Political Rewind: Previewing mental health reform bill; DOJ investigates fake slate of electors
Lawmakers announced sweeping mental health reform during the 2022 General Assembly session on Jan. 26, 2022 inside the state Capitol. Credit: Riley Bunch, GPB News
Dr. Amy Steigerwalt — Professor of political science, Georgia State University
Ellen Eldridge — Health reporter, Georgia Public Broadcasting
Greg Bluestein — Politics reporter, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Leroy Chapman — Managing editor, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
1. The U.S. Department of Justice announces investigation into fraudulent slate of electors in Georgia's 2020 presidential election.
- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that, back in December 2020, Georgia Republicans gathered in secret in the state Capitol, assigning their own shadow slate of GOP electors in case Joe Biden's victory was overturned.
- There is a parallel DOJ investigation of Donald Trump and his allies into attempts to overturn the election.
- Joe Biden won the state of Georgia by approximately 12,000 votes.
- There are seven states where the DOJ is investigating the fake documents.
- The investigation of Georgia's slate of electors is unique because mainstream figures in the state GOP head are involved.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Greg Bluestein said the officials behind the fraudulent documentation are not fringe political figures, but prominent members of GOP state leadership.
2. A top Republican leader in the state's legislature reflects on the ongoing General Session, contentious primaries.
- An election year and contested primaries are driving state lawmakers toward wedge issues that appeal to their base.
- While he did not endorse Gov. Brian Kemp, Speaker Ralston continued his effusive praise of the sitting governor.
- He also questioned the rationale behind former Sen. David Perdue's decision to enter the gubernatorial race.
Speaker Ralston comments on unity within the party during a tough GOP primary.
3. Sweeping bipartisan omnibus bill on mental health announced today.
- HB 1013 is sponsored by Republican state Rep. Todd Jones and Democratic state Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver.
- The Parity Act of 2008 was already implemented federally. This legislation empowers the Insurance Commissioner to enforce the law in Georgia.
GPB's Ellen Eldridge reports the bill would allow Georgians to pay for mental health care in the same way that they pay for physical health care.
- Though Georgia recently improved its overall ranking on the latest Mental Health America report, the Peach State ranked 48 out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia for access to care.
- About 60% of young people experiencing mental health conditions do not receive services, according to Mental Health America.
Tomorrow on Political Rewind:
State Rep. David Wilkerson joins us to discuss mental health bills at the Capitol.
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