In this week’s update:
Yesterday the Legislature reached the final cutoff for policy bills. All bills that did not make it past this deadline and are not necessary to implement the budget, are no longer viable. Unfortunately, WSNA’s number one priority, safe staffing, didn’t make it past this week’s deadlines. Several of our training and workforce bills continue to move and some are already on their way to the Governor’s desk for his signature. Next week is Sine Die so the Legislature will spend the rest of the week working on creating a final budget before leaving Olympia for the rest of the year.
Unfortunately, the Senate Ways & Means Committee did not pass the safe staffing bill out of committee by the deadline. This means HB 1868 is very unlikely to pass this legislative cycle. We are deeply disappointed, but this is a delay, not defeat. WSNA is regrouping with coalition partners at SEIU 1199NW and UFCW 21 to plan next steps.
HB 2007, which establishes a nurse educator loan repayment program, passed the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Monday, Feb. 28 and then passed on the Senate floor on March 4 with 47 to 0 vote. The House budget also includes funding for this policy.
HB 1622 passed the Senate on Thursday, March 3 with a 47-0 vote. The bill establishes a SANE online and clinical training program as well as a regional SANE leader pilot program at the WSU College of Nursing. The program is also funded in the House budget. Because the bill was not amended in the Senate, it will go to the Governor for signature.
Although HB 1621, which sought establish a stipend program for nurses to be trained to be a SANE, is not moving as a separate vehicle, the House budget contains $1,088,000 to support this stipend program.
HB 1664, which adjusts the prototypical school funding model to provide increased and dedicated funding for school nurses, social workers, counselors and psychologists, passed the Senate 45-2 on Thursday, March 3. Previously, on Monday, Feb. 28, the bill was amended in the Senate Ways and Means Committee to move up the timeline to begin providing increased funding for social workers, counselors and psychologists. Both the Senate and House budgets contain funding for this policy. The bill now returns to the House for Concurrence in Senate amendments.
HB 1124 pass the Senate on March 2 with a 47-0 vote. The bill allows an RN to delegate glucose monitoring and testing to a CNA or home care aid. The bill is now on its way to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.
Please look for regular email updates on legislative action as the legislative session continues – we look forward to your participation in the process!