Legislative Update 3-2-20

Last Week

Another vote on overriding a veto! Another one-vote margin! But unlike with paid family and medical leave, this vote went in the other direction and passed minimum wage into law. The new law raises the minimum wage to $11.75 in 2021 and $12.55 in 2022. After 2022, the minimum wage will be annually indexed to inflation.

On the health care front, several important initiatives made it out of committee and are moving forward.

Telehealth: House Health Care unanimously passed out the telehealth bill on Thursday. The bill expands reimbursement for all medically necessary telehealth services, including "store and forward" telemedicine, which means providers can weigh in on patients at a time other than during the patients' visits with referring providers. 

Interstate Nurse Licensure Compact: The Senate Health and Welfare Committee passed a bill that would require Vermont to join the Interstate Nurse Licensure Compact. The bill now heads to the Senate Finance Committee before it goes to a full vote in
the House.

Board of Medical Practice: House Health Care passed a board of medical practice bill that clarifies board procedures around disciplinary investigations and hospital disciplinary reporting. The bill clarifies that providers being investigated by the board of medical practice have a right to view their investigation file and have the opportunity to depose witnesses. The bill also creates a framework at ensuring hospital reporting of a disciplinary action even if the provider has voluntarily left the hospital.  

Next Week: 

Town Meeting Week: All the legislators go back to their towns to vote and hear from their constituents. If you see your legislator over coffee and doughnuts or at the town transfer station, remember to ask for their support on workforce and telehealth. 

Have a great week, and remember to vote!