand smoke exposure after birth are also significant risk factors for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), which accounts for 11% of infant deaths in Georgia. Raising the cost of tobacco can lower tobacco usage and improve health.

Read the full report here

Advocacy in a Virtual World & Beyond

Join us on February 18 from 11AM-12:30PM. HMHBGA, ​in partnership with the March of Dimes, will hold a​n educational session (via Zoom) on how to advocate for maternal and infant health policies in a virtual age. Things may look different this year and we want to make sure advocates’ voices are being heard! Attendees will be equipped with the tools to uplift policy priorities that are important to them throughout the session.

You will also hear from legislators (pre-recorded) describing how they ​plan to address maternal and infant healthcare issues in 2021 and how these issues may impact Georgia’s families. Winners of the Charlotte Wilen Advocates of the Year Award will also be honored. This award is presented to legislators who made a tremendous difference in the lives of Georgia’s mothers and infants through their efforts during the 2020 legislative session. 

Panelists

Charlotte Wilen Advocates of the Year

REGISTER HERE

Legislation to Watch

The items below are bills we are monitoring throughout the session related to maternal, infant, child, and general health. Legislation on this list is not necessarily endorsed by HMHBGA. 

House Legislation
HB 9 – Telehealth Services in Schools
(Sandra Scott, D – Rex) Would require the Department of Education to develop guidelines for the use of telehealth services in public schools for mental health and behavioral health services. [House Education Committee] No update

HB 11 – Safe Patient Limits Act
(Sandra Scott, D – Rex) Would limit the number of patients that may be assigned to a registered professional nurse in specified situations in hospitals. Assigned to House Health & Human Services Committee

HB 38 – Repeal Sterilization Procedures 
(Kim Schofield, D – Atlanta) Would repeal certain provisions related to the performance of reproductive sterilization procedures. No update

HB 41 – Health Benefit Plan Network Access and Adequacy Act
(Kim Schofield, D – Atlanta) Would increase consumer access to health care by improving network adequacy and under certain circumstances charge out-of-network services at in-network rates. No update

HB 49 – Mental Health Parity Act 
(Shelly Hutchinson, D – Snellville) Would require mental health substance use services to be treated in line with other health insurance claims. [House Insurance Committee] No update

HB 54 – Menstrual Hygiene Education
(Debra Bazemore, D – South Fulton) Would provide instruction on best practices and risks associated with tampons during sex education and AIDS prevention instruction in core curriculum. [House Education Committee] No update

HB 57 – Breastfeeding in Penal Institutions 
(Sandra Scott, D – Rex) Would provide policies for breast milk storage and the breastfeeding of a newborn, require prenatal and postpartum care, and require the provision of breast pumps in penal institutions. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HB 58 – Georgia Women’s Care Act
(Kim Schofield, D – Atlanta) Would revise provisions related to the arrests of pregnant women, require pregnancy testing upon detention, and enact delayed sentencing for postpartum female inmates. No update

HB 72 – New Mothers Medicaid Expansion Act
(Carolyn Hugley, D – Columbus) Would extend Pregnancy Medicaid to 12 months after delivery. [House Health & Human Services Committee] No update

HB 96 – Presumption in Child Custody Cases
(Jasmine Clark, D – Lilburn) Would revise presumption in cases in which the custody of any child is at issue. [House Juvenile Justice Committee] No update

HB 146 – Paid Parental Leave for State Employees 
(Houston Gaines, R – Athens) Would provide for three weeks of paid parental leave for eligible state employees and eligible local board of education employees following the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child. Assigned to House Health & Human Services Committee

HB 154 – Protection of Children 
(Bert Reeves, R – Marietta) Would strengthen, clarify, and update provisions relating to the protection of children, including foster children and adopted children. Assigned to House Juvenile Justice Committee

HB 163 – Medicaid Express Lane Eligibility 
(Sharon Cooper, R – Marietta) Would implement express lane enrollment, which would automatically enroll and renew eligible children in Medicaid based on SNAP data. Introduced and assigned to House Health & Human Services Committee 

HB 197 – Family Care Act Extension 
(Regina Lewis-Ward, D – McDonough) Would extend the Family Care Act, which allows employees to use sick time to care for immediate family members, to 2025. Introduced and assigned to House Industry & Labor

HB 209 – Medicaid Expansion Program
(Donna McLeod, D – Lawrenceville) Would expand Medicaid coverage to eligible people up to 150% of the federal poverty line. Introduced and assigned to House Health & Human Services

HB 215 – Telehealth Options Under Medicaid
(Mary Robichaux, D – Roswell) Would extend the use of temporary Medicaid telehealth options during the pandemic emergency to a permanent status. Would also provide certification and training to providers through telehealth options. Introduced and assigned to House Health & Human Services Committee

HB 257 – Maternity Supportive Housing Act 
(Ed Setzler, R – Acworth) Would provide registration of maternity supportive housing for pregnant women. Introduced and assigned to Health & Human Services Committee

HB 287 – Tobacco and Vaping Education
(Bonnie Rich, R – Suwanee) Would include tobacco and vapor products in the course of instruction regarding alcohol and drugs required each year for all students in grades kindergarten through 12. Introduced and assigned to House Education Committee

HR 52 – Joint Study Committee on Lead Exposure
(Katie Dempsey, R – Rome) Would create a Joint Study Committee to study prevention of childhood lead exposure. Introduced and assigned to House Health & Human Services Committee

HR 78 – Racism Public Health Crisis
(Sandra Scott, D – Rex) Would declare racism a public health crisis in Georgia. Introduced and assigned to House Human Relations & Aging Committee

Senate Legislation
SB 20 – Child Advocate Advisory Committee
(Chuck Payne, R – Dalton) Would revise the composition of the Child Advocate Advisory Committee to include a foster parent, a former foster child, and a court appointment special advocate (CASA). [Senate Education & Youth Committee] Favorably passed committee

SB 55 – Georgia Family Medical Leave Act 
(Gloria Butler, D – Stone Mountain) Would create a program to compensate wage loss sustained by any individual who is unable to work due to such individual’s own sickness or injury, the sickness or injury of a family member, or the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a new child. Assigned to Senate Insurance & Labor Committee

SB 83 – Medicaid Public Option
(Sally Harrell, D – Atlanta) Would provide for a Medicaid public option program to provide healthcare coverage to individuals not eligible for Medicare, Medicaid, or the PeachCare for Kids Program. Introduced

SR 42 – Family Medical Leave Fund
(Gloria Butler, D – Stone Mountain) Would create a Family Medical Leave Fund as a trust fund from which funds can be used to provide a program for individuals who need to take leave from work due to their own sickness or nonwork related injury, the sickness or injury of a family member, or the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child. Introduced and assigned to Senate Insurance & Labor Committee

Helpful Reminder
Red text notes any updates that have occurred since the last newsletter.
‘No Action’ means there has been no update since the last newsletter.
‘SB’ or ‘HB’ refer to Senate and House BILLS. ‘SR’ or ‘HR’ refer to Senate
and House RESOLUTIONS.
Bills are used to propose changes or additions to existing statutory
law, while resolutions usually express legislative opinion or recognition
on some matter and do not have the effect of law.

Project 236

Project 236 is an advocacy tool that can be used to understand the state of maternal and infant health in your legislative district! Outcomes include rates of preterm birth, low birthweight, infant mortality, and prenatal care inadequacy. In this age of virtual advocacy, we hope that this can be used as a way to advocate for improved maternal and infant health in your own backyard.

We encourage you to engage with your legislators on why investment in maternal and infant health is necessary for the health of Georgia’s families. You can access the fact sheet for your district below.

Project 236 Sheets