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Legislature makes progress in key areas
Hitchens Bill
State Rep. Bill Hitchens

Last week at the capitol was very industrious as we considered a wide variety of bills that could affect the lives of Georgians and the future of our state. I was pleased to see much progress being made in many areas regarding safety, healthcare and saving taxpayers’ money.

By now, you know how strongly I support our military veterans who sacrifice for the security of our nation and serve selflessly. I believe that it’s important to make it attractive for businesses to hire veterans as they enter civilian life. 

Therefore, I co-sponsored HB 203, which would provide the Georgia Veterans Work Opportunity Tax Credit to businesses that hire and retain veterans, and I consider this positive legislation that supports businesses and veterans alike. I’ll keep you updated as to its progress through the House of Representatives.

Because of my experience in law enforcement and the military, I believe that I have unique insight regarding issues related to our state, and our country’s, security. Therefore, I co-sponsored House Bill 202, which will require the commissioner of corrections to report certain information regarding the immigration status, offenses and home countries of persons who are confined under the authority of the Department of Corrections.

I strongly support immigrants who enter our country legally and want to be part of this great nation. My ancestors did the same, not too long ago. However, I believe that this bill will give our state a necessary layer of protection as illegal immigration is so prevalent. 

Most importantly, when these offenders are released and their home country refuses to take them back, they are released into our communities. I believe law enforcement and the public have a right to know who they are and where they reside. This bill will accomplish that objective.

Regarding healthcare, sometime ago I met Margie Singleton and became aware of Margie’s Army, Savannah-area women who actively support Margie and her unique story regarding dense breast tissue, mammograms and breast cancer.

At 40, Margie followed general healthcare protocol and began receiving annual mammograms, all of which were negative. Several years later, she discovered a lump that was sensitive to touch and sought further medical intervention.

After more in-depth diagnostic testing, she was told she had breast cancer.

Margie and her army of supporters are staunch advocates of House Bill 62, now known as Margie’s Law, which I co-sponsored. It will require healthcare facilities conducting a mammogram on patients with dense breast tissue to provide a notification to the patient within the mammogram results summary. This would increase the patient’s awareness about the result of the mammogram.

About 40 percent of women of mammography age have dense breast tissue, making it more difficult to see tumors.

This information may help women decide on further testing, such as 3-D mammography or an MRI, which could also detect “hidden” tumors. If passed, and I am very confident at this point, it will benefit many women across our state.

As the session continues, I encourage you to share your ideas and concerns. Please contact me at or at 404.656.0152. Thank you for allowing me to represent you!