March 2011: A Busy Month for Legislation Impacting NDsBy Gene McGill, Director of State Government Relations
Legislation throughout the United States with respect to naturopathic medicine continues to gain momentum. To date, over 140 pieces of legislation have been introduced that will license naturopathic physicians for the first time or expand the scope of practice for those states already licensed.
- Alaska has introduced legislation to establish the Alaska Naturopathic Medical Board. HB 122 has hearings scheduled for later this month in the House Labor and Commerce Committee.
- Colorado HB 1173, which would license the practice of naturopath doctors, did not make it out of the House Committee on Health and Environment and has been postponed indefinitely.
- Illinois HB 3350, a naturopathic licensure bill, has been referred to the Executive Committee.
- Iowa SSB 1066 was approved by the Committee on State Government and a full Senate vote is expected later this month.
- Maryland has introduced naturopathic licensing bills in both the House and Senate. Both have had hearings on the legislation. Votes are expected in March.
- New Hampshire HB 351, requiring insurance coverage for NDs, was retained for a vote later this year by the House Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee.
- New York has introduced legislation in both the House and Senate. Both bills have been referred to their respective committees in Education.
- North Dakota SB 2271 passed the Human Services Committee and the full Senate 22-0, and is scheduled for a hearing in the House Human Services Committee in the very near future.
- Virginia HB 2487 was left in the Health and Institutions Committee upon adjournment.
- Washington HB 1128, which will form the Washington Board of Naturopathic Medicine, passed the House 97-0 and is currently on the second reading in the Senate Rules Committee.
- Arizona has six bills relating to NDs, California has nine, and Hawaii has 17.
- Massachusetts has just introduced legislation; North Carolina and Pennsylvania have yet to introduce their legislation.
Get involved! Stay involved! Take a minute and see what is happening in your state and throughout the rest of the U.S. on the AANP website. Let your elected officials know that you are aware of what they are doing.
It is easy to stay informed. Go to the AANP website, login and under the "Advocacy" tab click on "State Legislative Tracking." If your state is in GREEN, take note.
The AANP has the tools to keep you informed and involved. If you have a question, comment or concern contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.