Welcome to the inaugural issue of Health Policy News for the 2016 Session of the Washington State Legislature! We will come to you each week with updates about legislative action impacting community health.
Expectations are low for many policy bills to pass this session. It is a "short session" in an election year. Legislators will want to conclude business in their scheduled time and hit the campaign trail. As they return to Olympia, lawmakers face a budget deficit caused by increased caseloads and enrollments, and the McCleary state Supreme Court case on education. In August, the state Supreme Court delivered a unanimous order and began fining the legislature $100,000 a day for failure to develop a plan to fully fund K-12 public education as directed by its 2012 McCleary decision. The McCleary case directs legislators to boost education by billions of dollars by the 2017-18 school year. Thursday, during a briefing with reporters, legislators reviewed a plan to fund McCleary, but acknowledged finding the funding will take a year.
The Legislature will also face funding of charter schools, which were ruled unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court, the Friday before the Labor Day weekend. Initiative 1366, passed by Washington voters in November puts in the Legislature in a position where it must either send a constitutional amendment to the people requiring a two thirds vote in the legislature or a public vote for all tax increases or the state sales tax is lowered by 1% from 6.5% to 5.5% on April 15, 2016. This one percent reduction in the state sales tax would result in about a $1 billion loss in tax revenue.
How are social services professionals using NEAR (Neuroscience, Epigenetics, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and Resilience) science and knowledge? Home visiting and mental health professionals, along with other experts have come together to create, review and test a new toolkit designed as a training manual with guided processes to safely and effectively talk about the trauma of Adverse Childhood Experiences.
The NEAR@Home toolkit, designed over a three plus year period by federal Health Resources and Services Administration Region X (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington), Quen Zorrah (Thrive WA), Laura Porter, and others, is a "guided process to talk about trauma and resilience in Home Visiting".
The Healthy Living Collaborative (HLC) is constantly focusing on upstream solutions that support community-based initiatives to improve health and wellness. The HLC is committed to strengthening families, neighborhoods, and systems in order to ensure health equity. HLC brings together partners from all sectors, combining resources and ideas, to improve the lives of everyone.
Click on the link to the Healthy Living Collaborative's 2015 Strategy document to see what the policy priorities are for this year.
Please join us in thanking Governor Inslee for protecting the historic transportation investments our members worked so hard on this session. Please find details in the action alert from the Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition attached. To thank Governor Inslee, use the link here from Washington Bikes.
I finally feel like it really is Sine Die to the 2015 Washington State Legislative Session
- at long last!
Thank you for all of your active engagement the last week!
The Learning Institute's Laura Porter participated in a recent webinar for the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the role of health systems in building resilience:Adversity, Resilience and the Role of Health Systems in Prevention
Adversity in childhood, particularly in the absence of protective factors, can have profound developmental consequences. If not addressed, childhood adversity can initiate a “cascade” of risk factors, often leading to behavior problems, school failure, substance abuse and other negative outcomes. Health care personnel are in a unique position to identify and intervene early in this process. By educating families, strengthening protective factors, and working with children to build resilience, health care workers can help to prevent the onset of problems later in childhood or adolescence.
This webinar provides a brief overview of adversity, resilience, and implications for prevention of substance abuse and other negative outcomes. It also describes effective prevention approaches in a variety of healthcare settings, including pediatric hospitals, emergency departments, school health clinics, and home visiting programs. Particular attention is paid to a dual-generation approach and to building partnerships for prevention.
Click here to view the recorded webinar.
- The Preventive Health and Health Service Block Grant
- Childhood Immunization Program (317 Grant)
- Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention
- Cancer Programs
What should you do?
- E-mail or phone Congressman McDermott to thank him for his remarks in support of the PPHF today.
- Send an e-mail or call your member (or the entire Washington State Congressional Delegation if you are a statewide organization) and let them know you/or your organization are opposed to using the PPHF to offset H.R. 1190.
- Click here for a list of the Washington State Congressional District Directors, Health LAs, and numbers to the DC offices to contact your local representative.
Meanwhile, here in Washington State there is still no agreement on an operating budget for 2015-2017. Without an operating budget by June 30, the Washington State government will begin a potential partial shutdown.
For more Federal and State updates, see the full Health Policy News You Can Use.
Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF), detailed activities by agency (dollars in millions)
Health, Safety & Resilience: Foundations for Health Equity (Washington State Adverse Childhood Experiences data, Winter 2015)
This report presents breaking news from the people of Washington State, viewed through the lens of a bundle of science we are calling "NEAR": Neuroscience, Epigenetics, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and Resilience.
The source of data used to generate maps, data tables and charts in this report is the Washington State Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, or "BRFSS." The Learning Institute at Healthy Gen has been working consistently to improve the data and in this report presents a look at the current ACEs burden in Washington by age and geography, information on the intergenerational transmission of ACEs, and the potentially mitigating effects of social support, help and community reciprocity factors.
Community Context for Academic Achievement; A Report on Community Factors that Predict Resilience & Prevention in Nine Randomly Selected Communities in Washington