As we near the end of the 2023 state legislative session, significant bills are beginning to pass the Legislature. The most notable ones are Senate bill 5499, which enters Washington into the interstate Nurse Licensure Compact, and Senate bill 5547, which requires traveler agencies to register and report information by county to the Department of Health, and House bill 1073, which allows medical assistants to practice immediately while awaiting licensure and clarifies their scope of practice. All three bills are headed to the governor for his signature to become law.
House bill 1850, the Hospital Safety Net Assessment, also passed the House with a vote of 92-4. This important bill will bring in substantial federal funding for hospitals across the state. Read more from the latest Inside Olympia. (Chelene Whiteaker)