By Rep. Craig Gordon
March 19, 2019 - The legislative session is getting closer to the end of our forty-day legislative schedule and we are working very industriously in committees and on the House floor considering bills from the Senate that have crossed over to our chamber. Once a bill passes both the Senate and House, it is sent to the governor and he decides whether to sign it into law.
Senate Bill 16 passed which would allow physicians to become licensed in multiple states and creates another pathway for licensure that does not otherwise change a state’s existing Medical Practice Board. Additionally, the bill adopts the prevailing standard for licensure and affirms that the physician must be under the jurisdiction of the state medical board where the patient is located. Our state has a shortage of physicians, particularly in rural areas, and this is good legislation that will bring more physicians to Georgia, providing needed healthcare in many communities that currently have no doctor available.
Another bill regarding healthcare, Senate Bill 18 passed, known as the Direct Primary Care Act. Direct primary care is a flat membership fee where patients can choose their doctor. This bill states that a direct primary care agreement is not insurance and is not subject to state insurance laws. SB 18 requires a physician offering a direct primary care agreement to maintain a current license to practice medicine in Georgia. I believe this bill is a good alternative for those without insurance to receive necessary healthcare. The bill is on the governor’s desk for his signature.
This coming week, I plan to introduce two House bills for study committees to consider. The first is to explore Georgia’s post-production filmmaking tax credit and how it can be more utilized to keep filmmaking production jobs here in Georgia. I would also like to explore how we can collaborate with talent from our local high schools and colleges and develop that talent for future employment.
The second is a study committee to explore what our state and federal government can do to incentivize urban farming. Currently, most loans, tax credits, and grants are limited to rural areas. But with our population growth and the increased interest in fresh, organic food, I believe that old warehouses and vacant lots can be turned into profitable, job-creating farming opportunities. These urban “farms” can be sources for local stores, farmers markets, and restaurants. I will keep you updated about these two bills as they go through the legislative process.
As we continue the legislative session, I would like to hear from you about your questions and concerns! My local office number is 912.231.8958 . It’s a privilege to represent our great community in Atlanta.