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State gets foreclosure relief
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Certain Georgia mortgage holders will receive over $710 million directly from the recent settlement. The state of Georgia will receive an additional $104 million, which can be appropriated by the Georgia Assembly or put in the revenue shortfall reserve.  

Gov. Deal creates the REACH Scholarship

Last week, the governor announced a new needs-based college scholarship. This scholarship is privately funded and is created to help those who struggle to pay for college. The scholarship will start as a pilot with 25 students from Bulloch, Douglas and Rabun counties. AT&T donated $250,000 to start the REACH scholarship.

The local school system will select those who would receive the scholarship from middle school students who are on free/reduced lunches. They will receive mentoring and coaching. The students and their parents are required to sign an agreement that they will maintain good attendance, be crime-free, and keep a minimum 2.5 GPA in school. Those who qualify for the REACH scholarship can also receive HOPE, a merit-based scholarship when they enroll in college. 

Senate bill action
Passed in the Senate

SB 337 — Prohibits connecting licensure for physicians and dentists based on whether they participate in a particular insurance program or other plans.

SB 339 — Aviation personnel, craft and property are being transferred back to Department of Natural Resources and to the State Forestry Commission

HB 675 — Allows nurses who graduate from non accredited institutions and meet certain standards to be considered for certification by the Nursing Board.

SB 351 — Requires all judges of municipal judges to complete training courses.

SB 352 — Gives Municipal Courts the authority to employ prosecuting attorneys to represent the jurisdiction in criminal court cases.

SB 333 — Assures all debtors will be notified of the sale of their foreclosed property

SB 357 — Repeals the “Georgia Treated Timber Products Act of 1973” which regulated creosote treated posts and other products.

SR 715 — Urges Congress to allow the state to partner with the Department of Agriculture in the H2-A guest worker program to help the farmers in South Georgia.

Bills introduced last week

SB 387 — Creation of a registry by the Secretary of State to keep a record of wills but not an actual copy of the will. 

SB 391 — The “Ethics in Government Act” requires: (a) Political Action Committees (PACs) to report contributions of $100 or more. (b) Lobbyist to be limited to $100 in gifts to a public official. (c) A Joint Accountability Review Committee is created in order to review requests by public officers for reimbursement of expenses exceeding $750.

SB 396 — Transfers responsibility for the Herty Advanced Material Development Center in Savannah to Georgia Southern University.

SB 401 — Allows solar power sales by individuals.

SB 403 — Creates a School Health Nurse Program Coordinator under the Department of Education.

SB 410 — Creates new classification for schools and scores quality and efficiency of learning from a 1 star to 5 star and a scoring system from 0-100.  

HB 342 — Creates a new protective order, the “Family Violence Order.”  

Opportunity to participate in clinical trials

Physicians and patients are welcome to find out about clinical trials from around the state by visiting Some are still accepting participants. You can find out about medicines in development as well at  which is the Web site for Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

If you would like additional information regarding a specific piece of legislation, you may access the Georgia General Assembly Web site at

I may be reached at
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