AzPHA Public Health Policy Update: February 14, 2018

The Legislative Committees are in full swing and agendas are full.  Several of the priority public health bills have been successful so far, but there’s a long way to go still. 

Last week the following bills passed their house of origin and will be going over to the other chamber:

HB 2038 Drug overdose review teams; records                

HB 2071 Rear-facing car seats         

HB 2127 Children's health insurance program

HB 2208 Prohibition, photo enforcement (we’re against this one)

HB 2228 Annual waiver, applicability (tribes)

SB 1022 ADHS; homemade food products            

SB 1083 Schools; recess periods

 

Priorities for this Week

Our top Action priority this week is in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee Wednesday at 2 pm when SB 1445 AHCCCS Dental care, pregnant women will be heard along with SB 1245 Snap Benefit Match.  On Thursday in House Health HB 2389  Syringe access programs; authorization will be heard.

Remember to stay engaged and voice your opinion via the www.azleg.gov commenting system.  Click the following links for: Request to Speak account registration form; a Step-by-step use of the Request to Speak platform; and to Locate your Elected Officials

 

Wednesday

Senate Health and Human Services: 2pm

SB 1445 AHCCCS Dental care, pregnant women

This is a priority Bill for AzPHA.  It would provide oral health coverage for pregnant women who receive their health insurance coverage through AHCCCS.  The benefit would be limited to $1000 and could be used for other than emergency dental procedures (beginning October 1, 2017 all adult Medicaid members became eligible for up to $1000 in emergency dental services per year).  Lots of good public health reasons to support this one. 

Members of the committee are Nancy Barto, David Bradley, Kate Brophy McGee, Judy Burges, Rick Gray, Katie Hobbs, and Kimberly Yee.  You can contact these members directly by email (here is the list) and you can also sign in using the RTS system.

 

SB 1245 Snap Benefit Match

This Bill would appropriate $400K to ADES to develop the infrastructure for a produce incentive program within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for members to buy Arizona-grown fruits and vegetables.  It would also provide matching funds to SNAP-authorized vendors as an incentive to participate in the fruits and vegetable program.  We’ve signed up in support of this Bill.  It hasn’t been scheduled for a committee hearing yet.

 

SB 1394 Abortion reporting

This Bill would require the ADHS to collect and report additional data regarding abortions that are performed in AZ. The data would be collected and reported by providers and would include the reason for the abortion (economic, emotional health, physical health, whether the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest, or relationship issues etc.). 

Thursday

House Health Committee: 9 pm

HB 2389  Syringe access programs; authorization

Under this Bill, organizations in Arizona may establish and operate a needle exchange program.  Persons, employees and volunteers operating within the scope of the law may not be charged or prosecuted for their activities. It’s currently a felony to distribute needles to illegal drug users. While many people thought that this should be included in the Opioid Special Session, it was not.

We’ve signed up in support of this bill because this type of program is evidence-based and reduces the spread of bloodborne diseases as well as engaging in intravenous drug users into treatment.  Hearing is in the House Health Committee Thursday morning (2/15). 

 

Below are a list of the bills that we’re tracking and advocating for or against.  They’re in order of Bill number.  I included a colored comment to show where the bill is in the process.

 

House Bills

HB 2038 Drug overdose review teams; records                

Passed the House 57-0-2

Under this proposed Bill, law enforcement agencies would be required to provide unredacted reports to the chairperson of a local Drug Overdose Fatality Review Team on request.  All information and records acquired by a Team are confidential and not subject to subpoena, discovery or introduction into evidence in a civil or criminal proceeding or disciplinary action.  We’re signed up in support of this one.

 

HB 2064 Medical marijuana; packaging; labeling              

Hearing in House Commerce Committee Tuesday

This Bill proposes that medical marijuana dispensaries be prohibited from selling a marijuana product that’s packaged or labeled in a manner that’s "attractive to minors". Due to voter protection, this legislation requires the affirmative vote of at least 3/4 of the members of each house of the Legislature for passage.  We’re supporting this bill. It’s being Held right now by the Commerce Committee.

 

HB 2071 Rear-facing car seats         

Passed House 33-25-1

This Bill would require kids under 2 years old to be in a rear-facing restraint system unless the child weights at least 40 pounds or is at least 40 inches tall.  We’ve signed up in support of this bill.  This Bill cleared the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee last Wednesday.

 

HB 2084 Indoor tanning; minors; restricted use

Passed House Health, Waiting for Rules Committee

Under this proposal, tanning facility operators would be prohibited from allowing a person under 18 years of age to use a "tanning device". Tanning facilities are prohibited from advertising or distributing promotional materials that claim that using a tanning device is free from risk or will result in medical or health benefits. We’ve signed on in support of this. It received a Do Pass recommendation from the House Health Committee last week.

 

HB 2109 Tobacco possession; sale; age; signage                

Waiting on a Hearing in Commerce Committee

This Bill would prohibit furnishing a tobacco product to a person who is under 21 years of age. The definition of "tobacco product" is expanded to include "electronic smoking devices". We’ve signed up in support. It received a Do Pass recommendation from the House Health Committee two weeks ago but so far the Commerce chair hasn’t put it on the agenda.

 

HB 2127 Children's health insurance program

Passed House 46-12-1

This Bill removes the trigger that automatically freezes the KidsCare program if FMAP (the federal contribution) drops below 100%.  It allows the state to freeze it if costs are more than the state or federal allotment. The bill does not require the state to appropriate any money for a state share.  

We’ve signed up in support of this bill because it provides a pathway to keep KidsCare if the federal government drops its contribution level. 

