With nine days left in the 2020 session, Monday, March 2 was the deadline for bills to pass out of fiscal committees in the opposite chamber. Bills still alive will now be considered by the full opposite chamber. These bills must pass the opposite chamber by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 6 and then be signed by the governor to become law. Though if the details differ between the House and Senate’s versions of the bill, the final bill language will need to be negotiated in conference.
The Legislature is working on finalizing the budget, which we expect to be released late next week. One big and new item will be how the Legislature appropriates funding for the coronavirus (COVID-19). WSHA strongly supports efforts to bolster public health response. In addition, hospitals need help to discharge the more than 400 patients statewide who no longer need to be in the hospital. WSHA has been strongly advocating for more resources for the Department of Health and Human Services to assess and provide funding for community placements.