Government Affairs Committee
The purpose of the GAC is to educate members about legislation that affects emergency nursing, emergency services and emergency care. Please encourage your fellow chapter members and colleagues to use this web page as a reference for emergency nursing advocacy.
- Email: email@example.com
- Chair – Stephanie Jensen
- Board Liaison – Debby Rogers
People often say, with pride, “I’m not interested in politics.” They might as well say, “I’m not interested in my standard of living, my health, my job, my rights, my future or any future. . . “If we mean to keep any control over our world and lives, we must be interested in politics.
Martha Gellhorn, journalist
(Patton et al., 2019)
Government Affairs Premier Events
Legislative Day 2024 – Sacramento, CA
Save The Date: March 13, 2024
In-Person & Virtual Options Available – CEUs offered
- Learn about the legislative process and how to connect with your elected officials.
- Identify CA ENA legislative priorities for the current legislative session.
- Meet with key state legislators and network with colleagues.
Day On The Hill (DOTH) Spring 2024* – Washington, D.C.
ENA’s premier annual advocacy event on Capitol Hill! Receive education about ENA’s current policy priorities, training on how to be an effective emergency nursing advocate, meet with federal lawmakers, and network with colleagues.
*Date TBD but applications will be available in January 2024
2023 Legislative Updates
California ENA 2023 legislative priorities include the following bills, with board-approved positions noted. For additional information, please refer to the “California Legislative Process” and “Resource” sections.
Bill Tracker List**
**Updated weekly by ENA lobbyist, Connie Delgado
DELGADO GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS
- EN411: sign up for alerts on Federal legislation: http://en411.ena.org
It is not too late. . . please contact your individual U.S. Representative to ask for co-sponsorship of ENA policy priorities, or if your Representative is already a co-sponsor of a priority bill, simply thank them for their support. The key is: ask.
Find your Congressional lawmakers:
Note: Our CA ENA DOTH delegation met with Senator Feinstein and Senator Padilla legislative staff members on Capitol Hill during DOTH 2023.
2023 ENA Policy Priorities – Bills Summary
- WPV Prevention – H.R .2663/S. 1176 – referred to committees in each House
- MH Access in the ED – S. 1346 – House intro is expected soon
- Prevent BLEEDing Act – S. 1653 – House intro is expected soon
- MISSION Zero Act – H.R. 2416 – Senate intro expected soon
Want to follow-up with a representative via email? Download the one-pagers to attach to those messages. You can also print these for use in future meetings in the district or state office.
- Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act
- Workplace Violence in Emergency Departments Infographic
- Improving Mental Health Access from the Emergency Department Act
You and your colleagues can further support emergency nurses against workplace violence by clicking this link to contact your representatives today urging them to co-sponsor and support the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act – H.R. 2663/S. 1176.
Who to Follow on Social Media
Congressional Nursing Caucus
- House of Representatives
- Co-Chair: Rep. Suzanne Bonamici – @RepBonamici
- Co-Chair: Rep. Dave Joyce – @RepDaveJoyce
- Vice-Chair: Rep. Jennifer Kiggans – @JenKiggans
- Vice-Chair: Rep. Lauren Underwood – @RepUnderwood
- Co-Chair: Sen. Jeff Merkley – @SenJeffMerkley
- Co-Chair: Sen. Roger Wicker – @SenatorWicker
Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act
- Sen. Tammy Baldwin – @SenatorBaldwin
- Rep. Joe Courtney – @RepJoeCourtney
Improving Mental Health Access from the Emergency Department Act
- Rep. Raul Ruiz – @RepRaulRuizMD
- Sen. Shelley Moore Capito – @SenCapito
- Sen. Maggie Hassan – @Maggie_Hassan
Committee Report to State Council
Primary focus of the pre-SC zoom meeting (8/1/23) and State Council (8/12/23) meeting included discussion on the implementation of our strategic goals.
We had 6 members attend the zoom meeting and was facilitated by GAC Chair, Stephanie Jensen. The State Council meeting attendance included all in-person and virtual members attending that day.
