2017 Legislative Summary
This 193-day legislative session (a combination of a 105-day regular session and three special sessions) was the longest in state history and is finally over. However, lawmakers did not finish their work before they left Olympia this summer! While we avoided a state government shutdown with an operating budget being signed before the end of the fiscal year, there was more to be done – we still needed a state capital budget!
For the community health centers (CHCs), not having a capital budget means that our request for capital funding to build new dental clinics and expand existing ones was not realized this session. We will be working during the interim and in 2018 to highlight the critical need for dental capacity funding and timely legislative action.
This session, we were able to protect the safety net and the 340B drug pricing program. We were unable, however, to get additional funding for the health professional loan repayment program – one of the most important workforce recruitment and retention tools for our CHCs.
All of our work was against a backdrop of ongoing threats to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Our CHCs rallied to protect the gains we have made through federal health care reform and continue to ensure that federal funding continues for critical programs like the CHC Trust Fund, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the National Health Service Corp, and the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education program.
To read more about the work our CHCs engaged in this year, please see our 2017 Legislative Summary.
Previous Legislative Summaries