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  by Leslie Emerick  MPA
       WEAMA Lobbyist

WEAMA Legislative Alert! We Won!!! SB 6374 allowing PT’s to do Dry Needling is Dead!!

As of 5:00 pm this afternoon, I can confirm that SB 6374 is dead in the Senate Health Care committee. What a wild ride it’s been this week! On Thursday morning it was announced in the committee that the bill had passed out of the health care committee. When I went home to find out what the vote count was and which Senators voted for and against the bill, I was told by the committee staff that there were 6 against and 4 in support of the bill and 3 Senators did not vote, so the bill did not have enough votes to pass out of the committee. Then later in the afternoon, Senator Cleveland changed her vote to support the bill. So the vote went to 5-5, which was too close to call at that point. I asked her today why she changed her vote and she said that she had made a mistake on the signature boards and meant to support all along as she was a co-sponsor on the bill.

Yesterday afternoon I spoke with Senator Ranker who is a strong proponent of East Asian Medicine and he said he would talk to one of the committee members who had not voted yet, Senator Frockt, and he was successful in solidifying his vote against the bill. By the end of the day yesterday the vote was 6-5 against. I have been holding my breath all day that the vote would not change again or at least in the wrong direction!

I am pleased to announce that SB 6374 allowing PT’s to do Dry Needling is dead for this year!

Your calls to legislators made this happen. As Senator Cleveland said to me, “we underestimated the amount of opposition to this bill.” Indeed, they did! Phone lines were flooded in all of the committee member’s offices, some just quit answering the phones as it was overwhelming. One legislative assistant said to me “you are coming in the next time to answer the phones!” This was truly a David and Goliath battle. There are over 6,000 PT’s in Washington State and around 1,500 EAMPs. Thank you all for the wonderful effort that your profession has shown to stop dry needling in Washington State! 

I would also like to thank Curt Eschels, Andy McIntyre, and Zeyiad Elias for their hard work in getting out the legislative alerts in a timely manner and helping to organize calls from EAMPs. Thank you to all the EAMPs who came to Olympia to testify against this bill. You were powerful and effective. It took a team effort to do this and the support of your hard working volunteer WEAMA Board. If there was ever a time to join WEAMA and support their efforts, the time is now. This is your professional association at work!!!