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2014 Legislative Report to NSRC from Registered Lobbyists

Final Legislative Report

2014 Nebraska Unicameral

103rd  Legislature, Second Session

Adjourned Sine Die April 17, 2014

 

2014 Legislative Review Prepared For:   Included Within Final Report:

Summary of Session

Bills of Significance that Passed in 2014

Relevant Interim Studies

Prepared By:  Richard Lombardi and Julie Erickson   Registered Lobbyists

American Communications Group, Inc.

On April 17 the Nebraska Legislature adjourned sine die.  This session was most notable because of the perpetual use of the filibuster on both big and small bills.  This led to a more partisan legislative session than we usually expect from the non-partisan Nebraska Unicameral.  Yet despite the roadblocks and bickering, considerable progress was made in public policy.

The 2015 Legislature will feature at least seventeen new state senators.  The cast of future senators will become clearer after the May 13th primary and we diligently monitor all of those legislative campaigns.  We have met with almost all of the candidates vying for legislative seats and will continue until we have had one on one conversations with each of them.  Please do not hesitate to contact us with any specific questions as we head into the final weeks of the primary season; attached is a spreadsheet of candidates for your review.

Unfortunately the filibuster/cloture methods worked in stopping movement on LB 887, Wellness in Nebraska Act implementing Medicaid expansion.  Senator Campbell is more committed than ever to get legislation passed next year as well as the balance of the coalition fighting for passage the past two sessions.

LB 439, Senator Gloor’s effort to increase Nebraska’s tobacco tax did not advance out of the Revenue Committee this year.  Unfortunately, in an election cycle where cutting taxes is the theme, senators were not willing to move the bill for full debate.  Senator Gloor remains committed to the issue although it may not be a priority in his last session in 2015.  We will keep you updated.

Key Legislation Passed in 2014

LB 690 / Create Aging Nebraskans Task Force

By September 1, 2014 the Department of Health and Human Services are required to apply for a grant under State Balancing Incentive Payment Program which provides states with enhanced federal match dollars to expand home and community based services.  The shift from institutional care to home based care has the potential of significant savings, although at this time estimating savings is not possible.  The grants are only available until September of 2015.  A Task force is appointed under the legislature to develop the plan for long term care services in Nebraska and terminates June 30, 2016.  Fiscal impact utilizing $2.8M of new general funds, adds more than $12M in federal funding for these services; in FY 2015-16 funding could double.  The bill originally had an emergency clause, but did not have sufficient votes to pass with it – so it goes into effect 90 days after the legislature overrode the Governor’s veto on April 10th.

LB 854 / Managed Care Implementation in Long Term Care Service Delivery

Moratorium on long term care managed care RFPs until September 1, 2015, to ensure adequate planning.  Delays any kind of implementation until next Governor’s term in office begins.

LB 863 / LB 861 covering E Cigarette prohibitions amended into per AM 2131

Prohibits minors from using vapor products or electronic cigarettes; requires retailers to display behind counter or in secured case except for cigar bars and tobacco specialty businesses.  Amendments to the bill included definitions for alternative nicotine products and vapor products within definition for tobacco specialty shops.

LR 422 / Policy Recommendations on Nebraska Health Care System

Large group of representatives from health care organized by Health and Human Services Committee working with Dr. Rowen Zetterman, will meet this year at UNMC in September or October.  Specific date and details are currently being worked out and notice will be sent out when details are complete.  Anticipate legislation to evolve next session from this effort.

LB 916 / Eliminates integrated practice agreements for nurse practitioners

*Although passed by the legislature, the Governor did not sign the bill and the legislature cannot override his objection because it is not in session.  Removes requirement for integrated practice agreement between nurse practitioner and collaborating physician and removes requirement nurse practitioner complete a minimum of 2,000 hours of practice under supervision of a physician.  The Governor objected to the reduction in hours of supervision and indicated that it’s too soon to implement such changes after discussing at length with his Chief Medical Officer for the state.

Relevant Interim Studies

At the end of each session, every state senator has the opportunity to submit interim studies to examine issues facing Nebraska with potential legislation to be proposed the following legislative session.  These studies are prioritized by their respective committee and many are not dealt with because of time constraints.  Not all committees have submitted their priority designations yet.   Identified below are studies we have identified of interest to you.  A full list of interim studies for 2014 can be found here: http://www.nebraskalegislature.gov/session/interim.php.

