Rep. Deffenbaugh: Week 13 Georgia Legislative Report

Saturday, March 17, 2018

On Thursday, March 15, my House colleagues and I completed Legislative Day 35 and our tenth week of the 2018 legislative session, and we now only have five working days remaining until Legislative Day 40, or sine die. Legislative Day 40 is the last day the House will take up business for the year, and since we only have a few days left to wrap up our legislative work, this week was extremely busy in committees, and our agendas were very full as we reviewed and passed Senate measures in the House Chamber.  

This week, the House passed a critical measure that seeks to better coordinate state health care policies in an effort to address the unique health challenges facing our state. Senate Bill 357, also known as “The Health Act,” would establish the Health Coordination and Innovation Council of the State of Georgia under the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget to streamline and coordinate all components of our state’s health care system.  

My House colleagues and I unanimously passed a measure this week that would ensure children with autism in Georgia have access to vital treatments and therapies needed to lead full and healthy lives. Senate Bill 118 would increase the age of coverage for autism spectrum disorder treatments from six-years-old to 20-years-old and would increase the coverage limit from $30,000 to $35,000 per year. Additionally, SB 118 would require insurers to provide coverage for applied behavior analysis, which is recognized as a necessary medical treatment for autism. More of Georgia’s children who are on the autism spectrum could receive the therapies, treatments and care they need to thrive. 

Elder abuse cases have risen significantly across the state in recent years, and on Thursday, March 15, the House passed a measure to address this alarming trend. Senate Bill 406 would create the Georgia Long-term Care Background Check Program, which would require elder care providers in personal care homes or other assisted living facilities to undergo comprehensive, fingerprint-based criminal background checks. This provision would apply to owners, applicants for employment and employees of personal care homes, assisted living communities, private home care providers, home health agencies, hospice care, nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities or adult day cares. SB 406 is based on the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform’s recommendations, and this significant measure seeks to protect our state’s senior citizens and decrease cases of elder abuse. 

The House passed a bill to assist our service men and women on Thursday, March 15. Senate Bill 82 would allow members of the Georgia National Guard or a reserve component of the United States Armed Forces located in Georgia to be classified as a legal residents under eligibility requirements for HOPE scholarships and grants. This expansion would only apply to Georgia National Guard or reserve members who are stationed in Georgia or who list Georgia as his or her home of record. Currently, only active-duty military service members, their spouses and their dependent children are eligible to receive Georgia’s HOPE scholarships and grants, and SB 82 would allow the brave men and women who serve in the Georgia National Guard and the reserves to reap the same educational benefits as their active-duty military counterparts. 

With five legislative days remaining until we adjourn, it is more important than ever that you reach out to me to express any concerns or share any input you have regarding pending legislation. I highly value your thoughts and opinions, and I want to know what you, your family and our neighbors think about legislative matters that impact our community and our state. Please visit my Capitol office anytime. I can also be reached by phone at 404-656-0202, or by email at john.deffenbaugh@house.ga.gov.  

As always, thank you for allowing me to serve as your state representative.
Rep. John Deffenbaugh



What Happened To Recycle Pickup On Robinson Drive?

Wanting A Publix That Better Suits The Location And Community

Publix Store Does Not Warrant Opposition


The city did not pick up the recyclables on Friday the 7th on our street (Robinson Drive). They have missed the whole street four of the past five scheduled pick up days. We then have to ... (click for more)

In his opinion piece, “Quit Embarrassing Us,” Rox Exum misses the point. He writes, “I cannot speak for those who oppose the renewal of South Broad Street but…what is puzzling to me is…why more ... (click for more)

I am certain if the Publix grocery store were placed on a voting referendum, the masses would vote for Publix to be constructed at the St. Elmo site as presented in the current building and layout ... (click for more)


Opinion

What Happened To Recycle Pickup On Robinson Drive?

The city did not pick up the recyclables on Friday the 7th on our street (Robinson Drive). They have missed the whole street four of the past five scheduled pick up days. We then have to call 311 or the mayors office and they pick it up in two or three days. The mayor needs to find out why this continues to happen and make any necessary changes to insure that the problem ... (click for more)

Wanting A Publix That Better Suits The Location And Community

In his opinion piece, “Quit Embarrassing Us,” Rox Exum misses the point. He writes, “I cannot speak for those who oppose the renewal of South Broad Street but…what is puzzling to me is…why more don’t embrace it and join in what our overall community needs the most: our encouragement.” No one who opposes the Publix development in its proposed form opposes the renewal of South ... (click for more)

Breaking News

County Schools, Other Schools To Open On A 2-Hour Delay Monday Morning

Hamilton County Schools will open on a two-hour delay on Monday due to a threat of slippery road conditions in the higher elevations overnight. Officials said, "Below freezing temperatures are expected in areas of Hamilton County which could cause travel problems in the morning. Buses will run two hours later than normal in the morning and schools will begin two hours later. ... (click for more)

Stephen Moore, 34, Shot And Killed Early Sunday Morning

Stephen Laton Moore, 34, was shot and killed early Sunday morning on East 5th Street. At approximately 12:19 a.m., Chattanooga Police were dispatched to a report of a person shot in the 2500 block of East 5th Street. Upon arrival, officers located the victim suffering from a fatal gunshot wound. Hamilton County EMS responded and pronounced him deceased. CPD Major ... (click for more)

Sports

Admiral Schofield Leads Tennessee To 76-73 Upset Of #1 Gonzaga

Admiral Schofield led the once-beaten Tennessee Vols to an upset of top-ranked Gonzaga, 76-73, on Sunday afternoon. In a game played in Phoenix, the Vols led by as many as 9 early, then were in the lead at halftime 34-33. The previously-undefeated Zags built their own lead on the shooting of Zach Norvell Jr., then seemed to have the advantage when Vol star Grant Williams went ... (click for more)

Meme Jackson Has Career Day To Lead #9 Lady Vols Over #12 Texas In Austin

Senior Meme Jackson logged a career-high 33 points to lift the No. 9/9 Lady Vols to an 88-82 victory over No. 12/12 Texas in the Frank Erwin Center on Sunday. Sophomore Evina Westbrook posted 23 points for her third straight 20+ point performance. Cheridene Green was also in double figures for Tennessee (8-0), adding 10 points and six rebounds. Texas (7-2) was led in ... (click for more)