Analysis

Kansas and Massachusetts Move to Bring Health into State Legislation Related to Liquor Control and Domestic Workers Rights

GRANTEE NEWS

NNPHI press release

The National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI) and the Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts, have awarded funding to Kansas Health Institute and Health Resources in Action to increase capacity to conduct health impact assessments (HIAs) as well as HIA training.

An HIA is a type of study that helps decision-makers identify the likely health impacts of a decision in another field. HIAs are becoming an important tool for considering health in decision making. In Kansas, the HIA will inform the forthcoming policy decision about whether to change the current Kansas Liquor Control Act to permit convenience and grocery stores to hold retail liquor licenses. The current law, which has been in place for over 60 years, allows only liquor stores to sell spirits, wine and beer with higher alcohol content. The HIA will assess how changes in the law could have both positive and negative health impacts.  Potential positive health effects (e.g., quality of life) of expansion of Kansas liquor licenses could be related to the creation of hospitality sector jobs and changes in local and state revenue. Potential negative health impacts could result primarily from increased access to liquor. For example, communities could observe changes in underage drinking, binge drinking and driving under the influence and associated adverse health consequences including increased morbidity and mortality. Read more

In Massachusetts, the HIA will inform the establishment of a Massachusetts Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights (BoR). The BoR would amend MA state labor law to guarantee basic work standards and protections; the HIA will provide the best available information on the law’s potential health effects on domestic workers, their families and communities and the recipients of their services. These impacts may be associated with rest and recovery time, wage and income security, and occupational health. Examples of immediate impacts of the BoR include better sleep time and quality; the ability to seek care when sick or injured; flexibility and control over work schedule; income; better food quality, costs, and choice; and exposure to health and safety hazards, among others. Intermediate impacts might include cognitive performance and concentration; physical and emotional fatigue; health care costs; social relationships; and, economic security. Read more

“NNPHI is honored to serve as a collaborator in this important capacity-building learning experience as our nation moves beyond disease-based models of action to incorporate approaches that foster the creation of health”, said Vincent Lafronza, NNPHI President and CEO.   

“Several federal level HIAs are currently underway related to the National Prevention Strategy and there is overwhelming interest in the 2nd Annual National HIA Meeting in Washington, DC, September 24-25” says Erin Marziale, NNPHI Associate Director of Membership Services.

Public health institutes are nonprofit organizations that improve the public's health by fostering innovation, leveraging resources, and building partnerships across sectors, including government agencies, communities, the health care delivery system, media, and academia. 

By conducting HIAs and increasing training for HIA, the Kansas Health Institute and Health Resources in Action add to the growing number of public health institutes participating in NNPHI and the Health Impact Project’s broader initiative, Increasing National Capacity for HIAs: Utilizing the Nation’s Public Health InstitutesThe initiative is intended to promote and support the growth of the HIA field.  Representatives from NNPHI, KHI, HRiA, and other public health institutes are gathering in Washington DC this week for the 2nd Annual National HIA Meeting to share best practices in the field of HIA with over 450 professionals representing a range of sectors and fields.


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