Capitol News
March 7, 2018
Melissa Johnson, WSLHA Lobbyist 

With just 4 days left until the end of the 2018 legislative session on March 8th, lawmakers are pushing to finish their work.  Friday was the opposite house cutoff (House bills out of the Senate; Senate bills out of the House), with many bills dying simply because legislators ran out of time.  But remember that a bill is never really "dead" until the Legislature adjourns.  And there are bills that didn't pass by Friday's cutoff but are still in play because they have been deemed NTIB or "necessary to implement the budget." 

Good news!  Our priority bill, SB 6157 (prior authorization), passed the House last week with a strong 90-8 vote!  It now goes to Governor Inslee for his consideration. 

The House and Senate will focus now on negotiating a final budget.  The House passed their budget earlier this week, and it includes the additional one billion dollars to fulfill the Supreme Court's directive to fully fund K-12 education this year.  The bulk of this funding goes to educator salaries and special education.  Because the Senate's budget also included this funding, we can expect the final budget to include it as well. 

Because the House and Senate must pass a bill in the same format for it to move onto the Governor, lawmakers will also spend the remaining days disputing or concurring with amendments that the opposite chamber put on their bills.  Bills that make it through the entire legislative process are delivered to Governor Inslee for his action.  The Governor has 20 days after adjournment of the session (not including Sundays) to take action on bills. 


High Priority Bills

Bill #

Abbrev. Title

Short Description

Status

Sponsor

Position

E4SHB 1827

Educator workforce supply

Expanding the current and future educator workforce supply through evidence-based strategies to improve and incentivize the recruitment and retention of highly effective educators, especially in high-need subject, grade-level, and geographic areas, and to establish a cohesive continuum of high quality professional learning from preparation programs to job embedded induction, mentoring, collaboration, and other professional development opportunities.

 

Declares an intent to build the capacity of the education system to attract, retain, support, and sustain successful educators through: (1) Intentional recruitment strategies; (2) Expanding educator training programs; (3) Focused financial incentives, assistance, and supports; (4) Responsive and responsible retention strategies; and (5) Deeper systems evaluation.

 

S 2nd Reading

Santos

 

E2SSB 5179

Hearing instrument coverage

Requiring coverage for hearing instruments under public employee and medicaid programs.

SB 5179-S2 - DIGEST Requires a health plan offered to employees and their dependents under chapter 41.05 RCW (state health care authority), issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2018, to include coverage for hearing instruments. Requires medical assistance coverage offered under chapter 74.09 RCW (medical care), issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2018, to include coverage for hearing instruments when medically necessary. Provides that section 2 of this act is null and void if appropriations are not approved.

H Passed 3rd

Bailey

 

ESSB 6157 
(HB 2837)

Health plan prior auth.

Regarding prior authorization.

Prohibits a health carrier from requiring prior authorization for an initial evaluation and management visit and up to six consecutive treatment visits with a contracting provider in a new episode of care of certain therapies that meet standards of medical necessity and are subject to quantitative treatment limits of the health plan.

H Passed 3rd

Short

 Support

E2SSB 6362 
(HB 2721)

Basic education funding

Modifying basic education funding provisions.

Modifies provisions regarding basic education funding.

H 2nd Reading

Wellman

 


 Monitoring Bills

Bill #

Abbrev. Title

Short Description

Status

Sponsor

Position

3SHB 1169

Student loan assistance

Enacting the student opportunity, assistance, and relief act.

Establishes the student opportunity, assistance, and relief act to address student education loan debt, the repeal of statutes regarding professional license or certificate suspensions, private student loan default, and exemptions for bank account and wage garnishments. Provides that this act is null and void if appropriations are not approved.

H Passed FP

Orwall

 

ESHB 1239

Social security/medical recs

Concerning requests for medical records to support an application for social security benefits.

HB 1239-S - DIGEST Requires a health care facility or a health care provider to, upon request of a patient or a patient's personal representative, provide the patient or representative with one copy of the patient's health care information free of charge if the patient is appealing the denial of federal supplemental security income or social security disability benefits. Requires issuers and third-party payors, upon request of a covered person or a covered person's personal representative, to provide the covered person or representative with one copy of the covered person's health care information free of charge if the covered person is appealing the denial of federal supplemental security income or social security disability benefits.


H Passed FP

Sullivan

 

SHB 1452 
(SB 5361)

Opportunity scholarship prog

Revises the opportunity scholarship act to increase the number of professional-technical certificates, professional-technical degrees, and advanced degrees in high employer demand, health professional shortage areas. Requires the program administrator to establish and manage the student support pathways account. Authorizes the opportunity scholarship board to elect to have the state investment board invest funds in the student support pathways account. Limits scholarships, for advanced degree programs, to eligible students enrolling in programs that lead to credentials in health professional shortage areas.

