Wyoming State Legislative Session
2018 Legislative Recap
Toni Decklever, MA, RN, WNA Lobbyist
February 12th marked the first day of the 20-day budget session for the Wyoming State Legislature. During this session, many pieces of legislation try to make it through the process of becoming a law. Some of these bills are the product of interim committee work that has been in process since May of 2017. Some bills are from individual legislators with issues that have been brought up by their constituents.
Because this was a budget session, the biggest topic that was discussed was the state budget. Many programs were affected by the shortfall of funds this year.
The Wyoming Nurses Association follows the bills that address the Association’s Legislative Agenda and those that come out of the Labor, Health and Social Services Committee (LHSS). This committee has been working for the past year to address several pieces of legislation.
A total of 315 bills were filed with the Legislative Service Office: 194 were House Bills and 121 were Senate Files. There were also 15 resolutions filed. In the first few days of the session, bills were introduced and assigned to a committee where they were discussed and debated. If the bill passed out of committee, it moved on to the Senate or House floor.
- Prescription and possession of FDA drugs – This bill specifies that a practitioner may prescribe any FDA approved drugs and authorizes possession of prescribed drugs approved by the FDA.
- Health care providers-sexual assault protections – This bill includes Healthcare Providers as a person of authority, changes the penalty level for those that commit sexual offenses and instructs all healthcare licensing boards to review and revise their rules to include chaperone guidelines when a provider is conducting exams, treatments and procedures.
- Opioid Addiction Task Force – This bill would provide funds to develop a Opioid Task force that would consist of 11 members. Task force duties include: Looking at prescription tracking programs, applying for grants, researching strategies addressing reduction and prevention.
- Controlled Substance Prescription tracking – This bill requires certain health care practitioners to file prescriptions for controlled substances with the state board of pharmacy. It also provides for the enrollment of specified health care practitioners in the controlled substance prescription tracking program.
- Drug Donation Program – This bill will expand the drug donation and redispensing program. The Department of Health shall provide access to computer systems and technical assistance to aid individuals in applying for government and private prescription drug programs and discounts. The appropriation will allow for more positions to run the program.
Though many bills do not make it through the entire process, it is possible that the committee or legislative sponsor will try to get it through next year when the body meets for the 40 day general session. The Senators and Representatives heard suggestions for interim topics and will develop the priorities to be studied during the interim. Committees will begin meeting as early as May, 2018 to begin working on studies and issues that could possibly become draft legislation for next year.
Committee meetings are open meetings that anyone can attend. The schedule will be posted on the Wyoming Legislative Website when it is formulated. WNA members are encouraged to attend these meetings in order to provide information to the LHSS committee.
For questions or comments, please contact WNA Lobbyist, Toni Decklever, RN at firstname.lastname@example.org