In this week’s update:

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

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.

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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 #

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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!