2017 Archives

February 6--  State Representative Greg Morris of Vidalia provides an update on the current session of the Georgia House of Representatives.

Last week the Legislature completed Day 14 of the 2018 Session. These are a few of the highlights.

2018 Mid-Year Budget. By the time of this reading the House will most likely have passed the $306 million spending plan proposed by Gov. Deal to complete the 2018 Budget that runs through June 30 of this year. Over a third of the money will go to K-12 education for increased enrollment. The vast majority of the rest will go to increased health care expenses for Medicaid. Other items include $25 million for rural airports, $10 million for beach re-nourishment because of the hurricanes and $15 million for the states foster care system to offset costs due to the opioid crisis.

H.B. 778. Several high ranking House members have joined House Appropriations Chairman Terry England in sponsoring legislation that would move control of career, technical and agricultural education from the State Board of Education to the Technical College System of Georgia. This would be a change in who determines the content, standards, administration and funding for these important programs. The bill states that the reason for the transfer will be to have a single entity with the sole purpose of equipping students with skills “seamlessly” from secondary to post secondary education. Programs involved would be extended year technology and career education, young farmers, youth camps and apprenticeships, industry certification and the area teacher program. I would welcome any input and will be happy to discuss this with educators, parents, and students who are part of these programs. I know this is a major change and there will be many concerns about this bill. 912-293-0725 cell or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Rural Healthcare. I am studying a new proposal that would allow current healthcare providers to re-open closed hospitals and operate them on a much smaller scale. A failed hospital would become a facility with 2 to seven beds that would be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The bill would also require mandatory training for hospital administrators and board members on areas such as hospital financing and federal regulations for healthcare. Would these new scaled down hospitals be viable? Would they improve patient outcomes? I can’t say I am convinced they would or how this plan would affect our current healthcare providers in this area.

Two of the three topics in this report are specific to the effort of the House Rural Development Council to improve the quality of life in Rural Georgia. I have stated the focus of the session would largely be focused on that subject and it is. However we are still long on challenges and short on solutions. I hope you will be pleased that at least rural Georgia has been getting the attention that we deserve.


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