Feb 24, 2010

Bill to enact ‘Katie Viger's law’ introduced today

The bill that allowed the Department of Community Health (DCH) to issue an honorary nursing degree to 23-year-old Katie Viger of Trenton just as few days before she passed away last week was formally introduced in the Senate today.

Senate Bill 1172 was introduced by Sen. Ray Basham, D-Taylor, and it has strong bi-partisan support with 33 of the 38 Senators co-sponsoring the bill. The bill will allow the DCH department, in consultation with the nursing board, to issue an honorary license to an individual, living or deceased, who has met all of the requirements of being licensed but who is unable to take the examination due to advanced illness. When signed into law by the Governor, it will be known as “Katie Viger's law.”

It appears the bill will go directly to the Senate floor instead of going to a committee for a hearing, but it has to lay over five days under the Senate rules before it can be taken up.

Katie Viger graduated from the competitive nursing program at Henry Ford Community College in May of last year, but in August she was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, just days before she was to take her exam to receive her nursing license. She passed away on Feb. 18. The DCH agreed to issue the honorary license on Feb. 13 because it had such bipartisan support and certain to become law.

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