COVID-19

Get latest updates, multilingual resources, and details of Gov. Inslee's Stay Home, Stay Healthy order: Coronavirus.wa.gov

WDVA COVID-19 Updates for State Veterans Homes, THP, and WDVA Offices

Services available during COVID-19 Central Office is video, phone, and email appointments only.  1-800-562-2308 or benefits@dva.wa.gov

 

Legislative Updates

Contact Us

Heidi Audette
heidia@dva.wa.gov
360-791-8966

More Info

JOIN THE LISTSERV to receive electronic Legislative updates and other WDVA Info!

 

The 2021 Legislative Session begins on January 11, 2021 and adjourned sine die on April 25, 2021.  Below are lists of bills that may impact Veterans, Families or Military Members.  (This list is not an endorsement of any proposal by WDVA.)

Click here to find information on the Governor's Budget Proposal for WDVA.

Visit https://app.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/ for more detailed bill information.

Veteran/Military Related Bills as of June 22, 2021 - 06:44pm

Bill Number Title Sponsor (Combined) Status Bill Summary Hearing Dates
SHB 1250 Purple heart state SGOV(Orcutt) C 213 L 21

Designates Washington as a Purple Heart State that honors people who have received the Purple Heart award. Authorizes various agencies to erect signs recognizing that Washington is a Purple Heart State and to accept gifts or donations to assist efforts related to Washington being a Purple Heart State. Creates three accounts in the custody of the State Treasurer where the gifts and donations received by the specified agencies must be deposited.

Implementation by Administration.

SHB 1314 Veteran diversion/invol comm CRJ(Young) C 125 L 21

Requires a facility to inquire about a person's veteran's status after arrival in a behavioral health facility and coordinate with Veteran's Health Administration facilities if the person is a veteran or eligible for veteran's services.

Awareness.

SHB 1438 Property tax/health expenses FIN(Orcutt) C 220 L 21

Expands which medical expenses can be deducted when calculating "combined disposable income" for the purposes of property tax relief programs.

Awareness.

SB 5032 Alt public works contracting (Hasegawa) C 230 L 21

Extends the use of alternative public works contracting procedures until July 1, 2031. Amends the duties and membership of the Capital Projects Advisory Review Board. Amends the design-build, general contractor/construction manager, and job order contracting procedures. Requires the Capital Projects Advisory Review Board to develop best practices for increasing and sustaining access to contracting opportunities in alternative public works for minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses, and small businesses, and report to the Legislature any recommendations for changes to the statute by June 30, 2022.

Awareness for Finance and Capital Projects.

WDVA and State Employee Related Related Bills as of June 22, 2021 - 06:44pm

Bill Number Title Sponsor (Combined) Status Bill Summary Hearing Dates
SHB 1016 Juneteenth APP(Morgan) C 295 L 21

Designates June 19, commonly known as Juneteenth, as a state legal holiday.

Implementation by HR, Payroll.  Awareness for all staff.

HB 1023 Predesign requirements (Steele) C 54 L 21

Increases the threshold for non-higher education capital construction projects requiring predesign to $10 million, which establishes the same threshold for all capital project types. Provides the Office of Financial Management (OFM) the authority to waive some or all predesign requirements on capital projects exceeding the $10 million threshold. Requires the OFM to notify the legislative fiscal committees of any waivers.

Awareness for Financial Services, Capital Projects.

E2SHB 1073 Paid leave coverage APP(Berry) C 109 L 21

Provides grants to certain employees ineligible for paid family and medical leave benefits due to insufficient hours worked. Provides grants to smaller employers with employees taking leave in receipt of a grant.

Awareness for HR, Payroll, and all employees.

SHB 1080 Capital budget 2021-2023 CB(Tharinger) C 332 L 21
HB 1087 Family/med leave continuity (Berry) C 59 L 21

Specifies that the Family Leave Act as it existed prior to January 1, 2020, applies to valid claims based on conduct before that date and the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act applies to claims after that date.

Awareness for all staff.

ESHB 1120 Long-term services/emergency HCW(Tharinger) C 203 L 21

Relating to state of emergency operations impacting long-term services and supports. Changes requirements relating to background checks for long-term care workers. Alters certain regulatory requirements relating to long-term care facilities in the event of a pandemic, natural disaster, or other declared state of emergency. Changes licensing requirements for nursing assistants.

