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Cost estimates for school inhalers, training jolt bill’s authors

CARSON CITY — Supporters of a bill requiring schools to keep albuterol inhalers on campuses in case a student has an asthma attack were taken aback Monday by hefty cost estimates put forward by school districts.

Assembly Bill 156, co-sponsored by Assemblymen Steve Yeager, D-Las Vegas, and James Oscarson, R-Pahrump, was approved by the Assembly Health and Human Services Committee last month, then referred to Ways and Means for cost review.

The bill requires schools to keep one inhaler and two holding chambers on site. It also requires school nurses or others to undergo training on how to handle the drug and administer it.

It’s similar to a law passed in 2013 that requires schools to have auto-injectable epinephrine, or EpiPens, available to treat anaphylaxis.

The Clark County School District, in a fiscal note attached to AB156, estimated implementing the bill could cost the district $325,500 in the first year and $225,500 in subsequent years.

Other districts Monday also spoke against the bill because of potential costs.

Oscarson, who serves on Ways and Means, questioned the potential expense for training. He said most students who would need the emergency inhaler already know how to use it. Having it on school grounds would help them if they forget to bring their own from home, he said.

No action was taken on the bill by the committee.

Contact Sandra Chereb at schereb@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3821. Follow @SandraChereb on Twitter.

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