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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

We are now nearing the end of Week Six of the scheduled 105-day legislative session. To date, 1,166 bills have been introduced in the House, 1,019 in the Senate, for a total of 2,185 bills. These include 10 measures I've prime-sponsored. I'm pleased to report that all of my bills have had public hearings.

Hospital notification bill gains unanimous House approval

On Feb. 7, the House unanimously passed House Bill 1016, a measure that would require hospitals to notify a rape victim within two hours of arrival that they don't have rape kits or a provider trained in sexual assault examinations on the premises.

On the House floor, I spoke of a young woman, Hailey, (shown in the photo above) who was gang raped by four men. She came to the hospital to get a sexual assault evaluation performed, but the hospital made her wait four hours before they told her she went to the wrong hospital. The hospital she went to did not perform that service, nor did they staff someone qualified to perform the evaluation. By the time she got to another hospital to collect evidence from the rape, it was more than nine hours after she had been victimized. That's just wrong.

Under the bill that passed the House, hospitals have two hours to notify. If they go beyond that, they could face a civil penalty of $2,000.

The measure is now in the Senate Health and Long Term Care Committee.

Gig Harbor mom speaks out against porn in public libraries

Last Tuesday, Feb. 12, a public hearing was held on another bill I sponsored that would require public libraries to adopt and enforce an internet safety policy preventing minors from accessing harmful online pornography and obscene visual depictions.

My constituent, Kaeley Triller, told the House Local Government Committee she and her young daughter walked by a man last year in the Gig Harbor library who was watching graphic pornography on a computer in public view. When Kaeley reported it to the library staff, she learned that some counties filter pornography from the internet, but Pierce County adopted an open internet policy with limited filtering.

This is totally unacceptable, especially when young children are around.

House Bill 1635 would require public libraries funded by taxpayer dollars to use software to filter pornography. Patrons needing access for research or other lawful purposes may request the protections to be temporarily disabled.

Dental students visit Capitol

As a dentist and a lawmaker, I am frequently asked to speak to dental groups. It was my honor to speak with dental students from my alma mater, University of Washington, who recently visited the state Capitol. We discussed dental-related legislation, student loan debt and how the proposed tax increases would affect them after graduation.

First major deadline

Tomorrow (Friday, Feb. 22) is the first major deadline of the 2019 session. Known as “policy cutoff,” all policy-only bills must be passed by tomorrow from their committees in their house of origin, or they're considered “dead” for the session.

Caldier bill status

Here's a look at my bills and where they are in the process:

  • House Bill 1016 – Sexual assault kit notice: Would require hospitals to notify a rape victim within two hours of their arrival that they don't have rape kits or a provider trained in sexual assault examinations on the premises. Passed the House unanimously. Referred to the Senate Health and Long-Term Care Committee.
  • House Bill 1017 – Health carrier salaries: Would allow ratepayers to set compensation and benefit levels of board members and the top five highest-paid executives of nonprofit insurance companies. Public hearing was held on Jan. 22 in the House Health Care and Wellness Committee.
  • House Bill 1198 – Health provider misconduct notice: Would require a health provider who was sanctioned for sexual misconduct to notify patients of the sanction details. Passed the House Health Care and Wellness Committee on Feb. 15.
  • House Bill 1229 – Traffic cameras, photo tolls: Would allow police, through the proper use of a warrant, to access photographs, micro-photographs and electronic images, such as license plate details, from traffic safety cameras and toll systems for crime investigations. The measure passed the committee and is now in the House Rules Committee awaiting to be pulled for a vote on the floor.
  • House Bill 1607 – Health marketplace notices: Would require written notice be given to the state attorney general at least 30 days before the effective date of a hospital or provider organization acquisition or merger. This bill originated after a local hospital acquired several medical clinics in Kitsap County, and privately discussed the deals as a boon to their bottom line and harmful to patient care. Read about the attorney general's lawsuit against this practice here. The measure passed the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee.
  • House Bill 1635 – Libraries/internet safety: See article above about pornography in libraries. The measure is awaiting action in the House Local Government Committee.
  • House Bill 1704 – Credit transfer/revisions: Would provide a five-year grace period for transfer students when baccalaureate institutions change lower-division course requirements. This bill would help streamline credits when a student transfers from a community college to a four-year institution. A public hearing was held in the House College and Workforce Development Committee.
  • House Bill 1934 – Pistol license/armed forces: Would establish a mail application process for members of the Armed Forces who are deployed out of state and wish to renew their concealed pistol licenses (CPL). This was brought to me by a constituent who is deployed to Virginia for military service. He was told he must fly back to Washington state to renew his CPL. For the sacrifices our men and women in the Armed Forces make every day, we should not require them to fly home to renew their licenses. The House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee is scheduled to take action on the bill tomorrow (Friday).

Keep in touch!

As we get closer to taking votes on the House floor, it will be essential to hear from you. I personally read every email that is sent to my office and have an open-door policy, regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum. You can read the bills scheduled for a vote on the House floor here. Please call, write or email my office with any questions or comments you have on the bills I've listed in this report or pending legislation. My contact information is below. It is my honor to serve you!

Sincerely,


Michelle Caldier

State Representative Michelle Caldier
26th Legislative District
RepresentativeMichelleCaldier.com
122H Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
michelle.caldier@leg.wa.gov
360-786-7802 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000