Two bills sponsored by 26th Legislative District state Rep. Jesse Young were signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee this past week.
Young, a Gig Harbor Republican, hailed the bills’ passage and signature as having a positive impact on Washington’s overall health care efforts.
House Bill 1314 will require a facility to inquire about a person’s veteran status when they arrive at a behavioral health facility. The facility must coordinate with Veterans Health Administration (VHS) facilities if the patient is a veteran or eligible for veteran’s services.
The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session, except for section 2, relating to behavioral health integration, which takes effect July 1, 2026.
“Many veterans find themselves involuntarily committed into facilities that do not understand the behavioral health options available through the federal VHS,” Young said.
“Our veterans have done so much for us and our country. This is one small way we can pay them back. We should do whatever we can to ensure our veterans receive the right care from wherever they choose.”
Inslee also signed House Bill 1296, which will allow health and social welfare organizations to take a B&O tax deduction on amounts received as compensation for providing mental health services or substance use disorder treatment services under a government-funded program.
The bill will also allow a B&O tax deduction on the money received from the state for the distribution to a health or social welfare organization that is also eligible for the deduction.
“This legislation is a promise kept and no-brainer during our current pandemic situation,” Young said. “This is a proven economic tool that works, and it’s a good example of government being responsible to the needs of Washingtonians.”
House Bill 1296 contains an emergency clause and takes effect immediately, Young’s office said in a news release.