Yesterday, Tuesday, February 12, the 2008 legislature convened with a great deal of the normal pomp and circumstance that accompanies the opening ceremonies.
This is the short session, which means the legislature will presumably be out a little earlier, but likely still a May timeframe for Sine Die. Legislators’ focus will primarily be on constitutional amendments as well as the all-important capital investment or bonding projects. Other major concerns include transportation and healthcare.
Yesterday’s bill introductions included 301 bills. Our bill, the dental access legislation will be ready for introduction on Thursday of this week. The ADHP legislation was not part of bill introductions yesterday, however, we do know that it is scheduled for hearing on Monday, February 25.
Lobbyists for the MDA did meet with the House author of our bill Rep. Loren Solberg (DFL-Grand Rapids). Solberg has asked his staff to put in a hearing request so that our bill will be heard soon. Due to the fast pace of the session, it will likely be heard in the next two weeks. The first committee deadline is set for mid-March, which means our legislation has to get through a couple of policy committees by that date or the bill will not progress.
We’re still looking for dentists to participate in Dental Day at the Capitol. If you can take a half day to join us this year to communicate directly with your legislators, we would greatly appreciate your participation. Again, the day is Wednesday, February 27, 2008 from 7:30am – 2:30pm. If you can attend, please contact MDA Director of Legislative Relations Laura Fenstermaker at 612-767-8400 ext. 105. She is setting up meetings with your House and Senate member and is organizing the day. She also can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information packets will be sent out to members a week in advance of the day.
February 13: Governor’s State of the State Address (St. Cloud)
February 25: Licensing Subcommittee of Health & Human Services Hearing on ADHP Bill (St. Paul)
February 26: Meeting with Sen. Lynch (DFL-Rochester) and Rochester dentists
February 27: Dental Day at the Capitol (St. Paul)
Note: Please notify us if you have a meeting scheduled with a local legislator that we can add to this calendar. We can also assist you in preparing for the meeting. Please contact MDA Director of Legislative Relations Laura Fenstermaker, email@example.com.