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HB 17 wrap-up & next steps

Dental Therapist-Hygienist HB 17 has reached its final destination for 2013, and we are already working on next steps.

Last night the House Business and Industry Committee heard HB 17 for 2 1/2 hours - a good chunk of time, this late in the session. The committee directed that the HB 17 sponsor and representatives meet with the sponsor and representatives of the New Mexico Dental Association (NMDA) dental therapy bill after the session, before the interim committees begin in May. The meetings will help us continue to work for legislation that has a positive impact on the oral health crisis in New Mexico. So while there was no vote in the committee, there was a great discussion that yielded concrete next steps that can be taken.

Earlier this week, HB 17 companion bill SB 567 was tabled in the Senate Public Affairs Committee. The votes were as follows - Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto was not present for the vote. We encourage community members to contact their legislator if they are unsatisfied with a voting decision.

At Health Action NM, we are proud of the progress and advocacy that occurred during the 2013 session. There was a big increase in awareness of the dental care crisis in NM, as well as in the solution that dental therapy can offer. We need to continue this education process and get more people on board, including Gov. Susanna Martinez.

We couldn't have done it without the support of many allies. A big thank you to:

  • Our bill sponsors, Rep. Dennis Roch (R) and Sen. Carlos Cisneros (D).
  • Other state advocacy groups who are also working hard to make dental therapy a reality in their states.
  • The many local dentists and dental hygienists who stood up with us to promote dental therapy as an optimal solution to NM's dental care needs.
  • All of our endorsers, community members, groups, and organizations alike.
  • All those community members who attended the various committee hearings and called their legislators in support of this bill.

Stay in touch with us to hear more about what you can be doing to keep building awareness on this solution to New Mexico's dental care crisis. There is much work to be done!

Word of Mouth