IDPH Legislative Update - February 17, 2014

20 Feb 2014 7:49 AM | Lara Marsh (Administrator)

In this issue:

·        Update: IDPH’s 2014 Legislative Package – Omnibus and dietetics bills advance!

·        Raw milk panel – Dr. Ann Garvey testifies

·        Public health tracking portal information sessions

·        Sports fantasy contests and alternative nicotine products bills advance

·        Subcommittees attended: Radon bill

·        Highlights for next week: First funnel deadline

 

The Fifth Week

Here are some highlights from the week:

 

IDPH Legislative Package

·        IDPH has three bills for the 2014 session:

·        UPDATE: HSB 528 is the Board of Dietetics bill. The change that the Iowa Board of Dietetics (under the IDPH Bureau of Professional Licensure) is proposing is consistent with the change in name from the American Dietetic Association (ADA) to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), and includes the reference to the name of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics credentialing agency, the Commission on Dietetic Registration. The bill is technical in nature and will have no impact on the current licensure process. The bill passed unanimously out of the House Human Resources Committee on February 12 and without amendments. It will receive a new number and will be eligible for floor debate in the House chamber.

 

·        SSB 3013 is the Senate companion bill to the Board of Dietetics bill. Senate Human Resources Committee unanimously on Wednesday, January 29 without amendments. The new bill number is SF 2083 and is eligible for debate on the Senate floor.

 

·        UPDATE: SSB 3014  is the IDPH Omnibus Bill passed unanimously out of the Senate Human Resources Committee on February 12. One large amendment was attached to the bill and the components come from outside stakeholders. There are three components. The first extends the sunset dates in the Iowa code for a safety net provider recruitment and retention program, a physician assistant mental health fellowship program, a nurse residency state matching grants program, a health care professional incentive payment program, and an Iowa Needs Nurses Now program. These programs have not received funding since they were established in 2009 and therefore, have never been implemented. The code language was set to expire on June 30, 2014 but the amendment pushes that date back to June 30, 2016. The second component codifies the Fulfilling Iowa’s Need for Dentists (FIND) program that is administered by Delta Dental of Iowa. This program receives an annual General Fund appropriation. The third component will fix a drafting error from a 2013 bill that updated the plumbing and mechanical licensing law.  In that legislation, a sheet metal journeyperson license was added as a new option.  The bill drafter inadvertently created a sheet metal master license as well, which was not the intent.  This amendment is agreed to by all industry partners. All of these components will be added to SSB 3014 that will receive a new bill number and be eligible for floor debate in the Senate chamber.

 

·        The third bill in the IDPH legislative package pertains to the Iowa Health Information Network (IHIN) that is administered by the IDPH Office of e-Health. The bill is proposing to expand eligibility for the query function service 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. Examples of when the service may be used include but are not limited to when the patient is unable to remember their full medical history or during an off-hour emergency. Each participant is vetted through a strict approval process before gaining access to the IHIN.

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UPDATE: HSB 526passed the full House Human Resources Committee unanimously on Thursday, February 6 and will now head to the full House Chamber for floor debate. HF 2187 is the updated bill number.

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UPDATE: In the Senate chamber, SSB 3042(the companion bill to HSB 526) has yet to advance the subcommittee level. The members last met on Thursday, January 30 and have yet to reconvene for more discussion. As of the writing, it appears unlikely that this bill will survive the first funnel deadline of February 21. However, we believe that if HF 2187 passes the House chamber, the Senate will review the bill again.

 

·        To understand how a bill moves through the legislative process, click here.

 

Other Highlights

        Raw Milk Panel Discussion. IDPH’s Dr. Ann Garvey is the State Public Health Veterinarian and Deputy State Epidemiologist. Dr. Garvey was invited to speak as part of a panel of experts assembled to educate lawmakers on the public health impact of the consumption of raw milk. Her assigned topic related to secondary infection and epidemiology and her comments can be read in the appendices of this publication. Other members on the panel included:

o   Dr. Russ Currier, the former Iowa Veterinary Epidemiologist now retired.

o   Dr. James A. Roth, Distinguished Professor at Iowa State University (ISU), and the Director for the Center for Food Security and Public Health

o   Dr. Leo Timms, a professor at ISU and an ISU Extension Dairy Specialist

o   Dr. James A. Merchant, a professor in the University of Iowa’s Department of Occupational and Environmental Health

o   Dr. Peter Wallace, Chair of the Johnson County Board of Health

o   Dr. Luis Castignini, Specialist in pediatric infectious disease medicine at Blank Children’s Health Center in Des Moines

o   Mrs. Mary McGonigle-Martin, mother of Chris Martin who became ill after consuming raw milk

 

All legislation (HSB 131 and HSB 634) that relate to the legalization of the sale of raw milk is considered unlikely to advance for this session.

 

·        Public Health Tracking Portal Presentations. IDPH’s Public Health Tracking Portal Team provided two information sessions for legislators and legislative staff on February 12 and 13. Each session was well-received and promoted the opportunity for policy-makers, in collaboration with their local community leaders, to use information collected by IDPH to promote and protect the health of Iowans.

 

·        SSB 3108authorizes the paying of awards and prizes to participants in fantasy sports contests. It classifies these contests as a game of skill and not a game of chance as defined by Iowa laws and regulations. The federal government also recognizes fantasy sports contests as a game of skill. The bill was unanimously passed out of the Senate State Government Committee on February 11. The new bill number is SF 2148.

 

·        HF 2109(formerly HSB 566) that relates to the regulation of alternative nicotine products and vapor products passed the House chamber on February 12 by a vote of 76-22. The bill defines “alternative nicotine products” and “vapor products” separately from cigarettes and tobacco products under Iowa Code Chapter 453A. It also prohibits the sale and use of these products to minors under the age of eighteen. There is still a debate present relating to the definitions provided for in the bill however proponents and opponents still agree on the age limitations. An amendment was accepted on the during the floor debate that is technical in nature.

 

Subcommittees attended:

·        HF 2152 requires regular testing of the levels of radon in school buildings by June 30, 2025 and provides for specified levels that trigger a second test and finally a radon mitigation plan to be implemented within one year. The House Education subcommittee members of Representatives Kevin Koester (chair), Cecil Dolecheck, and Ruth Ann Gaines met on Thursday, February 13. The members will recommend passage of the bill to the full committee with an amendment that establishes a school radon mitigation revolving loan program and appropriates $5.0 million for FY 2015. The amendment provides for a no-interest loan repayment program to assist schools in financing their mitigation costs. 

 

Highlights for Next Week:

·        First Funnel Deadline is Friday. This is the first major deadline for bills to continue moving through the legislative process. A bill must pass out of a full committee to be considered a live bill after February 21. There are exceptions to this rule but it is an attempt to begin to narrow the focus of the General Assembly’s work for this session. At least one version of all three of the bills in IDPH’s legislative package will survive the first funnel. To view the updated session timeline please click here.

 

Other Information

  • ·        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.

 

 

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| deborah.thompson@idph.iowa.gov

 

Promoting and Protecting the Health of Iowans