News from the Capitol: Week 8

News from the Capitol: Week 8

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 30-32                                                                                              March 15, 2019

The Steady March towards Sine Die

Two years ago, at the start of the 2017 session, the House and Senate agreed to move Crossover from legislative day 30 to legislative day 28.  The change not only allows two additional days for considering viable legislation, but it has slowed the overall pace between Crossover and Sine Die, the final day of session.  What used to be a frenetic and heated 10-day sprint appears to have become a calmer and more deliberate march towards day 40.

Consider this and next week’s legislative schedules.  This week, the House and Senate were active Monday through Thursday, but reserved Tuesday as a committee work day.  Next week, they’ll be at work each day and use both Tuesday and Wednesday as committee work days.  These scheduled work days help balance the competing priorities of perfecting legislation at the committee level and passing measures in the House and Senate chambers.

Just two full weeks remain before Sine Die on April 2.  With any luck, the steady and deliberate march will continue until then.


Priority Issues

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.

In an effort to move ahead with provisions in the now-lost practice act update (SB 76), the Association is working with the sponsor and Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee to amend SB 75 to include a veterinary technician on the state board.  We continue to support efforts by the Veterinary Technicians Association and their lobbying team to rebrand “veterinary technicians” as “registered veterinary nurses” but the Association’s priority remains access to a PHP program and adding a seventh member to the state board.  As a reminder, SB 76 failed to come out of the Senate over opposition to the nursing provision.

We’ve also learned that the Georgia Dental Association intends to offer an amendment that would allow their state board to contract with a professional health program.