WNA’s priorities for the upcoming 2021-2022 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 – August 3, 2021

WNA’s Public Policy Council meets monthly to review proposed legislation to determine if action is needed.  Below are the legislative bills that the Council has taken a position and the status.


Bills: 2021 Assembly Bill 23 & 2021 Senate Bill 4

Relating to: Prohibiting certain government officials from mandating vaccination against the 2019 novel coronavirus.

Assigned Committee: A – Constitution and Ethics  S- Human Services, Children and Families

WNA Position: Oppose

Rationale: This does not assist health care employers from assuring the safety of nurses and their patients. We would like to see the use of the current statute that allows for medical reason, religious and personal conviction instead.

Status: A  3/23 Passed the full Assembly. 4/14 S – passed the full Senate with other Amendments. Assembly Concurrence. 4/23 Governor Veto.


Bills: 2021 Assembly Bill 25 & 2021 Senate Bill 5

Relating to: Prohibiting mandatory vaccination for employment

Assigned Committee:  A – Constitution and Ethics  S –  Committee on Human Services, Children and Families

WNA Position: Oppose

Rationale: This does not assist health care employers from assuring the safety of nurses and their patients.  We would like to see the use of the current statute that allows for medical reason, religious and personal conviction instead.

Status:   3/24 -Passed the full Assembly.  Sent over to Senate. Ready for Scheduling


Bills: 2021 Assembly Bill 36 & 2021 Senate Bill 30

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

Assigned Committee:  A- Committee on Health S -Committee on Health

WNA Position:  Support

Rationale: Increase access to care through utilization of pharmacists.  Pharmacists must be educated.  The Boards of Nursing, Pharmacy and Medicine are required to develop the criteria.

Status: A – No action   S- Ready for Scheduling


Bills:  2021 Assembly Bill 66 & 2021 Senate Bill 59

Relating to: Community health center grants and making an appropriation.

Assigned Committee: A – Health   S – Health

WNA Position:  Support

Rationale: Increase access to care for those populations that are experiencing health disparities and those unemployed due to COVID-19

Status:  2/11 – S Available for scheduling. Assembly No action                               .


Bills:  2021 Assembly Bill 67            2021 Senate Bill 71  

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

Assigned Committee:  A- Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety   S – Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety

WNA Position: Support

Rationale: Advocates for quality and ethical health care, forensic nurse practice and supports important information in the criminal courts

Status:  3/16 – Passed the full Senate. Sent to the Assembly.  No action.


Bills: 2021 Assembly Bill 87 & 2021 Senate Bill 94

Relating to: Tracking of sexual assault kits in sexual assault cases, granting rule-making authority, and making an appropriation

Assigned Committee:  A- Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety   S – Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety

WNA Position:  Support

Rationale:  Advocates for quality and ethical health care, forensic nurse practice and supports important information in the criminal courts through the establishment of a standardized policy and procedure for storage

Status:  S– 3/16 Passed the full Senate. Assembly – No action


Bills:  2021 Assembly Bill 88 & 2021 Senate Bill 87

Relating to: Requiring face coverings in certain situations and providing a penalty.

Assigned Committee: A – State Affairs  S – Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform

WNA Position: Support

Rationale:  WNA supports a face mask mandate in those ettings and conditions that can increase the risk of exposure. Nurses are health care professionals that are providng the care in those care settings. They remain the most at-risk for COVID -19 exposure despite being vaccinated. Nurses are emotionally and physically exhausted.

Status: A – No Action. S- No action


Bills:  2021 Assembly Bill 92 & 2021 Senate Bill 86

Relating to: Grant to a hospital for expanding psychiatric bed capacity.

Assigned Committee: A-State Affairs   S – Health

WNA Position:  Support

Rationale: There is an increased need to provide in-patient mental health care so as to stabilize

Status: 3/31 – A – Public Hearing.  3/19- Senate Passed out of committee. Available for full vote by the Senate.


Bills:  2021 Assembly Bill 128 & 2021 Senate Bill 127

Relating to: Requiring informed consent before performing a pelvic exam on a patient who is under general anesthesia or unconscious.

Assigned Committee:  S – Health    A – Health

WNA Position:  Active Support

Rationale: Supports ethical and transparent health care delivery.  There are added costs to the training of medical students.  The anesthesia provider charges by time increments, OR staff cannot prep for the next surgical patient due to delays. Prolonging the delivery of anesthesia to patient is not a standard of care.

