2020 Legislative Session Wrap Up

The 2020 legislative session was busy for TNAAP and, of course, complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic (which included cancellation of our day on the hill). The session’s activities were completely disrupted for a period and then the general assembly later reconvened to the address the budget and a few other key matters. Throughout this period TNAAP monitored hundreds of pieces of legislation and was active in discussions with legislators on numerous matters important to pediatricians including opposing the concept of full practice authority for nurse practitioners and lobbying against anti-vaccination legislation. Other key areas of focus included postpartum coverage for women on TennCare, supporting anti-tobacco/vaping efforts, weighing in on telehealth legislation, youth sports and much more. Full Details of TNAAP’s efforts are detailed below:

  • Worked with the coalition of providers in opposition to the Nurse Independent Practice authority legislation; bill did not get a hearing;
  • Monitored various pieces of legislation relative to increased regulation of vaping and tobacco usage by minors; bill passed to conform regulations to federal law;
  • Worked with sponsor of “Safe Stars” legislation to provide additional training and education for youth athletic coaches across the state; the bill got movement in the House but stalled when COVID-19 ended consideration of bills;
  • Monitored legislation that would have restricted youth participation in athletics to their birth gender; the bill passed the House but stalled in the Senate;
  • Monitored anti-lunch shaming legislation (bill would prohibit the stigmatization of a child who is unable to pay for meals provided by schools under the National School Lunch Program or the School Breakfast Program) and assisted as possible; bill was held up in the House;
  • Monitored potential discussions on Medicaid expansion; there was not a serious effort to do so;
  • Monitored Medical Marijuana discussions; sponsors unveiled a new complicated system of regulatory use but did not pass;
  • Monitored activity of TennCare block grant application; no new information since the submission to CMS;
  • Planned a Day on the Hill for TNAAP which was unfortunately cancelled due to COVID restrictions;
  • Participated as a part of the ImmunizeTN coalition and helped support their Day on the Hill.