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It's a Wrap, Georgia!

by Krystle N. on Monday, April 7, 2014

The Georgia General Assembly got off to a slow start in 2014, but turned into a fast and furious frenzy during the last of its 40 legislative days.  When the gavel rung at midnight on March 20, legislators were left with a flurry of bills and amendments, many of which garnered strong media attention in this election year.  

Legislation that the American Heart Association prioritized included:

  • House Bill 772: drug testing for food stamp recipients that a caseworker deems “reasonable suspicion” for drug use. Test cost born by recipient.  May violate federal law as states are not permitted to impose stricter application guidelines. American Heart Association does not support.
  • House Bill 251: bans e-cigarette sales to minors and over the internet. Redefines e-cigarettes as “alternative nicotine products,” thus avoiding being taxed like tobacco. Unclear if they will circumvent the current indoor clean air act. American Heart Association supports the sales bans, but not the definition.
  • House Bill 990: shifts the power of Medicaid expansion from the Governor to the state legislature as an intentional additional barrier. American Heart Association does not support.
  • House Bill 707: was tacked onto another bill at the 11th hour and was watered down. Prohibits any state or local government employee from advocating for Medicaid expansion or the Affordable Care Act. Also shuts down UGA’s patient navigator program. American Heart Association does not support.

The Governor has 40 days to sign or veto bills that made it to his desk.

Now more than ever, it’s important to lend your voice to heart and stroke issues affecting Georgia.  Your efforts have Pulse Oximetry testing for all newborns within reach!  Plus, lawmakers are learning about access challenges to healthy, fresh food.  But we can’t be successful without a strong You’re the Cure network.   

Please click here to invite 4 friends, relatives, or co-workers to join You're the Cure and help you make Georgia a healthier heart state.  Let them know that being part of the cure is simple and truly makes a difference.

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