Governor signs two health care bills from Rep. Young into law

The governor signed two bills sponsored by Rep. Jesse Young Monday, which will have a positive impact on Washington's overall health care efforts.

The first bill will provide more health care options for veterans

House Bill 1314 will require a facility to inquire about a person's veteran status when they arrive at a behavioral health facility. The facility must coordinate with Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities if the patient is a veteran or eligible for veteran's services.

“Many veterans find themselves involuntarily committed into facilities that do not understand the behavioral health options available through the federal VHA,” said Rep. Young, R-Gig Harbor. “This can be a very confusing and aggravating process.”

The legislation makes it possible to divert veterans from the involuntary treatment system that so many find frustrating.  It also leaves the ultimate choice in the hands of each individual veteran – only adding options, not mandating any particular choice.

“Our veterans have done so much for us and our country. This is one small way we can pay them back,” said Young. “We should do whatever we can to ensure our veterans receive the right care from wherever they choose.”

House Bill 1314 takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session, except for section 2, relating to behavioral health integration, which takes effect July 1, 2026.

The second bill will provide for health and economic recovery

The governor also signed House Bill 1296, which will allow health and social welfare organizations to take a B&O tax deduction on amounts received as compensation for providing mental health services or substance use disorder treatment services under a government-funded program.

“This legislation is a promise kept and no-brainer during our current pandemic situation,” said Young. “This is a proven economic tool that works, and it's a good example of government being responsible to the needs of Washingtonians.”

The bill will allow a B&O tax deduction on the money received from the state for the distribution to a health or social welfare organization that is also eligible for the deduction.

“I'm grateful that both of these bills have been signed by the governor and know they will benefit the state's health care system,” added Young.

House Bill 1296 contains an emergency clause and takes effect immediately.


Washington State House Republican Communications