2018 budget priorities #

The legis­la­ture passed its final 2018 supple­mental operating budget on March 8. The final budget was largely good for health care and for WSNA’s budget and policy priorities.

WSNA priorityBudget amountDescription
Nursing Education Funding: Scholarship Match$4.336 millionFunding for the expected state match requirements for the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship program (added advance degree health professions in policy bill).
Nurse Education Funding: Expand Scholarship Opportunities$500,000Pursuant to HB 1452, funding is provided for anticipated state match requirements due to expanding the WSOS program to students pursuing a two-year certificate and degree programs.
Public Health Funding: King County Communicable Disease Prevention & Response$3 millionFunding for King County to address the prevention and response to communicable diseases, including zoonoic and emerging diseases and chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
Address the Opioid Crisis: Data Tracking$996,000Funding is provided for DOH to (1) establish a statewide electronic emergency medical services data system for licensed ambulances and aid services to report and furnish patient encounter data, (2)distribute health care supplies through hub and spoke community-based public health programs, and (3) perform knowledge-based identity verification for the prescription monitoring program.
Address the Opioid Crisis: Increase Medicaid Medication Assisted Treatment Rate$6.156 millionFunding is provided to increase the Medicaid Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) rate for opioid use disorder to match the Medicare rate to encourage more providers to treat patients with opioid use disorder.
Address the Opioid Crisis: Hub and Spoke Expansion$4.630 millionThe "Hub and Spoke" model is a term used to describe a specific treatment network model used to provide care for individuals with opioid use disorders. Funding is provided to create an additional four Hub and Spoke networks.
Address the Opioid Crisis: Naloxone Distribution$864,000Unobligated federal block grant funds are appropriated to support efforts to increase access to opioid reversal medications.
Address the Opioid Crisis: Tribal Opioid Reduction Grants$1.5 millionUnobligated federal block grant funds are appropriated to provide grants to tribes to reduce opioid use through prevention and expansion of treatment.
Address the Opioid Crisis: Medication Assisted Treatment Tracking Tool$1.3 millionUnobligated federal block grant funds are appropriated to develop and implement a capacity tracking tool for medication-assisted treatment providers.
Secure Medicine Return: Drug Take-Back Program$1.120 millionUnobligated federal block grant funds are appropriated to support agency efforts to encourage individuals to return unused prescription drugs to designated sites for safe disposal.
Access to Mental Health Services (Volk Decision): Bree Collaborative Workgroup$40,000Funding to create a workgroup at the Bree Collaborative to identify best practices for mental health services regarding patient mental health treatment and patient management.

Other budget items of interest #

ItemBudget amountDescription
Nursing Staff in Long-Term Care Settings$30,000Funding is provided for the Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission to convene a workgroup to develop strategies to address the shortage of nursing staff in long-term care settings.
Children’s Mental Health$385,000Funding is provided for SSB 6452 to expand the partnership access line (PAL) for pregnant women and mothers for two years.
Community Health Workers$150,000Funding for DOH to implement training and education recommendations from the 2016 report of the CHW Task Force.
Children’s Mental Health Services$100,000Consistent with E2SHB 2779, funding is provided for HCA to contract with a third party to build upon the Home Visiting and Medicaid Financing Strategies 2017report and provide a set of recommendations to the Legislature by December 1, 2018.
Behavioral Health – Agriculture$485,000Funding is provided for SSHB 2671, which establishes a task force to review data related to behavioral health of agricultural workers, and to review options for improving behavioral health and reducing suicide risk. A pilot program is also established pursuant to the bill based upon the recommendations of the task force.
Sole Community Hospital$5.3 millionOne-time funding is provided to increase the rates paid to rural hospitals that were certified by the centers forMedicare and Medicaid service as sole community hospitals as of January 1, 2013, with less than one hundred fifty acute care licensed beds in FY 2011 to 150 percent of the hospitals fee-for-service rate.
Hospital Bed Conversions$500,000One-time funding is provided for the costs associated with converting existing acute care hospital beds to long-term psychiatric beds for a community hospital located in Toppenish.
Charity Care$19,000Funding to implement SSB 6273, which requires DOH to review/modify charity care rules.
Student Loan Bill of Rights$124,000Funding is provided to implement E2SS 6029, which requires WSIPP to study on student loan authorities that refinance existing student loans from the proceeds of tax-exempt bonds and report to the Legislature by December 31, 2018.
Student Loan Bill of Rights$245,000Pursuant to HB 1499 (student loan disbursement), funding is provided for WSAC's review of unresolved student complaints.
Universal Health Care Study$100,000Funding is provided for the WSIPP to conduct a study of single payer and other universal health care systems.
Health Professions Licensing$2 millionOne-time expenditure authority from the Health Professions Account is provided to fill staff vacancies in DOH. Performance measures, such as the time needed to credential new health providers and the time needed to respond when health providers contact DOH, are expected to improve after the positions have been filled.

2018 policy priorities #


Rest Breaks – dead

The rest breaks bill was WSNA’s top priority for 2018, and made it through all but the last step of the legisla­tive process – the furthest the bill has progressed. HB 1715 passed the House with bipar­tisan support by a vote of 56 – 42. In the Senate, the bill was amended in the Senate Ways & Means Committee with language that would have made an exemp­tion to the law for health care facil­i­ties that have collec­tive bargaining agree­ments addressing meal and rest breaks. This amend­ment was unaccept­able, and we worked on a fix to this language that could have been added on the Senate floor; however, despite being pulled from the Rules Committee and placed on second reading (meaning the bill could be pulled to the floor for a vote at any time), this bill was not brought to the Senate floor prior to the final cutoff.


Surprise Billing (Medical Debt) – dead

HB 2114 would ensure that patients receiving care in an emergency room or in-patien­t/out-patient surgery would be charged the in-network insur­ance rate, even for providers who may be out-of-network. This bill passed the House 72 – 26, but was never pulled to the Senate floor for a vote.


Secure Medicine Return – passed

ESHB 1047 passed the full Senate by a unani­mous vote, 49 – 0, and final passage in the House was by a vote of 84 – 12. Washington is the first state in the nation to adopt a Secure Medicine Return program that will be avail­able to every resident of the state. This bill requires manufac­turers that sell drugs into Washington state to operate and pay for a drug take-back program to collect and dispose of prescrip­tion and over-the-counter drugs from residen­tial sources. Counties that currently have secure medicine return programs can continue to run their own programs for 12 months after an approved statewide program begins operating, but are preempted at the end of the 12-month period. WSNA has been a long-time supporter of a statewide secure medicine return program, and we are thrilled with this victory that will help reduce unwanted and unused medica­tions from medicine cabinets around our state!


Opioid Preven­tion and Treat­ment – passed

HB 2489 was Governor request legis­la­tion to enhance commu­nity preven­tion and treat­ment of opioid use disorder. This bill passed the House 98 – 0, but was never pulled to the Senate floor for a vote.


Washington State Oppor­tu­nity Schol­ar­ship Program (Advanced Degree Health Profes­sions) — passed

E2SHB 2143 adds advanced degrees (graduate and profes­sional degrees – service oblig­a­tion required) in health profes­sions needed in service oblig­a­tion areas” to the Washington State Oppor­tu­nity Schol­ar­ship program, a public-private partner­ship to fund schol­ar­ships in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. This bill passed the Senate 48 – 1, and the House concurred with Senate amend­ments with a final passage vote of 94 – 3. This bill is on its way to the Governor’s desk.


Washington State Oppor­tu­nity Schol­ar­ship Expan­sion (Profes­sional-Technical Certifi­cates and Degrees)passed

HB 1452 expands the Washington State Oppor­tu­nity Schol­ar­ship program to students pursuing profes­sional-technical certifi­cates and degrees. It creates a new account, called the Student Pathways Account, from which schol­ar­ships for these certifi­cates and degrees will be awarded. It also allows students who are ineli­gible for federal student aid to file a state finan­cial aid appli­ca­tion to meet schol­ar­ship renewal require­ments. This bill passed the Senate, 48 – 1, and passed the House, 98 – 0; it has been deliv­ered to the Governor.


