Welcome to MSH!

Licensure of Minnesota Laboratory Professionals

Colleen Forster is the MSH liaison on the committee


Posted March 19, 2014

I received a licensure update tonight. We have been asked to pass this on to all our membership as we need to have some contacts made ASCP. We still need to get a hearing with the House of Representatives Health Committee ,chaired by Representative Liebling from Rochester, MN, if we are to get in on the Omnibus bill for all licensure this year. Can you please pass this email out in a blast and stress how important it is to have people help us out with these emails or calls.
I have bolded the print with the necessary directions..... 

Thank you,

Colleen Forster

Email Blast sent at 8:09pm/lah

Posted March 8, 2014



Licensure Update                                 March 6, 2014 5:52 pm  

Hello Lee Anne,

Today I spent the whole morning at the capitol with the coalition and lobbying for Legislative Day. Rick Panning has sent us a summary of the bill and what we need constituents to do.

Could you please blast email this to our members? Thanks,



From: Panning, Rick <rpannin1@fairview.org>                Date: Thu, Mar 6, 2014 at 4:13 PM
Subject: Licensure bill update

The following message was sent to each professional society in Minnesota and they were asked to share with their members. As the coalition, as usual, please communicate your concerns, questions or suggestions.

Our bill (SF0133 and HF0203) has had a down and up week. On Wednesday, Feb 26 it was tabled at its first Senate health Committee hearing, but was allowed to come back on Wednesday, March 5 to be able to amend it. The amendment basically intended to simplify the language and the licensure categories and organized them into to levels of license - 2 year technician and 4 year scientist. The amended bill passed the committee on a 5-3 vote (3 of the committee members were not in the room at the time of the vote.


It now proceeds to the Senate State and local Government Operations committee on Monday, March 10 at 3:00-5:00 pm and the Senate Judiciary committee on Friday, March 14. Kathy Hansen and our lobbyist, Vic Moore will be in attendance at both. If the committee chairs manage the process correctly, these committees need to focus on specific parts of the bill. The State and Local government committee will look at our advisory committee structure and possibly the military requirements. The judiciary committee looks at the penalties.


Assuming it passes those committees, it will go back to the Senate Health Committee for another vote to add it to what is called an omnibus bill where they try to package multiple licensure votes together.


In the meantime we have requested a meeting with our opposition - Minnesota Hospital Association and AAB. Although with AAB it will be difficult to compromise, we need to attempt it but not lower our standards. With the MH, I think it is more of clarification and understanding of misconceptions.


Please communicate this message to your members. Then what we need people to do is the following.


1. Contact their Senator. I have reattached the directions for people to identify who their senators and representatives are. This functionality works well on a computer, but not consistently on a phone. If their Senator is on the Health committee ask for support when the bill comes back to them. If the Senator is on the Senate State and Local Government committee, ask for their support next Monday, March 10. If their Senator is a member of neither, they can ask them to contact their colleagues on one or both committees to support the bill.


2. Contact their House member. In the House we have not yet been guaranteed a hearing but one would need to occur prior to March 21. If their representative is on the Health committee ask them to urge Representative Liebling to schedule a hearing. If not on the committee, also ask that they urge Representative Liebling to schedule a hearing.


Talking points

·         This bill does not add cost. The bill does NOT require labs to hire more 4 year MLS and fewer 2 year MLT (that seems to be a current understanding)

·         This bill's purpose is to assure that staff have the required education and certification

·         Current CLIA regulations are minimal and will not assure quality.

·         Add your own personal experience and perspective


The legislation still has some life and we need to give it our best shot!

Thank you, Rick Panning, Coalition Co-chair

panning4@comcast.net and 651-280-5909 (cell)


How to contact your representative/senator:

  • Go to the Web site www.leg.state.mn.us
  • At the bottom of the page, see Who Represents Me?
  • Enter your address in the space given
  • Click on the Web page beneath the picture of your state representative or senator. The Web pages vary, but they always have the location, phone number and email address.


Committee members are listed below.

