This past Thursday wrapped up week 5 of the 2023 Legislative session, which saw many bills scheduled in their respective House and Senate committees. In total, 491 pieces of legislation were filed this session. Of those, SDAHO is monitoring on our Bill Tracker 103 bills, some of which are just waiting to be signed by the Governor while many have already been defeated.
As expected, this week we had to defend against an anti-vaccination bill, SB 130. The bill sponsor aimed to lessen the requirements for school vaccination immensely by providing an exemption based on philosophical beliefs, which would have made it possible to forego childhood immunization requirements for public school for about any reason. I’m happy to report that we were part of a collaborative effort to defeat the bill and send it to the 41st legislative day.
SDAHO staff were also busy supporting several bills, with each of them passing through their respective committee:
- HB 1162 – allows Narcan in businesses
- HB 1187 – provides 2 million dollars for pediatric cancer research
- SB 25 – provides funding for the healthcare recruitment programs
- SB 76 – expands licensure by endorsement
- SB 180 – allows flexibilities in authorizing living wills
- SB 204 – provides critical incident stress management to health care facility personnel
We also were invited to participate in the Joint Committee on Appropriations small workgroup on nursing home funding and methodology. While the group met, we helped to paint the tough financial picture our nursing home members are going through, and advocated for funding the new methodology at 100 percent, if funding is available. Next week the Joint Committee on Appropriations will have to set their general fund revenue targets, which is when we will know exactly how many additional ongoing dollars will be available for FY24.
As we look to week 6, we anticipate healthcare related legislation will continue pick up, as all bills will need to pass through their chamber of origin by February 22, known as crossover day. To take a closer look at all of the bills SDAHO is following, visit our advocacy page and click on the public bill tracker.