The Tenth Week
Here are some highlights from the week:
IDPH Legislative Package
•· Senate File 202 passed the Iowa Senate on Monday, March 18, by a vote of 48-0. Since the companion bill (HF 392) has passed out of a House Committee already, SF 202 will go directly to the list of bills eligible for debate in the full House Chamber. In other words, it will bypass the committee process in the House.
•· HF 392 will be debated next week. At least one amendment (H-1129) will be attached to the bill to amend the language in Division IV. This one has been agreed to by IDPH as a compromise.
•· To understand how a bill moves through the legislative process, click here.
Bills that Passed a Chamber
SF 419: Requires the parent or guardian of a child to be enrolled in a public or accredited nonpublic elementary school to ensure that the child is screened for vision impairment at least once before enrollment in kindergarten and again before enrollment in grade three. The bill does not prohibit a child from being enrolled if the screening is not conducted. This bill passed on March 18, by a vote of 44-4.
SF 395: This bill is a Department of Human Services (DHS), sponsored bill that addresses the child, adult, and family services under their purview. The Senate added amendment S-3029 that resurrects an amended version of SF 312. SF 312 widens the access to the Medicaid Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act option for women and, potentially, men who meet the eligibility requirements established for the IDPH Care for Yourself Program. The bill allows for a broader range of nonprofit organizations that pay for breast and cervical cancer screenings to be included in the process which provides increased access to treatment services through Medicaid. IDPH provides verification through the Care for Yourself Program of how a person’s screening was funded, if a person was diagnosed with a precancerous breast or cervical condition or cancer, and whether the person meets the eligibility requirements. If all are verified, the person may be eligible to be enrolled in the full Medicaid program for treatment services. This bill passed on March 18, by a vote of 48-0.
SF 346: Established an Emergency Management Services interim task force to be administered by IDPH. This bill passed on March 18 by a vote of 31-17, with one amendment to add an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner to the task force membership list. It has been introduced in the House Chamber and was referred to the House State Government Committee. A subcommittee has been assigned and includes Representatives Ralph Watts, Pat Grassley, and Sharon Steckman.
SF 204: Relates to the process that a person can use to voluntarily ban themselves from gambling facilities. Currently, Iowa’s self-exclusion option is for life.The first time a person considers self-exclusion, they will have the option of a ban for a five-year period or to ban themselves for life. After the first five years they will have the same options to consider. After the second five-year period is up, the only option the requestor will have is for life. This bill passed on March 19, by a vote of 46-2.
SF 366: Relates to radon education, prevention, and control in residential properties and school buildings in Iowa. This bill passed the Senate Chamber on March 20 by a vote of 37-19. Amendment S-3030 permits IDPH to retain fees charged to licensees that provide testing and mitigation in Iowa. The fees will be deposited into a Radon Education Fund that will enhance the current regulatory and educational responsibilities currently under the purview of the department.
SF 269: Directs IDPH to develop, administer and provide for state-level coordination of a comprehensive Alzheimer’s disease response strategy. IDPH is directed to establish an Alzheimer’s disease coordinator within the department and to convene a multidisciplinary advisory council. A Fiscal Note was published by the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency. To read it, please click here. There is a subsequent appropriation of approximately $140,000 to fund this initiative in the Senate HHS budget spreadsheet. To see the spreadsheet, please click here. This bill passed on March 19, by a vote of 42-8.It has been introduced in the House and referred to the House Human Resources Committee. A subcommittee has not been assigned as of this writing.
•· HF 486: A licensure bill that fixes language from the 2012 session for three professions that were added under the Board of Podiatry. The Governor also recommended funding of $28,000 for FY 2014 for the needed software updates in order to begin licensing these professionals as soon as is possible. The Senate has also included the funding in their current budget proposal. This bill passed the House on March 20 by a vote of 97-0.
Sent to the Governor
The following bills have passed both Chambers and will be sent to the Governor’s Office for his consideration:
- HF 549: Permits licensed pharmacists to administer immunizations and vaccinations if they have been trained according to rules that will be adopted by the Iowa Board of Pharmacy. The bill specifies certain requirements for the licensed pharmacist relating to demographics and limits the types of vaccines and immunizations that can be administered. This bill passed the Senate on March 13 by a vote of 49-0 and passed the House on March 18 by a vote of 98-0.
- HF 419: A DHS department bill that relates to mental health and disability services requirements. The bill passed the Senate on March 12 by a vote of 48-0 and passed the House on March 19 by a vote of 97-0.
- SF 347: Relates to evaluation results of certain criminal record checks of prospective health care employees by DHS. This bill passed the Senate on March 13 by a vote of 48-0 and passed the House on March 20 by a vote of 97-0.
•· On Thursday, March 14, the Senate members of the Health and Human Services (HHS) Joint Appropriations Subcommittee passed their budget spreadsheet out. To view the spreadsheet, please click here. The annual appropriations bill will begin in the Senate Chamber. The bill has not been introduced yet, but the numbers provide an indicator of what will be included in the bill once it is out.
•· The HHS provides appropriations to IDPH, the Department of Human Services, the Department on Aging, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Iowa Veterans Home. For more information on the membership and work of this subcommittee, please click here.
Highlights for the Eleventh Week
•· The House and Senate will continue to debate bills to get them passed out of their respective chambers and over to the next chamber. Slowly committee work will begin again in anticipation of the second funnel deadline of April 4.
Deborah H. Thompson, MPA
Policy Advisor & Healthiest State Initiative Coordinator | Iowa Department of Public Health
321 E. 12th St | Des Moines, IA 50319 | Office: 515-281-8960 Mobile: 515-240-0530| email@example.com
Promoting and Protecting the Health of Iowans