WSNA in Olympia: 2021 Legislative Session Week 7

In this week’s update:

  • Week 7 Recap
  • Health Care Worker Presump­tive Eligi­bility Passes the Senate
  • Health System Trans­parency Passes the House
  • Public Health Listening Session
  • Legis­lator Virtual Town Hall Meetings

Week 7

This week marked the second cutoff of the 2021 legisla­tive session, with bills needing to be voted out of fiscal commit­tees by Feb. 22. On Tuesday, both the House and Senate began long days of floor action. The next cutoff is March 9 when all bills must be voted out of their chamber of origin to stay alive (unless they are deemed neces­sary to imple­ment the budget”).

Health Care Worker Presump­tive Eligi­bility Passes the Senate

SB 5190 passed the Senate last night with a vote of 34 – 15. Senator Holy (R – Spokane), who sponsored the bill, highlighted hearing from Spokane nurses in his floor speech. Three amend­ments were intro­duced, all of which WSNA opposed – these amend­ments were voted on and all failed to pass. Senator Keiser (D – Des Moines) and Senator Robinson (D – Everett) both gave strong speeches in support of nurses and health care workers, highlighting how much this bill is needed. This bill now moves to the House. Click on the image below to watch the floor speeches and vote on this bill. The SB 5190 video starts at 1:27.

210226 ssb 5190 holy

Health System Trans­parency Passes the House

HB 1272 passed out of the House on Thursday evening with 58 votes in favor and 40 opposed. The House adopted a floor amend­ment that reduced reporting require­ments for smaller hospi­tals. The amend­ment also included a DOH study that examines the impact of the number, type, educa­tion, training and experi­ence of acute care hospital staffing on patient mortality and outcomes. The bill now moves to the Senate.

210225 2shb 1272

Public Health Listening Session

As public health funding and policy bills continue to move forward, WSNA held on Wednesday evening a second listening session with our members who work in local public health. House Bill 1152 which creates Compre­hen­sive Health Service Districts and recon­fig­ures Local Boards of Health was voted out of Appro­pri­a­tions last week. The sponsors of this bill are contin­uing to meet with stake­holders to hear feedback, and we look forward to sharing specific feedback provided by WSNA Public Health Nurses. We will be sched­uling a third listening session on Thursday, March 11.

Legis­lator Virtual Town Hall Meetings

With the legis­la­ture meeting remotely, this year’s Legis­lator Town Hall meetings will also be held remotely. The House Democ­rats have released their list of Virtual Town Hall meetings and the Senate Democ­rats now have their Virtual Town Hall meetings avail­able on a calendar. Many of these are coming up quickly – and they are listed by date rather than district.

We have not yet seen the House Repub­li­cans or Senate Repub­li­cans full list of Virtual Town Hall meetings; however, many are holding them. If you live in a legisla­tive district with Repub­lican legis­la­tors, you can sign up for their individual legisla­tive electronic newslet­ters to receive infor­ma­tion like this. You can also sign up for the House Repub­lican Caucus newsletter here or the Senate Repub­lican Caucus newsletter here.

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