Sometimes when we finish up our eighth week of the session it feels like we completed a marathon. With over 60 bills passing through the Senate, 33 on Crossover Day alone, last week was quite productive. Among this large group of legislation, on Monday Senate Bill 119, which I sponsored, passed unanimously.

SB 119 would require an economic analysis to be conducted by the state auditor prior to the passage of legislation related to taxation. I believe this legislation is a great step towards ensuring that all tax dollars are used efficiently, and that there are no over-zealous taxation regulations. I look forward to continuing to work on this legislation with the House, where I hope to see a vote on it very soon.

When it comes to the rest of the legislation passed this week, while every piece is important in its own way, there are a few highlighted below:

♦ Senate Bill 168 would allow advanced practice registered nurses who hold multistate licenses to practice in Georgia, as long as the license was issued by another state under the Nurse Licensure Compact.

♦ Senate Bill 56 would require hospitals and physicians to make information regarding the providers and standard prices of specific health care services available to the patient. SB 56 would also set standards for information that insurers must provide to customers in regards to their health plan. Additionally, the bill would also require health insurance providers to notify patients when emergency health care services are not covered by their insurance, and allow for insurance and health care providers to determine the method of compensation for emergency services rendered.

♦ Senate Bill 110 would add new provisions to the Georgia Code clarifying that the Statewide Business Court will be based in Macon-Bibb County, defining the Court’s jurisdiction, outlining procedures for hearing a case before the court and establishing the qualifications and selection process for the judge of the Court.

♦ Senate Resolution 237 would limit the terms for members of Congress, and would urge a resolution asking Congress to call a convention to address term limits. This would only be effective if two-thirds of states pass the same urging resolution calling for the convention.

♦ Senate Resolution 264 would create the 10-member Joint Emergency Medical Services Study Committee which would review the following regarding emergency services: safety standards, accreditation requirements, zoning for 9-1-1 response, proper education, technological advancements and other applicable topics.

Addressing the effects of tax law and improving our health care system, business climate and law enforcement are top priorities for me as a senator. These bills cover a variety of topics that I believe will affect the daily lives of Georgians. It is always good to see both sides work together to pass meaningful legislation in a bipartisan manner.

We will be hearing parts of the “Big Budget,” the General FY20 Budget, in the Senate Appropriations Criminal Justice and Public Safety Subcommittee this week. Passing a balanced budget is one of our most important goals as legislators and our only constitutionally required job. As chairman of this subcommittee, I assure you that I will thoroughly vet the budget to make sure that all funds are being used in the most fiscally responsible and efficient manner.

If you have any questions about legislation we have passed, or House legislation that we are hearing the rest of session, please contact my office by phone or email. Representing the 56th District to the best of my abilities is my number one priority.

Sen. John Albers serves as Chairman of the Public Safety Committee. He represents the 56th Senate District which includes portions of Cherokee and North Fulton counties. He may be reached at his office at 404.463.8055 or by email at john.albers@senate.ga.gov

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