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March 25, 2016
2016 Legislative Session Ends
Yesterday was Sine Die, the official end to the 2016 Legislative Session in Georgia. As the General Assembly wrapped up late last night, we continued to closely monitor key pieces of legislation that could impact Georgia consumers.

Here are some important highlights:
We successfully opposed the Amendment to House Bill 811 to prevent title pawns from re-defining usury laws! Thanks for speaking up with us!
HB 811, a routine annual bill brought by Georgia's Department of Banking and Finance, was amended in the final days of the session to allow title pawn transactions, including title pawn loans, to be even more costly for consumers. While Georgia Watch did not oppose HB 811 in its original form, we strongly opposed this amendment. Last night, HB 811 passed without the harmful addition. 
The Provider Directory Improvement Act (SB 302) received a nearly unanimous final vote from the Senate on the eve of Sine Die!  
This bill sets basic standards to ensure that health insurance provider directories are accurate.  It also contains protections for consumers who rely on those directories when choosing a physician or healthcare facility. Thank you to Sen. PK Martin for introducing this important legislation and to Georgians for a Healthy Future for leading strong support for the bill.

Consumers still need protection from cost overruns at Plant Vogtle!
A resolution introduced by Rep. Karla Drenner to create a House Study Committee on Georgia Nuclear Energy Financing made it onto the House calendar yesterday evening, but never got called for a vote. The Committee would have provided much needed scrutiny of construction delays and cost overruns to determine whether any actions should be taken to prevent assessment and recovery of ongoing tariffs associated with delays completing Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4. We are grateful to Rep. Drenner for bringing attention to these issues.