Current Priorities

WNA’s priorities for the upcoming 2019-2020 biennium are: the nurse faculty shortage, workplace violence legislation, preserving the nursing workforce survey, and the APRN modernization act.

View the Public Policy Agenda Here
Nurse Faculty Shortage
Workplace Violence
Preserving the Nursing Workforce Survey
APRN Modernization Act

WNA Legislative Update  10/18/19

WNA’s Public Policy Council has reviewed and taken a position on the following legislation introduced this 2019-2020 Legislative Biennium.  Positions are decided based on WNA’s 2019-2020 Public Policy Agenda and current Position Statements.

The information below includes the Bill numbers, topic, WNA position, and bill status.

Assembly Bill 126 & 2019 Senate Bill 126

Relating to: Creating a nonrefundable individual income tax credit for certain expenses incurred by a family caregiver to assist a qualified family member. (FE)

SUPPORT

WNA Position: Continue state funding of services for children, families and vulnerable populations. This bill provides a tax credit up to $1000.00 per year. The expenses include amounts spent to improve the claimant’s primary residence to assist the family member, equipment to help the family member with daily living activities, and obtaining other goods or services to help the claimant care for the family member.

Status: No action in either house.


2019 Assembly Bill 139 & 2019 Senate Bill 134

Relating to: reporting of naloxone administration by ambulance service providers

SUPPORT

WNA Position:  Efficient, transparent, patient-centered health care systems include: primary care, community based programs, prevention and wellness services, chronic disease management as well as care transitions that reduce the need for more costly medical treatment and hospitalization.  Data is needed to make good policy choices related to health policy, practice and funding decisions.

Status: No Action


2019 Assembly Bill 162 & 2019 Senate Bill 155

Relating to: Participation in the Volunteer Health Care Provider program by agencies serving homeless individuals. (FE)

SUPPORT

WNA Position: Protect the rights and safety of patients in and across all health care settings. This bill extends the Department of Health liability insurance coverage for health care services provided to the homeless population.

Status:Public Hearing in the Assembly.  Passed out of Committee 9/24/19. Public Hearing in the Senate. Passed out of the Senate Committee 9/19/19. Ready to be scheduled for action by the Senate.


Assembly Bill 175 & 2019 Senate Bill 163 

Relating to: Causing bodily harm to a nurse and providing a penalty. (FE)

ACTIVELY SUPPORT

Eliminate bullying and violence in the workplace.

WNA Position: This bill creates a Class H Felony to an individual who causes bodily harm to a nurse or a member of the nursing department he/she supervise. For more information on the Workplace Violence against Nurses Legislation go to: https://www.wisconsinnurses.org/education/workplace-violence/

Status:  Public Hearings Senate 9/17/19 and Assembly 9/18/19/.

Senate:Passed out of the Senate Committee with amendment to include all health care providers. Substitute amendment being offered that would only be applied to non-nurse health care providers working in a hospital. Ready to be voted out of the Senate Committee 10/16/19

Assembly:  Concern expressed regarding the unintended consequence for an individual diagnosed with a mental illness, dementia or developmental disability to be charged with a Class H Felony. Advocates want an amendment that would provide an exemption for these individuals so that they cannot be charged with a Class H Felony.


Assembly Bill 178 & 2019 Senate Bill 166

Relating to: Eligibility for physician, dentist, and health care provider educational loan assistance programs. (FE)

SUPPORT

WNA Position: Increase the supply of nurses through a variety of funding options that include student loans, loan forgiveness, fellowships, and financial aid. The bill adds free or charitable clinics, as a program that a physician, dentist, APRN and dental hygienist can serve in to qualify for an educational loan assistance program.

Status: Public Hearing in the Assembly 7/10/19. Public Hearing in the Senate 8/27/19.  Senate: Voted out of committee. 9/25/19. Ready to be scheduled Senate Floor vote.


2019 Assembly Bill 214 & 2019 Senate Bill 200

Relating to: Storage and processing of sexual assault kits and requiring the exercise of rule-making authority. (FE)

SUPPORT

WNA Position:  Protect the rights and safety of patients in and across all health care settings. This bill creates procedures for transmission, processing, and storage of sexual assault kits. Under the bill, a health care professional who collects a sexual assault kit must do one of the following: 1) if the victim wants to report the sexual assault to law enforcement, the health care professional must notify a law enforcement agency within 24 hours of collecting the kit; or 2) if the victim does not want to report the sexual assault to law enforcement, the health care professional must send the kit to the state crime laboratories within 72 hours for storage.

Status:  Assembly: No activity.

Senate Committee: Public Hearing 9/19/19.  Exec’d out of committee on 10/3/19.  Scheduled to be voted on by the full Senate 10/8/19 Passed by the Senate. Forwarded to the Assembly.  Need to wait if it will be scheduled for a vote by the Assembly.


