WSNA in Olympia: 2021 Legislative Session Week 13

In this week’s update:

  • Week 13 Recap
  • SB 5190 Passes the House (Presump­tive Eligi­bility for Health Care Workers)
  • ACTION ALERT: School Nurse Funding & Public Health Funding

Week 13

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.

All floor sessions, including debate and votes on bills, are being aired on TVW. WSNA’s 2021 Legisla­tive Prior­i­ties are avail­able online.

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.