Week four of the 2022 legislative session has concluded, with several new bills dropped. Medical Cannabis continues to work its way through the legislative process with no major hurdles thus far as much brought up by the healthcare community have been addressed.
The number of anti-vaccination bills have increased with 9 introduced this year. A few are attacking only COVID vaccinations while others attack all vaccinations. None of the bills have received a committee hearing, but we anticipate those to be taken up in committee beginning next week. Governor Noem has also introduced an anti-covid vaccination bill, SB 211. The Governor’s office has worked closely with the healthcare community to address concerns and exemptions. We will continue to monitor all vaccination bills and provide a voice as needed.
Two companion bills that will expand Medicaid in South Dakota have been introduced. The first, SB 102, is the funding measure that creates a Medicaid expansion fund from monies received from the federal government through a temporary increase in the federal medical assistance percentage, as authorized by the American Rescue Plan. Those funds will be used to cover current and future Medicaid costs, which will be around $150 million dollars. If passed, the bill also states that whether Medicaid expansion is passed by the legislature this session or on the ballot this fall, those funds will be kept in the trust fund to pay for Medicaid expansion. SB 168 is the actual act to expand Medicaid expansion in our state.
Two bills have been introduced addressing nursing home visitation policies. HB 1283 will require the posting of laws regarding hospital and nursing facility visitation. The other is HB 1180, which will permit designated visitors in nursing facilities’ The SDAHO Advocacy is keeping a close eye on both measures.
HB 1123, was approved by lawmakers this week, it establishes licensure for rural emergency hospitals. Member of the House of Representatives unanimously agreed to HB 1086, which will provide for the redistribution of donated prescription drugs and medical supplies. Wednesday of this week was the last day an individual lawmaker could file a bill, which means we don’t anticipate any new legislation. This year 551 bills have been filed. SDAHO is currently tracking 131 of those bills.
For the most up-to-date details on bills impacting healthcare communities, visit the SDAHO Bill Tracker.