Inside Olympia: Significant bills pass Legislature

April 7, 2023

We are excited to announce that two high-priority bills have passed both chambers of the Legislature and are on their way to the governor for his signature! They are:

  • SSB 5499: joining the interstate Nurse Licensure Compact. WSHA has worked for years on this bill and is very pleased it passed the Legislature.
  • SSB 5547: requiring traveler agencies to register and report information by county to the Department of Health

These important bills will make positive improvements to the health care system for patients across our state. E2SSB 5236, the hospital staffing bill, also passed the House and now awaits the governor’s signature. ESHB 1073 also just passed the Legislature, which allows medical assistants to practice immediately while awaiting licensure and clarifies their scope of practice.

WSHA is also pleased to report the Safety Net Assessment, HB 1850, also passed the House with a vote of 92-4. The Senate will now take up the bill.

Tuesday, April 4 marked the deadline for all bills to move out of committees in the opposite chamber, except for bills that are necessary to implement the budget. Next, bills that are still alive are subject to action on the floor of the opposite chamber, where they must pass by 5 p.m., Wednesday April 12 to reconcile any changes with the chamber of origin or go to the governor for his signature to become law.

This also means the session is nearing a close for 2023. The House and Senate will need to agree on a final budget by the final day of session, Sunday April 23.

Bills that have passed both chambers

Bills WSHA supports

ESHB 1073 Amends the medical assistant credentialing statute for hemodialysis technicians and phlebotomists to improve retention of trained health care workers.
HB 1564 Prohibiting the sale of over-the-counter sexual assault kits.
E2SHB 1694 Addressing home care workforce shortages.
SSB 5499 Concerning the multistate nurse licensure compact.
SSB 5547 Concerning nursing pool transparency. Requires traveler agencies to register and report information by county to the Department of Health.
SSB 5569 Creating temporary exemptions from certificate of need requirements for kidney disease centers.

Bills on which WSHA is neutral and successfully amended and have passed both chambers

ESHB 1051 Concerning robocalling and telephone scams.
ESHB 1155 Addressing the collection, sharing, and selling of consumer health data.
SHB 1255 Reducing stigma and incentivizing health care professionals to participate in a substance use disorder monitoring and treatment program.
ESSB 5179 Increasing access to the provisions of the Washington death with dignity act.
E2SSB 5236 Concerning hospital staffing standards. WSHA negotiated on this bill with nursing unions.

Bills still alive after opposite chamber committee cutoff

Bills WSHA supports

2SHB 1028 Supporting crime victims and witnesses by promoting victim-centered, trauma-informed responses in the legal system.
2SHB 1580 Creating a system to support children in crisis.
EHB 1812 Continuing the business and occupation tax deduction for federal funds received from a Medicaid transformation or demonstration project or Medicaid quality improvement program or standard.
HB 1850/SB 5764 Concerning the hospital safety net program.
2SSB 5103 Concerning payment to acute care hospitals for difficult to discharge Medicaid patients.
2SSB 5120 Establishing 23-hour crisis relief centers in Washington state.

Bills WSHA supported that failed to advance

ESHB 1547 Increasing the health care workforce by authorizing out-of-state providers to practice immediately.
ESHB 1589 Supporting Washington’s clean energy economy and transitioning to a clean, affordable, and reliable energy future.
E2SSB 5440 Providing timely competency evaluations and restoration services to persons suffering from behavioral health disorders.
2SSB 5454 Concerning industrial insurance coverage for posttraumatic stress disorders affecting registered nurses.

High-priority bills that did not move before cutoff

Bills WSHA opposed that failed to advance

E2SHB 1320  Concerning access to personnel records.
ESHB 1508 Improving consumer affordability through the health care cost transparency board.
SB 5059 Concerning prejudgment interest
SB 5241 Concerning material changes to the operations and governance structure of participants in the health care marketplace.
SB 5393 Addressing affordability through health care provider contracting.

Bills WSHA supported that failed to advance

SSB 5057 Creating a work group to evaluate the costs of the state energy performance standard for covered commercial buildings. As amended this bill contains a one-year delay to the “clean buildings” law for tier 1 buildings (those > 50,000 sq ft.) The Department of Commerce now has an emergency rule for a new process on applying for a financial hardship exemption.  A bulletin is available here.
SSB 5503 Establishing requirements for uniform clinical placement hours for nursing education programs.
SB 5498 Creating the nurse student loan repayment assistance program.
SB 5537 Creating the hospital patient care unit staffing innovation collaborative.

Thank you for testifying!

Thank you to everyone who testified in support of WSHA’s legislative efforts over the two last weeks:

  • Jennifer Burkhardt, Chief Legal and Talent Officer, Summit Pacific Medical Center
  • Mike Glenn, CEO, Jefferson Healthcare
  • Jennifer Graham, Chief Nurse Executive, MultiCare Health System


Contact Us

Washington State Hospital Association
999 Third Avenue
Suite 1400
Seattle, WA 98104

Map / Directions

206.281.7211 phone
206.283.6122 fax

Staff List