In this week’s update:

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

Week seven recap #

It was a great week for RNs and our prior­i­ties in Olympia!

On Thursday, nurses from around the state converged in Olympia for WSNA Lobby Day. After a morning prepa­ra­tion, nurses visited their legis­la­tors at the capitol – asking them to support nurses and patient safety!

Today is the second cutoff of the legisla­tive session – meaning that bills with a fiscal impact must be voted out of either House Appro­pri­a­tions or Senate Ways & Means to keep moving through the legisla­tive process. Read on below to see how WSNA priority bills fared.

WSNA Lobby Day 2019 #

Nearly 100 RNs from around the state attended Lobby Day! The morning briefing session helped partic­i­pants get up-to-speed on key issues and WSNA’s legisla­tive prior­i­ties. WSNA’s Legisla­tive & Health Policy Council presented the 2018 Nursing Champion Awards to Rep. Mosbrucker (14 LD — R) and Rep. Peterson (21 LD — D) in recog­ni­tion of their work on key legis­la­tion that supports nurses and patients.

In the after­noon, RNs went up to the hill to have conver­sa­tions with lawmakers about the need for uninter­rupted rest breaks, workplace violence preven­tion, as well as funding for school nurses, nursing faculty and public health.

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Rest breaks bill update #

Thanks in large part to your advocacy, both the Senate and House versions of our Rest Breaks bills (SB 5190 / HB 1155) were voted out of their fiscal commit­tees this week.

On Monday, the House Appro­pri­a­tions Committee voted to move HB 1155 to the Rules Committee – the bill’s next step will be the House floor. The Senate Ways & Means Committee took the same action on SB 5190 on Wednesday, and this bill now advances to the Rules Committee where it will wait to advance to the Senate floor. Your support and advocacy will be crucial to ensuring that both bills get a vote by the full House and Senate.

We will still need your help as these bills move on to Rules Committee. 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 Thursday, our workplace violence bill HB 1931 was unani­mously voted out of the House Appro­pri­a­tions Committee. Both Rep. Cody and Rep. Schmick spoke in support of the bill. You can watch the Committee’s vote here.

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The bill updates 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. Tell your legis­la­tors that this bill is impor­tant for nurses!

School nurse legislation #

Both WSNA and SNOW (School Nurse Organi­za­tion of Washington) are supporting a bill, SB 5315, that would change the alloca­tion model that deter­mines how many nurses are in our state’s public schools. This bill would not only increase the number of school nurses but also allocates additional school counselors, social workers and psychol­o­gists – starting with our state’s schools that have the highest percentage of students receiving free and reduced-price meals.

Family advocates, a pedia­tri­cian and others joined school nurses in speaking in support of SB 5315 in the Senate Ways & Means Committee on Thursday evening. You can watch their powerful testi­mony here:

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