WSNA in Olympia: 2021 Legislative Session Week 9

In this week’s update:

  • Week 9 Recap
  • WSNA Testi­mony This Week
  • Third Public Health Listening Session
  • Legis­lator Virtual Town Hall Meetings

Week 9

This was the ninth week of the 2021 legisla­tive session. Tuesday was the deadline for policy bills to be voted out of the chamber in which they origi­nated. Now, Committee hearings have begun in the opposite house (e.g., so bills that passed the House are now being heard in the Senate and vice versa). The next cutoff is March 26 when policy bills must be voted out of committee in the opposite chamber.

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

WSNA Testi­mony This Week

This week, WSNA testi­fied on several bills in policy committees:

SB 5190: Health Care Worker Presump­tive Eligi­bility

SB 5190 provides health care workers with presump­tive eligi­bility for workers compen­sa­tion and unemploy­ment benefits during a declared state or federal health emergency. Many WSNA nurses have shared their experi­ences with contracting COVID, running out of paid time off, and never being told by their employer that they could apply for workers compen­sa­tion. WSNA member and Pierce County Emergency Depart­ment nurse Shelly Pollock Mead testi­fied in support of SB 5190 in the House Labor Committee this morning.

210312 mead 5190

HB 1097: Anti-Retal­i­a­tion

WSNA Legisla­tive & Health Policy Council member Erin Allison testi­fied in support of HB 1097 in the Senate Labor Committee on Wednesday. This bill strengthens worker protec­tions from employer retal­i­a­tion within the Depart­ment of Labor & Indus­tries. Erin shared her experi­ence watching a colleague speak up for workplace safety during COVID and then lose his job.

210312 allison 1097

HB 1124: Nurse Delega­tion

On Wednesday, WSNA’s Director of Nursing Practice Gloria Brigham testi­fied in support of HB 1124 in the Senate Health Care Committee. This bill allows a regis­tered nurse to delegate glucose monitoring and testing to a regis­tered or certi­fied nursing assis­tant or a certi­fied home care aide.

210312 brigham 1124

Third Public Health Listening Session

HB 1152 passed out of the House on Monday by a vote of 56 – 41.

Last night we held a third listening session for WSNA’s Public Health Nurses. HB 1152 sponsor Rep. Marcus Riccelli (D‑Spokane) and Molly Voris, Public Health and Health Care Policy Advisor to Governor Inslee partic­i­pated in the meeting, providing updates and laying out the vision for this bill – they also answered questions from WSNA members. If you are a Public Health Nurse who missed this meeting, please reach out to your Nurse Repre­sen­ta­tive for a more detailed update.

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!