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News from Sen Dean Burke
Feb 15, 2017

The General Assembly met on Tuesday, February 7 for our 13th day of the 40 day legislative session. Committees have been very busy hearing bills with some passing out of the Senate and moving on to the House for their consideration.

February 7
I also introduced a resolution recognizing Georgia CORE (Georgia Center for Oncology Research and Education) Day at the state capitol. CORE is a small public-private partnership which has a large ambition to provide the highest quality, better organized, more cost-efficient, and patient-centered cancer care to Georgians

Two other special occasions were recognized last week. On Thursday, February 9th, we recognized February 9, 2017 as Stop Violence Against Women Day, and on Friday, February 10th we recognized Atlanta Braves President, John Schuerholz on his recent selection to the Baseball Hall of Fame's 2017 inductees.

The House and the Senate neared agreement on the 2017 Amended Budget after the Senate passed HB 43, the amended FY 2017 budget 53-1. Leaders look to resolve differences and we expect the House to agree to final passage by the end of this week.

SB 4 Established the Georgia Mental Health Treatment Task Force to develop applications for a Medicaid waiver and block grant funding and to prohibit the submission of a mental health Medicaid waiver application without legislative approval.
The Bill provides, among other things, for the task force to

  • Assess whether current the Medicaid program provides adequate and effective mental health care services,
  • To determine the impact on the state's hospitals, emergency rooms, law enforcement, prisons, and related institutions and services resulting from a lack of treatment of those with mental illness and substance abuse disorders,
  • To assess which services and practices work best to prevent further deterioration supportive housing, crisis stabilization programs, community residential rehabilitation, assertive community treatment services, telemedicine, and addiction treatment programs, and
  • To determine what policy changes may be necessary for the state to provide quality medical care for our citizens suffering from mental illness and substance abuse disorders.

SB 12 The purpose of this legislation is to increase access to preventative dental care for the under-served population across Georgia. This legislation was fully supported by members of the Georgia Dental Association and the Georgia Hygienists Association.

February 2

We passed Senate Bill 85, a bill that will allow breweries to sell beer directly to consumers for drinking both on and off premises.

SB 70 passed, which will extend the sunset provision for hospital provider payment fees from June 30, 2017, to June 30, 2020. These fees are necessary for obtaining federal funding for Medicaid financing used by our local hospitals for their Indigent Care Trust Fund.

Dean Burke
Georgia Senate District 11
Legislative office 301-A Coverdell Legislative Office Building, Atlanta, GA 30334
Phone 404-656-0040
In the District: 1500 E. Shotwell Street, Bainbridge, GA 39819
Phone 229-243-6267
eMail   Facebook Page

Chairman of the Ethics Committee
Agriculture and Consumer Affairs
Appropriations- Chairing the Subcommittee on the Department of Community Health's budget
Vice Chair of the Health and Human Services Committees.
Special committee to study the effects on the state of Georgia of the expected repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act. The charge of the committee is to help the state be prepared for whatever decision comes out of Washington in regards to future health care policy decisions

See Sen. Burke's 2015-2016 legislation

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