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Session Update: Week 9

We have three weeks left of session.

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Key Dates

  • The Georgia House of Representatives will reconvene on Monday, March 12th at 10am.
  • The Georgia Senate will reconvene on Monday, March 12th at 10am.
  • March 29th, Sine Die: This is the day that session will end.

Campaign Updates

State Campaigns

Defensive policies

HB 835 Related to tobacco sales:

This past week we became aware of a bill that was introduced by Representative Jodi Lott related to the sale of tobacco products across the state. This bill would allow tobacco dealers to apply for a special permit that would enable them to sell their wares at festivals and “temporary locations” across the state. This permit would cost $10, last a minimum of 1 and maximum of 10 days, and could be applied for an unlimited amount of times a year. We consider the policy this bill proposes to be dangerous to the pubic health of our state and will be opposing its passage.

Status: This bill was heard today in the Tax Reform Subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee. No vote was taken on the bill and no one, save the sponsor, spoke in support of it. Additionally, the Chair of the committee is opposed to its passage and has said that he will not move it forward.

We will continue to provide updates as they are given to me. Contact michael.cortes@heart.org with questions or if you would like to get engaged.

Local Campaigns

Priority Policies

Smoke-free Atlanta:

The American Heart Association and Smoke-free Atlanta coalition are continuing to work together for the passage of a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance in the city of Atlanta.

Status: The coalition is currently working towards obtaining further support from the local community for our policy. This is being done by holding numerous community educational events which can be found in the Key Dates section of this update. Additionally, we will be moving forward with the lobby portion of the campaign once the legislative session comes to a close in late March.

Smoke-free Marietta:

As an official member of the Breath Easy Cobb County Coalition the American Heart Association will be assisting in the launch of a public outreach and education campaign in the coming weeks and months. This will aid in achieving the coalitions goal of advancing smoke-free policies in the City of Marietta.

Status: This campaign is still in its planning stages and we do not expect to have an ordinance introduced until the summer at the earliest. Currently we are developing a community outreach plan as well as power mapping the members of the city council.

Defensive Policies

Smoke-free Clarkston:

In 2016 the City of Clarkston passed one of the strongest smoke-free ordinances in the state of Georgia. There is currently an effort underway to repeal parts of the ordinance based around smoking hookah. We believe that if this effort is successful it would set a dangerous precedent and we will be opposing this push to weaken the right of the citizens of Clarkston to breaths smoke-free air.

Status: On Monday March 5th, the City of Clarkston Public Safety and Legal Standing Advisory Committee discussed this issue at 7a public hearing. No vote was taken on the subject, but many community members turned out in full force to voice their opinions. Speaking with our champion, Councilman Mario Williams, after the meeting we were informed that if an amendment does get proposed it would be at the end of April or beginning of May.

If you live in Atlanta or Marietta and would like to be engaged, please email michael.Cortes@heart.org.

In Other News

Articles of Interest:

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