Legislative

Tell Congress to protect Loan Forgiveness Program

  |   Legislative

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), which forgives student debt for individuals who have served at least 10 years in the nonprofit or public sectors, is a crucial tool for veterinarians. Many veterinarians who have chosen nonprofit or public sector careers are counting on PSLF, particularly because these careers are often less lucrative than those in the private sector. Now, some members of Congress are considering cutting or eliminating PSLF. This move could devastate veterinarians who are counting on the program and...

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WSVMA efforts to include veterinarians in HEAL-WA journal access program will proceed

  |   Legislative

Earlier this summer, the WSVMA sent a survey to members asking for input on a potential and meaningful resource for veterinarians, access to Health Evidence Resource for Washington State (HEAL-WA). HEAL-WA is the affordable online database of current, authoritative clinical information and educational resources for eligible healthcare practitioners in Washington State. Veterinarians in private practice generally don’t have access to large collections of journals similar to human physicians and as a result, veterinarians rely on textbooks, conferences and online discussion forums...

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Legislative updates from around the U.S.

  |   Legislative

A number of state legislative proposals last month addressed issues related to animal welfare. One bill in Michigan would prohibit confining farm animals in a way that prevents them from lying down, standing up or turning around freely. Implementation of provisions applying to gestating sows and egg-laying hens would be delayed until 2019. A separate Michigan proposal would make it illegal to confine an animal in a motor vehicle during conditions that may cause suffering, disability or death. Legislation introduced...

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Change.org petition seeks ban on feline declawing

  |   Legislative

A petition began circulating this week on the website, change.org, encouraging Washington State officials to ban the practice of feline declaw surgery. Over 3,000 signatures have been collected so far. The petition’s author outlines reasons for banning the procedure and directs delivery of the message to Gov. Jay Inslee, Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib, Secretary of State Kim Wyman along with eight state senators. Feline declawing is currently banned in several European countries, Australia and New Zealand. Legislation outlawing the procedure passed...

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Tethering legislation heads to Governor for signature

  |   Legislative

Senate Bill 5356 creating humane standards to address the tethering and chaining of dogs passed the House last week after passing the Senate unanimously. The bill is now sent to Governor Jay Inslee for signature. The bill requires that dogs must be able to move comfortably, have access to water and clean, safe shelter. It prohibits tethering a dog that is ill, injured, in distress, in late stage pregnancy or under the age of six months. It also prohibits the...

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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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