Status:    A – 7/29 Public Hearing. S – No Actio


Bills: 2021 Assembly Bill 184           & 2021 Senate Bill 215

Relating to: Application of prescription drug payments to health insurance cost-sharing requirements.

Assigned Committee:  A – Health   S- Insurance, Licensing and Forestry

WNA Position:  Support

Rationale: Supports access to needed medication using a cost-sharing insurance program.

Status: No Action –  A or S

 

Bills:  2021 Assembly Bill 210 & Senate Bill 253

Relating to: Grants for suicide prevention programming and making an appropriation.

Assigned Committee:  A – Mental Health.  S – Human Services, Children and Families

WNA Position: Support

Rationale: This is important given the mental health issues that have emerged due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Nurses are not exempt and other caregivers will benefit from access to mental health services

Status: 5/5 – A – Passed out of committee. 5/2 – S- Public Hearing


Bills:  2021 Assembly Bill & 215 Senate Bill 247

Relating to: Visitation of a long-term care facility resident or hospital patient by an essential visitor or member of the clergy

Assigned Committee:  A – Aging and Long-Term Care S – Human Services, Children and Families

WNA Position:  Oppose

Rationale: It is important to maintain restrictions as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be problematic. The goal is to maintain the health of the residents and the health care providers.

Status: A- No Action.  S- No actio


Bills:  2021 Assembly Bill 259 & 2021 Senate Bill 306

Relating to: Coverage of telehealth services

Assigned Committee:  A – Insurance    S – Insurance, Licensing and Forestry

WNA Position: Support

Rationale: Access to reimbursed mental health services

Status: No Action A or S


Bills: 2021 Assembly Bill 292 &  2021 Senate Bill 312

Relating to:  Composition of local boards of health

Assigned Committee:  A – Health    S – Sporting Heritage, Small Business and Rural Issues

WNA Position:  Support

Rationale:  Supports public health infrastructure by having a RN on the board.

Status: 7/29 – A – Public Hearing. S – No Action


Bills:  2021 Assembly Bill 337& 2021 Senate Bill 343

Relating to: Use of epinephrine prefilled syringes and standing orders for epinephrine

Assigned Committee: A – Health S-Health

WNA Position:  Support

Rationale: This supports access to care that allows APNPs authority to issue standing orders.

Status: 7/29 A – Public Hearing. S- No Action


Bills: 2021 Assembly Bill 348 & 2021 Senate Bill 355

Relating to: Raising the legal age for sale, purchase, and possession of cigarettes and nicotine and tobacco products, providing a legal age for sale, purchase, and possession of vapor products, and providing a penalty.

Assigned Committee: A – Substance Abuse and Prevention S – Judiciary and Public Safety

WNA Position:  Support

Rationale:  This supports tobacco prevention by increasing the age to purchase tobacco products.

Status: No Action A or S


Bills:  2021 Assembly Bill 396 & 2021 Senate Bill 394     

Relating to: Separate licensure for advanced practice registered nurses, extending the time limit for emergency rule procedures, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, and granting rule-making authority

Assigned Committee:  A – Health    S – Health

WNA Position:  Actively support

Rationale: WNA has pursued the passage of this legislation over the past three legislative sessions.  The bill describes the condition for licensure as an APRN and the ability to work at the top of their license. This supports patient access to affordable, quality and safe care.

Status: A – Public Hearing  7/29;  S – Public Hearing 7/28


Bills:  Assembly Bill 479  & Senate Bill 340

Relating to: Reimbursement rates for behavioral treatment services for persons with autism under the Medical Assistance program.

Assigned Committee:  A- Health  S – Health

WNA Position:  Support

Rationale: Supports access to care and services for this vulnerable population and their families.

Status:  No action in either Committee


Bill:  2021 Senate Bill 8

Relating to:  Distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

Assigned Committee: Human Services, Children and Families

WNA Position:  Oppose

Rationale: WNA representative served as a member of the SDMAC.  The responsibility to to establish an ethical framework for the allocation of vaccine when there is a scarcity of resources.  Priorities for vulnerable and at-risk populations including those aged 65+ are in Priority 1a.  The release to the community of incarcerated individuals should be vaccinated due to the exposure rate of COVID-19 within the jail and prison settings.

Status: 2/16 – Passed full Senate.  Sent to the Assembly.