Week 8 In Review

Crossover Week

Crossover Week, and specifically Crossover Day, marks the point in the legislative session where bills must pass out of one chamber (House or Senate) and into the the opposite chamber. Several really big (and controversial) bills crossed over from the House to the Senate. For this newsletter, I will highlight just a few of the major pieces of legislation. 

HB 324- The Medical Marijuana Bill This bill, referred to as "Georgia's Hope Act" would allow for the State of Georgia to begin cultivation, manufacturing, and dispensing of Low THC Oil for usage by the 8,000 individuals currently on the Medical Marijuana Registry. While the intent of this bill is a great, and I would have loved to support it 100%, there is serious flaws in the access to this new industry coming to our State (should it pass). I voted NO on this bill in its current format and hope, once the bill returns from the Senate that I can vote YES on a bill that not only increase medical access to Low THC oil, but also increase economic access to women-, and minority-owned businesses to what will surely be a very large industry in Georgia.

HB 426- The Hate Crimes Bill On Crossover Day, my colleagues and I had the opportunity to catch up with the rest of the nation and finally pass Hate Crime Legislation. Prior to this vote, Georgia was one of only 5 States that did not have a Hate Crime Statute. We will watch this legislation closely as it makes its way to the Senate. This type of legislation is long overdue, and I gladly voted YES.

HB 481- The "Heartbeat Bill" In what can only be described as a devastating blow to women's access to reproductive health options, to OB/GYN providers in our State, and women's rights in general, the House narrowly passed the House Bill 481, which essentially outlaws abortion in our State. It would make it illegal to perform an abortion upon hearing a heartbeat. I spoke against this bill as it is an incredibly flawed piece of legislation that takes many liberties on medical interpretations of viability, as well as creates a new tax credit for pregnant individuals. It also adds a lot of questions about access to medical records by law enforcement, as well as the criminalization of healthcare providers. We will follow this bill closely as it now travels through the Senate. 

What's Next?

In week 9 of the session we will begin to hear the Senate Bills that crossed over to the House Chamber last week. There are several that are important to watch including a bill to have the State take over Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport, as well as a bill authorizing the Governor to begin to explore Medicaid Waivers (in lieu of Medicaid Expansion). 

We will also pay close attention to what happens to the House bills that have now crossed over to the Senate. 

What Can I Do To Help?

Many of you have reached out to ask how you can help. The best thing the constituency can do is to be in constant contact with your Representative, your Senator, and the Chairs of Committees for bills you are interested in watching. If you would like to see the members of the committee for the "big bills" you can find them here: 

HB 316- Voting Machines- Senate Rules
HB 426- Hate Crimes- Senate Judiciary
HB 481- Heartbeat Bill- Senate Science and Technology
HB 324- Medical Marijauna- Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities
SB 131- Airport Takeover- House Rules
SB 106- Medicaid Waivers- House Special Committee on Access to Quality Healthcare

Have a middle schooler or high schooler interested in paging at the Capitol, please reach out to Kiddada Grey for more information. This will be an excused absence from school and the page will be paid. 
Copyright © 2019 Jasmine Clark for Georgia State House District 108, All rights reserved.

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