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Session Update: Week 9

We are exactly two months in to the 2018 legislative session! Given the desire to adjourn by early April, all committees other than the Senate and House Finance committees are printing final calendars. We expect the Finance committees to begin discussions on the state appropriations bill in two weeks.

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Campaign Updates

Quality Systems of Care:

STEMI facility designation bill -

SB 2071/HB 2209 (Sen. Richard Briggs/Rep. Bryan Terry) requires the department of health to recognize STEMI (ST-elevation myocardial infarction) receiving and referring hospitals and requires ambulance services to develop and implement a protocol to ensure patients experiencing a STEMI are transported to the right place for treatment.
Status: This week the STEMI bill, as amended, passed unanimously in the House Health Committee. It will be up for a vote by the full House during their floor session on Monday, 3/12. With the amendatory language, the department of health will recognize hospitals that are accredited or certified, by a nationally recognized accrediting or certifying body; and clarifies that local or regional EMS authorities will establish plans based on nationally recognized clinical practice guidelines for STEMI heart attack patients relating to the assessment, treatment and transport of these patients to the closest or most appropriate hospital.
The STEMI bill unanimously passed the full Senate on 2/22! Senator Briggs understands that the bill will be amended on the House side and will be ready to accept the changes when it returns to the Senate in the new version. We expect the STEMI bill will return to the Senate on Thursday, 3/15 adopt the House version.

We appreciate the collaboration of hospitals and emergency services on this bill and excited about its advancement through the legislature.

Stroke center designation bill –

SB 2513/HB 2167 (Sen. Bill Ketron/Rep. Bob Ramsey) requires the department of health to formally recognize certified stroke centers and EMS to establish protocol guidelines that locals EMAs will follow for assessment and triage to ensure a patient experiencing a stroke is transported to the most appropriate hospital.

Status: The bill unanimously passed the full Senate on Thursday, 3/8 with an amendment to clarify emergency medical “providers” versus “responders.” An advocacy alert when out to our YTC network on Tuesday prior to the vote and a follow up “thank you” alert went out on Friday, 3/9.

On the House side, the stroke bill received a positive recommendation from House Government Operations Committee on Wednesday, 3/7 and was sent to the House Calendar and Rules committee to be scheduled for a House floor vote. We will alert you as soon as we have the calendar date for this bill to be voted on by the full House! We will be meeting with multiple House members this week in preparation for the stroke bill on the floor.

Tobacco:

Repeal local preemption -

SB 2525/HB 2327 (Sen. Bill Ketron/Rep. Bob Ramsey) - Current TN state law prevents local governments from passing ordinances to make their communities smoke free. This bill repeals tobacco preemption and gives local governments the ability to prohibit smoking on their property, in age restricted venues open to the public, and hotel/motel rooms if desired.

Status: Unfortunately, the preemption bill did not gain the necessary support needed to advance in the House Agricultural Subcommittee due to a strong opposition push by tobacco industry lobbyists. The bill was taken off notice from the subcommittee calendar last week.

Coalition partners are: American Lung Association, ACSCAN, Tobacco Free Kids, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, TMA, United Ways of TN, Prevention Alliance, Tennessee Nurses Association, TN Academy of Family Physicians.

For information about tobacco preemption legislation contact: Alex Carmack – Community Government Relations Director: alex.carmack@heart.org – 615-340-4145

Physical Education in Schools:

The Tom Cronan Physical Education Act -

SB 558/HB 372 (Sen. Bill Ketron/Rep. Roger Kane) requires all public elementary school students to have at least 60 minutes of P.E. per week and instruction to be provided by a certified P.E. teacher.

Status: Waiting “behind the budget” in the House Finance Budget Subcommittee.” Next action will occur when the subcommittee passes the state budget (action anticipated in end of March/early April) and takes up bills “behind the budget.” Although the P.E. bill has a fiscal note attached, the funds can be achieved via BEP funding. This bill passed the Senate in 2017 and is awaiting House action. The governor’s office is in full support of this legislation. We will keep you informed as we confirm when House Finance will take up the budget, and we determine best timing for strong advocacy efforts.

The bill AS AMENDED is agreed to by the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents (TOSS), TN School Board Association (TSBA), TN Department of Health and TN Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (TAHPERD).
Senate co-sponsors: Crowe, Massey, Watson

House co-sponsors: Kane, Dunn, Ramsey, McCormick, Smith, Williams, Byrd, Butt, Whitson, Hawk, Reedy, Kumar, DeBerry, Fitzhugh, McDaniel, Stewart, M. White

In the News:

Thank you for your support and involvement as we work together to advocate for these important public policy changes!

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