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Sheriff Brown provides notice on new state laws
Ezell Brown
Sheriff Ezell Brown

Editor's note:  Newton County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Cortney Morrison submitted this message to The Covington News, on the behalf of Sheriff Ezell Brown, to inform the public of newly enacted laws.

Sheriff Ezell Brown is very passionate, purposeful and profound in guaranteeing that personnel of the Sheriff’s Office, as well as the citizens of Newton County, are kept abreast of laws passed by the Georgia General Assembly each year that impact their lives. July 1 marked a new fiscal year for the State of Georgia, which meant that several new laws took effect. 

Sheriff Brown hereby publishes a number of those laws for the convenience of the citizens of Newton County, as well as his staff: 

House Bill 62: 

This bill was signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp. Under this new law, medical offices that conduct mammograms are now required to allow patients to know when their results show dense breast tissue, which may require additional testing. Additionally, this bill requires the mammogram results summary to include information regarding next steps and the reason for the notification.

The law also mandates the results summary should include details regarding the next steps and the reason for the notification. It was given the nickname “Margie’s Law” in recognition of Margie Singleton, a Savannah resident, who had a delayed diagnosis, possibly due to dense breast tissue. There is an excess of 30 states with this type of legislation currently in place.

Senate Bill 18:

This bill allows physicians to provide health care to a patient through a direct primary care agreement, without being subject to insurance regulations. A direct primary care agreement allows a patient to directly contract with a doctor without insurance. For example, one might pay a doctor a set amount for unlimited visits per month. This is generally used for primary care visits and would not be used for emergency visits. This is an alternative to insurance for some and could potentially assist in encouraging more physicians to practice medicine, particularly in rural areas of the state.

House Bill 217:

This bill exempts syringe services programs from civil and criminal liability for possession, distribution and exchange of hypodermic syringes and needles, regardless of knowledge of its drug-related use. 

House Bill 228:

This bill raises the minimum age for marriage to 17 years and limit the age difference to four years when a minor is involved. The current marriage age is 16 years.