Inside Olympia – Governor Inslee’s budget: Big challenges, big opportunities, big decisions

Today, Governor Jay Inslee released his proposed budget for the 2017-2019 biennium. As has generally been the case in recent years, increased revenues from improving economic conditions are being subsumed by multi-billion dollar, court-ordered funding requirements for basic education. Expansion and reform of the state behavioral health system is a high funding priority, one which WSHA strongly supports.... Read More >>

State House and Senate come to budget agreement, call for investments in mental health care

The Washington State Legislature has reached agreement on a supplemental budget, meaning the legislature can soon conclude its special session. Overall, WSHA is very pleased with the results of the 2016 state legislative session. The budget is very good for hospitals and health systems, provides significant new funding for mental health and makes no significant cuts to hospitals or health care. Additionally, important funding was provided to implement many of the WSHA-supported policy bills.... Read More >>

Stayin’ alive: WSHA bills still moving

Friday was the cutoff for most bills to be considered in the opposite house, and we are now heading into the final stretch of this year’s short legislative session. We are happy to report that many of the significant bills WSHA supports made it through both the House and Senate, and are now headed to the governor for his action. Several other bills WSHA supports are awaiting concurrence between the House and Senate.... Read More >>

Senate releases 2016 supplemental budget

The State Senate released its proposal for the 2016 supplemental budget today. 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.... Read More >>

Capital budgets released

In addition to the operating budget, the House and Senate capital budgets were both released today. 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.... Read More >>

Thank you for last week: February 15-19

We are very thankful for everyone who comes to Olympia to testify! Your testimony is essential for helping legislators and the public to understand the real impact of proposed legislation. Last week, we were pleased to have testimony from Cheryl Pell, RPh, from Medication Review, Inc.... Read More >>

WSHA legislative testimony: Feb. 22-26

Bills that WSHA is testifying on for the week of Feb. 22-26.... Read More >>

House Democrats release their budget, call for more than $45 million for mental health

The House Democrats today released their proposal for the 2016 supplemental budget. For hospitals and health systems, the most significant part of the budget is more than $45 million investments in mental health to combat the state’s mental health crisis. Mental health is WSHA’s top budget priority.... Read More >>

Budgets soon to be released

While the legislature continues to debate hundreds of policy bills, budget writers are also focusing on crafting a supplemental budget for 2016-2017. The legislature enacted a biennial budget for 2015-2017, but this supplemental budget is meant to address emerging needs, such as last summer’s wildfires and the rising costs of prescription drugs. ... Read More >>

An opportunity to expand telemedicine: Support SB 6519

Washington State has a significant opportunity to expand services delivered through telemedicine with Senate Bill 6519. This year’s bill, sponsored by Senator Becker, seeks to allow patients to have virtual provider visits in their homes starting in January 2018. WSHA strongly supports this bill and testified last week. We are working with Senator Becker to refine the bill. The bill would also create a collaborative that would meet over the next two years to recommend to the legislature other advancements in telemedicine and telehealth.... Read More >>

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