With 148-6 vote, bill advances to Senate
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ATLANTA, GEORGIA (March 8, 2019) A bill to ban ambulance vendors from serving on Department of Public Health councils that direct emergency medical services across the state was approved by Georgia House of Representatives Thursday.
House Bill 264, which passed on a 148-6 margin, represents the most sweeping changes to the provision and delivery of emergency medical services across Georgia in decades. Specifically, the measure ends an ethics gap that allowed representatives of private ambulance providers to serve on regional taskforces that select service providers, a privileged position that unfairly stilted the market and frustrated genuine oversight and taxpayer accountability.
The Georgia Ambulance Transparency Project applauded the bill’s passage.
“After hearing from victims, the need to reform was crystal clear to the House, which voted by near unanimous margin to conform to national best practices for emergency medical services,” GATP spokeswoman Julianne Thompson said. “Ethics and transparency advocates, victims and taxpayers alike owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Representatives Bill Werkheiser and Terry England for their leadership in passing HB 264.”
The bill will now advance to the Senate.
The GATP and its coalition partners look forward to securing support in the Senate commensurate to the House, where the proposal was sponsored by the chair of the Industry and Labor Committee and was co-sponsored by the chairs of the Majority Caucus and the Appropriations and Ethics committees.