Week nine recap
We are officially halfway through the 2019 legislative session! Wednesday was the deadline for bills to be voted out of their house of origin. This means that any bill that started in the House had to be voted out of the House (and bills that started in the Senate had to be voted out of the Senate). Bills that were not voted out of their house of origin by Wednesday are now considered “dead.” The only exception to this rule is bills that are deemed “necessary to implement the budget” – those bills can still be pulled through the process later.
Fortunately, our rest breaks bill SHB 1155 and our workplace violence bill SHB 1931 are still alive and are now working their way through the Senate. SHB 1155 had a hearing on Thursday, and WSNA nurses testified alongside health care professionals from other unions in support of the bill – see the link to watch their testimony below.
The state revenue forecast is expected on March 20 next week and the House and Senate will release their budgets shortly thereafter. We are continuing to advocate for WSNA’s budget priorities of school nurse funding, nursing education funding and public health funding.
Rest breaks bill update
Many thanks to WSNA Ingrid Anderson and Lindsey Kirsch from Seattle Children’s for their compelling testimony before the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee in support of SHB 1155. You can click here to watch their testimony.
Your support and advocacy continues to be crucial. We need to get this bill to the Senate floor! We still need your help as this bill makes its way out of the Senate Labor 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
Our workplace violence bill, SHB 1931, was unanimously voted out of the House and is moving in the Senate. The Senate Labor Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the bill Monday at 10:00 a.m.
This bill updates the definition of workplace violence; requires health care facilities to update their workplace violence prevention plans every three years (with an annual review of incidents and any necessary adjustments) and outlines 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!
Attend your Legislative Town Hall
Many legislators are holding Town Hall meetings this weekend and next weekend – an opportunity for them to connect with constituents. Please show up at these events and ask your legislators to support uninterrupted rest breaks and workplace violence prevention!
You can find the list of Legislative Town Hall meetings on the WSNA website.
If you need to look up your Legislative District, you can do that by entering your home address on the District Finder available on the Legislature’s website.
School Nurses hold Spring conference
SNOW (School Nurse Organization of Washington) held its Spring Conference in Walla Walla this week, and legislative issues including school nurse funding and vaccine legislation were among the topics discussed. SNOW and WSNA are continuing to advocate for more school nurses (SB 5315), and will continue to raise this issue as budgets are released in the coming weeks.
Thank you School Nurses for all you do to keep kids healthy, safe, and ready to learn!
Please look for texts and regular email updates on legislative action as the legislative session continues – thank you for participation in the process!