Legislative news -04/07/2015
It has been a few weeks since I let you know where things stand legislatively. To say that this is a disappointing session is an understatement. The fight over school funding coupled with a tight budget year means that budget targets have not yet been set. May 1 is looking less and less likely as the ending date of the legislative session.
A quick review of where things stand:
1. HF 600, the telemedicine parity bill died in the second funnel. Leadership in the House was reluctant to run the bill (there is no Senate companion) because of the pending court case on the use of telemedicine to distribute the abortion “day after” pill. That’s a week argument in our view and the medical community pushed hard to overcome it. However, the bill is now dead. It should be noted that the way in which the telemedicine bill was drafted allowed each board with oversight over a profession to individually determine their own rules about services and scope of practice with respect to telemedicine reimbursement. There may be some effort to put the language into a budget bill (if there ever is one) and in a scenario like that, the abortion issue becomes less problematic for the House.
2. The bill establishing a Medicaid transformation oversight committee died in the House. The Senate had previously passed the bill on a unanimous vote but the bill did not come out of the House Human Resources Committee. DHS was not necessarily opposed to the bill but raised strong concerns. So, that process will move forward without an oversight committee unless something shows up in a budget bill. DHS indicated that they had concerns with the scope of involvement of this committee so it is possible that something will be worked out and included in a budget bill.
3. Mental health services pilot project — Senator Quirmbach’s bill, introduced at the behest of the Area Education Agencies, remains in the Senate Appropriations Committee and is technically still alive for this legislative session. However, the funding side presents some challenges given the tight budget atmosphere.
Emily Piper | email@example.com
Piper Consulting Services
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