Legislative Agenda

MVMA Public Policy Advocacy
2019 Legislative Priorities

  1. Support the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine and its funding requests at the legislature. In addition, support the College’s efforts to reduce student debt.
  2. Support the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) and its funding requests at the Legislature.
  3. Introduce and support the MVMA veterinarian immunity bill that provides immunity to veterinarians when animal cruelty is reported.
  4. Support the budget requests of the Board of Animal Health and of the Board of Veterinary Medicine at the Legislature, and support both boards’ independent status.
  5. Support legislation that provides financial support for research, education, and outreach initiatives surrounding animal health.
  6. Actively monitor legislative proposals pertaining to veterinary drug compounding and proactively advocate for maintaining current veterinary drug dispensing practices.
  7. (a). Actively monitor legislative proposals pertaining to mandatory opioid prescription drug reporting and its impact on veterinarians. (b). Support the VetPMP.
  8. Support a legislative initiative that establishes a statewide registry of dangerous dogs.

MVMA Public Policy Principles

  1. Continually review, protect, and update the Veterinary Practice Act in order to ensure it is purposeful and functional for the industry.

  2. Actively monitor legislative activity pertaining to scope of practice issues.
  3. Monitor the veterinary nurses (veterinary technicians) initiative that is being promoted by NAVTA.
  4. Support further discussions with individuals or entities with regard to spay/neuter programs in Minnesota.
  5. Support state funding for the Minnesota veterinary student loan repayment program.
  6. Support Minnesota Animal Agriculture.
  7. Monitor the declawing issue and continue to be engaged with this issue.
  8. Actively monitor the new criminal background check’s plan and policies for veterinarians.
  9. Monitor proposals aimed at changing the existing commercial breeder law.
  10. Monitor and collaborate with other stakeholders on mandatory dog/cat rabies vaccination.
  11. Monitor proposals pertaining to xylitol drug labeling.
  12. Monitor proposals pertaining to the ban of gas chambers for euthanasia in shelters.
  13. Monitor medical marijuana proposals for pets.

Legislative Update - May/June 2019
Capitol Report
by Thomas Hagerty, DVM

The MVMA has been working on several fronts in keeping members aware of our activities at the legislature.  In addition to our Day at the Capitol in February, our lobbyists met with our Power of Ten Leadership group in March.  In April, our legislative team held a noon-time lunch webinar to provide members with an update of legislative issues that the MVMA has been tracking and that are highlighted below.  With just a few weeks remaining in the current legislative session following their week-long Easter break, expect legislators to be working long days and nights to meet the May 20th legislative session adjournment deadline.  The following are a list of legislative bills that the MVMA has been monitoring in this session:

Opioid Stewardship Fee: SF751/ HF400

o This bill is primarily a funding bill to support opioid crisis-related programs.  Bill author, Sen. Julie Rosen from southern Minnesota, has become identified with this issue because of her relentless efforts to have the legislature take meaningful steps in addressing the opioid crisis.  Last year as well as this year the MVMA worked hard to make sure veterinarians were treated fairly in this bill.  Currently, veterinarians are not required to be state PMP reporters.  However, if the bill does pass veterinarians will be required to view a valid photo ID of the client receiving the pet controlled drugs before dispensing the drugs, unless the person is known to the dispenser.  The bill is currently in conference committee to work out the differences between the House and Senate versions.

Another opioid bill that the MVMA has been monitoring is HF1731/SF1943 would codify the VetPMP bill that the MVMA has already rolled out on a voluntary basis to veterinarians.  The idea behind this bill would be that the state and the MN Board of Veterinary Medicine would assume the implementation and management of this program.  This bill passed out of the House Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Div. Committee with it being held back for further review by both the MN Board of Veterinary Medicine and the MVMA Board of Directors.  This bill could be resurrected in 2020.

