We’ve completed the first quarter of the legislative session, but that is arguably the easiest. While committee work and floor action has definitely picked up, over the next few weeks, we will see exponential increases in action. Giddy Up!
The past week, we were in session Monday through Friday. This week, we are in session Monday-Thursday legislative days 11-14 respectively.
HB 1046 would allow APRNs and PAs to order home health for his/her patients.
As a reminder, all bills that were introduced last year remain viable for this year.
Legislators, on behalf of the office of the Governor, introduced a floury of legislation. HB 982 would require the State Workforce Development Board to identify and publish an annual High Demand Career List. HB 1015 would lower the income tax rate from the current 5.49% to 5.39% and continue to reduce the rate by .10 annually until the rate reaches 4.99%.
On behalf of the First Lady, Marty Kemp’s, emphasis on combating sex trafficking, SB370 was both introduced and passed the committee. The bill requires convenience stores and body art studios to post the state created sex trafficking sign in the locations. Finally, the bill places further requirements on massage therapy practices.
Understanding GAPA Reports,
Last year, We outlined why GAPA reports and or tracks certain pieces of legislation for you. As a recap, we filter legislation in the following ways:
1. Does it directly impact you? This could be legislation that allows you to practice at the top of your training like prescribing schedule IIs etc.
2. Could it be something we want to be included in? Some legislators are very good about including PAs in their definitions of ‘healthcare provider’ whereas others may just not have us top of mind. In legislation that could be helpful to you, like a tax credit, I try to make certain you are included
3. Could the legislation that is interesting to you as a practitioner? Might it be helpful to your practice? To your patients? or is it something that interests you that might provide you an extra reason to reach out to a legislator to talk about an issue and build a relationship.
For those interested, we thought we might take a moment and go over how to read a piece of legislation. Generally speaking, regular text that is not bolded is the current law. Anything you see that is underlined is new text being proposed. Anything you see struck out would be current law that is being proposed to be changed or eliminated.
“(12) ‘Retail tobacco store’ means a retail store utilized primarily for the sale of tobacco products or vapor products and accessories and in which the sale of other products is merely incidental.”
“(17) ‘Smoking or vaping area’ means a separately designated enclosed room which need not be entered by an employee in order to conduct business that is designated as a smoking or vaping area and, when so designated as a smoking or vaping area, shall not be construed as to deprive employees of a nonsmoking or nonvaping lounge, waiting area, or break room.”
“(19) ‘Vaping’ means the action or practice of inhaling and exhaling vapor or aerosol from nicotine or other substances from a vapor product. (20) ‘Vapor product’ has the same meaning as in Code Section 16-12-170.”
This is language out of a formerly proposed piece of legislation. Because of how new vaping is, the code hadn’t been updated to reflect vapor or vaping in many statutes. This part of the law deals with tobacco and smoking and clean indoor air. As you can see the legislator is proposing to add vaping to that law.