Governor Signs House Bill 146 in Gilmer Fire Station

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Nathan Deal Signing Bill 146

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal visited Fire House 1 in Gilmer County Thursday to officially sign House Bill 146 known as the “Firefigher’s Cancer Insurance Bill.”

Micah Gravley - District 67 RepresentativeJoined by several officials including Georgia House Speaker David Ralston and Senator Steve Gooch, author of the bill Micah Gravley, District 67 Representative, opened the ceremony by speaking about the two year effort to bring the bill to this point. Gravley related his interactions with two firefighters, Frank Martinez and Brian Scutter, who he said were the honor of the Bill as they fought for and spoke with legislators to get the bill passed, as well as the appropriateness to have the signing in Scutter’s home station in Gilmer County. Scutter was also mentioned by Speaker Ralston who said he had made a promise to Brian that he would give all that was in him to bring this day about. Turning to face Scutter, Ralston said, “I kept my promise.”

Governor Nathan Deal, who originally vetoed last year’s Bill 216 called the new House Bill 146 an “innovative and great solution to the situation.” Deal said the Bill provides relief for firefighters by providing a different method for compensation and money for treatment and care for firefighters who contract cancers during their work. Gravley thanked the Governor for his support of, as he called it, a “better bill.”

Speaker David Ralston - House Bill 146The sentiment was echoed by Speaker Ralston who said, “We have arrived at a better solution. By requiring a local government to provide insurance to our firefighters for certain types of cancer, the firefighter can skip the process of litigating a worker’s comp claim. This will allow the firefighter to focus on getting better and recovery rather than having to worry about legal bills and depositions and hearings.”

FYN caught up with Speaker Ralston and Governor Deal to ask them to elaborate on why the bill is better, comparative to last years Bill 216. The Speaker replied saying, “This uses a Health Insurance Model as opposed to a Workman’s Comp model which means instead of having to make a claim and perhaps go through a court type process to get benefits and income, Firefighters in this case will file a claim just like health insurance.”

Governor Nathan Deal - House Bill 146Governor Deal also spoke on the insurance versus workman’s comp comparison saying it was an awkward and “adversarial way of deciding whether or not compensation is owed.” Deal went on to say the newer Bill is a much better solution “to provide insurance coverage that will define benefits and give some flexibility as to deciding the compensation that will be given to firefighters.”

More than Senators and Congressman came to see Deal sign the Bill, though. Several representatives from neighboring and local emergency services attended the event including Gilmer’s own Director of Public Safety Tony Pritchett who said the Bill “gives you a sense of protection… You can lay your head down and sleep better at night knowing that if you contract cancer because of the job, there’s some protection that will take care of you and your family.”

 

For more on the Signing of House Bill 146 watch the full ceremony below or find more Photos in our Album:

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Special Election Georgia State Senate District 54

GMFTO

The (little over) 30 day rush to find a new State Senator for the 54th. District after Governor Nathan Deal appoints State Senator Charlie Bethel to the Georgia Court of Appeals.

Deal: Georgia will not accept Syrian refugees

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November 16, 2015

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that he will not accept Syrian refugees in Georgia and called upon President Obama to suspend the resettlement program in the United States. Since 2012, Deal has demanded that the federal government limit the number of refugees sent to Georgia.

“In light of the terror attacks in Paris, I’ve issued an executive order directing state agency heads to prevent the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Georgia,” said Deal. “Further, I call upon the Obama administration to work with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security to confirm the backgrounds of the 59 Syrian refugees recently resettled to ensure they do not pose a security threat to our citizens. Until the federal government and Congress conducts a thorough review of current screening procedures and background checks, we will take every measure available to us at the state level to ensure the safety of Georgians.”

. Deal’s letter to President Obama is attached. Read the executive order here.

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Georgia ranked No. 1 state in U.S. for business

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Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that Georgia has been named the No. 1 state in the nation in which to do business for the third consecutive year by Site Selection magazine, a leading economic development trade publication.
“Once again, Georgia has been named the top state in which to do business, reflecting our success in strengthening Georgia’s economic environment and creating a top-notch workforce,” said Deal. “Through collaborative public-private sector efforts, we have created hundreds of thousands of jobs for families, invested millions in our local communities and improved the overall quality of life for our citizens. This ranking is not only a testament to our strong business climate, but it also speaks to the commitment and support from our industry partners, communities and the people of Georgia.”
Each November, Site Selection releases rankings for the top states in which to do business. Georgia has been ranked among the top 10 states in Site Selection’s business climate rankings throughout the last decade, holding the top spot for the last two years.
“Georgia is a regular top finisher in our annual analysis of state business climates,” said Site Selection editor-in-chief Mark Arend. “But three consecutive first-place finishes in this ranking is a pattern. It says the state clearly has in place the business-attraction attributes most required by companies expanding and establishing new facilities.”
The rankings are determined by a survey of corporate site selectors paired with an index of tax burden criteria according to the Tax Foundation and KPMG’s Location Matters analysis and performance in Conway Data’s New Plant Database, which tracks new and expanded business facility activity.
“Site Selection’s third-time No. 1 ranking speaks volumes to our business-friendly environment, world-class infrastructure network, top-notch academic institutions, nationally-ranked training programs and vibrant socioeconomic culture,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Chris Carr. “We provide companies looking to locate or expand here an experience that they cannot find anywhere else, and we will continue to work hard with our partners from around the state to maintain this reputation.”
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