Vice-President for Legislative Affairs
Kimberly Stewart, MS
Welcome to the Legislative Affairs web page. This page will provide MSHA members with information regarding legislative and regulatory issues, which will affect our practices of speech-language pathology and audiology. Both area of governance influence our clients and their families and our practices, the legislative process more generally and the regulatory process more specifically.
This web page will include information regarding current and upcoming federal and state activities, links that will give members access to state and federal legislative bodies, regulatory agencies, and other groups and associations that advocate for the same clients we work with.
The emphasis on regulatory affairs is necessary because our state and federal governments provide for regulatory agencies to oversee many aspects of those areas that the legislature creates policies for. Legislatures pass laws that are fairly broad. Regulatory agencies issue specific rules that implement legislative decisions in ways that specifically affect services we offer to our clients and the ways in which we provide those services. Our efforts to advocate must be directed to both legislation and regulation.
Advocacy is essential to our practices. Simply being aware of issues affecting our clients and us is not enough. We must actively engage ourselves in supporting the interests of those we serve in our professions by voicing our questions and concerns to those directly involved in making the decisions that affect us.
Both state and federal legislatures are currently preparing for special sessions, including veto sessions. Regular sessions will begin shortly after the new year begins. This page will include issues of interest as those issues arise.
Current Legislative Actions – Bills (speech-language pathology and audiology)
To find out more details on these and other legislative bills, log into www.house.mo.gov Click on ‘bill tracking’ and then locate the appropriate number. Click on the bill number and then click summary. They are pdf files. However, quick links to bill summaries are provided below:
Missouri State Bills
HB 1900 and SB885 A bill that changes/adds/deletes aspects of the speech language pathology practice act. The bill defines appropriate use and training of SLP-A, establishes continuing education requirements for SLP-A, eliminates provisional licensure, adds further clarification on the licensure to certification provisions.
HB 1988 A bill that expands the Hearing Instrument Specialist scope of practice and crosses over into the practice of Audiology.
SB 984 A bill that requires DESE hire a ‘dyslexia specialist’ to help identify and treat students with dyslexia and related disorders in school districts.
HB 1062 A bill that changes the laws regarding services for individuals with disabilities. Includes: TBI funding, MoHealthnet covered services, service dogs, and accessible parking)
HB 1064 A bill that removes references to phrases “mentally retarded, mental retardation” from statute and replaces them with “intellectually disabled and intellectual disability” respectively.
HR14 A resolution that recommends licensure for Music Therapists would be allowed in their scope of practice to assess and treat communication disorders through music.
US Federal Bills
S. 2046 This bill is pending in the US Senate and provides audiology services as a Medicare benefit.
If you are interested in working on legislative and regulatory issues, including advocacy efforts to benefit our profession and those we work with, please contact me at email@example.com. Establishing a statewide network for advocacy is a priority. Please let me know what issues interest you.
The following links provide resources and information regarding issues of interest, including information that allows each of us to advocate for our clients and our profession. Other web pages on this site include helpful links to agencies and organizations.
www.moga.mo.gov/ This site will direct members to both the House and Senate home pages, which provide information about legislative session schedules, house and senate members, committee meetings, and status of bills being considered during the session.
United States Congress
www.house.gov This site provides access to information about issues considered by the U.S. House of Representatives.
www.senate.gov This site offers information about issues being considered by the U.S. Senate.
www.asha.org/advocacy/ This web page provides information about state and federal legislative issues, including advocacy resources.
www.cms.gov This site provides information from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
www.ahcanal.org/ This website is for the American Healthcare Association, which represents the long-term care industry. It provides legislative and regulatory updates and advocacy resources.
Changes to the Speech-Laguage Pathology Act
Proposed changes to the speech-language pathology act concerning speech-language pathology assistants can be read by clicking here.
These amendments will allow fewer restrictions for speech-language pathology assistant practice in all employment settings, especially the schools, and will allow pre-service training programs at the universities to adjust their undergraduate programs to articulate with the credentialing requirement changes of SLP-A. This change will assist in the marketing of the credential as a career option.
Since many members may be unfamiliar with the process of commenting on proposed rule changes, please note the following:
Anyone may file a statement in support of or in opposition to [the] proposed amendment[s] with the Board of Registration for the Healing Arts, PO Box 4, Jefferson City, MO 65102, by facsimile at (573) 751-3166, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To be considered, comments must be received within thirty (30) days after publication of this notice in the Missouri Register. No public hearing is scheduled.
Make sure you list the amendments for which you are submitting your comments, for example: 20 CSR 2150-4.203
Text to the rule that the Board is proposing to delete is indicated within [brackets], and text the Board is adding to the rule is shown in Bold typeface.