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Jay Inslee

Legislative panel recommends changes to mental health care

A bipartisan legislative committee has sent a list of recommendations to the governor for improving Washington state's struggling mental health care system.

The eight-member Select Committee on Quality in State Hospitals told Gov. Jay Inslee in a letter sent Friday that the state needs to do more to ensure patients get the help they need. The group also said their primary force was to improve the situation at the beleaguered Western State Hospital - the state's largest psychiatric facility.

Committee co-chair Sen. Randi Becker, R-Eatonville, said the state has increased funding over the past few years, but the hospital continues to fail inspections. Staffing levels have...