Floyd County’s legislative delegates are working a variety of new initiatives through committees as the Georgia General Assembly prepares to start the 13th day of its 40-day annual session Monday.
Here’s a look at what local lawmakers are up to:
* Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome, is sponsoring Senate Bill 31, which would establish a pilot program through a simulated indigent care credit exchange. Health care facilities called on to provide more free treatment in their communities could sell their excess to facilities that don’t do enough to meet the requirements set by law. It’s been assigned to the Senate Finance Committee that he chairs.
He’s also the sponsor of SB 41, which would create a Tax Commissioners Retirement Fund overseen by a board. Members would pay dues of $105 a month, with additional funding coming from a variety of surcharges and penalties — some of which would be shifted from counties’ general funds.
Hufstetler’s SB 53 would add to the Georgia Technology Authority the responsibility to develop a standard website design for all state agencies, with an eye to security, functionality and accessibility to people with disabilities.
He’s also a cosponsor on a number of bills. Among them is legislation that would require self-funded, employer-sponsored health insurance funds to submit their claims to an existing database used to monitor trends in the state. SB 1 is awaiting a hearing in his Finance Committee.
Another is SB 46 — backed by a slate of heavy hitters — that would expand the types of medical professionals authorized to vaccinate people during a public health emergency.
And Hufstetler is the second cosponsor on SB 6, which would require periodic reviews of tax breaks to ensure there’s a financial return on the state’s investment. The measure has already passed the Senate and is awaiting action in the House.
* Rep. Katie Dempsey, R-Rome, is the sponsor of HB 291, which would allow certain private universities offering nursing degrees to receive tuition equalization grants. The measure aimed at increasing the healthcare workforce in the state, has bipartisan support.
She’s also leading a push to create a joint House and Senate study committee on childhood lead exposure and is a cosponsor of HB 286. The bill would bar county governments from cutting their police department budgets by more than 5% unless there is a corresponding drop in revenue.
Dempsey chairs the human resources subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee and focuses much of her attention on establishing the budgets for social services agencies.
* Rep. Eddie Lumsden, R-Armuchee, chairs the House Insurance Committee. He is sponsoring HB 254, which would increase the state insurance commissioner’s enforcement resources. The measure is scheduled for a Tuesday hearing at an Insurance Committee subcommittee meeting.
He’s also sponsoring HB 98, to sync the requirements for remote legislative meetings with those of in-person gatherings, and HB 136, which spells out the procedure for appointing an acting elections superintendent when the probate judge who serves that function is sidelined. Chattooga County, which is in Lumsden’s district, ran into that issue following the death of Probate Judge Jon Payne last year.
* Rep. Mitchell Scoggins, R-Cartersville, is a cosponsor of Lumsden’s HB 136 and has signed on to several other housekeeping bills related to local property tax rates and vital records.
Scoggins is the sponsor of HB 137, which would eliminate state taxes due on property sales forced through eminent domain, and HB 263 tweaking retirement benefits for probate court judges.
He’s also chairing the Scoggins subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee. A meeting scheduled for Tuesday afternoon is slated to consider three bills.