Legislative Information

The Jefferson County Democrats sent this handy overview out.

Hearings are underway for bills already introduced, comment periods are open, and things are moving very quickly.

The legislature’s site for tracking all bills is here:  Bill Information

Lobby days in Olympia focus on causes. Many of the scheduled lobby days are listed here:
Lobby days
A few of the many important lobby days scheduled very soon are:
January 16 – Health Care for All Washington
January 18 – NARAL Pro-Choice WA
January 23 – Immigrant and Refugee Rights Rally
February 1 – Housing and Homelessness Advocacy day

Some bill trackers for important legislation are sponsored by the Northwest Progressive Institute:
https://www.nwprogressive.org/advocacy/
and the Washington Low-Income Housing Alliance:
http://wliha.org/advocacy/state/

Washington Environmental Council’s Environmental Priorities Coalition. Signup for their Hot List that is put out every week during the session. It’s one of the best ways to track environmental issues.

https://wecprotects.org/environmental-priorities-coalition/

How you can watch and participate in the legislative process from the comfort of your home.
A list of bills being considered by the state legislature was matched up with a Washington State Democratic priorities agenda. It isn’t comprehensive nor does it include all of many important bills being considered but it is a covers a lot (over 80 bills) that are important to Democrats on most issues. The dates and time of bill hearings is generally known a few days in advance only.
The schedule is updated weekly and even daily. You can go here
2018 Bill Hearing Schedule
to find next weeks hearing schedules. That document is always being updated you can keep referring to it for updates.
What you will see, for example:
SB 6034    would allow county PUDs to provide end user telecommunications
When: 1/17   8:00
Comment hereClick on Senate Bill 6034 to learn more about the bill. Click on “Comment here” to leave a comment for the committee in charge of the bill.  “When” is the time the committee has scheduled a hearing on the bill. To watch any hearing on TVW, click on the bill, scroll down to available videos and watch live or later. So bookmark weekly 2018 bill hearings schedule or find it on the website.

Some important bills:

HB 1026 – Health Security Trust.
SB 5701 – Apple Care Trust.
HB 1800 – Voting Rights Act (re-introduced)
SB 5991 – DISCLOSE Act, Increasing transparency of contributions.
HB 1075 – Capital Budget and HB 1080 – Bonds for Capital Budget. (Tharinger’s bills).
SB 5772 – Property Tax reform.
SB 5464 and HB 2059 – Washington Investment trust (Hasegawa’s bills).

Deportation fears have legal immigrants avoiding health care – ABC News

More shame on the Trump administration for it’s ham handed handling of immigrants. Just what the U.S. needs, is sick people, many of  whom are working in our commercial kitchens, waiting on tables, cleaning up commercial facilities at night, and picking our food, are going to remain sick rather than seek out medical care. Does not make me feel
like this is a way to “Make America Great Again.”

The number of legal immigrants from Latin American nations who access public health services and enroll in federally subsidized insurance plans has dipped substantially since President Donald Trump took office, many of them fearing their information could be used to identify and deport relatives living in the U.S. illegally, according to health advocates across the country.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/deportation-fears-legal-immigrants-avoiding-health-care-52502546

Deceptive claims barred for alleged cancer products – CHD

Worth noting if you or someone you love is chasing ‘alternative’ cures for cancer.

In response to a complaint for permanent injunction and other equitable relief by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Derek E. Vest, individually and as owner of CellMark Biopharma, LLC, has signed a stipulated order for permanent injunction that prohibits the company from making any representation for any dietary supplement, food, or drug of treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any disease; symptom of cancer; and side effect, condition, or ailment resulting from cancer treatment. The FTC’s complaint alleged deceptive advertising of two CellMark products: (1) CellAssure, which was marketed as having “anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties” and as a medical breakthrough solution for cancer-related malnutrition; and (2) Cognify, which the company promoted for patients receiving chemotherapy as “the world’s first product designed specifically to alleviate…chemo fog.” [Marketers barred from making deceptive claims about products’ ability to mitigate side effects of cancer treatment: CellMark and its CEO lacked scientific evidence to back up their products’ claims. FTC news release, Jan 11, 2018]

Despite Prod By ACA, Tax-Exempt Hospitals Slow To Expand Community Benefits – Kaiser Health

Interesting article that has implications here on the Peninsula, especially for Jefferson Health Care.

The federal health law’s efforts to get nonprofit hospitals to provide more community-wide benefits in exchange for their lucrative tax status has gotten off to a slow start, new research suggests. And some experts predict that a recent repeal of a key provision of the law could further strain the effort.

The increased emphasis on community-wide benefits was mandated by the Affordable Care Act. The health law required hospitals that meet federal tax standards to be nonprofits to perform a community health needs assessment (CHNA) every three years, followed by implementing a strategy to deal with issues confronting the community, such as preventing violence or lowering the rates of diabetes.

A study released Monday in the journal Health Affairs shows spending in these areas has remained relatively stagnant.

Looking for WA state bill status?

Here’s a very useful listing of the pre-filed bills for the 2018 session. Sort by various options. Ones with both House and Senate companion bills are most likely to pass or be seriously considered. Any others will need to find companion bills or they will die.

http://app.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/prefiled.aspx?year=2017