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 priority||Budget amount||Description|
|Nursing Education Funding: Scholarship Match||$4.336 million||Funding 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||$500,000||Pursuant 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 million||Funding 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||$996,000||Funding 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 million||Funding 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 million||The "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||$864,000||Unobligated 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 million||Unobligated 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 million||Unobligated 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 million||Unobligated 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||$40,000||Funding 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 #
|Nursing Staff in Long-Term Care Settings||$30,000||Funding 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||$385,000||Funding is provided for SSB 6452 to expand the partnership access line (PAL) for pregnant women and mothers for two years.|
|Community Health Workers||$150,000||Funding for DOH to implement training and education recommendations from the 2016 report of the CHW Task Force.|
|Children’s Mental Health Services||$100,000||Consistent 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||$485,000||Funding 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 million||One-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||$500,000||One-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||$19,000||Funding to implement SSB 6273, which requires DOH to review/modify charity care rules.|
|Student Loan Bill of Rights||$124,000||Funding 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||$245,000||Pursuant to HB 1499 (student loan disbursement), funding is provided for WSAC's review of unresolved student complaints.|
|Universal Health Care Study||$100,000||Funding is provided for the WSIPP to conduct a study of single payer and other universal health care systems.|
|Health Professions Licensing||$2 million||One-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 #
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.