It’s a wrap for 2019 legislative session; Here’s an overview of bills impacting Middle Georgia

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ATLANTA, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Middle Georgia representatives say it’s been a productive 2019 legislative session.

In a sense, Tuesday was like graduation day under the Gold Dome. It was day 40, sine die, the last day of the session.

Representatives say they’re happy about some the bills that passed, but there’s still work that needs to be done for Middle Georgia.

Major healthcare bills were passed, including the Patients First Act. The bill will change the way the state approaches healthcare. It will allow the governor to get federal waivers for Medicaid and private insurance companies.

Representative Robert Dickey is excited for the impact the bill will have on rural Georgia.

”Healthcare in Middle Georgia is certainly a very important of our economy,” Dickey said. “We want to continue to draw patients and physicians, the Mercer Medical School, and training physicians. It’s just so important to us.”.

Members of the Democratic Party say there’s a healthcare coverage gap that comes with this bill.

”Some people would say something is better than nothing,” Representative Miriam Paris said. “We could have gotten full Medicaid expansion which would have really covered a lot more people and would have been cheaper and more coverage for our citizens.”

Representative Dale Washburn’s says his first year as a lawmaker was a successful one. The freshman lawmaker had two bills pass, one of which makes it easier for local governments to put money into local banks. Washburn says it will help with rural development.

”Gives the community banks more equity and more money to loan to the businesses in that community,” Washburn said.

Bills that didn’t get passed during sine die will rollover to the next legislative session in January of 2020.

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Tanya comes all the way from Chicago, Illinois. She’s a city girl that’s excited to be a part of Middle Georgia’s community and tell your stories! She received a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Columbia College Chicago. She also spent a few semesters studying at San Diego State University. While in college, she interviewed Joan Rivers before she passed away, was on the red carpet for the movie premiere of “Chiraq” and also interned with ABC7’s investigative reporters and Bill Kurtis. Tanya spent nearly 2 years reporting in Billings, Montana where she covered a lot of politics and agriculture. In her spare time, Tanya is a sports fanatic, so even though the Chicago Bears and Bulls didn’t know how to win this season, she still roots for them. You can guarantee you’ll run into her at the gym every day. If you do, stop by and say hi! Share your stories with her and don’t be surprised if she’s hiding chocolate chip cookies in her gym bag.