The political game in Georgia is more dynamic than ever. From local elected officials to state and federal government, we're facing complicated issues. On "Political Rewind," hosts Bill Nigut and Chase McGee take the time to break down these issues, speaking directly to Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver and other key decision-makers. Get caught up on what's happened in this fast-changing political world and look ahead to know what to expect.Tune in on GPB every Monday through Friday.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigates and reports what’s really going on in our local Georgia communities. They follow the real, fact-based news wherever the facts may lead, and uncover the truth, protect the public’s right to know and document our region’s moments, milestones and people. Rep. Oliver regularly contributes opinions to the AJC.You can read more here.
Mary Margaret Oliver, a Decatur Democrat and House co-sponsor, said immediately after the meeting that she believed that although more House-Senate talks were needed, that the bill was workable.
State Representatives Billy Mitchell (D-Stone Mountain), Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur) and Omari Crawford (D-Decatur) have introduced House Bill 794, which would remove the official designation of Stone Mountain Park as a Confederate Memorial.
Oliver said she was particularly focused on barriers for the workforce. A study that would have looked at ways to modernize the state’s licensing system was dropped from the bill, though senators say they propose to accomplish the same through a study committee.
Democratic State Rep. Billy Mitchell, whose district represents the park, Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur), and Rep. Omari Crawford (D-Decatur) introduced a bill Monday that would remove the official designation of Stone Mountain Park as a Confederate Memorial.
As Oliver stated, “I am a native of Georgia and DeKalb County, and Stone Mountain has been a part of all the stages of my life…The park is an important asset for our county and state and enjoys enormous popularity and use..."
The lead sponsors of HB 520 are Rep. Todd Jones, a South Forsyth Republican, and Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, a Decatur Democrat. The representatives say this is a full-circle solution for Georgia’s workforce issue; by not only bringing in more physicians, but also getting people the help they need in order to find employment and build a sustainable and independent life.
LISTEN: State Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver on legislation against transgender children and Georgia's mental health legislation.
The Georgia House is pushing forward a plan aimed at doing more to recruit mental health care workers, and finding ways to help people who bounce between hospitals, jails and homelessness.
“(This bill) is essential for us to move forward for the additional services and additional accountability the taxpayers of Georgia expect us to apply when we’re delivering service to families in crisis,” said Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, a Decatur Democrat and the bill’s other co-sponsor.
The bill would mandate the standardized terminology be proposed by December 1, 2023. It would create incentives to help grow the state’s workforce of licensed mental health and treatment providers, including expanding a student loan-forgiveness program for providers, and make it easier for state agencies to share information about patients in crisis.
Cosponsored by Reps. Todd Jones, R-South Forsyth, and Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Atlanta, the lengthy new bill aims to increase the size of the mental-health workforce in Georgia and make it easier for people who cycle between the streets, emergency rooms and jails to get the help they need.
A legislative panel on Tuesday approved a measure that would require landlords in Georgia to provide housing “fit for human habitation,” while backing off other changes to state law that tenant advocates said could undermine the effort to help renters.
“We know that workforce is the biggest challenge for mental health service providers and for families in crisis. This is true for businesses and all kinds of state, county and social service providers. The expansion of the loan forgiveness program and the need to address barriers in the licensing boards are very high priorities,” said Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, who also serves on the Behavioral Health Reform and Innovation Commission (BHRIC), which developed both bills.
"We need our licensing boards for our mental health professionals to be more responsive, to be more efficient and more part of the modern world of online services and online payments," Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver said.
A few pregnant women could get cash from Georgia’s government under a bill the state House approved Monday.
Democratic Reps. Michelle Au (D-Johns Creek) and Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur) dropped two of the gun storage bills. Yet they say no Republican has been willing to co-sponsor a bill requiring safe firearm storage. "That’s very frustrating," Oliver said.
State Sen. Elena Parent (D – Senate District 42) and state Reps. Becky Evans (D – Atlanta) and Mary Margaret Oliver (D – Decatur) held a legislative town hall on Sunday, Feb. 5, at Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church.
State Reps. Michelle Au, D-Johns Creek, and Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur, announced four pieces of legislation ranging from a proposal to institute a three-day waiting period to buy firearms to holding firearm owners responsible if a minor uses their firearm to threaten violence.
