Legislative session adjourns – HEAL-WA and opioid bills fail
The 2018 Washington State Legislature adjourned sine die on Thursday March 8, the first on-time adjournment in several years. WSVMA’s Heal-WA legislation granting veterinarians and veterinary technicians access to the online medical publication program never made it out of the Senate. Despite overwhelming support from legislators, the WSVMA bill couldn’t compete with the over 800 bills introduced into the short 60-day session. The legislation will carry over to the 2019 legislative session where we’ll work for passage again.
House Bill (HB) 2489, which was one of many bills introduced to address the opioid crisis – and that would have affected veterinarians – also did not pass the legislature. The WSVMA was successful in getting an amendment to the bill, so had it passed, it would have been more applicable to veterinary medicine than the original version of the bill.
Because the opioid crisis continues to escalate across the country and here in Washington, more legislation to address it is expected to be introduced in the 2019 legislative session. The WSVMA is in the process of forming a task force to work with legislators to ensure opioid legislation doesn’t negatively affect veterinarians and their patients.
Posted March 9, 2018