How our lawmakers voted

How our state legislators voted last week:

• Senate Bill 5079, Concerning dental health services in tribal settings

Passed the House on Thursday, Feb. 9, by a vote of 80-18

This bill, which passed the Senate by a 49-0 vote on Feb. 1, provides state authorization for the practice of Dental Health Aide Therapists (DHAT’s) on tribal reservations in Washington. The federal Indian Health Service (IHS) is working to develop and expand its Community Health Aide program that serves American Indians and native Alaskans. Such an expansion expressly excludes DHATs from undertaking services covered under a program unless DHAT services are authorized under state law. Washington does not currently have a DHAT license and has not authorized the practice of DHATs.

Rep. Mike Chapman (D-Federal Way) Y

Rep. Steve Tharinger (D-Sequim) Y is a project of the Washington Policy Center. See

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