In this week’s update:
It was a busy week of floor action in both the House and the Senate. Sunday, April 11 is the cutoff to pass (non-budget related) bills in the opposite chamber. The last day of session is April 25.
SB 5190 Passes the House (Presumptive Eligibility for Health Care Workers)
SB 5190 was voted off the House floor last night on a very strong bipartisan vote of 84-14. Rep. Berry (D – Seattle) and Rep. Volz (R – Spokane) both gave floor speeches in support of this bill, with Rep. Berry referencing testimony by WSNA member Shelly Pollock Mead.
This bill provides presumptive eligibility for workers compensation and unemployment insurance to health care workers during a declared health emergency. Because this bill was amended in the House, it now goes back to the Senate for a concurrence vote.
ACTION ALERT: School Nurse Funding & Public Health Funding
School Nurse Funding
Your legislators need to hear from you about the need to increase funding for school nurses! The legislature is working toward a final budget agreement. The House included $11 million in funding for the School Nurse Corps – and we need to ask both the House and Senate to include that funding in the final 2021-23 budget.
Public Health Funding
As nurses, we rely on a strong public health system; that was clearer than ever when COVID-19 threatened to quickly overwhelm our health care system.
Now, legislative budget writers are considering the largest investment in public health in decades – and they need to hear that nurses support this! As legislators work toward a final budget agreement, we need to ask them to include the $150 million for Foundational Public Health Services as passed in the Senate budget.
It is critical that legislators are hearing from their nurse constituents about the need to invest in public health.
Please look for regular email updates on legislative action as the legislative session continues.