Georgia House Speaker Jon Burns announced a slate of committee leaders Tuesday that includes a new panel over health care policy and removes the Democrat who had overseen MARTA. Democratic Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver had been in charge of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Overview Committee, appointed two years ago by then-Speaker David Ralston in a sign of bipartisanship.
Broce also said DFCS has developed draft legislation to address the hoteling problem for lawmakers to consider this session. The issue has emerged as a top concern for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, including Sen. Blake Tillery, R- Vidalia, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur, a leader in the state’s mental health reform efforts.
“I fear the governor’s focus is too much on the national stage,” Democratic state Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver said. “I’m concerned he will not engage in the details of Georgia’s needs and our very diverse population.”
Rep. Margaret Mary Oliver, D-Decatur, wanted a joint committee to continue to explore potential reforms, but that proposal was nixed. “I would have liked the report to go further,” she said. “I think there’s work to do, and I think an intelligent, public discussion with the developers and with policymakers is necessary.”
Last year, the legislature passed a measure capping per-diem payments to directors of development authorities in counties with populations of 550,000 or more. However, a second bill sponsored by Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur, that would have given cities, counties, and school districts the right to participate in bond validation hearings failed to gain support.
The Dawgs won by 58 points, the largest win margin in College Football Playoff history. They're the first back-to-back national champs since Alabama pulled off the feat from 2011 to 2012. The Fulton County special grand jury has ended its investigation into 2020 election interference and the Legislature has officially set its calendar.
“The subcommittees and the commission members have worked hard since Sine Die and are pleased to bring forward significant new reform proposals. Many of the advocacy groups have been involved in this process and are excited about more progress— there is still lots to do,” Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, a Decatur Democrat who co-sponsored last year’s bill, said Friday.
State Representative Mary Margaret Oliver said a new proposal to raise that age in Georgia to 18 has come up in legislature several times in recent years.
State Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver on Speaker David Ralston and Speaker Nancy Pelosi's impacts on their respective chambers.
The governor has appointed the head of an influential behavioral health reform panel to lead the state agency responsible for Georgia’s safety net system for people with disabilities and behavioral health needs. State Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, a Decatur Democrat who co-sponsored last year’s bill, said Tanner’s background gives him a deep understanding of the problems straining the state’s system.
“He saw the reality that the House needed to be a leader for some level of moderation in the face of a Republican Party that has turned dramatically to the right,” said Mary Margaret Oliver, a Decatur Democrat who co-sponsored this year’s mental health bill and was one of Ralston’s warmest friends in the General Assembly.
“These deals are very complicated,” Rep. Margaret Mary Oliver, D-Decatur, a committee member, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We have to have greater transparency.”
Georgia State House representatives convened to elect a new House Speaker in November 2022 after Rep. David Ralston announced he'd step down from the role.
Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur), who helped Ralston pass the mental health package, said he honored pledges to talk about issues with Democrats. "We are in a terrible time of politics," she told Axios. Ralston, on the other hand, she said was "such an important, positive influence for the House. It's very sad."
“I’m grateful that the Zalik Foundation is reaching out to meet our critical needs and I look forward to more news from Children’s about intensive psychiatric services for children,” said Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur, a co-sponsor of a mental health reform bill approved by the Georgia General Assembly this year.
Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur, who co-sponsored the wide-ranging mental health parity legislation that became state law this year, said that for 10 years she has urged Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta do more to fill gaps in mental health system.
State Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur, a co-sponsor of a mental health reform bill approved by the Georgia General Assembly this year, said it’s not disputed that Georgia is at a crisis point when it comes to providing care for children whose lives are threatened by a mental health emergency.
“The state issues permitting in respect to agricultural waste,” said Georgia Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur, who serves on the House Science and Technology Committee and is a board member of the Altamaha Riverkeeper. Oliver noted there is currently an effort to set up Georgia’s first national park around the Ocmulgee River basin and that clean water would be essential to that effort.
In the upcoming legislative session next year, Oliver said legislators are hoping to address transportation challenges for mental health. In fact, that's a big drill down we're doing now in in our next phase is to understand what are the transportation issues, particularly at rural communities, but all communities face.