H not subst 

Holy

 

ESHB 1523 
(SB 5602)

Preventive service coverage

Requiring health plans to cover, with no cost sharing, all preventive services required to be covered under federal law as of December 31, 2016.

Requires a health plan to provide coverage for the same preventive services required to be covered under: (1) 42 U.S.C. Sec. 300gg-13 (2016); and (2) Federal rules or guidance in effect on December 31, 2016, implementing 42 U.S.C. Sec. 300gg-13.

H Spkr Signed

Robinson

 

2ESHB 2114

Out-of-network health srvs

Addressing protecting consumers from charges for out-of-network health services.

HB 2114-S.E - DIGEST Establishes the balance billing protection act. Addresses the protection of consumers from charges for out-of-network health services.

S Rules 2

Cody

 

E2SHB 2143

Higher ed. financial aid Expanding opportunities for higher education students.

HB 2143-S2 - DIGEST Creates the medical student loan program to increase the physician workforce in rural underserved areas in the state. Requires the office of student financial assistance to administer the program. Creates the medical student loan account.
S Passed 3rd  Haler  
HB 2257

 

Maintenance of certification Prohibiting maintenance of certification from being required for certain health professions.

Prohibits the medical quality assurance commission from requiring a physician to participate in a maintenance of certification requirement as a condition of licensure or license renewal. Prohibits the board of osteopathic medicine and surgery from requiring an osteopathic physician and surgeon to participate in a maintenance of certification requirement as a condition of licensure or license renewal.
 S Passed 3rd  McBride  
ESHB 2408
(SB 6564)

 

Individual health market Preserving access to individual market health care coverage throughout Washington state.

Requires a health carrier that offers a school employees' benefits board-approved health plan to school employees to, for plan years beginning January 1, 2020, offer at least one silver and one gold qualified health plan on the state health benefit exchange in a county where the carrier offers the health plan to school employees. Addresses the reduction of rates for coverage in the state health insurance pool. Requires the state health insurance pool administrator to include rate reductions received by individuals when determining the total net cost of pool operation.
S 2nd Reading  Cody  
SHB 2703
(SB 6339)

 

Ed. employee comp. claims  Clarifying hours and wages for education employee compensation claims.

Modifies the employment security act to clarify the hours and wages for education employee compensation claims.
H Spkr Signed Sells   
HB 2780

 

 Revenue T.O.  Relating to revenue.

Introduced by title and introductory section only, relating to revenue.
H Finance  Lytton  
HB 2797

 

 Revenue T.O. Relating to revenue.

Introduced by title and introductory section only, relating to revenue.
H Finance  Lytton  
SHB 2824 (SB 6427)

 

OSPI & board of education Exchanging and aligning specific powers, duties, and functions of the superintendent of public instruction and the state board of education.

Finds that specific powers, duties, and functions of the state board of education and the superintendent of public instruction should be realigned, therefore, the legislature declares an intent to clarify, and in some cases shift, responsibilities related to private schools, educational service district boundaries, career and technical education equivalencies, adoption of learning standards, waiver of school district requirements, and compliance with basic education requirements.
S Passed 3rd  Harris  
HB 2993

 

Property tax levies Transferring nine hundred ninety-five million eight hundred two thousand dollars from the budget stabilization account to the state general fund to offset the revenue impact of reducing the combined rate for state property tax levies to 2.365 dollars per thousand dollars of assessed value for taxes levied for collection in calendar year 2019 and to two dollars and thirty cents per thousand dollars of assessed value for taxes levied for collection in calendar year 2020.

Offsets the revenue impact of reducing the combined rate for state property tax levies.
H Rules R  Sullivan  
HB 3008

 

Firearms/school employees Allowing public school districts and private schools to adopt a policy authorizing permanent employees to possess firearms on school grounds under certain conditions.

Establishes the safer schools act of 2018. Authorizes the board of directors of a school district to: (1) Adopt a written policy allowing one or more permanent employees of a school located within the school district to possess firearms on school grounds; and (2) If it adopts the written policy, notify local law enforcement agencies within the school district of the adoption of the policy. Authorizes private schools to adopt a written policy allowing school employees to possess firearms on school grounds if done in accordance with the standards in section 3 of this act. Requires the criminal justice training commission to: (1) Establish a firearms training and education program for the authorized permanent employees; and (2) Adopt rules establishing the fees, training requirements, and procedures for obtaining the required training. Makes an appropriation from the general fund to the criminal justice training commission for the training mentioned above.
H Judiciary  Pike   
ESSB 5990 Volnteer health practitioner Enacting the uniform emergency volunteer health practitioners act.

SB 5990-S - DIGEST Establishes the uniform emergency volunteer health practitioners act which applies to volunteer health practitioners registered with the volunteer health practitioner registration system provided for in section 5 of this act and who provide health or veterinary services in this state for a host entity while an emergency declaration is in effect.
H Passed 3rd Pedersen  
ESSB 6032 
(ESHB 2299)
Supp. operating budget Making 2018 supplemental operating appropriations.

