Over the last week, the cutoffs for bills to move out of their policy and budget committees passed. It’s been a busy legislative session thus far: WSHA and AWPHD have already analyzed and tracked more than 300 bills. The list of alive bills was winnowed down considerably with the bill cutoffs.
We now turn to advocating for the priority bills we support and standing against the proriorty bills we oppose as they move toward full votes in their original houses. You can see the list of highest priority bills we’re tracking here. With only 28 days left in the regular session, the pace picks up considerably, and even more bills will fall by the wayside as they make their way through the opposite house.
One bill that is particularly exciting in Senate Bill 6519, which offers a significant opportunity to expand services delivered through telemedicine. This bill, sponsored by Senator Randi Becker, seeks to allow patients to have virtual provider visits in their homes, starting in January 2018. It would also create a collaborative that would meet over the next two years to recommend to the legislature other advancements in telemedicine and telehealth. WSHA strongly supports this bill and testified last week, and we hope it will soon be headed to the Senate floor.