|June 5, 2017
Legislative Highlights of the Week
Except for the Appropriations Committee's work on the budget and fiscal notes and the Judiciary Committee's work on the "errors and omissions" bill, committee work has been completed. Now the action moves to the floors of the House and Senate, where many bills will pass or fail "under the hammer" (without floor debate), while other, more controversial matters will be debated and voted on by roll call. To check on how your legislators voted on any particular matter, you can check the roll call lists here.
Many bills have at least partially worked their way through the system. Last week the House narrowly passed an amended bill, LD 456, that would allow pharmacists to give adult vaccines on a statewide standing order, and childhood (11 to 18) boosters with a prescription. MMA, the Maine AAP, and other opponents argued that such a system would interfere with the pediatric health home and that children are not merely small adults--their reactions to vaccines can be quite different, both physiologically and psychologically. MMA has learned that the fiscal note on the House amendment shows a biennial cost to the State of almost $800,000. In the same day's session, the House even more narrowly defeated a bill, LD 572, that would include pharmacists in the definition of "health care providers." Several representatives who voted in favor of LD 456 voted against LD 572. Stay tuned for more developments as the bills make their way to the Senate.
A bill to repeal Maine's Certificate of Need law also failed in the House, as did LD 1556, a bill that would have required mandatory reporters to report to the DHHS any pregnant woman suspected of using controlled substances (whether legal or illegal, including MAT). MMA argued successfully that this bill would create a disincentive to obtaining essential prenatal care. The House also defeated a bill that would have fined communities if they failed to charge persons administered naloxone by public safety officials a second or subsequent time.
The bill that would remove physicians' exemption from jury service, LD 46, remains tabled in the Senate, as does LD 1108, which would restore the public health nursing system. MMA staff are actively lobbying both of those bills.< Previous Article | Next Article >
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