The 2016 legislative session began in January and ends on May 4th, 2016. It has been a session that has largely been overshadowed by a significant multi-year budget deficit and legislators that are also focused on their upcoming November elections. This, however, has not prevented the American Heart Association from continuing to advocate on behalf of our issues.
Bills were introduced that, if passed, would have prohibited unhealthy marketing in public schools, offered healthier vending options on state property, increased the smoking age to 21, and instituted a one cent per once tax on sugar-added beverages. Unfortunately, none of these bills made it out of their committees.
Although it has been a tough session thus far, there has been a big win in the Education committee, which decided not to vote on a bill that would have, in part, taken CPR training out of the public school curriculum. There is also a bill currently on the floor of the house which begins to address childhood obesity, but if passed will require additional work next session. Once session ends please look for the comprehensive session wrap-up!