After a long, hard-fought advocacy battle, we are disappointed to report that due to constitutional time restraints and a lack of political will, Kentucky Senate Leadership has decided to once again block the movement of House Bill 93. We know the below message is lengthy, but we encourage you to take a moment to read it in its entirety to fully understand where we are and where we plan to be in the future.
As the momentum picked up during the legislative session kicking off in January, KAPA had at least seven representatives from our Government Affairs team in Frankfort almost every day meeting with legislators and stakeholders. Every legislator we met with gave us their full support and indicated we would find similar support once our bill made it to the full House for a vote.
Unfortunately, even after working with House Health and Family Services Chair, Kim Moser, to craft a committee substitute favorable to legislators and PAs alike, on Wednesday, March 6, we were informed that Senate leadership had no interest in allowing the bill out of committee. We spent the rest of the week reviewing other options for moving forward, but at that point, the constitutional time limit was not on our side.
With that said, we’ve made great headway in being a presence in Frankfort while building relationships with key legislators, physicians across Kentucky, and other associations and interest groups who have expressed interest in supporting the PA cause. We had over 130 physicians sign letters of support for our profession, and those letters and relationships will go far in building a statewide coalition of support as we continue advocating for physician assistants across Kentucky.
This year we had a record-breaking grassroots involvement and we couldn’t have done it without YOU. Every single legislator we met with expressed support for the legislation, and many of them were in support BECAUSE they had heard from you, their constituents. Because of your outreach, we also had a record number of bill cosponsors. Eleven legislators—another KAPA record—from both sides of the political aisle signed on as sponsors of our bill, and we are grateful for their support.
And thanks to advocacy grants from Sullivan University and the AAPA, we were able to offer outreach in new ways. KAPA met with state legislators during a Joint Interim Committee Meeting hosted by Sullivan University; we had a record number of registrants for our Lobby Day; we hosted a luncheon for legislators at the Capitol at which we garnered even more support; we worked alongside AAPA to develop outreach and advocacy strategies; and we had a bigger presence in Frankfort than ever before.
With all our groundwork laid, we will begin crafting policies during the Legislative Interim (the “off season” of the Kentucky Legislature) so we can hit the ground running with full support from all sides in January 2020.
But we can’t do it without your—our KAPA members’—continued support. Please make sure to keep up with the latest developments from KAPA by liking our Facebook page, following us on Twitter, and ensuring your membership is up-to-date. Our voice is loudest when we stand in Frankfort united as a profession, so encourage your colleagues who are not KAPA members to join KAPA, attend our yearly symposium, and help advance our advocacy initiatives across the Commonwealth. To that end, we are offering $25 off their first yearly membership to new members using the code KYGA20 (code expires March 28, 2019).
Stay tuned for updates on our policy work, and please reach out to our Public Policy Director, Adam Haley, with any questions.
Thank you for your continued support.
- KAPA Board of Directors