Mosbrucker provisos pass in state operating budget

A new two-year state operating budget that passed the Legislature Sunday includes two provisos from Rep. Gina Mosbrucker that will help those afflicted with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and fund a program that provides for expedited DNA processing in crime cases.

Section 962 of Senate Bill 5092, the 2021-23 operating budget measure, requires the Department of Social and Health Services to consider pediatric and juvenile rheumatologists for eligibility of the health professional loan repayment and scholarship program. Mosbrucker said this will help expand the pool of rheumatologists across the state.

“My former legislative assistant has a son who suffers from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA). It is a painful and debilitating affliction that affects more than 6,000 children across Washington state. At the time he was diagnosed, there were only two doctors in the state that specialized in the treatment of JRA and they were both in Seattle,” said Mosbrucker, R-Goldendale. “The proviso I added to the budget makes sure pediatric and juvenile rheumatologists have access to existing student loan repayment programs. This will help attract more of these specialists for the treatment of children on both sides of our state.”

The proviso has no cost to taxpayers.

Mosbrucker originally introduced the proviso as House Bill 2852 during the 2020 session, however it did not move out of the House Appropriations Committee.

The second proviso, Section 402 of the operating budget, appropriates funding for an enhanced forensic capabilities pilot program that provides expedited DNA technology and forensic services to assist in crime scene evidence.

“We have backlogs of DUI tests dating back four months, which is not acceptable. We also need to ensure untested sexual assault kits are processed in a timely manner and not sitting on shelves while perpetrators are running free,” said Mosbrucker, ranking Republican on the House Public Safety Committee. “This program would use these new forensic investigative services at Washington State Patrol laboratories in Cheney, Vancouver and the Puget Sound area so we can get results back quickly for a safer public.”

By Dec. 31, 2021, the Washington State Patrol is required to submit a plan to the Legislature that addresses protocols for the use and operation of the pilot program, while maintaining civil liberties and protecting individual privacy. The report must also provide a description of how expedited DNA technology and forensic services will tie into the State Patrol's existing crime lab operations.

The bill was delivered to the governor on Monday for his consideration.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov