When it comes to public health it’s not every legislative session you get to walk away at the end of 45 days up on the Hill and feel like you’re walking away a winner. But thanks in part to amazing advocates like you the state took some great strides during the 2018 legislative session to save lives and improve health! Here’s how:
hero_image_alt_text===picture of the utah state capitol building
thumbnail_alt_text===building of the utah state capitol building
SB 150 – Statewide Stroke and Cardiac Data Registry
Before the legislative session we had a chance to share with you a short video my daughter and I put together in an attempt to explain the purpose of this bill. Even in my attempts to try and simplify this bill you can see her poor eyes glaze over as I about bored her to tears! While it might not have been THAT bad, the nice thing about taking this idea before the legislature is that it forces you to continually refine your message! And the message we found that resonated with lawmakers the most is this: Where you live should not determine if you live!
An example of this that we shared with lawmakers is the graph below, which shows the disparities of stroke deaths per 100,000 Utahns by County. As you can see for yourself, outcomes are not consistent. The legislature’s approval of and the implementation of this Registry will help the Department of Health work with providers to try and ensure that national benchmarks for stroke and cardiac treatment are met in each of Utah’s counties and all of our hospitals – all with the goal of making sure that where you live does not determine if you live!
HB 324 – Tobacco Regulations Amendments
Tired of seeing tobacco shops pop up just down the street from your kids school or just across the street from where you live? So are we and the hundreds of public health employees in the state! And now, thanks to your response to our Action Alerts and the efforts of our advocates who came to our Lobby Day in February, these shops will no longer be coming to a location near you!
Previous state law sought to prevent tobacco shops from setting up next to locations where you and your kids live, learn, play, and pray. But industry efforts to circumvent state code and some mistakes made in the business licensing process allowed for some of these shops to open up. You wouldn’t think that efforts to ensure legislative intent were being followed would be controversial – but you would be wrong! Despite industry efforts to derail our efforts for a second year in a row I’m happy to report that a majority of lawmakers helped us push this important legislation through to the finish line!
And considering this recent report from the CDC - Teens don’t think e-cigarettes are harmful – our efforts couldn’t have come a moment too soon!
Thank you for all your help these past few months! Your efforts helped us reach new heights this year and we couldn’t be prouder to have you be part of the cure for heart disease and stroke!