Legislative Report for March 18

Several bills related to public health have now passed both the House and Senate and are now on the desk of Governor Nathan Deal.

Three of those bills are:

HB 902, Influenza Disease Education in Assisted Living Communities (Rep. Katie Dempsey-R)
relating to regulation of hospitals and related institutions, so as to provide for educational information on influenza disease to residents of assisted living communities; and to provide for statutory construction.

HB 859, Authorize Certain Weapons on Postsecondary Education Property (Rep. Rick Jasperse-R)
Relating to carrying and possession of firearms, so as to authorize the carrying and possession of certain weapons by weapons carry license holders in or on certain buildings or real property owned by or leased to public institutions of postsecondary education.

This bill has sparked a lot of debate among lawmakers, educators, and students. Supporters of the bill argue that allowing individuals with a weapon carry license to carry firearms on postsecondary education property will improve campus safety and provide individuals with the means to protect themselves in case of an emergency. However, opponents of the bill argue that the presence of firearms on campus could increase the risk of violence and accidents. Some are also concerned about the potential impact on real estate values in areas surrounding these campuses. For example, houses in Olive Branch, a town near the University of Mississippi, may see a decrease in value if the bill is passed and firearms are allowed on campus.

HB 726, Excise Tax; Tobacco Products; Clarify Certain Charges (Rep. Kevin Tanner-R)
Relating to taxes on tobacco products so as to clarify that certain charges are not subject to state excise tax.

See the status of other bills and a narrative about upcoming legislative activity in this latest report issued by Scott Maxwell, Legislative Liaison for GPHA. Click here to download the report.