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Senate strengthens dual enrollment
Hill Jack
Sen. Jack Hill

The Senate passed HB 444 that will make changes to the Dual Enrollment Program intended to bring growing costs under control.

The program has grown from about $25 million yearly a few years ago, to a total that could approach $140 million if unchecked.

These changes include:

1) Limiting college enrollment to 11th and 12th graders

2) Limiting the courses that can be taken under Dual Program to core college courses. Technical College students enrolled in a certificate program may enroll in the 10th grade

3) Limiting the total semester hours allowed under Dual Enrollment to 30 semester hours. Technical college certificate programs over 30 hours would be paid by the HOPE Grant

4) Students who have completed 19 hours or more by June 30th, 2020 will be able to take 12 additional hours

5) Tenth graders who score Zell Miller Scholarship scores on their ACT or SAT will be eligible for Dual Enrollment

Bills passed 

out of committee

SB 47: This bill offers military retirement credit to those applicable military service members who have at least two years of service.

SB 289: This bill removes the requirement that mobile home owners obtain a certificate and decal on their mobile home indicating that they are annually compliant with the Ad Valorem Tax. Mobile home owners will still be subject to the Ad Valorem Tax, but will no longer be required to display a decal on their home.

Legislation introduced in the Senate this week 

SB 282: Colleges or universities deemed a ‘research university’ under the University Systems of Georgia must offer at least 90% of its early admissions to Georgia resident students.

SB 287: Rape, aggravated sodomy, or aggravated sexual battery can be prosecuted at any time as opposed to current law that requires prosecution within 15 years of the commission of the crime.

SB 301: The Department of Corrections would no longer be required to offer to deliver temporary custody of an inmate to the county sheriff or deputy sheriff in which an indictment or accusation is pending. The prison would continue to hold the prisoner even if the inmate served out his or her complete sentence.

SB 303: “Georgia Right to Shop Act” Insurers would now be required to disclose pricing for non-emergency healthcare through their websites to allow consumers to compare prices.

SB 311: Makes it unlawful for any person, including health care providers, from receiving certain benefits for the referral of patients. Benefits like bribes, rebates, bonus, or offering to pay a commission are now considered a crime of Fraudulent Insurance.

SB 313: This legislation revises the regulations placed on PBMs (Pharmacy Benefit Manager). PBMs provide services such as mail order pharmacy, processing claims, negotiation and administration of rebates, patient compliance and disease management. PBMs would now be required to use specific benchmarks to determine reimbursement rates and reporting requirements. It would increase the fees for PBMs to file, get a license, and pay penalties. It expands the role of the Insurance Commissioner and allow time to enforce these new regulations.

SB 316: This bill allows for military spouses that obtain licenses to practice certain professions in other states to obtain that same license by endorsement to practice in Georgia.

SB 317: Provides a process for the General Assembly or the governing authority of a county to abolish a county police department and return those functions to the sheriff of the county.

SB 319: This bill prohibits the building of inhabitable structures in the inundation zone of a category II dam without certification by an engineer. Any area downstream of a dam that would be affected by the release from a dam’s reservoir would constitute an Inundation Zone.

SB 321: Revises the number of advanced practice registered nurses and physician assistants that a physician is allowed to supervise at one time. It also removes the limitations on where physician assistants are allowed to practice.

SB 323: This bill disallows dentists from administering pharmacologic agents that render a patient to a state of conscious sedation without an issued permit. This permit must be renewed every other year.

SR 558: Resolution to recognize and commend the Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church on its 150th Anniversary.

Fourth District visitors to the Capitol this week

Visitors this week included the Economic Developer for Bulloch County, the Mayor of Twin City, Emanuel County, Staff and clients from The Recovery Center, Statesboro, an architect from Swainsboro, an Eagle Scout from Guyton, a Georgia Southern professor, and a Statesboro attorney.