News from the capitol- week 3

News from the capitol- week 3

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 5-9                                                                                                Jan 31, 2020

Activity ramps up

While the House and Senate did not officially gavel in last week, lawmakers were busy working to draft and finalize legislation.  That was evident this week as more than 300 bills and resolutions were introduced over the five-day workweek.  Committees also began meeting in earnest to consider, amend and report legislation.  Next week lawmakers will be in session Monday through Thursday.

Priority Issues

Professional Health Program (SB 346)              Sen. Ellis Black, R-Valdosta

SB346 comes at the request of the Association.  It allows the state board to contract with a professional health program to provide rehabilitative services to impaired veterinarians.  The measure also creates a seat on the state board for a veterinary technician.


Medical Cannabis and Hemp.  In response to pressure from members and animal owners, the Association is exploring options to permit veterinarians to legally discuss, sell and/or recommend cannabis-derived products for animal use.  This is a complex issue involving nearly a dozen federal and state laws, regulations, and bureaucratic agencies.  On January 30, lawmakers in the House introduced legislation (HB 847) to clean up last year’s hemp farming bill.

Rabies Vaccination Exemption.  Since the end of the 2019 session, the Association has been contacted by a couple of legislators seeking information on the necessity of universal rabies vaccination in domestic animals.  Constituents are pressing legislators to carve out an exemption.  While we have provided lawmakers data to support universal vaccination, an exemption bill is possible.