State Update

Update on State Ballot Measures

State Policy | Permanent link

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), voters in six states considered 31 ballot measures on November 5. Three of the six states had measures on their ballots that are of interest to the dental education community.

Update on the 2014 Legislative Session

State Policy | Permanent link

The majority of states will convene for their 2014 regular legislative session in January. State legislatures will address issues such as health care reform, continued implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), alternative workforce models, regulating cigarettes and e-cigarettes, Medicaid reform, higher education policy and financing issues, and state budgets. To find out when your state legislature will convene, click here. For additional information on state legislation affecting academic dentistry, please visit the ADEA United States Interactive Legislative Tracking map. The map is updated daily and will allow members to view: The current status of bills, Upcoming hearing dates, and Current bill text and bill author/sponsor information. Please be advised that on or shortly after January 1, 2014, the ADEA United States Interactive Legislative Tracking map will be refreshed. Meaning, all legislation for the calendar year 2013 session, and the 2012-2013 session will be removed, unless the final governor action has not been completed or the state allows carryover bills (meaning measures that were not final enacted during the last session or year may be carried over to the next session for consideration).  However, newly filed and introduced legislation for the 2014 session will remain on the map. And of course, as new bills relevant to academic dentistry are introduced, the bills will be added to the map. To use the interactive map, visit www.adea.org/legislativemap.

Columbia, Missouri Votes to Keep Fluoridated Water

State Policy | Permanent link

On November 4, the Columbia City Council voted against a proposal to stop fluoridating the city's water supply. The fifth-largest city in Missouri, Columbia has been fluoridating its water since 1973. According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, approximately 133 communities in Missouri are currently supplementing the natural fluoride level in their water systems. To learn more about which Missouri counties are receiving fluoridated water, click here.

New York City Raises Smoking Age to 21

State Policy | Permanent link

On October 30, the New York City Council approved legislation, by a 36-9 vote, to raise the legal age for buying tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, from 18 to 21 years old. According to the City Council, in New York City, 80% of adults who become daily smokers start smoking before reaching the age of 21. Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I-NY) signed the bill on November 19.

The National Governors Association Announces Leadership for Health Care and Higher Education Standing Committees

State Policy | Permanent link

On October 23, the National Governors Association (NGA) announced the new leadership of NGA’s standing committees for the 2013–14 year. Education and Workforce Committee Gov. Steven Beshear (D-KY), chair Gov. Brian Sandoval (R-NV), vice chair Health and Human Services Committee Gov. Bill Haslam (R-TN), chair Gov. Peter Shumlin (D-VT), vice chair Economic Development and Commerce Committee Gov. Robert Bentley (R-AL), chair Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D-WV), vice chair The chair and vice chair for the Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee and the Natural Resources Committee were also announced.

November 2013 ADEA United States Interactive Legislative Tracking Map

State Policy | Permanent link

For additional information on state legislation affecting academic dentistry, please visit the ADEA United States Interactive Legislative Tracking map. The map is updated daily and will allow members to view: The current status of bills, Upcoming hearing dates, and Current bill text and bill author/sponsor information. For those states whose legislative sessions have adjourned “sine die,” the bills listed have been either signed by the governor or they have automatically become law without the governor’s signature. Users will be able to see the effective date of the legislation, unless the bill has been vetoed. As new bills relevant to academic dentistry are introduced, the bills will be added to the map. To use the interactive map, visit www.adea.org/legislativemap.

