18 Mar News From The Capitol: Week 7
Laws that can negatively impact veterinarians, animals, or animal health should never be passed. Your GVMA membership gives our profession a voice. Together, we’re able to keep veterinary medicine in our state uncompromised.
Legislative Days 26-29 March 8, 2019
Crossover Day Passes
The critical Crossover Day milestone was Thursday. While the Senate adjourned shortly before 7pm, the House worked until after 11pm. Their debate included hate crimes legislation and an abortion measure that was so contentious it threatened to derail the chamber’s remaining business.
Legislators were back to work on Friday, but met only briefly to assign newly-received legislation to committees. The Capitol was quickly vacated after the chambers adjourned and members will spend a much-needed break at home over the weekend. Next week, they will be in session Monday through Thursday. Eleven legislative days remain for members to shepherd bills to final passage. Adjournment is scheduled for April 2.
These measures remain active after Crossover Day. Bills that are lost appear at the end of the report and will be removed next week.
SB 76: Practice Act Updates Sen. Ellis Black, R-Valdosta
Lost in the Senate Rules Committee
This legislation seeks to make two clean-up changes to the Practice Act the legislature adopted last year. It adds a veterinary technician as a seventh member of the State Board and rebrands “veterinary technicians” as “registered veterinarian nurses.” Both amendments come at the request of the Association.
As the session has progressed, it has become clear that the effort to rebrand veterinary technicians lacks the necessary support. As a result, the bill was not placed on the Senate’s final debate calendar before Crossover Day and is lost for the year. In an effort to move ahead with the provision to add a veterinary technician to the State Board, the Association will work with the House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee to incorporate the necessary language into Senate Bill 75, creating the Professional Health Program (described below).
SB 75: Professional Health Program Sen. Ellis Black, R-Valdosta
Pending in the House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee
This legislation allows the state board, via the Secretary of State’s Office, to contract with a professional health program to provide rehabilitative services to impaired veterinarians. A similar program exists but it limited to physicians and other professionals licensed by the Georgia Composite Medical Board. This is a priority of the Association’s Wellness Committee. The bill has been assigned to the House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs CommitteeFind Your Legislator