Representative Pam Dickerson 
State House District 113 
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Capitol Events

Presenting an Invite Resolution to Dave and Anita Smith and welcoming them to the Capitol, for their leadership in the Honor Flight, in which they have transported WWII, Korean, and Vietnam veterans to Washington, DC to the Veterans Memorial at no cost to these brave men that have served our country. 

Aaliyah and Ashanti Meadows
John Brown
Aiyana Cooper
Community News

Rockdale Cares will hold its 38th Annual Fundraiser on Saturday, March 12, 2016, at 6:30pm at Epiphany Lutheran Church, 2375 Hwy 20, Conyers, Georgia

Newton County Art Series has some wonderful upcoming programs. Please visit their website to take advantage of all they have to offer!

  February 29, 2016

The Georgia Assembly met for week seven of session this past week, and I wanted to share with you some of the highlights and look ahead to this upcoming week.

Today is Cross-Over Day. This is the last day a bill can pass the House and still be heard in the Senate. We will have a very busy week!   

I am honored to serve the 113th district as your legislator, and to be a part of the House Education, Game, Fish, and Parks, Judiciary Non-Civil, Juvenile Justice, Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment, and State Planning & Community Affairs Committees.  
For updates throughout the year, please be sure visit my Facebook page on a regular basis and follow me on Twitter.  
Please feel free to contact me.

I can also be reached at 678.207.6043. 

Representative Pam Dickerson 

Week Seven of the 2016 General Assembly

The House reconvened on Monday, February 22 to begin the seventh week of the 2016 legislative session.

It was marked by sadness though on Thursday, with the passing of our dear friend and State Representative Bob Bryant from Garden City. Bob was a loving husband, father, grandfather, veteran, and friend to all. He served his constituents with grace and humility as their voice under the Gold Dome for 12 years, and the positive impact he made on the House chamber and in his community will not soon be forgotten.

On Thursday morning, the House held a special series of morning orders to honor Bob's life and his legacy, during which members were able to share their fond memories of this great man. House Speaker David Ralston per
haps said it best when he said, "he served the way he lived with a kind and gentle spirit. When he left us early today, he took part of the best that we have here." I will greatly miss my friend and I extend my condolences and prayers to his family.
The Firefighters won a much deserved victory with the passing of HB 216. This bill provides coverage for fire fighters who have been diagnosed with cancer from job related conditions. I was proud to work with cities and counties to pass a bill that is fair to all.
An honor to show Hilary Clinton around the Capitol 

We also passed a bill that would allow an individual or corporation to get a state tax credit for donating money to a rural health care organization.

The receiving organization must be a nonprofit, m
ust treat patients who are indigent or on Medicaid or Medicare, and must be located in a rural county. It is one of many efforts we are pursuing to aid struggling rural hospitals throughout the state.
House Bill 965, "The Honorable Jimmy Carter Cancer Treatment Act," would provide patients who have been diagnosed with stage four metastatic cancer increased access to treatment. This bill would prohibit any health benefit plan issued in Georgia that directly or indirectly covers stage four advanced, metastatic cancer treatments from denying coverage for a drug approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) if a patient does not have a previous history of failing to respond to initial cancer treatment medications.

Many insurance companies require that patients show failure to primary drugs before insurance will cover additional treatments, but with HB 965, if a doctor recommends an advanced cancer treatment drug for a patient with stage four advanced, metastatic cancer, the patient would not be required to have taken and failed previous cancer drugs.

In August of 2015, former President Jimmy Carter, a native Georgian, was diagnosed with stage four metastatic melanomas, but as a result of his advanced treatment and skilled physicians, he entered remission in December. This legislation would ensure that all Georgians with insurance covering cancer have access to the best available treatment and drugs as President Carter had to combat the advanced spread of this aggressive disease. Granting our citizens this increased and accelerated access will lift an unnecessary burden, especially for those already in the treatment process.
Last week, the House also unanimously passed House Bill 831, the "Protecting Guardsmen's Employment Act," to offer our employment assistance to our active duty military personnel. This bipartisan legislation would amend existing reemployment protections for armed forces reservists by providing employment protections to Georgia workers called into service by the national guard of a neighboring state.

