Thank you to those who sent ideas of laws that need to be repealed to the Code Revision Committee I chair. If you'd like to help us seek out unconstitutional and obsolete parts of the Official Code of Georgia send your ideas to my Legislative email and we'll get to work on it. I produced a short video asking members of the public to use their expertise and help us find obsolete and outdated laws. I hope you'll help in this effort.
We passed several pieces of legislation this week but I want to highlight HB146 which helps Georgia’s brave firefighters. HB146 would require fire departments to provide and maintain adequate insurance coverage for Georgia’s firefighters who have served on-duty at their department for 12 consecutive months, have been diagnosed with cancer and are disabled and unable to continue to work as a result of that cancer. The insurance benefits would include a lump-sum benefit of $25,000 or $6,250 based on the severity of the cancer. Additionally, if the firefighter is not able to perform his or her duties because of their diagnosis, a monthly benefit equal to 60 percent of the firefighter’s monthly salary at the time of diagnosis, or a monthly benefit of $5,000, whichever is less, would begin six months after the firefighter has submitted proof of their diagnosis and would continue for three years. HB146 would also provide coverage for volunteer firefighters who are unable to work due to a cancer diagnosis. Under HB146, volunteer firefighters would receive a monthly benefit of $1,500 for the same three year period. Additionally, HB146 would allow firefighters to maintain their insurance coverage upon retirement or a career change, but he or she would be responsible for paying insurance premiums in those scenarios. The bill would authorize counties and cities to use tax revenue to purchase insurance for firefighters covered under this bill. Eligible cancers covered under HB146 would include bladder, blood, brain, breast, cervical, esophageal, intestinal, kidney, lymphatic, lung, prostate, rectal, respiratory tract, skin, testicular, thyroid, leukemia, multiple myeloma or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Due to the nature of this line of work, firefighters are increasingly exposed to cancer-causing carcinogens, and studies show that firefighters have higher rates of certain types of cancers than the rest of the population. Georgia’s firefighters run into burning buildings while everyone else runs out, selflessly, without thinking about the long-term risks associated with their heroic actions. I was proud to vote in favor of legislation that provides Georgia’s firefighters with the benefits they deserve for their fearless actions that protect us all.
We'll be back in session Tuesday and meet through Friday. As always, you can watch the sessions live and all House committee meetings.
As I did during last session, I record a quick video update each day we are in Session, You can join us live on my Facebook page. Here are last week's videos: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK:
Wednesday students from Georgia Gwinnett College came to the Capitol. They got a picture with Speaker Ralston (which you can see here) and we distributed a cell phone holder which you can see below. Rep. Spencer Frye of Athens had a little fun with is and you can see the result in the photo on the right. Who wore it better? I say the GGC Grizzly.
As always, you can contact me at my Capitol office at 404-656-0188 or via email. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or via my website.
I look forward to serving you in the Legislature for the next two years. As I tell people, I get to wake up everyday and try to make Georgia a better place. It's a great job and I'm grateful you folks trust me to represent our community.
Representative, State House District 102
504-B Coverdell Legislative Office Building
Atlanta, Georgia 30334