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State Representative Beverly Pingerelli speaking on the floor of the Arizona House of Representatives at the Arizona State Capitol building in Phoenix, July 31, 2023. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Pingerelli Authors Bipartisan School Diabetes Bill

HB2174 allows schools to order, administer life-saving diabetes meds

By Steve Kirwan, May 15, 2024 5:00 am

In a rare moment of true bipartisanship, Arizona’s Democrat Governor Katie Hobbs signed House Bill HB2174, which allows school districts to purchase and administer emergency doses of glucogen in medical emergencies. The bill, sponsored by Peoria Republican Representative Beverly Pingerelli, allows a “standing order for glucagon,” allowing school nurses to provide “emergency administration.” Glucagon is considered a “last resort” treatment for those experiencing a potentially life-threatening low blood sugar event that can occur if insulin levels outstrip the body’s sugar levels. It is not uncommon for those on insulin to experience severe symptoms when their blood sugar is not well-regulated.

While the bill allows for the purchase and administration of glucagon, it does not provide any specific funding for its purchase. Instead, it will enable school districts and charter schools to seek funding to help pay for the medication.

The bill states, “A school district or charter school may accept monetary donations for or apply for grants to purchase glucagon or may participate in third-party programs to obtain glucagon at no cost, at a fair market price or at a reduced price.”

HB2174 passed unanimously in the House in February 2024, and in March, it sailed through the Senate with just one opposing vote cast by Sen. Anthony Kern (R-27). Governor Hobbs signed the bill in March but participated in a ceremonial signing on Wednesday, May 8. 2024. The ceremony took place at Cherokee Elementary in Paradise Valley, AZ, to raise public awareness of the need for glucagon. Because the bill did not contain an emergency clause, it will not take effect until 90 days after the end of the legislative session. As a result, schools may be forced to wait until after school starts to request the glucagon.

The Arizona Globe has contacted Senator Kern’s office for information about his vote against the bill.

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