‘Difficult’ and ‘consequential’

By: - May 16, 2023 12:15 pm

At a briefing with reporters after the Senate vote, Majority Leader Andy Billig, D-Spokane, said the bill was the “most difficult and most consequential one” Senate lawmakers dealt with this year. 

Sen. Manka Dhingra, D-Redmond, voted against the bill the first time it came to the Senate floor. 

This time, she voted “yes.” She noted that this version had more options for treatment and called the bill “implementable” in communities across the state.

State Senate Democratic leaders speak to reporters after a vote in their chamber approving compromise legislation to revamp the state’s drug possession laws. (Laurel Demkovich/Washington State Standard)

Dhingra said this bill along with others passed this session, such as those to expand the behavioral health workforce and bolster the behavioral health 988 hotline for people in crisis, will help set up the needed infrastructure to help those with substance abuse disorders.

“This is a really good step in the right direction,” Dhingra said.

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Laurel Demkovich
Laurel Demkovich

Laurel joined States Newsroom in 2023 after almost three years as a statehouse reporter for the Spokesman-Review. She covers state government, the Legislature and all other Olympia news.