2020 Legislative Updates, Week 7

2020 Legislative Updates, Week 7

It’s been quite a busy week. On Monday, the IDA hosted the annual Dental Day at the Capitol, an event attended by over 150 dentists and dental students. The event educates and trains current and future dentists about the importance of advocating for the profession, and even includes a visit to the statehouse. This year, several of our attendees got a chance to meet and take a photo with the governor, and others were able to meet with their representative to discuss important legislation. The IDA would like to thank all who participated this year, and we look forward to reviewing your feedback on the event and improving the structure going forward.

On Thursday, the IDA-sponsored HB 1067 passed out of the second house, and is now headed for the governor’s desk. (Talk about a busy week!) As the session winds to a close, we will continue to update you on the progress of relevant bills and we look forward to any suggestions you might have about future legislation.

HB 1067: Dental Hygienists
HB 1067 passed out of the Senate yesterday by a unanimous vote. The bill clarifies under what circumstances hygienists and assistants can administer nitrous oxide, restates restrictions on use of a laser by a dental hygienist, and provides that a dental hygienist may administer topical local dental anesthetics, other than nitrous oxide or similar analgesics, without supervision. This bill is a result of diligent work amongst the IDA, the IDHA, and the Indiana Society of Indiana Society of Anesthesiologists. We would like to thank Dr. Chuck Poland and Dr. John Roberts for testifying in support of the bill at committee and house hearings. Their direct engagement in the politics of their profession sets a great example for all IDA dentists, and we are very grateful to have such politically-engaged members.

HB 1006 and SB 1: Regulation of Tobacco Products
HB 1006 successfully passed out of the House and was assigned to the Senate Health and Provider Services Committee for the second half of session. The bill, originally brought by Representative Cindy Kirchhofer, now has over 30 co-authors and will be sponsored by Senator Ed Charbonneau in the Senate. HB 1006 raises the legal age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21, triples the monetary penalties for retailers selling people who are underage, and revokes a tobacco license from repeat retail offenders. In addition, the bill prohibits a tobacco business from locating within 1,000 feet of a school (after June 30, 2020), and requires a seller of tobacco products to verify the age of a purchaser who appears to be less than 30 years of age. As of this publication, HB 1006 is scheduled to be heard in committee on Wednesday February 26 at 9 a.m. The companion bill SB 1 (brought by Senator Ed Charbonneau) was heard in the House Public Health Committee on Wednesday but was never brought to a vote—here’s hoping HB 1006 is.

HB 1008: Occupational Licensure Endorsement
Our position on HB 1008 has not changed, but neither has the status of the bill. HB 1008 would eliminate barriers to licensure for regulated professions, including dentistry and would require a board to issue a license to an individual who: (1) is licensed in another state or jurisdiction in the regulated occupation; (2) has established residency; (3) has passed a substantially equivalent examination as determined by the appropriate board. The bill passed out of the House and was assigned to the Commerce and Technology Committee, but has yet to be scheduled for a hearing. We will continue to watch this bill and update you if anything changes.

With just three weeks left in the 2020 Legislative Session, there is still much to do and much to make sure doesn’t happen. As your action team down at the statehouse, we are grateful for the opportunity to represent the IDA and its members; especially those who are willing to advocate for their profession.

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