Each year, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) publishes their Legislative Prospectus series, a series of policy briefs summarizing upcoming legislation proposals that impact public health from across the states and territories. The legislative prospectus series anticipates trends in public health law for the next year and provides a short review for public health professionals and legislators alike to help bring them up to speed in time for upcoming legislative sessions. This year’s series highlights 10 priority policy areas for 2022. Recently, ASTHO highlighted two new policy areas: health equity and rural health.

Here’s a quick look inside the two Legislative Prospectuses

Advancing Health Equity Through the Legislative Process

  • Legislative trends
    • Racism as a public health crisis
    • Collecting health disparity data
    • Incorporating health equity in the policy development process
  • Looking Ahead
    • Create health equity task forces
    • Enhance efforts to collect more robust data
    • Invest in programs to reduce health disparities and dismantle structural racism
    • Direct health departments to provide additional training or guidance for public health and healthcare professionals

Rural Health: State Investment in Healthcare Infrastructure

  • Legislative trends
    • Loan repayment support for medical providers
    • Improving behavioral health care
    • Expending telehealth options
    • Supporting Rural broadband infrastructure
  • Looking Ahead
    • Further expand rural broadband infrastructure
    • Make COVID-19 emergency expansions of telehealth permanent
    • Incentivize providers to serve rural communities through loan repayment programs
    • Reduce barriers to behavioral health access

The Legislative Prospectuses series includes a broad range of focus areas relevant to public health professionals. Check out their other published topics: Maintaining Public Health’s Legal Authority to Prevent Disease Spread, Public Health Workforce, Data Modernization and Privacy Protections, Supporting Mental and Behavioral Health, E-Cigarettes and Flavored Tobacco Products, PFAS, HIV, and Immunization.