ED Legislative Update May 19 2015

SB234 – This is a lot of information about one Bill but it is of vital importance. It has passed the Senate and the House Health Committee.
Now the Bill will be voted on by the House and sent to the Governor, if passed. Budget debates (mainly over the General Fund) may delay a
vote, but we are hopeful that it will pass before the scheduled adjournment on June 15, 2015.
If passed in its present form, SB234 will change the composition of the Alabama Board of Nursing by adding one advanced practice nurse
and removing one slot dedicated to an RN. The Bill will also change the composition of the nominating committee that presents nominees for
appointment to the ABN by the Governor. The nominating committee will be comprised exclusively of two members of the Nurse Practitioner
Alliance of Alabama, two members of the Alabama Association of Nurse Anesthetists, two members of the Alabama State Nurses Association,
one member of the Alabama Organization of Nurse Executives and one member of the Birmingham Black Nurses Association. As in the past,
care will be taken to ensure representation from the fields of nursing education, nursing administration, clinical nursing and advanced practice
nursing. Any licensed professional nurse, regardless of membership in a professional organization may submit their names for consideration
to the nominating committee.
In SB234, the composition of the ABN shall be: five Licensed Professional Nurses (RNs), three Advanced Practice Nurses, four Licensed Practical
Nurses, and one consumer. The consumer cannot be a member of any of the healthcare professions presently or formerly and have any
financial interest in a healthcare related business.
If we had more time, ASNA believes even a better balance could have been achieved in SB234. However, the present Bill is the result of
organizations that represent nurses of all specialties working together to reach a consensus. When nurse leaders across specialties and
educational levels work together it is always a plus. Alabama Nurses…90,000 Strong!
SB95 – Creates a Council on Palliative Care that reports to the Department of Public Health. This Bill has little opposition and will most likely
pass. If you are interested in palliative care, pay attention. They will be looking for people to serve.
SB125 – Improves licensure portability for physicians who wish to practice in more than one state. It passed Tuesday.
HB500 – Relates to data collection mandate for state health planning. The Bill, sponsored by April Weaver, passed the House Thursday and
has now moved to the Senate for consideration.
SB357 – Gives terminally ill patients more access to experimental treatments. The Bill, sponsored by Senator Ward, is on its way to passage.
SB365 – Concerns making it a crime to purchase, possess or sell powdered alcohol. Abuse of this substance has been on the rise and is
extremely dangerous. The Bill, sponsored by Senator Figures, is on track for passage.
There are other Bills that relate to healthcare or issues of interest but there is one giant issue that overshadows them all, the budget!
The news media has covered the draconian cuts eminent for the General Fund Budget for weeks along with possible solutions such as
expanding casino gambling, cigarette taxes, consolidation of more agencies, and (as usual) reducing state employee levels by another 1,000
jobs. Here’s the bottom line for healthcare. The current proposed budget cuts would reduce federal matching funds and hurt healthcare
delivery to the poor and underprivileged. Big time! Medicaid cuts of approximately $35 million with the federal two to one match results in
a loss of $105 million to the poor. The same is true for the mental health system both state and community providers would cut all services
to over 20,000 people! There will be cuts for Children’s Services, Senior Services, and the Department of Human Resources (dozens of
services for health and wellbeing of disenfranchised children and adults). Some are concerned about the possibility of making hospitals
contribute $50 million from the hospital assessment program to Medicaid for non-hospital programs. In short, the state is broke. Whatever
your views please let your voice be heard. Contact legislators now. You have days…not weeks to speak out for what you believe.
Contact Alabama House members – click link - http://www.legislature.state.al.us/aliswww/Representatives.aspx
Contact Alabama Senate members – click link - http://www.legislature.state.al.us/aliswww/Senators.aspx
Contact ASNA Office – Dr. John Ziegler, Executive Director, [email protected]