“This was probably the most challenging legislative session faced by the Arkansas Medical Society, at least in my 35-year career,” began AMS Executive Director David Wroten from the conference room of the Society’s Little Rock office. Having come from months of daily work at the Capitol, Wroten and AMS Governmental Affairs Director Scott Smith sat down to reflect on the high and low points of the 92nd Arkansas General Assembly.
CP: Before we get into the bills themselves, talk to me about what made this such a difficult
DW: As for the why, I think there were several factors. Some of it had to do with a shakeup in committees – particularly in the House, where legislators didn’t know what committees they would be on until the first day of the session. In the Senate, six members of the Senate Public Health Committee were replaced.
SS: In addition, due to a new rule, you didn’t have to worry about a bill-filing deadline, so you had bills coming in at the last minute. Also, the sheer volume of scope-of-practice bills was higher than normal. We started off with five APRN bills, two CRNA bills, three pharmacy bills, telemedicine bills, and more.