28 Feb 2020 Legislative Updates, Week 8
Just two weeks are left in the 2020 Legislative Session, and IDA is happy to report another “win!” After weeks of zealous advocacy by IDA Director of Governmental Affairs Ed Popcheff, dentistry was finally removed from HB 1008, the problematic licensure bill. As mentioned previously, the bill would have presented a danger to our current licensure system by requiring the Indiana State Board of Dentistry to issue dental licenses to potentially unqualified foreign and out-of-state applicants. See more information below.
HB 1008: Occupational Licensure Reciprocity
Status: Dentistry Removed from Bill
HB 1008 was heard yesterday morning in the Senate Commerce and Technology Committee, where Senator Mark Messmer introduced an amendment to the bill that exempted the board of dentistry and several other licensed professions. IDA Executive Director Doug Bush testified in favor of the amendment—and reiterated our initial position on the bill as one with potential threats to patient safety. After the introduction and passage of the amendment, the bill was voted out of Committee 8-1 and will continue onto the Senate for a voice vote as early as Monday. The IDA wants to thank everyone who took the time to contact their legislators about the dangers of the unamended bill—your voices were certainly heard!
SB 455: School Accreditation
This bill, originally introduced Senators Brian Buchanan and Dennis Kruse, addresses a variety of education matters and was recently amended to include allowing a school corporation to enter into an agreement to provide free, annual dental screenings to students and stipulates that the agreement: (1) must provide for a free, annual dental screening to be offered to each student enrolled in the school corporation in grade 1; and (2) may, at the election of the governing body, provide for a free, annual dental screening to be offered to each student enrolled in the school corporation in kindergarten through grade 12. The bill also provides that the parent or guardian of a child is responsible to the dentist or dental group for the cost of services other than a dental screening.
This last-minute amendment to an otherwise innocuous bill is a revival of HB 1149, which died early in session and required school corporations to enter agreements for dental care. SB 455 makes these agreements optional, not required, but we are working in conjunction with the ADA to modify the language of this bill to make it more dental- and patient-friendly.
HB 1006 and SB 1: Regulation of Tobacco Products
Status: Hearings next week
Both SB 1 and HB 1006 passed out of committee in the second house this week. The bills—high on the list of the governor’s priorities and a step in the right direction for public health—raise the legal age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21, triple the monetary penalties for retailers selling people who are underage, and revoke a tobacco license from repeat retail offenders. In addition, the bills prohibit a tobacco business from locating within 1,000 feet of a school (after June 30, 2020), and require a seller of tobacco products to verify the age of a purchaser who appears to be less than 30 years of age. Both bills are set to be heard in their respective full houses next week, and we will continue to update you on their progress.
The IDA thanks you for being an informed advocate for your profession. As we’ve seen with the amendment to HB 1008, your voice (and actions) really do matter.