2018 other bills WSNA supported #

NURSING

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners – passed

SHB 2101 requires the Office of Crime Victims Advocacy to develop best practices that local commu­ni­ties can use to create more access to Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, and to develop strate­gies to make Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner training avail­able without requiring nurses to travel unrea­son­able distances or incur unrea­son­able expenses. SHB 2101 passed unani­mously in both the House (98 – 0) and the Senate (48 – 0), and has been deliv­ered to the Governor (as of this writing).


Hospital Privi­leges for ARNPs & PAs – dead

SHB 2264 requires hospi­tals or health care facil­i­ties to collect infor­ma­tion from physi­cian assis­tants (PAs) and advanced regis­tered nurse practi­tioners (ARNPs) before granting or renewing clinical privi­leges. It allows a hospital or facility to rely on the decision of a distant site hospital to grant or renew privi­leges when granting or renewing privi­leges for a PA or ARNP providing telemed­i­cine. This bill passed the House unani­mously, 97 – 0, but was not moved out of the Senate Rules Committee.


TELEMEDICINE

Telemed­i­cine Collab­o­ra­tive – passed

SB 6163 extends the duration of the Collab­o­ra­tive for the Advance­ment of Telemed­i­cine to December 31, 2021. The Collab­o­ra­tive is required to submit its final policy report to the legis­la­ture on December 1, 2021. This bill passed unani­mously in both the House (98 – 0) and the Senate (48 – 0), and is on its way to the Governor’s desk.


Telemed­i­cine Payment Parity – passed

SSB 6399 directs the Collab­o­ra­tive for the Advance­ment of Telemed­i­cine (Collab­o­ra­tive) to review the concept of telemed­i­cine payment parity and develop recom­men­da­tions on reimbursing for telemed­i­cine at the same rate as if a provider provided services in person for treat­ment of diabetes mellitus, stroke, mental health condi­tions, opioid depen­dence, and chronic pain. The Collab­o­ra­tive must review method­olo­gies, including whether and to what extent facility fees should be reimbursed, for reimburse­ment of telemed­i­cine services. The recom­men­da­tions must include parame­ters for a three- to five-year payment parity pilot program, and must outline proce­dures for the Collab­o­ra­tive, in conjunc­tion with the Office of Finan­cial Manage­ment, to analyze claim data in the all-payer claims database to see if any savings or increased utiliza­tion is realized through the pilot. The Collab­o­ra­tive must also design a training program to teach health care profes­sionals about telemed­i­cine and proper billing. The Collab­o­ra­tive must report its recom­men­da­tions to the Legis­la­ture by December 1, 2018. This bill passed both the Senate (47 – 0) and House (98 – 0) unani­mously, and has been deliv­ered to the Governor.


HEALTH CARE

Charity Care and Notice Require­ments – passed

SSB 6273 requires hospi­tals to provide notice of charity care policies in specific areas of the hospital, such as where patients are admitted, on the hospi­tal’s website, and on all billing and collec­tion documents. It requires hospi­tals to develop standard­ized training programs on the hospi­tal’s charity care policy and the use of inter­preter services, and provide regular training for appro­priate staff; and, it clari­fies the patient’s family income that the hospital must consider when deter­mining charity care eligi­bility. This bill passed the House (98 – 0) and Senate (49 – 0) unani­mously, and is on its way to the Governor’s desk.


HIV Testing – passed

SB 6580 repeals a specific prohi­bi­tion against human immun­od­e­fi­ciency virus (HIV) testing without consent and a list of excep­tions to that prohi­bi­tion. It also repeals the require­ment that clini­cians employ opt-out” HIV screening for patients age 15 through 65 years and for all pregnant women; and repeals the prohi­bi­tion against health care providers using the fact that a person has declined an HIV screening as a basis for denying services or treat­ment other than the HIV screening. This bill passed the Senate, 47 – 1, and passed the House (96 – 2); it has been deliv­ered to the Governor.


