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Rep. Bill Hitchens
Rep. Bill Hitchens - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

Last week, everyone who is seeking to run for any federal or state office in Georgia had to appear in person at the State Capitol to qualify.

I was the lone qualifier for State House Seat 161, which I currently hold. Therefore, I will continue in the House of Representatives through the end of 2022.

While I have been fortunate to have served in some high-profile jobs during my working years, the highlight of my life has been serving our community at the Capitol. I thank everyone in the district for the trust you have expressed in me at the ballot box on several occasions, and I give you my word that I will continue to work diligently to serve all of you and our area as best I can.

Regarding legislation that passed last week, I co-sponsored HB 1003, a bill that would expand the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit court by providing an additional judge for the superior court because of the increasing workload. The governor would appoint the additional judge for a term beginning Jan. 1, 2021, until Dec. 31, 2022, at which time a successor will be elected at the nonpartisan judicial election held in 2022 and take office Jan.1, 2023. This bill passed unanimously.

We passed a bill many of us believe will help curtail sex trafficking. HB. 823 would ban anyone convicted of sex trafficking from operating a commercial motor vehicle for the rest of their lives. I believe sextrafficking is a horrific crime and the bill is an appropriate restriction. This bill passed unanimously in the House.

In support of military members and their families who become stationed at one of our many military bases, the House passed HB 914. This legislation would allow military spouses who work in a job requiring a professional license to receive an expedited certificate from professional licensing boards in Georgia.

Having served in the military, I understand firsthand the many challenges military families face, in addition to the stresses that accompany military life. An equivalent bill passed in the Senate and I hope this legislation helps many military family members who wish to enter Georgia’s workforce.

In a pair of companion bills, we easily passed legislation known as the “Surprise Bill Transparency Act” or HB 789. This bill creates a surprise bill rating system that is designed to minimize the costs for patients in Georgia. 

We also overwhelmingly passed HB 888, the Surprise Billing Consumer Protection Act. This bill protects patients from surprise charges for receiving health care services from an out-of-network provider at an in-network facility. Both of these bills are common sense legislation that I hope receive the same strong support in the Senate.

As I continue to serve you in Atlanta for the remainder of the legislative session, please know that I welcome and appreciate your input and concerns. I can be contacted at or at 404-656-0152. Thank you for allowing me the great privilege of representing you!