Association of Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses
Advancing your practice, your career, and our community.

Legislative Update: February 2018

Volk Decision

As you no doubt know, Senate Bill 5800, Duty to Warn, did not move out of the Judiciary Committee. Our lobbyists, Melissa Johnson and Jennifer Muhm, along with the lobbyists for the clinical social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, and others, have worked with Rep. Jinkins to find an avenue to resolve the issue. The solution was to submit the case to the Bree Collaborative. The Bree Collaborative takes legislative subjects and creates an in-depth study. Bree is considered unbiased and is valued by legislators. The timeline for such a study is 1-2 years. A budget proviso to fund the study was included in the House budget.

AAPPN volunteers and representatives from the major stakeholder professions continue to meet to discuss this issue through the Volk Clinician/Attorney Workgroup Meeting. Most recently, Melody Bemis and Kathy Wilmering attended the workgroup meeting. The discussion included a recent article on Volk, “The Therapist and the Murderer”, published in NWLawyer, the magazine of the Washington State Bar Association.

Bills headed to the Governor’s desk

Here is a recap of some of the bills AAPPN supported or monitored which passed the legislature and are headed to the Governor’s desk.

  • Child forensic interview and child interview digital recording: ESHB 2700 passed the full Senate yesterday by a unanimous vote, 49-0. It now goes to the Governor’s desk for signature.
  • Changing the designation of the state behavioral health authority from the department of social and health services to the health care authority and transferring the related powers, functions, and duties to the health care authority and the department of health: 2ESHB 1388 passed the Senate yesterday, 44-2. It now goes to the Governor. 
  • Student Mental Health: 2SHB 1377 passed the Senate yesterday, 43-3. This bill now goes to the Governor’s desk for signature.
  • Children’s Mental Health Services Consultation Program: SSB 6452 passed the House, 97-0. This bill now goes to the Governor’s desk for signature. This is the bill that the pediatricians were pushing that creates a two-year pilot program between UW and Seattle Children’s to create a hotline to help parents and providers with child mental health referrals.
  • Increasing Availability of Assisted Outpatient Behavioral Health Treatment: ESSB 6491 passed the House, 92-5. This is the bill that modifies the Involuntary Treatment Act. This bill now goes to the Governor’s desk for signature.

For a complete listing of the bills that the Health Policy/Government Relations reviewed, please download the most recent AAPPN Bill Report (PDF).