(Media release from the Office of Governor Brian Kemp):
Governor Brian P. Kemp, joined by First Lady Marty Kemp, Lieutenant Governor Burt Jones, Speaker Jon Burns, Department of Community Health Commissioner Caylee Noggle, Department of Human Services Commissioner Candice Broce, and Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Commissioner Kevin Tanner, signed multiple bills today that improve maternal health, increase access to healthcare services, and protect our healthcare heroes, among other advancements.
“Bringing innovative and sustainable solutions to our healthcare system has always been a top priority of my administration,” said Governor Brian Kemp. “By signing these bills, we are taking important steps to enable Georgians to choose the right health insurance coverage options for their families and improve the safety of our healthcare heroes while ensuring the most vulnerable among us are receiving the assistance they need. These are critical steps in improving the health and well-being of communities across our state, and I am thankful for everyone who played a role in these measures.”
Signed legislation includes:
HB 129, sponsored by Representative Soo Hong and carried by Senator Mike Hodges, allows eligible expectant mothers to receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits.
HB 383, sponsored by Representative Matt Reeves and carried by Senator Ben Watson, takes steps to protect our healthcare workforce by increasing penalties for those who commit violent acts against healthcare professionals and allowing hospitals to establish campus police forces.
SB 65, sponsored by Senator Ben Watson and carried by Representative Eddie Lumsden, authorizes the Department of Insurance to create and administer a state-based health insurance exchange. Under a state-based exchange, Georgians will be better able to compare and contrast their health insurance options to determine which best fits the needs of their family.
SB 106, sponsored by Senator Larry Walker III and carried by Representative Sharon Cooper, advances maternal health by codifying a pilot program for maternal health home visits through the Department of Public Health.
HB 85, sponsored by Representative Sharon Cooper and carried by Senator Kay Kirkpatrick, helps ensure patients get directed to the proper treatment pathway when diagnosed with cancer or certain autoimmune conditions by requiring coverage of biomarker tests. These tests help identify the appropriate treatment pathway for patients so that they can receive life-saving care in a timely manner.
HB 203, sponsored by Representative Mark Newton and carried by Senator Matt Brass, removes unnecessary barriers by allowing low-risk individuals to renew their contact lens prescriptions through telemedicine.