2018 Washington Legislative Session and NAMI Lobby Day Report Card
Let’s give ourselves an A+ for the 2018 legislative session.
17 NAMI Pierce County members joined other NAMI members, UW-Tacoma students, and others for the February 19 NAMI Lobby Day in Olympia. We visited all our legislators or their legislative assistants to discuss NAMI’s 2018 legislative agenda. This grassroots advocacy educated as for votes for four priority policy bills and for a significant increase in behavioral health care spending. Thanks to all our excellent volunteer grassroots advocates.
This grassroots advocacy was successful. These four policy bills are among several mental health bills awaiting the Governor’s signature. The supplemental operating budget includes at least $300,000,000 in increased behavioral health spending.
The NAMI priority policy bills are:
- HB 1377 Improving (K-12) students’ performance by enhancing non-academic professional services.
- HB 2779 Improving access to mental health services for children and youth
- HB 1783 Concerning Legal Financial Obligations
- SB 6491 Increasing the availability of assisted outpatient behavioral health treatment
Major funding increases are proposed for:
- Increasing Western State Hospital medical staff to comply with a Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services audit finding,
- Increasing spending for community based, long-term involuntary treatment,
- Increasing Medicaid and IMD reimbursement rates,
- Increasing non-Medicaid spending for local diversion programs aimed at jail diversion, reduced long term involuntary commitment, and quicker hospital discharge. and
- Paying the Trueblood Case fines regarding competency to stand trial evaluations.