We are almost one month into the 2024 legislative session, and we’re seeing some serious momentum across the country! Amendments to existing laws have been introduced, bills continue to be referred to committees, and some states have already scheduled or received public hearings.
Here’s what happened in the last two weeks of January:
New Bills Introduced
- Eliminating the state’s residency requirement, just as Vermont and Oregon did in 2023;
- Adding Advance Practice Registered Nurses as prescribers and;
- Reducing the waiting period from 15 days to 48 hours and allowing providers to waive the mandatory waiting period if the patient is unlikely to survive it.
This is the first time Colorado has attempted to amend their law since it was passed in 2016. The bill has been referred to the Senate Health & Human Services Committee.
In New Jersey, State Assemblymember Herb Conaway introduced A1880; an amendment to the New Jersey Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act. The amendment would waive the 15-day waiting period if a patient is not expected to survive it. The bill has been referred to the Assembly Health Committee.
Along with a bill that would expand access, opponents to medical aid in dying have introduced A407, an amendment that would repeal the New Jersey Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act, and A406, a bill designed to intimidate physicians or patients seeking to use the law by increasing penalties for fraud or coercion. You can help by contacting New Jersey legislators and requesting that they uphold and protect New Jerseyan’s rights to Death with Dignity. If you are a New Jersey resident, write a letter now!
Kentucky introduced HB285, which would legalize medical aid in dying. The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Committees. This is the fourth year in a row the Bluegrass State has introduced Death with Dignity legislation, showing consistent support for helping change the way people die!
The Maryland End of Life Option Act, otherwise known as The Honorable Elijah E. Cummings and the Honorable Shane E. Pendergrass Act (HB403), was re-introduced on January 18. The bill received its first reading in the House Health and Government Operations and Judiciary Committee. Last year both bills received public hearings but did not advance before the session ended.
Iowa introduced the Our Care, Our Options Act (SF2101), and it has been referred to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. This is a companion bill to the two house bills (HF533/HF612) introduced last spring, which were carried over into the 2024 session. Both house bills were referred to committees and await a public hearing.
Virginia’s HB858 received a public hearing on January 19 and was referred from the House Courts of Justice to the House Committee on Health and Human Services by voice vote. The bill awaits a public hearing in the House Health Subcommittee.
Virginia’s SB280, the companion to HB858, received a public hearing in the Senate Health Subcommittee on January 23. The Subcommittee voted 3-2 in favor, and the bill was referred to a full Senate Committee on Education and Health vote. On January 25, the Senate Committee on Education and Health voted 8-6 in favor, and the bill has been re-referred to the Senate Committee on Finance.
In Minnesota, the End of Life Option Act (HF1930) received a public hearing on January 25 in the House Health Finance and Policy Committee. After a 10-5 in favor vote, the bill was re-referred to the House Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee.
In Maryland, the End of Life Option Act, aka The Honorable Elijah E. Cummings and the Honorable Shane E. Pendergrass Act (SB443), has a public hearing scheduled for February 8 in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.
Bills Referred to Committees
Florida’s S1642 was referred to the Senate Health Policy, Judiciary, and Fiscal Policy Committees. This is the companion bill to H561 which received its first reading in the House Healthcare Regulation Subcommittee.
It’s exciting to see introduced legislation continue to work its way through the early stages of the legislative process, and we look forward to more bills being formally introduced and referred for hearings. We will always post breaking news as states continue to move through the legislature, so be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter/X!