The ACA, Evergreen Legislative team will try to keep track of legislation which might influence camps or be of interest. Here are some current bills you might keep an eye on.
WARNING: This is not a comprehensive list. Please let the Field Office know of legislation you are aware of which needs monitoring. This could be Federal, State, or local governments.
The U.S. Senate passed thier version of the Immigration Reform Bill by a vote of 68-32 yesterday afternoon. While we wished the Immigration Reform Bill did not include cultural exchange programs at all, at least the two amendments written earlier this week were included in the final version. Read more about the details of the Bill and ACA's interpretation of what this means for camp cultural exchange programs: http://www.acacamps.org/publicpolicy/senate-immigration-bill-impact-camps 
The Senate just voted 67-27 to advance the Corker-Hoeven amendment which clears the way for a final vote in the Senate on the overall bill later this week. The amendment is likely the last major change to underlying bill that will be considered ahead of the vote before the full SEnate, which is expected Thursday.
Dear State Camp Associations, ACA Affiliates, and Organizations with Camp Programs:
We are happy to share the encouraging news of what happened today in the U.S. Senate regarding the immigration reform bill. Champions have been found who have stepped up and presented amendments that - if passed - would protect the future of the cultural exchange program!
You will recall from our key messages about the Immigration Reform Bill S. 744  that there were two provisions of concern - the first would classify our J-1 international cultural exchange visitors as workers, and the second would impose a $500 fee on camp support staff (summer work travel participants).
Today, two amendments were introduced to address those concerns:
1. Senator Angus King of Maine sponsored Amendment 1527. This amendment would specifically exclude cultural exchange visitors from Subtitle F, and thus ensures that cultural exchange visitors are not defined as workers. Instead, a new Subtitle I is presented which would address the issues of protecting the participant from human trafficking. Read all of the details here. 
2. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin sponsored Amendment 1483: This amendment would reduce the Summer Work Travel fee from $500 to $100, and would eliminate the language that bars the participant from paying the fee. Read all of the details here. 
However, as is always the case with Congress, this is very complex. Both amendments were introduced this afternoon under the umbrella of another large amendment package, known as the Corker-Hoeven Amendment. Many, many things are included in the umbrella.
So, we are cautiously optimistic that our issues will not be drowned out by the other more controversial pieces of the immigration reform bill and the umbrella amendment. We anticipate that the Corker-Hoeven Amendment will be debated on Monday. We are not calling you to additional action at this time - but we will keep you posted on progress.
If you have any questions – please contact me! And – please continue to spread the word that we need more testimonials on the value of the camp cultural exchange program – especially from non-English-speaking-country participants – testimonials can be submitted online at: http://www.acacamps.org/publicpolicy/cultural-exchange-testimonials .
Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Epidemic Declared in WA
Keep your camp healthy this summer during the whooping cough epidemic
By Washington State Secretary of Health Mary C. Selecky
Governor Chris Gregoire has announced an emergency action to slow the spread of whooping cough (pertussis) in the state. Just a month ago, I declared that whooping cough had reached epidemic levels in Washington. If the pace continues, we’re headed toward the highest number of reported cases  here since the early 40s.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Only 10-12 percent of cases are reported because many teens and adults don’t get sick enough to go in for medical treatment and testing.
Whooping cough is a highly contagious. It causes cold-like symptoms, spreads by coughing and sneezing, and can last for weeks. It’s a miserable illness for teens and adults but very serious for babies who often catch it from relatives and other adults. Sadly, it has taken the lives of four Washington babies in the last two years and hospitalized dozens more. I encourage camp staff to be alert for symptoms of whooping cough and have a plan for what to do if a camper gets sick.
Prevention is key! Whooping cough vaccine is recommended for all kids and adults. It’s widely available at clinics, pharmacies, and doctor offices. Please encourage all of your camp staff to get vaccinated. Everyone age 11 and older should get a whooping cough booster called Tdap.
Younger kids must complete a series of five doses of DTaP vaccine by age seven for full protection. It’s a good idea to review your camp policies about vaccinations and ask for vaccination records.
Good health manners also help prevent the spread of whooping cough, like covering your cough and staying home when you’re sick. Your camp staff can play a key role in prevention by reminding campers to cover their coughs and sneezes, and wash their hands often.
There’s a lot of misinformation about vaccines, especially online. It’s hard to tell the difference between what’s reliable and what isn’t. We want parents to get reliable and trusted information about vaccines from their health care provider. It’s also important for parents to know that their child, if not immunized, may be excluded from school or child care during an outbreak. We’ve got lots of helpful information on our website . Also, find us on Facebook  and follow us on Twitter .
To find an immunization clinic, contact your health care provider or local health agency . All recommended vaccines are offered at no cost to all kids under 19 through health care provider offices participating in the state’s Childhood Vaccine Program. Health care providers may charge an office visit fee and a fee to give the vaccine, called an administration fee. People who cannot afford the administration fee can ask the health care provider to waive the cost. Most health insurance carriers will cover the whooping cough vaccine; adults should double-check with their health plan.
Making sure you’re current on your whooping cough vaccine is the best way you can help protect the vulnerable in our communities – the babies that are too young to be fully immunized.
WA State Boater Education Card
Head's Up! WA Camps - Operators of youth serving summer camp programs (not-of-profit or for-profit combined) are not exempt regarding the requirement of the WA State Boater Education law . Per RCW 79A.60.640 other than hiring a non-state resident or hiring a staffer born before 1995 to run their 15-HP or greater boats… all other scenarios requires operators to have the WA State Boater Education card. The WA  & OR  State's Boater's education card costs $10, and the test can be taken online . (For Alaska &n