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Legislature on
Crossover Day
March 3, 2014
Today is Day 30 of the 2014 Legislative Session in Georgia. It is known as Crossover Day because all bills must pass one chamber and cross over to the other by this day in order to become law in the year.

For the remainder of the session, Georgia Watch will be active at the Capitol as a powerful voice for Georgia consumers! 


Update on our policy priorities

Here's what's happening with bills on our 2014 Public Policy Agenda:


HB 874

Introduced by Rep. Mike Dudgeon, HB 874 would give Georgia homes, businesses, churches, schools and military bases the freedom to save money through financing options that reduce the upfront cost of solar installations. We are pleased HB 874 is moving through the legislative processRead more about our position on solar financing here.


The bill received two favorable hearings in the House Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications Committee and has been assigned to a special subcommittee chaired by Rep. Harry Geisinger for further review during the session interim. 


HB 915

The Georgia House of Representatives acted to ensure children have the same consumer protections that are offered to adults when it comes to guarding against identity theft. On Wednesday, February 26th, the members of the House passed HB 915, a child identity protection bill. More specifically, HB 915, authored by Rep. Josh Clark, helps to protect children from identity theft by:

  • Allowing parents or legal guardians to place a credit freeze on their children's credit files with the three credit reporting agencies:  Equifax, Experian and Trans Union.

  • Restricting credit reporting agencies from sharing information about a child's report if a credit freeze has been placed on the file.

  • Requiring sufficient proof that the parent or legal guardian has the authority to act on behalf of the child.

  • Allowing parents or legal guardians to obtain a free credit freeze on a child's credit file with a valid police report.  

Children deserve the same identity theft protections as adults! Georgia Watch will continue to monitor HB 915 as this bill makes its way through the State Senate and we will keep you updated.


House Bill 990 was introduced to take the power to expand our Medicaid program away from the Governor and put the decision in the hands of the entire State Legislature. We are concerned that this bill presents an obstacle to Medicaid expansion in our State. The House of Representatives is expected to vote to pass this bill later today, moving it to the Senate for consideration. Read more about our policy on Medicaid expansion here.


House Bill 707, "The Georgia Health Care Freedom and ACA Noncompliance Act," was initially introduced to prohibit any state employee, agent or contractor from assisting in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The bill has been drastically modified from its original version, and it now does four things:

  • It prohibits any state department, agency or office from advocating for Medicaid expansion while working or using State resources. This could be very problematic if Medicaid expansion becomes something the State finds it needs or wants to do in the future.

  • It prohibits the Insurance Commissioner's Office from enforcing any provisions of the Affordable Care Act. If Georgians can no longer rely on the Insurance Commissioner's Office to protect their rights and must go to a federal agency with their insurance policy issues (such as an allegation of discrimination based on gender or a pre-existing condition exclusion) then the Insurance Commissioner's Office will not have a clear picture of what is happening in the insurance marketplace here in Georgia.

  • It prohibits the State from establishing a state-based health insurance marketplace. Georgia does not currently have a state-based exchange and has opted to use the federally facilitated health insurance marketplace.

  • It prohibits the University System of Georgia from operating its navigator program.

This bill will have negative consequences for Georgia's healthcare consumers. The House of Representatives is expected to vote to pass this bill before the end of the day. 

SB 141/HB 662

This legislation would eliminate the cause of action under Georgia law for medical malpractice and instead create an administrative bureaucracy system to determine compensation for medical injuries. Georgia Watch is actively opposing this legislation because it takes away Georgians' constitutional right to trial by jury. The patient compensation system proposed by this bill is unheard of in the United States and is risky public policy that is bad for Georgia's 10 million healthcare consumers. The legislation did move out of Committee in the Senate or House this year