Yesterday was the end of the legislative session and unfortunately, our bills, even after being amended, did not make it out of committee to be voted on. Throughout the session, the Assembly refused to budge, stating that they will wait to review a 2019 report before making any decisions about changing the law. Therefore, in the end, the Senate, although fully supportive, would not release the bill. Even though this was the most likely outcome, our lobbyist, Kevin Quinn, The Legislative Committee, and many others around the state worked tirelessly until late last night to urge the Senate to release the bill. We asked for you to make your voice heard. You did. It was heard.
We got a lot of attention this session and accomplished many things that will help us going forward. We recruited many more individuals around the state including families to lobby with us, created a rapidly-growing social media presence and began to get the attention of mainstream media as well. We developed a wealth of tools, resources, and educational materials that will continue to grow and help us share our cause. Almost 50 people traveled to Albany to lobby with us. In total, we had 13 Senate and 19 Assembly co-sponsors. Although frustrating, we learned what some of our barriers are and how we might overcome them.
We will need to start over next session by gaining sponsorship and introducing new bills, but the momentum we have created will not be lost. The committee will meet again this summer to plan for moving forward. Here’s what you can do to keep the momentum going:
Write, call, and continue to meet with your representatives, even this summer.
Thank them for their support if they were co-sponsors.
Continue to develop a relationship so that they know you and know our cause.
Provide educational materials and resources to help them understand and study the issue.
We have strength in numbers. Share information and recruit others to lobby with us.
Identify, educate, and stay in touch with families who are impacted by the current licensure law. Their stories need to be heard.
I am so grateful for the personal contribution each of you made and am proud to be a part of this profession. We will keep moving forward and as always, we need you.