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Keeping Current @ the Capitol – 2/11/2022

Author: Ky Lindberg

OUR 2022 POLICY BRIEFING WAS A HUGE SUCCESS

Thank you to all of our partners who joined us for our 2022 Virtual Maternal and Infant Health Policy Briefing, cohosted by March of Dimes.  We had over 250 change makers join us via Zoom and Facebook Live to learn more about how we can work alongside our legislators to ensure moms, birth givers and babies across Georgia survive and thrive.  If you missed the event, we would like to share a copy of the recording, slides and program which you can access at anytime:

Special thanks to our sponsors Amerigroup and National Council of Jewish Women as well as our guest speakers Chairwoman Sharon Cooper, Andrea Waterstone and Rochelle Smalls for making the event a huge success.  Congratulations to our Wilen Award honorees Rep. Houston Gaines, Rep, Carolyn Hugley, Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick, Rep. Bonnie Rich and Rep. Kim Schofield.


HOT TOPIC: Women’s CARE Act 

This past Tuesday, the Georgia House Committee on Health and Human Services discussed HB1092 to provide further accountability measures regarding the treatment of incarcerated birthing people throughout their perinatal period.  Our partner, Pamela Winn, CEO of RestoreHER, has been at the forefront of this issue and she gave a compelling testimony during the committee hearing. Committee members voted favorably for the bill and now it will move to the Rules Committee and then to the House floor for a vote. CLICK HERE to watch.


BILLS TO WATCH

HB1092: Georgia Women’s CARE Act: A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Article 2 of Chapter 4 of Title 17 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to arrest by law enforcement officers generally, so as to revise provision relating to the arrests of pregnant women; to provide that women who have been arrested are offered pregnancy testing upon detention; to enact a provision regarding delayed sentencing for postpartum female inmates; to amend Article 1 of Title 42 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to inmate policies, so as to revise provisions relating to the treatment of pregnant and postpartum female inmates; to provide for a short title; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes

HB1013: Mental Health Parity Act: A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Titles 15, 20, 31, 33, 37, 45, and 49 of the O.C.G.A., relating to courts, education, health, insurance, mental health, public officers and employees, and social services, respectively, so as to implement the recommendations of the Georgia Behavioral Health Reform and Innovation Commission; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

SB338: A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Article 7 of Chapter 4 of Title 49 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to medical assistance generally, so as to increase postpartum coverage under Medicaid from six months to one year following birth; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

HB864: A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Chapter 4 of Title 49 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to public assistance, so as to provide for the submission of a waiver request by the Department of Human Services to permit the recipients of certain public assistance benefits to use such benefits for the purpose of purchasing diapers or menstrual hygiene products if the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service makes such waiver available to states; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

HB825: A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Article 7 of Chapter 4 of Title 49 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to medical assistance generally, so as to provide for Medicaid coverage for medically necessary donor human milk; to provide for submittal of a state plan amendment or waiver request, if necessary; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.


A Tool for Advocating: 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.

How does your district compare to the state of Georgia overall? Is there an area where your Senate district is performing lower? Speak with your Senator about how comprehensive policies can address negative outcomes. Does your House district have outcomes that are better than the state of Georgia? Talk with your Representative about what they can do to make sure it stays that way or even improves. Fact sheets for all 236 of Georgia’s legislative districts are available.

CLICK HERE to access Project 236