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

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

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

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] 

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
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