The following are members of the MDA Legislative Affairs Committee. Feel free to contact any of these members with comments or questions.
Dr. Scott Lingle, Chair
Dr. Matt Anzelc
Dr. Steve Danielson
Dr. Mike Flynn
Dr. Bill Hoffmann
Mr. Michael Lee
Dr. Ryan Ritchie
Dr. Rich Weisbecker
Dr. Mike Zakula
Dr. Jim Zenk
Dominic Sposeto (Lobbyist)
Mary Gilbert Dougherty (Lobbyist)
This news update is brought to you by the MDA’s Legislative Affairs Committee. The committee will provide you with regular updates during the upcoming session about legislative actions, lobbying activities, and grassroots initiatives by MDA members. The goal is to communicate with members about what is happening at the Capitol on a timely basis.
We hope you will get actively involved with your local legislators during the upcoming session through grassroots lobbying efforts. And if you do meet with legislators, please let us know the outcome of your discussions. Working together, in a unified voice, we can accomplish a great deal toward realizing our mutual goals! For assistance, or to learn more about current MDA legislative activities, you may contact any of the committee members on the right.
On January 7th, Scott Lingle and Dominic Sposeto attended a fundraiser event for Governor Tim Pawlenty. After the Governor’s opening remarks, there was an opportunity to ask questions. Scott asked about his intentions regarding the health care access fund, to which the Governor publicly announced that he has heard the concerns, and that he does not intend to raid the Health Care Access Fund to help address the current state budget shortfall. However, he went on to say that if the shortfall is over 1 billion dollars, all bets are off. This is very unlikely.
Later, Dominic and Scott had a one-on-one discussion with the Governor. The Governor told them he is considering a plan to reduce the provider tax. He said he would be willing to agree with the Democrats on closing a corporate tax credit for foreign operations as long as that increase in taxes went to offset other tax cuts. He felt the provider tax was a logical offset since it was raising more money than necessary.
Major issues to come up soon will include looking at revising the Internationally-educated Dentist legislation, challenging Mid-level Provider legislation, promoting Collaborative Agreements, broadening the state's Loan Forgiveness programs, and expanding the Winona County single-administrator model.
MDA’s Dental Day at the Capitol will take place Wednesday, Feb. 27. All members are invited to St. Paul to learn the latest on oral healthcare legislation and meet one-on-one with legislators. This event will provide a critical opportunity for dentists to provide information and feedback to legislators about such issues as access to care for the underserved, the Advanced Dental Hygiene Practitioner, and the provider tax. Students from the School of Dentistry will also participate in the February 27 Dental Day at the Capitol.
The day will begin with a 7:30 a.m. breakfast and debriefing at St. Paul Technical College. Participants will get an overview of key legislation (including the Advanced Dental Hygiene Practitioner), what’s happened so far this session, and what legislators need to learn from MDA members. Afterwards, attendees from common legislative districts will meet with their elected officials to discuss these vital issues. The opportunity to meet face-to-face with legislators is critical for communicating a strong, unified message of access to safe, quality dental care.
The MDA greatly appreciates the time donated to this important work and we will reimburse travel costs for members. Please reply directly to firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday, Jan. 31 and let us know whether you will attend the Dental Day at the Capitol on Wednesday, Feb. 27. We hope to see you there!