ASDA signs on several coalition letters to advance the profession 
ASDA has been working closely with associations within organized dentistry to advocate for small business loans, liability insurance, appropriate PPE for dentists and other measures that would help dental students and dentists. 

On May 20, ASDA along with 14 other dental organizations signed on to a letter urging lawmakers to address commercial business interruptions caused by the current pandemic in insurance policies. Read the letter.

On May 27, ASDA along with 14 other dental organizations signed on to two letters extending gratitude and support for bills that provide flexibility for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. Read the letter to House sponsors. Read the letter to Senate sponsors.

On June 1, ASDA along with 14 other dental organizations signed on to a letter thanking Senator McSally for introducing legislation to allow PPP funds for PPE. Read the letter.

Introducing new advocacy tool: ASDA Action
You used Engage to lobby your lawmakers and stay informed. Now, we are excited to introduce ASDA's new and improved grassroots platform: ASDA Action .

Just like Engage, you can still contact your elected officials to support a bill, review state or federal legislation, look up candidates running for office, and find out who are your elected officials.

New! With ASDA Action, you can now sign up for text alerts to receive updates the second ASDA needs your help. While you're logged in, browse ASDA's current ASDA Action campaigns, review bills we support, and use the various election tools like register to vote and find your polling location.

Enter your information today so that you can take action quickly and easily. ASDA Action will pre-populate your information on all future letters you send, making your advocacy efforts seamless and effective. 

FROM Washington
House passes $3 trillion COVID-19 relief bill

The issue: On May 15, in a vote of 208-199, the House passed another COVID-19 relief package. The bill passed along party lines with all but one Republican voting against the bill. The legislation includes another round of $1,200 payments to individuals, aid to state, local and tribal governments as well as funding for the U.S. Postal Service. Senate leaders relayed that this bill is unlikely to pass due to the high spending amount.  

Why is it important?  ASDA and other dental organizations have lobbied for funding and additional resources to protect dentists and the patients they serve. It is important to be aware of spending bills moving through Congress to understand how funding may be distributed at the state or local level.

Congress makes changes to the Paycheck Protection Program

The issue: On June 5, President Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act into law. The program was established to help employers keep paying their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill gives small businesses more time and flexibility with how they use their funds. The legislation makes the following modifications:
  • Extending the expense forgiveness period from eight weeks to 24 weeks.
  • Reducing the 75% payroll ratio requirement to 60%.
  • Allowing payroll tax deferment for Paycheck Protection Program recipients.
  • Extending the June 30 rehiring deadline.
Why is this important?  Several of the principles ASDA along with other dental organizations advocated for are included in the new law. ASDA continues to work collaboratively within the dental community to address emerging issues within the profession.
FROM the states
Several states address initial licensure during the pandemic
The issue: States are responding to concerns about professionals not able to receive licensure during this time. Please see below for an update on states that have taken action.

Alabama: On May 3, the Board of Dental Examiners of Alabama voted to accept the clinical typodont manikin exams of all the approved testing agencies through May 31, 2021.
Arkansas: On April 20, the Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners voted to accept the satisfactory completion of a clinical dental examination administered by SRTA, WREB, CDCA, CITA or CRDTS that is conducted via live patient or manikin. Additionally, the periodontal portion of the clinical examination is waived.

California: On May 28, the Dental Board of California announced they will accept the WREB and ADEX manikin-based examinations for dental licensure in California.
Idaho: The Idaho Board of Dentistry has authorized issuing a temporary license for students who have met all other qualifications for licensure by examination, but yet to complete a clinical examination as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, for 2020, the Board will accept a manikin-based exam in lieu of a patient-based operative exam, and WREB's CTP exam in lieu of the patient-based periodontal examination.

Minnesota: On April 21 and May 5, the Minnesota Board of dentistry passed motions allowing students who have passed the written and manikin components of the CDCA's exam, and will take the CompeDont Tooth component, to apply for licensure. The Board will also be accepting the CRDTS all manikin exam; the SRTA manikin-based exam; and the WREB manikin simulation exam.

Missouri: On April 23, the Missouri State Dental Board filed Emergency Rule 20, which allows for a holder of a limited temporary dental license to practice dentistry under the direct supervision of a Missouri licensed dentist.

North Carolina: On May 13, the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners approved an emergency rule which allows temporary limited dental licenses during a time of emergency. The Board also approved temporarily accepting administration of the ADEX clinical examination using the CompeDont tooth to satisfy the restorative procedures component of its clinical examination.

South Carolina: Effective April 23, the South Carolina Board of Dentistry will now offer a Dental Resident Limited License to graduates enrolled in a CODA-approved residency program or a Masters' level clinical degree program at a CODA-accredited dental school in 2020.

TexasOn May 1, the Texas Board of Dental Examiners issued the following statement, "To qualify for licensure, dental graduates and dental hygiene graduates must take and pass the appropriate clinical examination administered by a regional examining board designated by the Dental Board. Many regional examining boards have transitioned to a non-patient-based examination in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The Dental Board will accept regional examining boards' alternative examination solutions that comply with applicable statutes and rules."

Why is this important?  ASDA advocacy efforts have been critical during this uncertain time. Several states have announced changes to the licensure requirements for 2020 that align with ASDA's requests. It is important for you to stay involved in ASDA to ensure that lawmakers and regulatory agencies continue to meet the needs of dental students.

Advocacy Brief shares news about ongoing issues and legislation that are of interest to dental students and organized dentistry. Inclusion of items does not imply their adherence to ASDA policy.