Update from Legislature March 2017:
NMSHA Weekly Legislative Report from Richard M. Romero and Sue Griffith
Reporting period: 03/06/2017 – 03/12/2017
Red print indicates new information since last update
Committee assignment abbreviations: S – Senate; H – House
Web Link to committees: http://nmlegis.gov/lcs/committees_standing.aspx
|HB 41 Alternative Level 3-B Teacher License Track||Rep. D. Roch, Rep. T. Salazar||Referred to House Education Committee (HEC), and House Labor and Economic Development Committee (HLEDC). Awaiting analysis from Legislative Finance Committee (LFC).
Passed HEC with a do pass recommendation 13-0. Sent to HLEDC.
LESC analysis: Provides for an alternative level 3-B licensure track for instructional support providers and establishes minimum salaries for alternative level 3-B licensed school principals or assistant school principals to be $50,000 multiplies by the applicable responsibility factor. Individuals affected include professionals licensed by PED as a school counselor, social worker, nurse, speech-language pathologist, physical therapist, psychologist, physical therapy assistant, occupational therapist assistant, recreational therapist, marriage and family therapist, interpreter for the deaf, or diagnostician. There was a vote on this bill in HLEDC but it has not been posted on the Legislative website as of 2/5/17. It did pass. Vote will be included in next update. The bill now moves to the House floor. Passed HLEDC on a 10-0 vote. Passed House Floor 61-0. Referred to Senate Education Committee (SEC), and Senate Finance Committee (SFC).
Passed SEC on an 8-0 vote.
Moved to SFC.
|HB 367 Autism Spectrum Disorder Health Coverage||Rep. E. Thomson||Referred to House Health and Human Services Committee (HHHC), and House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee (HCPAC). Awaiting analysis.
LFC analysis: House Bill 367 (HB 367) amends the Health Care Purchasing Act, New Mexico Insurance Code, Health Maintenance Organization Law, and the Nonprofit Health Care Plan Law to address private insurance coverage for persons diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
The changes to the current statutes within HB 367 include:
· removing age restrictions to expand insurance coverage to adults with ASD;
· removing deductibles and coinsurance costs that are less favorable than similar deductibles and coinsurance costs for individuals with physical illnesses;
· removing the annual cap of $36,000 per year and lifetime cap of $200,000 for ASD which is not applied to other coverages for physical illnesses; and
· revising laws to align ASD with the current definition in the Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association.
Passed HHHC on a 5-2 vote as amended. Moves to HCPAC.
|HB 403 Autism Spectrum Coverage Regardless of Age||Rep. E. Thomson||Referred to HHHC, and HAFC. Awaiting analysis.
LFC analysis: House Bill 403 refers to children and adults covered by Medicaid. Regarding those with a condition meeting the criteria for autism spectrum disorder contained in “any edition” of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Medicaid would be required to pay for services not subject to age restrictions, cost-sharing, or dollar limits. The services to be included, upon being prescribed by a treating physician according to a treatment plan:
· Screening for autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
· Speech therapy
· Occupational therapy
· Physical therapy
· Applied behavior analysis
Services could not be denied on the basis that they are habilitative or rehabilitative, but could be subject to some restrictions according to review of medical necessity and other general exclusions, and would not be required if the services were being provided by the schools through the federal Individuals with Disabilities Act.
The treatment plan specified must include diagnosis, treatment types with duration and frequency, anticipated goals of treatment, frequency with which the plan would be updated, and be signed by the physician.
Passed HHHC on a 6-0 vote. Moves to HAFC.
Passed HAFC on an 11-3 vote. Passed House Floor on a 45-13 vote.
|HM 4 NM Speech and Hearing Association||Rep. S. Williams-Stapleton||Introduced on Thursday, 1/19/17.
Passed House Floor on a 70-0 vote.
|HM 3 Better Hearing and Speech Month||Rep. S. Wiliams-Stapleton||Introduced on Thursday, 1/19/17.
Passed House Floor on a 70-0 vote.
|HM 37 Instructional Support Provider Testing||Rep. E. Thomson||Referred to HEC. The memorial requests the PED to support the testing of an alternative system to evaluate the performance of school based Instructional Support providers. Passed HEC on a 7-2 vote. Moves to the House Floor.|
|HM 51 Autism Spectrum Disorder Task force||Rep. E. Thomson||Referred to HEC. Passed HEC on a 9-0 vote.
LFC analysis: The House Education Committee amendment to House Memorial 51 adds New Mexico State University as participants in the task force and add its president as a receipt of a copy of the memorial.
