Inslee mental health network plan clears second floor vote

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A plan from Gov. jay Inslee to create a network of regional behavioral health facilities has cleared its second full floor vote in the state Legislature.

The proposal would change the way mental and behavioral health care are delivered in the state by shifting capacity away from Eastern and Western State, Washington’s two main state-run psychiatric hospitals, where both civil and criminal patients with the highest needs are held.

Instead, smaller community facilities would be certified by the state, allowing patients discharged or diverted from the larger facilities to be treated closer to their homes.

The proposal unanimously passed the Senate Wednesday, after earlier passing the House, also by a unanimous vote. Because it was amended in the Senate, it now goes back to the House for final approval before going to Inslee for consideration.