“Don’t cry over spilt milk.”
Rep. Bill Kennemer, co-carrier of SB 1A, the bill to disband Cover Oregon, quotes his mother.

News of the week

Senate Bill 1 A, the bill to disband Cover Oregon passed the House floor today and now goes to the Senate President, House Speaker and the Governor for their signatures.

Gov. Kate Brown will pick her successor as Secretary of State by March 6. People under consideration include Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum and House Majority Leader Val Hoyle.

 

Deadlines

February 25 was the deadline for legislators to submit bills to the Chief Clerk or the Secretary of the Senate. Over six hundred bill were introduced last week, brining the total to 2,434. Legislators also have priority bills to that they may introduce at any time during session. 

“White Coat Invasion” OMA Day at the Capitol, March 12, 2015

-Registration is still open.

The Oregon Medical Association is organizing a lobby day for physicians, PAs and students on March 12. You don’t need to be an OMA member to attend. It’s an opportunity to hear from legislative leaders, receive message training and to meet with your legislators. Appointments are being made now for people who have registered. Learn more at www.theOMA.org/Day

Bill hearings and other activities

HB 2754, which allows immunity for people who seek medical assistance for themselves or another person due to a drug-related overdose, is up for a hearing on March 4 in the House Judiciary Committee. This bill is sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Williamson. OCEP will testify in support.

HB 2948, which allows limited disclosure of health-related information to family members of a person in mental health crisis, will have a public hearing on March 6. This bill is sponsored by a bipartisan group of legislators. OCEP will testify in support.

SB 442, eliminating the non-medical exemption for school immunizations, is expected to be scheduled for a work session in the Senate Health Care Committee on March 9. This will be in lieu of an informational hearing, which has been canceled. 

The canceled hearing was slated to include testimony from Andrew Wakefield, a British former surgeon and researcher, known for a 1998 research paper claiming that the MMR vaccine might cause autism. The findings were later refuted. http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/health/2015/02/24/andrew-wakefield-vaccine-oregon/23967797/

 

Bills on the move

HB 2294, which would establish the Oregon Health Authority Information Technology Program — and support projects such as the Emergency Department Information Exchange — passed the House on February 23. It has been assigned to the Senate Health Care Committee. 

SB 153, clarifies the definition of “independent practice” for the purpose of insurance reimbursement for services provided by a licensed physician assistant or certified nurse practitioner. It passed the Senate Health Care Committee earlier this week, despite an “Other Funds” fiscal by a major insurer estimating it would cost them nearly two million dollars to comply with the pay parity law for NPs (HB 2902) which passed in 2013. The bill now heads to the Senate floor for a vote.

Thing to Know: What’s a Priority Bill?

A priority bill is a drafting request that legislators may submit to Legislative Counsel at any time during the 2015 session. Every member shall be entitled to five requests but they don’t have to use them all. Many members hold onto them throughout the session. Once a measure bearing a priority designation of the Legislative Counsel has been delivered to the member, they have three business days to submit it to for introduction.

For more information about the legislative process, please contact Katy King.

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