Monthly Archives: August 2014

Gun Toting Soccer Moms

Is mom packing heat? Attorney General Sam Olens released a Frequently Asked Questions regarding the weapons law amendments that took effect July 1 of this year answering that question.
HB 60, affectionately known as the “Guns Everywhere” bill, allows licensed gun owners to carry firearms in bars, in churches that “opt-in” and in government buildings without security screening checkpoints.
HB 826, dubbed the “zero-tolerance policy”, changes provisions relating to carrying weapons within certain school safety zones and at school functions.
Sam Olen’s FAQ – Can a person with a weapons carry license carry a weapon at a school?

“Both House Bill 60 and House Bill 826 addressed this question in amendments to 0. C. G.A. § 16-11-127.1 The provisions are in conflict. House Bill 60 was signed by the Governor after House Bill 826 and is the later enactment, so the provisions of House Bill 60 control. Therefore, there is a general prohibition against carrying weapons in a school safety zone (which includes the real property or buildings of public or private elementary schools, secondary schools, technical schools, vocational schools, colleges, or universities); however, a person who possesses a weapons carry license may have a weapon when carrying or picking up a student and may have a weapon in a vehicle that is in transit through or parked within a school safety zone.”

Last month Governor Deal released a statement backing up Olens’ stance on the issue.

“During the bill signing period, I was presented with two pieces of legislation regarding the Second Amendment rights of Georgians who have gone through a background check to legally obtain a Georgia Weapons Carry License. While in the review process, it came to my attention that the two bills contained many overlapping provisions. I sought the opinions of the legislative counsel and my executive counsel regarding the possible legal conflict. I signed HB 60 after HB 826 to ensure the major substantive provisions in HB 60 became law. In doing so, any contradicting language was conflicted out in favor of the last bill signed.”

DeKalb Schools’ Student Handbook prohibits students from carrying various weapons. There is currently no board policy addressing licensed Gun Toting Soccer Moms.

Health Care Coverage for Teachers

In April 2014 the Department of Community Health announced a new plan where the more than 650,000 teachers, state employees and their families will be getting more health care options. TRAGIC (Teachers Rally to Advocate for Georgia Insurance Choices) responded saying, “While we are pleased the Department of Community Health has offered choices for 2015, these choices are just as unaffordable as last year!” Here are the 2015 monthly premiums for the State Health Benefit Plan:
2015 State Health Benefit Plan
State Senator Fran Millar’s Response

2007 – Two of every five people covered by the State Health Benefit Plan were enrolled in the HMO.  Premiums for the HMO were $147/month for “YOU + FAMILY”.
2011 – The HMO as well as the HRA and a high-deductible health plan, together were headed toward an $800 million deficit.
2013 – In hopes of saving about $200 million annually, the state limited the number of companies managing the main health care program to one, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia.
2014 Monthly Premiums State Health Benefit Plan
2014 State Health Benefit Plan
January 2014 – Ashley Cline, the wife of a Cherokee County teacher, acquires 9000 Facebook friends and founded Teachers Rally Against Georgia Insurance Charges, or TRAGIC, as a protest against the State Health Benefit Plan insurance options.
April 2014 – The Department of Community Health announced a new plan where the more than 650,000 teachers, state employees and their families will be getting more health care options.
August 2014 – The state Department of Community Health’s board approves new plans and rates for 2015.
August 2014 – TRAGIC says its analysis of the new plan shows insurance premiums for many will skyrocket next year. Premiums could jump up to 180 percent for some if they move to new plans offered under the coverage, the group says.

People often ask what board members pay for health coverage if anything at all. Here are the 2015 rates for board members.
2015 State Health Benefit Plan