"I'm very happy with the response," said Georgia Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, a lead House sponsor of the bill. "Law enforcement recognize this approach could be of real assistance and I think it's safer for the mentally ill person in crisis, safer for the family and safer for the law enforcement officer."
"There are many conversations happening in many rooms about how Medicaid could be expanded in Georgia, regardless of who is elected governor," Democratic state House Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver confirmed to Axios. Talks are happening among Democrats and Republicans, she said, in a way that feels new.
Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur, introduced a bill last year giving cities, counties, and school districts the right to participate in bond validation hearings. However, the bill failed to gain traction in the House.
ATLANTA — Georgia is starting “the decade of mental health reforms,” Kevin Tanner, chairman of the state’s Behavioral Health Reform and Innovation Commission, said this week.
State Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur) supports a call for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to look into the DeKalb County Commission District 2 election, the race that required a hand count and resulted in a delayed certification of election results.
The Georgia House Democratic Caucus held a press conference Monday in which representatives – all women – decried the potential loss of abortion rights in Georgia and urged voters to support pro-choice candidates in upcoming elections.
Democratic Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, a long-time family law attorney in Decatur, said the new law was crafted to meet the court's suggestion.
Friday on Political Rewind: State Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver is a longtime Democratic elected official representing Decatur and the surrounding area. She was first elected to the Georgia House in 2003 and authored key bills, like the 2022 session's Mental Health Parity act.
Clapping and cheering could be heard in the Georgia General Assembly on March 30 as lawmakers passed the Mental Health Parity Act, which aims to improve mental health services in the state.
State Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, the Decatur Democrat who’s been a strong advocate for mandatory reporting, said the case showed the importance of quickly reporting child abuse. That is especially true, she said, when the children have special needs. “They are the children who are the most vulnerable,” Oliver said, citing factors including the difficulty some special needs children have with verbal communication and expressing themselves to investigators.
The bills from state Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur) follow a series of investigative reports by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News last summer that showed loose financial controls, mismanagement and improper per diem payments to some board members of the Development Authority of Fulton County.
Georgia state Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, a long-time Democratic lawmaker, surprised a lot of people when she applied for a committee chair position in the GOP-controlled House earlier this year.
There is very little transparency in the work of development authorities, and their accountability to citizens or other governments is weak, untested, or unknown. I invite a debate on these important policy questions.
Three state lawmakers attended the rally, including Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur, who told the crowd that elected officials have not adequately listened to disease survivors and family members.
Democratic state Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver will lead the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Overview Committee.
The package of bills recently pre-filed by state Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur) would give counties and school districts more agency in the often controversial processes.
“It is a tragedy. It is malpractice on the part of the state of Georgia, and on the counties,” said Mary Margaret Oliver, a Georgia Democratic lawmaker and former magistrate court judge. Oliver said substandard mental health care in jails must be tackled when lawmakers convene in January. “Jails are significantly the largest mental health facility in the state,” she said. “And we are not attending to the combination of mental illness, addiction, and significant physical health issues.”
Other states like New York have recently passed laws giving victims a limited window to sue for cases dating back decades ago. Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur, said Wednesday that Georgia should follow their lead. “We’ve got to get in line,” she said. “We are preventing victims from getting in that line without passing this bill.”
All four bills were authored by state Rep. Kimberly Alexander, D-Hiram. Trammell provided the second signature on each. Mary Margaret Oliver of Decatur, the ranking Democrat on the House Governmental Affairs Committee, which is overseeing the measure, provided the third signature.
“Georgia has to be part of the national discussion,” said Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, a Decatur Democrat. “We have the largest coal power plant in the United States of America in our state, and we know that there are issues of toxic coal ash residue reaching our wells. That is something that people care about, and we have a responsibility to protect our water sources.”
Georgia’s local jurisdictions jailed about 6,500 17-year-olds in Georgia in recent years, said state Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, citing data from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The information doesn’t say how long those 17-year olds stayed in adult jails before being released or whether they have since committed new crimes. It’s been a struggle getting local sheriff’s offices overseeing county jails to give her a full picture of what happens to jailed teens.
State Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver is one of the co-sponsors of HB 228, which would raise the age when children in Georgia can marry from 16 to 17.
Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver is one of the six House members to propose new legislation that would outlaw any symbols, monuments, memorials or other dedications to the Confederacy on public property – including the monument at Stone Mountain.