Rozenboom Report – March 24, 2017

A number of bills passed through the Senate this week including HF 577, which prohibits the Board of Medicine from disciplining a physician solely on their recommendation of a treatment for Lyme disease. This allows patients to get the treatment they need in our state instead of having to travel elsewhere to get treated. The bill passed the Senate unanimously.

SF 420 expands the definition of dependent adult abuse to include personal degradation by caretakers in facilities regulated by the Department of Inspection and Appeals. Personal degradation is defined as a willful act or statement by a caretaker in a facility or program where the caretaker reasonably should have known their action is intended to shame, degrade, or humiliate an adult dependent. Actions that meet the definition of dependent abuse include taking or transmitting an image of a dependent adult. This is an update to the definition to keep up with technology advancements in our daily lives and ensure we are protecting our state’s vulnerable populations.

SF 51 is a bill creating a cytomegalovirus public health initiative, and aims to raise awareness of the disease. The bill requires the Center for Congenital and Inherited Disorders to collaborate with state and local health agencies and other public and private organizations to develop and publish informational materials to educate and to raise awareness of Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Congenital CMV among women who may become pregnant, expectant parents, parents of infants, attending health care providers, and others as appropriate. This disease spreads from person to person through body fluids and can be passed on to a baby during pregnancy. The CMV virus is a common virus that infects people of all ages. Over half of adults by age 40 have been infected with CMV. Once CMV is in a person’s body, it stays there for life and can reactivate. This bill passed the Senate 49-0.

SF 220 regulates the use of traffic cameras. The bill originally was written to prohibit all use of traffic enforcement cameras in the state, but was amended to allow the use traffic cameras with careful stipulations. The bill requires local authorities to hold a public meeting, have a justification report, and pass an ordinance prior to the operation of a traffic camera. In addition, the bill sets calibration requirements, limits the use of money generated from these cameras, and provides a petition process for citizens to ask their local government to remove cameras from certain locations. The bill, as amended, passed 31-18.

SF 234 makes texting while driving a primary offense. Currently, texting while driving is a secondary offense which means an officer cannot use texting while driving to pull someone over. You can still use your phone to make phone calls and as a GPS, but you cannot view text messages, email, browse the internet, or play games on your phone while driving. The bill passed the Senate 43-6.

SF 475 strikes limitations on online education including which schools may have online learning, enrollment caps, some specific requirements for posting student performance, and a school’s ability to develop and offer online education. The bill increases student opportunities beyond the classroom as well, allowing students open enrolled for the purposes of online education to participate in extracurricular activities locally.

The bill also creates a working group to make recommendations to the legislature for making student health requirements uniform and streamlined to reduce the administrative burden on schools. In addition to this working group, a task force is created under the bill to review and prioritize the important tasks of the state’s area education agencies. This provision will assist legislators and education leaders alike in better understanding the mission of the area education agencies and where resources are needed most.

Finally, the Senate passed a voter identification bill that requires voters to have an ID to exercise the right to vote. For those voters who do not currently have a an ID the state will issue a voter identification card, at no cost to the voter, that will be accepted at the voting booth.

It is our intention to begin the tough appropriations process next week by setting budget targets based on available revenue, and we hope to wrap up the legislative session by April 18.

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Posted by on Mar 24 2017. Filed under Local News, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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