Makes 2018 supplemental operating appropriations.
S Conf appt Rolfes  
SSB 6051 
(SHB 2273)
Medicaid fraud control unit Concerning the medicaid fraud control unit.

Requires the attorney general to establish and maintain, within his or her office, the medicaid fraud control unit. Gives the medicaid fraud control unit the authority and criminal jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute medicaid provider fraud, abuse and neglect matters where authority is granted by the federal government, and other federal health care program fraud.
H Passed 3rd Dhingra  
SB 6053 
(HB 2326)
Medicaid false claim penalty Concerning medicaid fraud false claims civil penalties.

Declares an intent to deter medicaid provider fraud and ensure maximum recoveries for the state in actions under the state medicaid fraud false claims act.
H Spkr Signed Keiser  
SB 6163 Telemedicine collaborative Extending the duration of the collaborative for the advancement of telemedicine.

Delays, until December 31, 2021, the expiration of the collaborative for the advancement of telemedicine.
H Passed 3rd Becker  
ESSB 6241 
(HB 2438)
School employees' benefits Concerning the January 1, 2020, implementation of the school employees' benefits board program.

SB 6241-S - DIGEST Addresses the implementation of the school employees' benefits board program, effective January 1, 2020. Addresses: Compensation and reimbursement related to school employees' benefits board member service; charter schools are employers and school employees' benefits board organizations under certain circumstances; school districts, educational service districts, and charter schools providing contributions to the state health care authority for insurance and health care plans for school employees and their dependents; and functions of the school employees' benefits board in designing and approving insurance benefit plans and establishing eligibility criteria. Revises the definition of "board," for purposes of chapter 41.05 RCW (state health care authority), to include the school employees' benefits board. Exempts the following information relating to insurance and financial institutions from disclosure under the public records act: Claims data, including health care and financial related data received under section 32 of this act, received and held by the state health care authority. Creates the school employees' insurance reserve fund, the school employees' benefits board program flexible spending administrative account, the school employees' benefits board salary reduction account, and the school employees' benefits board dental benefits administration account.
H Passed 3rd Hobbs  
SSB 6399 Telemedicine payment parity Concerning telemedicine payment parity.

Requires the collaborative for the advancement of telemedicine to: (1) Review the concept of telemedicine payment parity and develop recommendations on reimbursing for telemedicine and store and forward technology at the same rate as if the service were provided in person by the provider, for treatment of diabetes mellitus, stroke, mental health conditions, opioid dependence, and chronic pain; and (2) Include in its recommendations, parameters for a three to five-year telemedicine payment parity pilot program.
H Passed 3rd Becker  
SB 6597 Revenue T.O. Relating to revenue.

Introduced by title and introductory section only, relating to revenue.
S Ways & Means Frockt  
SB 6600 Fiscal matters T.O.
Relating to fiscal matters.

Introduced by title and introductory section only, relating to fiscal matters.
S Ways & Means Rolfes  
SB 6608 Education T.O. Relating to education.

Introduced by title and introductory section only, relating to education.
S Ways & Means Wellman  
SB 6609 Revenue Concerning revenue.

Modifies certain revenue provisions to: (1) Repeal the sales and use tax exemption for candy; (2) Limit the limit trade-in exclusion; (3) Narrow the nonresident sales and use tax exemption; (4) Narrow the sales tax exemption for certain fertilizers, sprays, and washes; (5) Reduce the estate tax threshold; (6) Impose a graduated real estate excise tax; (7) Impose a carbonated beverage tax; (8) Impose a luxury tax on expensive passenger motor vehicles; and (9) Reduce the state property tax.
S Ways & Means Ranker  
SB 6612 Health care T.O. Relating to health care.

Introduced by title and introductory section only, relating to health care.
S Ways & Means Cleveland  
SB 6615 Accountable communities/tax Concerning the taxation of accountable communities of health.

Provides a business and occupation tax deduction for an accountable community of health on amounts received as delivery system reform incentive payments under the federal medicaid program as authorized by the federal social security act. Expires January 1, 2024.
S Ways & Means O'Ban  
SB 6616 Education funding reform Concerning final implementation of education funding reform.

Addresses education funding reform legislation. Declares an intent to: (1) Recalibrate the balance of state and local funding for school districts in light of the court's latest order; (2) Fully implement the salary allocations in school year 2018-2019; (3) Accelerate the implementation of certain accounting and budget transparency requirements; and (4) Reduce local school district levies by an amount equal to the increased state salary allocations that will be made to school districts in school year 2018-2019.
S Ways & Means Braun  
SSB 6620
(HB 3004)
School security Improving security in schools and the safety of students. S 2nd Reading Frockt