Gold Dome Report — Legislative Day 4 2022

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

Under the Gold Dome. Photo: Olivia Buckner

Week one of the 2022 Legislative Session is in the books. The halls were relatively quiet on Friday as legislators filed in to receive copies of the budgets before sprinting home. The most action of the morning came in the form of members taking turns in the well to proclaim their disdain or support for President Biden and Vice President Harris's visit to the state earlier in the week.

Speaker Ralston wished all the members safety throughout the weekend and alluded to potential changes to the budget hearings schedule depending on the weather events. He icily concluded by saying the Department of Transportation is deploying all assets to prevent any situation that resembles the events in Virginia earlier this year.

The chambers adjourned in unison less than an hour after gaveling in. With not much else to report from the day’s convening, this edition of the #GoldDomeReport provides a deep dive on the Governor’s budget proposals published yesterday. Read on to follow the money.

In this Report:

  • IN DEPTH: Governor’s Budget Proposals
  • New Legislation
  • What’s Next

DID YOU KNOW that, in addition to our daily Report, our Georgia Government Relations Team provides real-time updates on action under the Gold Dome on Twitter?

IN DEPTH: Governor’s Budget Proposals

After discussing key elements of his budget priorities during the Eggs & Issues breakfast and his fourth State of the State address, Governor Kemp released his complete budget proposals for Amended FY22 and FY23 on Thursday. These proposals, now introduced in the House as HB 910 and HB 914, reflect proposed spending increases of $2.64 billion in Amended FY22 over the original FY22 budget (+9.7%) and $2.95 billion in FY23 over the original FY22 budget (+10.8%). These increases do not include the additional $1.6 billion in undesignated surplus funds that Governor Kemp proposes to refund to 2021 income tax filers later this spring at a rate of $250 for single filers, $375 for heads of household, and $500 for those married filing jointly.

Governor Kemp’s complete budget proposals are available online, but we have analyzed and excerpted key line items focused on health, education, and human services spending below. These excerpts are intended as highlights and are not inclusive of all budget changes proposed by Governor Kemp. They also do not include adjustments applied across all State agencies, like the proposed $5,000 salary increase for all State employees and retirement contribution adjustments, or formula-driven allocations based on demand, enrollment, or utilization, like Medicaid and QBE funding increases.The House and Senate Appropriations Committees will meet next week to hear testimony from State agency leaders on their individual agency budget proposals. Those hearings will be livestreamed starting on Tuesday at 9AM

Amended FY22

Community Health Governor's Proposal
Departmental Administration
Increase funds for Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS) contractual services to reflect enrollment growth. $3,446,489
Increase funds for waiver advisory services. $290,000
Increase funds to replace the Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS) with the Medicaid Enterprise System Transformation (MEST). $6,735,410
Increase funds for the All-Payer Claims Database to enable analysis and public reporting of health care costs and utilization for medical, dental, and pharmaceutical services $2,815,000
Increase funds for the Enterprise Analytics Solution for Everyone (EASE) data warehouse. $424,535
Indigent Care Trust Fund
Increase funds to provide the state match for Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments for private deemed and non-deemed hospitals. $2,714,137
Medicaid - Aged, Blind, and Disabled
Provide funds for the Medicaid reimbursement of clinical trials. $1,040,534
Medicaid - Low-Income Medicaid
Provide funds for the Medicaid reimbursement of donor milk. $447,465
Provide funds for the Medicaid reimbursement of clinical trials. $3,580

Education

Agricultural Education
Increase funds to offset the austerity reduction for the Area Teacher Program, Extended Day/Year, Young Farmers, and Youth Camps. $253,606
Preschool Disabilities Services
Increase funds to provide a one-time salary supplement of $2,000 to full-time employees and $1,000 to parttime employees, to include QBE-funded instructional staff, school support staff, school administration, and central administration. $1,968,130
Increase funds to offset the austerity reduction for grants. $1,682,204
Pupil Transportation
Provide funds to replace 1,747 buses statewide over three years at a base bus cost of $88,110 and provide funds for reimbursement of key safety features. $188,001,658
Increase funds to provide a one-time salary supplement of $1,000 to all bus drivers. $14,065,549
Quality Basic Education Program
Increase funds to provide a one-time salary supplement of $2,000 to full-time employees and $1,000 to parttime employees, to include QBE-funded instructional staff, school support staff, school administration, and central administration. $315,900,085
Increase funds to provide a one-time salary supplement of $1,000 to all school nurses. $2,070,595
Increase funds to offset the austerity reduction for K-12 education. $382,696,501
Regional Education Service Agencies
Increase funds to offset the austerity reduction for grants to RESAs. $593,006
Technology/Career Education
Increase funds to offset the austerity reduction for Extended Day/Year, Vocational Supervisors, Industry Certification, and Youth Apprenticeship programs. $282,460
Testing
Increase funds to administer Georgia Milestones in accordance with Federal requirements. $2,392,938

