157th Edition

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157th EditionNovember 30, 2023

Federal Affairs

Government Funding 

A few days before federal funding was set to run out (November 17), both chambers of Congress overwhelmingly approved House Speaker Mike Johnson’s “laddered” continuing resolution proposal. The two-tiered stopgap funding bill (H.R. 6363) sets a January 19, 2024 deadline for Congress to pass the FY24 Agriculture-FDA, Energy and Water, Military Construction-VA, and Transportation-HUD bills, and a February 2, 2024 deadline for the remaining eight appropriations bills. The bill does not include supplemental funding, cuts to existing funding levels, or controversial policy riders.  

Looking ahead 

The following are a few policy areas the OGCA team is watching. Most concerning: penalty for the use of a continuing resolution in FY2024, codified in the Fiscal Responsibility Act, will take effect if appropriations bills are not enacted by January 1. The penalty would require reducing defense and nondefense funding levels by a 1% sequestration order to be issued on April 30, 2024.  

Other health-related deadlines are also fast approaching: 

  • The Medicaid federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) that was increased by COVID 2020 legislation will continue with a 1.5-point boost until December 31. 
  • A 3% bonus payment for physicians enacted in 2021 will decrease to 1.25% after December 31. Additionally, the qualifications for this bonus will become more stringent for providers after December 31. 
  • Seniors’ drug costs will be reduced on January 1 as the redesign of Medicare Part D begins. 

Congressional Reception 

On November 14, Emory hosted a Congressional Reception on Capitol Hill. Over 100 congressional and federal agency staff, as well as alumni, gathered; and Georgia Reps. Sanford Bishop and Mike Collins, as well as alumni Reps. Kathy Castor and Jeff Jackson, joined. Provost Ravi Bellamkonda updated our DC-based friends and supporters about the latest happenings at Emory. We appreciate the many Emory leaders that attended and helped to represent the good work taking place at Emory.

Pictured above are Provost Bellamkonda and Congressman Mike Collins.

Pictured here from left to right are Provost Bellamkonda, Congressman Sanford Bishop, and Cameron Taylor.

State Affairs

Special Session 

On November 29, the Georgia General Assembly gathered at the State Capitol for a special session. Governor Brian Kemp called the special session to redraw the legislative maps. The previously submitted state and congressional maps were struck down by a federal judge in October after he ruled that the maps violated the Voting Rights Act. Lawmakers have until December 8 to draw new maps that could significantly impact the narrow majority margin currently held by Republicans. Other matters that will be addressed during the special session are an extension of the gas tax suspension, and various appointments made by Governor Kemp since the legislature adjourned on March 30 earlier this year. 

Maternal Health Symposium 

On November 29, the Maternal Mortality and Morbidity working group hosted its first annual Maternal Health Symposium at Emory’s Conference Center Hotel. Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health was the keynote speaker.  

Evidence-Based Policymaking Class  

This semester Professor Matthew Gunning led Emory’s class: POLS 494 Evidence-Based Policymaking. The State Affairs team helped coordinate guest speakers, including Representative Mary Margaret Oliver, Senator Elena Parent, Governor Kemp’s Senior Policy Advisor, and a contract lobbyist. Part of a national network of faculty at colleges and universities in or near state capitol cities, the goal of the class is to enable students to gain practical knowledge of the legislative process. The students must work in teams aligned with one of the state legislative study committees formed at the end of the last legislative session. This year's class was tasked with Certificate of Need, Dual Enrollment, and Joint Tax Credit.

Community Affairs

On November 16, Emory’s own Swoop joined the mascots from Mercer University, Georgia State University, Agnes Scott College, Kennesaw State University, and the University of Georgia at a Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce breakfast. Here he is pictured with Alex Wan, Assistant VP of Community Affairs. 


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