Warn out-of-state relatives: Stay away from Oregon, there’s a State of Emergency! Well, pending passage of Senate Bill 11. According to the editor’s description, SB 11: “Requires specified health professional regulatory boards to collect information from licensees and report information to Department of Human Services for creation of healthcare workforce database. Declares emergency, effective on passage.” Emphasis added. If it becomes law, Houston, we have an emergency! More correctly, SB 11, in its opening line and in Section 6, notes that we already have lack-of-data-time-to-panic chaos in the streets. “This 2009 Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, an emergency is declared to exist, and this 2009 Act takes effect on its passage.” Over the last few sessions, lots of Washington State legislation has been labeled “emergency.“ One reason: There, such laws so deemed couldn’t be touched by citizen initiatives. Is that why Oregon legislators are screaming fire about health care data collection? How many other anti-initiative “emergency” bills will there be?
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