OCCUPATIONAL & ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH

Perflu­o­ri­nated Chemi­cals in Food Packaging – passed

2ESHB 2658 condi­tion­ally restricts the inclu­sion of perflu­o­roalkyl and polyflu­o­roalkyl chemi­cals in specific appli­ca­tions of food packaging begin­ning as early as 2022, pending the outcome of an alter­na­tives assess­ment to be completed by the Depart­ment of Ecology by January 1, 2020. This bill passed the House 56 – 41, and passed the Senate 30 – 17. This bill is on its way to the Governor’s desk. 


Presump­tion of Occupa­tional Disease for Certain Hanford Employees – passed

SHB 1723 creates a presump­tion for Hanford nuclear site workers that certain enumer­ated diseases and condi­tions are occupa­tional diseases, for the purposes of indus­trial insur­ance coverage. This bill applies to employees, contrac­tors, and subcon­trac­tors who worked on the site at the 200 east, 300 west, 300 area, environ­mental restora­tion disposal facility site, central plateau, or the river corridor locations for at least one 8‑hour shift while covered under the state’s indus­trial insur­ance laws. The prima facie presump­tion applies to the following diseases and condi­tions: respi­ra­tory disease; beryl­lium sensi­ti­za­tion and acute and chronic beryl­lium disease; heart problems, experi­enced within 72 hours of exposure to fumes, toxic substances, or chemi­cals at the site; certain cancers as speci­fied; and neuro­log­ical disease. This bill passed the Senate, 35 – 14, and passed the House, 74 – 12. It was signed into law by the Governor on March 7.


COLLECTIVE BARGAINING & LABOR

Additional Compen­sa­tion for Academic Employees at Commu­nity and Technical Colleges – passed

EHB 1237 modifies collec­tive bargaining law to allow academic faculty at Commu­nity and Technical Colleges to bargain for wage increases that exceed the amounts provided by the legis­la­ture. This will allow nursing educa­tion faculty and others to bargain for higher salaries. This bill passed the Senate 27 – 21, and the House concurred with Senate amend­ments with a final passage vote of 57 – 41. This bill is on its way to the Governor’s desk.


Workplace Practices to Achieve Gender Pay Equity – passed

2SHB 1506 updates the existing state equal pay act to address income dispar­i­ties, employer discrim­i­na­tion and retal­i­a­tion practices, and to reflect the equal status of workers in Washington state. This bill passed the Senate 36 – 12, and it passed the House 70 – 28. This bill is on its way to the Governor’s desk.


Exempting Public Employee Birth­dates from Public Disclo­sure Require­ments – dead

SB 6079 exempts public employee and volun­teer birth­dates from public disclo­sure require­ments, adding birth­dates to a list of exemp­tions that currently include residen­tial and email addresses, telephone numbers, Social Security and driver’s license numbers, and emergency contact infor­ma­tion. This bill passed the Senate, 25 – 22, but was not passed out of the House Committee on State Govern­ment, Elections & Infor­ma­tion Technology.


Exclu­sive Bargaining Repre­sen­ta­tive Access to New Employees – passed

ESB 6229 says that under state collec­tive bargaining law, an employer must provide the exclu­sive bargaining repre­sen­ta­tive reason­able access to new employees of the bargaining unit to present infor­ma­tion about the exclu­sive bargaining repre­sen­ta­tive to the new employees. The presen­ta­tion may occur at a new employee orien­ta­tion or at another time mutually agreed to by the employer and the bargaining repre­sen­ta­tive. No employee may be mandated to attend the meetings or presen­ta­tions by the exclu­sive bargaining repre­sen­ta­tive. Reason­able access means that the access occurs within 90 days of the employ­ee’s start date and the access is for no less than 30 minutes. However, an employer may agree to longer and more frequent new employee access. The access must occur during the employ­ee’s regular work hours at the employ­ee’s regular worksite, unless another time and place is mutually agreed to by the employer and bargaining repre­sen­ta­tive. This bill passed the Senate 27 – 20, and passed the House 58 – 40; it has been deliv­ered to the Governor (as of this writing). 


