GEORGIA (WRBL) – Georgia state lawmakers wrapped up day five under the gold dome in Atlanta Monday. The city’s newest mayor, Andre Dickens, talked about cutting crime, reducing homelessness and finding ways to improve the state’s economy.

Besides education, lawmakers say healthcare forms the biggest chunk of the state budget. This session, lawmakers say they want to reduce high prescription drug costs, improve mental health funding, and expand telehealth.

Governor Brian Kemp also wants to add a million dollars to address rural doctor shortages, expand nursing programs, and add 136 residency spots in rural Georgia.

Lawmakers say the pandemic has made it tough on our frontline workers.

“We clearly need money in public health. We saw the disparities with COVID. We have to invest in our public system and the number one thing is to expand Medicaid,” said Democratic State Senator Jen Jordan.

Kemp said he wants to expand Medicaid coverage for new mothers from six months to 12 months of coverage, and he wants to provide a 10% provider rate increase for foster care and adoptions.

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