Veterinarian Immunity: HF1530/SF1517

o The MVMA crafted this bill. This bill provides immunity from civil and criminal liability for licensed veterinarians, who are acting in good faith and in the normal course of business, when reporting known or suspected animal neglect, cruelty, or abuse.  Both bills made it out of the House and Senate Ag Committees but did not receive a hearing before the Judiciary committees in the House and Senate.  The MVMA is optimistic that this legislation has a good chance of succeeding in 2020.   
Dangerous Dog Registry: SF361 /HF297

Again, the MVMA crafted this bill for the 2019 session.  This bill directs the commissioner of public safety to develop and maintain a computerized data system relating to dangerous and potentially dangerous dogs. The commissioner shall maintain this data in a manner that ensures it is readily available to law enforcement agencies and animal control authorities and can be searched by the identification number of the microchip implanted in a dog.  This bill has not been heard this year in either the House or Senate Judiciary Committees and has missed the current deadlines so it will be offered again in 2020.  The Judiciary committee is often a difficult committee to get a hearing scheduled because of the volume of bills that go through this committee.  The MVMA will seek to have this bill get through committee in 2020.

Large Animal Veterinary Student Loan Debt Relief: SF285/HF170

The MVMA did not support this bill because the Large Animal Veterinary Student Loan Forgiveness Program currently has allocated $750,000/biennium in base funding with no sunset.  The MVMA fought off some attempts to modify the base funding level for this important program.  The current program and funding provide five large animal DVM graduates with $15,000 per year for five years to apply towards their student loan debt.

University of Minnesota Funding Requests:  HF984/SF1249

This bill appropriates $1,804,000 in fiscal year 2020 to the University of Minnesota to develop a diagnostic test for chronic wasting disease (CWD) that uses samples from living deer.  This legislation is currently positioned in the Senate Environment, Natural Resources Policy and Legacy Finance Omnibus bill and House Ag Finance/Policy Omnibus bill.  We are hopeful that with the widespread concerns about the spread of CWD in MN that legislators will approve this proposal.

HF2554/SF2514  This is another funding bill that appropriates $1.0 million to the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory to expand and enhance the laboratory’s services. The University’s laboratory is Minnesota’s only full-service lab for animal health diagnosis and is the official lab of the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. This bill is in the House/Senate Higher Ed Finance bills and included in the maintenance and operations portion of this larger U of M funding legislation.  The House/Senate Higher Ed Finance bill also includes AGREET research funding that the U of M CVM has and hopefully will continue to receive research funding.

Gas Chambers Ban in Shelter:  HF916/SF960

This bill would make it a misdemeanor crime for an animal shelter, humane society, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, animal control facility, or pound to euthanize a pet or companion animal using carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, or other non-anesthetic gas. The Veterinary Medical Association is neutral on this bill.  There has been no committee action on this bill in 2019.

Board of Pharmacy Bill  HF 1718/SF 2169

Pharmacy Practice Act bill that clarifies changes made for veterinary compounding, licensure modified for wholesale distributors, licensure established for third-party logistics providers, and fees modified.  This bill includes a number of provisions including a couple that effect veterinarians.  The MVMA has worked with the Board of Pharmacy to allow veterinarians to have compounded drugs available in emergency or urgent situations.  Current law prohibits compounding for office use.  However, due to the wide variety of animals that veterinarians treat, they are not always able to treat an animal who is experiencing an emergency with commercially available product.  This change allows veterinarians to maintain and provide up to a 10 day supply of compounded drugs to the patient in these situations.  This bill also includes a provision that would allow pharmacies and veterinarians to enter into financial arrangements with pharmacies as long as the arrangement is disclosed to the client, typically coming from the pharmacy.  Pharmacy services provided for livestock, poultry, and agricultural production systems, such client notification would not be required.

Please contact the MVMA office if you have any questions regarding our legislative activities.  We also encourage members to meet with legislators either at the capitol or at their office.  These can be arranged through the MVMA office.


Archived Capitol Report:

2017 May/June Capitol Report

2017 March/April Capitol Report

2017 January/February Capitol Report

2016 November December Capitol Report

2016 September/ October Capitol Report

2016 July/August Capitol Report

2016 May/June Capitol Report 

2016 March/April Capitol Report 

2016 January/February Capitol Report

To find Your MN Legislative District, Senators and Representatives click below