House bill to create mental health insurance parity hits Senate turbulence

BY: - March 17, 2022

Broad consensus is apparent among state lawmakers that more should be done to ensure health insurance companies are following a federal law requiring behavioral health benefits to be on par with physical coverage. But one high-profile proposal to ramp up enforcement of the 14-year-old federal law is already running into questions in the Senate over […]

Georgia House OKs bill to spur medical marijuana production after 2015 law stalled

BY: - March 15, 2022

Some long-awaited relief through cannabis oil could be in sight for some Georgians with serious health conditions. State House lawmakers approved a do-over of the state’s medical marijuana program, which has been stalled in court. The measure passed 169-5 Tuesday, and a separate medical marijuana measure passed the Senate unanimously. “I wish I could say […]

Georgia House delivers overwhelming support for mental health services overhaul

BY: - March 8, 2022

A measure designed to improve access to mental health services in Georgia cleared the House with overwhelming bipartisan support Tuesday. That may not be too surprising, considering the bill’s lead sponsor is the chamber’s top leader, Speaker David Ralston. But the bill’s sponsors have proposed changes they hope will also clear the state Senate, and […]

Georgia senate GOP approves ban on COVID-19 vaccine ‘passports’

BY: - March 4, 2022

Georgia Republican lawmakers appear primed to have restrictions in place this summer to block “intrusive” government COVID-19 vaccine mandates from returning in the next year or so. In Georgia and all across the country, government-imposed mandates are being rolled back after public health guidelines were relaxed following a significant reduction in cases in much of […]

Georgia House panel advances bill to broadly expand mental health services

BY: - March 2, 2022

A House panel backed the speaker’s wide-ranging mental health plan, but not before hearing from him directly first. Speaker David Ralston’s role as the first signer on the bill is mostly symbolic – he’s called it his top priority for the session – but even so, the lead sponsor typically shepherds the bill through the […]

Legislation to ban mail-order abortion pills in Georgia clears state Senate

BY: - March 1, 2022

The Georgia Senate passed a bill Tuesday aimed at preventing Georgia women from accessing abortion pills by mail. If the bill passes the House and receives Gov. Brian Kemp’s signature, doctors will be required to conduct an in-person exam before they can prescribe the drugs as well as schedule a follow-up appointment one to two […]

Lawmakers drop controversial child registry from proposed mental health bill

BY: - February 23, 2022

A proposed database of children with frequent encounters with the state’s crisis services has been dropped from a wide-ranging mental health bill. The creation of a pediatric registry was one of the provisions raising concerns about a bill sponsored by House Speaker David Ralston, who has called the measure his top priority for the session. […]

Advocates object to some of state lawmakers’ mental health overhaul plans 

BY: - February 16, 2022

A bipartisan push to increase access to behavioral health treatment in Georgia drew objections from patient advocates troubled by provisions that would create patient registries and make it easier to involuntarily commit people with mental illness. The 74-page bill, sponsored by House Speaker David Ralston, received its first public airing during a nearly three-hour, and […]

Georgia Senate Committee OKs bill to ban access to abortion pills by mail

BY: - February 9, 2022

Senate Republicans have advanced a proposal that would bar abortion medication from being mailed to Georgia women. The measure, sponsored by state Sen. Bruce Thompson, is a response to the Biden administration’s pandemic-loosened rules that allow for mail-order medication abortion. The Food and Drug Administration made the change permanent in December.  Thompson, a Republican from […]

Support grows at Statehouse for extended Medicaid coverage for new moms

BY: - February 7, 2022

Tina Marie Marsden’s son was about four months old when she was diagnosed with postpartum cardiomyopathy. Two decades later, the Griffin mom now depends on an eight-pound device that keeps her heart pumping. She carries it constantly and everywhere, including into the shower.  If she’d had Medicaid coverage after she gave birth, Marsden says she […]

House Speaker unveils broad legislation to improve access to mental health aid

BY: - January 26, 2022

A bipartisan group of lawmakers led by the highest-ranking Republican in the House unveiled a proposal Wednesday designed to begin the work of lifting Georgia from near the bottom when it comes to access to mental health treatment. House Speaker David Ralston, a Blue Ridge Republican, told a large crowd assembled at the state Capitol […]

Georgia GOP senators back bill to ban mail-order abortion pills, force exams

BY: - January 25, 2022

A group of powerful Republican state senators are signing on to a bill requiring women to meet with a doctor in person before getting an abortion pill and for doctors to inform women on ways to reverse their abortion, a possibility rejected by medical associations. Under the  “Women’s Health and Safety Act”, doctors would be […]