Legislative updates from the American Student Dental Association

June 2013

From Washington

Proposals to address student debt reductions

In response to the scheduled doubling of interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans to 6.8 percent, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1911. According to the Institute for College Access and Success, this legislation would include variable interest rates that could increase nearly three percentage points (to 7.3 percent). This bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.


Congress has until July 1 to address the subsidized Stafford loan issue. Two other bills have been introduced that intend to provide temporary solutions to this issue, such as S. 953 and companion bills S. 897/H.R. 1979. S. 953 would freeze current rates for two years, while S. 897/H.R. 1979 would temporarily set the interest rate at .75 percent, the same rate for which banks may borrow from the U.S. government.


ASDA is monitoring these proposals and considers student debt to be a top priority in the weeks ahead.
Lobby Day issue gets co-sponsors

The Earnings Contingent Education Loans (ExCEL) Act has gained three House co-sponsors since National Dental Student Lobby Day in April. Dental students lobbied on behalf of the ExCEL Act and requested lawmakers join Congressman Petri as co-sponsors of the legislation. Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI), whose legislative staff met with the Marquette chapter and Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO), whose legislative staff met with the Colorado chapter, along with Congressman Juan Vargus (D-CA), will serve as additional advocates of the ExCEL Act.

Kelsey Buckley, Nebraska '14 and Trino Nuno, Nebraska '15 meet with Nebraska Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) at Lobby Day this year.

From the States 

State & Local Policy Updates 


In New York, amendments to the State Education Law now allow dental hygienists to sign school dental health certificates because the requirements for the certificate were changed from an examination to an assessment. These changes were part of the recently enacted State Budget. The New York State Dental Association (NYSDA) supported this legislation, which was hoped to be part of a larger collaborative practice arrangement between dentists and dental hygienists in Article 28 facility settings, but that part of the state budget was dropped and is still being worked on as a possible separate bill.


Source: New York State Dental Association



North Dakota S.B. 2084 has been enacted and provides that individuals passing the national dental examining board of Canada exam are eligible for a dental license in that state. Similar reciprocity programs exist in nearby Minnesota.



Indiana S.B. 590 provides specific requirements for graduates of unaccredited dental schools to qualify to apply for licensure. Among other requirements, applicants must complete either a clinical training program of at least two years in an accredited institution that assures a level of competency equal to graduates of accredited dental colleges; or a general practice residency program at an accredited institution, or an advanced education in general dentistry from an accredited institution.



Florida S.B. 463 will allow graduates from non-accredited dental schools who, at the time the new law was enacted requiring such graduates to complete two years of "general dentistry" training for licensure, were enrolled in accredited specialty programs with the goal of obtaining a Florida dental license to complete their programs and apply for licensure. (Grandfathering those who were already doing what was required for licensure to continue on that path even though the requirements were since changed.)



Mississippi S.B. 2419 was enacted and provides that occupational licensing boards, including the Board of Dentistry, shall issue a license, certification or registration to a military-trained applicant to allow the applicant to lawfully practice the applicant's occupation in Mississippi if the applicant satisfies certain conditions.




California A.B. 851 would require the state dental board to accept education, training and practical experience completed by an applicant in military service toward the qualifications and requirements to receive a license or certificate. The bill would require certain schools seeking accreditation or approval to have procedures in place to evaluate an applicant's military education training and practical experience toward the completion of certain educational programs.


Source: May ADA State Legislative Report





The Portland City Council has again voted (60-40) against adding fluoride to the city's water supply. Portland remains the only municipality among the nation's 30 largest cities that does not fluoridate their water. The American Student Dental Association encourages the fluoridation of community water supplies as a scientifically-proven safe and effective means of preventing dental decay as recommended by the U.S. Public Health Service (policy I-1).
Andrew Smith, governance and advocacy manager
ASmith@ASDAnet.org | 312-440-2795
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