Week 5 of the 2022 South Dakota Legislative session has concluded with activity beginning to pick up in both committee hearings and the House and Senate Floor. Governor Noem’s recommendation for a 6% increase to Medicaid providers is holding solid with no indications of that changing. Also holding solid are the requested changes made to the many medical marijuana bills with little to no push back from either Senators or Representatives.
A few key issues from this past week: A residency program for psychologists in South Dakota. Currently South Dakota psychology students must do their residency out of state. HB 1244 will create a psychology residency program, allowing those students to stay in South Dakota. Members of the Senate Joint Appropriations committee approved to SB 55 which will appropriate funds for the expansion of broadband infrastructure, which will be beneficial in expanding our telehealth needs across the state. Another bill approved by lawmakers, SB 65, will delineate uses for the South Dakota housing opportunity fund. SDAHO supports this bill as it will help our state’s housing crisis and will benefit workforce needs.
Medicaid expansion saw positive movement this week in the form of SB 102 which is the funding mechanism. The measure passed out of committee and the senate floor. It will provide for the receipt of monies received as a result of expanding Medicaid eligibility. The second measure SB 186 will have its first hearing next week in the Senate Health and Human Services committee. We are keeping a close eye on both measures.
Governor Kristi Noem brought SB 211. It will provide statutory COVID-19 vaccine exemptions and if signed by the Governor will go into effect immediately. The measure was successfully amended. The original language indicated an employee seeking a medical exemption needed a signature from a physician, the new language now indicates that signature can come from a medical professional. Also added to the bill, a section that states a medical professional does not have to provide a medical exemption certificate or order an antibody test. Also amended, was a section indicating that the new law would not include a health care provider, facility, or supplier if compliance would result in a violation of regulations issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services or the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The measure passed out of committee 8 to 1 as amended.
HB 1267 was approved by lawmakers this week. It will allow certain medical professionals to dispense ivermectin to persons with or without a prescription. SDAHO CEO Tim Rave spoke in opposition of the measure. Hear his testimony in the video below.
To stay on top of all the measures SDAHO is tracking, visit our Bill Tracker, there you will find the latest updates.