04 Feb 2020 Legislative Updates, Weeks 4 and 5
The 2020 Legislative Session is well underway, and quickly reaching a critical point: the final votes on bills before they are “flipped” to the other house. (From the House to Senate, or the Senate to House.) The Legislature will not meet on Thursday as it transitions into the second half of session, resuming Monday, February 10. We’ve seen a lot of bill movement in the last few weeks and here’s where we stand now:
HB 1008: Occupational License Endorsement
Status: referred to Senate
While the IDA has taken a firm position against this bill, HB 1008 was voted out of both the Employment, Labor, and Pensions Committee and the House. The bill seeks to eliminate barriers to licensure for regulated professions, including dentistry. The bill, introduced by Representative Martin Carbaugh and coauthored by Representatives Robert Morris and Timothy Wesco, 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. HB 1008 has been referred to the Senate, where it will be carried by Senators Mark Messmer and Justin Busch.
HB 1067: Dental Hygienists
Status: referred to Senate
This dental hygienist “cleanup” bill, carried by our own Representative Dr. Dennis Zent, 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. The bill passed unanimously out of the Public Health Committee as well as the House and has been referred to the Senate for the second half of session, where Senator Jean Leising will sponsor the bill.
1110: Health Workforce Student Loan Repayment Program
Representative Ethan Manning’s bill would have created (1) the health workforce student loan repayment program, (2) the health workforce council, and (3) the health workforce student loan repayment program fund. The bill was assigned to the House Public Health Committee, but was never scheduled for a hearing. The IDA hopes to revisit this issue next session.
HB 1149: Dental Screenings and Services in Schools
This bill would have required each school corporation to enter into one or more agreements with one or more dentists or dental groups to: (1) provide a free, annual dental screening to each student enrolled in kindergarten through grade 12 in the school corporation; and (2) make comprehensive dental services available at each school in the school corporation for students in kindergarten through grade 12. The bill was referred to the Education Committee but was never scheduled for a hearing.
SB 41: Definition of Dentistry
This IDA-sponsored bill carried by Senator Merritt would have amended current language to more closely mirror that of the ADA. Specifically, the new language would have dictated that a person “practices dentistry if the person offers to diagnose, professes to diagnose, treats, or professes to treat any lesion or disease of the oral and maxillofacial region or associated and adjacent structures.” The bill was assigned to the Senate Health and Provider Services Committee but—even with the help of our many Contact Dentists—was unable to get a hearing. The IDA looks forward to continued efforts on this issue going forward.
SB 427: Provisional Occupational License
Status: likely referred to House.
This bill, authored by Senator Brian Buchanan and coauthored by Senator Mark Messmer, allows a person who is the spouse of an active duty member of the armed forces assigned to Indiana to be issued a provisional license for the regulated occupation at the same practice level allowed by the license held by the person in the other state. The bill originally was applicable to all out-of-state applicants, but was amended in Committee to limit the potential applicants to just military spouses. The bill has passed out of Committee and will likely be referred to the House during the second half of session.
There is still so much ahead: the second half of session should prove to be as tumultuous and rapidfire as the first. We will continue to update you on the status of these bills and any others that may become relevant. Thank you for being an informed advocate for your profession.