[NFBWATlk] Great state and national Legislative news!

Betty Fitzpatrick mamamacbear at gmail.com
Fri Feb 11 20:31:39 UTC 2022

Hi Marci, That is great news. Now do we need to bring it to the Senate and how are we going about it. Would you like me to contact Senator Cleveland about the bill. Is it already being brought to the senate? Let me know how I can best help. Betty 

-----Original Message-----
From: NFBWATlk <nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org> On Behalf Of Marci Carpenter via NFBWATlk
Sent: Thursday, February 10, 2022 5:48 PM
To: nfbwa-students at nfbnet.org; CCCNFBW at nfbnet.org; NFBWATLK at nfbnet.org; Seattle Chapter <nfbsea at nfbnet.org>
Cc: Marci Carpenter <Mjc59 at comcast.net>
Subject: [NFBWATlk] Great state and national Legislative news!

This has been a busy time but our efforts are paying off both of the state and national levels.

On the national level, Representative Herrera Beutler, who was already at cosponsor of HR 431, signed on this week to our other two pieces of national legislation; the Medical Device Nonvisual Accessibility Act (HR 4853) and the Transformation to Competitive Integrated Employment Act (HR2373). She is now cosponsoring all three of our bills and is a true champion of our cause. Our Clark County members did an excellent job of presenting our issues during our meeting with the Congresswoman.

On the state level, I mentioned earlier that things can move very fast and they certainly did this week. We had submitted an amendment to a bill regarding making prescription labels available in foreign languages to add the requirement for providing accessible prescription labels to blind, low vision and print disabled customers. The first version of the amendment as it was written by legislative staff was very vague on our issue and contained no details. It didn’t do anything that the state pharmacy commission isn’t already authorized to do. I emailed legislators telling them that the language for our amendment needed to be stronger. Late yesterday afternoon I received an email from  state Rep. Eileen Cody with a revised and much stronger amendment. She emailed me about five minutes later to say that the bill was probably going to come up for a vote on the house floor within 30 minutes. It did and it passed! What it says about accessible prescription labels is that the pharmacy commission must establish rules for accessible prescription labels, that it must do so by July 1, 2024, and that it must report back to the legislature by July 1, 2023 on its progress. 

All of this progress reaffirms to me the power of our collective action and the value and influence of the National Federation of the Blind. I would not have known how to write an amendment or how to get it it included without the work of Mike Freeman and other state and national leaders who went before me. We are able to do what we do today and will continue to do because of the efforts of all of our members in building on our work.

We will have a few more congressional meetings coming up in the next two weeks. Stay tuned for more, folks.

Thank you everyone!

Marci Carpenter

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