A bill that will give more people access to medical marijuana was one of several pieces of legislation to move toward law Wednesday as Georgia senators and representatives hurried to get bills passed. Legislative rules require that bills pass at least one chamber by Friday to remain alive for the year.
Other legislation to move forward would give the governor a pay raise, implement a flat income tax, and work to fight the opioid epidemic with new requirements on doctors.
Here’s a look at key developments from the Capitol:
Georgia representatives are allowing more people to get access to marijuana.
The full chamber voted Wednesday 156-6 to approve a bill that greatly expands the list of qualifying conditions that allow patients to legally use medical cannabis.
The bill adds eight conditions to the list, including autism spectrum disorder, HIV, AIDS, and Tourette’s syndrome.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder was included in the original version, but was removed during committee deliberations.
The proposal removes restrictions of “end-stage” or “severe” on several of the diseases already included in the list of qualifying conditions.
Under the proposed legislation, Georgia will recognize medical marijuana cards from out of state.
The bill will next head to the Senate, which recently passed a bill also adding autism but reducing the level of allowable THC in cannabis oil.
GOVERNOR PAY RAISE
The next governor of Georgia would get a 25 percent salary increase under a bill approved by the Georgia House.
The bill sponsored by Rep. Jay Powell of Camilla increases the governor’s annual salary to $175,000. Powell says a governor overseeing the sixth largest state in the country deserves more than the current salary.
The change would take effect in 2019. Gov. Nathan Deal, who is constitutionally limited to two terms, leaves office in 2018. He currently earns $139,339 per year.
The bill passed the House, 141 votes to 22, and