In this issue:
· UPDATE: IDPH’s 2015 policy package
· Tobacco Commission presentation to HHS this week
· Subcommittee attended to date
· Highlights for this week: Scheduled subcommittees
The Third and Fourth Weeks
Here are some highlights from the third and fourth week of the 86th General Assembly:
HSB 81 Underage Tanning Restrictions. A subcommittee of Representatives Rob Taylor, Timi Brown-Powers, and Stan Gustafson met on Tuesday, February 3. The bill passed out of the subcommittee and may now be taken up by the full House Human Resources Committee. The subcommittee indicated they would draft a similar medical exemption amendment as is intended for SF 40.
HF 31 African-Style Hair Braiding Licensure Exemption. A subcommittee of Representatives Dawn Pettengill, John Wills, and Deborah Berry met on Wednesday, February 4. The majority of the subcommittee members seemed supportive of the legislation however it was unclear as to whether or not it was passed out of subcommittee. There was a lengthy discussion on the pros and cons of exempting this style of hair braiding. There was emphasis on having a special credential to ensure that sanitation practices and Iowa law were part of the training for these professionals.
SF 80 Mammography Notifications (aka Dense Breast Tissue Notifications). A subcommittee of Senators Pam Jochum, Mary Jo Wilhelm, and Mark Segebart met on Wednesday, February 4. The bill passed out of the subcommittee and may now be taken up by the full Senate Human Resources Committee. It is on the Monday, February 9 agenda for the committee.
SSB 1068 Fantasy Sports Gaming. This bill passed out of the Senate State Government Committee on Wednesday, February 4 and may now be taken up by the full Senate Chamber.
HSB 47 Fantasy Sports Gaming. A subcommittee of Representatives Jake Highfill, John Wills, and Dennis Cohoon met for the second time on Thursday, February 5. The bill passed out of subcommittee however the Chair of the subcommittee, Representative Highfill, indicated he would continue to accept amendments. The bill is now eligible to be taken up by the full House State Government Committee.
HF 46 Occupational Regulations. A subcommittee of Representatives Jake Highfill, Todd Taylor, and Darrel Branhagen met on Thursday, February 5. The subcommittee declined to advance the bill at this time.
HF 109 Chemical Substance Abuse Monitoring Pilot Program. A subcommittee of Representatives Joel Fry, Rob Taylor, and Ruth Ann Gaines met on Thursday, February 5. The bill passed out of subcommittee however it was indicated that amendments would be drafted. The bill may now be taken up by the full House Human Resources Committee.
SSB 1109 Tobacco Legal Age to 19. A subcommittee of Senators Herman Quirmbach, Bob Dvorsky, and Jason Schultz met on Thursday, February 5. The bill passed out of the subcommittee and may now be taken up by the full Senate Education Committee.
SSB 1093 Prescription Authority for Psychologists. A subcommittee of Senators Joe Bolkcom, Amanda Ragan, and David Johnson met on Monday, February 9. The bill did not pass out of subcommittee at this time however the chair, Senator Bolkcom, indicated he was still interested in more discussion.
IDPH Legislative Package
IDPH has three bills for the 2015 session:
· Omnibus Bill: The IDPH Omnibus bill will consist of two main parts. The first is a request made by the Board of Hearing Aid Dispensers to change their professional name to “hearing aid specialists.” The bill makes this technical change where applicable in code. The second part proposes changes to IDPH’s Medical Residency Training Grants program in an effort to make the program more attractive to potential bidders, especially those who may wish to establish new residency programs. This legislation has been introduced in both chambers (HSB 83/SSB 1096) and has been referred to the respective Human Resources Committees. UPDATE: In the House, HSB 83 was taken up by the full Human Resources Committee. It passed the committee unanimously and may now be taken up by the full House Chamber. In the Senate, the subcommittee of Senators Mary Jo Wilhelm, Liz Mathis, and Mark Segebart met on Monday, February 2 to discuss SSB 1096. The subcommittee agreed to sign off on advancing the bill. SSB 1096 may now be taken up by the full Senate Human Resources Committee.
