One of the many benefits to being a member of the MVMA is Legislative Representation.
The MVMA Advocacy/Legislative Committee serves its members in the following ways:
- Advocacy Committee/Lobbyist
- Practice Act Advocate
- Bill Tracking
- AVMA Representation
Harry Dendy serves as the MVMA lobbyist. He has done a superb job in bill tracking and monitoring the legislation for the veterinarians in Mississippi.
Dr. Bob Filgo and Dr. Katie Ebers serve as the Government Affairs Task Force Co-Chairs.
Dr. Jim Brett and Dr. Tim Fleming are currently serving as your AVMA Delegate and Alternate Delegate.
What is a PAC?
A political action committee (PAC) is a type of political committee organized to spend money for the election or defeat of a candidate. Although most political action committees would be considered either conservative or liberal -- Republican or Democrat -- many are non-partisan, favoring neither political party, and focus on issues rather than party affiliation.
Why is there a separate fund for the PAC? Why can’t you just use some of the dues money to go towards the PAC?
The objectives of the Mississippi Veterinary Medical Association, Inc. are to advance the science and art of Veterinary Medicine, including their relationship to public health and to promote good fellowship among its members. While involvement in government policy and legislation is an important piece of the puzzle, we realize that not all MVMA members want to contribute funds to a political agenda. Contributions to the PAC are strictly voluntary and will be kept separate from the operating funds of the Mississippi Veterinary Medical Association.
Why should I contribute to the PAC?
The money you contribute to the PAC will be used to support candidates that the Government Affairs Task Force believes supports the advancement of the veterinary profession. The past few years have proven that government has taken a greater interest in the laws and governing of our profession. The formation of a Political Action Committee (PAC) allows MVMA members to support the campaigns of those legislators that the PAC Committee feels will support the veterinary profession and look out for our best interest.
How do I contribute to the PAC?
2017 MVMA LEGISLATIVE REPORT – WEEK #9
Week 9 of the 2017 legislative session was another busy week as February 28 was the deadline for committees to report out general bills and constitutional amendments from the other house. Several bills (41 Senate bills and 107 House bills) died in committee as a result of this deadline. March 8 is the deadline for original floor action on general bills and constitutional amendments originating in other house.
The House adjourned on Thursday with the Senate adjourning on Friday. Both chambers will go back in session Monday afternoon.
Of particular interest to MVMA:
HB 974 – This bill provides that personnel actions of most (but not all) state agencies shall be exempt from the State Personnel Board rules, regulations and procedures. This would allow for hiring and firing practices at the discretion of the agency and would not be subject to approval of the State Personnel Board. Harry’s comments –This bill died in committee.
HB 996 – This bill would amend current law as it pertains to the prescribing and dispensing of an opioid type medicine (an opioid antagonist nose spray that can be used to buy 30 minutes of time for a person that has overdosed on an opioid substance). This bill passed out of the House and is on the Senate calendar for consideration.
Harry’s comments – Veterinarians are included in the language of this bill as they are classified as a practitioner. I will monitor.
HB 1032 – This bill requires that all health care providers that are authorized by law to diagnose and prescribe drugs to register as users with the Prescription Monitoring Program of the State Board of Pharmacy. It was amended on the floor of the House to include only those licensed practitioners that hold an active DEA number. HB 1032 has passed the House and the Senate and will now be sent to the Governor for his approval.
Harry’s comments – This bill opens the code section of the law that exempts veterinarians residing in the State of MS from reporting dispensing information of a controlled substance. This bill does not change the dispensing exemption for Veterinarians. I will monitor for the Governor’s signature.
HB 1425 – This bill is known as The Occupational Board Compliance Act of 2017 and requires the Governor to provide active supervision of occupational licensing boards. This bill was initially approved by the House but was held on a motion to reconsider. After two attempts to table the motion to reconsider and after considerable debate, by a very close vote of 63 – 55, the bill was transmitted to the Senate where it was assigned to the Senate Accountability, Efficiency & Transparency Committee. It was amended and passed in Committee and is now on the Senate calendar for consideration by the Senate.
Harry’s comments – This highly controversial legislation would have a significant impact on all occupational licensing boards. Since the Board of Veterinary Medicine is an occupational licensing board, it is included in this legislation. I will monitor.
SB 2647 - flagged by AVMA - This bill amends the MS Board of Animal Health membership and meeting date requirements. This bill has passed both the Senate and the House and has been sent to the Governor for his approval. It is due back from the Governor on or before 3/6/17.
Harry’s comments – The involvement of MVMA in the selection of a Veterinarian to serve on the Board of Animal Health remains unchanged. I will continue to monitor.
SB 2962 – This bill is the appropriations bill for the College of Veterinary Medicine at Mississippi State University for fiscal year 2018. The amount of state appropriated funds in SB 2962 is $17,395,522. This bill has passed the Senate and has been transmitted to the House where it was assigned to the House Appropriations Committee.
Harry’s comments – This amount will likely change as the appropriations process is finalized. I will monitor.
SB 2985 – This bill is the appropriations bill for the Mississippi State Board of Veterinary Examiners for fiscal year 2018. The amount of funds in SB 2985 is $192,181.
Harry’s comments – I will monitor.
As always, please feel free to call or email with questions or comments
~Harry Dendy (MVMA Legislative Consultant)