Human Services

Departmental Administration
Increase funds for the Integrated Eligibility System costs for the implementation of the Patients First Act (2019 Session). $4,016,595
Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency: Vocational Rehabilitation Program
Increase funds for upgrades to the case management system. $100,000

Juvenile Justice

Community Service
Increase funds to reflect the loss of Title IV-E funds associated with the October 1, 2021 implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act and the statewide transition to increased family-based placement settings. $525,980
Increase funds for Room, Board, and Watchful Oversight to reflect the loss of Title IV-E federal funds. $2,063,736

Public Health

Infectious Disease Control
Increase funds to address the state funds shortfall for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) per the state match requirement in the Ryan White Care Act Title II Award. $9,900,884
Georgia Trauma Care Network Commission
Increase funds to reflect 2021 Super Speeder collections and reinstatement fees. $7,391,635
Increase funds to reflect fireworks excise tax revenue collections. $1,144,171

FY23

Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Governor's Proposal
Adult Addictive Disease Services
Provide funds for a 10% increase for core services for addictive diseases $1,667,223
Adult Development Disabilities Services
Increase funds to annualize the cost of 100 New Options Waiver (NOW) and Comprehensive Supports Waiver Program (COMP) slots for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. $1,960,937
Increase funds for 100 additional slots for the New Options Waiver (NOW) and Comprehensive Supports Waiver Program (COMP) for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. $1,984,115
Adult Mental Health Services
Increase funds for the Georgia Housing Voucher Program to support the requirements of the Department of Justice (DOJ) Settlement Agreement. $1,381,478
Increase funds to convert an existing 16-bed crisis stabilization unit in Augusta to a 24-bed and 16 temporary observation chair behavioral health crisis center. $3,792,613
Increase funds for the operational costs of 13 additional crisis stabilization unit beds at The Bradley Center of St. Francis Hospital. $2,383,911
Provide funds for a 10% increase for core services for mental health. $6,139,890
Provide funds to allow for Medicaid reimbursement of psychiatric and behavioral health care management services $1,154,101
Increase funds for three additional Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) programs. $4,500,000

Community Health

Indigent Care Trust Fund
Increase funds to provide the state match for Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments for private deemed and non-deemed hospitals. $15,882,042
Medicaid - Aged, Blind, and Disabled
Provide funds for the Medicaid reimbursement of clinical trials. $2,412,359
Medicaid - Low-Income Medicaid
Increase funds for the implementation of express lane enrollment pursuant to the passage of HB 163 (2021 Session). $39,466,982
Provide funds to eliminate attestation and reimburse all providers at enhanced rates for all 108 procedure codes. $85,403,385
Increase funds to provide one year of postpartum coverage effective upon Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services approval. $28,184,166
Provide funds for the Medicaid reimbursement of therapeutic services. $11,258,121
Provide funds for the Medicaid reimbursement of psychiatric and behavioral health care management services. $1,597,736
Provide funds for the Medicaid reimbursement of clinical trials. $8,301
Provide funds for the Medicaid reimbursement of donor milk. $469,138
Georgia Board of Health Care Workforce: Graduate Medical Education
Increase funds for 136 new residency slots in primary care medicine. $2,534,985
Provide funds for a pilot program to perform echocardiograms of pregnant and postpartum women to address maternal mortality. $680,000
Georgia Board of Health Care Workforce: Mercer School of Medicine Grant
Increase funds for the third year of the seven-year plan for Mercer School of Medicine's medical school campus in Columbus. $1,073,231

Education

Agricultural Education
Increase funds to offset the austerity reduction for the Area Teacher Program, Extended Day/Year, Young Farmers, and Youth Camps. $253,606
Non Quality Basic Education Formula Grants
Increase formula funds for Residential Treatment Facilities based on attendance. $919,406
Increase funds to adjust the state base salary schedule to increase salaries for certified teachers and certified employees by $2,000 effective September 1, 2022, for Residential Treatment Facilities. $268,285
Nutrition
Increase funds for a 5.4% salary increase. $1,816,267
Preschool Disabilities Services
Increase funds to adjust the state base salary schedule to increase salaries for certified teachers and certified employees by $2,000 effective September 1, 2022. $908,226
Increase funds to offset the austerity reduction for grants. $1,682,204
Pupil Transportation
Increase funds for a 5.4% salary increase. $4,412,227
Quality Basic Education Program
Increase funds to adjust the state base salary schedule to increase salaries for certified teachers and certified employees by $2,000 effective September 1, 2022. $287,136,600
Increase funds to offset the austerity reduction for K-12 education. $382,696,501
Regional Education Service Agencies
Increase funds to offset the austerity reduction for grants to RESAs. $593,006
Technology/Career Education
Increase funds to offset the austerity reduction for Extended Day/Year, Vocational Supervisors, Industry Certification, and Youth Apprenticeship programs. $282,460

