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Senate plan adds mental health dollars

The Columbian / Associated Press, April 8, 2013

TACOMA — As state senators proposed cuts in social services this week, one area gained ground: money for treating mental illness. Budget writers understand how crucial this spending is in preventing dangerous people from being on the street instead of in treatment, The News Tribune reported in Sunday's newspaper. "We had to put some resources there, or there would be no room at the inn for people who were in serious trouble," Hoquiam Sen. Jim Hargrove, lead budget negotiator for the Democrats, said Friday night after senators approved the Republican-flavored plan. The Senate proposal and Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee's spending plan both spend nearly $16 million to avoid making mental health treatment backlogs any worse.