All WAFP members should take a few moments early the week of March 5 (Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday) to contact their legislators in both the House and Senate to ask that they support:
- HB 1054 / SB 6048 (smoking age). These bills raise the age at which a person may purchase and possess cigarettes, tobacco and vapor products from 18 to 21 years of age. Make sure to tell your legislators that simply raising the age to 19 is insufficient. Although not clear which of the two companion bills it would be, we continue to hear that one could pass before session’s end, and that a final push from advocates is critical.
- HB 3004 / SB 6620 (school gun violence). These bills, described briefly as “Improving security in schools and the safety of students,” were only recently introduced, reflecting the renewed attention on gun violence prompted by the recent school shooting in Parkland, FL. Among other things, they would prohibit the sale or transfer of a semiautomatic rifle unless both a federal and a state background check has been completed through law enforcement, and they would prohibit a person under age 21 from purchasing a semiautomatic rifle. The Senate bill (SB) has already passed out of the Ways & Means Committee and will next be up for a Senate floor vote.
Both issues concern matters of public health where hearing first-hand from a constituent who is a family physician can be very persuasive to legislators.
Front page photo courtesy of Flickr, used via Creative Commons license