This week, legislators have been meeting in committees of conference (C of C) to resolve House and Senate differences on many bills including four bills being followed closely by NHMS.

Last week, pathologists contacted NHMS after identifying a potential problem in the genetic counseling bill, SB135. Via emails, phone calls and live testimony, NHMS was able to explain the problem to key legislators and offer amended language. At Monday’s C of C, House and Senate conferees unanimously adopted the amendment.

Yesterday, House and Senate conferees met in a C of C on HB664, the vaccine funding bill. Both bodies support the underlying bill. The disagreement involves a non-germane voter ID amendment. The conferees were unable to reach agreement but will meet again tomorrow (Thursday). NHMS is optimistic.

The differences in HB573, the therapeutic cannabis bill, were resolved yesterday in a C of C. The conferees agreed to the Senate version of the bill that does not allow “grow your own” and eliminates PTSD as a “qualifying medical condition.” Note: NHMS plans to offer a CME program to assist physicians who are interested in learning more about the new law.

The state budget C of C has been meeting since last Friday to review House and Senate differences in projected revenues and spending. Nothing is final yet, but it appears that there will not be any new increase in the tobacco tax and Medicaid Expansion will not happen until there is further study. The House proposals for a study of Medicaid Expansion include an accelerated schedule to try to meet the January 1, 2014, start date. The Senate counter proposals have a less aggressive schedule that would delay the expansion well into 2014. The budget C of C has a noon deadline tomorrow. Watch for updates in your local paper.

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