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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.