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News & Press: Legislative Updates

Joint Committee on Finance Begins Budget Votes

Tuesday, May 23, 2017  
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The state legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance began voting on provisions in Governor Walker’s budget proposal earlier this month. The committee is tasked with voting on each provision in the proposal agency by agency and one section at a time. The committee meets twice a week for approximately six weeks to get through the entire process.

On May 11, the committee voted on provisions relating to the Department of Safety and Professional Services. During that meeting, committee members offered an amendment regarding the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP).

The amendment makes two changes to the use and administration of the PDMP. First, current law requires patient records to be reviewed before a practitioner issues a prescription order for a patient. The amendment allows a practitioner or a practitioner’s agent to perform the review of patient records in accordance with applicable standards of practice. Second, in the instance a pharmacist, pharmacy, or practitioner fails to comply with rules associated with the PDMP, those individuals will be disciplined by the relevant licensing or regulatory board. The motion clarifies that any non-compliant individual cannot be referred to law enforcement or subject to a criminal investigation. In other words, it makes non-compliance a professional issue rather than a legal one.

The amendment was unanimously adopted by the committee and will now be part of the budget bill. Once the committee is finished voting on the entirety of the budget proposal, the bill will need to go through both houses of the legislature and signed by the governor before it becomes law.

The current fiscal year ends of June 30. The legislature hopes to have a new budget passed by that date.

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