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End-of-session report

The Washington State Legislature passed its supplemental 2021-23 operating budget on March 10, increasing state spending to $64 billion over two years.

This story was published in the Spring-Summer 2022 issue of The Washington Nurse magazine.

The Washington State Legislature passed its supplemental 2021-23 operating budget on March 10, increasing state spending to $64 billion over two years. This is a $5 billion increase from last year’s budget. The Legislature appropriated over $1 billion in unspent federal COVID-19 funding with most of the money going towards public health, schools and housing. The budget included $37 million to continue to address the opioid epidemic. To stabilize the behavioral health workforce, the Legislature appropriated $100 million to go towards one-time payments for community-based Medicaid contracting behavioral health providers. Most notably, the Legislature made a $71 million investment in supporting nursing and health care education programs, which included funding for simulation labs, nurse preceptors and the establishment of new nursing programs.