Lois Capps' bills on pediatric research and veteran EMTs head to Senate

bcuddy@thetribunenews.comSeptember 20, 2012 

Lois Capps

TRIBUNE STAFF

Bipartisan bills supporting pediatric research and veteran emergency medical technicians that were co-authored by U.S. Rep. Lois Capps have passed the House of Representatives.

Both bills have gone to the Senate, and Capps, D-Santa Barbara, said she hopes President Obama will be able sign them by year’s end.

Capps praised the Republican and Democratic Party joint effort.

“While partisanship may dominate the headlines, the passage of these bills is a great example of how we can get things done and work together to improve children’s health and provide support for our veterans returning home,” Capps said.

Capps and Washington state Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers are behind the National Pediatric Research Network Act. It would ramp up research on pediatric diseases, such as spinal muscular atrophy, and accelerate development of clinical trials to treat rare pediatric diseases.

McMorris Rodgers, who has a child with special needs, said, “Too often, research into pediatric disorders has lagged behind research into other medical conditions. The time has come to take pediatric research to the next level.”

Capps introduced the second bill, the Veteran Emergency Medical Technician Support Act, along with Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.

It would assist states in streamlining certification requirements for veterans with military medical training who want to continue their career as an emergency medical technician in the civilian workforce.

“Currently,” Capps wrote, “many veteran military medics are required to take classes they have already completed in the military to satisfy the civilian licensure system, needlessly delaying their entry into the civilian workforce.”

She said the bill would streamline their certification as civilian EMTs, and prevent them from having to “start over at square one.”

San Luis Obispo County has a large population of veterans.

Capps has said she makes a point of trying to find Republican co-sponsors for legislation.

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