Inside Olympia: House and Senate release capital budgets — Major funding for mental health and dental access

April 14, 2017

The House and Senate capital budgets contain major investments for community projects to increase access to mental health services across the care continuum. WSHA is very pleased to see these funding levels that will help spur new services for some of the most complex patients. Both budgets also provide funding for the addition or expansion of dental chairs to certain provider clinics. Dental problems, like mental health, are a top reason why people visit the emergency department. The budgets contain different funding levels for facilities. Click here to read the comparison document.

Hearings today

There were also hearings in the House Appropriations Committee today on HB 2202 and SB 5815.

SB 2202, which was recently introduced and addresses the eligibility of emergency medical technicians for membership in the law enforcement officers’ and firefighters’ retirement system plan 2. AWPHD supports the bill, and it is its top priority this legislative session. SB 5815 concerns the hospital safety net assessment, and it is a high-priority bill that WSHA supports.

Bills that have passed both houses

Wednesday was the cutoff for most bills to pass the opposite chamber, and we are now heading into the final stretch of this year’s legislative session. We are happy to report that several of the significant bills WSHA supports made it through both the House and Senate and have a final version ageed upon by both bodies, and are now headed to the governor for his action.

Many other bills WSHA supports have passed both chambers but have yet to have a final version agreed upon by the House and Senate. Differences between the two chambers must be resolved and an agreement between the House and the Senate must be reached before a bill can be delivered to the governor.

Bills are listed in numerical order.

High priority bills WSHA supports that have passed both chambers (some are awaiting final agreement between chambers before going to the governor)

Bill Number  Description   WSHA Position 
HB 1337 Establishing an interstate physician licensure compact Support
HB 1338 Washington state health insurance pool Support
HB 1427 Concerning opioid treatment programs Support
HB 1477 Concerning disclosure of health-related information with people with a close relationship with a patient Support as amended
HB 1520 Alternative payment methodology for WRHAP pilot Support
HB 1547 Certificate of need exemption for psychiatric beds Support
HB 1641 Informed consent for homeless youth Support
HB 1713 Children’s mental health improvements Support
HB 1714 Concerning nursing staffing practices at hospitals Support
SB 5435 Allowing mental health information to be used by care coordinators Support
SB 5436 Expanding where patients can receive services delivered through telemedicine Support
SB 5581 Authorizing public hospital districts to participate in self-insurance risk pools with nonprofit hospitals Support

High priority bills AWPHD supports that have passed both chambers (both are awaiting final agreement between chambers before going to the governor)

Bill Number  Description   AWPHD Position 
HB 1594 Improving public records administration Support
HB 1595 Concerning costs associated with responding to public records requests Support


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