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Opinion Northwest

Join the informed writers of The Times' editorial board in lively discussions at our blog, Opinion Northwest.

Topic: state Legislature

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January 28, 2015 at 6:20 AM

Should marijuana home grows be legal in Washington?

2015 is going to be a big year in marijuana policy and politics. But the most provocative question in pot has yet to be heard in Olympia, or even debated much: legalizing home growing. Grow this at home? (Ellen M. Banner / Seattle Times) Seattle Democrat Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, the Legislature’s senior stateswoman on marijuana, proposes allowing six-plant…

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Comments | Topics: initiative 502, marijuana, state Legislature

September 15, 2014 at 6:32 AM

Rare good news for state mental health system

Since the state Supreme Court’s “psychiatric boarding” ruling last month, the news has been all bad for the state. The ruling requires Gov. Jay Inslee’s administration to find at least 145 new beds, or else patients who need involuntary psychiatric care could be cut loose, without treatment, to the streets.

The view from  the King County Superior court room at Harborview Medical Center where  involuntary commitment cases are heard. (Mike Seigal / Seattle Times)

The view from the King County Superior court room at Harborview Medical Center where involuntary commitment cases are heard. (Mike Seigal / Seattle Times)

That task is so big that the Department of Social and Health Services had to get an unusual 120-day stay on the court’s ruling. And it’s so expensive that Inslee authorized $30 million in un-budgeted mental health funding, just to get through 2014.

Last week, the state finally got some good news. DSHS got word that it obtained a waiver from what’s known as the “IMD exclusion,” an arcane 1960’s-era rule that bans Medicaid from paying for psychiatric hospitalizations in facilities larger than 16 beds.

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Comments | Topics: mental health, psychiatric boarding, state Legislature

April 17, 2013 at 7:18 AM

Protect kids from toxic chemicals in children’s products

Corrected version The state Legislature is close to banning two Tris flame retardants from use in children’s products, but there is still time to do better. House-passed legislation, ESHB 1294, awaits a vote on the Senate floor. But as the Washington Toxics Coalition points out, the bill no longer has a provision to prevent companies from…

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Comments | Topics: chemical Tris, children's products, state Legislature