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News From Georgia Watch

March 31, 2017
In This Issue
Sine Die Update
More Vogtle Bad News
Patient-centered Research
In the News
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Sine Die Legislative Update
The 2017 Legislative Session of the Georgia General Assembly ended yesterday. Here's an update on key bills we were following.

Due to your efforts, House Bill 353 failed a vote in the House before Crossover Day, but we continued to monitor for its possible amendment onto other legislation still active before the end of Session.  On the final day of Session, the language allowing for multi-month and more costly title pawn transactions was amended onto Senate Bill 191, an unrelated bill regarding petroleum pipelines.  For the second year in a row, in the final hours of Sine Die, we successfully defeated this harmful amendment and the efforts of the title pawn industry to re-define our usury laws.  You can learn more on our Take Action page.

Georgia Watch supported and provided testimony on Senate Bill 8 and House Bill 71, both of which aimed to protect Georgia consumers from unexpected out-of-network medical bills at in-network hospitals. We were disappointed that the Legislature did not pass a robust consumer protection bill this Session, but we are encouraged that House Resolution 745 passed and creates a study committee that will examine ways to protect Georgians from unexpected out-of-network costs. You can learn more on our Take Action  page.
Will construction at Plant Vogtle ever end?
How much more will ratepayers have to pour into this risky investment?

With this week's announcement that the contractor building two new nuclear units at Plant Vogtle has declared bankruptcy, Georgia Power and state regulators have been talking about "uncertainty" in the project's future. In contrast, Georgia Watch has been certain from the beginning that building these units was too risky for Georgia's consumers.

As reported in today's Atlanta Journal Constitution"We believe the worst alternative would be to continue constructing the plant," said Liz Coyle, executive director of consumer advocacy group Georgia Watch. "We have been saying for years that these projects are too risky and that too much of the risk is being born by ratepayers."

See more news coverage of this unfolding story below In the News.
Patient-centered research collaborative meets in Lyons and Augusta
As part of our PCORI Pipeline-to-Proposal project, we have
been convening patients and  partners for nearly two years to develop a patient-centered research project focused on improving access to healthcare in rural Georgia communities . In February, we held a patient and provider round table meeting at Mercy Me dical Clinic in Lyons, Georgia to get valuable input from this community.  We also held a collaborative group meeting at Augusta University College of Nursing in March.  We greatly  appreciate the partnership of Mercy Medical Clinic, Augusta University and all who are engaged in this project!  You can learn more about the project here.

In the News