Monthly Archives: January 2018

  • Permalink Gallery

    Senate passes legislation requiring insurers to cover 3D mammography

Senate passes legislation requiring insurers to cover 3D mammography

January 31st, 2018|

The Washington State Senate today voted to expand protections for women’s health by requiring that three-dimensional mammography be covered by health insurance providers.

3D mammography, also known as tomosynthesis, has been shown to improve early detection by 40-percent, which is paramount in winning the fight against cancer.

“About one-in-eight women in the United States can expect to develop breast cancer over the course of their lives,” said Sen. Patty Kuderer, the vice chair of the Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee and sponsor of Senate Bill 5912. “We need to be utilizing and supporting the use of early detection technologies so that we are saving lives and sparing families the tragedy of losing their daughters, sisters, mothers and spouses. This legislation will help ensure that economic circumstance or the type of insurance you have is not a barrier to accessing this life-saving technology.”

When breast cancer is detected during early, localized stages, beating the cancer is almost guaranteed; the relative survival rate spikes to 99 percent of patients living beyond 5 years. However, only 61-percent of cases are detected during these crucial early stages.

“Counting myself among those who have had a loved one diagnosed with cancer, I know what it’s like for a family to endure the emotional and physical toll of treatment,” added Kuderer, D-Bellevue. “No family deserves to go through such difficult times, and I am proud to stand with my Senate colleagues today who supported our efforts to expand early detection.”

The bill directs the Office of the Insurance Commissioner and the Health Care Authority to clarify that existing mandates for mammography include 3D mammography.

SB 5912 passed on a 44-4 vote and now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

  • Permalink Gallery

    KOMO News: State senate passes bill that would require insurers to cover 3D mammography

KOMO News: State senate passes bill that would require insurers to cover 3D mammography

January 31st, 2018|

From KOMONews.com:

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington State Senate voted Wednesday to pass legislation that could help improve the early detection of breast cancer in women, according to a Senate press release.

Senate Bill 5912 would require that health insurance providers cover the 3D mammography, which has been show to improve the early detection of breast cancer by 40 percent, according to the release.

“This legislation will help ensure that economic circumstance or the type of insurance you have is not a barrier to accessing this life-saving technology,” Sen. Patty Kuderer said in the release. 

The bill will now move to the House of Representatives for their vote.

http://komonews.com/news/local/state-senate-passes-bill-to-require-health-insurers-to-cover-3d-mammography

 

  • Permalink Gallery

    Senate Democrats condemn state agency’s cooperation with federal immigration agents

Senate Democrats condemn state agency’s cooperation with federal immigration agents

January 12th, 2018|

News broke on Thursday that the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) has been sharing information with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after being directed not to do so by an executive order issued by Gov. Jay Inslee in 2017. Senate Democrats, led by Sen. Rebecca Saldaña, D-Seattle, released the following statement in response:

“Yesterday, our worst fears were confirmed when we discovered the DOL has been sharing personal, identifying information about individuals with ICE agents—information that has been used to arrest and deport members of our Washington family.

“Gov. Inslee’s directive sent a clear message and we stand with him: all people residing in Washington state deserve to feel safe. We strongly condemn the practices of the Department of Licensing whose cooperation with ICE has hurt Washington families and violated the public’s trust.

“The targeted individuals are our family members, our friends, and our neighbors. They are people who have bravely hoped to build a new life in Washington. The only “crime” these people have committed is they were unable to navigate a broken and failing immigration system.

“We are concerned that this will force people back into the shadows. When people aren’t comfortable utilizing state services, calling law enforcement or obtaining a driver’s license, it makes the entire state less safe.

“At a time when we see the values of our nation being tested, we must stand united. We must remember that we all deserve a life of security. The foundation of our governmental institutions is based on mutual respect and trust with the people we serve.

“Washington has always been a state that opens its doors to immigrants and new Americans. Together, we have worked to make Washington a strong, resilient, and inclusive state; a state where every person is guaranteed access to justice and opportunity.

“We will support the intent of Gov. Inslee’s order by introducing legislation to implement that directive.

“To our immigrant brothers and sisters, we see you. We stand with you.

“We will work to preserve the privacy and dignity that every resident of Washington deserves.”

  • Permalink Gallery

    Kuderer, Baumgartner introduce legislation to put WIAA under state oversight, expand state basketball playoffs

Kuderer, Baumgartner introduce legislation to put WIAA under state oversight, expand state basketball playoffs

January 11th, 2018|

Today, Sen. Patty Kuderer, D-Bellevue, and Sen. Michael Baumgartner, R-Spokane, introduced legislation to put the Washington Interscholastic Athletics Association under state oversight.

“Right now there’s no clear oversight for the WIAA,” said Baumgartner, Republican leader of the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee. “I’ve heard from countless parents that there is no transparency in their decision-making process. This bill ensures that parents will have a voice when key WIAA decisions are made and that there is public accountability in the process.”

“It is important for rules to be clear and consistently applied across all interscholastic programs,” said Kuderer. “My hope is that this bill brings transparency and accountability to an institution that is publicly funded.”

Senate Bill 6336 would place the WIAA under the oversight of the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and would restore a 16-team state tournament format for high school basketball that would be held over consecutive days and played in the same city or county.

“Going to the state basketball tournament is a special opportunity for students and communities. It’s important that the field being able to participate be restored to an expanded 16 teams,” said Baumgartner.

Senate committee to hear Access to Democracy reforms

January 9th, 2018|

A package of elections reform bills to reduce barriers, increase transparency and boost turnout in elections statewide will be heard Wednesday by the Senate State Government, Tribal Relations & Elections Committee.

 

SB 6002, Washington Voting Rights Act

  • Enables cities, counties, school boards and other local elected bodies to voluntarily adopt changes to their elections system that will improve representation in local governments.
  • Rebecca Saldaña, D-Seattle: “Ensuring that every Washingtonian has a seat at the table, and that people of color have the ability to choose their own elected leaders, is our essential duty. We’ve seen in Yakima and Pasco that when given the chance, impacted communities elect leaders who reflect their values and the diversity of their neighborhoods. The Washington Voting Rights Act will put power back into the hands of the people where it belongs, in local elections.”

 

SB 6021, Same Day Voter Registration

  • Authorizes in-person voter registration until 8:00 p.m. on election day and moves up the deadline for online or by mail registration to eight days before an election.
  • Patty Kuderer, D-Bellevue: “Expanding access to our democracy is the core goal of same day voter registration, but it’s also about rebuilding faith in our civic institutions. There are far too many individuals in our state who want to participate in democracy on election day, only to have their voices and their passion squandered. This legislation opens the door to all, ensuring that every eligible voter is fully welcome to engage and have their say.”

 

SB 5991, The DISCLOSE Act

  • Requires nonprofit organizations that are making significant campaign contributions and activities to disclose their top donors.
  • Andy Billig, D-Spokane: “We need to shine light on money spent on elections in Washington State regardless of source. This bill strengthens our democracy and levels the playing field for disclosure by applying the same transparency rules to everyone.”

 

Chaired by Sen. Sam Hunt, D-Olympia, the Access to Democracy package will be heard in the Senate State Government, Tribal Relations & Elections Committee at 8 a.m. Wednesday.

 

“This bold slate of bills would expand access to democracy and implement long-overdue updates to bring Washington elections into the 21st Century,” Hunt said.