158th Edition

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158th EditionDecember 15, 2023

Federal Affairs

Government Funding Update 

The upcoming year is expected to be busy on Capitol Hill. The current Continuing Resolution passed before Thanksgiving, and funding the government at the FY23 level, is set to expire in the new year. The “laddered” 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 OGCA team is working closely with our partners on Capitol Hill to advocate against cuts to existing funding levels, for extending relief from the DSH cuts, and against controversial policy riders.   

Hospital Drug Payment Cuts 

On December 11, the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act (H.R. 5378) passed on the House floor with 320 bipartisan votes. This bill includes a provision that will alter reimbursement for drugs provided in a hospital outpatient setting. It also includes provisions focused on hospital price transparency. In the new year, the Senate is expected to consider a comprehensive healthcare package that includes these provisions. The OGCA team is working closely with our partners on the Hill to advocate against the proposed hospital outpatient department cuts.    

Congress targets Antisemitism on College Campuses  

On December 5, the House Committee on Education and Workforce held a widely-publicized hearing about the rise of antisemitism on college campuses. Since this hearing, Emory's federal affairs team has been on Capitol Hill working closely with our congressional delegation. We have shared President Fenves’ statements on this issue and discussed Emory’s commitment to freedom of speech and the safety of our students, faculty, and staff. 

Workforce Pell Act  

On December 6, Chairwoman Foxx (R-NC) and Ranking Member Scott (D-VA) introduced the Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act that would allow some students to receive a “Workforce Pell Grant” for any institution that meets certain eligibility requirements. The proposal would pay for the expansion of short-term Pell Grants by ending new federal student loans for students at schools, like Emory, that pay the net investment income excise tax (otherwise referred to as the Endowment Tax). Rep McBath spoke out about the negative impact this would have on Emory’s graduate students and is committed to working with Republican colleagues to remove this provision. This bill will next move to a House Floor vote and the OGCA team will continue to advocate for removal of this harmful pay-for. 


On December 6, the DETERRENT Act (H.R. 5933) passed the House 246 to 170. The DETERRENT Act would make several amendments to foreign gift and contract reporting requirements for institutions of higher education, notably by lowering the reporting threshold from $250,000 to $50,000 for some gifts and contracts. The DETERRENT Act also proposes modifications to Section 117 reporting, adds significant new reporting requirements, and requires that a waiver be obtained from the Department of Education for any contract with a country of concern. The OGCA team is working closely with the Association of American Universities to educate about the unintended consequences of this bill.

State Affairs

2023 Special Session Overview 

On November 29, the state affairs team joined the rest of the Georgia General Assembly back at the State Capitol for a special session. The special session was called upon by Governor Brian Kemp following a court ruling by U.S. District Judge Steve Jones striking down the previously submitted maps. The U.S. District Judge asked the General Assembly to redraw Georgia’s congressional and state district maps following the controversy of the 2021 maps.  

While the special session only lasted a week, three pieces of legislation were voted on. The first being House Bill 1EX, sponsored by Rob Leverett (R-Elberton). It was later named Act 3EX, the “Georgia House of Representatives Redistricting Act of 2023.” The second piece of legislation was Senate Bill 1EX, the “Georgia Senate Redistricting Act of 2023,” sponsored by Senator Shelly Echols (R-Gainesville). Additionally, the Senate passed Senate Bill 3EX, the “Georgia Congressional Redistricting Act of 2023,” also sponsored by Senator Shelly Echols (R-Gainesville). Respectively, the three pieces of legislation created redrawn maps to form the State House, State Senate, and Congressional districts based on the 2021 Census. After final passage, the maps were sent to the Governor’s office for signature. Next, the maps will appear before Judge Jones once again. 

Maternal Health Briefing 

On December 4, Emory hosted a luncheon briefing in the statehouse titled A Tipping Point: Challenges & Opportunities for Maternal Health Outcomes in GA. Ten legislators joined, as well as half a dozen senior legislative and agency staff. Dr. Ravi Thadhani (pictured on far right) and RSPH Dean Dani Fallin (pictured with blue jacket in the middle) were joined by a panel of experts from Emory, Mercer, and Morehouse. We look forward to partnering with legislators and state agencies, as well as advocating for policy initiatives in this critical healthcare area.

2024 State Session Preview 

On January 8, 2024, the Georgia General Assembly will convene for the legislative session. The state affairs team will be at the Capitol daily interacting with legislators and promoting Emory’s priorities and initiatives. We anticipate a full agenda of legislation, including, but not limited to Certificate of Need, rural healthcare, maternal mortality, workforce shortage, and artificial intelligence. The state session typically lasts around three months with 40 legislative days. The state affairs team will be following all legislation impacting Emory and will provide updates as the session progresses.

Community Affairs

EHH Open House and Ribbon-Cutting 

On December 7, Emory hosted an Open House and Ribbon Cutting to celebrate and unveil $11M in hospital renovations and improvements at Emory Hillandale Hospital. This funding was championed by DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond and approved by the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners in October of 2022. The event was attended by local elected officials, including DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond and other Emory leaders.

Voting Recap  

Emory once again hosted a DeKalb County voting location at the 1599 Clifton building for the 2023 Municipal Election in October, the Municipal General/Special Election in November, and the General/Special Election Runoff in December. During this time, this precinct processed almost 1000 votes. OGCA will partner with the Emory Votes Initiative and DeKalb County next year for the following Election Day and Advance Voting cycles.

CCP Holiday Party 

On December 6, Emory hosted the Clifton Community Partnership (CCP) Advisory Group for a holiday party in Convocation Hall. The event was well attended by community and neighborhood association leaders as well as elected DeKalb County officials. Info on the CCP can be found here: https://www.cliftoncommunitypartnership.org

Pictured above (from left to right) is Whitney McGinniss, DeKalb School Board District 2 Member and DeKalb District 2 Commissioner Michelle Long Spears.

Pictured above (from left to right) are State Representative Becky Evans with Claire-Anne Gutekunst, Board member of the Clairmont Heights Civic Association (CHCA) and Susan Finn, President of CHCA.

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