At a meeting of the House Licensing Subcommittee, the Advanced Dental Hygiene Practitioner (ADHP) bill passed out of the subcommittee and was sent to the full House Health and Human Services Committee. The vote on the bill was 4-2.
The two members who supported the MDA position, and who did not vote in favor of moving the bill forward, were Rep. Kim Norton (DFL-Rochester) and Rep. Julie Bunn (DFL-Lake Elmo). They supported the MDA position in that there were too many stakeholder issues to be resolved and too many unanswered questions to some of the more significant changes in the bill. We greatly appreciate Rep. Norton and Bunn’s support of our position on the bill. Two other subcommittee members, who supported our position, and who would have presumably helped to prevent the bill from passing to the next committee, did not attend the hearing.
The four legislators who voted to support the ADHP bill were the bill’s author, Rep. Cy Thao (DFL-St. Paul), Rep. Jim Abeler (R-Anoka), Rep. Erin Murphy (DFL-St. Paul), and Rep. Patti Fritz (DFL-Faribault). All four of the bill supporters believe, like the opponents, that there are questions and details regarding the ADHP bill that need to be addressed. Their expectation is that the MDA and the proponents of the ADHP bill will work together on addressing those areas of concern.
Six individuals were allowed to speak in favor of the ADHP bill, four of whom were dentists. Speaking for the other side were Scott Lingle; Patrick Lloyd, the University of Minnesota Dean of the Dental School and two students from the U of M dental school, Patty Stone and Charity Jean Nelson, both of whom are active practicing dental hygienists in northern Minnesota.
At this juncture, we do not know when the ADHP bill will be heard; however, the first committee deadline is March 14, so presumably it may get a hearing before this date.
In other news, the MDA dental access bill will be heard on Monday, March 3, 2008 in the full House Health and Human Services committee. It will be our opportunity to talk about the good things that are being done by the MDA and others to address dental access
If you’re interested in contacting your legislator to share your concerns with the ADHP legislation, please contact Laura Fenstermaker, MDA Director of Legislative Relations. She can help you contact your legislators. She can be reached by emailing her at email@example.com.