HUGE NEWS: Significant Changes to HB 1013

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Last week I sent you a brief update on HB 1013 – that we were engaging on the bill, working with pro-family legislators on the language, and were encouraged those changes were coming to ensure that our values would be protected.

I am grateful to those legislators and am proud of all the efforts that have been put into making this bill stronger and reflective of our values, and I am excited to report just some of the changes:

1) All references to WHO and APA’s DSM-5 have been removed from the bill. Passage of 1013 would actually REMOVE the WHO definitions from this code sections.

2) The removal of references to WHO and APA’s DSM-5, changes of various definitions, and the removal of the mental health coverage mandate all reduce the concerns over possible requirements around forcing coverage for things that go against our values.

3) There is no longer a mandate – which means that faith-based groups, Christian-owned businesses, churches, non-profits, and, really, anyone will not be required to purchase insurance that they worry will violate their conscience. That said, we are continuing to work to strengthen faith and conscience protections in a way that will ensure options are not limited for our churches and non-profits. We remain in good faith conversations about these changes and are prayerful that such changes will be implemented in the coming days.

4) Language that lowered the standard by which someone could be committed against their will has been removed. The requirement that someone be an “imminent threat to themselves or others” remains.

These are just some of the updates that have been made to the bill. Overall, the bill has been cut by 8 pages and virtually every section of the bill has seen substantial changes, while the main intent – taking steps to address improvements to mental health – remains.

Over the last few weeks, we have lobbied for these changes, and, in good faith, our legislators have negotiated. As this bill approaches its final form, it is exciting to share that – just as I assured so many of you – significant changes have been made.

I hope you are encouraged by this update on this bill. Over the last several weeks, many long hours have been poured into studying and engaging to make this better. We have endeavored to answer questions and be fair to everyone involved.

Together, we have made a difference. Please continue to pray over this legislation as it makes its way through the process. And please continue to pray for our other efforts as we continue to lobby to advance our priority bills and oppose initiatives we believe will do harm.

For Georgia,

Cole Muzio

President,

Frontline Policy Action

[email protected]

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