Governmental Affairs

MD ENA 2017 Governmental Affairs

Maryland’s own GA chair testified about workplace violence during a meeting with OSHA on January 10. “While it is important for workplaces to internally mitigate workplace violence, it is just as important to address the external root causes of the violence. “

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Big news from your government affairs committee:  Seven of us attended the well-structured ENA Day on the Hill on Tuesday, April 27, and Wednesday the 28th. Tuesday we attended a meeting of the ENA board of directors to hear how our national leaders are managing their concerns.  After a wonderful, 2 hour lunch in downtown DC, we learned from experts how and why emergency nurses should lobby for better funding by congress for trauma systems and mental health care. Maryland has an excellent trauma system, with the STC as the centerpiece. The rest of the country, particularly the midwest and the Dakotas, lack any such system or access to timely trauma resuscitation. We can all attest to the shortcomings in mental health care in our communities as well as the fallout it causes. Better access to outpatient mental health care would benefit our communities significantly in many ways.  Wednesday the Maryland group visited nine Senators’ and Representatives’ offices on Capitol Hill to encourage support for these two items. Lobbying for increased funding for mental health and trauma care are the reasons your GA committee members spent two days in our nation’s capital.

     Vince Lombardi said, “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” Your government advocacy team, led by the impassioned co-chairmen, Don Charlson and Hershaw Davis, did a great job improving access to better care for our patients.

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Nurses Night in Annapolis

Nurses Night in Annapolis was on Monday, Feb. 20, 2017 in Annapolis. Maryland Nurses
Association hosted the event and requested that we speak with our State legislators about
the need for the federal government to continue the Affordable Care Act.
1. MDENA was represented by 4 RNs:
 Lisa Tenney, Montgomery County (MMC)
 Crystal Stitely, Frederick County (MMC)
 Susan Sheehy, Prince George’s County (MMC), who went in Emilie Crown’s
place
 Kaitlyn Aquino, Howard County (MMC)
2. Kaitlyn met with Delegate Dr. Clarence Lam and Delegate Eric Ebersole,
Howard/Baltimore District 12. Mr. Ebersole expressed interest in speaking with
Kaitlyn about possibly sponsoring a Maryland Workplace Violence penalty bill during
the 2018 session.
3. Crystal met with Senator Ron Young (Frederick District 3) and Delegate Carol Krimm
(Frederick District 3A)
4. Sue and Lisa met with Representative Kathleen Dumas (Montgomery District 15)
5. Sue and Lisa met with Representative Kirill Resnick (Montgomery District 39)

Maryland Legislative Session 2017

SEATBELTS

Lisa Tenney testified before the Maryland House Environment and Transportation
Committee (March 9) in Annapolis in support of HB 1285 Criminal- Motor Vehicles –
Passenger Seat Belt Requirement – Primary Offense, the comprehensive seatbelt bill that
Emilie Crown hoped to get signed into law this year. HB 1285 would have made the failure
to wear a seat belt a “primary offense” in Maryland. It would also have made it
mandatory for all passengers to wear a seat belt, regardless of age or position in a vehicle,
thereby including those passengers in the front middle seat and back “jump seat.”
Crystal Stitely and Bradley Fernandes from the Mid-Maryland Chapter accompanied Lisa
to the hearing. ENA was part of the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, a coalition of medical professionals, public health groups, safety groups and insurance industry
representatives. Many legislators on this committee expressed concerns about the bill.
They worried that by making seatbelts a “primary offense” that some law enforcement
officers may use the law to target minority and/or immigrants. Lisa’s testimony quoted
NHTSA evidence to the contrary:
“The relationship between primary enforcement belt laws and minority ticketing, the share of
citations for Hispanics and African Americans changed very little after states adopted primary
enforcement belt laws. In fact, there were significant gains in seat belt use among all ethnic
groups, none of which were proportionately greater in any minority group.”
Despite these efforts, HB 1285 did not make it out of the committee, and was reviewed as
“unfavorable.”

SEXUAL ASSAULT

The GAC wrote letters of support for SB 217 and HB 429 (Criminal Law-Sexual Offenses-
Physical Resistance). As front line caregivers of victims of sexual assault, we know that
many victims do not resist during the actual sexual attack, in an effort to minimize further
injury and possible death. Under current Maryland law, physical evidence is required as
proof that an assault occurred. We supported these bills because it is not in the best
interest of the victim to require evidence of resistance. These bills were both reviewed
“favorably” and are expected to be signed into law by Governor Hogan.
The GAC committee wrote letters of support for SB 349 and HB 255 – Criminal Procedure
– Sexual Assault Victims’ Rights – Disposal of Rape Kit Evidence and Notification. As
front line caregivers we know that this bill will make it easier for victims of sexual assault
to track their Rape Kit evidence. The bill will also provide that they will be notified before
their evidence is destroyed. We supported this bill because it would serve as a very
respectful and kind law that preserves options for victims, especially teenage victims.
After victims experience a sexual trauma where they were made to feel powerless, this
bill would help victims retain some control of dealing with the painful emotional
aftermath. These bills were both reviewed “favorably” and are expected to be signed into
law by Governor Hogan.

Sign Up for E-Mail Alerts on Issues Related to Your State

New features have been added to ENA’s Legislative Action Center that enable “E-Mail Alerts” to be sent directly to those ENA members who reside in the state or district of the congressional members that we need to target. These alerts provide strategic information to affect key policy issues of interest to ENA and emergency nursing. Go to http://capwiz.com/ena/home/ to sign up for future alerts.

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