Deduc­tion of Union Dues and Fees – passed

HB 2751 provides that if a collec­tive bargaining agree­ment has a union security provi­sion, written autho­riza­tion from the employee is not required for the employer to enforce the union security agree­ment by deducting required dues or fees from the employ­ee’s pay. Provides that if a collec­tive bargaining agree­ment includes require­ments for deduc­tions of payments other than union dues or equiv­a­lent fees under a union security provi­sion, the employer must make those deduc­tions upon written autho­riza­tion of the employee. It also removes the require­ment that an employ­ee’s written autho­riza­tion to deduct dues be filed with the employer. This bill passed the House 50 – 48, and passed the Senate 26 – 22. This bill is on its way to the Governor’s desk.


Unfair Labor Practices Statute of Limita­tions – passed

SB 6231 amends seven different collec­tive bargaining statutes to provide that the six-month statute of limita­tions for an unfair labor practice applies whether the complaint is filed with the Public Employ­ment Relations Commis­sion or in superior court. This bill passed the Senate, 27 – 20, and passed the House, 50 – 48; it has been deliv­ered to the Governor.


STUDENT LOAN TRANSPARENCY & ACCOUNTABILITY

Student Oppor­tu­nity, Assis­tance, & Relief Act – passed

3SHB 1169 estab­lishes the student oppor­tu­nity, assis­tance, and relief act to address student educa­tion loan debt, the repeal of statutes regarding profes­sional license or certifi­cate suspen­sions, private student loan default, and exemp­tions for bank account and wage garnish­ments. The repeal of provi­sions allowing suspen­sion of a profes­sional license due to student loan default includes nursing licenses. WSNA supported this bill in 2017, and again this year. 3SHB 1169 passed the Senate unani­mously, 48 – 0. The House then concurred with Senate amend­ments, with a vote of 80 – 16. This bill has been deliv­ered to the Governor (as of this writing).


Student Loan Bill of Rights – passed

E2SSB 6029 creates the Student Educa­tion Loan Advocate to receive, review, and provide assis­tance to student educa­tion loan borrowers who file complaints. It requires student loan servicers (servicers) to obtain a license from the Depart­ment of Finan­cial Insti­tu­tions (DFI) to operate in the state, and permits the DFI to estab­lish fees. The bill also requires servicers to comply with various provi­sions regarding assessing and crediting fees; account infor­ma­tion and dispute requests; acquiring, trans­fer­ring, and selling servicing rights; and reporting infor­ma­tion. It prohibits third-party student loan modifi­ca­tion servicers from various practices that may misrep­re­sent the student loan situa­tion or encourage a borrower to do something counter­pro­duc­tive to their situa­tion; and requires the Washington State Insti­tute for Public Policy to study student loan author­i­ties who refinance student loans from proceeds of tax-exempt bonds. This bill passed the Senate, 35 – 13, and passed the House, 87 – 11; it has been deliv­ered to the Governor (as of this writing). 


Protec­tions and Fairness in Student Loan Disburse­ment Process – passed

HB 1499 creates notice and other require­ments applic­able to postsec­ondary insti­tu­tions that use third-party servicers or finan­cial insti­tu­tions to disburse finan­cial aid refunds to students. It also requires the Washington Student Achieve­ment Council to have rules ensuring that contracts between insti­tu­tions and third-party servicers or finan­cial insti­tu­tions are in the best finan­cial interest of the students and meet other criteria. This bill passed both the House (98 – 0) and the Senate (49 – 0) unani­mously; it was funded in the budget and has been deliv­ered to the Governor.


