|SB 604 Update: Child Abuse & Neglect – Training|
NPAM does not support SB 607
3/26: the HGO committee heard SB 607 (Senator Shank) – Child Abuse & Neglect – Training. The only supporters of the legislation were the Senator, MD Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MCASA) and Advocates for Children & Youth who sent their law student intern to testify. The opposition consisted of the Health Occs Board – Physicians, Nursing, Psychology, LCPCs and Dentistry. Several professional associations were also in opposition: Dentists, MNA, MedChi, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, PTs, and of course NPAM.
Right off the bat, Senator Shank used some testimony from the Senate to spin into commentary that suggested that "the laws are so confusing, no one know what to report…and there isn’t any training to tell us so.” The other two supporting organizations focused their testimony on the duty to report child abuse/neglect which is not part of the bill – the bill, as amended, solely address training.
The associations were called first out of order from the Boards, so we focused our testimony on the following areas:
Delegate Morhaim asked several rhetorical questions to the Sponsor and to the Boards regarding the difference between teachers who are mandated to have this training because they have children in their presence and under their supervision 30-40 hours/week compared to many health care providers who may treat children for short periods of time – even in fleeting moments at times. He also talked about 20-30 years ago there was a push to mandate other training in areas such as AIDS, anthrax, fetal alcohol syndrome, and various other cultural competencies that would lead to providers being in training classes every week of the year.
With all of that said, I don’t believe the bill will be moving. I was not present after the hearing, but was told this morning that Delegate Bonnie Cullison told the Boards that they did a good job in explaining the issue and that Dan Morhaim complimented the Boards and the other Associations who were still around afterwards that he was opposed to the bill and was "with us.” I believe that the Chairman will put the bill into subcommittee where we can kill it so the committee doesn’t have to take a full vote.
I will keep everyone posted on any updates to this bill if something should arise. Big thank you to Sandi and Adele for arming me with information on national CEU requirements for NPs!
More updates to come on other bills this week!