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
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