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Atlanta News Edition
VOLUME VI NUMBER 1 MAY 2, 2019
of Continental Newstime newsmagazine
Atlanta News Edition of Continental Newstime
Continental Features/Continental News Service
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* State Government News Briefs ... Governor Brian P. Kemp has billed his signing, into law, of ten bills as, he says, means to “improve access, lower costs, and increase the quality of care for countless Georgians—no matter their ZIP code.” The Governor adds, “By giving cancer patients access to the treatment they desperately need, incentivizing competition, removing bureaucratic obstacles to quality care, and establishing innovative pilot projects to combat debilitating illnesses, Georgia will continue to lead on health care.” What does this legislation do? Senate Bill 207, with companion legislation sponsored in the Georgia House of Representatives by Sharon Cooper, changes the name of the Georgia Board for Physician Workforce to the Georgia Board of Health Care Workforce, while revising Board membership and specifying that current Board members will finish serving their terms of office. Senate Bill 184, with companion legislation sponsored in the House by Darlene Taylor, prescribes that the health-insurance benefit plan of state employees shall reimburse covered services furnished by a federally-qualified health center at no less than the Medicare maximum-allowable reimbursement rate. Senate Bill 168, Representative Sharon Cooper sponsoring similar legislation in the House, repeals a provision of the Nurse Licensure Compact, to clarify requirements affecting authorization of multi-state license holders to engage in advanced nursing practice. Senate Bill 18, with Lee Hawkins sponsoring companion legislation in the House, determines that direct primary-care agreements do not constitute insurance and, therefore, are exempt from regulation as insurance, while stating the circumstances in which services can be discontinued. Senate Bill 16, Deborah Silcox sponsoring companion legislation in the House, enrolls the state in the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact for physicians, assistants and others, to require fingerprint-records checks, to authorize application for an expedited license, to address joint investigations and discipline, and to govern dispute resolution. In turn, House Bill 290, with Kay Kirkpatrick sponsoring companion legislation in the Georgia Senate, enables implementation of a pilot program to furnish pre-exposure prophylaxis drug assistance or services to people at risk of being infected with the human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV). House Bill 287, with Senator Chuck Hufstetler sponsoring companion legislation, eliminates the income-tax deduction for certain physicians working as community-based faculty physicians and substitutes a new income-tax credit for licensed physicians, advanced-practice registered nurses, or physician assistants who furnish uncompensated preceptorship training to medical students, advanced-practice registered-nurse students, or physician-assistant students for certain periods of time. House Bill 63—Senator Kay Kirkpatrick has also backed a similar proposal—mandates that health-benefit plans must develop step-therapy protocols, which involve progression from the most cost-effective drug prescription to more expensive or risky therapy only if needed, while providing for certain exceptions to step therapy. House Bill 321, with Senator Brian Strickland authoring companion legislation, extends various sunset provisions concerning the hospital Medicaid-financing program, one being extended three years until December 31, 2024 and another five years to June 30, 2025. Again, Senator Chuck Hufstetler has sponsored companion legislation, this time to House Bill 186, which revises provisions affecting the sale or lease of a hospital by a county or municipal hospital authority, allows conflicting-interest transactions, and addresses the matter of the investment of funds by certain hospital authorities. In addition, Governor Kemp has appointed, to the Georgia Board of Education, Jason Downey, former Vice-President of the Macon-Bibb County Board of Education; Scott Sweeney, past Board Chair and two-term elected member of the Cobb County Board of Education; and Dr. David C. Mosely, former coach, educator, administrator and 1999 Superintendent of the Year, an honoree of the Georgia Association of Education Leaders. The Governor says that he trusts that this team will put students first, work to improve educational outcomes, and support teachers, following up "historic legislative" measures increasing teacher salaries, investing in school-site security, and doubling the budget for students requiring mental-health services. Meantime, Kemp has selected Steven B. Barker (Coweta County Schools Superintendent) and Catherine Jones (Executive Director of the Butts County Chamber of Commerce) to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. Finally, just yesterday, the Governor appointed State Revenue Commissioner and former House Ways and Means Committee member Lynnette T. Riley as the first woman to serve as State Treasurer.
* County Government News Briefs … The Cobb County Board of Commissioners (100 Cherokee Street, 2nd Floor Public Meeting Room, Marietta, GA 30090) is next scheduled to meet at 9 AM on May 14 for a regular meeting. The agenda has not been determined, to date. Fourteen days later, it plans a 1:30 PM Work Session, to be followed on the same date, May 28, by a regular meeting, beginning at 7 PM. At County Commissioners last meeting, on April 23, members were poised to approve a Consent Agenda including adoption of an Agreement of Mutual Aid With the Dobbins Air Reserve Base Fire Department for fire, emergency, rescue, and support services and approval of a Resolution authorizing the Finance Director/Comptroller to enter into lease-purchase financing for the acquisition of six fire engines and one heavy rescue truck.
* Mayor’s Office News Briefs … Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, since the City Council unanimously passed a Resolution opposing the practice of sexual-conversion therapy, on grounds of the mental and health risks involved, announces availability, courtesy of the Atlanta Housing Board of Commissioners, of $60 million in new funds for affordable-housing projects. Having partnered with Invest Atlanta and the Atlanta Beltline on such affordable senior-housing developments as Legacy at Vine City and Gateway Capitol View, Atlanta Housing stands at the 20-percent mark in pursuit of its objective of raising $1 billion for a range of affordable-housing supports, including rehabilitation of low-income, owner-occupied homes; construction and acquisition of multi-family properties; and housing construction on urban open space, as a means of utilizing existing public facilities and combating urban sprawl.
* City Council News Briefs … The Atlanta City Council (55 Trinity Avenue, Second Floor, Atlanta, GA 30303) informs that its Committee on Council is set to meet on May 6 at 11:15 AM, in Committee Room 1. Then, at 1 PM, the Council is scheduled to meet in the Council Chamber at the same address. However, at the present time its agenda has not been publicized. Next, on May 14, the Council's City Utilities Committee plans a regular meeting at 9:30 AM in Committee Room 1. At 12 Noon, the Community Development & Human Services Committee is poised to meet in the same venue, giving place to a meeting of the Public Safety & Legal Administration Committee at 3 PM. The following day, meetings of the Zoning Committee, the Transportation Committee, and the Finance/Executive Committee occupy Committee Room 1 at various times.
* School District News Briefs … The Atlanta Board of Education informs that, on May 6, beginning at 6 PM, it will conduct a statute-mandated Public Hearing on its proposed 2020 fiscal-year operating budget, at the Alonzo A. Crim Center for Learning and Leadership Building (130 Trinity Avenue SW, Atlanta, GA 30303). On May 8, Superintendent Meria Joel Carstarphen announces that the District will hold its Special Olympics at the Lakewood Stadium (70 Claire Drive, Atlanta, GA 30315), the Track & Field Competition running from 8 AM to 1 PM. The following day, between 6 PM and 8 PM, a Community Input Meeting on the District budget is due to be held in the Auditorium of the Inman Middle School (774 Virginia Avenue, NE, Atlanta, GA 30306).
* Weather ... The National Weather Service reports that current conditions at Fulton County Airport-Brown Field, as of 3:53 PM, are fair, with a temperature of 83 degrees Fahrenheit, wind out of the southeast at 6 miles per hour, the barometric pressure reading 30.14 inches, relative humidity of 37 percent, the dewpoint standing at 54 degrees, and visibility of 10 miles. The forecast for tonight calls for mostly-clear skies, with a low temperature of about 66 degrees and wind out of the southeast at about 5 miles per hour. Friday is expected to be partly sunny, with a daily high temperature of about 85 degrees, and southeast wind of about 5 miles per hour becoming southwesterly in the afternoon. There is a slight chance of showers early on and an increasing chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. The chance of precipitation is 30 percent.
* Sports … In Major League Baseball, the Braves pounded out 10 hits against the 17 of the visiting Padres, committing one error, but managed to put only 2 runners across home plate today, in an 11-2 loss, with but 7 Padres' runs earned. Mike Foltynewicz picked up his first loss of the season against no wins, as Padres hurler Matt Strahm went 1-2. The Braves, now 15-16 in the win-loss column and 2.5 games out of first place in the National League East, visit Miami (9-21), tomorrow. Meantime, in the WNBA, the Atlanta Dream have a pre-season game against the Dallas Wings on May 13, beginning at 5 PM, in the Mohegan Sun Arena (Uncasville, Connecticut).
Question Time with Public Officials
The American public expects public officials to deal with, rather than dodge, difficult public-policy problems, to be transparent in their public-policy positions, and to state their views confidently, thoughtfully and boldly. One week is being allowed to finalize your response. Thank you.
The Continental News Service intends to publish results of this multi-respondent poll in its on-line newspapers over the course of time, and these newspapers include its Washington D.C. News Edition, Chicago News Edition, Honolulu News Edition, Atlanta News Edition, Anchorage News Edition, Boston News Edition, Seattle News Edition, Miami News Edition, San Diego News Edition, Rochester (N.Y.) News Edition, Minneapolis News Edition, and Houston News Edition.
Would you, Senator/Representative/Governor, support legislation, or even sponsor legislation, ending all federal government grants to Planned Parenthood if it was conducted in an even-handed and non-discriminatory manner; that is, likewise ending all federal and federally-subsidized state grants to faith-based and all other non-profit groups, whatever their specific tax-code classification?
__ Yes. Uncheck "No Comment." My reasoning is ________________________________________________________________________________.
__ No. Uncheck "No Comment." My reasoning is _________________________________________________________________________________.
X No Comment. Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Cory Booker, Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Representative Tulsi Gabbard,
Washington Governor Jay Inslee.
Flying the Flag (Condensed and Reprinted) Steve Healey
What's in a name? A rose by any other name really does smell as sweet. Shakespeare, as so often, was right. But can the same be said of a corporate image or a country for that matter? Do your blue jeans feel the same or does your soft drink taste quite the same if the name has been changed or the label re-designed…. If those marketing men are to be believed, then branding is of supreme importance.
Flags, of course, are just about the biggest piece of branding that there is…. British Airways has almost furled the flag. Gone, they say, are the days of post-imperialist flag-waving. Not before time, some may say….
Now being a Brit, I remain a patriot. I follow my nation's sporting endeavors with interest, and I would hate to see the good old pound disappear from my pocket. And I would defend to the death my right to sink a pint of beer in my local pub, as opposed to swallowing a Continental half-liter in a cafe. And, I hate to say this, but we do drive on the right side of the road. That's the left, by the way. Why, I would even retain the monarchy. After all, they are good for tourism and the newspaper industry.