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After weeks of contentious debate, the House Bill 687 of the Louisiana state legislature was passed and will now move to the Senate for a vote. The controversial bill, which will regulate school-based mobile dental clinics, passed by a vote of 64-30.
The final version of the bill answers criticisms that the Louisiana State Board of Dentistry was not involved in the debate over banning the mobile clinics by mandating the Board of Dentistry to produce detailed regulations on how the clinics should be operated and who was operating them by the end of the year.
"If we've learned anything over this exercise, we've learned that rulemaking should be kept at the dental board level," said House Speaker Jim Tucker, a Republican who co-sponsored the legislation, according to the Times-Picayune.
If the board fails to develop new rules, its members will be fired.
The bill originally outlawed most of the mobile dental clinics, claiming that they were unsanitary and discouraged active parental involvement in their child's dental care. Supporters of the clinics said that they served children without adequate dental insurance or other means of maintaining dental health.
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