Two pieces of legislation addressing the opioid crises in Arkansas moved forward today.
With a vote of 97-0, the House voted to advance HB1013 to the Senate. This bill adds podiatrists to the list of healthcare providers subject to rules regarding schedule II narcotics.
Earlier today, the House Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee advanced HCR1003. This resolution encourages collaboration among healthcare providers, law enforcement, educators, public officials, and the Arkansas community in battling prescription drug abuse.
Also advancing in the Public Health Committee is a bill to require newborn screenings for spinal muscular atrophy. HB1074 also requires insurance policies to cover the screening. According to testimony presented in committee, there is a new treatment available if it is detected early.
The same committee advanced HB1076 and HB1177.
HB1076 amends the Achieving a Better Life Experience Program. This program allows Arkansans will disabilities to having a savings account up to $15,000 without impacting eligibility for many public benefits. HB1076 ensures that in the event of a death, the money in that savings account cannot be seized by the state but can instead be transferred to a designated beneficiary.
HB1177 concerns microchip implantation of employees. Currently, there are no laws governing this technology. HB1177 provides rights for employees including the right to refuse an implant, have it removed, and access to the data collected. The bill also ensures that the employer is responsible for costs incurred.
A bill now making its way to the Senate addresses the large animal veterinary shortage in the state. HB1124 creates certifications for veterinary technologist and technician specialist. It passed the House with a vote of 96-0.
The House will convene again on Wednesday at 1:30 pm.