Lincoln Journal Star 4/18/14 Editorial – When the embers cool

http://journalstar.com/news/opinion/editorial/editorial-when-the-embers-cool/article_f15a3624-93f1-54f3-a43c-c995a2791e5e.html

 

Same issues, new faces for 2015 http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Same-issues-new-faces-for-2015-Nebraska-session-5415929.php Sen. Campbell got front row view of health issues http://journalstar.com/legislature/lincoln-senator-campbell-got-front-row-view-of-health-issues/article_7bf8edd0-261a-58d3-b75e-fbaba2d4a9c1.html

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AARC Virtual Lobby Week starts March 21

Respiratory therapists are going to Washington, D.C. to meet with members of Congress to lobby for support of HR 2619 , the Medicare Respiratory Therapist Access Act, during Virtual Lobby Week March 21 through April 1, 2014.

You can help these DC-bound respiratory therapists, joined by patient advocates and local area RT students in their efforts, by contacting your own members of Congress just before they arrive in D.C.

The AARC background information sheet explains why it’s important for HR2619 to pass. Please do your part and help our state’s representatives that will be traveling to D.C. by contacting your congressman in support of the bill via the AARC’s Virtual Lobby Week page.

The AARC will be sponsoring an hour-long “Hill Day” webcast on Tuesday, March 25, at 1 p.m CDT.

The webcast can be accessed by computer. Click here to get instructions on setup and preparation. You can also download an app for your Android and iOS devices to participate.

Click here to access the webcast. You will need to download and install items from Blackboard before you can access the webcast on a computer. The link will be open at noon CDT March 25.

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Photo contest added to state conference events

The NSRC wants to see your photos showing respiratory therapists at work. These photos will be shown at the 2014 State Conferene in Kearney, and participants will vote for the winners.

NSRCPhoto Contest 2014Categories of photos being sought are:

  • Respiratory care
  • Sleep
  • Critical Care
  • Pediatrics &/or Neonatal
  • Homecare
  • Rehabilitation
  • Education (patients and RT students)
  • Respiratory devices
  • Respiratory student activities
Participants must submit an entry form and signed consent form (PDF). Photos must be submitted in high-resolution jpeg format. All entries should be sent to Nan Nathenseon at nnathenson@madonna.org

Grand prise is a 10-pack of tickets to the  College World Series in Omaha. Second prize is a gift basket from Goin’ Green.

All winners and honorable mention photos will be displayed on NSRC-Online.org website and at the conference.

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Register online for NSRC state conference

Online registration is now available for the 2014 NSRC State Conference in Kearney.

To register online, click here: https://www.regonline.com/nsrcgreatplains2014

Please download the conference brochure (PDF) to get information about sessions, events and outings. Highlights include:

  • A golf outing at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 14 at Meadowlark Hills Golf Course. Registration for this event is due May 1.
  • Ventilation/PAP Workshop for Thursday’s session.
  • Casino Night on Thursday night.
  • Founder’s Address by Edward Truemper, M.D., at 8:15 a.m. Thursday.
  • Keynote Address by Nichael Hewitt, RRT-NPS, FAARC, at 9 a.m. Thursday.
  • Awards ceremony at 5 p.m. Thursday.
  • Stan the One-Man Band from 9 p.m. to midnight Thursday.

16.5 CRCE credits are being applied for through the AARC.

The NSRC also is sponsoring a photo contest during the conference. Details are here: http://www.nsrc-online.org/photo-contest-added-to-state-conference-events/

Online registration is preferred; however, participants can also register by mail if desired. See the brochure for more information.

 

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State conference set for May 14-16; vendor registration open

Stan the One-Man Band

Stan the One-Man Band

The NSRC annual state conference is scheduled for May 14-16, 2014 at the Ramada Inn Conference Center in Kearney. Information will be posted as it becomes available.

Back by popular demand, Stan the One-Man Band will be performing on Thursday, May 15 from 9 p.m. to midnight.

Vendors who would like a booth in the display hall can register here: https://www.regonline.com/Register/Checkin.aspx?EventID=1479104

Participants will also be able to register online this year. The link will be posted when it becomes available.

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