Georgia Legislature Today: Democrats plan ‘walk out’ in solidarity with students

The Georgia General Assembly at a glance for Wednesday, Day 34 of the 2018 legislative session:

Democrats plan “walk out”: Some state Democrats are planning to “walk out” of their chambers Wednesday in solidarity with students who are participating in the national school walkout to honor the victims of the shooting at a south Florida high school. Democrats in the House and Senate are planning to leave their chambers shortly before each convenes at 10 a.m. to hold a press conference in the Capitol. Like the walkouts across the country, the event will last 17 minutes — one minute for every person who was killed during a Valentine’s Day shooting at the Parkland high school. Lawmakers will urge General Assembly leadership to pursue changes to the state’s gun laws.

Opioid bill on House floor: The House will consider legislation that will create the Health Coordination and Innovation Council, composed of health agency heads from across the state, as well as a director of health care policy and strategic planning who would report directly to the governor. Senate Bill 357 has been coupled with Senate Bill 352, which would create a director of substance abuse, addiction and related disorders, and combat “patient brokering” where unscrupulous rehabilitation centers get paid for taking and keeping patients rather than helping them get well. SB 352 has not yet made it to the House floor. The pair of bills are aimed at gaining control over Georgia’s opioid crisis.

On the record: “In public office, we can never make everybody happy, but we can sometimes make everybody mad,” said state Rep. Ed Setzler, R-Acworth, during a presentation Tuesday about legislation to replace Georgia’s electronic voting system. Senate Bill 403 is up for a vote by the House Governmental Affairs on Wednesday.

Business days remaining in the 2018 legislative session: 6

Mark Niesse contributed to this report.

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