How our lawmakers voted

  • Wednesday, February 24, 2021 1:30am
  • News

Last week, the full House and Senate debated and voted on a number of bills, including measures to provide civil legal aid funds for individuals who are in the United States illegally; to allow minors to continue to get abortions without parental consent, and to mandate cultural and racial equity training for healthcare professionals.

House Bill 1072 — Removing one of the restrictions on the use of civil legal aid funds

Passed the House on Feb. 12 by a vote of 56-40(two members excused)

The legislature in 2005 established the Office of Civil Legal Aid (OCLA) as an independent judicial branch agency to administer and oversee state funds appropriated by the legislature for the provision of civil legal aid services to eligible low-income people in Washington.

This law imposed a number of restrictions, including that moneys distributed to qualified legal aid programs by the OCLA may not be used directly or indirectly for representation of individuals who are in the United States without legal authority.

This bill would remove this prohibition, and make legal aid funds provided by taxpayers available for representation of undocumented persons.

Rep. Mike Chapman (D-Port Angeles) Yes

Rep. Steve Tharinger (D-Port Townsend) Yes

Senate Bill 5185 — Concerning capacity to provide informed consent for health care decisions

Passed the Senate on Feb. 16 by a vote of 30-17 (two members excused)

Current Washington law allows adolescents to make health care decisions on their own behalf at age 13 related to behavioral health treatment, at age 14 related to testing for sexually transmitted diseases, and allows decisions related to personal reproductive health care, including abortions, to be made at any age.

This bill would clarify language to affirm that a person is presumed to have the capacity to make health care decisions under current laws, unless subject to a guardianship that includes health care decision making.

A proposed amendment that would remove the capacity of a minor to provide informed consent for abortion services was rejected by voice vote.

Sen. Kevin Van De Wege (D-Sequim) Yes

Senate Bill 5229 — Concerning health equity continuing education for health care professionals

Passed the Senate on Feb. 17 by a vote of 35-14

This bill would require health care professionals to complete health equity education training at least once every four years. It would require these courses to teach skills that enable a health care professional to care effectively for patients from diverse cultures, groups, and communities, varying in race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexuality, religion, age, ability, and socioeconomic status.

During the public hearing on the measure, proponents said the bill is needed, because the health system is not equitable. They said that health professionals should be aware of their own biases, and learn to be more sensitive to the health needs of different communities.

No testimony in opposition to the bill was offered.

Proposed amendments to allow health care professionals to opt out and to limit the cost of such courses were rejected by voice vote.

Sen. Van De Wege Yes.

More in News

Paul Gottlieb/Peninsula Daily News

Tons of metal scrap are being hauled away from Midway Metals, avoiding enforcement action against its Port Orchard owner.
Cleanup begins at Midway Metals

Questions linger over lasting impact

Peninsula law enforcement set E-DUI campaign for April

Law enforcement officials in Clallam and Jefferson counties will engage in “high… Continue reading

Half of adults on Olympic Peninsula have had COVID shots

More than 50 percent of adults on the North Olympic Peninsula have… Continue reading

COVID cases rising on Olympic Peninsula; increase follows statewide trend

Jefferson County on Sunday confirmed six new COVID-19 cases and one death… Continue reading

Port of Port Angeles eyes three finalists for top job

Numbers 9, 10 and 22 are stepping up to the plate. Pending… Continue reading

Working families tax credit heads for approval

• Idea wins broad bi-partisan support; qualified families would qualify for rebate

COVID spikes in Clallam; J & J shots exceeded 600 on Peninsula

Health officials in Clallam and Jefferson counties say more than 650 residents… Continue reading

Mike Pence. Photo courtesy of City of Sequim
City councilor’s video directs foul language toward resident

Conflict continues after locals call for Pence’s resignation

Everyone 16 and older now eligible for COVID vaccine

All Washington state residents 16 and older are eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations… Continue reading

Most Read