4/17/17: There is an update to this post here.We Have New Anti-Assault Legislation!
As most of you may recall, HB #1164 was filed in the 2016 legislative session with the intent to strengthen penalties for assault on a healthcare worker from a misdemeanor to a felony.
HB #1164 was tabled, sent to study, whatever you want to call it -- it was DOA at the end of the 2016 legislative session.
However, new legislation was introduced for the current 2017 session, Docket #HD1329, which, like its would-be predecessor, will help protect healthcare workers who have been assaulted in a work environment setting.
Once this new legislation was introduced - or reintroduced, if you will - I, along with my fabulous colleague, friend and Board Member Jeanne White, conducted a vigorous email campaign to Massachusetts House and Senate legislators for co-sponsors of this proposed new Bill. Our efforts were a success - we ended up with 55 co-sponsors for Docket# HD 1329! This took time, diligence and dogged determination, but we achieved a tremendous goal.
I'd also like to give a boisterous shout-out to Lisa Field and the Massachusetts Nurses Association for lending a strong and solid hand in this tremendous effort; we are so fortunate to be in partnership with MNA on the issue of felony legislation.
So what's the next step? The proposed legislation has been sent to the House Clerk's Office where it will be assigned a bill number. The bill will then be sent to the appropriate committee.
I and the rest of the Stop Healthcare Violence Team is forever grateful for the support and encouragement of you, our followers.
Please stay tuned for more updates, as we will surely be seeking assistance once this new piece of legislation gets underway.
Sheila Wilson, RN, BSN, MPH
President, Stop Healthcare Violence
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