Awareness for Homes, HR.

2SHB 1127 COVID-19 health data privacy APP(Slatter) Gov vetoed

Restricts a covered organization's ability to collect, use, or disclose Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) health data. Specifies prohibited purposes for collecting, using, or disclosing COVID-19 health data. Exempts COVID-19 health data from disclosure under the Public Records Act.

 

Information only. WDVA is not a 'covered organization'.

SHB 1218 Long-term care residents HCW(Bateman) C 159 L 21

Requires long-term care facilities to develop comprehensive disaster preparedness plans. Directs the Department of Health and the Department of Social and Health Services to develop a report and guidelines on epidemic disease preparedness and response for long-term care facilities. Requires long-term care facilities to be responsive to incoming communications with the public and accommodate resident access to communication equipment. Requires long-term care facilities to maintain a current resident roster and contact information about each resident and any resident representative. Requires long-term care facilities to post notice of any stop placements or limited stop placements that have been imposed on the facility. Directs the Department of Social and Health Services to develop training materials to educate local health jurisdictions about the state's long-term care system and the rights of residents. Provides residents of long-term care facilities the right to visitation by an essential support person during times when resident visitation is limited.

Implementation by Homes Program.

E2SHB 1274 Cloud computing solutions APP(Hackney) C 40 L 21

Permits state agencies to locate new and existing information or telecommunications investments within third-party, commercial cloud computing services. Creates a task force, chaired by the Chief Information Officer and consisting of representatives from various interest groups, to review the impact on labor of transitioning to third-party cloud computing services and the needs for retraining that would accompany such a shift.

Awareness for IS

HB 1367 Medicaid appropriations (Ormsby) C 5 L 21

Modifies funding sources for certain Medicaid- eligible COVID-19 related expenses incurred in calendar year 2020. Attributes funding for these expenses to a combination of the Budget Stabilization Account and federal Medicaid matching funds, rather than the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF), freeing up CRF for other allowable uses.

ESHB 1368 Federal funding/COVID-19 APP(Ormsby) C 3 L 21

ESHB: Appropriates $2.2 billion in federal funding from a combination of the federal Consolidated Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, the Coronavirus Relief Fund under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, and Medicaid for K-12 public schools, public health, healthcare, assistance to individuals and families, housing assistance, and business assistance.

E2SHB 1477 National 988 system APP(Orwall) C 302 L 21

Directs the Department of Health to designate crisis hotline centers that meet standards related to technology and the ability to identify and deploy community crisis resources for persons experiencing a behavioral health crisis. Establishes the Crisis Response Improvement Strategy Committee to develop a comprehensive assessment of the behavioral health crisis services system and a recommended vision for an integrated crisis network throughout Washington. (WDVA is a member of this committee.) Requires that health plans and medical assistance programs provide coverage for next day appointments for enrollees experiencing urgent, symptomatic behavioral health conditions, beginning in 2023. Establishes the Statewide 988 Behavioral Health Crisis Response Line Tax on phone lines to fund the crisis hotline centers and response services. Makes several appropriations to increase capacity for the existing crisis call centers and begin implementation of the crisis call center hub system and supporting technology.

VSCW participation on CRISC and with DOH.

SB 5021 Retirement benefits/furlough (Hunt) C 12 L 21

Provides that specified public pensions will not be reduced as a result of compensation reductions that are part of a public employer's expenditure reduction efforts during the 2009-2021 and 2021-23 fiscal biennia. Provides that the pension benefit of an employee covered by a pension system that is administered by the DRS is not reduced as a result of participation in an employment insurance shared work program.

Awareness for staff affected by furloughs.

ESSB 5061 Unemployment insurance LCTA(Keiser) C 2 L 21

Limits unemployment insurance rate increases by:  (1) capping the social tax; (2) suspending the solvency surcharge tax; and (3) relieving certain benefit charges. Increases access to benefits by:  (1) expanding eligibility for those in high-risk households; and (2) waiving the waiting period when federally reimbursed. Modifies weekly benefit amount thresholds by:  (1) increasing the minimum from 15 to 20 percent of the average weekly wage; and (2) limiting benefits to a person's weekly wage. Ends deductions of lump sum pensions from weekly benefit amounts. Modifies the voluntary contribution and shared work programs, and certain training eligibility. Requires a report from the Employment Security Department to the Legislature. Makes other technical and clarifying changes.

