February Executive Director Newletter- members only
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ANA-VERMONT MEMBERSHIP NEWSLETTER FEBRUARY 2019
MARK YOUR CALENDARS AND REGISTER SOON
Legislative day April 4th will begin in the Montpelier State House cafeteria with legislators and nurses from the Northern New England Poison Center.
Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman will be speaking with us at 11:15 AM, and Representative Marie Cordis RN is invited as well as an advanced practice nurse who shares concerns about the need for mental health reform. A pizza lunch is planned at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library Hayes Room, a short walk from the Capital.
February 25th I provided public testimony on the needs of nurses, education funding, mental health reform and violence experienced by nurses, as well as climate change and how increasing funding for weatherization of homes decreases our carbon footprint.
Over 500 bills have been introduced just on the House side and March 15th is crossover day, when bills that make it through one side go to the other. H.131 was just introduced with the purpose of requiring hospitals and nursing home facilities to establish safe patient handling programs and would prohibit mandatory overtime for certain health care employees. It would also require the Department of Health to adopt rules pertaining to safe staff-to-patient ratios.
A nursing compact bill was just introduced in the House and Senate. A bill to increase our licensing fees, (Office of Professional Regulation) has been introduced and is now in the Ways and Means committee. H. 218 An act relating to lead poisoning prevention passed the house side and is now referred to the Senate Health and Welfare committee. In the Healthcare committee there has been much discussion of mental health reform, long waiting times for mental health patients in crisis in Emergency rooms, and use of sheriffs. Talk on how to fund more mental health beds, and support the communities needs is intense. After committee members visited multiple psychiatric facilities, they shared their thoughts, and though they found some facilities lovely, they referred to others as slums. They noted that safe beds in emergency rooms are needed, and diversion of mental health crisis patients to more appropriate pathways. The need to increase our workforce was discussed and Individual mandate discussion continues with consideration of exemptions, subsidies & public option, with the budget a consideration.
In the Senate Health and Welfare committee a bill on Substance Use Disorder (SUD) is under discussion and the need for preventive education, but there is a need for an expert on Substance Use Disorder. A council will be created that will replace a previous opioid committee if funding is adequate. An act relating to increasing the legal age for buying and using cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, and other tobacco products from 18 to 21 years of age was approved and moves to the floor for a vote after the final reading this week. There was discussion about the S.14 proposal to extend until January 2022 the moratorium on home health agency certificates of need. S.49 received a favorable report with recommendation of amendment by Committee on Natural Resources and Energy.
Coming up shortly is testimony and a possible vote on a medical professional on the Green Mountain Board (S-42). There is more on our legislative page.
Vermont Works for Women invites us to an evening of film, fun, and food in honor of international women's day on March 8.
Please remind nurses that we are not the Board of Nursing and though you receive our paper it does not mean you are a member. Members will receive discounts to education, conventions and meetings in our multi-state region, and we are collaborating with other nursing organizations and businesses to bring you many future events.
Thank-you for supporting ANA-Vermont. You are needed