This legislation would ensure National Guardsmen reemployment in their civilian job who are called into service by a state National Guard or reserves are guaranteed civilian reemployment after being called into active duty and will provide these men and women with peace of mind when they are called away from their jobs to serve our country. These men and women voluntarily serve our country and put themselves in harm's way to protect and defend our way of life, and enacting this legislation is one way we can offer protection to these dedicated individuals.
The Landon Dunson Act, House Bill 614, was another bipartisan bill passed in the House last week. The Landon Dunson Act would install video monitoring camera equipment as a safety measure in self-contained school classrooms that provide special education services.

Participation from local schools would be voluntary and only with the consent of the parents of the children in the self-contained classroom, and access to the footage from the cameras would be strictly limited to school administrators for educational and safety monitoring purposes.

The Department of Education would have final approval of the local schools that choose to opt-in to the program, but each individual school would be responsible for providing their own video monitoring equipment. This legislation was originally introduced in response to concerns of alleged abuse in classrooms that provide special education services but would also serve as a valuable tool to evaluate educational environments in special needs classrooms.

This legislation would not only help to further our special needs programs in Georgia, but it would provide our teachers and administrators with the additional resources to review their work and assure the safety of the students at the same time.
Last week we also saw the passage of House Bill 768, also known as the Georgia Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, a bill that aims to ease financial strains on individuals with disabilities by allowing them to save private funds in tax-exempt accounts without becoming ineligible for Medicaid. An ABLE account is a tax-free savings account that can cover expenses such as medical care, education, community-based supports, employment training, assistive technology, housing and transportation.

The Georgia ABLE Program would be governed by a board of directors appointed by the Governor, and this board would oversee the operations of the ABLE Program, including criteria for the tax-free savings accounts and establishing insurance policies to protect the assets of the funds, and the Office of the State Treasurer would ensure the proper management of funds and bank accounts for the program.

The Department of Community Health, the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, the Department of Human Services, the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency, and the Department of Education will work with the board of directors to define qualified ABLE applicants and program material. Georgia joins nine other state legislatures currently considering similar legislation, and 34 states have already enacted ABLE legislation.

The tax-free savings accounts would allow our disabled Georgia citizens to conserve their earnings for when they need them most while providing access to the medical care needed. 
Another bipartisan measure that received unanimous support last week was House Bill 962, which would create the position of Kinship Care Enforcement Administrator within the Department of Human Services.

This new position would be appointed by the Commissioner of Human Services to monitor, facilitate, and ensure compliance with all federal and state laws related to any programs available to kinship caregivers or the children in their care.

We also took some time last week to recognize some distinguished Georgians in the House chamber. On Tuesday, February 23, we welcomed new University of Georgia head football coach Kirby Smart to the Georgia State Capitol. A native of Bainbridge, Georgia, Coach Smart went on to play football for four years at the University of Georgia.

He recently coached at the University of Alabama, where he helped coach the Crimson Tide to four National Championships. Our state's flagship university is fortunate to have his skill and competitive drive, and the young men who play for him will no doubt benefit from his guidance both on and off the field.

The General Assembly reconvened on today for day 30 of the 40 day legislative session. 

I will continue to work tirelessly to represent you and make our entire state a better place to live, work, and raise families.

I hope you will look forward to my weekly newsletters updating you on the progress of the 2016 Georgia General Assembly.

I will certainly look forward to hearing from you!    

  Representative Pam Dickerson |   Contact Me  | Capitol Office Number 404.656.0314
611-E Coverdell Legislative Office Building, Atlanta, GA 30334

District Office Number 770.602.1004