Mar 10, 2010

‘Katie’s Bill’ clears major hurdle

LANSING -- Senate Bill 1172 – known as “Katie’s Bill” – passed the last hurdle to becoming law when the House unanimously passed the bill with 107 votes Wednesday and sent on to the Governor for her signature.

The bill will allow the Department of Community Health (DCH) to issue an honorary nursing license, in consultation with the nursing board, to an individual who has met all of the requirements of being licensed but who is unable to take the examination due to advanced illness. The bill is named for 23-year-old Katie Viger of Trenton who passed away on Feb. 18 from an aggressive form of brain cancer.
She 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. Her lifelong dream was to have her license. She received it just a few days before she passed away when it became clear the bill would have no problem passing.

Urged on by her instructor Cathy Wakefield, Sen. Ray Basham, D-Taylor, introduced the bill, and it received widespread, grassroots support thanks to the actions of Katie’s friends, family and many supporters. The bill was passed unanimously out of the House Health Policy Committee on Tuesday, and it was passed by the full House today.

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