Update from Olympia

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January 31, 2020

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Greetings from Olympia!

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Friend of physical therapists

This week I received the Joseph Black Friend of Physical Therapists award from the Physical Therapy Association of Washington for my work on SB 5887. This legislation would free physical therapists and other therapeutic professions from the burdensome preauthorization process previously required by insurance carriers. The full Senate passed this bill almost unanimously on day 3 of this year’s session. We did that because late in the 2019 session the Senate and House hit a stalemate on the bill – so our vote earlier this month sent it to the House again, where it’s waiting for a committee hearing. It was such an honor to receive this award for supporting this great profession.


Bills moving through the legislature

Here’s a rundown on some bills I’ve been working on this session, which has just completed its third week (of nine). For more information click on the links.

SB 5601, which I am co-sponsoring, had a public hearing in the Senate Health and Long Term Care Committee on Monday. I shared information in an earlier newsletter about this bill, which seeks to regulate benefit managers, requiring licensing and reporting provisions.

SB 6359 will receive a hearing in the Senate Health and Long Term Care Committee on Monday. This legislation would cut through red tape by exempting rural home-health clinics that provide in-home services from certain regulations and a certificate-of-need review. The goal is to make it easier for patients in rural areas to receive much-needed in-home care. By streamlining procedures for these health workers, we could see more jobs in this field. You may watch the committee hearing live on TVW.


Boosting the salmon population to help Puget Sound orcas recover

This week I joined several Republican colleagues for a news conference to introduce our joint “more salmon for all” proposal. It’s aimed at increasing the number of salmon in Washington waters, and by extension, helping grow the number of orcas living in the Puget Sound. Senate Bill 6509, and House Bill 2741 would launch an innovative hatchery management pilot program at the Port of Bellingham – an approach that has been tested and proven in Alaska for decades. It just goes to show that there are reasonable solutions to salmon recovery without beaching the dams! Even though the 7th District is far from where the orca live, this is certainly an important statewide issue. Certainly, increased salmon populations would benefit us all. Watch a recording of the news conference below to learn more.


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Visitors from home

This week I had the chance to visit with members of Better Health Together (pictured above), faculty from Whitworth University and representatives of our local grocers, hygienists, doctors, orchardists, hospital administrators and ambulance providers. It was great week to see so many health providers. Will you be in Olympia between now and March 12? If so, call my office and schedule an appointment.

As always, it is a privilege to serve as your state senator. If you need anything, my office is here for you. I can be reached by phone at (360) 786-7612 or email at Shelly.Short@leg.wa.gov. Again, please feel free to visit any time. I enjoy seeing faces from back home!