After the passing of a key deadline, the number of health & human services bills have been whittled down significantly. AOC continues to watch a handful of mental health bills and work on a few key public health issues. But now is when the focus shifts heavily to the budget discussion. The co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means recently released their updated budget framework and there are a number of concerning cuts proposed to human services outlined below.

Senate Bill (SB) 235-A & SB 998: SB 998 was an alternative to tobacco retail licensure that would have created a statewide registry of retailers. The bill included a $25 fee for registering, paid to the Department of Revenue and had an incredibly far-reaching preemption on local governments’ ability to enact ordinances regarding tobacco regulation. The bill did not move out of committee. SB 235, which was the original tobacco retail licensure bill this session, was amended with a gut-and-stuff that replaced the measure. SB 235-A now simply modifies rules regarding the Indoor Clean Air Act and the definition of “enclosed space.” Latest action: Sent to Rules with a do-pass recommendation. AOC has been neutral on tobacco retail licensure, though we opposed SB 998 due to the preemption.

SB 307: This bill would allow social consumption of cannabis. Sen. Ferrioli has been convening a work group, of which AOC has been a part. The most recent version of the language would allow cities and counties to opt-in to allow for fixed locations with outdoor smoking areas that meet current Indoor Clean Air Act regulations to receive a license for on-site consumption of cannabis via inhalation. L