Sen. Pedersen Newsroom

State government responds to the pandemic

The last few weeks have been difficult and emotional for people here in Seattle and across the world. Our response to COVID-19 has required us all to alter our lives drastically for a common goal: to reduce the rate of new infections and save lives.

We all feel deep gratitude toward our health care professionals on the front lines of the pandemic. Many other essential workers – from grocery clerks and bus drivers to garbage collectors and plumbers – also continue to do their jobs so that we can weather this crisis.

The 2020 legislative session was unlike any in our state’s history. We started the session with many important priorities to address, including homelessness and housing affordability, preserving our historic gains in access to higher education, responding to the passage of I-976 and the resulting loss of transportation funding, reducing carbon pollution and protecting the environment, and reducing gun violence. My newsletters over the next few months will review the accomplishments of this historic session.

Gov. Inslee is asking everyone to stay home as much as possible to reduce the spread of infection. 

But our conversations in the Legislature quickly shifted in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Before we adjourned for the year on March 12, the Legislature unanimously passed HB 2965 to dedicate $200 million from our state’s “rainy day fund” as a down payment on the many unexpected costs our people and our state and local governments face as a result of the pandemic.

The Legislature and the Governor have also taken action to:

  • Expand unemployment insurance for people who cannot work as a result of the pandemic and waived the one-week waiting period to receive approval.
  • Increase access to health care coverage by opening state Health Exchange enrollment for anyone currently without health insurance.
  • Boost Medicaid primary care rates, support rural health clinics, and increase funding for foundational public health.
  • Support businesses that rehire employees who became unemployed because of the coronavirus emergency.
  • Reimburse nursing homes that aid in the coronavirus response.
  • Allow school employees to maintain health insurance eligibility for the rest of the school year even if they come up short of required work hours due to this emergency.
  • Adopt a 30-day statewide moratorium on evictions.
  • Encourage utilities to suspend shut-offs and waive late fees for out-of-work customers.
  • Expand investments in affordable housing and new shelters by $160 million.
  • Authorize flexibility in state tax collections and waive late fees on license renewals.
  • Provide flexibility to allow high school seniors to graduate this year if they were on track for graduation before the emergency declaration.
  • Add $153 million to increase access to childcare, strengthen the foster care system, and expand early learning programs so that kids will have support when this crisis is over.

Governor Inslee also accelerated the effective date of last year’s Senate Bill 5641, a measure I sponsored to enable Washington residents to permit remote notarization of documents such as wills and powers of attorney. That means that the notary does not have to be physically present in the room to verify the signature. With many seniors now isolated in nursing homes and other facilities, this change will allow folks to complete estate planning and other documents without endangering their health or safety.

Gov. Inslee shared this chart Thursday showing a glimmer of hope that social distancing may be making a difference already. 

The state has set up a central website with multilingual information related to COVID-19 and I encourage you to sign up for email updates from the Department of Health here.

Stay safe and healthy, and please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or concerns.

Jamie

Senator Jamie Pedersen
43rd Legislative District
Jamie.Pedersen@leg.wa.gov
(360) 786-7628

March 27th, 2020|E-News, Uncategorized|

Sen. Pedersen’s legislative update

We passed the halfway mark this week on our 60-day legislative session in Olympia. The pace has been intense as we considered more than 1,800 bills on subjects ranging from homelessness and behavioral health to education and gun violence. We have been busy passing bills on the Senate floor in advance of an important deadline next week to move bills out of the Senate and over to the House for consideration. Here’s a brief update on some of the issues on which I am focusing in 2020.

Opening doors to higher education

Last year the Legislature passed the Workforce Education Investment Act, E2SHB 2158, to make college tuition free for families making up to 55 percent of the state’s median family income, or up to $50,400 for a family of four. The program – renamed the “Washington College Grant” – promises to open the doors to our excellent higher education institutions for every kid in our state. In addition, the bill included historic financial support for our community colleges and will strengthen everything from engineering programs at the University of Washington to the new medical school at Washington State University in Spokane.

Since we passed that legislation, a few things happened. First, the demand from students across the state hungry to learn and grow at our colleges and universities was higher than anticipated. Second, the new law created confusion for taxpayers and the state Department of Revenue. To make much-needed improvements to the legislation, I sponsored ESSB 6492, and Gov. Inslee signed it into law this week. Businesses will gain certainty about their tax obligations, more than 70,000 small businesses will be excused from the tax surcharge, and 11,000 others will pay a reduced rate. Our largest technology companies, meanwhile, will pay more. Most importantly, we are keeping our promise to Washington’s students. Read more about the legislation in this Seattle Times story.

