2020 Legislative Updates, Week 9

2020 Legislative Updates, Week 9

The first two portions of session are over and we’ve gradually slid into “Conference Committee” time. During these two weeks, bills that received significant amendments in the second house are returned back to their author, who can file a “Motion to Dissent” if he or she disagrees with the changes to the bill. As a rule, before a bill can be signed into law, both houses of the legislature must agree on identical language and substance: The bills must “match.” After the original bill author has filed a “Motion to Dissent,” two members of both the House and Senate are assigned to a “Conference Committee,” which will discuss the changes to the bill at a set date and time. The meeting is attended by the bill author, two House representatives, two senators and a menagerie of special advisors. If representatives from both houses cannot agree on identical language, the uncompromising party can be replaced by house leadership until an agreeable party can be found—often considered a drastic measure.

HB 1008: Occupational Licensure Endorsement
As mentioned last week, HB 1008 was heard in the Senate Commerce and Technology Committee where Senator Mark Messmer introduced an amendment 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 bill was voted out of the Commerce and Technology Committee, HB 1008 passed unanimously out of the Senate. However, the original bill author, Representative Martin Carbaugh, filed a Motion to Dissent on Wednesday, and the bill will be heard in Conference Committee next week. We will continue to advocate on your behalf and alert you if anything changes.

HB 1004: Health matters
In the final days of this healthcare-heavy session, we are looking into HB 1004 and determining how any “surprise billing” provisions might affect our members. The bill has faced significant opposition from other healthcare sectors, and we are working in concert with them to make this bill as dental-friendly as possible.

SB 455: School Accreditation
Last week we alerted you to a potentially-problematic SB 455. The bill addressed various school accreditation and, at the last minute, added in language from the dead HB 1149 concerning dental screenings and the dental profession. The bill officially “died” this week when it was unable to get a third reading in the House. While the IDA favors health care improvements and increased access to care, especially in young children, this slapdash bill compilation posed significant liability on the dentists and failed to address the overall issue of payment and care.

The IDA thanks you for being an informed advocate for your profession. Keep an eye out for next week’s “2020 Legislative Recap” as session comes to a close!

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