County Council passes legislative priorities, establishes task force

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The Pierce County Council adopted Resolution 2019-2, 2019 legislative priorities to address the closure of civil commitment beds at Western State Hospital as recommended by the Pierce County Western State Hospital Task Force (PC Task Force). Priorities focus on community-based facilities, community-based treatment, behavioral health facilities, housing and workforce development, training and retention.

Council established the PC Task Force after the governor’s announcement to close all civil commitment beds at Western State Hospital and concerns Pierce County is at risk of being disproportionally impacted by the reduction of beds. PC Task Force is charged with reviewing the potential impacts of the State’s decision on Pierce County, and to offer recommendations for addressing expected impacts.

“Governor Inslee wants the closure of all these beds to be in place by 2023,” said Connie Ladenburg, Pierce County Councilmember District 4. “That is around 500 people potentially being released into our community with unknown services, oversight, or a funding source. We must proactively work with our legislators on how we want to see this transition happen to reduce the impact to our community.”

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