|2 Feb 2024
Public health professionals and advocates convened in Olympia for the Washington State Public Health Association’s (WSPHA) Legislative Education Day on January 24, 2024. This event aimed to highlight the significance of public health in legislative discussions, providing attendees with insights into the legislative process and opportunities to engage with lawmakers. Participants heard from Representative Paul Harris – who provided a “behind the curtain” perspective of the session and tips for discussing public health topics across both sides of the aisle. With nearly every district represented, attendees shared stories illustrating the impact of foundational public health services funding, the public health role in opioid crisis response, and the importance of prevention and community-based policy in addressing key public health challenges.
The opioid crisis rages on in Washington - with two people dying every day from overdoses in 2022. The Legislature has taken up responding to this crisis as a top priority for both the House and Senate, with several proposals aimed at education and prevention. Additional bills provide a more comprehensive approach to addressing misuse, addiction, prevention, and treatment.
Here are a few of the many opioid crisis bills this year: