Dear friends and neighbors,
I am excited to be back for the 2022 Legislative Session to keep championing the needs and priorities of the 38th Legislative District. I’m thrilled to see the continued participation of so many Washingtonians here at the legislature – either by giving public testimony remotely, submitting written testimony, or scheduling meetings with me over Zoom. We’ve had a busy but productive few weeks, and I’m eager to share with you the progress we have accomplished in my committees and on some of my bills. I’ve also included some information about COVID-19 vaccinations and testing locations in our region.
Action on the Long-Term Services and Supports Trust Program
Last week both chambers unanimously passed, and the governor signed into law, HB 1732 and HB 1733, two bills to pause and improve WA Cares, incorporating important feedback from our constituents. We need to start helping families plan for their future so they can age in place, in their own homes, with the level of care or upgrades to their homes that will help them. This law won’t deny or cancel any pre-existing coverage and provides cost-effective coverage for working families across Washington. WA Cares gives families like yours and mine a guarantee that, if we need the kind of long-term care the program provides, it will be there for us.
Three productive bill hearings
We have accomplished a lot of great work for our communities in just the first three weeks of the legislative session. I want to highlight three of the bills I’m sponsoring this year:
SB 5751 – Improving worker safety and patient care in health care facilities. Our healthcare workers are experiencing extreme levels of stress and burnout. This bill that I am sponsoring requires minimum staffing levels in hospitals to help ensure that patients get the level of care that they need and deserve. The bill also updates the meal and rest breaks and overtime provisions for health care employees.
SB 5589 – Statewide spending on primary care. Too little is invested in primary care in Washington state, and we know that investing more in primary care is good from both a medical and financial perspective because it keeps people healthier and out of higher cost settings. The bill directs the Health Care Cost Transparency Board to measure the percentage of our statewide healthcare costs that are devoted to primary care. This will ultimately result in more efficient use of our healthcare dollars and better health and quality of life for our families and neighbors.
SB 5866 – Allowing tribes to perform case management duties. This is a very simple and straight forward bill that will allow federally recognized Indian tribes to perform assessments and case management functions as a partner to the state in the work of taking care of our elders. This change will allow tribal members to receive care that is culturally appropriate and from a trusted person.
Covid-19 Testing and Vaccination Services
Ensuring all Washingtonians have fast and reliable access to testing and vaccinations has always been an integral part of slowing the spread of Covid-19 and keeping communities safe. I encourage you to utilize our local resources to better protect yourself and your loved ones during this pandemic.
Snohomish Health District is offering drive-thru testing and vaccination services at the Ash Way Park & Ride located at 16327 Ash Way, Lynnwood. Appointments will be required.
The location is open for vaccinations on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9am-4pm. Please bring proof of prior vaccination (vaccination card or www.myIR.net record). Click here to book your appointment today!
This site is also open for testing on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am-4pm. To register for testing, you can click one of the links below:
**Please note: the Snohomish Health District can provide 1st, 2nd and booster doses for ages 12+ (parent or guardian must be onsite for ages 12-17), and third shots for those who qualify.
Additional Testing Resources
In early January, the federal government’s portal for ordering free at-home tests went live. The state’s new portal serves as an additional resource for Washingtonians to access at-home COVID-19 tests free of cost. Here’s the link where people can request up to four tests through the federal government.
My office is as available to you as ever. Send me an email at June.Robinson@leg.wa.gov, or give me a call at (360) 786-7674. Let’s set up a Zoom meeting or connect in writing. I’d love to hear from you, I and look forward to learning more about your priorities in this upcoming year. You can also follow me on Facebook for regular updates.
My work in Olympia is always informed by the voices of my neighbors, and I’m eager to hear yours.