Board-approved GAC Strategic Goals:
1. Improve Leg Day attendance (in person and virtually) by 10% year over year.
a. Establish early registration by January annually with social media and Chapter Representatives promotion of the event
b. Advertise the LEG DAY education component (free CEUs for members) with earlier marketing (November Education event) and (January) registration links
c. Continued/frequent marketing for Leg Day during 1st quarter annually
2. Engage members with legislator contacts increased by 20%.
a. Early Leg Day Registration and tutorials for contacting legislators
b. Identify barriers to contacting legislators with Leg Day attendees and GAC survey (Q3- 2023)
Barriers identified are lack of understanding of the political process, funding, and time.
Will offer Chapter meeting “mini Leg Day” events that include free CEU opportunity; market to nursing school students to educate; and engage at the local level membership to discuss benefits of Grassroots and Grasstops representation to promote our profession, and improve patient outcomes.
We conducted our LEG DAY BILL READ PARTY, reviewing the pdf list provided. We had discussion among the attendees to identify bills that fall into the ENA policy priority lane, but additionally, identified key bills that may potentially evolve into issues that affect ENA members, either positively or negatively. Therefore, several bills were placed on a “watch” list. Topics include: APOT/APOD, workplace violence, injury prevention, many bills covering the opioid/fentanyl crisis.
We had 14 members participate on the Zoom meeting, with Board members Al Duke, President and Debby Rogers, Past President (GAC Board Liaison) in attendance.
The meeting was facilitated by GAC Chair, Stephanie Jensen.
The link below is for members to look up local state legislative members and are encouraged to arrange meetings during the Leg Day Advocacy event on March 22, 2023 in Sacramento, or virtually, at the earliest opportunity.
State Updates: We had a state legislation update from Connie Delgado, ENA lobbyist, and reviewed updates on the Bill Tracker list that were made at 5/18/22 hearings. Discussions centered on two bills in particular: AB 2242 (Santiago) Mental Health Services, to take a position of Oppose Unless Amended AB 1598 (Davies) Controlled Substance Testing, to support. These bills will be taken to the Board for approval of positions and submittal of letters to appropriate legislators. S. 864 (Fentanyl UDS capabilities in hospital settings) has moved to the Assembly. SB 2260 (Emergency response trauma kits) should go for vote in Assembly next week. Federal Updates: Day On The Hill (DOTH) 2022 was a great success this year, with California delegates meeting on Capitol Hill to advocate for: 1. Future Advancement of Academic Nursing (FAAN) Act HR 851/S 246, which creates funding for nursing students, facilities and support systems to address nursing shortages. Shortages directly impact the ED and contribute to APOT problems. 2. Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (S. 4182/HR 1195). Senator Baldwin (D-WI) introduced the bill on the Senate floor last week, after holding a press conference with ACEP and ENA representatives during our DOTH activities. Senators Feinstein and Padilla both signed as co-sponsors of this bill. 3. Effective Suicide Screening and Assessment in the Emergency Department Act (HR 1324/S 467). Passed the House on a voice vote, looking for a big push to get the Senate to do the same. Reach out to your legislators, state and federal, to make those connections. Don’t forget to vote in the CA primary coming up. Elections have consequences. Work continues to refine the proposed Fentanyl UDS Resolution to take to General Assembly.
We met in person and virtually for CA ENA Annual Legislative Day, hearing from our lobbyist, Connie Delgado and State Council President, Debby Rogers, educating us on the legislative process and how to talk with those legislators; State lawmakers (Senator Pan, Assembly members Wood and Rodriguez) interacted with our attendees via zoom, to discuss their policy priorities, and fielded questions about CA ENA policy priorities; Dr. Lev and special guest Juli Shamash presented on fentanyl drug testing, in support of SB 864, a bill that passed 11-0 out of Senate Health Committee later that day. Additionally, it was proposed to present a Resolution regarding fentanyl drug screening. Updates will be forthcoming on this item. For those attending in person, we were able to take a tour of the State Capitol, thanks to our tour guides, Debby Rogers and Jen Denno. During State Council the following day, we discussed bills on our “watch” list, and had a group discussion providing updates on APOT, Workplace Violence, and Day On The Hill announcements. It was a fantastic 2-day event, exposing both veteran and novice attendees to the political process and effective ways to advocate for issues that remain a priority for CA ENA.
