It’s been a very eventful week in Olympia with a Friday, February 2nd deadline for bills to be moved out of their original policy committees, and a deadline of Tuesday, February 6th for bills with fiscal impacts to be passed by the Senate Ways & Means and House Appropriations committees. There are still a number of reproductive health bills that we are continuing to follow.
After years of work, the Reproductive Parity Act (RPA) passed the Senate. The bill had a successful public hearing in the House Committee on Health Care & Wellness on Wednesday, February 7th.
While we are excited that the RPA is finally on its way to passing, we continue to push for the legislature to do more by passing the Reproductive Health Access for All Act (SB 6105). Although we were successful in getting a public hearing on this bill, Sen. Ranker’s bill to expand health care access for all Washingtonians was not voted out of the Senate Health & Long-Term Care Committee prior to the crucial policy deadline of Friday, February 2nd. We were frustrated that this and many other important bills failed to make cut off in this key committee. We will continue to push for the policies embedded in this bill and will do everything we can to educate legislators between now and the 2019 session on the critical need to protect health care access for all people, including transgender and gender non-conforming individuals and undocumented immigrants.