State Ballot Measures Up for Vote in November

State Policy | Permanent link

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), voters in six states will consider 31 ballot measures on November 5. Three of the six states have measures on their ballots that are of interest to the dental education community. Maine There are two ballot measures in Maine that would increase funding for the University of Maine System and the Maine Community College System: Question 2 states, “Do you favor a $15.5 million bond issue to enhance educational and employment opportunities for Maine citizens and students by updating and improving existing laboratory and classroom facilities of the University of Maine System statewide?” Question 5 states, “Do you favor a $15.5 million bond issue to upgrade buildings, classrooms and laboratories on the seven campuses of the Maine Community College System in order to increase capacity to serve more students through expanded programs in health care, precision machining, information technology, criminal justice and other key programs?” Texas On May 14, H.J.R. 79 passed both chambers and was filed with the Texas Secretary of State. H.J.R. 79 eliminates a requirement for a State Medical Education Board and a State Medical Education Fund, and puts the issue up for vote during the next general election. According to the author of the bill, Rep. Dan Branch (R-TX), a Legislative Budget Board (LBB) performance report issued to the legislature in the mid-1980s found the success of the State Rural Medical Education Board (since renamed the State Medical Education Board) questionable and recommended that the board be abolished. The LBB found that only a small percentage of the people who had received loans administered by the board were practicing medicine in rural Texas counties, with only a slightly larger percentage of those individuals practicing in areas designated as medically underserved. According to Rep. Branch, no new loans have been made by the board in more than 25 years, and the board currently has no appointees and receives no program funding. Proposition 2 states, “The constitutional amendment eliminating an obsolete requirement for a State Medical Education Board and a State Medical Education Fund, neither of which is operational.”   Washington In 2007, Initiative Measure No. 960 was passed by voters. The measure required two-thirds legislative approval or voter approval for tax increases, legislative approval of fee increases, certain published information on tax-increasing bills, and advisory votes on taxes enacted without voter approval. As a result of the 2007 measure, any tax extension is deemed a tax increase and those taxes enacted without voter approval must appear on election ballots as advisory votes. According to staff at the Office of the Secretary of State in Washington, advisory votes do not change the law, but instead are essentially notices to the state legislature that the public either agrees or disagrees with the legislature’s action. According to the Office of the Secretary of State in Washington, section 3(6)(c) of H.B. 1846 (1) removes the exemption for pediatric oral services offered as essential health benefits outside the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. Since these services have previously been exempted, this will result in additional revenue for the insurance premium tax. However, the amount of taxable activity resulting from pediatric oral health care services benefits cannot be estimated. Consequently, the amount of additional revenue attributed to pediatric oral services offered as essential health benefits outside the Health Benefit Exchange is indeterminate. Advisory Vote No. 5 states, “The legislature extended, without a vote of the people, the insurance premium tax to some insurance for pediatric oral services, costing an amount that cannot currently be estimated, for government spending. This tax increase should be: repealed or maintained.”   (1) Specifically, 3(6)(c) of H.B. 1846 provides for the continuation of preferential tax treatment for pre-paid dental insurance plans. Whereas health insurers must pay a 2% premium tax to the state, dental insurance carriers will pay a 1.5% tax on all dental benefit prepayments.  

October 2013 ADEA United States Interactive Legislative Tracking Map

State Policy | Permanent link

For additional information on state legislation affecting academic dentistry, please visit the ADEA United States Interactive Legislative Tracking map. The map is updated daily and will allow members to view: The current status of bills, Upcoming hearing dates, and Current bill text and bill author/sponsor information. For those states whose legislative sessions have adjourned “sine die,” the bills listed have been either signed by the governor or they have automatically become law without the governor’s signature. Users will be able to see the effective date of the legislation, unless the bill has been vetoed. As new bills relevant to academic dentistry are introduced, the bills will be added to the map. To use the interactive map, visit www.adea.org/legislativemap.

ADEA Unveils a New State Legislative Tracking Tool

State Policy | Permanent link

ADEA recently unveiled an interactive map that provides current information on state legislation of interest to academic dentistry for all 50 states and the District of Columbia (Puerto Rico will be added to the map later this year). The map will allow users to view the current status of bills, view upcoming hearing dates, and view current bill text and bill author/sponsor information.

National Governors Association Announces New Executive Committee Leadership

State Policy | Permanent link

The National Governors Association (NGA) has announced the new leadership of its Executive Committee for the 2013–2014 year. The new NGA Chair Gov. Mary Fallin (R-OK) and NGA Vice Chair Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) will lead the nine-member Executive Committee. The Executive Committee determines the association’s priorities and activities for the year. Other members of the Executive Committee include: Gov. Mike Beebe (D-AR) Gov. Jack Markell (D-DE) Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA) Gov. Mark Dayton (D-MN) Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT) Gov. Gary Herbert (R-UT) Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI)