Maureen Walsh

Photo Courtesy: The Associated Press

TUMWATER - A Washington State lawmaker who apologized on Monday for comments she made that caused backlash nationwide was the recipient of over five-hundred playing cards.

The Tumwater UPS said the agency has received 667 packages of playing cards Tuesday addressed to state Senator Maureen Walsh (R) who is from the 16th District.

The playing cards arrived this week after an open letter to Walsh has been circulating on social media.

The letter appeared along with a photo of Walsh that included her mailing address saying "send me a deck of cards!"

On Monday, state senator Maureen Walsh (R) from the 16th district said her comments last week were taken out of context. Walsh continued to say she was concerned that rules in a proposed bill would be a hardship for small hospitals.

"By putting these types of mandates on a critical access hospital that literally serves a handful of individuals, I would submit to you those nurses probably do get breaks. They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day," Sen. Maureen Walsh said Tuesday during a debate on the Senate floor.

The legislation Walsh is referring to, House Bill 1155, allow nurses to receive uninterrupted meal and rest periods.

Walsh, who is a conservative, was arguing in support of an amendment in the bill that would exclude critical access hospitals, in rural communities, and hospitals with less than 25 beds from the legislation.

By Monday afternoon, an online petition over the weekend calling for Walsh to follow a nurse for a typical 12-hour shift reached over 600,000 signatures. 

Senator Walsh agreed to job shadow nurses on Monday by saying, "I’d be happy to come in and work in a hospital with them for a while and shadow them and see their job. I’m pretty well aware of what their job is -- I know how demanding it is. I have great respect for nurses. My mother was a registered nurse for many years."

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