No Celebration Necessary

This morning the local news is reporting that the State Senate passed a budget bill and sent it to the Governor for signature in the wee hours of the morning. For organizations like Ryther that serve the State’s Child Welfare System, this news may come as some relief in that catastrophic cuts were not made to relevant funding sources within the government, but this is not a time for self-congratulatory backslapping. The Children’s Administration’s Behavioral Rehabilitation Services prorams still pays less than two-thirds the cost of care for kids at Ryther. Ryther loses $115 per day per child on kids referred from DSHS. Since 2009, Western Washington has seen its residential bed capacity shrink by 72 beds as a result of grossly inadequate reimbursement. The State has already used residential care at a much lower rate than nearly every other State. It is very hard to avoid inflammatory rhetoric when discussing this subject. Ryther is hanging on for now, but this situation cannot go on forever. Any celebration over a new budget that does not address some needed tax reforms should be modest.

Lee Grogg, MSW, MBA

Executive Director / CEO