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April 2021 Legislative Update

We are now in the final countdown for the 2021 Legislative Session, which operated virtually this year and will adjourn on April 25, 2021. With Governor Jay Inslee declaring a children and youth mental health crisis last month as part of the order to reopen schools for all ages on April 19, now more than ever mental healthcare is at the forefront, the MFT systemic lens is needed, and WAMFT will continue to advocate for access to care and sustainability of the MFT profession in Washington state.

WAMFT’s Virtual Day on the Hill occurred on March 22, 2021, and WAMFT members met with 20+ policymakers, including Madam Speaker Laurie Jinkins. Through dialogue with policymakers, we were able to increase visibility of the MFT profession in Olympia and bring MFT perspective to the table in the creation of policy that will impact MFT practice and behavioral healthcare access in Washington. A huge thank you to our members who intentionally engaged with our advocacy network this year by participating in our Day on the Hill Virtual Series!

Updates to 2021 Bills of Interest

SB 5229 – Concerning health equity continuing education for health care professionals.

Has passed both the Senate and the House in this session

HB 1196 – Concerning audio-only telemedicine.

Has passed both the House and the Senate in this session

HB 1237 –Defining family resource centers

Has passed both the House and the Senate in this session, and is now signed by the Governor

HB 1349 – Concerning peer specialists

Did not pass the House in this session; awaiting a second Sunrise Review, of which WAMFT will be an interested party

HB 1477 – Implementing the national 988 system to enhance and expand behvaioral health crisis response and suicide prevention services

Has passed the House and Senate this legislative session; chambers are conferencing on amendments.

Read full update here.

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