In this week’s update:

  • Week six recap
  • Rest break bill update – email your legislators
  • Workplace violence bills update
  • WSNA Lobby Day is next week!

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

Week six recap #

Today is the first cutoff of the legisla­tive session – meaning all policy bills must be voted out of the policy committee in their house of origin to keep moving through the process. Bills that are not voted out of a policy committee by today will be dead. This first cutoff wraps up another busy week in Olympia.

On Monday, the House Labor Committee voted our workplace violence preven­tion bill, HB 1931, out of committee. The Senate version, SB 5912, had a hearing in the Senate Labor Committee on Tuesday.

Also on Tuesday, WSNA testi­fied before the House Educa­tion Committee two bills, SB 5931 and SB 5932, that would create an incen­tive grant program for nurse educa­tors and increase salaries for nursing faculty at commu­nity and technical colleges – you can watch our testi­mony here. WSNA Educa­tion Director Gloria Brigham testi­fied in support of HB 1726 this week. This bill would allow specific health care profes­sionals to precept a variety of health profes­sion students, such as pharma­cists, nurses and doctors under certain condi­tions. Watch Gloria’s testi­mony here.

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This week there were no committee hearings on our Rest Breaks bills (SB 5190 / HB 1155). Both bills have had hearings in their respec­tive fiscal commit­tees and await committee votes.

On Wednesday, a bill that WSNA has supported for several years that would increase the tobacco purchase age to 21 passed the House 66 – 30!

Rest breaks bill update #

Although neither of our Rest Break bills (SB 5190 / HB 1155) had committee hearings this week, your govern­ment relations team continued to work hard to build support for them in Olympia.

In an effort to derail the success of this legis­la­tion, the Hospital Associ­a­tion has intro­duced an alter­na­tive” that would under­mine worker and patient safety. SB 5344 adds language about rest breaks into an existing law, but this language simply maintains the status quo. Other language in this bill rolls back worker protec­tions that exist under current law and sets a max working week for nurses at 60 hours! This bill was voted out of committee on Tuesday and has been referred to Ways and Means.

As our bills continue to move we will still need your help. 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.

Workplace violence prevention bills #

On Monday our Workplace Violence Preven­tion bill, HB 1931, was voted out of the House Labor Committee unani­mously! It is now heads to the House Appro­pri­a­tions Committee where we look forward to a hearing in the near future.

The companion bill, SB 5912, sponsored by Senator Karen Keiser (D‑33rd LD) and Senator Maureen Walsh (R‑16th LD) was heard by the Senate Labor Committee on Tuesday. Travis Elmore, RN, WSNA Associate Director of Public Affairs, testi­fied in support of the legis­la­tion. You can watch Travis’s testi­mony here.

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These bills update the defin­i­tion of workplace violence, require health care facil­i­ties to update their workplace violence preven­tion plans every three years (with an annual review of incidents and any neces­sary adjust­ments) and outline what needs to be included in those plans, and provide speci­ficity around what elements must be included in workplace violence preven­tion trainings.

WSNA Lobby Day – Feb. 28 #

WSNA’s Lobby Day is next week! This event will include a morning briefing session to help partic­i­pants get up-to-speed on key issues before the legis­la­ture. A few legis­la­tors will be invited to speak at this event, and WSNA’s Legisla­tive & Health Policy Council will present the Association’s 2019 Legisla­tive Prior­i­ties.

Time will also be spent role-playing to prepare for after­noon appoint­ments with your legis­la­tors. After lunch, you will head up to Capitol Hill to attend meetings with your legis­la­tors. This is a great oppor­tu­nity for nurses to talk with their lawmakers about key issues, such as the need for uninter­rupted rest breaks and workplace violence preven­tion as well as funding for school nurses, nursing educa­tion faculty, and public health.

We are happy to offer 2.75 CNE contact hours this year! More infor­ma­tion can be found here.

Action Alerts! #

As news about our legisla­tive prior­i­ties develops, watch for Action Alerts from WSNA regarding when to weigh in.

Please look for regular email updates on legisla­tive action as the legisla­tive session gets underway – we look forward to your partic­i­pa­tion in the process!