As an incoming freshman legislator, Rep. Laurie Jinkins figured her first legislative session would be filled mostly with issue briefings and learning experiences. But now with less than three weeks left in the regular session, the Tacoma Democrat has not only learned the ropes of the House, but she has also advanced several pieces of legislation. One bill has been signed by the governor, three are on the governor’s desk for approval, and three others survived the latest legislative deadline on Friday.
Jinkins’ many years as a public-health executive serve as the foundation for her legislative focus.
“Health care access and affordability are essential to protecting families and building a prosperous future for Washington. That’s my main focus in Olympia, and I’m pleased that many other legislators have joined me in recognizing the importance of these bills,” Jinkins said.
The Jinkins bills still alive for consideration or already approved are:
House Bill 1133, requiring massage practitioners to include their license numbers on advertising and display a copy of their license or make it available upon request. (Awaiting Senate floor vote.)
HB 1303, extends the authority of the state Insurance Commissioner to approve or deny premium rate increases by health insurers. This authority would have ended in 2012 without an extension. (Awaiting action by the governor.)
HB 1304, makes a correction to a law passed in 2009 regarding which classes of health care assistants can administer certain kinds of drugs. The bill puts patient safety first by lining up professional training with the types of drugs that can be given, Jinkins says. (Awaiting action by the governor.)
HB 1488, updates requirements for the Washington State Board of Health, a body that works with the state Secretary of Health to engage citizens in the development of public-health policies. Supporters say the bill reduces duplicative reporting requirements and “cleans up” some duties that are better covered by other state agencies or are not as necessary as they once were. (Awaiting action by the governor.)
HB 1517, requires comparable coverage for patients who require orally administered chemotherapy medication instead of intravenous medication. (Awaiting Senate floor vote.)
HB 1649, recognizes out-of-state couples in valid same-sex marriages as domestic partners for Washington state law purposes. Married same-sex couples currently have no relationship rights and responsibilities under state law when they travel or move to Washington. (Signed into law on April 5.)
HB 1730, clarifies state law regarding the bond delegation authority of local governments. Jinkins says the bill improves the efficiency of the process, saving tax dollars. (Awaiting Senate floor vote.)
April 1 was the Legislature’s fiscal cutoff, meaning only those bills that have passed by a committee are still alive for consideration. Bills can now be debated on the floor of the House and Senate for a final legislative vote, before moving to the governor’s desk for final approval.