The Georgia state legislature approved a Conference Committee Report for House Bill 19, the Fiscal Year 2024 (FY 2024) budget, fulfilling our one constitutional obligation of the session. Effective July 1, 2023 this final version of the FY 2024 budget is set at a revenue estimate of $32.4 billion, which is $2.2 billion, or 7.4 percent, more than the Fiscal Year 2023 budget. In the final hours $200,000 was cut from GA Bio Rural Health training program.
Summary of the Georgia FY 2024 Budget:
More than 50 percent of this state budget is dedicated toward funding our state’s K-12 and higher education systems and includes $13.1 billion to fund the Quality Basic Education program and an additional $50.2 million in lottery funds to bring the HOPE factor rate for scholarships and grants up to 100 percent of last year’s tuition costs.
Certified teachers and school employees will receive a $2,000 raise to the state base salary schedule through this budget.
House Bill 538, or the Georgia Early Literacy Act, will require school systems to teach high-quality literacy instructional materials approved by the State Board of Education in grades kindergarten through third grade based on the science of reading beginning July 1, 2023
Nearly a quarter of the FY 2024 budget goes toward health and human services, and within this crucial budget area, includes $42.2 million for Medicaid reimbursement rate increases for providers.
10 percent of the FY 2024 budget would go toward economic development and general government services, and seven percent of the budget would support transportation infrastructure improvement
Restored $1.4 million for the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network (GMCN) for peer support services but made major amendments to Mental Health Parity Act (Ralston/MMO) including allowing dangerous step therapy policies to be enacted.
SB 63 walks back the many criminal justice reforms that were enacted by the General Assembly under the leadership of former Governor Nathan Deal
Add $1 million in funding for a remote maternal/fetal health monitoring program for Medicaid eligible high-risk pregnant persons
$2.7 million to provide dental coverage for adults on Medicaid
Add $1.7 million for a pilot home visiting program for at-risk and rural communities during pregnancy and early childhood
HB 85: Insurance coverage for biomarker testing| PASSED
SB 223: Authorize reimbursement of patient incurred expenses related to participation in a cancer clinical trial| PASSED
HB 129: Expanding TANF for families | PASSED
HB 295: Updates to Georgia’s surprise billing law | PASSED
SB 20: The Consumer Access to Contracted Healthcare (CATCH) Act | PASSED (protections for patients when forced out of network)
SB 65: Enable Georgia to establish a state-based marketplace for health insurance | PASSED
SB 65 will allow Georgia to move its health insurance marketplace from healthcare.gov
HB 191 and 192, bills to raise the state cigarette and vaping tax in Georgia; tabled ‘alive’ for next session| DID NOT PASS
SB 140: Ban on some gender-affirming care for trans youth | PASSED
HR 603: House study committee established on certificate of need and SR 279: Senate study committee on certificate of need | DID NOT PASS
SB 99: Repeal Georgia’s Certificate of Need requirement in rural counties | DID NOT PASS but is ‘alive’ for next session (another bill preferred by Lt. Gov who has skin in rural hospital)
HB 520: Updates to mental health reform bill | DID NOT PASS
HB 343: Change requirements of Pharmacy Benefits Managers (PBMs) | DID NOT PASS; The Lowering Prescription Drug Costs for Patients Act would have required PBMs to pass 50% discounts receive from drug makers down to consumers, possibly lowering out of pocket prescription prices. This bill passed the House and was tabled in the Senate HHS committee. Meaning it ‘alive’ for next session.
A temperature-stable, experimental tuberculosis vaccine has been found safe and effective in a clinical phase 1 trial involving healthy adults conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
HB 1509, State Rep Clemons (FL) and Rep. Linda Chaney (FL); stop PBM abuses and provide more oversight and accountability. Article: https://floridapolitics.com/archives/600514-chuck-clemons-the-era-of-pbms-is-over-were-putting-florida-patients-first/
Drug Pricing Transparency in Medicaid: Congressman Carter; amend Social Security Act to improve transparency and prevent the use of abusive spread pricing and related practices by PBMS in the Medicaid program.