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Legislative Updates & Alerts

During the legislative session, MNAAP members receive bi-weekly legislative updates emailed to them from the chapter’s policy chair and lobbyist.

The 2019 session runs from Jan 8 to May 20.

March 11, 2019

MNAAP President-elect Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP, spoke at a House hearing on March 8 in support of a bill to fund education efforts about the health benefits of immunizations in communities with low rates of vaccination. The bill would target such efforts at both geographic areas with lower immunization rates, as well as for racial and ethnic communities with lower rates. The bill cleared the House HHS Policy Committee and was referred to the HHS Finance Committee.

Tobacco and nicotine control efforts at the Capitol took important steps in recent weeks. The most prominent effort – bipartisan legislation to raise the age at which individuals can purchase products containing tobacco and nicotine from 18 to 21 years of age – cleared its second committee stop in the House and its first in the Senate in recent weeks. Bills to extend the state’s clean indoor air protections to many other public spaces and provide state funding for tobacco and nicotine cessation services also advanced.

This is a summary only. To receive full legislative updates on a biweekly basis, you must be a member of MNAAP. The emails provide additional details about legislative issues that are not posted on our website and are for members only.

March 7, 2019

A bill to promote the benefits of immunization will be heard in the House Health and Human Services Policy Committee on Friday, March 8.

Please take 1 minute to contact your House member and urge them to support this effort to increase immunization rates. Our voice needs to be louder than those contacting legislators with anti-vaccine rhetoric.

In short, HF 1182 would provide funding to the Minnesota Department of Health and community-based organizations to promote the benefits of immunization for those communities most at risk. The education efforts would be focused upon geographic areas or populations experiencing or at risk of experiencing an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease.

Talking points:
  • Vaccines prevent serious illness and save lives. Yet misinformation about vaccines is all too common, leading many parents to opt out of vaccines and put children and others at risk.
  • States with more permissive vaccination laws, such as Minnesota, are at increased risk for outbreaks of vaccine-preventable disease.
  • Data from the Minnesota Department of Health shows that several communities and schools have high rates of non-medical exemptions. In Wadena County, for example, 13 percent of Kindergartners are entering school without required vaccinations.
  • Targeted education is needed to counter myths and falsehoods about vaccination, especially in communities with high rates of non-medical exemptions.

Please take 1 minute to contact your House member and urge him or her to support HF 1182. 

1. Enter your home address to find your MN House member: https://www.gis.leg.mn/iMaps/districts/

2. Send him or her a brief email using the language above. Feel free to personalize or modify. Copy debilzan@mnaap.org so we can track outreach.

Another option is a quick call saying, “I’m a constituent in your district and pediatrician calling to convey my support for HF 1182, a bill to help provide education to communities with low vaccination rates.”

 

 

February 25, 2019

Two important bills related to vaccines were introduced in recent days. One, a proposal authored by Sen. Chris Eaton (DFL – Brooklyn Center), would allow exemptions from immunizations required for school for medical contraindication only. In the House, Rep. Mike Freiberg (DFL – Golden Valley) submitted a bill to provide culturally appropriate education on the benefits of immunizations in communities with low vaccination rates.

Past MNAAP President Marilyn Peitso, MD, FAAP, testified in support of an effort to ban the use of so-called “conversion therapy.” The therapy, widely condemned by pediatricians, researchers, mental health practitioners, and others as a dangerous practice that can leave devastating impacts, particularly for youth, would be prohibited for minors under the legislation. The bill would also prohibit reimbursement for the therapy under Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare.

This is a summary only. To receive full legislative updates on a biweekly basis, you must be a member of MNAAP. The emails provide additional details about legislative issues that are not posted on our website and are for members only.

February 11, 2019

Legislation to prohibit the use of so-called “conversion therapy” has been introduced in recent weeks and is set for its first hearing on Feb. 13. The therapy would be prohibited for minors under a bill set to be heard in the House this week. MNAAP Past President Marilyn Peitso, MD, is scheduled to testify in support of the proposal.

A proposal to require most employers to offer paid leave in cases of serious illness of an employee or their family members cleared its first committee hurdle on Jan. 31. The bill extends this employer mandate to cover other circumstances, including childbirth or adoption, as well as other instances like deployment of military personnel.

This is a summary only. To receive full legislative updates on a biweekly basis, you must be a member of MNAAP. The emails provide additional details about legislative issues that are not posted on our website and are for members only.

January 28, 2019

MNAAP President-elect Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP, appeared before the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on January 24.  Committee Chair Sen. Michelle Benson issued the invitation to provide an update for committee members on an emerging issue in child health: the impact of screen time.  Dr. Berkowitz, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota, shared with the committee the latest research on screen time and children and adolescents, and shared with legislators how he discusses these issues with parents.

Tobacco control efforts took a big step forward in recent days with the introduction of bipartisan bills to raise the minimum age to purchase products containing nicotine from 18 to 21.  Almost two dozen communities and counties have already increased the age to purchase.  In addition, a bill to fund tobacco and nicotine cessation was dropped, as was legislation to extend the prohibition on the use of e-cigarettes indoors to all public spaces.  The bills have drawn a strong group of bipartisan authors in both the House and Senate.

This is a summary only. To receive full legislative updates on a biweekly basis, you must be a member of MNAAP. The emails provide additional details about legislative issues that are not posted on our website and are for members only.

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