WSNA in Olympia: 2020 Legislative Session #

In this week’s update:

    • Week 8 Recap
    • Legisla­tive Response to the Coron­avirus (COVID-19)
    • WSNA Budget Priorities 
    • Sexual Assault Bill Moves Forward 
    • Legisla­tive Town Halls

    Week 8 Recap #

    This week bills that weren’t consid­ered neces­sary to imple­ment the budget” (NTIB) were required to pass out of their fiscal commit­tees by Monday night. Legis­la­tors worked the weekend and late on Monday to hear as many bills as possible before the cutoff.

    Today, all non-NTIB bills must pass out of the opposite house in order to remain viable. After this crucial cutoff, Legis­la­tors will begin hammering out the details on their budgets with Sine Die (adjourn­ment) just around the corner.

    This week, legis­la­tors also intro­duced and heard bills on the state’s response to the Coron­avirus (COVID-19) outbreak. With Washington being the first state to face a large outbreak of the virus, lawmakers were eager to pass legis­la­tion to allocated funds to help address this emergency. For infor­ma­tion on the legisla­tive response to COVID-19, see below.

    Read more on WSNA’s 2020 Legisla­tive Prior­i­ties

    Legislative Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) #

    In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, both the House and the Senate passed legis­la­tion with funding to help support Public Health in combat­ting the virus. HB 2965, sponsored by Rep. Cody (D‑West Seattle) and Rep. Schmick (R‑Colfax), appro­pri­ates more than $100 million to support COVID-19 response.
    The bill also autho­rizes DSHS to deter­mine nursing facility payments to adequately respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. Addition­ally, the bill states that an individual under quaran­tine during the COVID-19 outbreak does not need to meet the require­ment of being avail­able to work in order to receive unemploy­ment insur­ance benefits.

    The bill passed both the House and Senate unanimously.

    WSNA Budget Priorities #

    This week lawmakers were focused on moving policy bills before Friday’s deadline. As a result, infor­ma­tion on the budget has not changed. As a reminder, the House allocated $1.7 million to the School Nurse Corp, nearly one million less than our original ask. The Senate did not allocate any funding, but we have continued to make the case for the need for this funding. WSNA govern­ment relations team is working hard to make sure that funding for the School Nurse Corps makes it into the final budget.

    This week, school nurse leaders Lynn Nelson, MSN, RN, and Tessa Mcllraith, BSN, RN, authored a blog post about how the COVID-19 outbreak further highlights the need for the state to invest in school nurses.

    Health System Financial Transparency #

    ESHB 2036 had a hearing in Senate Ways & Means on Saturday, February 29. The Washington State Labor Council repre­sented labor stake­holders and testi­fied in support of the bill. On March 2, the committee took execu­tive action on the bill. The bill did not pass out of committee.
    We are disap­pointed that this bill is no longer moving this session, but will continue to work this issue throughout this interim and next session.

    Sexual Assault Bill Moves Forward #

    On Thursday, HB 6158, concerning model sexual assault proto­cols for hospi­tals and clinics, passed the House. The vote was unani­mous. The bill will now be deliv­ered to the Governor’s Office and signed into law.

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