Lt. Gov. Cagle Makes Study Committee Appointments

Lt. Governor Casey Cagle today announced additional appointments to Senate study committees and state commissions. These committees will meet over the remainder of the summer and fall, and present their findings to the General Assembly in 2017. “These bodies seek to gain a better understanding of the unique challenges facing our state,” said Lt. Gov. Cagle. “Each member has specific expertise, distinctly qualifying them to serve in such capacities, and I’m confident these leaders’ diligent efforts will help build a better Georgia.”

Here are today’s appointments:

The Senate Data and Security Study Committee was established via Senate Resolution 360. The committee will examine how state and local governments in Georgia use information technology, and how they deal with the security of the data they have. Senate members include:

Bruce Thompson, Chair
Jack Hill
Mike Dugan
Brandon Beach

In addition, Cagle appointed the following members:
Calvin Rhodes, CIO of the State of Georgia
Bobby Laurine, CIO of the University System of Georgia
Chris Klaus, founder of Internet Security Systems, and now CEO of Kaneva.
LTC David Allen, CIO of the Georgia National Guard

Senate Resolution 1091 established the Senate Study Committee on Hearing Aids for Children. The committee will examine whether the state should require insurance companies to provide hearing aids or other assistance to deaf children, in hopes that by providing hearing aids and other assistance, the long term cost to the state will be reduced. Committee members include:

Charlie Bethel, Chair
Renee Unterman
Dean Burke
Gloria Butler
Lester Jackson

It’s no secret that heroin abuse is becoming more widespread in the Peach State. The Senate Opioid Abuse Study Committee that was established by Senate Resolution 1165 will examine the problem here. The state has had some success with naloxone, which can be used to delay the effects of an overdose until the victim reaches a hospital. The committee will determine what, if anything else, the state should do about the issue. Member of the committee are:

Renee Unterman, Chair
Butch Miller

In addition, the following citizens will serve on the committee. All have had experience dealing with the problems of opioid abuse.

Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald
Rick Allen, Director GA Drugs and Narcotics Agency
Cecil Cordele, PharmD Tifton
Dr. Allen Butts
Dr. Rafael Pascual

Somewhat related to the above, Georgia has the third highest number of narcotics treatment centers in the country, many of which are located along state borders, and could provide a vehicle for abuse of methadone. Senate Bill 402 among other things, established the State Commission on Narcotics Treatment Programs. This commission will have members appointed by the Speaker of the House, the President of the Senate and the Governor. It provides a moratorium on new treatment centers until a study is complete. Senators on the committee include:

Jeff Mullis, Co-Chair
Burt Jones
Ed Harbison

Petroleum pipelines were a big issue during the last legislative session. Kinder Morgan hoped to construct the Palmetto Pipeline through southeast Georgia down to Florida. Questions arose regarding potential environmental effects and the use of eminent domain to get easements for the pipeline. HB 1036 put a moratorium on new pipelines until July 2017 and established the State Commission on Petroleum Pipelines to examine the issue. Senate members include:

Rick Jeffares, Co-Chair
Frank Ginn
Jack Hill

House Bill 509 created the Georgia Palliative Care and Quality of Life Advisory Council. Palliative care is similar to hospice care, in that it is intended to relieve patient suffering due to a major illness, such as cancer. But, while hospice care is generally used for terminally ill patients close to the end of their lives, palliative care can begin following diagnosis. The council will provide a report each year to the governor and general assembly. In addition to citizen members, the House and Senate will be represented. Senate members are:

Renee Unterman, Chair
Dean Burke
Freddie Powell-Sims

Today’s list of appointments is the second round, with previous committee members named in mid-June. There are more committees that have to be filled, however. Here’s the list of all the study committees in the Senate. We will let you know additional committee members at the list is filled.

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