Synopsis of Original Memorial
House Memorial 51 requests the University of New Mexico Center for Developmental and Disability (CDD) convene a task force to develop an action plan to meet the needs of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The memorial resolves the director of autism programs at UNM CDD include in the task force participants from the Department of Health, the Human Services Department; the Children, Youth and Families Department, the Public Education Department, the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, Centennial Care managed care organizations, the New Mexico Autism Society, the New Mexico Association for Behavior Analysis and Disability Rights of New Mexico. The task force is to present recommendations to the Legislative Health and Human Services Committee and the Legislative Finance Committee by November 30, 2017. Copies of the memorial are to be sent to the requested recipients.
Passed House Floor on a 48-0 vote.
|SB 399 Special Needs Education Professionals||Sen. L. Lopez||Referred to Senate Education Committee (SEC), and Senate Finance Committee (SFC). Makes an appropriation from the general fund to the PED to fund professional development for all teachers and school staff, including administration, school resource officers, education assistants, and substitute teachers to work effectively and meet the instructional needs of students identified with a learning disability, in the regular classroom.
Passed SEC on a 5-3 vote. Moves to SFC.
|SB 145 Health Profession Scope of Practice Committee||Sen. J. Candelaria||Referred to Senate Rules Committee (SRC), and Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC). This is the infamous Scope of Practice Bill that rears its ugly head every session. We are awaiting the official LFC analysis. We have visited with the sponsor and are offering an amendment which he agreed to consider. More later.
Scheduled for SRC on 2/20/17.
LFC analysis: Senate Bill 145 proposes to create a new “Scope of Practice Committee”, staffed by LCS and composed of eight members, four appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives, and four appointed by the Senate Committees’ Committee. The bill allows for proposals for changes in scope of practice to be submitted to the committee. The bill also mandates that the committee review all proposals and, after gathering data and receiving comments, and after appropriate public notice, summarize its findings in a report to the standing committee to which the legislation is referred.
Passed SRC on a 7-1 vote. Moves to SJC.
Passed SJC on a 6-2 vote. Passed Senate Floor on a 29-10 vote.
|SJM 2 Add Rett Syndrome to DD Waiver List||Sen. M. Padilla||Referred to SRC, and to Senate Public Affairs Committee (SPAC). A joint memorial requesting the Secretary of Health and the Secretary of Human Services to seek federal authority to add Rett Syndrome to the list of conditions that qualify individuals as medically eligible for the Medicaid Developmental Disabilities Home and Community Based Services Waiver (DD Waiver). Passed SRC 6-0. Moves to SPAC. Passed SPAC on a 7-0 vote. Moves to the Senate Floor.
Passed Senate Floor on a 35-0 vote. Referred to HHHC.
Scheduled for February 24th, 2017
Attending NMSHA Day will:
- Provide an opportunity to meet and talk with our state legislators.
- See the legislature in action.
- Get a bird’s eye view of the reading of the proclamation that February 24th is NMSHA Day.
- Provide information about our profession to people attending the events at the State Capitol.
- Meet with our lobbyists to discuss issues and bills related to speech, language and hearing.
We would love for you to attend this exciting event with us!
If you plan to attend, please let Krista Claflin know!
NMSHA hosts a NMSHA Day at the Legislature every year. It’s a great opportunity for your legislators to see who you are and hear about legislative issues that are important to you as a Speech-Language Pathologist or Audiologist. Please plan now to join us for NMSHA Day 2017!
Becoming a Legislative Advocate in the State of New Mexico
Many today seem to feel as though their voice does not count and so they fail to use what voice they have. Recognize that when you silence yourself, by not voting or getting involved, you guarantee that your voice can not be heard. There is no guarantee that your voice will make a difference but, by becoming an advocate and encouraging others to do the same, you make your voice hard to ignore.
These two simple steps, “Be Aware” and “Get Involved” allow individuals to become advocates in the state of New Mexico. (Click on links provided for further information.)
• Familiarize yourself with the legislative process
• Do your research before going to the polls and identify your current elected officials.
New Mexico some of the most accessible Senators and House Representatives. If possible, offer to take yours out for coffee or lunch. You don’t have to wait until there is something pressing you want to communicate. If they already know who you are and you have shown a professional interest in them, they are that much more likely to be open to what you have to say later.
• Keep up to date on the issues, especially those that relate to your future/current career field. The New Mexico Speech-language Hearing Association does much of this work for you and will post items of importance on their website. You can also look for other bills that are being considered by visiting the New Mexico legislature bill finder.
• Register to keep up to date with what is happening with bills you have an interest in.
• If possible visit the Capitol during the legislative session and witness the process firsthand.
• Call, write to, and/or meet with your elected officials if you have a strong opinion on an issue they will be addressing.
Since many individuals do not take the time to do so, even one call or letter can often make an impact on how they may vote on a specific issue. Once the vote has been cast, you can also contact them to know if you have concerns about how they voted or to thank them for voting the way they did.
• Encourage others to get involved. While one call or letter could make a difference, there is certainly more power in numbers. Share with others how they can also be involved in legislative advocacy generally as well as with necessary current, specific action that has come to your attention.