Town Hall on Saturday, Feb. 22

I hope that you will join Rep. Frank Chopp, Rep. Nicole Macri, and me for our town hall meeting on Saturday, February 22, at 1:30 p.m. at Seattle First Baptist Church at 1111 Harvard Ave. in Seattle.

Promoting gender diversity on corporate boards

There is no shortage of women qualified to serve on corporate boards, but a lack of diversity remains a problem due to complex and consistent barriers for women to join the boards of publicly-traded companies. That’s why I introduced Senate Bill 6037, which will require publicly-traded Washington corporations to have 25% of their board members be women or to explain why and what efforts they are taking to increase diversity on their boards more generally.  There is strong evidence that increasing gender diversity on the board improves governance.  The bill has passed off the Senate floor and received a public hearing in the House Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee this morning.

Stay in touch

With a little more than four weeks remaining in this session, we will now be racing through consideration of supplemental operating, transportation and capital budgets, as well as several hundred bills passed by the House, while the House in turn considers the bills we passed out of the Senate. We are committed to working with the House to complete our work and adjourn on time for the third straight year.

I hope to see you on Saturday, Feb. 22, for the town hall. Please contact me with any questions about issues before the Legislature this year.

February 14th, 2020|Uncategorized|

2019 Session Review: For the people, by the people

Often the best ideas for new laws originate with friends and neighbors who are willing to tell their stories and put in hours of work to develop and advance legislation. One example close to my heart this week is the story of Ann Donovan, a Capitol Hill neighbor and mom. Already battling cancer, Ann met with me starting in 2015 and encouraged me to introduce the Right-to-Try bill, giving terminally ill patients the right to try medical products that have been through preliminary safety testing but have not been finally approved by the FDA. After a couple of years of work, we passed SB 5035 in the 2017 session. As a result, patients in Washington have better access to investigational medical products. Ann lost her battle with cancer on August 26, but her activism has produced a lasting legacy for our entire community.

In honor of Ann, I’d like to use my final e-newsletter in this series on the 2019 session to highlight three 43rd District constituents who alerted me to problems with Washington law last year and then helped me to get those problems fixed by passing bills in the 2019 session.

Katrina Spade (Capitol Hill)

SB 5001 will make Washington the first place in the world that allows natural organic reduction (accelerated, controlled composting) of human remains. It is safe to say that the bill would not have become law this year without the unwavering dedication of Katrina Spade. For more than a decade, Katrina has focused her energy on environmentally-sustainable alternatives to traditional end-of-life practices. She introduced me to her “Urban Death Project” in 2017 and then met me again in the spring of 2018 to ask if I could help remove the legal prohibition on natural organic reduction in our state. Katrina’s ability to build a coalition of support around a very emotional topic was crucial to passing this new law, which will go into effect in May 2020.

Ethan Bergerson (Wallingford)

Laws governing how to divide parenting time after a couple dissolves their relationship are complex and confusing and provoke emotional responses. Families across our state are better off today thanks to Ethan Bergerson, a constituent who shared his story of unintended consequences of the Child Relocation Act which specifies how judges should determine what is in the best interest of the child when one of their parents needs to move or change school districts. Recent court decisions had ruled that language in the statute referring to the parent “with whom the child resides a majority of the time” meant that parents who shared residential time equally could never be allowed to relocate (affecting about a quarter of the divorced parents in this state). In Ethan’s case, both parents had agreed that they wanted to be able to relocate but the court ruled that parents who shared time equally were not allowed to make this kind of agreement and that judges do not need to consider the child’s best interests in these cases. Ethan came to Olympia to testify in the Senate Law & Justice Committee and the House Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee. By sharing his story, he helped to pass SB 5399, which is already helping families around the state facing similar circumstances escape from legal limbo.

Greg Moga (Madison Park)

In 2011, Washington state pioneered the idea that children born through assisted reproductive technology should, once they become adults, have access to information about their genetic parents. This is similar to the rights we give adopted children to information about their birth parents. That innovation has since become a part of the Uniform Parentage Act, which is being considered and adopted by states across the country following Washington’s lead in 2018. Greg Moga and his team at Seattle Sperm Bank helped identify a problem with how the new Parentage Act dealt with the transmission of genetic information between clinics. Working together, we developed a solution – adopted in SB 5333 – that will protect the rights of children while ensuring the privacy of donor information.

