Friday, Feb. 22 was the cutoff for most bills to move out of their original policy committee. See the full status report of high-priority bills in this week’s edition of WSHA’s legislative newsletter, Inside Olympia. We are pleased to report that SB 5344 — the WSHA-promoted proactive nursing fatigue bill — has advanced through the Senate Committee on Health & Long Term Care and now heads to the Senate Committee on Ways & Means. A hearing date has not yet been set. Contacts made by hospital leaders and staff to legislators encouraging their support of the bill has been crucial to ensure this bill passed this first hurdle in the legislative process.
However, HB 1155 / SB 5190 — the companion bills promoted by the nursing unions that requires uninterrupted breaks and instills staffing requirements — are still alive as well. They will now be heard in the House Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Committee on Ways & Means, respectively.