Next stop: Capitol Hill in May for National ENA advocacy “Day On The Hill”.
We had a pre-State Council zoom meeting to discuss format for upcoming Legislative Day 2022, including potential speakers and legislative priorities for CAL ENA 2022. Attending members provided suggestions and concluded that in-person education with a virtual option, followed by virtual meetings with legislators on March 23, 2022 will be the best use of time and resources.
GAC participated in State Council, introducing our newly retained lobbyist, Connie Delgado. Connie gave a brief overview of the Legislative Calendar for 2022, and provided updates on the legislative climate. We continued the meeting by having a robust discussion on AB 1394 regarding CAL ENA opinions and recommendations for the ages of Suicide Screening. We will discuss this bill further with CHA next week and SBAR to the Board. Save The Dates were provided: March 2, 2022 for GAC Bill-reading party, and March 23, 2022 for Leg Day. Legislative priorities were discussed with proposed meetings: joint webinar (Date TBD) with CHA on Fentanyl Testing in the ED to address the Opioid Crisis; introduction meeting with members of California District Attorneys Association (CDAA) to advocate ENA’s position on Workplace Violence. Members offered resources for Human Trafficking education. Website improvements are in process, recommendations made by several GAC members.
Federal bill update:
Effective Suicide Screening and Assessment in the Emergency Department Act
Creates a grant program to assist EDs to develop protocols for identifying, assessing and treating individuals who are at-risk for suicide.
Currently in Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Medical Supply Transparency and Delivery Act of 2020
Would require the appointment of an individual to oversee federal acquisition and deliver of critical equipment and supplies (including PPE) related to COVID-19 outbreak. This individual would also be involved in supply chains related to the expanded availability of testing, as well as the production and distribution of a vaccine, when available.
Referred to the Committee on Financial Services, and in addition to the Committees on Transportation and Infrastructure, Armed Services, and Energy and Commerce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
COVID-19 Every Worker Protection Act of 2020
Compels OSHA to enact an Emergency Temporary Standard which would be followed by a permanent standard related to infection control for the novel coronavirus. This legislation would ensure employers are held accountable for protecting their workers from coronavirus and other novel pathogens.
Referred to the Committee on Education and Labor, and in addition to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
Federal bills: https://www.congress.gov
AB329 workplace violence, Rodriguez: Pulled by the author, Senate Public Safety Committee doesn’t see enough data to support and doesn’t want any bills creating more prisoners
AB2053 trauma kits in public buildings, Rodriguez: Failed in appropriations
SB793 Tobacco sales to minors, Hill: Signed into law
AB890 Expand nurse practitioner scope, Wood: Signed into law
State bills: https://legiscan.com
Summary of current status in the California legislative process during COVID-19
- There has been a reduction of bill loads due to COVID-19 pandemic
- Lots of high tensions due to pandemic pressures
- Currently doing all processes by phone unless emergent or urgent
Cal ENA Targeted California Legislation
AB 1544 – Community Paramedicine Bill Update, Author: Senator Gibson
- Cal ENA opposes this bill as this bill includes language that will cause Cal ENA to lose its seat
- Author decided not to move the bill in June 2020
- Currently in “Inactive File” on the Senate floor; 3 stops from the Governor’s office
- Connie Delgado, Cal ENA’s lobbyist, and Cal ENA reps met with Senator Gibson on a call to discuss and advocate against the Cal ENA seat removal in July 2020
- Delgado has continued to advocate against the Cal ENA seat removal
- Currently awaiting next steps; Delgado is on an updated floor alert, monitoring, and prepped to respond
AB 329 – Assaults on Emergency Workers, ENA Sponsored Bill
- Currently in Senate Public Safety
- Legislatures in Senate Public Safety have interest in decreasing legislation that contributes to prison population
- Assemblymember Rodriguez asked if AB 329 could be given to another legislator, signifying that the bill was rewritten with language focused on law enforcement only
