Mental Health Parity Law Signed by Georgian Leaders

Governor Brian P. Kemp, First Lady Marty Kemp and other Georgian leaders signed into law the Mental Health Parity Act, HB1013.

Release:

Governor Brian P. Kemp, joined by First Lady Marty Kemp and their three daughters, Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan, Speaker David Ralston, members of the House and Senate, and mental health advocates, signed Mental Health Parity Act (HB1013) in the law.

Please see his remarks at the bill signing ceremony below, and you can watch the full ceremony here.

Good morning and thank you all for joining us on this historic day.

Mr. Chairman, Lieutenant Governor, I want to thank you for those remarks, but especially for all the work you and your staff have done to bring this bill across the finish line.

I also want to thank the many organizations represented here today — who not only helped get this bill through and passed it — but who also provide the services and advocacy that have a very real and personal.

We are also honored to be joined by Attorney General Chris Carr, Chief Insurance Commissioner John King, Presiding Judge Michael Boggs of the Supreme Court of Georgia, Board members of the Department of Behavioral Health and developmental disabilities, including Lasa Joiner, and others.

Today has been a long time coming.

In 2019, when we created the Commission on Behavioral Health Reform and Innovation, this end result was exactly what we hoped for. In the years that followed, elected officials, advocates, industry experts, and caring moms and dads came together to toil away on what ultimately became this bill.

I would like to thank all those who are here with us today, and those who could not be with us, for their hard work well before the start of this session.

With the passage of HB 1013, President Ralston, Spiro Amburn, Lieutenant Governor Duncan, Macy McFall and all of their staff, Representatives Mary Margaret Oliver and Todd Jones, Senator Brian Strickland, Chairman Kevin Tanner of the Behavioral Health Reform & Innovation Commission, and all members of the General Assembly have truly made history.

Today we will fulfill President Ralston’s vision and that of so many others who have come together for this fulfillment to bring hope to the many families across Georgia who have a loved one suffering from a form of mental or behavioral challenge.

Today, we reaffirm to these families and individuals that they matter, that they are cared for and that their Georgian compatriots will no longer turn a blind eye to their struggle.

Today, we take the next step – a monumental step – towards a Georgia where every person receives the help they need to fight back and overcome the personal trials they may face.

Today, we make sure they don’t fight alone.

As Galatians 6:2 tells us, “Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ.”

As I said earlier, countless hours, years of research and policy discussions, and the hopes of tens of thousands of Georgians have been invested in the bill that now sits on this table.

Perhaps the greatest testament to the necessity of HB 1013, its importance and its transformative power is the fact that at a time of great political division, this legislation was passed with full bipartisan support. This unity is also a testament to the work done long before this session kicked off, creating something that has the support of all parties.

When Georgians come together, at the General Assembly and beyond, we can do truly great and remarkable things.

I said earlier that Speaker Ralston and the many men and women who worked on this bill and voted unanimously for it to pass have gone down in history.

And we are about to do more… Let’s sign this bill!

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