The second week of session was full of activity on opiates. The Governor held a news briefing on Monday, outlining his strategy and legislation (HB 2489 and SB 6150) for addressing the opiate crisis. His proposal has similarities to the Attorney General but provides additional emphasis on treatment and prevention strategies. WSALPHO, like other healthcare and public health agencies, supports the HB 2489 and SB 6150 and signed in support of both bills this week.
WSALPHO also provided testimony and support of HB 2436 which recognizes the work of community health workers as a part of the health system. We anticipate this bill moving out of the House Health and Wellness Committee next week.
WSALPHO, Department of Health, and State Board of Health offered an amendment to HB 2420 to improve language around sensitive areas with water quality issues which necessitate monitoring contracts. This bill will be heard in executive session on Thursday and we anticipate it will move out of committee with the amendment adopted.
Coming up this week are several hearings regarding tobacco including Tobacco 21 – a statewide effort to increase the age to legally purchase tobacco products to 21. WSALPHO will be signing in support for SB 6048 this bill. Additional bills WSALPHO will be watching in hearing this week include HB 2586, HB 2758, and HB 2531.