It is always a challenge to pass legislation during a “short session” of the Washington legislature.
Add in the election year caution of legislators, and the mission for AAPPN’s volunteers and lobbyist becomes even more difficult.
Such is the setting for this year’s legislative efforts. AAPPN volunteers considered a number of bills, and our members and our lobbyist are working hard to sway legislators during this abbreviated two-month session.
As the legislative session enters the next stage where surviving bills move toward a full vote, we take a look at the session so far.
Raising Our Profile
AAPPN had its most successful Lobby Day in years. Nine members joined our lobbyist, Devon Connor-Green, to visit legislators and educate them about the work we are doing and the clients we serve.
This effort has a cumulative impact. Legislators know more about the work of PMHNPs, and they now have names of constituent practitioners who can be a resource in the future. In addition, it helps show that AAPPN is “at the table,” in position to have a voice with these decision-makers.
More Work to be Done
SB 5373, our reimbursement bill, did not pass through the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Devon pointed out that Senators had reservations about the public cost of the legislation. In an election year, the bill faced a difficult landscape where legislators are having to defend cost decisions.
All is not bleak, however. Devon and our members met with many legislators who urged us to introduce the bill again in 2025. We will need to strengthen our case to answer the fiscal note questions from legislators.
There are bills which AAPPN supported which are still alive as we enter the next stage:
- SSB 6228 – Concerning treatment of substance abuse disorders
- HB 1655 – Concerning provider contract compensation
- HB 2416 – Changing the legal title for advanced practice nurses
AAPPN members will continue to work with Devon throughout the session to advance these bills and lay the groundwork for future legislation. Our thanks to the members of our Legislative Committee, and to all members who attended Lobby Day or contacted their legislators.