Week of March 18, 2013
Tough News and Other Legislative Highlights
Tough news for nurse practitioners arrived this week. The Senate EHEA Committee held a voting session on 3/16 and voted down HB 747 - Rules of Interpretation (NP/PA Signature Bill). At the hearing that was held in February, the committee chair promised to set up a work group to discuss the issues further with the proponents and opponents of the bill. So it was a surprise that it was voted down without the promised work group. Because the bill died in the Senate, it was withdrawn by sponsor Shirley Nathan Pulliam in HGO.
The Naturopaths Licensure bill was also voted down along with the Midwives "Study" bill. A few scope of practice realted bills are still pending, but the legislature has not been able to come to consensus about most of these issues, so they are all unlikely to pass.
The Senate passed an amended SB 224:State Employee and Retiree Health and Welfare Benefits Program - Wellness Program , requiring the State to include a wellness program in the State Employee and Retiree Health and Welfare Benefits Program. The crossfiled bill, HB 391, passed the House.
This week we supported MNA on HB 1185 - Assault on a Health Provider, which would increase the fines for assaulting a health care provider. We're also still working on HB 1015 - Step Therapy but the carriers won't budge so this bill may need to come back next year. We'll keep you posted.
The Governor's Gun Control legislation has been dominating the committees overall with pressure to vote the bill and negotiations on the mental health provisions.