Legislative

Mid-session legislative report

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Wednesday, February 14 was crossover for bills to pass out of the House of origin. Committee consideration now starts in committees of the opposite house.  Bills must be passed out of committee by February 23. HEAL- WA – WSVMA’s House Bill 2445, which opens access to online medical and veterinary journals for veterinarians and veterinary technicians, passed the House unanimously. It will be heard in the Senate Health Care Committee on February 22. Humane Societies - The WSVMA testified in opposition to...

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

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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...

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States consider Emergency Response and Veterinary Opioid Training

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As state legislatures approach the start of the legislative year, lawmakers in several states have begun to pre-file bills and regulations for consideration. Along-with these pre-filed bills, other legislatures have continued to work through the holiday season and have proposed bills and regulations that impact various areas of veterinary medicine. In light of recent environmental disasters, three states- Florida, New York, and Washington - have proposed legislation geared towards emergency preparedness and veterinary care of animals impacted by extreme weather. In...

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Washington paid sick leave for employees begins January 1, 2018

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In November 2016, Washington voters passed Initiative 1433, a ballot measuring concerning labor standards. I-1433 raised the minimum wage last January and starting January 1, 2018, requires all employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees. The purpose of the initiative is to promote public health, family stability and economic security, balanced with the demands of the workplace. I-1433 directed the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) to adopt and implement rules to carry out and enforce the initiative, including...

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2017 Washington election results, Parshley wins seat on city council

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Democrat Manka Dhingra defeated Republican Jinyoung Lee Englund in election night ballots 55.34% to 44.66%.  Democrats gained a 25-24 majority in the Washington State Senate.  More than $9 million will have been spent on this legislative race, making it the most expensive in state history. Incumbents won in all other legislative elections around the state during this special election. In the race for Seattle Mayor, Jenny Durkan won over Cary Moon 60.02% to 39.38%. Both Dingra and Durkan will take office immediately after...

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Tell Congress to protect Loan Forgiveness Program

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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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