In this week’s update:

For more on WSNA’s 2019 Legisla­tive Prior­i­ties click here.

Week 11 recap #

The week started off with a flurry of activity as the House of Repre­sen­ta­tives released its biennial budget on Monday.

On Tuesday, both the rest breaks bill (SHB 1155) and workplace violence bill (HB 1931) were heard by the Senate Ways & Means Committee. The rest breaks bill is sched­uled to be voted out of the fiscal committee next Wednesday.

House & Senate budgets released #

The House released its budget on Monday and the Senate unveiled its budget this after­noon. Once each chamber passes its budget, they will work to negotiate a final budget agree­ment. Here’s how WSNA’s three budget prior­i­ties fared:

Budget Item
House

Senate
Public Health Funding
$22 Million

$10 Million to Local Public Health Depart­ments
$2 Million to the Washington State Depart­ment of Health
NOTE: Vapor tax bill in the Senate would provide additional funds to public health

School Nurse Funding

Mainte­nance Level

Mainte­nance Level

Nursing Educa­tion Funding 

$40 Million for CTC nurse faculty salaries (contin­gent on tax bill) 

Rest breaks bill update #

On Tuesday, the rest breaks bill (SHB 1155) was heard in the Senate Ways & Means Committee. WSNA Nurse Repre­sen­ta­tive Ed Zercher, RN, and WSNA member Wes McMahan, RN, testi­fied. Click here to watch them present.

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Your support and advocacy remain crucial to ensuring that this bill continues to make its way to the Senate floor! We know that when nurses speak, lawmakers listen! If you haven’t done so already, click here to tell your legis­la­tors to support rest breaks for nurses.

Also, please visit the WSNA Facebook page where you’ll find a #Break­sAre­AL­ife­saver frame that you can apply to your own profile picture – you’ll find it at the top of our page. Encourage your friends, family members and co-workers to add this frame to their profile picture to show that they support rest breaks for health care workers!

Workplace violence prevention bills #

Our workplace violence bill HB 1931, was also heard on Tuesday in the Senate Ways & Means committee on Tuesday. WSNA member Wes McMahan, RN, and WSNA Associate Director of Public Affairs, Travis Elmore, RN, testi­fied in support of this bill. Click here to watch their testi­mony.

This bill has just a couple more steps to pass the legis­la­ture – please let your Senator know this bill is impor­tant for nurses!

Tobacco 21 bill headed to Governor’s desk #

The bill that raises the age for purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21 passed the Senate on Wednesday by a vote of 33 – 12. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law. Click here to read more about the bill. Click here to read a recent article about the legis­la­tion in USA Today.

Please look for texts and regular email updates on legisla­tive action as the legisla­tive session continues – thank you for partic­i­pa­tion in the process!