 

HB 2197 Health professions, workforce data

Waiting for a Hearing in Rules Committee

This Bill would require AZ health licensing boards to collect certain data from applicants (beginning January 2020) to get better data about health professions workforce distribution and needs.  The data would be confidential.

 

HB 2208 Prohibition, photo enforcement

Passed the House 31-27-1

This Bill would prohibit cities and other jurisdictions from having photo enforcement of red light and speeding violations.  While nobody likes getting a ticket in the mail, the data suggest that photo enforcement saves lives and prevents injuries (especially red-light photo enforcement).  We’ve signed up in opposition to the bill.  This bill passed the House 31-27 last week and is moving on to the Senate.

 

HB 2222 Feminine hygiene products, requirements

Waiting for a Hearing in Rules Committee

This Bill would require the Arizona Department of Corrections to offer female inmates an unlimited supply of feminine hygiene products free of charge. We signed up in support, that the Bill received a Do Pass recommendation in committee (5-4).

 

HB 2228 Annual waiver, applicability

Passed the House 58-0-1

This Bill would direct AHCCCS to exempt tribes from their directed waiver requests to CMS asking permission to implement work requirements for some Medicaid members.  The recently submitted Waiver request includes an exemption for American Indians, however, this would place the exemption into statute.

 

HB 2324 Community health workers; voluntary certification

Waiting for a Hearing in the Rules Committee

This Bill is a top priority for us. It would charge the ADHS with developing a voluntary certification program for community health workers.  The Department rulemaking would include certification standards including qualifications, core competencies, and continuing education requirements. We’ve signed up in support of this bill.  It received a Do Pass recommendation from the House Health Committee last week.

This would be a very good week to reach out to your State Representatives and Senator and let them know you support this measure as it will go to a Floor vote soon.  You can find their contact information at www.azleg.gov.

 

HB 2348 Vehicle emission standards

Held in Energy and Natural Resources Committee

Existing AZ law requires Arizona vehicle emission standards to be consistent with federal law.  This Bill would require ADEQ to adopt the California clean air emission standards beginning on January 1, 2018.  It would just apply to the sales of new cars.

 

HB 2443  Medical services purchase, premiums

Waiting for a Hearing in the Health Committee- but not on agenda this week so it’s probably dead

The Bill would essentially allow Arizonans that don’t normally qualify for Medicaid to buy Medicaid health insurance.  It would ask AHCCCS to write the rules and regulations for the program including setting a premium that ensures people buying in would pay full freight.  If approved, it would allow people to buy in beginning on October 1, 2019. 

The bill is also contingent on CMS approval.  Here’s a link to a really good document that discusses the merits of a Medicaid buy-in system.  

 

Senate Bills

SB 1007  Motorcycle operation; riding between lanes          

Waiting for a Hearing in Transportation Committee

Under this proposal, motorcycle operators would no longer be prohibited from passing in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken and from operating a motorcycle between the lanes of traffic if they’re wearing a helmet.  We decided to take a position against this one in our Public Health Policy Committee last week. No action this week.

 

SB 1022    DHS; homemade food products            

Passed Senate 30-0

Under this Bill, ADHS would be required to establish an online registry of food preparers that are authorized to prepare "cottage food products" for commercial purposes. Registered food preparers would be required to renew the registration every three years. This is a sensible addition to the current cottage industry food law and we’ve signed up in support.

 

SB 1083 Schools; recess periods

Passed Senate 26-3-1

Under this Bill, district and charter schools would be required to provide at least 2 recess periods during the school day for pupils in grades K-5.  We’ve signed in support of this bill. 

 

SB 1245 Snap Benefit Match

To be heard in Senate HHS Wednesday

This Bill would appropriate $400K to ADES to develop the infrastructure for a produce incentive program within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for members to buy Arizona-grown fruits and vegetables.  It would also provide matching funds to SNAP-authorized vendors as an incentive to participate in the fruits and vegetable program.  We’ve signed up in support of this Bill. 

 

SB 1250 Food Producers, Ordinances

Failed 2-5 in Governance Committee

This Bill would make it clear that cities, towns and counties can’t restrict food producers including community gardens from producing food products with some exceptions and inspection authority.

 

SB 1261 Texting while driving

Passed Transportation Committee- awaiting Rules

This bill was introduced last week and would prohibit drivers from “using a portable wireless communication device to read, write, or send an electronic message while driving” (unless the car is stopped).  The first violation would be a petty offense with a fine between $25 and $99. 

 

SB 1377 Dental therapy, licensure, regulation

Passed HHS, Awaiting Education Committee

This Bill was introduced last week and would set up a new licensed class of dental professionals called a Dental Therapist.  Their scope of practice would be somewhat less than a DDS, but they could do some procedures like filling cavities. This has been a somewhat controversial bill as there are stakeholders of both sides that are quite passionate about their position on this Bill. 

 

SB 1394 Abortion reporting

To be heard in Senate HHS Wednesday

This Bill would require the ADHS to collect and report additional data regarding abortions that are performed in AZ. The data would be collected and reported by providers and would include the reason for the abortion (economic, emotional health, physical health, whether the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest, or relationship issues etc.).

 

SB 1420 medical marijuana; inspection; testing; appropriation

Passed Governance Committee 4-3, Waiting for Rules Committee

This Bill would require the ADHS to set up testing standards for medical marijuana and begin enforcing the standards beginning in 2019.  We’re supporting this legislation.  It received a Do Pass recommendation from the Senate Government Committee last week.

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