During the calendar year 2007, MSHA followed through with several legislative initiatives. Legislation regarding insurance coverage for hearing aids for children was introduced in 2007, however, died in committee. Subsequent meetings with legislators and lobbyists revealed a statute requiring a report of economic impact. A committee was formed and the report finalized in the fall of 2007. Legislation was again introduced in January 2008. As our lobbyist indicated the timing for introduction of this bill was poor with many newly elected legislators, numerous changes in committee chair positions, and adjustments in the state budget after the influx of federal monies post-Katrina making consideration of a substantive issue difficult at this time. This bill died in committee. We plan to reintroduce this legislation in the next session after an awareness campaign while the legislators are in their home districts prior to session. Currently, we continue to monitor bills relating to experience increments and considered increases affecting the salary of speech language pathologists and audiologists employed in the public schools and state agencies.
Legislative Update – Suzie Rosser, President