ATLANTA (March 20, 2014) | Senator Brandon Beach (R- Alpharetta) led the passage of two influential bills through the House of Representatives and State Senate on Day 39 of the legislative session. Senate Bill 381, sponsored by Sen. Beach, passed the House of Representatives and House Bill 973, carried by Sen. Beach, passed the Senate.
“I am thankful for the support of my colleagues with the passage of these bills,” said Sen. Beach. “Both bills are examples of government efficiency through providing reliable, timely information to citizens during crisis and protecting taxpayer dollars by increasing the penalties on fraudulent claims.”
SB 381, otherwise known as the “First Informer Broadcasters” bill, would direct the unified incident command system and the Georgia Emergency Operations Plan to establish planning for first informer broadcasters. By implementing a plan during emergencies, first informer broadcasters will have more access to fuel, food, water and other materials necessary for maintaining a broadcast signal. The bill passed the House of Representatives 176-0.
HB 973 would change the penalties for false Medicaid claims and passed the Senate 53-1. Under HB 973, any person who knowingly presents a false or fraudulent claim or false information to Georgia Medicaid for approval will be liable for between $5,500 and $11,000 in civil penalties to the state, plus three times the amount in damages that Georgia Medicaid sustains as a result of the fraudulent activity. HB 973 also makes the accused person liable to the state for all costs associated with a civil action.
Both bills will now travel to the Governor’s desk for final approval.
For Immediate Release:
March 20, 2014
For Information Contact:
Jennifer Yarber, Director
Emily Williams, Communications Associate