Working with constituents to solve complex challenges remains among the most rewarding parts of serving you in the legislature. I reflect frequently on how fortunate I am to live in and represent such an engaged community. Please continue to reach out to me with ideas or issues: it’s how our state government works best.

September 19th, 2019|Uncategorized|

2019 Session Review: Building a stronger community

Last week I had the opportunity to celebrate the re-opening of the recently renovated Lincoln High School (the first new comprehensive high school in our city in nearly 60 years) and attend the re-opening of Town Hall Seattle after two years of major renovations. These projects were made possible thanks in part to our state’s capital construction budget, which puts people to work building public schools, colleges, state parks, community gathering places, and essential infrastructure such as rural broadband.

Celebrating the recently renovated Lincoln High School with the community last week. (Photo courtesy of Seattle Public Schools)

Key community investments

The 2019-21 capital budget includes investments that will help our whole community continue to thrive.  I was proud to work with the other members of the Seattle delegation to secure funding for projects such as:

  • $21 million for Seattle Public Schools (SPS) to meet urgent capacity and safety upgrade needs at Leschi Elementary School, Madison Middle School, and North Beach Elementary School.
  • $6 million to help fund a 75-unit housing project at Broadway & Pine, developed by Capitol Hill Housing as a complement to the new YouthCare Opportunity Center
  • $6 million to help fund an innovative high-rise housing project at Madison & Boylston on First Hill, developed by Bellwether Housing and Plymouth Housing Group as a joint venture to provide 115 permanent supportive apartments for formerly homeless seniors and 253 apartments for low-income families
  • $200,000 to support the FareStart program, which provides job training for people experiencing homelessness, poverty and hunger.
  • $271,000 for the University Heights Center for the Community, which is a crucial gathering place that promotes life-long learning, creativity, culture, community activism in Seattle.
  • $600,000 to help build the AIDS Memorial Pathway at the Capitol Hill light rail station and Cal Anderson Park.
  • $1.5 million to support early learning through the construction of Roosevelt Childcare Center.
  • $986,000 to support the design and construction Northwest Native Canoe Center at Lake Union Park.
  • $451,000 to replace the main Green Lake dock with a larger dock with two floats, renovate two restrooms and add two restrooms with showers.
  • $500,000 to replace the Volunteer Park Amphitheater with a modern and accessible structure.

Statewide highlights:

  • $1.1 billion to build public schools, including $43 million for rural and distressed schools. 
  • $973 million for projects at public colleges and universities, with $408 million for community and technical colleges and $34 million for a new behavioral health teaching hospital at the University of Washington. 
  • $154 million for projects at state mental health facilities, including the design of a new forensic hospital and the design and construction of new 16-bed and 48-bed behavioral health facilities. 
  • $585 million for orca, salmon recovery, and water quality projects 
  • $175 million for affordable housing development statewide.

If you missed my previous updates on health care, gun safety, civil rights, climate change, orca recovery, behavioral health, housing or education, you can read those here.

September 9th, 2019|Uncategorized|

2019 Session Review: Reforming outdated laws

Controversial bills grab most of the headlines. But every year, the Legislature passes – usually with overwhelming bipartisan support – dozens of bills to modernize and improve state law in a wide range of areas.

Since 2010, I have served as one of our state’s commissioners on the national Uniform Law Commission (ULC). For more than a century, the ULC has provided states with nonpartisan, carefully-drafted legislation that brings clarity, stability, and uniformity to critical areas of state law. This year, several ULC proposals were approved by the Legislature and signed into law.  

Faithless electors

electors
Secretary of State Kim Wyman addresses the Washington Electoral College before members cast the state’s votes for president on Dec. 19, 2016. (Photo courtesy of the Spokesman Review)

In 2016, four Washington electors violated state law by casting their votes in the Electoral College for candidates other than the state’s popular vote winner – Hillary Clinton. The fine imposed on these “faithless electors” proved to be an insufficient incentive for them to follow the law.

SB 5074, the “Uniform Faithful Presidential Electors Act”, establishes a process by which electors who attempt to vote for a candidate other than the top vote getter in the November presidential election would be disqualified as electors and replaced with alternates. Washington joins Montana, Nevada, Minnesota, Indiana, and Nebraska in having enacted this law.  

