Before I cover last week’s legislation I want to cover my only comment to out of state friends on the Super Bowl. Lady Gaga’s performance was outstanding – end of story.
SB 70 passed and it extends the hospital provider fee which supports Medicaid financing to 2020. The fee is a charge on all hospitals. We raise about $300 million and then pull down about $600 million from Washington. In total with state and federal dollars we spend over $10 billion on Medicaid in Georgia on almost 20 percent of our population.
SB 85 passed and it allows a brewer to sell up to 3,000 barrels annually of malt beverages produced on his premises for consumption on and off premises (craft beers).
For off-premise consumption, sales may not exceed one case per customer per day. Beverages can be sold at any time of day including Sunday that alcohol sales are permitted in the county of municipality in which the brewery is located. Holders of brewpub licenses would also be authorized to sell wine and beer by the package for off premises consumption in counties or municipalities where such sales are permitted.
These bills now go to the House of Representatives but will not be taken up until after crossover day (March 3).
I am also a sponsor of SB 118 that increases the age of insurance coverage for autism spectrum disorder from age 6 to 21. We have the lowest age cap in the nation and the average age cap is 18. The Governor recommended in FY18 budget (7/1/17 – 6/30/18) $20.8 million to provide autism services for children below the age of 21. Hopefully, the House of Representatives will concur in raising the age cap.
Please contact me with your comments and questions.