Friends, neighbors —
We’re in the home stretch! There is just over two weeks left in the 2023 session. Scroll down to see what our team has been up to in Week 13 and what you need to know. ⬇️
#1: In the wake of the Dobbs decision, we have seen countless states — including many of our neighbors — ban and further restrict access to abortion and reproductive care.
And just yesterday, a Texas court ruling ended FDA approval of mifepristone, a pill used in medication abortion. This will impact all states’ ability access and provide the medication, regardless of individual state laws protecting reproductive health care services.
Within hours of the decision, a Washington federal judge filed a separate injunction, ordering U.S. authorities not to make any changes. For at least the next week, nothing will happen, but that’s no guarantee the eventual outcome won’t be the same as the Texas ruling.
That’s why the state Department of Corrections has bulk purchased a three-year supply of mifepristone. And this week, we proposed SB 5768 to give DOC (our only state-operated pharmacy) authority to act as a wholesaler and dispenser of the medication to Washington providers and patients.
We know in our post-Roe world we must explore every option to ensure Washington’s long legacy of safeguarding reproductive freedom continues. This is another step — like many others we have taken, especially in the last five years — to protect our neighbors from yet another attempt to rob them of access to the health care they need and deserve.
#2: I introduced another bill this week, SB 5767 — our bill to fund health care access by imposing an excise tax on hospitals with highly paid C-level employees.
Countless times, we’ve heard hospitals say they are unable to provide certain services — like gender-affirming or reproductive care — to our neighbors or hire additional staff because of a lack of funding, and yet, there is enough funding to give CEOs seven-figure paychecks.
Our proposal aims to use the revenue generated to close those gaps in services to offset community costs and ensure folks have access to comprehensive health care.
Right now, it is waiting for a hearing in the Ways & Means Committee. Click here and scroll to the third story to learn more and respond to this email to tell us how you feel about this bill!
#3: Our other bills continue to move through the legislative process! Here’s where they all stand right now:
Next Wednesday, we’ll hit one of our final deadlines in the session: opposite house-of-origin cutoff. This means we must pass all House bills off the debate floor by 5 p.m. that day. But that deadline won’t apply to budgets and matters necessary to implement budgets, any negotiations on bill differences between the two chambers, and matters related to ending the session.