HB1477 imposes an excise tax on telecommunications services to fund and expand behavioral health crisis response and suicide prevention services, in accordance with the national 988 suicide hotline designation act of 2020 and the federal communication commission’s rules adopted July 16, 2020.
Some highlights of the bill include:
The legislature intends to establish a coordinated crisis hotline center and crisis services system, which shall contract with the department to receive reimbursement for providing crisis hotline center services, as described in this section. Crisis services include but are not limited to:
(a) Adult, youth, and geriatric mobile rapid response crisis teams, including specialized teams to meet the unique needs of LGBTQ youth and BIPOC communities
(b) Crisis stabilization services
(c) Peer respite serviced mobile rapid response crisis teams.
The state enhanced 911 coordination office shall collaborate with the department to assure consistency and equity of care statewide for individuals in crisis, regardless of whether they dial 911 or 988.
Responsibility for payment will depend on individuals’ enrollment in health care coverage.
The governor will create an implementation coalition for oversight and to enhance and expand behavioral health and suicide prevention crisis services in Washington state.
A statewide 988 behavioral health crisis response line tax is imposed on the use of all radio access lines.
The statewide 988 behavioral health crisis response line account is created in the state treasury. All receipts from the statewide 988 behavioral health crisis response line tax imposed pursuant to this chapter must be deposited into the account.
Each fiscal biennium, the legislature must appropriate to the authority such amounts as are required for the reimbursement of crisis response services. Moneys may only be spent after appropriation.
Directs the Department of Health to designate crisis hotline centers that meet standards related to technology and the ability to identify and deploy community crisis resources for persons experiencing a behavioral health crisis.
Establishes the 988 Implementation Team to provide guidance in implementing the 988 crisis hotline and the resources required for staffing, training, and technology for call centers to achieve an in-state call response of at least 90 percent
Establishes the Crisis Response Improvement Strategy Committee to develop a comprehensive assessment of the behavioral health crisis services system and a recommended vision for an integrated crisis network throughout Washington.
Establishes the Statewide 988 Behavioral Health Crisis Response Line Tax on phone lines to fund the crisis hotline centers and response services.