In this week’s update:
This was the eighth week of the 2021 legislative session, and the House and Senate have until Tuesday, March 9 to pass policy bills off the floor. After that, passed bills move to the opposite chamber where committee hearings begin. The next cutoff is March 26 when policy bills must be voted out of committee in the opposite chamber.
Spokane Op-Ed Highlights Need for School Nurse Funding
This week, the Spokesman Review published an op-ed on school nurse funding, “Now more than ever, we need school nurses” by Liz Pray, President of SNOW, and Dr. Kristi Rice, Spokane pediatrician and member of the Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. We are highlighting this piece for the legislature’s fiscal committees.
Anti-Retaliation Bill and Worker Protection Act Pass the House
HB 1097, a bill that strengthens our state’s anti-retaliation provisions, passed the House yesterday with a vote of 53-44. This bill is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Labor, Commerce & Tribal Affairs Committee on March 10.
HB 1076, the Worker Protection Act, passed the House this evening by a vote of 53-44. The bill will now move to the Senate.
Public Health Listening Session, March 11
A new version of HB 1152 is expected to be voted out of the House soon. While an earlier draft of this new version had included WSNA as a member of the proposed statewide “Public Health Advisory Board,” the latest version lists just one position on the board for a “statewide association representing Washington hospitals, physicians, or nurses.” WSNA is continuing to advocate for a separate named seat on the Advisory Board that is reflective of our long history of advocacy for public health funding and of our participation on the Foundation Public Health Services Policy Work Group.
On March 11, we are holding a third listening session for WSNA’s Public Health Nurses that will include the participation of the Governor’s Office, Senator June Robinson, and Rep. Marcus Riccelli. If you are a Public Health Nurse in the Whatcom County, Snohomish County, Seattle & King County, Benton Franklin, or Spokane Regional public health agencies, you will be receiving more information on how to participate on Monday, March 9.
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!