House approves two Jinkins health care bills

OLYMPIA – The House of Representatives today voted strongly in favor of two health care bills sponsored by Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, sending them to the Senate for further consideration. Approved with votes of 93-0 and 93-1, House Bill 1488 and HB 1304, respectively, are the first pieces of legislation to pass for Jinkins, who is one month into her first term.

“These aren’t high-profile or controversial bills, but they’re important in clarifying health care laws and making systems run more efficiently. In this rough budget climate, it’s more important than ever to look for smart ways to work together as everyone deals with fewer resources,” Jinkins said.

HB 1488 updates requirements for the Washington State Board of Health, a body that works with the state Secretary of Health to engage citizens in the development of public-health policies. Jinkins says the bill reduces duplicative reporting requirements and “cleans up” some duties that are better covered by other state agencies or are not as necessary as they once were.

HB 1304 makes a correction to a law passed in 2009 regarding which health care assistants can administer certain kinds of drugs. Jinkins’ bill puts patient safety first by lining up professional training with the types of drugs that can be given.

Long an advocate for public health, Jinkins continues to focus on the issue in the Legislature. She has proposed several other health care bills this session, and she serves as the vice chair of the House Health Care and Wellness Committee.