Gold Dome Tea Newsletter #4

Your weekly source of fresh tea poured out of the Gold Dome! 

February 16, 2019

Welcome back Tea Sippers! 

This is our fourth edition of the 2019 Gold Dome Tea newsletter. We brought the tea so we hope you brought your cups, as we will be giving you the inside scoop of all the most juicy things that happened in this week under the Gold Dome! 👀

In this week’s issue of Gold Dome Tea we will tackle:
🔹Piping Hot Issues – Quick rundown of the piping hot issues that will surely stir the pot.
🔹Medicaid Expansion in Georgia – The shift that is finally reaching the Peach State.    
🔹The MARTA Referendum– The vote to expand MARTA into Gwinnett County is around the corner.   
🔹Call to Action – Mujeres at the Capitol: Mark your calendars and come lobby with us! 

Piping Hot Issues
The flood gates have opened and the legislators are releasing bills after bills to make sure they are dropped before Crossover Day, the day that a bill must pass their chamber of origin to be considered by the other chamber. One of the craziest days under the Gold Dome, this eventful day will be Thursday, March 7th. We are now at 324 bills in the House and 110 bills in the Senate. Here are some of the bills making the most buzz 🐝:

  • HB 234: Anti-Human Trafficking Act 🚫
    As we all may know, Atlanta and the state are unfortunately a hub for human trafficking. This bill is the most comprehensive effort to tackle this grave problem that is plaguing our city. The bill will not only give more power to DFCS to protect the kids at risk, but it also modifies the definition of prostitution. Currently our law does not provide an age as to when you could be considered a prostitute, but this bill addresses that by defining that you have to be 18 or older to be charged with prostitution. This bill has bipartisan support so we see it passing very easily. 
    🔗Read more here: https://bit.ly/2SyKJdR
  • HB 255: Right to Vote for Those in Jail 👏
    This bill aims to give those in custody the right to participate in elections. The goal is to provide absentee ballots to “certain” persons in jail. Right now the bill is not clear on who these “certain” people are, but it does say how the process will work: the absentee ballot of an elector who is in custody can be mailed or delivered by any employee of that jail. The bill is cosponsored by both Republicans and Democrats legislators, so we will keep you updated on whether it moves or not. 
    Read more here: https://bit.ly/2tpqfoK
  • HB 270: Making It Harder for Some to Vote 😒
    This bill aims to add another barrier to our voting process. On top of showing your ID, signing papers and all that comes with casting in your vote, the sponsors of this partisan bill want to also add E-Verify to the voting procedures. This could stop certain people from voting because not only will voters have to make sure their voter registration and ID match, but also make sure that their information on E-Verify is the same. This bill does not take into account that many citizens change their names when they become naturalized, thus if this bill passes it could disenfranchise and deny the right to vote to thousands of new citizens. We will keep a close eye on this bill and update you on how it moves. 
    🔗Read more here: https://bit.ly/2N8BcE7

Medicaid Expansion in Georgia 👩‍⚕️

Georgia’s business community has made it clear to those under the Gold Dome that good access to healthcare is key to economic development, especially in rural parts of the state.

The shift on the Right also came after the past midterm and Georgia governor race. Democrats have used healthcare as a rallying issue and it has worked as we saw nationally with the change of parties in the House. It did not help that the Republicans had done efforts to roll back health insurance protections for people with preexisting conditions.
In Georgia alone we give up $8 million in federal dollars every day because of the GOP refusal to expand Medicaid coverage.

Due to this shift, a bill backed by Gov. Brian Kemp is expected to be dropped that will lead to the expansion of Medicaid-based health care coverage in Georgia. Republicans will use the term “waive” or “augmentation” instead of medicaid expansion, but the good news is that anywhere from 300,000 to 600,000 Georgians could be covered so we will keep you updated on how this plays out. 
🔗Read more here: https://on-ajc.com/2N95Mxt

The MARTA Referendum 🚇

One of the more important referendumsin the history of metro Atlanta is around the corner! Early voting on whether to extend MARTA into Gwinnett County begins on Feb. 25 and Election Day is March 19.

The original vote was planned to be part of last November’s election. However it was pushed into 2019 at the last moment, some say it was out of Republican fear that it would contribute even more to a blue wave.

Special elections like this one normally have very low turnout. This is exciting for those that oppose the expansion. Those that support an expansion will have to mobilize their peers in order for this referendum to pass. The changing demographics of Gwinnett can contribute to this, as many residents use the rail system as part of their commute into Atlanta. 

So mark your calendars Gwinnett peers and go vote! 

🔗Read more here: https://on-ajc.com/2IjiWZU

Call to Action 📣

Join us on Wednesday, March 13th as we co-host with the Latino Community Fund, Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Incorporated, the 1st Annual Mujeres at the Capitol. This day will be a full day of advocacy training and action for issues you care about. We will open the day with Rep.Lopez, the first Latina elected to the Georgia state legislature and help you meet your legislators.
Don’t forget to RSVP and bring a friend! Breakfast and lunch will be provided. 
#MujeresInPolitics
✅ RSVP and get more information on the event here:  
https://bit.ly/GACapitolWomen
The roller coaster is starting to pick up, so hold on for the ride because the next two weeks will be hectic and full of surprises!  

If you enjoyed this tea time we shared together, then subscribe here to get more piping hot tea poured fresh every Saturday during the legislative session! 🐸☕️
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