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Month: January 2023

GHF legislative update: January 30

Legislative update: Week 3

The GHF team loves bringing you these weekly legislative updates, and you have told us that you enjoy reading them! Our team works hard to deliver this service to you in a complete and accurate way every week of Georgia’s legislative session. If you rely on these updates to keep you connected to the health happenings under the Gold Dome, please consider supporting our work with a donation today. Thank you very much!

In this week’s update:

Image of the Georgia capitol
  • Governor Kemp’s State of the State address
  • Legislation GHF is keeping up with! 
  • The General Assembly 2023 calendar
  • Advocacy events for your calendar
  • GHF’s got you covered this session!


Governor Kemp addresses legislators in the State of State address

On Wednesday, Governor Kemp addressed the General Assembly in his annual State of the State address. Per tradition, he used the opportunity to point to important items in his proposed budget and lay out his priorities for 2023. While much of the speech was focused on addressing crime and public safety, he did devote a portion to health care.

Towards the end of his address, Governor Kemp promoted his Pathways to Coverage program (aka “Pathways”), which is a partial Medicaid expansion. He confirmed that the program will begin July 1, 2023. Georgians between the age of 19-64 with incomes at or below the poverty level will be eligible to enroll in Medicaid if they meet stringent work and premium requirements. According to the Governor’s office, 345,000 Georgians could qualify for coverage under Pathways, but estimates by his own Department of Community Health say less than 90,000 people will gain coverage. 

Gov. Kemp also described the improvements that Georgia has seen in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace over the last several years. Since 2019, the number of Georgians enrolled in ACA coverage has more than doubled and the choice of insurance companies has expanded from four to ten. These successes are the result of several factors: the additional financial help approved by Congress in 2019 and 2022 to lower premiums for ACA consumers; the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2021 decision to uphold the ACA for the third time; insurers’ subsequent confidence that the ACA would remain the law of the land; and Georgia’s reinsurance program to lower premiums (and re-assure insurers) starting in 2022.


GHF legislative update: January 23


The 2023 legislative session has begun

The Georgia General Assembly convened Monday, Jan. 9th to officially kick off the 40-day legislative session. 

The following day, as Georgians celebrated UGA’s national football championship win, GHF held Health Care Unscrambled 2023 and released our 2023-2024 policy priorities. Thank you to those who attended HCU! To revisit HCU 2023 or see what you missed, check out our recap and materials here.

The General Assembly reconvened Wednesday through Friday, completing the first four days of the session. Days 1-4 sped by quickly. Members were sworn in and legislative leaders hammered out the schedule for this year’s session which you can access here. (It’s rare–and very helpful!–for the full calendar to be set so early in session.)  Despite being new in their roles, Lt. Gov. Burt Jones and Speaker Burns wasted no time in putting their stamps on the Senate and House respectively as they re-shaped committees and re-assigned committee leaders. For more information about the new committees and committee leaders, scroll down to New Leaders, New Committees.

On Friday, January 13th, Governor Kemp released his proposals for the current state budget (FY 2023 Amended) and next year’s budget (FY 2024 General). We featured some highlights for you below.

Last week began with Martin Luther King Jr. Day and continued as “budget week”. House and Senate Appropriations Committee members held joint hearings during which state agency leaders presented their budget requests and reviewed agency spending. 

The General Assembly will reconvene today, Jan. 23rd for the fifth official day of legislative session. 


Strategic goal  #4: Strengthening our public health system

In July 2022, GHF’s Board of Directors and staff launched our 2022-2026 strategic plan–an ambitious blueprint for our next four years as an organization. Guided by this living document, GHF will deepen our focus on health equity; champion community-led change; build a healthy, resilient organization; and lead advocacy to strengthen Georgia’s public health systems and workforce.

This is the final blog in a four-blog series from GHF’s Executive Director Laura Colbert spotlighting each of our new strategic goals. If you missed the previous blogs, you can read about our goals related to health equity, community-led change, and building a resilient organization on our blogs.

Strategic goal #4: Strengthen public health infrastructure in Georgia by advocating for increased state funding, workforce capacity, and effective action by public health agencies. 

(Don’t miss GHF’s Say “Yes” for Public Health petition to show your support for public health workers, programs, and agencies here in Georgia!)


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