WSNA in Olympia: 2020 Legislative Session #

In this week’s update:

  • Week 4 Recap
  • Supporting New Ideas for Public Health Funding 
  • Nurse Licen­sure Survey Data
  • WSNA Repre­sented at Washington State Labor Council Reception
  • WSNA Lobby Day 
  • Labor Rallies for Public Employee Protections

Week 4 Recap
What a week! WSNA nurses were at the Capitol this week – advocating for nursing prior­i­ties and working families. On Thursday, nurses from around the state joined WSNA’s Lobby Day and spoke with their legis­la­tors on our priority issues.

This week we continued to meet with legis­la­tors about the School Nurse Corps funding request and legis­la­tors in both the House and Senate are signing letters of support for a $2.75 million invest­ment. A huge shout out to all the school nurses who attended WSNA’s Lobby Day – thank you for joining us and speaking out for kids’ health!

For more on WSNA’s 2020 Legisla­tive Prior­i­ties click here.


Supporting New Ideas for Public Health Funding
On January 29, WSNA Legisla­tive & Health Policy Council Chair, Justin Gill, testi­fied in support of HB 2679. This bill deals with excess surpluses held by non-profit health insurers – together, the top few in Washington have $4.4 billion in surpluses. This bill requires non-profit health carriers with an excess surplus greater to give a tiny percentage above a certain level to a fund that would be invested in state and local public health, as well as provide health insur­ance subsi­dies for Washington residents who currently do not quality. Justin did a great job of empha­sizing how outside forces, such as public health, impact the work that nurses do.

One of WSNA’s lobby­ists, Amy Brack­en­bury, was also quoted on this issue in a report for NW News Network. In the story, Amy is quoted as saying that “[the large quanti­ties of surplus capital that carriers hold] just screams like, maybe it’s time to take a look at this.” To read the full report click here.


Nurse Licen­sure Survey Data
On Monday Feb. 3, the Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee heard SB 6538, prohibiting survey data in nursing licen­sure. WSNA testi­fied in opposi­tion to this bill along with the Nursing Commis­sion and the Washington Center for Nursing. The data collected through these surveys provides the state with critical infor­ma­tion for workforce planning. To see us testify in opposi­tion click here.


WSNA Repre­sented at Washington State Labor Council Reception

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Pictured left to right: Stephanie Wahlgren, Senator Liz Lovelett, Erin Stevenson and Liz Espy

On Wednesday night, three members of WSNA’s Legisla­tive & Health Policy Council attended the Washington State Labor Council’s 2020 Legisla­tive Recep­tion. At the recep­tion they spoke with legis­la­tors about their experi­ences as nurses and networked with other members of the labor community.


WSNA Lobby Day

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Nurses from all over the state were in Olympia for WSNA Lobby Day on Thursday. During the morning sessions, members were briefed on the polit­ical and policy context in Olympia this session. WSNA also presented eight legis­la­tors with Nursing Champion awards for their advocacy for nurses and patient safety in the 2019 session on issue like workplace violence preven­tion, nurse educator funding, and breaks and overtime protec­tions.

During their after­noon meetings with their Legis­la­tors, members talked about the impor­tance of School Nurse Corps funding, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, ARNP reimburse­ment parity, and health system finan­cial trans­parency. In between meetings, WSNA members explored the Capitol and attended committee hearings in the House and Senate.

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Labor Rallies for Public Employee Protec­tions
On Thursday morning, Ingrid Anderson repre­sented WSNA at a rally on the State Capitol steps in support of HB 1888, which would update the Public Records Act to exempt public employees’ birth dates from public disclo­sure – an impor­tant safety protec­tion. Rally speakers said HB 1888 is neces­sary to protect public employees and their families from identity theft, stalkers, and others who may want to target them at home. You can email your lawmakers on this issue here.

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Please look for regular emails on our progress in Olympia this session!