ALDA legislative Report, 2020 Session

Legislative Session, Week 2, 

On Thursday, February 13,  the Legislature completed its second week of the 2020 legislative session. The Legislature has now used four of its allotted 30 legislative working days and has 94 calendar days in which to use the remaining 26 legislative days.

ALDA is currently monitoring, 18 bills that are related to healthcare. Only one of those bills has language specific to dentistry. HB187, the Education Trust Fund Budget (ETF) , has a line item for the Board of Dental Scholarships which would increase the Board’s appropriation from $230,000 to a little more than $2,000,000 in fiscal 2021. The increase, if approved as a part of the ETF Budget, would fund a limited number of full tuition loans/scholarships at the School of Dentistry. The tuition loans/scholarships would contractually bind up to four students a year willing to practice upon graduation in designated small towns in Alabama. After four years  of practice in those small towns, the loan amounts would be forgiven. We have been working on passage of this concept for three years in the Legislature.

This week another bill that is specific to dentistry and medicine is scheduled to be introduced. The bill would allow dentists and physicians who setup practice in Federally Designated Healthcare Provider Shortage Areas (HPSA) to receive a $5,000 State Income Tax Credit a year for up to five years as they setup practice and continue to practice in those areas of critical need of primary care providers. ALDA has joined with the Alabama Medical Association in moving the legislation forward.