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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!