And, If you haven’t already, it’s not too late to register for Heart on the Hill March 7th. CPR in Schools and the SRTS bill will be our priorities. We need YOUR voice supporting these issues with your own legislators. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/hothregistration
Please contact Anne Simaytis, if you would like to become more involved in one or both of the policy priorities below.
Your MN Advocacy Team,
Anne, Justin, Ngia and Rachel
Bill to Promote CPR Training in Schools Advances!
This legislation would require that Junior High and High School students be trained in CPR. With Hands-Only CPR and our CPR Anytime resources, this could be accomplished with just one class period during their entire school career – less time than it takes to watch the average sitcom! The bill was heard in both the House Education Committee and the Senate Education Committee on Thursday, February 23. Both committees laid the bills over for possible inclusion in the omnibus education bill (the compilation of education-related bills that moves together as one omnibus bill). Thanks to the hard work of several volunteers, there is an incredible list of authors championing this bill—our chief authors are Sen. Dan Hall (Burnsville) and Rep. Mary Liz Holberg (Lakeville). We also assembled an all-star cast of testifiers to support the bills at the hearing held last Thursday:
- Natasha Fleischman, sudden cardiac arrest survivor, American Heart Association Advocacy Committee member and WomenHeart volunteer; testified both as a survivor and as a Stillwater School Board member in favor of the bill;
- Jamie LaLonde, sudden cardiac arrest survivor, told her story of surviving a cardiac arrest and how it has shaped her future plans to become an EMT;
- Dale Wakasugi, a sudden cardiac arrest survivor, testified about how a high school student saved his life when he collapsed refereeing a high school basketball game;
- Kim Harkins, Program Manager, testified about the amazing resources available through the Minnesota Resuscitation Consortium at the U of M, funded by Medtronic;
- Norm Okerstrom, parent of a sudden cardiac arrest survivor, American Heart Association Advocacy Committee member, and Parent Heart Watch volunteer, told his story of his son who survived a SCA when in high school thanks to coaches who knew CPR.
Thank you to all who took action last week and contacted their legislators on this important issue. If you haven’t taken action, please do so TODAY by following this link: CPR in Schools Action Alert.
Safe Routes to School Bill Advances!
The Safe Routes to School(SRTS) bonding bill (HF 1429/SF1439) for $3 million was heard in both the House and Senate Transportation committees on Wednesday, February 22 and Thursday, February 23. There is strong bipartisan support for this bill and a large coalition of groups backing the bill including the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota, BCBS of MN, Health Partners, Allina, the Minnesota Medical Association, and many more.
The American Heart Association organized testimony for the hearings and chanced upon two high school seniors from Mounds View High School, Samantha Kalsow and Patrick Sullivan, who wanted to testify about a dangerous stretch of road near their school that prevents students from biking to school. Samantha and Patrick did an amazing job with the testimony and were the stars of the show! Also testifying was Principal Gary Anger from Red Pine Elementary in Eagan who spoke about their very successful SRTS program—they have reduced the number of cars dropping kids off by over 50% since they started their program. We are grateful for strong legislative champions Sen. Barb Goodwin and Rep. Melissa Hortman who are leading the charge for this legislation. Since January, the American Heart Association and the Bicycle Alliance have been busy meeting with all 72 legislators who are members of the House and Senate Transportation and Capital Investment Committees! The bill was laid over for possible inclusion in the Transportation Committee recommendations to the Capital Investment Committees in both bodies.
Thanks to everyone who took action on the SRTS action alert that was sent last week! Legislators mentioned that they had been getting contacts on this! If you haven’t taken action and contact your legislator in support of the Safe Routes to School bill, please do so at this link: SRTS Action Alert.
Listen to audio from the House Transportation hearing Feb. 22, 2012, scroll to 2:00:25 for H.F. 1429 here. For the Senate Transportation hearing Feb. 23, 2012, scroll to 20:20 into the tape to hear testimony on S.F.1439 at this link. ____________________________________________________
LAST CHANCE to Register for Heart on the Hill- Registration closes on March 1.
If you haven’t already, it’s not too late to register for Heart on the Hill March 7th. CPR in Schools and the SRTS bill will be our priorities. We need YOUR voice supporting these issues with your own legislators. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/hothregistration