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Gainesville lawmakers to work on health care, construction committees
Hawkins, Dunahoo appointed by House Speaker David Ralston
Lee Hawkins

Gainesville’s state representatives have landed seats on committees studying Georgia health care and construction.

Rep. Lee Hawkins has been appointed to the House Study Committee on Georgian’s Barriers to Access to Adequate Health Care, and Rep. Emory Dunahoo was appointed to the House Study Committee on State and Local Construction Management.

Both are Republicans, and the appointments were made by Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge.

Hawkins’ committee will study how to improve health outcomes for Georgians with chronic and mental illnesses. It was created by House Resolution 240, which names severe asthma, HIV, adult obesity, mental illness and vaccine-preventable diseases such as shingles, measles and mumps as being of particular concern.

The bill notes that “disparities in health outcomes are increasingly costly to the state, financially and socially, but are in large part preventable.”

Hawkins, a dentist, will work with four other representatives and a team of doctors to research whether Georgia’s Medicaid program and its state health benefit plans are effectively treating and preventing these diseases and conditions.

The committee is chaired by Rep. Sharon Cooper, R-Marietta.

Dunahoo, a businessman in the poultry industry, and his committee will study private sector construction management methods and how they can be applied to the state.

The committee was created by House Resolution 284 and includes seven representatives and officials of Georgia’s public school and university systems. It’s led by Rep. Dominic LaRiccia, R-Douglas.

Both committees have until Dec. 1 to publish their reports. The appointments were announced on Friday.