- Cal ENA approved this move per realistic restrictions posed by the pandemic situation
- Assemblymember Rodriguez voiced to Delgado that he was very sympathetic to the lack of success of the bill
AB 890 – Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice Bill, Author: Assemblymember Wood
- Cal ENA is in support with a coalition of other individuals and organizations
- Delgado testified in support on behalf of Cal ENA
- Some physicians and BRN are opposing citing a variety of issues
- Some NPs are also testifying opposition
- Passed Business and Professions Committee
SB 793 Flavored Tobacco Bill
- Cal ENA is in support
- Delgado testified in support on behalf of Cal ENA
- Flavored tobacco industry testified against
- Next to be heard in the Appropriations Committee
Day Off the Hill
- Federal virtual advocacy day was held for national ENA
ENA Targeted Federal Legislation
HR 4861, SB 3006 Suicide Screening in the ED
- ENA is in support
- Already in place in California
- Potential issues: Slowing of patient throughput in EDs if no local mental health support resources exist for those who screen positive for suicidal tendencies
HR 6711, SB 3627 Medical Supply and Transparency Act (PPE related)
- ENA is in support
- Provide transparency to where medical supplies and PPE are going within the United States from the national level
New Legislation: HR 7255 Healthcare Wellness Act
- Written to provide mental health support to healthcare worker
New Legislation: SB 4399 Healthcare Worker Protection Act
- Written to provide mental health support to healthcare worker
New Legislation: HR 6809 Workplace Protection Act
- If hospitals are receiving federal support, nurses would not be able to be laid off even if the census drops in their elective or specialty area
We just finished another great Legislative Day! We had many participants from around the state and were able to visit multiple Legislators and Leg aides to discuss our issues. We had great speakers during our morning education session including representatives from Cal ACEP, CHA, and the Sacramento Mayor Pro Tem. Our leave behind included the bills we are supporting: AB329, Rodriguez (D), AB2053, Rodriguez (D), SB793, Hill (D), AB890, Wood (D). We are excited to announce that we have hired a lobbyist, Connie Delgado who will be helping us increase our presence at the state Capitol and navigate the legislation process on our issues. The Government Affairs Co-Chairs and state Board will work directly with Connie for day-to-day operations and keep members updated when needed to testify or send letters to the Capitol. 10 ENA members will be heading to Washington D.C. in April for the National ENA Day on the Hill.
The Government Affairs committee provided an update on AB1544 and AB329. AB521 passed with our support on 2019. We are getting ready for Legislative Day 2020 on March 4! The registration is open and there is a $25 fee that will be returned when the registrant shows up for Leg day (to help offset costs of people not showing up). Hotel rooms will be available at the ENA rate but paid by the registrant. We will have a bill reading party on February 23, 2020 across the state via Skype. For any questions/info contact firstname.lastname@example.org
California Legislative Process
Overview of the California Legislative Process:
GAC recommendations for bills related to current policy priorities:
1. Watch – CA ENA doesn’t have a position and will continue to watch the bill.
2. Support – CA ENA supports the bill in its present form.
3. Support if amended – CA ENA is requesting changes but would support even if no changes were made.
4. Oppose – CA ENA opposes (we include the rationale for opposition and suggestions to eliminate opposition).
5. Oppose unless amended (OUA) – CA ENA would oppose the bill unless changes were made (letters should include requested amendments).
6. Concerns – Express concerns and maybe provide language to eliminate CA ENA concern.
Status: When a bill goes to APPR (Appropriations Committee), this indicates the program requires more than $150,000 in funding.
Government Affairs Resources
- California bill tracking: You can find both the Assembly and the Senate bills on this page. You can also subscribe to a bill to get an update on when it is being heard, in what committee and any changes in the language.
- How to find your California State legislators:
- Contact the Governor | California Governor
- Legiscan: track bills and create alerts for state legislation.
- The Daily File: schedule of committee and bill hearings at the state capitol app.