The State Senate released its proposal for the 2016 supplemental budget yesterday. The Senate takes a significantly different approach than the House to its budget proposal, making more cuts than the House did and leaving a much larger balance in the budget stabilization account. In addition, the Senate spends less.
The House proposed spending significant money on teacher salary increases and homelessness prevention that the Senate does not include. The differences between the two budgets could lead to budget negotiations beyond the regularly scheduled session.
The Senate does make significant investments in mental health, focusing particularly on state psychiatric hospitals, but with less investments in community mental health than in the House. Mental health is WSHA’s top budget priority and we are pleased the Senate funds significant steps forward.
Both houses also put forward their proposed capital budgets. WSHA’s interest in the capital budget is in the area of funding for new mental health facilities. WSHA is very pleased both the House and Senate capital budget contain significant new dollars for construction costs of mental health facilities.
We have a great deal more detail in last night’s Inside Olympia: read it here and subscribe!
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