You are currently browsing the daily archive for 03/03/2011.

Federal Budget: This week, the U.S. Senate vote to pass a two-week Continuing Resolution for the federal budget that will keep the federal government going for the time being.  The CR includes $4 billion in cuts, which impact vital programs for children and families.  If signed by the President, the CR will continue through March 18, 2011.

Supreme Court: The Supreme Court heard arguments this week in a case involving child-abuse investigations at school, questioning whether a search warrant or a parent’s consent is required before a child can be questioned at school by a child care worker or a police officer.  For a basic overview, check out this article:

Human Trafficking Bill: HB 200 (Rep. Edward Lindsey, 54th Dist.) passed the House on Wednesday with a vote of 168 to 1, and now goes on to the Senate.

Runaway Shelter Bill: Thursday, HB 185 (Rep. Tom Weldon, 3rd Dist.) will undergo it’s third hearing in the Setzler Subcommittee of the Non-Civil Judiciary Committee.  The Runaway Youth Safety Act would require that service providers who deal with runaway or homeless youth to contact the parents or legal custodians of a runaway child or file a report in compliance with Code Section 19-7-5 no later than 72 hours after initial contact with a child to prevent being charged with the crime of interfering with custody.   This bill would also define a service provider to mean any community-based program with staff trained to provide services to children who have run away or children who are homeless or their families.

Medical Loss Ratio Waiver: On Monday, the Senate Health Care Delivery Subcommittee of the Insurance Committee voted DO PASS out of subcommittee by a vote of 2-1 on SB 22 (Judson Hill, Dist. 32), which authorizes the state Insurance Commissioner to apply for a waiver from the federal government to meet Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) requirements set into law by the Affordable Care Act. MLR sets standards for what percentage of a consumer’s premium must go toward medical care, as opposed to administrative costs or amounts retained for profit by the insurance company.  This legislation does not afford the Insurance Commissioner any new authority, as the Insurance Commissioner already has the authority to apply for this waiver.

Medicaid/PeachCare Fingerprinting: SB 63 (Albers, Dist. 56) would require all individuals enrolled in Medicaid and PeachCare, including children and infants, to be fingerprinted when first enrolled within the program and at the point of receiving medical care as a means to decrease fraud.  The Senate Health Care Delivery Subcommittee of the Insurance Committee by majority chose not to bring this bill to a vote but decided to wait for a fiscal note to be completed first.  Some issues raised were about access to data to inform at which points Medicaid fraud occurs, what the costs to implement would be, whether requiring fingerprints would violate federal maintenance of effort (MOE) provisions and put federal Medicaid dollars to Georgia at risk, what if any additional administrative functions would be needed, and whether implementation would negatively impact access to care.

Georgia’s Pre-K/HOPE:  This week the Governor’s HOPE bill (HB 326, Rep. Doug Collins, 27th Dist.), which lays out parameters for post-secondary education funding, passed the House and is now being taken up in the Senate Higher Education committee. There is no GA Pre-K language in that bill.  The jury is still out on the final plan for Pre-K this year, but expectations are that the $54 Million cut for FY 2012 will remain, whatever form the programmitic changes take.


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March 2011
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