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Legislative Report – expanded veterinary services by non-profits and opioid bills frame the session

  |   Legislative

The 2018 session of the Washington State legislature convened for a 60-day legislative session on Monday January 8. After a 2017 session that required three 30-day special sessions the legislature is committed to adjourn on time in 2018.  To do so, they will be required to work at a very fast pace, and so far, several hundred bills have been introduced, as well as dozens of committee hearings held.  This is different than most sessions where the first week is typically slow and focused on informational presentations.

On Tuesday Governor Inslee presented his State of the State address.  He outlined a variety of policies including equal pay, bump-stock restrictions, and voter rights issues, but the primary message was his proposal to introduce a $20/ton carbon tax. The carbon tax would begin in 2019 and raise $3.3B in revenue between 2019 and 2023.

HEAL-WA – WSVMA legislation to include veterinarians and veterinary technicians to the HEAL-WA program of online medical and veterinary journals has been introduced. House Bill 2445 will be heard in the Health Care & Wellness Committee on Tuesday, January 16, 2018.

Humane Societies – Legislation requested from the SW WA Humane Society would allow Humane Societies to provide full veterinary services for low income individuals.  Currently Humane Societies can provide services to low income individuals but are limited to sterilization, electronic identification, and vaccinations. We are actively involved in discussions to resolve our concerns with this proposal.

Opioids – Several bills have been introduced dealing with Opioids, and many of them sweep all professions that have prescription authority into the bills, including veterinarians. We have discussed removing veterinarians from the Attorney General’s proposal, and they have agreed to do so.  We are also actively working to remove veterinarians from the other proposals.

Upcoming Hearings

1/15/2018 Health & Long Term Care (Senate) SHR 1 @ 10:00am SB 6150 – Public Hearing – Concerning opioid use disorder treatment, prevention, and related services.
1/15/2018 Health & Long Term Care (Senate) SHR 1 @ 10:00am SB 6050 – Public Hearing – Concerning restrictions on prescriptions for opiates.
1/15/2018 Health & Long Term Care (Senate) SHR 1 @ 10:00am SB 6028 – Public Hearing – Concerning the prescription drug monitoring program.
1/16/2018 Health Care & Wellness (House) HHR A @ 8:00am HB 2445 – Public Hearing – Concerning online access to health care resources via HEALWA.
1/16/2018 Agriculture & Natural Resources (House) HHR B @ 10:00am HB 2307 – Public Hearing – Requiring confidentiality in the release of sensitive fish and wildlife data.
1/16/2018 Health & Long Term Care (Senate) SHR 2 @ 10:00am SB 6147 – Public Hearing – Concerning prescription drug insurance continuity of care.
1/18/2018 Health & Long Term Care (Senate) SHR 2 @ 10:00am SB 6233 – Public Hearing – Addressing step therapy protocols for prescription drugs.
1/19/2018 Health Care & Wellness (House) HHR A @ 10:00am HB 2447 – Public Hearing – Concerning practitioner education of opiate risks and pain management alternatives.
1/19/2018 Health Care & Wellness (House) HHR A @ 10:00am HB 2489 – Public Hearing – Concerning opioid use disorder treatment, prevention, and related services.
1/19/2018 Health Care & Wellness (House) HHR A @ 10:00am HB 2501 – Public Hearing – Facilitating access to the prescription monitoring program.


Bill Tracking Overview

Bill # Short Description Status Sponsor Position
HB 2272 (SB 6050) Concerning restrictions on prescriptions for opiates. H HC/Wellness Cody  
HB 2296 Protecting consumers from excess charges for prescription medications. H HC/Wellness Slatter  
HB 2299 (SB 6032) Making supplemental operating appropriations. H Approps Ormsby  
HB 2307 Requiring confidentiality in the release of sensitive fish and wildlife data. H Ag & Nat Res Van Werven  
HB 2325 (SB 6028) Concerning the prescription drug monitoring program. H HC/Wellness Riccelli  
HB 2445 Concerning online access to health care resources via HEALWA. H HC/Wellness Macri  
HB 2447 Concerning practitioner education of opiate risks and pain management alternatives. H HC/Wellness McCabe  
HB 2489 (SB 6150) Concerning opioid use disorder treatment, prevention, and related services. H HC/Wellness Cody  
HB 2501 Facilitating access to the prescription monitoring program. H HC/Wellness Caldier  
HB 2556 (SB 5995) Protecting consumers and purchasers from excessive increases in generic prescription drug prices. H HC/Wellness Jinkins  
HB 2598 Establishing a matched student loan repayment program for rural medical doctors. H Hi Ed Riccelli  
HB 2623 Allowing pharmacies and pharmacists to inform patients about lower cost alternatives. H HC/Wellness Manweller  
HB 2654 Concerning certificates of veterinary inspection for animals brought into the state. H Ag & Nat Res Blake  
SB 6028 (HB 2325) Concerning the prescription drug monitoring program. S Health & Long Van De Wege  
SB 6050 (HB 2272) Concerning restrictions on prescriptions for opiates. S Health & Long Cleveland  
SB 6076 Concerning animal cruelty in the first degree. S Law & Justice Palumbo  
SB 6147 (HB 2310) Concerning prescription drug insurance continuity of care. S Health & Long Rivers  
SB 6150 (HB 2489) Concerning opioid use disorder treatment, prevention, and related services. S Health & Long Cleveland  
SB 6154 Concerning the unlawful use of an elephant in a traveling animal act. S Law & Justice Palumbo  
SB 6178 Concerning online access to health care resources for veterinarians and veterinary technicians. S Health & Long Palumbo  
SB 6196 Allowing animal care and control agencies and nonprofit humane societies to provide additional veterinary services to low-income households. S Health & Long Cleveland  
SB 6233 Addressing step therapy protocols for prescription drugs. S Health & Long Cleveland  
SB 6295 Concerning the sale of horses. S Ag/Water/Natura Kuderer  

 

By Greg Hanon, WSVMA Legislative Advocate

 

Posted January 12, 2018