Behavior Health Reform and Innovation Commission Provides Recommendations for 2023 Legislative Session
On November 16, 2022, the Behavioral Health Reform and Innovation Commission held a meeting to discuss their recommendations for the 2023 legislative session. The commission heard recommendations from all of its subcommittees. The Mental Health and Corrections Subcommittee shared recommendations geared at how Georgia could reduce the number of “familiar faces” or frequent re-offenders in county jails, since a significant portion of that population are those with mental health and substance abuse challenges.
The Children and Adolescent Behavioral Health Subcommittee recommended establishing a position within the Department of Behavioral Health and Human Services (DBHDD) that is primarily responsible for overseeing treatment and services for children and adolescents. They went on to recommend an extensive list of suitable treatments and services.
The Hospital and Short-Term Care Facilities Subcommittee recommendations proposed resources to address challenges with workforce and infrastructure. Incentives are needed to increase the workforce and funding is needed to establish more crisis beds.
The Involuntary Commitment Subcommittee recommendations sought to ensure that the legal framework for assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) was tailored more to the specific needs of Georgia. The Workforce and System Development Subcommittee provided recommendations to remove unnecessary barriers and requirements for therapist in Georgia. This subcommittee also recommended a better strategy for data sharing amongst state agencies. New legislation may result from the recommendations given by each subcommittee.
To view the full report, click here.
Senate Study Committee on Unsheltered Homelessness Issues Final Report
On November 23, 2022, the Senate Study Committee on Unsheltered Homelessness concluded with its final meeting. The final list of recommendations included approaches for data collection on the unsheltered homeless population; fair allocation of state funding across Georgia counties dependent on needs and homeless population; increased funding for the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities for treatment and services; creating an easier pathway for the unsheltered homeless population to obtain a state ID; and create housing opportunities for those experiencing unsheltered homelessness.
To view the full list of recommendations, click here.
House Study Committee on State and Local Law Enforcement Salaries Delivers Final Recommendations
On December 13, 2022, the House Study Committee on State and Local Law Enforcement Salaries held its last meeting in which final recommendations and findings were discussed. At the top of their list of recommendations it mentions exploring an optional state-wide retirement plan for public safety officers (law enforcement and firefighters). This statewide plan would move with public safety officers as long as they remain in public safety in the state of Georgia. Their other listed recommendations involve enhancements to the training system for law enforcement officers.
To view this final committee hearing, click here.
Department of Public Health Proposes Rules for Food Truck Bill (HB 1443)
House Bill 1443, which passed during the 2022 Georgia legislative session, made changes to the permitting process for food trucks. This bill only requires food trucks to have an operating permit from their county of origin. This means that county boards of health are required recognize the operating permit from a food truck’s county of origin. An outside county boards of health can refuse to recognize a food truck operating permit if the permit is not in good standing with county of origin or if there are public health concerns. Outside counties can still perform periodic and unannounced inspections, as well as administer inspection fees.
The Department of Public Health (DPH), which is responsible for the implementation of this law, is currently beginning the rulemaking process. The proposed rule is posted for public comment on the DPH website under the Regulation/Rulemaking tab. This notice includes the proposed rules, information on a public hearing to be held on January 5, 2023, and instructions on submitting written comments. Please review the notice of proposed rulemaking for more details. Please note that written comments will be accepted until January 6, 2023, and the public hearing is virtual. To submit any written comments please click here.
House Study Committee on Housing Issues Final Report
The House Study Committee on Regulation, Affordability and Access to Housing committee was created to study how to provide more affordable housing in Georgia. While many complex factors impact home prices, presenters representing the state’s real estate, development and homebuilder interests focused on local government regulations as the primary reason for the state’s affordable housing shortage. Gauging from the study committee’s final report, there will likely be several bills introduced next session that preempt local governments’ land use, zoning and building code regulations. ACCG has formed a subcommittee to stay on top of this issue during the legislative session.
To view the full report, click here.
GA Certified Landfill Operator Training
The Georgia Chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) conducts a course on behalf of Georgia EPD twice per year in January and July in Athens – Clarke County. The next training opportunity is January 24 – 27, 2023.
Details on this training can be found below or at this link.
The State of Georgia Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Act requires that all solid waste landfills in the state be staffed at all times by trained and certified landfill operators.
Please make sure your landfill operators are being re-certified in time!