2018 successful bills the Association of Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses supported #

CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH

Student Mental Health – passed

2SHB 1377 speci­fies the roles and duties of school counselors, social workers, and psychol­o­gists. Requires first-class school districts to provide a minimum of six hours of profes­sional collab­o­ra­tion time per year for school counselors, social workers, and psychol­o­gists that focuses on recog­nizing signs of emotional or behav­ioral distress in students, begin­ning in the 2019 – 20 school year. Estab­lishes the Profes­sional Collab­o­ra­tion Light­house Grant Program, through August 1, 2020, to assist school districts with early adoption and imple­men­ta­tion of mental health profes­sional collab­o­ra­tion time, subject to funding by the Legis­la­ture. This bill passed the Senate, 43 – 3, and passed the House, 64 – 34; it has been deliv­ered to the Governor.


Children’s Mental Health Services Consul­ta­tion Program — passed

SSB 6452 directs the Health Care Authority to convene stake­holders and submit a recom­men­da­tion to the Legis­la­ture and the Children’s Mental Health Workgroup by December 1, 2018 regarding: an alter­na­tive funding model for PAL; and, a strategy to ensure that expanded PAL services do not dupli­cate existing Managed Care Organi­za­tion require­ments. It also creates a two-year pilot program between UW and Seattle Children’s to create PAL for Moms and Kids – a hotline to help parents and providers with child mental health refer­rals. The Partner­ship Access Line (PAL) is a telephone-based child mental health consul­ta­tion system for primary care providers. PAL is staffed by child psychi­a­trists affil­i­ated with the Univer­sity of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital to deliver its consul­ta­tion services. This bill passed both the House (97 – 0) and the Senate (48 – 0) unani­mously; it is on its way to the Governor’s desk.


Improving Access to Mental Health Services for Children & Youth – passed

E2SHB 2779 reestab­lishes the Children’s Mental Health Work Group through the year 2020. It also allows provider reimburse­ment for super­vi­sion and partial hospi­tal­iza­tion and inten­sive outpa­tient treat­ment programs; and directs the Health Care Authority and the Depart­ment of Children, Youth, and Families to develop strate­gies for expanding home visiting. Addition­ally, it directs an advisory group to make recom­men­da­tions regarding parent-initi­ated treat­ment. This bill also requires the delivery of mental health instruc­tion in two high school pilot sites. This bill passed the Senate, 48 – 0, and passed the House, 88 – 10; it is funded in the final budget and the bill has been deliv­ered to the Governor.


BEHAVIORAL HEALTH

Improving the Behav­ioral Health of People in the Agricul­tural Industry – passed

2SHB 2671 estab­lishes a task force to review options to improve the behav­ioral health status of agricul­tural workers and reduce suicide risk. It also estab­lishes a pilot program related to behav­ioral health and suicide preven­tion in the agricul­tural industry based upon task force recom­men­da­tions. This bill passed unani­mously in both the House (98 – 0) and Senate (48 – 0); it was funded in the final budget, and the bill has been deliv­ered to the Governor.


Outpa­tient Behav­ioral Health – passed

ESSB 6491 makes changes to the assisted outpa­tient mental health treat­ment standard, criteria, and process. Makes changes to less restric­tive alter­na­tive treat­ment services. It allows for the revoca­tion of less restric­tive alter­na­tive treat­ment orders entered on assisted outpa­tient behav­ioral health treat­ment commit­ment grounds. Begin­ning April 1, 2018, this bill autho­rizes a court conducting a review of a desig­nated crisis respon­der’s decision not to detain a person under the Invol­un­tary Treat­ment Act to order a person to invol­un­tary outpa­tient treat­ment. This bill passed the House, 92 – 5, and passed the Senate, 48 – 1; it now goes to the Governor. 


MENTAL HEALTH – LEGAL & LAW ENFORCEMENT

Child Forensic Inter­views and Child Inter­view Digital Record­ings – passed

ESHB 2700 exempts audio and video record­ings of child forensic inter­views that depict or describe allega­tions of child abuse, child neglect, or exposure to violence from the Public Records Act except by court order upon a showing of good cause and notice to the child’s guardian. Requires that audio and video record­ings of child inter­views disclosed in criminal or civil proceed­ings are subject to a protec­tive order unless the court finds good cause that the inter­view should not be subject to such order; a viola­tion of this order is subject to a civil penalty up to $10,000. This bill passed both the House and Senate unani­mously; it has been deliv­ered to the Governor.


