The Journey Continues

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As I write this I am sitting in the hall behind the Senate chamber with one day left of session.  Two days ago our midwife licensure bill, HB1162, failed to get the 24 votes required to pass. (You can see how Senators voted here.)  Although this is not the outcome we were hoping for, we can take some comfort, that getting us this far in the process – farther than any other CPM bill has advanced in South Dakota – is starting to bring people to the table who were unwilling to work with us in the past.

We are committed to working with those who opposed this year’s bill to come back with a better bill next session.  This year’s work has not been in vain.  It has brought us much closer to our goal.  I am so incredibly grateful for all those moms and dads throughout the state who have been busily contacting legislators and educating them about the need for Certified Professional Midwives in our state.

I am very grateful for all the advice and support we received from the Certified Nurse Midwives who supported HB1162 and for the willingness of the South Dakota Nurses Association to meet with us early in the process and give us suggestions for improving the bill.

I am incredibly grateful for the 70 legislators (54 Representatives and 16 Senators) who voted in support of HB1162 and especially for our amazing prime sponsors Representative Kris Langer from Dell Rapids and Senator Brock Greenfield of Clark.  Please send a quick not of thanks if your legislator was one of the 70 who supported us this year.  (House Tally is here.)  The session is done tomorrow, so this is your last chance to send them an email on their state email address.

We are working on several events this summer.  Our first one is being planned tentatively for Saturday, April 30th at Lake Norden (southwest of Watertown).  This is the home district of our prime senate sponsor Brock Greenfield and we are excited to have him speaking to us about what we can do now to help us pass this next session.  Tentative plans have us meeting for coffee and homemade goodies at 9:30 am followed by a legislative wrap up and a Q & A about this year’s session.  The Hamlin County ladies are amazing cooks and will be providing a Deluxe Taco Bar for our lunch.  During the afternoon session we will have a panel discussion about what everyone can do to help moving forward.  We plan to wrap up the Silent Auction around 4:30 so everyone can be on the road by 5 pm.

We will be asking for a free will donation for the lunch and are planning on a Silent Auction fundraiser as well.  If you are willing to donate something for the Silent Auction, please contact Shannon Zeeb (text or call at 605-695-6030) or join the Facebook Event she started to organize the Silent Auction.

Thanks again for all your efforts this legislative season. Let’s keep the momentum going as we work to promote evidence based options that help families to thrive – including access to skilled midwives in the out of hospital setting.

Debbie Pease
SD Birth Matters

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