In this week’s update:
Today marks the April 2 cutoff when bills must be voted out of fiscal committees in the opposite chamber. Most WSNA priority bills are still alive and continue to move through the process. The next cutoff is April 11, when all (non-budget related) bills must be voted out of the opposite chamber.
Senate & House Budgets Released
On Thursday this week, the Senate passed its 2021-23 operating budget. The House is expected to pass its budget on Saturday. Please watch for WSNA Action Alerts next week on budget priorities.
WSNA Priority Bills Continue to Move
SB 5190: Presumptive Eligibility for Health Care Workers
Pierce County nurse Shelly Pollock Mead testified in support of SB 5190 in the House Appropriations Committee. SB 5190 provides presumptive eligibility for health care workers during a declared federal or state health emergency. The bill was voted out of the Appropriations Committee on March 31. It now goes to the House Rules Committee.
HB 1152: Public Health System Legislation
WSNA President Lynnette Vehrs testified in the Senate Ways & Means Committee this week in support of HB 1152, which provides updates and new requirements for our state’s public health system. She also thanked the Committee for the Senate budget investment of $150 million in new funding for Foundational Public Health Services.
Today, HB 1152 was passed by the Senate Ways & Means Committee. It now goes to the Senate Rules Committee.
HB 1272: Health System Transparency
HB 1272 passed out of the Senate Ways & Means Committee today. The bill was amended in the Ways & Means Committee to: 1) address the need for critical access hospitals to upgrade their EHR systems so they can better collect and share the demographic data required in the bill; and, 2) requires DOH to contract with the UW School of Nursing to lead an interdisciplinary study to analyze the impact of the number, type, education, training, and experience of acute care hospital staffing personnel on patient mortality and patient outcomes. The study is due to the legislature on October 1, 2022.
WSNA Members Meet with Members of Congress
This week, WSNA members met with several congressional representatives. We had good meetings with Congressman Adam Smith, Congressman Derek Kilmer, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Congresswoman Kim Schrier, and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. WSNA nurses shared their experiences a year in to the pandemic and with the COVID-19 vaccine. Participating nurses also shared their experiences with workplace violence and asked for service recognition for the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps.
WSNA members meet with Congressman Derek Kilmer on Monday, March 29.
Please look for regular email updates on legislative action as the legislative session continues – we look forward to your participation in the process!