Current Legislative Session

201​6 Legislative Session Agenda

Nebraska's Legislature will officially convene January 6, 2016 and adjourns April 20th. There will be two main areas your legislative team will once again be working on this session: Updating the Dental Practice Act and Medicaid. In addition to these areas, the NDA will work to defeat or alter any legislation or regulatory matter which is not in line with NDA stated policy.  Other than LB 901 discussed below, click here for 2016 Legislation the NDA is monitoring.

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LB 901 - Update the Dental Practice Act

Beginning with the Oral Health Task Force in 2010, three years of meeting with members of the NDA, NDAA and NDHA, two competing 407 Applications in 2014, the NDA NDAA 407 Application was approved by the Technical Review Committee, the Board of Health, the Chief Medical Officer and the Board of Dentistry.  The NDA/NDAA introduced LB901 with the assistance of Senator Mark Kolterman on January 11, 2016.   Dr. Jessica Meeske (below), NDA Executive Director David O'Doherty, Crystal Stuhr and Cindy Cronick (NDAA) testified in support before the HHS Committee on LB 901, along with two officers from the NDHA.

On February 8, 2016, the HHS Committee voted 7-0 to advance LB 901 to General File!
On February 22, 2016, Speaker of the Legislature Galen Hadley designated LB 901 a Speaker Priority Bill.  This is significant, as a priority bill has priority status and generally is considered ahead of other bills in debate, thereby significantly increasing the chances for passing this Legislative Session.

Ernie_Chambers_2On April 6th, LB 901 finally reached the Legislative Floor for debate. Unfortunately, Senator Ernie Chambers decided to unleash his shock and awe anger during LB 901.  He was upset for a number of reasons, not specifically detailed, but the rambled on for over an hour.  His first 10 minute diatribe can be seen here.

He later went on to say that he was "accountable to no one," apparently even his constituents, who would have been help by LB 901.  He finally filed an amendment to LB 901, which deleted LB 901 in its entirety and substituted language to make hunting mountain lions illegal.

NDA lobbyist Kim Robak did some work to prepare for next year:  
* The bill has been drafted including the amendments that were agreed to by the parties this year
* Working with the NDHA to agree not to amend the bill – but only move forward next year with the bill as it exists now
* Speaking with senators who may be the chair of the HHS committee next year so the bill could get a very early hearing and that they could vote the bill out of Committee immediately. 
* Speaking with senators who would likely be for Speaker for 2017 to to put the bill on the agenda early. 
In addition, addition an emergency clause so that the bill can be put into effect immediately next year.  

The chart below shows proposed changes to the Dental Practice Act.  All of the new duties below can be obtained individually through additional education and testing, much like coronal polishing and x-rays are currently handled through DHHS.

LB 901 Chart