· Local Public Health Flexibility Bill: This bill will also consist of two parts. The first proposes changes to the process for merging local boards of health into district boards of health. A few years ago, two counties attempted a voluntary merger however there were several reasons that it was not accomplished. Some difficulties related to inflexible code requirements. The department is proposing to remove some of those requirements to enable counties consideration of this section of code as a practical option in organizing themselves. The second part of the bill makes significant changes to the Iowa Public Health Modernization Act that was established in 2009. It strikes language requiring a voluntary accreditation process at the state level, making way a more clear path to accreditation from the national Public Health Accreditation Board, removes references to the Iowa Public Health Standards, and merges the two councils that were established in 2009 under the Act. The newly merged council will continue to assist the department in evaluating the public health system in Iowa as a whole and make recommendations to the department and the state board of health.
This legislation has been introduced in both chambers (HSB 84/SSB 1039) and has been referred to the respective Human Resources Committees. UPDATE: In the House, the subcommittee of Representatives Rob Taylor, Ken Rizer, and Charlie McConkey met on Thursday, February 5 to discuss HSB 84. Representative Taylor indicated that he had additional questions before he would agree to advance the legislation out of subcommittee. He is the chair of the subcommittee and is in the position to make this decision. IDPH plans to continue working with the Representative regarding his concerns. In the Senate, the subcommittee of Senators Chaz Allen, Mary Jo Wilhelm, and Mark Segebart have scheduled a subcommittee for Tuesday, February 10 at 4:00 in the Senate Lobbyist Lounge.
· Iowa Health Information Network (IHIN) Transition.The third bill in the IDPH legislative package pertains to the IHIN that is administered by the IDPH Office of e-Health. The primary goal of the legislation is for IDPH to receive authorization to conduct a request for proposals (RFP) process to begin to transition the IHIN from a state government-led model of governance to a not-for-profit model of governance. In 2012, the legislature included a directive in Iowa Code Section 135.156Ffor the department to review various governance options for the IHIN and make recommendations. A not-for-profit model of governance continues the spirit of collaboration for an essential public good amongst the IHIN’s stakeholders while putting it in the position to respond to its customers’ needs with more urgency than what a state government-led model can provide.
The second goal for the bill is to resurrect the legislation that died last session to expand eligibility for the record locator service (aka query function) that the IHIN provides. The service is used to query participants (any entity that has signed a participation agreement with the Office of e-Health) in the IHIN for a patient’s health information. This service is useful for entities involved in care coordination efforts, especially insurance providers.
This legislation has been introduced in both chambers (HSB 100/SSB 1102) and have been referred to the respective Human Resources Committees. UPDATE: The subcommittee of Representatives Greg Forristall, Ken Rizer, and Timi Brown-Powers met on Thursday, February 5 to discuss HSB 100. The subcommittee agreed to sign off on advancing the bill. HSB 100 may now be taken up by the full House Human Resources Committee. In the Senate, the subcommittee of Senators Mary Jo Wilhelm, Amanda Ragan, and David Johnson also met on Thursday, February 5 to discuss SSB 1102. The subcommittee agreed to sign off on advancing the bill. SSB 1102 may now be taken up by the full Senate Human Resources Committee.
· IDPH Director Gerd Clabaugh was invited to introduce himself to the Senate Human Resources Committee on Wednesday, February 4. The committee asked him several questions on an array of topics. The committee has added his confirmation appointment to the agenda for their meeting on Monday, February 9 at 4:00 in room 22. They will vote on his confirmation at that time. The next step is the Senate Chamber floor should the committee vote in favor of his appointment.
Highlights for This Week
- The Health and Human Services Joint Appropriations Subcommittee has invited the Chair of the Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Commission, Chad Jessen. The presentation will be on the highlights of the Commission’s recent report on its 2014 activities. It will take place on Wednesday, February 11 at 10:00 in room 116. To view the Commission’s report please click here.
Subcommittees have been scheduled for the following bills. For more information please refer to the Senate list of scheduled subcommittees and the House list of scheduled subcommittees.
- SSB 1118 Use of funding for the Anatomical Gift Public Awareness/Transplantation Fund
- SSB 1130 Licensure of Polysomnographic Technicians
- SSB 1135 Sale of Fireworks
- Agency Reports. To review any report filed with the General Assembly by executive branch agencies, including IDPH, please click here.
- The Iowa General Assembly website is a great source of legislative information. The address is www.legis.iowa.gov. Take a few minutes to check out the wealth of resources available.