Political Buzz

Talking WA politics.

NOTICE: Political Buzz has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Political Buzz.
Visit the new section.

Tag: mental health


Gov. Jay Inslee signs bill allowing private mental evaluations of inmates

Counties will be able to outsource mental health evaluations of jail inmates to the private sector if state psychologists aren’t doing them fast enough, under a law signed this afternoon by Gov. Jay Inslee.

Pierce County pushed the proposal, which I wrote about here. The Legislature has set a seven-day standard for mental evaluations of criminal suspects, but as of November and December, more than 80 percent of Western Washington offenders were still waiting for a Western State Hospital evaluation when the week was up. One of the reasons appears to be turnover in WSH staff who leave for

Read more »


Prosecutors look to pare down cost of mental-health “gap” proposal

The House Judiciary Committee put off a scheduled vote today on prosecutors’ proposal addressing violent crimes involving the mentally ill. The legislation’s sponsor says it’s not in trouble; after all, he’s the chairman of the committee.

But Rep. Jamie Pedersen also acknowledged there’s an obstacle to his bill, a bigger one than the objections by civil-liberties advocates who say it would deprive people of due process. And that is the bill’s fiscal note.

Sorry for the legislative jargon: A fiscal note is simply a formal cost estimate. And the note on this measure calls it a nearly $7 million hit to the

Read more »