Awareness for HR and all staff.

ESSB 5092 Operating budget WM (Rolfes) C 334 L 21
ESSB 5097 Paid leave coverage LCTA(Robinson) C 232 L 21

Expands the definition of family member in the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program. Requires the Employment Security Department to collect and analyze data and submit reports to the Legislature with certain information regarding the PFML program. Requires the General Fund to cover certain additional leave expenses.

Awareness for all staff.

ESSB 5115 Health emergency/labor LCTA(Keiser) C 252 L 21

Creates an occupational disease presumption, for the purposes of workers' compensation, for frontline employees during a public health emergency.  Requires certain employers to notify the Department of Labor and Industries when 10 or more employees have tested positive for the infectious disease during a public health emergency. Requires employers to provide written notice to employees of potential exposure to the infectious disease during a public health emergency. Prohibits discrimination against high-risk employees who seek accommodations or use leave options.

Implementation by HR, Safety.  Awareness for all staff.

SSB 5185 Health care consent LAW(Pedersen) C 270 L 21

Establishes a rebuttable presumption that a person has the capacity to make health care decisions, if they are of age. Makes terminology changes to reflect changes made in the Uniform Guardianship, Conservatorship, and Other Protective Arrangements Act. 

Implementation by Homes Program.

ESSB 5190 Health care workers/benefits LCTA(Holy) C 251 L 21

Makes health care employees who left work to quarantine during a public health emergency eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.  Provides presumptive workers' compensation coverage for health care employees who are in quarantine or contract the disease that is the subject of a public health emergency.

Implementation by HR.  Awareness for all staff.

ESSB 5229 Health equity continuing ed. HLTC(Randall) C 276 L 21

By January 1, 2024, health care professions that are subject to continuing education requirements must adopt rules requiring licensees to complete health equity continuing education training at least once every four years. 

Awareness for HCP subject to CE requirements.

E2SSB 5237 Child care & early dev. exp. WM (Wilson, C.) C 199 L 21

Establishes a new account for child care and early learning purposes and includes a nonexhaustive list of spending goals and strategies. Expands eligibility and decreases copayments in the Working Connections Child Care Program and expands eligibility in the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program. Provides for increased rates, training, grants, supports, and services for child care and early learning providers. Increases supports for families of children from birth to age 3, as well as for providers. The Governor shall appoint one representative from WDVA – the Military Spouse Liaison – to the Early Learning Advisory Council.

Implementation for VSCW and Military Spouse Liaison.

SSB 5254 Protective devices/health LCTA(Salomon) C 146 L 21

Provides that an employer who does not require employees to wear specific personal protective equipment (PPE), must accommodate an employee's or contractor's voluntary use of specific PPE, during a public health emergency and when other conditions are met. 

Implementation for HR, Safety.

SSB 5271 Health care injury/COVID-19 LAW(Wagoner) C 241 L 21

Establishes specific factors that must be considered in a civil action when determining whether a health care provider followed the required standard of care during the period of the COVID-19 state of emergency. 

Awareness for Homes Program and Safety.

SSB 5425 Unempl. extended benefits LCTA(Stanford) C 107 L 21

Allows claimants of unemployment insurance to be eligible for extended benefits regardless of whether their 52-week benefit year has expired. Allows the state's extended benefit program to "trigger on" without having to wait the 13 weeks between extended benefit periods. Amends a job search provision, for the purposes of federal conformity, regarding denying extended benefits for failing to accept an offer of, or apply for, suitable work.

Awareness for all staff.

ESSB 5432 Cybersecurity/state gov. ENET(Carlyle) C 291 L 21

Creates the Office of Cybersecurity (OCS) within the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) and transfers the OCIO's responsibilities relating to state information technology (IT) security programs to the OCS. Requires the OCS to collaborate with state agencies to develop a catalog of cybersecurity services and functions for the OCS to perform. Requires the OCS to contract for an independent security assessment of state agency information technology program audits. Sets standards for data sharing and major cybersecurity incident reporting.

Awareness for IS.

State Agency Funding Requests

Find Your Legislator

Watch Legislative Hearings live on TVW!

Legislative Updates:

2019 Bill Signing Photos