State licensure for Iowa orthotic and prosthetic professionals, SF 364, cleared a key hurdle in the Iowa House yesterday. The House State Government Committee, which opted not to vote on state licensure for O&P during last year’s legislative session, passed the committee bill 21-1, advancing the bill to the House floor.
Rod Cheney of American Prosthetics, OPGA and the IPOPA lobby team have been very active in helping secure the support of physical / occupational therapists, trim startup costs and make other key changes that helped seal passage by the full committee on a strong bipartisan vote yesterday. State Representatives Koester, Massie and Wenthe voted unanimously to approve SF 364 out of subcommittee several weeks ago, but only yesterday were we able to get a vote by the full committee. Passage out of House committee, combined with the progress we made in the Iowa Senate in 2011, means our licensure bill can advance through the next “funnel” deadline and remain a live bill through the end of the session.
Iowa O&P professionals must now turn our focus to persuading the full House to consider and approve SF 364. We will be meeting with House leaders Speaker Kraig Paulsen (R-Cedar Rapids) and Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer (R-Garner) in the coming days to educate them about the bill and gauge their potential support. It is crucial that the O&P industry in Iowa contact their representatives, and the leadership mentioned above, to show support for the legislation among the profession and to educate them on why the bill is good for Iowa patients, taxpayers and O&P professionals.
Contact OPGA for help contacting your local state representative or to locate a legislative forum you could possibly attend to meet and greet in person.