Late last week, both chambers of the Washington State legislature released their separate 2021-2023 operating budget proposals. Both proposals reflect a much-improved revenue forecast compared to what was expected last Fall, as well as the impact of CARES and American Recovery Plan Act funding. Both budgets include investments in COVID-19 response and recovery, behavioral health, and difficult to discharge patients, though there are differences in approaches and details. WSHA has been strongly advocating for increased funding for specialized memory care and behavioral health funding. We were pleased to see the focus in these areas.
Both chambers will next pass their respective budget proposals and begin the process of negotiating a final budget through a conference committee. The last day of the regular session is Sunday, April 25. (Andrew Busz, AndrewB@wsha.org)