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WSMTA Legislative Update

11 Mar 2020 7:55 PM | Government Relations (Administrator)

The regular session of the 2020 Washington State Legislature officially ended on March 12. With our state being hit hard by Covid-19, I would not be surprised to see the Governor call a special session at some point. If a special session is called, it will not affect the bills that WSMTA has been following this session. Here is an update on those bills.

SSB 5097: This bill passed both the House and the Senate and is awaiting the Governors signature. This bill will amend RCW 18.108.045. It will require all licensed massage therapists and certified reflexologist to have available for inspection some form of government issued photo identification. The name on the identification must match the name on the massage license or reflexology certificate. The exact language is below.

A massage therapist licensed under this chapter or a reflexologist certified under this chapter must have government issued photo identification on his or her person or have it be available for inspection by city, county, or state law enforcement or department personnel at all times he or she practices massage therapy or reflexology. The name of the massage therapist or reflexologist on the government-issued photo identification must match the name on the massage therapy license or reflexology certification.

HB 1082: This was a companion bill to SSB 5097. The language was essentially the same as SSB 5097. So, when SSB 5097 passed the House and Senate, HB 1082 no longer needs to continue its journey.

HB 2294: This was a bill that would have expanded the definition of who is covered by RCW 9A.36.031 to include all healthcare providers. Previously, only doctors and nurses in a hospital setting were covered healthcare providers in this RCW. This bill died in the House Public Safety Committee. The Committee members were very reluctant to expand the definition of this RCW to include more special groups. The exact language is below.

A person is guilty of assault in the third degree (a class C felony, instead of simple assault which is a gross misdemeanor) if he or she, under circumstances not amounting to assault in the first or second degree: (i) Assaults a healthcare provider regulated under Title 18 RCW who was performing health care duties at the time of the assault.

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