MADISON – With unanimous support, the Wisconsin State Assembly approved Assembly Bill 558 (AB 558), legislation authored by Rep. Jessie Rodriguez (R-Oak Creek) on Thursday. The legislation updates state statutes to reflect changes in the respiratory healthcare setting that have occurred over the last several years.

AB 558 updates the certification and education standards in place for Wisconsin’s Respiratory Care Practitioners (RCPs). Wisconsin has nearly 3,000 licensed RCPs, who provide vital respiratory care to patients. Instances of respiratory diseases including asthma, COPD and lung cancer have increased throughout the state in recent years, making respiratory care even more essential.

“Our statutes surrounding Respiratory Care Practitioners and their education and accreditation process have not been reviewed and updated in several years, and some have not been updated since 1991,” said Rep. Rodriguez. “It was time for us to review our statutes and bring them up to date with current standards in the respiratory healthcare setting, which is why my colleague Senator Testin and I authored this legislation.”

The Senate companion, Senate Bill 500, passed unanimously last month. The legislation now goes to the Governor’s desk for his approval.

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