The AVMA has adopted guidelines for managing the Association's involvement in state legislative and regulatory affairs.
The guidelines, recommended by the Task Force on State Legislative and Regulatory Affairs and approved by the Executive Board, elaborate on a concept document the board agreed on in April 2004.
Following the concept's approval, the task force completed a survey of constituent organizations and hosted a public policy symposium (see JAVMA, Oct. 1, 2004, page 995). The task force used this information to finalize the concept document with the intent that it would serve as a guide for the AVMA's involvement in state public policy.
The new document describes what the Association's participation in state legislative and regulatory affairs might encompass; considers needs for legislative and legal analysis, research and public policy development, and advocacy; and takes into account feedback from key stakeholders.
The Executive Board approved another of the task force's recommendations, one that proposed funding for Web-based application services that will enable the AVMA to identify and monitor state legislative and regulatory proposals of importance to the veterinary profession.
Central to the AVMA's success in the state public policy arena, the task force stated, is its ability to track legislative and regulatory proposals and to support state grassroots advocacy efforts. In Illinois alone, more than 10,000 bills and some 2,200 resolutions have been introduced since January of 2004.
Software and support services are available that allow relevant proposals to be identified and monitored. The AVMA already uses Capwiz (www.capwiz.com/avma/home/) to track veterinary-related proposals at the national level.
The original recommendation allocated $18,400 for the services, but the board approved $8,400 instead.
In addition, the board postponed until April 2005 a recommendation to create an AVMA State Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Committee. Proposals to create two additional positions in the Communications Division responsible for state public affairs and funding for a second public policy symposium were disapproved.
And finally, the board approved a proposal to sunset the Task Force on State Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, which believes it has met the charge given it by the board.