Education Committee

Education HB 338 has been signed by Governor Deal. The Education Committee recommends reading the Bill in its entirety to establish a knowledge baseline of actions to be implemented. Another Bill to follow is HB 81 allows for the offset of income tax refunds to healthcare facilities. A link to all Bills has been included below.

HB 338 (Signed) 
Current Status: House Date Signed by Governor
Official Summary: A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Title 20 of the O.C.G.A., relating to education, so as to provide for system of supports and assistance for low-performing schools identified as in the greatest need of assistance; to provide for an Education Turnaround Advisory Council; to provide for the creation of the Joint Study Committee on the Establishment of a State Accreditation Process; to revise provisions relating to contracts for strategic waivers school systems; to revise provisions relating to charters for charter systems; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

This bill has been passed by the legislature. If the Governor signs it, or if he does not veto it within 40 days after the end of the session, it becomes law on the bill’s effective date, commonly July 1

HB 81 
Current Status: Senate Read and Referred
Official Summary: A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Chapter 7 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to income taxes, so as to allow certain health care facilities to receive income tax refund set-offs for collection of medical debts; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

Link to all Bills: Georgia House of Representative. Clerk’s Office House Calendars

 

Healthcare Committee

  1. Healthcare Insurance Open Enrollment – NOW till Dec 15th!

It’s that time a year, time to sign up for health insurance for you and your family

As we behind to celebrate the holiday season let’s take the time to plan for a healthy 2018. Open Enrollment is underway and ends December 15. You can sign up for health insurance through the Insurance Marketplace or ask your employer when you can update your insurance through your company (it might be open now).

If you noticed that this year’s open enrollment period feels shorter, you’re correct. In addition to limited announcements surrounding open enrollments, the enrollment period this year is 45 days versus a longer span of around 90 days.

Healthcare is not a political issue; it’s about us as individuals and families taking care of our bodies and minds. Even though there are politicians on Capitol Hill and in state capitals across the country trying to restrict the healthcare access, we can’t fight against their rollbacks to healthcare access if we don’t care of ourselves first.

Use this open enrollment period to sign up for a new plan or make changes to your current plan. You can sign up for healthcare plans at https://www.healthcare.gov/get-coverage/

  1. No Copay Birth Control

Under President Obama’s administration, thousands of Americans gained access to healthcare through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The bill also eliminated the insurance copay for birth control, allowing over 62.4 million women to obtain birth control at no cost. In the first years this copay was eliminated, women saved over $1.4 billion. In October, the current administration made a decision through Health and Human Services to roll back the mandate under the ACA that required employers to include no copay birth control coverage in their healthcare plans. There is still time to take action before this decision becomes final. December 5th is that last day to leave a comment to Health and Human Services about the decision about birth control copay. Leave your comments at http://www.keepbcfree.com/, while you’re there you can send an invoice to Trump for the cost of your annual birth control costs.

  1. Tax Bill

On Thursday, Nov. 17, the House passed a Republican tax plan by a vote of 227 to 205 with 13 Republicans voting with Democrats. Now the massive tax bill will move to the Senate chamber, where Senate Republicans plan to include repeal of the Affordable Care Act individual mandate. According to the Congressional Budget Office, repealing the mandate would save more than $300 billion over a decade, but 13 million Americans would lose their coverage. The Senate is set to vote on this measure after Thanksgiving.

CALL TO ACTION: Call your Georgia Senator to oppose this bill:
Johnny Isakson: 202-224-3643 / 770-661-0999

David Perdue: 202-224-3521 / 404-865-0087

Or if you are more comfortable sending a text, use Resistbot to send a message to your congressman from your phone.

Whether you are calling or texting your Senator, here is a brief script to guide your conversation.

“I’m writing/calling to ask you to vote against the Republican tax plan. Bipartisan analysis shows that this plan actually raises taxes on many middle class families, raises insurance premiums, forces millions of people off their insurance and increases the deficit by over a trillion dollars, just to give corporations and the wealthy a permanent tax cut. This bill must be stopped.”

If you would like to join this committee, please contact Alaina Reaves at alaina.reaves@gmail.com 

Climate Change Committee

We have all seen movies and documentaries, read e-mails, gone to march’s and forums, had speakers at our meetings, and read information about Climate Change.  For many of us it ends there.  We expect the Federal Government to take care of this issue.  But now that Trump has pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord and has pushed back on every Climate Change initiative that President Obama started, we must step up.  Cities and States, Universities and Non-profits are taking steps to combat climate change without the federal government.  

Now is it time for Georgia to step up.  

Atlanta has already joined the Sierra Club campaign Ready for100% in which they have pledged that all government buildings will be 100% renewable energy by 2025 and all residential by 2035.  Small towns and counties around Georgia can contribute also.  We may not be able to pledge 100% Clean energy by 2025, but there are things that we can do to conserve energy, water, and air.  In Dawson County (which is 87% Red) we are developing a program to work with our local governments, businesses, and residential communities to do just this.  We will be “test-driving” the program in Dawson County in January and February.  Then we will work out the kinks and send a toolkit to as many people as we can.  Local chapters of GFDW can help in this movement by taking the toolkit and implementing some of the ideas in their own city or county.  

Please consider getting a few people from your chapter to join the Climate Change/Environment Committee to help with this initiative!

 

Transportation Committee Report

In 2015 Georgia was reported to be  9thout of 51 states in travel time to work, with a mean of 28 minutes.  We believe the travel time standard for Georgia may have changed since that year.  Gwinnett Federation of Democratic Women should be keeping an eye on several bills that were proposed by Gwinnett legislators including:

  • HB 6 was prefiled in the House on Nov15, 16.  Representative Keisha Waite was the author but she is no longer a representative and another representative needs to author it this go around.   The Georgia General Assembly Transportation Committee is considering Article 9 of Chapter 9 of Title 46 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, 2 relating to the “Georgia Rail Passenger Authority Law,” so as to amend the authority’s name to the “Georgia Rail Passenger and High Speed Rail Facilities Authority…for the purpose of construction, financing, operation, and development of rail passenger service, high speed rail systems and facilities, and other public transportation projects within and without the State of Georgia.”  If this bill finds a sponsor, it will help begin the alleviation of traffic congestion and bring Georgia citizens into the modern age of rail transportation.  We need to encourage cheap and clean rail transportation throughout the state!
  • HB 386 supports mass transportation and includes provisions for DeKalb County to levy a retail sales and use tax for providing public transportation through MARTA.  It is sponsored by Gwinnett/DeKalb County’s Billy Mitchell.  The Senate version, SB 261 “Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority Act of 1965”; provides for procedures, conditions, and limitations for imposition of additional retail sales and use tax in DeKalb County is authored by Gwinnett/DeKalb Senators Gloria Butler and Steve Henson.
 
 

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