Assembly Bill 238 & 2019 Senate Bill 217

Relating to: Diabetes care and prevention plan. (FE)

WNA Position: Efficient, transparent, patient-centered health care systems include: primary care, community based programs, prevention and wellness services, chronic disease management as well as care transitions that reduce the need for more costly medical treatment and hospitalization. Under the bill the Department of Health Services consults with the Department of Employee  Trust Funds, to develop and implement a plan to reduce the incidence of diabetes in Wisconsin, improve diabetes care, and control complications associated with diabetes.

Status:  Assembly Committee Public Hearing 7/1019.  Senate Committee:  Public Hearing. 8/6/19.  Exec’d out of the Senate committee 9/24/19.  Voted on by the Full Senate 10/8/19. Passed in the Senate. Forwarded to the Assembly.  Need to wait if it will be scheduled for a vote by the Assembly.


Assembly Bill 242 & 2019 Senate Bill 225

Relating to: Establishing a Palliative Care Council. (FE)

SUPPORT

WNA Position: Efficient, transparent, patient-centered health care systems include: primary care, community based programs, prevention and wellness services, chronic disease management as well as care transitions that reduce the need for more costly medical treatment and hospitalization. This bill establishes that consults with and advise DHS regarding 1) the impact palliative care has on families and the experiences of families that have used or had a family member use palliative care services; 2) establishing a system for identifying patients or residents who could benefit from palliative care and determining how to provide information about and facilitate access to appropriate palliative care services for patients or residents with serious illnesses; and 3) any other issues relating to palliative care arising through meetings or discussions, as the council determines appropriate, but not including physician-assisted suicide.

Status:  Assembly Committee Public Hearing 7/10/19. Senate: No Action


2019 Assembly Bill 248 & 2019 Senate Bill 262

Relating to: Eliminating personal conviction exemption from immunizations.

ACTIVELY SUPPORT

WNA Position: Support community-based prevention services including screening, nutrition, immunizations, family planning, violence prevention and health education across the life-span. This bill eliminates the ability to waive the immunization requirement for schools, child care centers, and nursery schools for the reason of personal conviction. It maintains the ability waive the immunizations for medical or religious reasons.

Status:  Assembly and Senate Committees have no activity.


Assembly Bill 267 & 2019 Senate Bill 249

Relating to: Advanced practice registered nurses, extending the time limit for emergency rule procedures, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, and granting rule-making authority. (FE)

ACTIVELY SUPPORT

WNA Position: Access to advanced practice registered nurses is critical if all people are to receive quality health care in Wisconsin and barriers or restrictions on the scope of professional nursing practice in Wisconsin should be eliminated. This is WNA’s APRN Modernization Act that provides for separate licensure for APRNs.  To learn more go to: https://www.wisconsinnurses.org/aprn-modernization-act/

Status: No public hearings scheduled for the Assembly and Senate Health Committees. Meetings continue with key stakeholders to resolve conflict.


Assembly Bill 287 & 2019 Senate Bill 254

Relating to: Certifications for advance directives and findings of incapacity related to powers of attorney for health care. (FE)

ACTIVELY SUPPORT

WNA Position: Assure nurses’ role in coordinated, community-based health care services that include home care, long-term care, palliative and end-of-life care. This bill allows an attending physician assistant or attending advanced practice registered nurse to issue do-not-resuscitate orders and allows, unless a health care power of attorney instrument specifies otherwise, one physician and one qualified physician assistant or nurse practitioner to personally examine principals and make findings of incapacity upon which a health care power of attorney becomes effective.

Status: Assembly Health Committee Public Hearing: Gina Dennik-Champion, WNA Executive Director testified on Wednesday October 16, 2019 in support of the legislative proposals. The legislative bills allow for an APN to:

  1. Personally examine a patient/resident of a nursing home and make findings of incapacity upon which a health care power of attorney becomes effective.
  2. Issue a do-not-resuscitate or under a declaration to physicians, also called a living will.
  3. Certify that a patient or nursing home resident is afflicted with a terminal condition or is in a persistent vegetative state.

The majority of those testifying supported the legislation.  The Wisconsin Medical Society testified in opposition.

To view WNA’s testimony please click here.


2019 Assembly Bill 304 & 2019 Senate Bill 286

Relating to: Permitting pharmacists to prescribe certain contraceptives, extending the time limit for emergency rule procedures, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, granting rule-making authority, and providing a penalty.

SUPPORT

WNA Position: Support community-based prevention services including screening, nutrition, immunizations, family planning, violence prevention and health education across the life-span. This bill permits a pharmacist to prescribe and dispense hormonal contraceptive patches and self-administered oral hormonal contraceptives, subject to limitations described in the bill.

Status:  Assembly Public Hearing 8/14/19.  No action in the Senate

Assembly Bill 460

Relating to: A school district revenue limit adjustment for the cost of employing school nurses.

SUPPORT

WNA Position: Access to quality healthcare for all people is achievable if registered nurses are utilized to the full extent of their education, skills, expertise and licensure. This bill creates a school district revenue limit adjustment for the costs of employing school nurses. Under the bill, if a school board adopts a resolution, the school district’s revenue limit is increased by the amount the school district spent during the second previous school year on salaries and benefits for school nurses.

Status:  No activity