Inside Olympia: Bills that passed the Legislature

March 4, 2024

The final cutoff of session was Friday, March 1, when all bills needed to pass the opposite chamber (except for those deemed necessary to implement the budget). For the bills that have passed both chambers – House and Senate – the Legislature must now reconcile any differences before a final version is sent to the governor for his signature. If bills can’t be reconciled, they will be considered dead for the session. Bills that reach the governor with fewer than five days remaining in the legislative session have 20 days to be signed or vetoed, or they automatically become law.

The biggest news at cutoff this year is that the MA-EMT bill, SB 5940, passed the Legislature. This will allow EMT-basic, EMT-advanced and paramedics to work in hospitals through a new medical assistant credential using their existing training and education. Additionally, SB 5241, the mergers/health care transaction bill, failed to pass the House. WSHA had serious concerns about that bill’s impact on access to care.

The final budget is due out soon, and we will provide details and analysis upon its release. The legislative session is scheduled to conclude Thursday, March 7.

Bills that passed the Legislature

Bills WSHA supported

2SHB 1929 Supporting young adults following inpatient behavioral health treatment.
2SHB 1941 Home health services for Medicaid-eligible children with medically complex conditions.
SHB 2015 Incentivizing adult family homes to increase bed capacity.
SHB 2295 Hospital at-home services.
SHB 2347 Adult family home information.
SSB 5802 Providing flexibility in calculation of skilled nursing facility rates.
SB 5184 Licensure of anesthesiologist assistants.
2SSB 5825 Guardianship and conservatorship.
E2SSB 5853 Extending the crisis relief center model to provide behavioral health crisis services for minors.
SSB 5920 Lifting certificate of need requirements for psychiatric hospitals and beds.
E2SSB 5937 Supporting crime victims and witnesses by promoting victim-centered, trauma-informed responses.
SSB 5940 Creating a medical assistant-EMT certification.
SB 5982 Updating the definition of “vaccine” in RCW 70.290.010 to include all federal food and drug administration-approved immunizations recommended by the centers for disease control and prevention.
SSB 5986 Protecting patients out of network ground ambulance balance billing.
E2SSB 5213 Creating a regulatory structure for pharmacy benefit managers.

Bills on which WSHA was neutral following advocacy and amendments

2ESHB 1508 Health care cost transparency board.
SHB 2061 Defining an employee of a health care facility for purposes of mandatory overtime provisions.
HB 2073 Emissions of greenhouse gases from sources other than methane and carbon dioxide.
ESSB 5481 Uniform law commission’s uniform telehealth act.
ESSB 6127 Increasing access to human immunodeficiency virus postexposure prophylaxis drugs or therapies.
2SSB 6228 Concerning treatment of substance use disorders.

Bills on which WSHA was neutral

ESHB 2041 Concerning physician assistant collaborative practice.
SHB 2102 Establishing requirements for the disclosure of health care information for qualifying persons to receive paid family and medical leave benefits.
ESSB 5788 Accessibility for service animals in training.
SSB 5935 Noncompetition covenants.

Bills with which WSHA had concerns

E2SSB 5838 Establishing an artificial intelligence task force.

Bills WSHA opposed

SB 5821 Establishing a uniform standard for creating an established relationship for the purposes of coverage of audio-only telemedicine services.

Notable bills that failed to pass the Legislature

Bills WSHA supported

HB 2184/SB 6167 Authorizing payment for parental caregivers of minor children with developmental disabilities.
SB 6210 Unlawful detainer actions and expanding superior court capacity.
SB 6257 Defining Washington state residency requirements for purposes of hospital charity care.

Bills on which WSHA was neutral

E2SHB 2128 Modernizing certificate of need.
2SHB 2166 Portable orders for life-sustaining treatment.
E2SSB 6092 Disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions.
ESSB 6110 Modernizing the child fatality statute.

Bills WSHA opposed, had concerns with or amended

HB 1859 Rights of residents in long-term care facilities.
ESHB 1893 Unemployment insurance benefits for striking or lockout workers.
HB 1951 Promoting ethical artificial intelligence by protecting against algorithmic discrimination
HB 2066 Provider contracting.
HB 2119 Prohibiting garnishment related to medical debt.
HB 2122 Wellness programs for certain health care professionals.
HB 2149 Protecting consumer personal information.
2SHB 2319 Substance use disorder treatment.
HB 2378 Facility fees.
HB 2466 Ambulance wait times.
SB 5059 Prejudgment interest.
ESB 5241 Material changes to the operations and governance structure of participants in the health care marketplace.
SSB 5924 Access to personnel records.
ESSB 5995 Creating a professional license for spoken language interpreters and translators.
SSB 6134 Preventing overdose and illicit use of opioids in Washington state

Join us for the Legislative Summary webcast, now March 19!

Join WSHA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Chelene Whiteaker, Vice President and Associate General Counsel Zosia Stanley, Vice President of Government Affairs Ashlen Strong and Communications Director Tim Pfarr for this important members-only webinar, which will provide you with important information from this legislative session, including action you will need to take to comply with newly adopted state laws. Register here. (Tim Pfarr)


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