Wyoming State Legislative Session
Toni Decklever, MA, RN, WNA Lobbyist
The Labor Health and Social Services (LHSS) had their first interim meeting on April 28 and 29th in Casper. This meeting was primarily to hear reports from various agencies and to begin discussion about potential legislation for the 2018 session. This two day meeting allowed the LHSS committee to hear reports and learn about the many programs within the Department of Health and other agencies in the state. Their next meeting is scheduled for October 16-17, 2017.
The Committee has a priority list of issues and topics that will be researched during the interim. These include the following:
Priority #: 1 Responses to Federal Actions- Repeal and replace or failure of the Affordable Care Act [NOTE: The Committee shall only study this topic upon further approval of Management Council.]; Medicaid program changes – including committee education in anticipation of changes – Health insurance changes – McCarran-Ferguson Act, ERISA, air ambulance regulation – Other issues, as mandated by federal action in areas of committee jurisdiction
Priority #: 2 Healthcare- Mental health / substance use continuum of care (including the Title 25 system) – Nursing shortages and outreach/recruitment efforts; other health workforce issues – Monitor healthcare provider reimbursement rebasing – viability of DD and other providers – Monitor and provide input on University of Wyoming studies and activity concerning medical education programs, including the Wyoming Family Practice Residency Program and WWAMI – Solicitation of public and agency data and proposals for health care reform – Study and update Wyoming Statutes concerning organ donation, including review of organ procurement network in Wyoming, with an emphasis on enhancing access to donated organs for Wyoming residents.
Priority #: 3 Labor Law and Workforce Compensation- Seasonal workers / contract employees – unemployment compensation / workers’ compensation exemptions – OSHA – collection of fines – nonresident employer bonding – Occupational licensing restrictions based on criminal convictions and other factors – Obsolete reporting requirements from the Department of Workforce Services
Priority #: 4 Healthcare Data – Medical Records and Claims Information- Multipayer claims databases – development and use of databases; results from currently pending contract – Medical records – Wyoming’s Health Information Exchange – electronic medical records; meaningful use requirements
Priority #: 5 Committee Education- Policy and fiscal implications of the budget process as related to agencies which report to the committee – Agency reports required by statute
There are many reports and studies that go on during the period between Legislative sessions. This is also the best time to make connections with legislators. Emails or personal invitations to events are good ways to communicate with the people that will be making legislative decisions. Invitations to coffee or lunch can be an opportune time to visit with them on a one-to-one basis. The more they know and understand, the easier it is for them to make decisions about these issues. Committee meetings are also open to the public and the agenda is posted on the website: http://legisweb.state.wy.us
Our legislators work all year long looking at solutions and strategies for the betterment of the state. Unpopular decisions are not uncommon, but the goal is to hopefully make decisions that will benefit the majority, rather than the minority. When the public connects with legislators, this assists them in reaching that goal. All of their contact information is at http://legisweb.tate.wy.us
For questions or comments, please contact WNA Lobbyist, Toni Decklever, RN at firstname.lastname@example.org