Last week, a federal appeals court struck down a Colorado law and upheld the right of “faithless electors” to vote with their conscience. As a result, the issue may reach the U.S. Supreme Court in the coming months. I will keep you posted on the end result.

Guardianship 

SB 5604, the “Uniform Guardianship, Conservatorship, and Other Protective Arrangements Act”, modernizes the laws concerning court-appointed guardians of minors and adults who cannot manage their own affairs in our state. Because guardians are given control over decisions ranging from where the person subject to guardianship can live or travel and how he or she can spend money, regulating guardians carefully is critical to protecting the safety and constitutional rights of persons subject to guardianship. Substantial changes include:

  • Eliminating terminology such as “incapacitated person” or “ward” and replacing it with modern, respectful language;
  • Adding to the statute a strong policy direction for courts to choose the least restrictive alternatives consistent with protecting the person subject to guardianship; and
  • Making it easier for parents to regain custody of their children once they have completed prison sentences or drug treatment programs.

The changes will take effect January 1, 2021. In the meantime, the Senate Law & Justice Committee has held a work session and is drafting legislation for the 2020 session to improve the legislation and fill in any gaps we failed to identify last session.

Other issues

The Legislature also passed bills requested by the Washington Uniform Law Commission concerning domestic violence (HB 1517, which included the Uniform Recognition and Enforcement of Canadian Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act); consumer cooperatives (SB 5002, the Uniform Limited Cooperative Associations Act); legal declarations (SB 5017, the Uniform Unsworn Declarations Act); and electronic notarization (SB 5641, the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts).

If you missed my previous updates on health care, gun safety, civil rights, consumer debt protection, climate change, orca recovery, behavioral health, housing, or education, you can find those on my website.

Best wishes,
Jamie

Senator Jamie Pedersen
43rd Legislative District
Jamie.Pedersen@leg.wa.gov
(360) 786-7628

September 2nd, 2019|Uncategorized|

2019 Session Review: Justice for sexual assault victims

Thanks to the work and leadership of many survivors of sexual assault in our state, the Legislature took action this year to make it easier for survivors to seek and achieve justice. I am grateful for the courage survivors demonstrated in telling their stories before the Senate Law & Justice Committee, and hopeful these new laws will empower victims and show them that their government wants justice for them.

Ending backlog of untested rape kits

More than 10,000 untested sexual assault kits currently languish in police custody, according to the Washington State Patrol. House Bill 1166 established a Survivor Bill of Rights, setting a firm deadline of December 2021 for the state to eliminate the backlog. Starting in 2022, the patrol will have 45 days to process any new rape kits. The bill will also require law enforcement to undergo specialized, trauma-informed training and prohibit the destruction of rape kits. This builds on legislation passed in 2015, which mandated testing of all current and backlogged rape kits and established the Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) Legislative Task Force. In 2016, Washington became the first state in the nation to create an online statewide tracking system for survivors to check the testing status of a kit.

More time to report sexual assault

Our society is starting to recognize the major cultural shift that will be necessary to reduce sexual assault. During the legislative session, we heard from victims, prosecutors, public defenders and advocates about how our current statutes of limitation prevent justice from being done. For example, if an adult victim does not report a rape within one year, then prosecutors have only three years to bring charges.

Senate Bill 5649 eliminates the statutes of limitation for child rape and child sexual molestation, recognizing the reality that many of these survivors do not even appreciate what happened to them for decades. It also eliminates the distinction for reported and unreported sexual assaults on adults, and lengthens the statute of limitations to 20 years (for Rape 1 and 2) and 10 years (for Rape 3), giving survivors more time to process their experience and more control of the decision about how and when to seek justice. Finally, the bill will change the definition of Rape 3 to remove the requirement that a victim express a lack of consent. We had compelling testimony that some people simply freeze; their inability to object to sex should not be mistaken for consent.

August 19th, 2019|Uncategorized|

2019 Session Review: Expanding access to higher education

For decades, our state has struggled to guarantee financial assistance for all low-income college students in the state who qualify. Nearly 18,000 people met the requirements for Washington’s State Need Grant last year, for instance, but could not access tuition assistance to pursue a degree or certification because of a lack of funding. With landmark legislation passed earlier this year, that wait list is expected to disappear over the next two years.

