‘Now’s the time’: Advocates call on House to pass Patient Safety Act | Thursday Morning Coffee

The bill, which passed the House Health Committee earlier this month in a 12-9 vote, has yet to see a floor vote

By: - June 22, 2023 6:30 am

State Rep. Tarik Khan, D-Philadelphia, speaks at a press conference on the Patient Safety Act on Wednesday, June 21, 2023.

Good Thursday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

“Are you going to protect our patients or not?”

That’s the question nurses and healthcare advocates said they are asking policymakers this week, hoping to spur action on long-sought legislation that they say would improve patient care, and combat staffing concerns at hospitals across the commonwealth.

House Bill 106, also known as the “Patient Safety Act” is sponsored by state Rep. Tom Mehaffie, R-Dauphin, and would establish a minimum nurse-to-patient ratio at Pennsylvania hospitals.

There is currently no limit to the number of patients that can be assigned to a nurse in Pennsylvania.

State Rep. Tarik Khan, D-Philadelphia, said at a press conference on Wednesday that the bill provides a “safe level of accountability,” by setting a floor for what is considered appropriate in terms of staffing standards.

The bill, which passed the House Health Committee earlier this month in a 12-9 vote, has yet to see a floor vote.

A co-sponsor of the bill, state Rep. Kathleen “K.C.” Tomlinson, R-Bucks, said the “commonsense” legislation has bipartisan support.

“As legislators, we come to Harrisburg with the goal of making life better for those in our district and around the Commonwealth. That is what this bill does,” Tomlinson said. “We must put patients above profits.”

Amanda Lapina, vice president of SEIU Healthcare PA, said that nurses — and their patients — have waited long enough for change.

“We’re tired of waiting,” Lapina said. “Our patients cannot wait any longer.”

Pennsylvania State Capitol Building. (Capital-Star photo by Cassie Miller.)

Our stuff

Our Funding the 500 series continues this morning:

Peter Hall reports: Public education advocates say it’s time to fix the way taxpayer money is distributed to charter schools

Ella Lathan writes: Crumbling buildings, asbestos and gun violence add to Philly schools’ challenges


From Sofia Resnick: Abortions in the second and third trimester of pregnancy appear to be on the rise


Plan to fix toxic and crumbling schools passes House Education Committee with GOP reservationsPeter Hall reports.

Pa. Senate confirms Shapiro admin nominees to lead Labor & Industry, DDAP

On our Commentary Page: Jerry Jordan discusses racial justice in the fight for a fair school funding system, and Kym Lambert calls on policymakers to fund ID/A support services


The Philadelphia Inquirer reportsEfforts to overturn Pa.’s landmark education funding lawsuit thwarted

YWCA Lancaster likely to lose county contract a year after criticism from commissioners, according to Lancaster Online.

From The Morning Call: Bethlehem City Council rejects anti-human trafficking partnership that would pair police with Homeland Security

The Pittsburgh Union Progress writes: Allegheny County supports bill to add local taxes to support transit projects

The ceiling of the main Rotunda inside Pennsylvania’s Capitol building. May 24, 2022. Harrisburg, Pa. (Photo by Amanda Berg, for the Capital-Star).
The ceiling of the main Rotunda inside Pennsylvania’s Capitol building on Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (Photo by Amanda Berg for the Capital-Star).

What Goes On

The House will convene at 9 a.m. and the Senate will convene at 11 a.m. on Thursday.

Shapiro Sightings

As of this writing, Gov. Josh Shapiro has no public schedule today

And now you’re up to date.

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry.