Legislative

Take Action Now – Ensure critical funding for WADDL

  |   Legislative

$38 million in funding is needed for Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (WADDL) at Washington State University to build modern facilities capable of conducting state- of-the-art experiments. This critical construction will allow the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (WADDL), which serves Washington State veterinarians with nearly 300,000 laboratory examinations annually, to improve its capacity and capability to serve animal owner’s and health care professionals throughout the state. This laboratory work provides critical support and consultation to guide veterinarians’ daily animal and...

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House Bill 1361 would legalize teeth floating by non-veterinarians

  |   Legislative, Uncategorized

House Bill (HB) 1361 was introduced this legislative session by Rep. Matt Mannweller (R-13) to eliminate certain occupational licensure and certification requirements and set up a consumer rating system as a means of oversight. Occupations included in the bill are animal massage therapists, fish game guides, auctioneers, landscape architects and manicurists. In addition, the bill includes “horse floaters” by making it an exemption to the practice of veterinary medicine, surgery and dentistry. The bill was heard in the House Business and...

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Primary election results indicate an unpredictable fall

  |   Legislative, Uncategorized

Washington’s primary election was held on Tuesday, August 2. All ballots needed to be posted or delivered to a collection center by 8pm August 2. Ballots submitted on Election Day can result in counting of ballots lasting as long as a week or more after Election Day. As of the evening of August 7, 1,357,000 votes have been counted, and another 60,000 still remained to be counted over the next few days. Turnout is now at 33% and could climb...

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Legislation aims to phase in revised federal overtime rule

  |   Legislative, Uncategorized

Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) introduced a bill in Congress last week titled the Overtime Reform and Enhancement Act (OREA), which would incrementally phase in the new salary threshold over the next three years rather than all at once on December 1, 2016. The bill would give employers more time to adjust to the new standard and ensure workers would still receive increases in compensation. It would also eliminate automatic updates to the salary threshold every three years, which is another...

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Political animals wanted

  |   Legislative, Uncategorized

Well, not really, but we are in need of members who share an interest in veterinary issues as they intersect with the legislative process. For those who have been living in a cave for the last 10 months, 2016 is an election year, and not just at the federal level. Elections for statewide offices are heating up as well. Members contribute money to the WSVMA-Political Action Committee (PAC) which is used to support candidates in the election that are friendly...

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Tell Congress to oppose mandatory prescription writing for veterinarians

  |   Legislative, Uncategorized

We need your help now! A congressional hearing has been scheduled for late April for The Fairness to Pet Owners Act (H.R. 3174), which was reintroduced in July 2015. The bill, championed by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), would require veterinarians to provide clients with written prescriptions for their pets regardless of whether the clients wish to fill the prescription at the clinic on site. Proponents of the bill claim veterinarians withhold prescriptions to increase profits. A May 2015 Federal Trade Commission report...

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Legislative Special Session Update

  |   Legislative, Uncategorized

The 30-day special session of the Washington State Legislature is now at day 16 and is scheduled to end April 8. Additional special sessions can be called by the Governor.  Most legislators are back home now, and the budget negotiators remain in Olympia. The favorite parlor game in Olympia is to predict when this special session will end.  There was considerable speculation earlier this week, that we would wrap up by today. However a resolution on the budget has eluded the...

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Bill passes to increase fees for monitoring program

  |   Legislative, Uncategorized

Passed by the Senate, House Bill (HB) 2432 is now on its way to the Governor for signature. HB 2432 increases the amount included in licensing fees paid by veterinarians for their participation in the substance abuse monitoring program through Washington Physicians’ Health Program (WPHP). The program is mandated by Washington’s Uniform Disciplinary Act to provide rehabilitation to health professionals whose competency may be impaired due to the use of alcohol or drugs, other behavioral health conditions such as bipolar...

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House Bill 6411 could extend time for non-veterinarians to own practices

  |   Legislative, Uncategorized

The 2016 Washington State Legislature has reached its midpoint. This week all bills needed to pass out of committees to the floor of their respective House or they will not advance this session. Substitute Senate Bill (SSB) 6411 as originally written would have opened the door for corporate ownership of professional practices, singling out veterinarians from all other health professions under Washington’s Professional Service Corporation laws, Chapter 18.100.118 RCW. Currently, following the death of a veterinary or other health profession practice owner,...

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House Bill could increase license surcharge for impaired practitioners program

  |   Legislative, Uncategorized

A bill moving through the legislature could increase the amount included in licensing fees for veterinarians for their participation in the substance abuse monitoring program through Washington Physicians’ Health Program (WPHP). Since the 1990’s, veterinarians have paid a $10 surcharge included in their annual license renewal to participate in the program. If the House Bill 2432 passes, the surcharge for veterinarians will increase to $25 annually. Veterinarians have historically paid less than the other professions WPHP serves. House Bill 2432 will...

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