By Representative Dean Fisher

On June 3, we passed Senate File 2261 which provides enabling legislation to allow mental health services in our schools via Telehealth. The purpose of this is to allow children that need mental health services to receive them at the school, eliminating the need for an adult to take the child out of school and drive them to a mental health provider and back in the middle of the school day, taking up precious class time and embarrassment for the child. These mental health services are not provided by the school, and are only done with the parent’s full involvement and permission.

Another significant bill we passed was a bill dealing with Emergency Medical Services, Senate File 2283. This bill was amended to give county supervisors the option of voting to create a county wide EMS service, including taxing authority, with a vote to accept afterwards by the citizens of the county. This ensures that if a county moves forward with EMS services and residents approve, long-term investments can be made in the program. This option exists currently but requires a referendum by the voters of the county first and only last for a couple of years, thus making it a difficult for counties to shoulder the up-front costs for something that may go away shortly after approval. By allowing the county supervisors to initiate the action and make those investments, we hope to increase the opportunity for counties to provide more comprehensive EMS.

This week the Senate passed two significant bills that were passed in the House before the legislature suspended the session. House File 2502 makes numerous updates to our firearms laws that improves shooting range protections, prevents judicial overreach of weapons bans in courthouses, and strengthens prohibitions on local weapons ordinances. Senate File 2363 was also passed by the Senate with changes made in the House. This bill makes important updates to the Medical Cannabidiol program, most significantly by placing a limit on the total amount of THC a patient can purchase in a 90 day period. Previously the law allowed any amount of THC as long as it did not exceed 3% of the medication. This bill limits it to a specific amount of 4.5 grams per 90 days, an amount consistent with medicinal use. Both bills now go to the governor for action.gislators only.

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