BONDS

Capital Outlay Program - Low Wealth for local school construction, statewide. $46,095,000
Capital Outlay Program - Additional Low Wealth for local school construction, statewide. $42,305,000
Capital Outlay Program - Regular for local school construction, statewide. $197,545,000
Capital Outlay Program - Regular Advance for local school construction, statewide. $2,765,000
Purchase career, technical, and agricultural education equipment, statewide. $2,270,000
Construction and improvements to FFA/FCCLA Center and Camp John Hope, Covington, Newton County. $515,000

Human Services

Child Welfare Services
Provide funds for a community action team pilot program to address children who are in, or are at risk of entering, foster care. $1,500,000
Provide funds for an autism recognition pilot program in Region 12. $451,978
Provide funds for autism respite care. $1,000,000
Out of Home Care
Provide funds for a 10% provider rate increase for Child Caring Institutions, Child Placing Agencies, foster parents, and relative caregivers. (Total Funds: $31,487,817) $27,810,584
Utilize $6,700,000 in existing funds to improve the continuum of care including preventative and therapeutic services, in addition to addressing youth with complex needs. Yes
Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency: Vocational Rehabilitation Program
Provide funds for capital maintenance and repairs $4,310,000

Juvenile Justice

Community Service
Increase funds to reflect the loss of Title IV-E funds associated with the October 1, 2021 implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act and the statewide transition to increased family-based placement settings. $701,307
Increase funds for Room, Board, and Watchful Oversight to reflect the loss of Title IV-E federal funds. $3,375,088

Public Health

Adolescent and Adult Health Promotion
Provide funds for a comprehensive care management pilot for high-risk pregnancy populations $500,000
Emergency Preparedness/Trauma System Improvement
Increase funds to expand the Georgia Regional Coordinating Center's efforts to coordinate emergency room capacity statewide. $4,359,309
Infectious Disease Control
Increase funds to address the state funds shortfall for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) per the state match requirement in the Ryan White Care Act Title II Award. $9,900,884
Increase funds for the third year of a three-year pilot for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for individuals at risk of HIV pursuant to passage of HB 290 (2019 Session). $45,709
Georgia Trauma Care Network Commission
Increase funds to reflect FY 2021 reinstatement fees. $7,325,637
Dedicate $13,594,359 in state general funds as Trauma Care Network Trust Funds and increase funds to reflect FY 2021 Super Speeder collections pursuant to HB 511 (2021 Session). Yes

New Legislation

The following legislation of interest has been introduced in the House:

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H.B.901

Local government; prohibit deannexation of territory from an existing municipal corporation to incorporate a new municipal corporation

GA Rep. Shea Roberts (D-GA-052)

https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/61120

H.B.902

Insurance; reduce out-of-pocket costs for consumers requiring insulin

GA Rep. Kim Schofield (D-GA-060)

https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/61121

H.B.904

Education; use of corporal punishment by school personnel with any student in any public school; prohibit

GA Rep. Debra Bazemore (D-GA-063)

https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/61126

H.B.905

Crimes and offenses; limitations regarding use of electronic monitoring devices; provide

GA Rep. Ricky Williams (R-GA-145)

https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/61127

H.B.907

Elections; dates for special elections; question related to sales and use taxes for transportation; revise provisions

https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/61129

H.B.908

Elections; dates for special elections; question to the voters in even-numbered years; revise provisions

https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/61130

H.B.910

Supplemental appropriations; State Fiscal Year July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022

GA Speaker David Ralston (R-GA-007)

https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/61135

H.B.914

General appropriations; State Fiscal Year July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023

GA Speaker David Ralston (R-GA-007)

https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/61139

H.B.916

Superior and State Court Appellate Practice Act; enact

GA Rep. Rob Leverett (R-GA-033)

https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/61141

H.B.918

Georgia Rare Disease Advisory Council; provide establishment

GA Rep. Mike Cheokas (R-GA-138)

https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/61144

H.R.577

Health; increased awareness, education, and research regarding rare diseases; recognize

GA Rep. Kim Schofield (D-GA-060)

https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/61124

H.R.578

National Black Caucus of State Legislators; efforts to identify the critical need for increasing access to healthcare, food and credit; recognize

GA Rep. Kim Schofield (D-GA-060)

https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/61125

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What’s Next

The General Assembly is in adjournment next week for Joint Appropriations Committee hearings on the Goverr’s AFY22 and FY23 budget proposals. The schedule for these hearings can be found here.

The General Assembly will reconvene for Legislative Day 5 on Monday, January 24, at 10 AM.

Representative Todd Jones (R-South Forsyth) and Representative Greg Kennard (D-Lawrenceville) announced the first Mental Health Caucus Meeting for Tuesday, January 25th.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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