For this legislative update, we have some exciting news regarding one of our top federal legislative priorities, National Institutes of Health Funding. At the state level, we have been very busy seeing positive movement on our top issues. As always, thank you for your efforts and please stay tuned to your email for more information and alerts so you know when we need your help!
Last week we learned that Senator Richard Burr has co-authored a “Dear Colleague” letter with Senator Casey of Pennsylvania to urge their peers to support a strong commitment to NIH funding. Senator Burr is showing great leadership on this issue. Please send Senator Burr a thank you message and then, ask Senator Hagan to sign on to the letter.
Thank Senator Burr: http://www.burr.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.ContactForm
Ask Senator Hagan to sign onto the Casey-Burr Letter: http://www.hagan.senate.gov/contact/
SB 98: Require Pulse Oximetry Newborn Screening –passed the Senate unanimously and has now been assigned to the House Health Committee. We are making great progress and have had unanimous votes showing lawmaker support. Now we just need to get one chamber to take up the others’ bill and then drive this on to the Governor!
SB 456: Designate Primary Stroke Centers –passed the Senate on Thursday unanimously! Senator Pate did a brilliant job presenting the legislation on the Senate Floor. Next, it will be read into the House and assigned to a House Committee. More to come!
Tobacco Control Program Funding: We have been continuing to work on this issue talking with top Senators involved with the budget process. Now that the Governor has presented his budget and we have passed tax day, the Senate is focusing heavily on the state budget. We expect that the Senate will introduce their budget by mid-May.
Bills of Concern: SB 612, SB 703, HB 683 - all have preemption provisions. Specifically, SB 612 has a provision that would result in broad preemption; SB 703 rolls back on smoke-free law as it relates to outdoor spaces and community college campuses; and HB 683 has what is being called the anti-Bloomberg provision because it would prohibit ordinances which would regulate beverage cup sizes. These bills could stop local communities from implementing policies to protect their citizens. At this time we are assessing these bills and working closely with partners to determine next steps.
Learn more about what preemption means: http://publichealthlawcenter.org/topics/other-public-health-law/preemption-public-health.
If you have questions, please contact me. Thank you for your support.
NC Director of Government Relations