Legislators returned back to the Capitol this week to complete the remaining 11 days of the 2020 session. We are significantly closer to passing the FY 2021 budget, with the Senate having made their revisions, and the House and Senate now working jointly to make the changes determined by both chambers to be necessary. Other important pieces of legislation were passed this week and are now ready for the Governor’s signature.
HB 888, or the “Surprise Billing” bill, was passed by the Senate this week and increases protections for patients as it relates to surprise billing.
This bill will lessen the cost of healthcare in our state and seeks to prevent surprise bills for medical treatment, an important change that will benefit all Georgians.
This bill passed with overwhelming support in the House and unanimously by the Senate.
The House was proud to pass SB 345 this week after the Senate passed it earlier in the session. This legislation allows non-profits who follow Department of Public Health guidelines to prepare food for distribution in Georgia. This important legislation will help ensure that Georgia students who are home for the summer can continue to have access to quality food.
The Senate passed HB 777, which the House passed earlier this year. HB 777 will allow Georgia building codes to be reviewed and changes to be considered that would bring our building codes in line with international standards as they relate to the use of mass timber in construction.
This is an important bill to support Georgia’s construction and timber industries, two incredibly important segments of our state’s economy.
The Senate this week passed HR 1023 which will place a constitutional referendum on the ballot this fall for Georgians to consider. If adopted, the constitutional amendment would allow Georgians to sue state and local governments to stop laws that are unconstitutional.
On Friday, we remembered Senator Jack Hill in the House chamber with a resolution, and the General Assembly will honor him in an even greater way by passing the final budget he worked on next week. As we finish this legislative session in the coming days, I hope that we all will adhere to the qualities of Jack Hill — to be steady in leadership, fair in judgment, and kind in heart.
We hope you all will continue to follow public health guidelines, wash your hands, and be safe.
If you have any feedback, do not hesitate to call (404.656.5052), e-mail (Jon.Burns@house.ga.gov), or engage on Facebook (www.facebook.com/JonBurnsGA). If you would like to receive email updates, please visit my website to sign up for my newsletter or email me.
It is an honor to represent you in the General Assembly, and I look forward to seeing you soon.
Jon Burns represents District 159, which includes parts of Bulloch County in the Georgia General Assembly where he serves as the House majority leader.