Gov. Inslee releases proposed 2024 supplemental budget

December 13, 2023

Gov. Inslee released his proposed 2024 state supplemental budget Dec. 13. This budget includes significant investments in behavioral health, housing, education and climate change.

The governor’s Proposed 2024 Budget and Policy Highlights document outlines his priorities for this budget and provides an overview of the state’s financial position entering the second half of the biennium.

Forecasted state revenues increased by more than $2.9 billion, exceeding increased maintenance level costs of $2 billion. State economists are projecting a healthy balance of nearly $2.8 billion at the end of 2023-25, with total reserves projected to be more than $4 billion. This leaves room for the Legislature to make new investments in this proposed 2024 supplemental budget.

Release of the governor’s proposed budget is the beginning of the state’s supplemental budget development process. The Legislature will convene on Jan. 8, 2024. The House and Senate will each release a proposed budget during the legislative session before working together to craft a final budget.

Highlights of the governor’s budged are below, and full details are available on WSHA’s budget table.

WSHA’s 2024 budget priorities (pending approval of WSHA’s Board): WSHA will advocate for the following priorities during the legislative session: complex discharge funding; support for rural labor and delivery sustainability; funding for Medicaid coverage for partial hospitalization/intensive outpatient mental health treatment programs for adults; and increasing Medicaid payments for professional services.

Governor’s Budget Proposals

WSHA identified the following governor’s budget priorities that are of interest to our members.

Complex Discharge Investments 
  • $2.26 million GFS ($4.85 million total) to increase the specialty dementia care rate add-on from $43.48 per client per day to $55. WSHA has long supported the specialty dementia care rate add-on for long term care providers.
  • $3.3 million GFS ($8.3 million total) to increase Medicaid payments to non-emergent medical transportation providers for return trips longer than 25 miles.
  • Governor’s Complex Discharge Taskforce budget language amended to allow for expanded pilot participation.
Workforce and Staffing Investments 
  • $3.17 million GFS/total for project management teams to implement improvements to reduce the amount of time it takes to complete the health care licensing process.
  • $426,000 GFS/total to help recruit and train a health care professional work force in rural and urban underserved areas.
Behavioral Health Investments 
  • $8 million GFS/total to fund the Trueblood Diversion Program, which provides assessments, mental health services, substance abuse treatment, case management, employment assistance, and social services to reduce recidivism and improve the lives of the Trueblood class members.
  • $20 million GFS/total to fund the UW Behavioral Health Teaching Facility operation of 75 long-term behavioral health beds.
  • $6.5 million GFS ($10.2 million total) is provided to increase support of youth stabilization teams in the state’s crisis system. Support is also included for rural crisis stabilization and withdrawal management facilities.
  • $2.41 million GFS/total is provided for the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Work Group to update the statewide strategic plan and cover increased contracting costs.
  • $140.9 million GFS/total to support operations at Olympic Heritage Behavioral Health (formerly Cascade Hospital) and add 72 inpatient psychiatric beds for civil conversion patients currently at Western State Hospital.
  • $15.98 million GFS ($28.77 million total) is provided to enhance two reimbursement rates paid to 90- and 180-day involuntary civil commitment bed providers. The first is a rate enhancement of $500 per day for involuntary services for complex, difficult-to-place individuals with extensive needs.
  • $2.17 million GFS/total is provided to fund 10 intensive behavioral health treatment facilities (IBHTFs) that have received behavioral health facilities grants from the Department of Commerce. Funding is provided for start-up costs to support these new facilities.
Other Health Care Investments 
  • $300,000 total to fund the Surgical Smoke Evacuation System Reimbursement Account directed by SHB 1779 (2022). Certain hospitals qualify for a reimbursement of $1,000 per operating room to install surgical smoke evacuation systems.
  • $1.25 million GFS/total to fund a dedicated supply of Naloxone for first responders.
  • $50,000 GFS/total to align the implementation plan for the creation of a real-time hospital bed tracking tool for hospitals that meet WaTech requirements.
  • $2.38 million to fund birth center grants to support new centers in areas lacking access.
  • $4.72 million GFS ($4.94 million total) for the Health Benefit Exchange to support outreach for the Apple Health expansion medical assistance program.

Join us for our Legislative Session Kickoff webinar Jan. 10

Please join us at noon Wednesday, Jan. 10 for our annual Legislative Session Kickoff webinar for members. The webinar will cover what to expect during the 2024 legislative session and give an overview of WSHA’s legislative priorities and hot topics. It will also include an opportunity to ask questions of WSHA’s Government Affairs leaders. Register now!


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