Reps. Smith, Peterson comment on record mental and behavioral health funding in House capital budget proposal

On Monday afternoon, the Washington State House of Representatives released its proposed 2019-21 capital budget. The $4.6 billion proposal includes record funding for mental and behavioral health facilities—more than $357 million:

  • $117 million in Behavioral Health Capacity grants for community mental health facilities.
  • $99 million to increase and improve capacity at Western State Hospital, Eastern State Hospital, and state-run community settings.
  • $77.5 million for patient safety and other necessary upgrades at Western and Eastern State Hospitals.
  • $33.7 million to plan and design a behavioral health teaching hospital run by the University of Washington (House Bill 1593).
  • $30 million from the Housing Trust Fund for supportive housing with wrap-around services for the chronically mentally ill.

Rep. Norma Smith, R-Clinton, assistant ranking member of the House Capital Budget Committee, released the following statement:

“Nearly every Washington family has been touched in some way by mental and behavioral health challenges. These critical investments, which would be unprecedented in our state’s history, would offer hope and improve lives. I’m grateful for the leadership of Rep. Strom Peterson and many other legislators on both sides of the aisle who are committed to building a stronger and more effective community safety net. As we get ready to negotiate with the Senate on a final capital budget, I call on my colleagues in the upper chamber to stand with us to make mental and behavioral health care the priority it should be.”

Rep. Strom Peterson, D-Edmonds, vice chair of the House Capital Budget Committee, released the following statement:

“People in every corner of this state are struggling with mental health issues and addiction. But with treatment, they can get better. That’s why I’m proud to have worked with Rep. Norma Smith in a bipartisan way to invest a record amount of funding for behavioral health facilities across Washington state—funding that will change lives and save families.”

The 105-day legislative session is scheduled to adjourn April 28.


Washington State House Republican Communications