The 2017 Washington State regular legislative session officially adjourned April 23. However, Governor Inslee immediately called the legislature back into special session to negotiate a solution to the 2017-2019 operating budget. The House and Senate remain far apart on the total spending amount and funding mechanisms for the budget.
WSHA priorities for mental health system funding will be part of the negotiations, and resolution is unlikely before June. The legislature will also continue discussions on budget-related policy items, including paid family leave and balance billing.
In the meantime, the governor will be busy signing policy bills that passed during the regular session, including WSHA priorities on extension of the safety net program, reducing opioid abuse, mental health care coordination, the WHRAP program, certificate of need exemption for psychiatric beds, joint self-insurance for hospitals, the interstate medical licensure compact and others. (Chris Bandoli)