Workforce Education Investment Act

The Workforce Education Investment Act, E2SHB 2158, will make college tuition free for families making up to 55 percent of the state’s median family income, or up to $50,400 for a family of four. The program – renamed the “Washington College Grant” – will provide access to higher education for an estimated 100,000 students in our state.

Equally important, the act makes a $60.8 million investment in high-demand program faculty at the community and technical colleges and a $62.3 million investment in foundational support for both public four-year colleges and community and technical colleges.  It also restores foundational core support for the University of Washington.

The act also invests in preparing Washington students for Washington jobs by expanding the successful Guided Pathways program at the state’s community and technical colleges and expands high-demand degree programs across the state in fields such as nursing, engineering and computer science.

To fund these new investments, the Legislature created a dedicated account for college and workforce-education investments, paid for by an increase in taxes on high-tech companies and professional service businesses that depend on the higher education system to produce the professionals who work for them.

Our state is expected to add nearly 750,000 jobs over the next five years, and many will require higher skills and degrees. This new funding package is the result of great collaboration between statewide education and business leaders and promises to provide more opportunity and prosperity for students, families, and our state’s economy. 

August 12th, 2019|Uncategorized|

2019 Session Review: Improving K-12 education

The next school year starts in less than a month for public school students here in Seattle. My kids are excited to get back into their classrooms at Stevens Elementary, Thurgood Marshall Elementary, and Meany Middle School. Although work remains, our state has made substantial progress over the last few years on school funding, teacher pay, and closing the opportunity gap.

Stevens Elementary School

This year, the Legislature continued the critical work on what the state constitution identifies as our “paramount duty.” These new investments and policy changes should continue to improve the quality of education and opportunities our kids receive.

Levy flexibility and education funding

Although state funding for K-12 education has increased dramatically in the last six years, the 2017 education funding reform substantially reduced the ability of school districts to ask their voters for funding to meet local needs such as nurses, counselors, and librarians. As Seattle legislators warned at the time, this led to a substantial projected shortfall for Seattle Public Schools in the 2019-20 school year and beyond. I worked this session with my Seattle delegation colleagues to insist that our final budget deal include increased flexibility for Seattle voters to fund their public schools. As a result, Seattle Public Schools can collect more of the taxes that voters approved last fall and avoid the cuts they had announced in the spring.

For its part, the state will continue to fund all-day kindergarten, lower class sizes in K-3, higher teacher salaries, student transportation, and maintenance, supplies and operating costs. In addition, the 2019-21 capital budget includes $1 billion for school construction to modernize our facilities and give our kids more room to learn. Seattle legislators secured an additional $20 million in state capital funding to accelerate three projects that will reduce overcrowding.

Increasing support for special education

The Legislature took some small steps toward funding the actual cost of special education services for students with disabilities. The new budget includes a $155 million increase in special education over the next four years. This will help reduce the amount funded through local levies but is not adequate to meet the needs of our students. I will continue to use my positions on the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee and the Senate Ways & Means Committee to fight for full funding of this critical component of our education system.

Graduation pathways

We are continually striving to provide all students with a challenging learning environment and access to a meaningful diploma. At the same time, lawmakers recognize that students learn in different ways and have different goals. HB 1599 provides additional alternatives to standardized tests as high school graduation requirements. Students graduating in 2020 and later will be able to demonstrate career and college readiness through one of eight graduation pathways that align with their plans for high school and beyond. One of these pathways remains the standardized test for students who choose to use it. Other pathways include completing a sequence of career and technical education courses, meeting standards in the armed services vocational aptitude battery, or passing AP, International Baccalaureate or Cambridge International courses.

Over the next several weeks, I’ll continue to share updates on important issues the Legislature addressed this year. If you missed my previous updates on health care, gun safety, civil rights, climate change, orca recovery, behavioral health, or housing, you can read those here.

Best wishes,
Jamie

Senator Jamie Pedersen
43rd Legislative District
Jamie.Pedersen@leg.wa.gov
(360) 786-7628

August 5th, 2019|Uncategorized|
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    2019 Session Review: Making sure everyone has an affordable home

2019 Session Review: Making sure everyone has an affordable home

The lack of affordable housing has created serious and growing problems across our state, and nowhere more than in the central Puget Sound region. People live under bridges, in tents, and in cars. Families move to distant suburbs to find houses they can afford and spend long hours each day commuting on congested freeways. Jobs go unfilled because workers cannot find affordable housing near their workplace. The Legislature took action in 2019 to increase the supply of housing and prevent people from becoming homeless.

Investing in the Housing Trust Fund

Our state’s Housing Trust Fund dollars support a wide range of projects serving a diverse array of low-income populations. This year’s capital budget includes a $175 million investment in the fund to help alleviate our state’s housing crisis. The package of funding includes special investments for people with chronic mental illness, along with housing for veterans and farmworkers.

Eviction reform

Overly permissive eviction laws have been a major cause of housing instability. The Legislature passed several measures to help keep people in their homes and prevent the cycle of homelessness. The legislation represented a compromise among a broad coalition of parties — tenants and advocates, housing authorities, landlord associations, property managers, and the courts — to achieve practical solutions.

  • SB 5600 reforms eviction laws to extend the pay-or-evict notice period from three days to 14 and requires landlords to notify tenants 60 days before raising rent. The legislation also provides judicial discretion in eviction cases. If a tenant in an eviction case fails to pay, landlords can apply to the Landlord Mitigation Fund to recover lost rent.
  • HB 1462 requires landlords to provide tenants 120 days notice before they plan to evict in order to tear down a building.
  • HB 1440 increases the notice to 60 days for a rent increase, and prohibits a rent increase before the end of a lease term.

Increasing condominium construction

Condos play a critical role in the housing market, providing an opportunity for first-time homebuyers to start building equity and an option for empty-nesters who no longer need a single-family home but are not ready for assisted living. Very few condos have been built in the last decade, though, and many builders and developers say that the cause is liability statutes that have created too much risk and uncertainty. SB 5334 updates the condo warranty statute to provide a better balance between builders and buyers. I hope this legislation will coax builders and developers back into the market by protecting them against meritless claims while maintaining consumer protections for buyers of new condos. Boosting construction of new condos is another tool in a comprehensive strategy to help increase the supply of affordable housing options for our growing city and state.

Over the next several weeks, I’ll continue to share updates on important issues the Legislature addressed this year. If you missed my previous updates on health care, gun safety, civil rights, climate change, orca recovery, or behavioral health, you can read those here.

Best wishes,
Jamie

July 29th, 2019|Uncategorized|

2019 Session Review: Improving our behavioral health system

For decades, Washington state has struggled to meet the needs of people with mental health or substance use disorders, now commonly referred to as “behavioral health.” We have relied on 19th-century models of care and have failed to invest in building community-based treatment facilities and training enough professionals to help our neighbors facing such challenges. The results – from people in crisis strapped to gurneys at Harborview Medical Center to chronically homeless people living under freeways – are a source of shame for us all.

The 2019 Legislature worked on several bipartisan efforts to expand the capacity of behavioral health treatment facilities, improve funding and staffing levels at our state hospitals, and to push government at all levels to take a clinical approach rather than a criminal justice approach to addressing these challenges.

New UW teaching hospital

A significant behavioral health workforce shortage has created a two- to three-month wait for treatment in most areas of the state. Our rapidly growing population will only increase the demand for services. In response to this challenge, the Legislature passed HB 1593 to create a behavioral health innovation and integration campus within the University of Washington School of Medicine. The bill, championed by House Speaker Frank Chopp, will allow us not only to teach an integrated behavioral health curriculum to the next generation of behavioral health care providers, but also to expand the number of inpatient beds. This will include a 150-bed psychiatric unit to replace capacity at the outdated Western State Hospital.

Other behavioral health investments in the 2019 budget include:

  • $70 million toward meeting a court-mandated timeline to improve access to mental-health treatment for people waiting in jail for competency evaluations.
  • $58 million for patient safety enhancements, preservation and ward renovations at Eastern State Hospital and Western State Hospital.
  • $28.7 million for construction of two new forensic wards, providing 60 additional forensic beds at Western State Hospital.
  • $8 million for a new Treatment and Recovery Center at Western State Hospital.
  • $25 million for predesign, design, siting and site work of two state-constructed community civil bed facilities — one providing 16 state-operated civil beds and one providing 48 mixed-use beds.

Over the next several weeks, I’ll continue to share updates on important issues the Legislature addressed this year. If you missed my previous updates on health care, gun safety, civil rights, climate change, or orca recovery, you can read those here.

July 22nd, 2019|Uncategorized|