State and Local Government Committee Membership 2013-2014

Chair:                Sandra L. Pappas (65, DFL)       651-296-1802     E-mail: sen.sandra.pappassenate.mn

Vice Chair:        Chris A. Eaton (40, DFL) 651-296-8869 E-mail: sen.chris.eaton@senate.mn

Ranking Minority Member:         Dan D. Hall (56, R) 651-296-5975 E-mail: sen.dan.hall@senate.mn

Bruce D. Anderson (29, R) 651-296-5981           E-mail: sen.bruce.anderson@senate.mn

Kevin L. Dahle (20, DFL) 651-296-1279             E-mail: sen.kevin.dahle@senate.mn

Jeff Hayden (62, DFL) 651-296-4261                  E-mail: sen.jeff.hayden@senate.mn

Karin Housley (39, R) 651-296-4351                   E-mail: sen.karin.housley@senate.mn

Alice M. Johnson (37, DFL) 651-296-2556          E-mail: sen.alice.johnson@senate.mn

Branden Petersen (35, R) 651-296-3733            E-mail: sen.branden.petersen@senate.mn

Bev Scalze (42, DFL) 651-296-5537                   E-mail: sen.bev.scalze@senate.mn

Dave Thompson (58, R) 651-296-5252               E-mail: sen.dave.thompson@senate.mn

Patricia Torres Ray (63, DFL) 651-296-4274       E-mail: sen.patricia.torres.ray@senate.mn

Melissa H. Wiklund (50, DFL) 651-297-8061       E-mail: sen.melissa.wiklund@senate.mn


House Health Policy Committee

House Health









Chair, undecided




St. Paul


Vice Chair, Co-author










Prior Lake
















































Apple Valley


Ranking minority member, opposed






Chief author










Cottage Grove


















Elk River
















Rick Panning, MBA, MLS(ASCP)CM

Cell Phone: 651-280-5909



Posted February 2, 2014


Colleen emailed this information for the membership. Please read the linked flyer and get involved, attend the symposium, and/or contact your State Representative & Senator. (Lee Anne)


This email is being sent to the president or representative of each of the state laboratory professional organizations.  I would request that you forward this flyer to call of your members.  The flyer is for a legislative symposium planned for Thursday morning, March 6 (8:00 am - 11:00 am) at the State Capitol in St. Paul.

The purpose of this morning is to get as many laboratory professionals as possible to come to learn about the current bill and to then contact your senator and representative to advocate for support of the bill.  This is an important year for our legislation.  We will likely have a Senate hearing on the bill prior to this day but are scheduling this before a possible House hearing since the House has always been more challenging for us.

People can either attend on March 6, or arrange to meet with your legislators at a separate time or can contact their offices by phone or email to ask for support.

If you have any questions email Rick at rpannin1@fairview.org or panning4@comcast.net OR call me on my cell phone at 651-280-5909.  You can contact Kathy at khansen3@fairview.org.

Thank you
Rick Panning and Kathy Hansen, Licensure Coalition Co-chairs



Posted October 4, 2013

Minnesota Medical Laboratory Licensure Update
September 30, 2013

By Rick Panning and Kathy Hansen, Licensure coalition co-chairs

It is once again that time of year that we start to think about laboratory licensure and the upcoming legislative session. The next session has a late start, on February 25, 2014. It is the second year of the biennium and therefore our bills do not need to be re-introduced. As a reminder, our bill numbers are as follows:
    House File 203
   Senate File 133

As a refresher, in the 2013 session we did not get a hearing in either house of the legislature. While that was disappointing on one level, the fact was that, as a policy decision, no licensing bills related to healthcare were granted a hearing. The committee chairs assured us that we would be granted hearings in the 2014 session

We have the allowed five authors in the Senate and all five sit on the Senate Health, Human Services and Housing Committee, our first committee hearing in the Senate. There are 11 members on this committee.

In the House we have 18 authors (House rules allow as many as you want or can get). 12 of our authors are members of the House Health and Human Services Policy Committee. There are a total of 20 members on this committee and our authors account for 12 of the 20.

During the “off season”, our lobbyist, Vic Moore, has continued to work to advocate for our bill. Even though our authors are well represented on the first two key committees in each house, we cannot afford to take anything for granted. In mid-September Vic met with Senator Kathy Sheran (Democrat, district 19), who is the chair of the Senate Health Committee. She has confirmed that she will grant us a committee hearing early in the session.

