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WSNA in Olympia – Legislative Session Week 5

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In this week’s update:

  • Public Health Hearings & TV Town Halls
  • Staffing & Rest Breaks Hearings
  • School Nurse Supervision Hearing
  • Right to Work Bill
  • ACA Protections Introduced in Legislature
  • Nurse Legislative Day
  • Upcoming Events

WSNA’s 2017 Legislative Priorities and issue-based one-pagers can be found here.

Public Health Hearings & TV Town Halls

On Tuesday this week, the House and Senate Health Care Committees held hearings on the policy bills related to the $60 million budget request for public health. The bills define core public health services and put into statute the Foundational Public Health Services framework – these bills also set in statute a structure for Shared Services, which would formalize smaller health departments contracting of some services (such as epidemiology) from larger health departments, making the system more effective and efficient. WSNA’s Anne Piazza testified in support of these bills, HB 1432 and SB 5353.

THIS WEEKEND: Public Health TV Town Hall

Is our public health system on life support?

That’s the question that will be discussed in a Town Hall Meeting on KOMO-TV this Saturday, February 11, 2017. It will air around 8:30 p.m., immediately following NBA basketball. Watch a promo here.

Staffing & Rest Breaks Hearings

The staffing bill (HB 1714) and rest breaks/mandatory overtime bill (HB 1715) were both heard this week.
Thank you to WSNA member Danielle O’Toole for providing outstanding testimony on these bills

School Nurse Supervision Hearing

SB 5325 was heard in the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee this week on February 7. SNOW and the Nursing Commission testified in support of the bill; there was no testimony against the bill.

The House Bill, HB 1346, received a friendly amendment and is scheduled to be voted out of committee this week.

Right to Work Bill

Right to Work legislation has been introduced in Washington state in the past, but this was the first year the bill received a hearing.
WSNA President Jan Bussert was in Olympia on Wednesday to testify in strong opposition to SB 5692 – and WSNA also sent an Action Alert out to members asking that they email the committee in opposition to this bill.

Additionally, more than 1,000 people rallied outside the hearing room against Right to Work legislation.

ACA Protections Introduced in Legislature

As conversation continues at the federal level regarding repeal of the Affordable Care Act, several bills in Olympia seek to minimize harm in the event of a repeal.

HB 1523 - Requires health plans to provide coverage for the same preventive services required to be covered by the ACA and under Federal rules or guidance in effect on December 31, 2016.

WSNA Action: Anne Piazza testified in support of this bill in House Health Care on February 7.

HB 1234 / SB 5554 – Requires health plans that cover contraceptive drugs to reimburse a 12-month refill of contraceptive drugs obtained at one time.

WSNA Action: Signed-in in support of these bills.

Nurse Legislative Day

We are looking forward to seeing more than 600 nurses at Nurse Legislative Day next week.
Can’t attend this year? You can still participate in our Virtual Lobby Day! Watch for an email on Monday, February 13, that will allow you to participate via email, Facebook or Twitter.

We hope you will join us and make your voice heard!

Upcoming Events

February 11th

TV Town Hall on Public Health
Airing at 8:30 p.m. on KOMO TV

  • Secretary of Health John Wiesman
  • Patty Hayes, RN, MN, Director of Public Health – Seattle & King County
  • Dr. Ben Danielson

February 12th

Public Health Town Hall on KOMO Radio
Airing at 2 p.m. on station 1000 AM

February 12th

TV Town Hall on Public Health – Spanish Language

Airing at 6 p.m. on Univision (KUNS TV)
See the Spanish-language TV commercial here.

February 13th

Nurse Legislative Day