On the Hill This Week:
Legislators began the second week of the 2016 Session focused on getting bills filed to meet the January 21, filing deadline. This is the first year only one introduction deadline was set and it is also the earliest deadline on record. The goal of this change is to complete the work of the General Assembly and adjourn by the first of April, meaning legislators will have about ten weeks to act on more than 1500 bills introduced during the past two weeks plus any bills left pending from last year.
New bills introduced this week begin with SB 1848 (Gardenhire) – HB 1824 (Carr), which revises procedures for criminal background checks and convenes a working group on elder abuse. Also new this week is, SB 1895 (Dickerson) – HB 2395 (Littleton) which would create the “Tennessee Nursing Delegation Act for Home and Community Living.” If adopted this bill would authorize a registered nurse to delegate certain health care maintenance tasks to unlicensed persons for a patient receiving long-term care services and support.
One introduction of particular note to Tennessee ALFA members is SB 2383 (Bell) – HB 2013 (M. Hill), which revises the Medication Aide Certified program. This program, adopted in 2009 allows unlicensed but trained personnel acting under the supervision of a licensed nurse to administer certain medications. Although the program has been in place for six years, no medication aide certificates have been issued because no training programs have been established. Thus, SB 2383 – HB 2013 proposes to offer broader availability of training programs, which would continue under the supervision of the Board of Nursing. The proposal would also change the name of the program simply to “medication aides.”
Gun bill continued this year as a popular topic of legislation. One bill potentially impacting assisted living communities is SB 1736 (Gresham) – HB 2033 (Faison). This bill would impose safety responsibility and hence liability on any person who prohibits possession of a firearm through the authorized posting process to any person who is unable to defend against bodily injury or death on the posted property.
To view a list of bills impacting providers of assisted living and other forms of senior care click on the Legislative Update Tab.