May 2011: Progress Report as Legislative Sessions Come to a CloseBy Gene McGill, Director of State Government Relations
A quick glance at the legislative tracking map on the AANP Web site (must be logged-in to view) will confirm more than a third of the state legislatures in the Unites States have ended their session for 2011. Success continues, however, for the naturopathic profession. Arizona, California, Utah and Washington State all had changes in legislation to increase the scope of practice for naturopathic physicians, and of course North Dakota successfully became the 16th state to license naturopathic doctors.
The fight for licensure continues in North Carolina, New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. All have legislation either pending or in draft form yet to be introduced. In Maryland, Virginia, Colorado, and Iowa—states that were successful in moving legislation forward this year but whose session has ended—the push will begin again in the near future to prepare for the 2012 legislative session and another effort at achieving licensure.
The AANP will continue to work with legislators throughout the summer months to advocate for the need for licensure. As in the past, the AANP will be sponsoring a booth at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) in San Antonio, Texas, and will continue to work closely with and exhibit at the National Foundation of Woman Legislators (NFWL) conference where AANP Executive Director Karen Howard sits on the Board. The continued relationship building between the NDs and legislators gained at these events, lobby days, and personal visits by you to your legislators are invaluable to our success. Please keep in mind that every state that achieves licensure or increases the scope of practice benefits all naturopathic physicians. You are worth the effort!