Your King County Medical Society has been active in advocating for policy improvement on issues that the KCMS delegates written. Earlier this week, several KCMS members and your CEO Nancy L. Belcher testified in Olympia for three (3) bills that aligned with our delegation’s goals.
The first was SB 6288 – Creating the Washington Office of Firearm Violence Prevention. This bill directly aligns with one of the resolutions submitted by KCMS to the WSMA House of Delegates last October. Our resolution asked for the creation of a government organization that could fund research into firearm violence, suicide prevention, and safe storage practices. While SB 6288 has differences to what was drafted by our delegates, it is a bill with the goal of a state funded organization that could help improve public safety. This is legislation that KCMS is more than willing to support.
HB 1860 aims to address the issue of lead in the drinking water of public schools. Lead testing is another priority item from our delegates, and improving the quality of lead testing and ensuring that no children are still being affected by lead poisoning is a priority of the Society, and was one that we testified in support of.
The last bill on our list was HB 2468, one that we recommended be amended. This house bill has a lengthy title – “Improving the effectiveness and adequacy of the workforce education investment surcharge by decreasing compliance and administrative burdens for taxpayers and the department of revenue.” – but is essentially a B&O tax that effects small service businesses, like independent providers (solo practitioners). This B&O tax was another item that our delegates (and others at the WSMA conference) spoke out strongly against. In the end, this tax will increase the burden on smaller, private practice physicians. It could potentially force them to lay off personnel, turn away patients, or even force a practice to close. As an organization that wants its members to be empowered to practice in the way they like, and adding another burden on the increasingly rare private physicians is not something we can ignore. As such, we are advocating for an amendment to be added to the B&O bill which would exempt private practice physicians from the tax.
Thank you to all of our delegates and their amazing input. We will continue to serve you as a champion for the issues important to you.