At the Capitol
State of the State
I, and other legislators, watched as Governor Nathan Deal delivered his annual State of the State Address to the General Assembly. Governor Deal laid the foundations for a strong and successful Georgia highlighting his leadership on public safety, education, healthcare, economic development, and ethics.
I look forward to continuing to work with Governor Deal as he leads Georgia making communities safer, improving educational opportunities, providing for infrastructure improvements, driving workforce development, generating a better business environment, and creating good jobs. Together, we have implemented innovative tax reform that incentivizes business growth, passed smart-on-crime criminal justice reform, and saved HOPE.
Read Governor Deal's State of the State Address here: http://ow.ly/h8CgA
The Senate passed a resolution that will amend the Senate Rules and cap gifts from any registered lobbyist or group of registered lobbyists at $100 per item, event or meal.
Senate Bill 24, also known as the Hospital Medicaid Financing Program Act, passed the Senate on Thursday with a vote of 46 to 9. SB 24 authorizes the Department of Community Health to establish a financial structure to protect Georgia's healthcare system and obtain additional federal funding for the state's Medicaid program.
SB 24 will allow the Department of Community Health to continue assessing an existing provider fee. Collected fees will be deposited into a segregated account within the Indigent Care Trust Fund. The legislation mirrors a structure Georgia nursing homes have successfully operated under for more than a decade and is supported by hospital providers statewide.
The Board of Community Health will be responsible for drafting the framework and regulations necessary to collect the fee, but the Georgia General Assembly will retain legislative oversight and veto authority of all administrative decisions. If signed into law, SB 24 will become effective on July 1, 2013 and sunset on June 30, 2017. To further strengthen the General Assembly's oversight of our Medicaid programs and these dollars, I sponsored SB 62 creating a permanent legislative overview committee to achieve these objectives.
I co-sponsored SR 8 - a Senate Resolution proposing an amendment to the Georgia Constitution to limit authority of the General Assembly to impose taxes on personal income and to provide for a phasing out of taxes on income. How we would transition to such a structure is important and we need to throughly study it so that we are fiscally responsible and meet all of our obligations.
Working for Georgia
I was proud to join with thousands of fellow pro-life supporters for the annual Together for Life event hosted by my friends at Georgia Right to Life. Georgia Right to Life does important work to protect and honor life from conception to death. This is the most pressing human rights issue of our time.