Mental Health Field Response – passed

HB 2892 creates the mental health field response team grant program (program), admin­is­tered by the Washington Associ­a­tion of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs. The purpose of the grant program is for assisting local law enforce­ment agencies with estab­lishing and expanding mental health field response capabil­i­ties. The primary goals of mental health field response are treat­ment, diver­sion, and reduced incar­cer­a­tion time. Grant proposals are required to include a plan for diver­sion from incar­cer­a­tion. The bill also requires the Washington State Insti­tute for Public Policy to conduct a study on whether the program improves outcomes of inter­ac­tions with persons experi­encing behav­ioral health crises. This bill passed both the House and Senate unani­mously; it has been deliv­ered to the Governor.


Commit­ment Hearings by Video – passed

SSB 6124 allows for partic­i­pa­tion in commit­ment hearings by video. The term hearing, under the Invol­un­tary Treat­ment Act (ITA), is defined as any proceeding conducted in open court. At an ITA hearing, the petitioner, the respon­dent, any witnesses, and the presiding judicial officer may be present and partic­i­pate either in person or by video, or by any equiv­a­lent technology, provided that all parties must be able to see, hear, and speak, and attor­neys must be able to use exhibits or other materials. Witnesses may provide testi­mony telephon­i­cally. The court deter­mines if all parties are required to partic­i­pate in the hearing in person rather than by video. The court may consider if the individ­uals alleged mental illness affects their ability to perceive or partic­i­pate by video. The respondent’s counsel shall be in the same location as their client unless other­wise requested by the respon­dent or their counsel. This bill passed the Senate, 46 – 2, and passed the House, 97 – 0; it has been deliv­ered to the Governor.


2018 successful bills the School Nurse Organization of Washington supported #

Note: SNOW also supported the children/​student mental health bills listed in the AAPPN section above.

HUNGER-FREE STUDENTS

Break­fast After the Bell: Student Meals & Nutri­tion – passed

2ESHB 1508 promotes student health and readi­ness to learn through school meal and nutri­tion programs. This bill requires quali­fying high-needs schools, begin­ning in the 2019 – 20 school year and until June 30, 2028, to offer break­fast after the bell (BAB) programs to students after the begin­ning of the school day. It speci­fies that the period of time desig­nated for student partic­i­pa­tion in a BAB program is consid­ered instruc­tional time if required condi­tions are met. The bill modifies school meal grant provi­sions to include provi­sions for BAB programs and other purposes. It also directs the Joint Legisla­tive Audit and Review Committee to conduct and complete an analysis of BAB programs by December 1, 2026; and autho­rizes the OSPI to coordi­nate with the Washington State Depart­ment of Agricul­ture to promote new and existing regional markets programs, including farm-to-school initia­tives and small farm direct marketing assis­tance. The bill also autho­rizes the OSPI to award grants to school districts to collab­o­rate with commu­nity-based organi­za­tions, food banks, and farms or gardens for reducing high school dropout occur­rences through farm engage­ment projects. This bill passed the Senate, 43 – 5, and passed the House, 87 – 8; it was signed into law by the Governor on March 7.


School Meal Payment – passed

ESHB 2610 is the hunger-free students’ bill of rights. This bill prohibits schools and districts from taking action directed at a student under the age of 15 to collect unpaid school meal fees, and from stigma­tizing a student who cannot pay for a school meal. It requires school districts to notify parents or guardians of the negative balance of a student’s school meal account no later than 10 days after the account has reached a negative balance; and it requires the Office of the Super­in­ten­dent of Public Instruc­tion to collect, analyze, and promote to school districts and commu­nity-based organi­za­tions best practices in local meal charge policies. Addition­ally, it requires schools and districts to improve systems to identify homeless students, students in foster care, runaway students, and migrant students to ensure that each student has proper access to free school meals; as well as, at least monthly, to directly certify students for free school meals if the students qualify because of enroll­ment in assis­tance programs. It requires schools to annually distribute appli­ca­tions for free and reduced-price meals to student house­holds and to, if neces­sary, provide related language assis­tance to parents and guardians. This bill passed the Senate, 31 – 17, and passed the House, 69 – 29; it has been deliv­ered to the Governor.


