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: Western State Hospital


Budget doesn’t close Western State Hospital wards

By and large, the budget that went public after midnight today and was approved and sent to Gov. Chris Gregoire a few hours later is not all that different from the Democrats’ last offer a week ago. It avoids major cuts to disability and welfare benefits that Republicans had sought, it doesn’t cut public schools or colleges, and it relies on a $238 million accounting trick.

But there are differences, and here’s a big one for Pierce County: The budget doesn’t call for closing any wards at Western State Hospital.

Six months ago the hospital was

Read more »


Pat McCarthy, Paul Pastor, others say Western State Hospital cuts will cause problems in Pierce County

The county executive and sheriff, along with County Councilman Dick Muri and Pierce County Community Connections director Helen Howell, are sending a letter today to Gov. Chris Gregoire opposing the downsizing of the Lakewood psychiatric hospital by 150 beds.

The county officials say the plan would “cause more problems that are even more expensive to solve,” particularly in Pierce County:

While 150 beds are slated to close, and only 10% of those are likely assigned to Pierce County, the reality over the years has been very different. A variety of factors continually lead to requests to be discharged to

Read more »


Legislators: Send committed patients to prison

Legislators have agreed to create a process to remove some of the most dangerous patients from state hospitals where concerns have been raised about security.

A provision in a bill that won final legislative approval today would allow the secretary of the Department of Social and Health Services to transfer to prison a patient committed to a state hospital for mental illness. The temporary authority expires in 2015.

The bill goes to the governor, whom legislators worked with in writing the provision, said Sen. Mike Carrell.

Carrell has complained about the cost to Western State Hospital of housing

Read more »