Role and Responsibilities
The Public Policy Council is a structural unit of WNA that advances WNA’s goals and strategic plan related to nurses health, rights and safety, nurse staffing and nurse shortage and patient advocacy and safety. The Council’s specific role is to monitor and evaluate legislative and regulatory policies that can have an impact on nurses and health care and promote nurses’ participation in the public policy process.
Responsibilities of the Group
- Create a Public Policy Agenda for the Association based on WNA goals and strategic plan.
- Develop a lobbying and education strategy.
- Review proposed legislation and regulation to determine if WNA should support or oppose.
- Provide update to WNA membership on status of legislation and regulation.
- Submit a written report on progress related to goals, strategic plan and other activities at each meeting of the WNA Board of Directors.
- Collaborate with appropriate WNA councils and MIGs to promote educate and inform members and other nurses on WNA’s Public Policy Agenda and legislative activities.
- Prepares an annual report for submission to the membership at the Annual Meeting.
- Carries out the activities of the Association as identified and assigned by the Board of Directors.
- Selects a chairperson who leads the Council Meetings and serves as the representative to the WNA Coordinating Cabinet.
Responsibilities of Individual Members
- Review proposed legislation and recommend WNA position for all proposals submitted by WNA staff using WNA standardized procedure.
- Participate in the development and monitoring of WNA’s Public Policy Agenda.
- Be willing to provide testimony on behalf of WNA as needed.
- Activate other WNA members in participating or responding to grass-roots involvement.
- Actively participate in all meetings of the Public Policy Council.
- Submit timely responses, when requested by WNA staff or other member.
- Two consecutive absences from Public Policy Council meetings may constitute a vacancy.
Process for Reviewing Proposed Legislation/Regulation
- WNA staff will review all introduced legislation/regulation to determine if a position is warranted based on the Public Policy Agenda.
- WNA staff will communicate to council members the Bill number, title, description, and request for position with rationale.
- Reviewers will submit feedback within two weeks of receipt.
- Final decisions regarding support, opposition, or no action on legislation/regulations will occur monthly via conference calls or face-to-face meetings.
- If a position is required between meetings WNA staff and Public Policy Chair will review all feedback and make a decision.
Statement of Position
- Active Support
Requires testimony be provided at committee hearings by either the WNA Lobbyist or member of the Public Policy Council. In addition; active initiation of grass roots support through WNA Legislative List Serve; letter written to legislators regarding the piece of legislation/regulation; member notification via The Wisconsin Nurse and website with rationale for support.
Letter forwarded to legislature; grassroots members notified via legislative alert; and membership notified via The Wisconsin Nurse and website with rationale for support.
- Active Opposition
Requires testimony be provided at committee hearings by either the WNA Lobbyist or member of the Public Policy Council. In addition; active initiation of grass roots support through WNA Legislative List Serve; letter written to legislators regarding the piece of legislation/regulation; member notification via The Wisconsin Nurse and website with rationale for opposition
Letter forwarded to the legislature in opposition to bill; grassroots members notified via legislative list serve; and membership notified via The Wisconsin Nurse and website with rationale for opposition.
- No Position
After review of the legislation the decision to not take a position in support or opposition is decided. Decisions of No Position are found in the Public Policy Council Minutes.
2021 WNA Public Policy Council Roster:
Tracy Zvenyach, Chair, Fitchburg
Kristin Brunsell Merss, Chair, Madison
Rebecca Kwiesielewicz, Menasha
Roberta Pawlak, Middleton
Tamara Swanson, Racine