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)
The 2008 legislative session begins on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 and while this is the second year of the two-year biennium and the shorter session, you can be sure that legislators will be busy making decisions that affect us all, including economic issues that impact our wallets and personal budgets, decisions about our children, their schools, the environment we live in, and the freeways we drive on. Perhaps of greatest importance to you and your patients, lawmakers will be addressing health care matters.
This past year a working group of legislators and health care stakeholders has been meeting on health care issues, including cost-containment strategies. The group is part of the Legislative Commission on Health Care Access and they will meet this week, Friday, February 1, to discuss their findings and recommendations. One of our legislative priorities at the Capitol again this year is improving access to dental care, as well as the issue of whether to expand the role of hygienists. Both of these issues need your attention and both of these issues continue to be a significant part of ongoing health care discussions at the Capitol.
As a professional who works to protect the public’s health day-in and day-out, it is critically important that you consider taking time away from your busy practice to come to the Capitol on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 for Dental Day At The Capitol - a day in which you share your professional knowledge, insight and anecdotal stories and opinions on how and why we should be solving these important health care issues.
The time to act is now. Get involved. We need your help! Dental Day At The Capitol is an excellent way for Minnesota Dental Association members to participate in the legislative process. This is an annual event and those who have attended in years past say it is well worth the time and effort.
Dr. Matt Anzelc, Hibbing, attended Dental Day last year and felt it was a very worthwhile experience. “I encourage all my professional colleagues to attend Dental Day in support of our profession,” he stated. “If we do not get involved politically, if we do not stand up and be visible for our profession, someone else will and decisions might be made that we may not support.”
Legislators need to hear from you, the practitioner. They need to understand from you what you do and why the issues we work on are important to the public you serve. It is an opportunity for dentists to have a seat at the table with elected officials from across the state.
Please RSVP at your earliest convenience by contacting Laura Fenstermaker, Director of Legislative Relations at 612-787-8400 ext. 105 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to seeing you there!
MDA Executive Director Dick Diercks has announced the hiring of Laura Fenstermaker as the new Legislative Relations Director for the MDA. Laura was the chief staff lobbyist for the Minnesota CPA Association for almost eight years and she has worked for the Minnesota House of Representatives. She fills a new position created by the MDA House of Delegates. Laura will work on MDA issues at the Capitol and will work to enhance MDA grassroots activities around the state. She will work in conjunction with MDA contract lobbyists Dominic Sposeto and Mary Gilbert Dougherty.