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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.

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.

January 15, 2019

The 2019 legislative session kicked off at noon on January 8, 2019. Thanks to a very strong showing by the DFL in the suburbs in the fall 2018 elections, the DFL gained control of the House of Representatives.  The DFL also maintained control of the governor’s office with former U.S. Rep. Tim Walz’s win, while the GOP held on to its single-seat majority in the state Senate.  The session’s biggest undertaking – crafting a biennial budget – will begin in earnest in the coming weeks.

With input from MNAAP committees, board members and leadership, and a comprehensive survey of MNAAP members, the MNAAP has selected four legislative priorities for the 2019 session. The four priorities include:

  • reducing gun violence
  • strengthening immunization laws
  • opposing the scheduled sunset of Minnesota’s provider tax
  • and advocating for increased access to behavioral health care.

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.

May 28, 2018

The 2018 legislative session stumbled across the finish line moments before midnight on Sunday, May 20, though much of the session’s work was voided when Gov. Dayton vetoed a supplemental budget bill and a proposal to align Minnesota’s tax code with federal law. The nearly 1,000-page funding bill was the result of countless hearings during the session. Dayton’s veto was not unexpected, as he made clear throughout the session that he would reject spending bills that included multiple subjects and policy provisions not affiliated with spending. The bill contained hundreds of smaller provisions, from opioid abuse and addiction to school-linked mental health funding to childhood trauma studies.

The MNAAP saw mixed results from the 2018 session. The chapter hosted a very successful Pediatrician’s Day at the Capitol, with more than 130 attendees making their case on behalf of child health. As is often the case in any given legislative session, the MNAAP spent significant time on issues that had not been anticipated to be a topic of action – specifically safe sleep requirements for licensed child care facilities. The MNAAP was also forced to unexpectedly defend against negative amendments related to the state’s vaccine laws. With the Legislature and governor unable to come to an agreement on the supplemental spending package or tax conformity, the 2018 session will be remembered primarily for inaction.

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.

May 7, 2018

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.

  • With few bills having been passed and major pieces yet to be sent to the Governor, legislators have spent long hours working to process bills related to taxes, some new spending, and a bonding proposal. The session is set to conclude no later than May 21. The end-of-session frenzy of legislating is often when negative amendments to larger bills are offered. The MNAAP will be closely monitoring action for possible threats to child health, including negative amendments related to vaccines, safe sleep, fireworks, and other issues. The Chapter continues to advocate for investments in pediatric mental health, early brain development, and health equity.
  • A number of bills to offer consumer protections related to pharmaceuticals continue to make steady progress. Bills to enhance a physician’s authority to override step therapy requirements recently cleared the Senate on a unanimous vote, as did a bill to bar health plans and PBMs from prohibiting pharmacists from sharing with patients that paying cash for a prescription may mean a lower price than using their insurance benefits.
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