While we are initially set up well in terms of authors and committee membership, we can take nothing for granted. We need to be vocal in our support and we need to be aware that we do have opposition. The American Association of Bioanalysts will continue to employee a lobbyist and will actively oppose us. In addition we do have opposition from the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) and some of the key hospital members of MHA – specifically Fairview and HealthEast.

As we prepare for committee hearings we will need members of all of our coalition organizations to make contact with their Senators and Representatives. We will focus on the specific members of the Health committees first, but all of you can make an impact, even if your elected representatives are not on the committee. You can ask them to contact the committee and recommend that they approve the bill. As we approach the end of this year and the beginning of the session we will send emails to you if you live or work in one of the districts represented by a member of the Health committees.

In late February or early March we will be scheduling a Legislative Day at the state capitol. You will have the opportunity to learn about the bill, our opposition and will then get a chance to talk to your elected representatives.

Stay tuned as we keep you updated during this crucial legislative session!

Posted May 10, 2013


When I asked for a final update this was the response. Hopefully next session we will get the hearings we need and can move forward. That will mean sending the letters once again.


We are done for the year since we did not get any hearings before the March 15 deadline.

The committee chairs said they were too busy with the legislation for the health care exchange and the nurse staffing ratio bill.

There were a couple of other licensure bills that also did not get hearings.

Senator Sheran promised Vic that we would be early on the Senate agenda next January.  We don't have a commitment from Rep Liebling for a House hearing yet.

Kathy Hansen

Posted: March 7, 2013.

Urgent Request - Please act by March 11 The Minnesota Laboratory Licensure Coalition is off and running again for the 2013-2014 session of the state legislature.  This session looks very different with both houses having a Democratic majority and many new senators and representatives in office.  Committees have new chairpersons and many have new membership.
This means we have a lot of work to do to contact these individuals and urge them to support our bill – especially those who sit on the first Health committees that will hear the bill, but including all legislators.  We need your help to do this!
You can find your senator or representative’s contact information by following these steps:

  • Go to the Web site www.leg.state.mn.us
  • At the bottom of the page, see Who Represents Me?
  • Enter your address in the space given
  • Click on the name of your senator and representative to find their office location, phone number, and email address.
    Here is a suggested message.  You can copy this into an email, revise it to make it more personal to you, and/or leave a call or voice mail with this information:

Dear Senator (or Representative) ___________________
I am a laboratory professional (give your title here).  I work at __________ and I live in your district at
__(your address)_________. 
In the 2013 session, the Minnesota legislature will be considering bills to license clinical laboratory professionals, SF0133 and HF0203.  The chief authors are Senator John Hoffman and Representative Will Morgan. Please support these bills in the interest of quality health care.  We particularly ask you to urge the committee chairs, Senator Sheran and Representive Liebling, to schedule hearings for these bills.
Laboratory professionals are often not visible to the public, but their services provide 70% or more of the diagnostic information used by physicians and other health care providers.  They are the largest group of health care workers that are not licensed in the state of Minnesota.  Federal regulations allow most clinical laboratory testing to be done by high school graduates trained on the job.  In Minnesota, most laboratories employ staff with associate or baccalaureate level training in clinical laboratory science.  This practice recognizes the complexity of the field, and the fact that incorrect test results may lead to wrong diagnoses, additional expense and suffering, or even death.

Posted: February 6, 2013.

State Legislative Symposium - February 13, 2013

Click here for the flyer with details

Posted: January 29, 2013. 

We are gearing up for another shot at the licensure. Note the possibility of a rally day in February. It would be nice if other histotechs could join this! I will pass on the information as I get it.     C

Our bill will be introduced in the Senate and the House on Monday, February 4th. It is currently posted on the Senate site. It is Senate bill SF0133. Here is the link.


There will be a number of minor word and date changes introduced at the first hearing. Kathy Hansen is updating that list and we will provide it when ready. I will be scheduling a conference call and will probably work on getting dates out to you this weekend. We also will likely have a legislative day at the capitol during the week of Feb 11. More to come.
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