ICYMI: Lt. Governor Duncan and General Assembly Leaders Advance Key Public Safety, Foster Care and Mental Health Priorities
ATLANTA (April 1, 2022) | This week, the General Assembly sent significant policy proposals to Governor Kemp for final approval, including major reforms to mental health care, and legislation focused on public safety and foster care. The Senate will convene on Monday, April 4, for the final day of the legislative session.
"LESS Crime Act” Headed to Governor Kemp
On Wednesday, the House overwhelmingly voted to send Lt. Governor Duncan’s “LESS Crime Act” to Governor Kemp for final approval. Sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Larry Walker (R – Perry), the agreed-upon version of the bill establishes a dollar-for-dollar state income tax credit for Georgia taxpayers to directly donate to their community's public safety initiatives through an affiliated law enforcement foundation with a statewide cap of $75 million.
“The LESS Crime Act is about more than writing a check – it’s about incentivizing community engagement,” said Lt. Governor Duncan. “We have seen firsthand the impact that citizen partnerships with law enforcement agencies can have on reducing crime. I appreciate my colleagues in the General Assembly for working with my office to get SB 361 to final passage.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Georgia House votes in favor of tax break for donating to police
Capitol Beat - Georgia House OKs tax credit for law enforcement
For the full press release, visit: Lt. Governor Duncan’s “LESS Crime Act” Passes House
“Mental Health Parity Act” Reaches Final Passage
On Wednesday, the Georgia Senate passed House Bill (HB) 1013, also known as the “Mental Health Parity Act.” After passage, Lt. Governor Duncan praised Speaker Ralston and members of the House and Senate for working together to pass HB 1013 and ensuring Georgia consumers are guaranteed equal access to mental health services under their insurance plan.
"This is a great day for Georgians," Lt. Governor Duncan said. "Today's passage of House Bill 1013 represents our state's commitment to removing obstacles often faced when accessing mental health care. I want to thank the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and the Senate sponsor for diligently working to advance this legislation. I also want to express my gratitude to Speaker Ralston and my former House colleagues for leading on mental health care expansion."
11 Alive - 'This is everything' | Mom hugs Speaker of the House after Georgia passes landmark mental health reform
Framework for Statewide Co-Responder Program Passes House
On Wednesday, the House approved SB 403, also known as the "Georgia Behavioral Health and Peace Officer Co-Responder Act." Carried by Sen. Ben Watson (R – Savannah) and championed by Lt. Governor Duncan as an alternative approach to mental health emergency response efforts, SB 403 promotes law enforcement partnerships with mental health professionals by setting up the framework for co-response teams through Georgia's Community Service Boards (CSBs).
"Crime is a bipartisan issue that deserves a bipartisan solution," said Lt. Governor Duncan. "With co-response programs currently operating at the local level yielding remarkable results, taking the steps necessary to establish a statewide model for all communities to utilize is a critical step toward enhancing Georgia’s public safety infrastructure. I applaud General Assembly members from both sides of the aisle for working across party lines to bring SB 403 to the finish line.”
GPB - Lawmakers: Major mental health legislation clears both chambers on Day 38
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Bill to improve mental health care services in Georgia wins final approval
For the full press release, visit: Statewide Model for Mental Health Emergency Co-Responder Program Passes Georgia House
General Assembly Votes to Incentivize Support for Aged-Out Foster Youth
Lt. Governor Duncan’s “Fostering Success Act” passed the Senate on Wednesday as HB 424. Initially introduced as SB 370, Sen. Bill Cowsert (R – Athens) carried the measure that will generate up to $20 million per year for foster youth making the transition into adulthood through a dollar-for-dollar state income tax credit.
“Each year, hundreds of aged-out foster youth fall into this vulnerable sector of Georgia’s population,” said Lt. Governor Duncan. “The measure passed today creates an additional avenue to ensure our commitment to Georgia’s foster youth is fulfilled by positioning them to lead successful and gratifying lives.”
Rome News-Tribune - Foster care tax credit nears final approval in Georgia legislature
For the full press release, visit: Lt. Governor Duncan’s “Fostering Success Act” Headed to Governor Kemp’s Desk