MNA Legislative Update May 3, 2013

3 May

 

Standards of Care/Staffing Disclosure Act

The Standards of Care/Staffing Disclosure Act (SF471/HF588), creating a Department of Health study of the correlation between nurse staffing and patient outcomes and requiring public reporting of hospital staffing, passed the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday, and passed the full Senate on Thursday. Thanks to our Senate author, Sen. Jeff Hayden (DFL-Minneapolis), for his work on the bill. The bill will next head back to the House for a final procedural vote, and then to the Governor whom is expected to sign the bill into law.

If you would like to see how your legislators voted, the Senate roll call vote is here, and the first House roll call vote is here. More information about the study can be found in the bill’s fiscal note here.

Nurse Practice Act

Governor Dayton signed the bill clarifying the scope of practice of Licensed Practical Nurses this week. The measure goes into effect on August 1. SF1016 was crafted after years of discussions between MNA, the Licensed Practical Nurse Alliance and the Board of Nursing. The final product clarifies and strengthens the Nurse Practice Act for both LPNs and RNs. Specifically, the law clarifies the definitions of assignment, delegation and unlicensed assistive personnel.

The Board of Nursing has committed to conducting education sessions for nurses on this issue. We will alert you when those opportunities are scheduled.

Thanks to all the nurses who participated in conversations with the Board of Nursing about this issue, and to the bill authors, Rep. Patti Fritz (DFL-Faribault) and Sen. Chris Eaton, RN (DFL-Brooklyn Center).

State Employee Contract

The contract for over 700 MNA nurses in state facilities was passed by the House two weeks ago, and now awaits a hearing in the Senate Finance Committee. Last session, the same contract, agreed to by both management and employees, was voted down by the Republican-controlled legislature after attacks on public employees all session long. This session we expect a smooth path to ratification.

Taxes

A conference committee is meeting to work out significant differences between the House and Senate versions of the Tax bills. We are encouraged both versions ask the wealthiest to pay their fair share to support public investment in our schools, roads, and health care. Both also include an increase in the cigarette tax, which will both discourage youth smoking and help pay for the public health costs of smoking.

 

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