The 2019 Legislative Session adjourned Sine Die on Tuesday, April 2nd! These past few months at the Capitol have been amazing. I am honored to have had the opportunity to serve the people of both my district and all of Georgia. We accomplished a great deal in the final hours of session and so I have listed for you below 5 of the top bills that crossed the finish line on Day 40.

House Bill 324

Known as the “Georgia’s Hope Act,” HB 324 allows for the production, manufacturing, and dispensing of low THC Oil with a lawful valid license issued by the Low THC Oil License Oversight Board. The bill also creates the Office of Low THC Oil Control within the Department of Public Health. The department is allowed to issue six private production licenses for two large and four small operations that will be authorized to grow cannabis and hemp products in only indoor facilities for the production of Low THC Oil. Each production licensee must establish, utilize, and maintain a sophisticated tracking system for all phases of production to allow for real-time department access. The bill also allows for two university research grow licenses.

House Bill 233

HB 233 enacts the “Pharmacy Anti-Steering and Transparency Act,” which restricts pharmacies owned or affiliated with insurance companies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) from poaching patient information for non-patient care purposes. It will also prohibit pharmacies from receiving self-dealing referrals from the PBMs and insurers that they are affiliated with. House Bill 233 requires pharmacies to disclose the PBMs and insurers they are affiliated with or owned by with the Board of Pharmacy.

Senate Bill 15

Senate Bill 15 creates the “Keeping Georgia’s Schools Safe Act,” which requires that public schools conduct site threat assessments by a certified private individual, company, or government agency. Every public school must conduct a site threat assessment before January 1, 2021 and every five years thereafter. The bills also requires all public schools to submit a school safety plan to the Georgia Board of Education after local law enforcement has approved the plan. The bill creates a school safety coordinator position for each school and mandates all schools to promote a statewide mobile app called the “See Something Send Something” anonymous app to report suspicious activity or potential threats.  

House Bill 424

House Bill 424 adds trafficking of persons for labor or sexual servitude, keeping a place of prostitution, pimping, and pandering to the offenses listed in the definition of criminal gang activity. The bill also requires that Medicaid recipients have the same access to antiretroviral regimens, including single-tablet regimens, used to treat HIV and AIDS as included in the formulary established for the Georgia AIDS Drug Assistance Program.

House Bill 228

House Bill 228 raises the age for marriage in the state of Georgia to 17 years old and requires that any person who is 17 years old and wishes to be married provide documentation of emancipation and undergo six hours of professional marital counseling. If the purpose of emancipation is to marry, the court must appoint an attorney for the minor and inquire into the minor’s best interests. Further, the bill states that the older party to the marriage must be no more than 4 years older than the 17-year-old younger party.

Stay Up-to-Date 
 
Even though the 2019 session has come to a close, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns regarding any legislation that has been passed. I can be reached via email at karen.mathiak@house.ga.gov or you can check out my Facebook Page.
As always, thank you for allowing me to serve as your state representative!

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