New laws in Georgia on July 1 include mental health law and teacher salary increases

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Other elements of House Bill 1013 also come into effect on Friday. These include creating expanded powers for state insurance and public health commissioners to ensure that insurance companies cover mental health in the same way as physical health and establishing guidelines for law enforcement to create a “co-response program” where behavioral health professionals join the police. officers when responding to emergency calls involving a mental health crisis.

Teachers will receive a $2,000 pay raise in the $30.2 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins Friday.

The budget also provides pay raises to state employees in hard-to-fill jobs, including corrections and mental health agencies. The salary increases for teachers and state employees represent a $950 million increase in the state payroll.

The annual spending plan, House Bill 911, funds a wide variety of government services, including education, prisons, health care, transportation, GBI, Georgia State Patrol, and state parks.

The state budget includes money that will pay to extend the length of time low-income Georgian mothers can receive benefits under Medicaid – the public health program for the poor and disabled – by six months one year after the birth of a child.

The new budget provides $28.2 million to expand the program for postpartum mothers. In 2020, the Legislature allocated $20 million to extend Medicaid maternal benefits from two months to six after the birth of a child.

A new law dictates how race is taught in K-12 grades and prevents transgender students from participating in sports.

The law outlines nine ‘divisive concepts’ and prohibits telling schools that America is a fundamentally racist country, that moral character is determined by race or that a race is inherently superior, according to House Bill 1084 .

The measure also allows sports associations to ban transgender girls from competing on women’s teams, a restriction the Georgia High School Association put in place in a vote in May.

ExploreNew Georgia Education Laws July 1

Georgia lawmakers voted to increase their pensions by 38% in the final minutes of this year’s legislative session.

The increase particularly benefits House Speaker David Ralston, whose annual pension value has quadrupled.

House Bill 824 increased pension payments to $50 per month for each year lawmakers serve in the General Assembly, from the current $36 per month. The speaker’s pension increased to $250 per month for each year of service, giving Ralston a total annual pension valued at nearly $47,000.

Lawmakers backing the pension bill said they wanted to find ways to supplement their base salary of $22,342 a year.

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