Dear friends and neighbors, 

Access to quality healthcare is a fundamental right that every person deserves. As we reflect on the accomplishments we made during our last legislative session, I’m happy to share the strides we’ve made towards ensuring that every Washingtonian has access to affordable and high-quality healthcare. 

Investing in quality care 

(Picture from UW Medicine) 

One of our significant accomplishments is the establishment of the University of Washington’s Center for Behavioral Health and Learning. This innovative center will expand care for those grappling with serious mental illness. By allocating funds to this teaching hospital, we not only prioritize patient care but also invest in building a robust healthcare workforce. I am excited to see the new 150-bed facility that has opened in our very own district, which will provide essential services and support to our community. 

Moreover, our operating budget this year allocates a total of $82 million in behavioral health community capacity grants. These grants will facilitate the construction of additional behavioral health care facilities across communities in our state. Additionally, we’ve designated $60 million for Harborview Medical Center, reinforcing its critical role in providing safety net care for our state and region. We also allocated $2.5 million to expand the UW School of Dentistry’s Regional Initiatives in Dental Education (RIDE) program, ensuring that dental care reaches rural and underserved populations. 

Expanding Access 

  • SB 5481 establishes the Uniform Telehealth Law to expand access to medical providers while ensuring that healthcare directed by anyone outside the state meet the standards of care provided by those within Washington state. This makes our state the first in the nation to pass the Uniform Law Commission’s legislation to provide clear authorization for telehealth. 
  • SB 5580 expands access to pre- and post-natal care for some of the most vulnerable pregnant people in our state by raising the income ceiling for Apple Health eligibility and creating supports for those suffering from substance use disorder. 
  • SB 5821 ensures that audio-only telemedicine services established during the pandemic remain accessible in Washington and follow uniform standards for medical care. 
  • SB 6228 makes numerous improvements to the state’s struggling substance use disorder treatment system by providing new protections for patients seeking care in the community. 
  • SB 6127 expands access to post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) medication that can prevent HIV infection if taken immediately after potential HIV exposure. This bill requires insurers to cover the medication at no charge to the patient and mandates that hospitals dispense the medication as appropriate to patients in emergency settings. 

Reproductive care 

  • SB 6151 prohibits unlicensed individuals from performing ultrasounds, ensuring that medical practices adhere to the highest standards of care.  
  • HB 1954 shields healthcare workers from disciplinary action for providing legal reproductive care, reaffirming our commitment to reproductive rights in Washington state. 
  • HB 2115 will allow the substitution of a health care facility name in place of a prescriber’s name on a prescription label for abortion medication to protect prescribers from harassment or worse, a growing concern since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. 

Public health 

  • SB 5983 provides new tools for public health organizations to combat sexually transmitted infections in Washington by expanding the ability of medical assistants to treat syphilis infections and by allowing prescribers to utilize expedited partner therapy where appropriate. 
  • SB 5271 allows the Department of Health to align its existing enforcement tools across the spectrum of facilities it regulates. These progressive enforcement tools will better protect patients while safeguarding access to care.
  • SB 6095 expands the authority of the Secretary of the Department of Health to issue a standing order during an emergency situation. This tool will allow the secretary to better support the ability of local public health agencies and employees in controlling and preventing the spread of diseases or threats to public health. 

Workforce and facilities 

  • SB 5184 addresses a critical workforce shortage by establishing the profession of anesthesiologist assistants in Washington. 
  • SB 5853 expands on the work done in the 2023 session to create 23-hour Crisis Relief Centers for adults by enabling the licensure of comparable centers to serve minors. 
  • SB 5940 helps rural hospitals maintain workforce levels and provide employment for local residents by allowing the hiring of highly trained volunteer emergency medical technicians as medical assistants in appropriate settings. 
  • SB 6178 expands access to care by allowing licensed midwives to prescribe appropriate medications to patients. 
  • SB 6286 will increase the availability of nurse anesthetists by directing the Washington State Board of Nursing to develop and manage a preceptorship program. 

Thank you for your continued support. Please feel free to reach out to me via email at or by calling my office at (360) 786-7690. You can also stay informed about my activities by visiting my website or following me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for regular updates.   


Javier Valdez