in the session.
It’s just the second full week of the 40-day session, and state Rep. Christian Coomer, R-Cartersville, said many members of the House will be filing their sponsored bills of interest and begin helping them move forward.
Coomer, a floor leader for Gov. Nathan Deal, said most of this week in the House will be focused on taking up the hospital provider fee after the Senate passed a bill Jan. 17 to extend collection of the charge.
A hearing by the House Governmental Affairs committee on the bill is planned Wednesday and Coomer hopes it will be put to a vote in the full House by the end of the week.
“There is a flurry of legislation that will be filed throughout this week,” Coomer said. “As far as any official action, however, the hospital provider fee bill is the only one.”
The House has its own version of the Senate’s Hospital Medicaid Financing Program Act — House Bill 51.
Both pieces of legislation would keep in place a 1.4-percent fee that Georgia hospitals pay on their overall gross receipts to provide funds for the Medicaid program. The federal government then provides $2 for every $1 from that amount to go into the state’s Medicaid coffers. The fee is set to expire in July.
“The downside, if it does expire, is there will be a $600 million hole in the state’s Medicaid budget,” said Coomer, who is co-sponsoring the House bill. “It creates approximately $200 million for the state’s Medicaid program.”
State Rep. Katie Dempsey, R-Rome, was at the Capitol last week since she serves on the House Appropriations committee and they had budget hearings scheduled during the break.
“From a House perspective, we’re trying to deal with the 2013 amended budget quickly and get it back to the House floor,” Dempsey said.
As chair of the House Appropriations subcommittee on human resources, Dempsey will sit in on hearings this week and next week to help get the budget in shape for a vote.
“I think you’ll see us go into a more full calendar of work,” Dempsey said. “My intense focus is really on the budget.”
State Sen. Chuck Hufstetler and Rep. Eddie Lumsden, both R-Rome, are continuing to settle in as part of the freshman class of legislators.
Hufstetler said he expects all four of his committees to meet this week, including the Senate Education and Youth committee which will have a presentation by state school superintendent and fellow Roman John Barge on Wednesday.
Lumsden said he’s looking forward to getting to work in some of his committees. He said the House Insurance committee is set to meet early this week.
“I know that the major work will be done in committees,” Lumsden said. “I’m interested in getting a taste of it. I have been an observer so I know how the process works but being a part of it is a different thing altogether.”
The Senate reconvenes at 10 a.m. Monday while the House will start at 1 p.m.
Floyd County delegation
State Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome
District 52: All of Floyd, parts of Bartow, Chattooga and Gordon counties.
Capitol Phone: 404-656-0034
Capitol Address: 320A Coverdell Legislative Office Building, Atlanta Ga., 30334
District Phone: 706-291-6191
District Address: 3 Orchard Spring Drive, Rome, Ga. 30165
Committees: State and Local Government Operations (vice chair); Education and Youth; Science and Technology; Health and Human Services
State Rep. Katie Dempsey, R-Rome
District 13: Central Floyd County, including Rome.
Capitol Phone: 404-463-2248
Capitol Address: 245 State Capitol, Atlanta, Ga. 30334
District Phone: 706-676-7370
District Address: 811 Highland Ave., Rome, Ga. 30161
Committees: Higher Education; Rules; Economic Development and Tourism; Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications; Health and Human Services; Appropriations Human Resources subcommittee (chair).
State Rep. Christian Coomer, R-Cartersville
District 14: Northern half of Bartow and southeast Floyd counties.
Capitol Phone: 404-651-7737
Capitol Address: 109 State Capitol, Atlanta, Ga. 30334
District Phone: 770-383-9171
District Address: P.O. Box 5, Cassville, Ga. 30123
Committees: Judiciary Non-Civil; Juvenile Justice; Banks and Banking, Retirement (vice chair); floor leader for Gov. Nathan Deal
State Rep. Eddie Lumsden, R-Rome
District 12: All of Chattooga and western half of Floyd County.
Capitol Phone: 404-656-0325
Capitol Address: 612B Coverdell Legislative Office Building, Atlanta Ga., 30334
District Phone: 706-232-1870
District Address: P.O. Box 122, Armuchee, Ga. 30105
Committees: Budget and Fiscal Affairs; Insurance; Public Safety and Homeland Security