MEDICATIONS IN SCHOOLS

Opioid Medica­tions in Schools – dead

HB 2390 allows K‑12 schools to obtain, maintain, and admin­ister opioid overdose medica­tion through a standing order from a health care practi­tioner for the purpose of assisting a person at risk of experi­encing an opioid-related overdose. The bill says that the following personnel may distribute or admin­ister the school-owned opioid overdose medica­tion to respond to symptoms of an opioid-related overdose: school nurses, desig­nated trained school personnel, and health care profes­sionals or trained staff located at a health care clinic on public school property or under contract with the district. The bill also says that a person or entity is not subject to civil or criminal liability for their lawfully autho­rized actions related to opioid overdose medica­tions or the outcomes of their lawfully autho­rized actions if they act in good faith and with reason­able care. If a student is injured or harmed due to the admin­is­tra­tion of opioid overdose medica­tion that a health care practi­tioner has prescribed and a pharma­cists has dispensed to a school, the practi­tioner and pharma­cist may not be held respon­sible for the injury unless he or she acted with conscious disre­gard for safety. This bill passed the House, 79 – 19, but did not move out of the Senate Health Care Committee.


Medical Marijuana in Schools dead

HB 1060 origi­nally required school districts to allow students to consume marijuana for medical purposes on school grounds, aboard a school bus, or while attending school-sponsored events. It directed school districts to estab­lish policies related to the consump­tion of marijuana by students for medical purposes if requested by the parent or guardian of a student who is a quali­fying patient. The bill was amended to allow a parent or guardian to admin­ister marijuana for medical use by a minor, who meets state law require­ments, on school grounds, aboard a school bus, or while attending a school-sponsored event out of view of the general public, and if the admin­is­tra­tion is not by smoking or other means of inhala­tion. The amended bill further stated that school districts may not inquire into the type of medica­tion or product that parents or guardians admin­ister to their children, in accor­dance with state law, while on school grounds, on a school bus, or attending a school-sponsored event and may not deny parents or guardians access to their children for this purpose. This bill passed the House, 67 – 27, but never moved out of the Senate Rules Committee for a vote.


SCHOOL SAFETY

School district plans for recog­ni­tion, screening, and response to emotional or behav­ioral distress in students – dead

SB 6141 requires the Office of the Super­in­ten­dent of Public Instruc­tion to develop and make avail­able an online one-hour training module for school staff on recog­ni­tion, screening, and response to emotional or behav­ioral distress in students. The bill also stated that the online suicide preven­tion training module for school staff does not replace the training require­ment for school counselors, psychol­o­gists, social workers, and nurses to complete an approved three-hour suicide preven­tion training. It also autho­rizes school staff to complete the three-hour suicide preven­tion training in lieu of the one-hour online suicide preven­tion training. This bill passed the Senate, 46 – 0, but was never pulled from the House Rules Committee for a vote.


Regional School Safety Centers – dead

HB 2543 allows private schools to partic­i­pate in annual school safety summits held by the Office of the Super­in­ten­dent for Public Instruc­tion and the school safety advisory committee. It requires summit partic­i­pants to review various proposed and imple­mented models for region­al­izing school safety planning, including proposals for regional school safety centers; review the 2017 report on funding for safety and security in schools prepared by the Washington State Insti­tute for Public Policy; and, report to the Super­in­ten­dent of Public Instruc­tion and the appro­priate legisla­tive commit­tees on the progress of imple­menting an effec­tive and efficient statewide plan for school safety that meets local needs. This bill moved out of the House Educa­tion Committee and was referred to the fiscal committee, House Appro­pri­a­tions, where it died.