The Legsislative Ledger

 May 2011
From Washington, D.C.
Changes to Student Loan Programs  
President Obama's FY2012 budget has several proposed changes to student loan programs. The President's budget makes Stafford loans entirely unsubsidized for graduate and professional students. Previously, up to $8,500 was subsidized by the government, which paid the interest on the loans during school, grace periods and deferment periods. With the President's changes, all Stafford loans would be unsubsidized. Additional changes are proposed for Pell grants and Perkins loans (WU, 3-4).
Opposition to Proposed Health Care Cuts 
In February, ADEA sent a letter to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stating opposition to the proposed cuts to funding for oral health care programs, agencies and research contained in the Continuing Resolution HR 1, passed by the House of Representatives (WU, 2-3).
From the States

Update on Workforce Legislation  

Bills in New Mexico, Maine and Kansas creating new workforce positions such as dental therapists have failed to pass. A bill in Connecticut to create an advanced dental hygiene practitioner has been advanced and is awaiting further committee assignment. A bill remains in committee in Oregon to create a dental therapist, with the sponsor committed to being heard this year (SLR, 2-3).

Medicaid Block Grants

State and federal officials are seeking ways to reduce costs, and the discussion has included block grants for Medicaid to replace the current state-federal cost share arrangement. States would receive a lump sum payment from the federal government and would have some flexibility with Medicaid regulations. Stay tuned for more information as it develops (SLR, 1-2).
Expanding Scope of Dental Hygiene
Many states are currently looking at expanding the scope of practice for dental hygienists and similar positions. Bills in Massachusetts and Maine would allow hygienists to administer and monitor administration of nitrous oxide. Additional information available here (SLR, 3-4).

Quote of the Month

"That is the true genius of America, a faith in the simple dreams of its people, the insistence on small miracles. That we can say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock on the door. That we can have an idea and start our own business without paying a bribe or hiring somebody's son. That we can participate in the political process without fear of retribution, and that our votes will be counted ---- or at least, most of the time."

---- Barack Obama  

Information published in this newsletter is credited to the ADEA Washington Update (WU) and the ADA State Legislative Report (SLR).
In This Issue
-Changes to Student Loan Programs
-Opposition to Proposed Health Care Cuts
-Update on Workforce Legislation
-Medicaid Block Grants
-Expanding Scope of Dental Hygiene
-Quote of the Month
Eastern Region Spotlight

Boston University ASDA participated in their second relay to honor cancer survivors and remember loved ones who lost their battle. It was an exciting 12 hour walk/camp-out event with oral cancer booths set up, dental trivia, games and more.
Central Region Spotlight

North Carolina hosted Advocacy Week in April, which included an ADPAC drive, lunch and learn, and a session with former state Senator and candidate for US Senate Cal Cunningham. A meet and greet is in the works with State Rep. Bert Jones.
Western Region Spotlight

It has been a year of firsts for UNLV. Students participated in the first State Lobby Day. Members also sat on the legislative committee of the NDA. It was the first year UNLV held an ADPAC drive. With their success, UNLV plans to expand and improve to a whole ADPAC week next year.
Legislative Grassroots Network

Veena Vaidyanathan, Pacific 2012

Vice Chair
Aruna Rao, Minnesota 2012

Regional Legislative Coordinators
Namrata Gupte, Tufts 2012
Crystal Ammori, Michigan 2013
Aaron Bumann, Minnesota 2013

District 9 Trustee
Emily Moers, UT-San Antonio 2014

Vice President
Brittany Bensch, Washington 2012

Staff Liaison
Meghan Keelean, CMP
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