Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Human Services & Early Learning Committee

HB 2572

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Concerning implementation of the recommendations of the December 2019 report from the William D. Ruckelshaus center regarding residential habilitation center clients.

Sponsors: Representatives Robinson, Corry, Senn, Dent, Kilduff, Ryu, Frame, Leavitt, Valdez, Davis and Cody; by request of Office of the Governor.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Requires the Developmental Disability Administration (DDA) to develop a plan to implement the 2019 report from the William D. Ruckelshaus Center regarding residential habilitation center clients and submit a preliminary plan and report to the Governor and the Legislature by November 1, 2020, and a final implementation plan and report by September 1, 2021.

  • Establishes a joint executive and legislative task force to oversee the development of, and to approve the DDA reports prior to submission.

Hearing Date: 1/24/20

Staff: Luke Wickham (786-7146).


Developmental Disabilities Administration.

The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) Developmental Disability Administration (DDA) assists individuals with developmental disabilities and their families to obtain services and support based on individual preferences, capabilities, and needs. The DDA clients live in residential habilitation centers (RHCs), an institutional setting, as well as in the community.

Eligibility for DDA services depends on whether the client has a qualified developmental disability, has a functional need, and meets certain income and asset standards.

The services provided to clients are designed to promote everyday activities, routines, and relationships common to most citizens, and they include employment services and community access services, which are contracted with counties.

Residential Habilitation Centers.

The DSHS operates four RHCs for individuals with developmental disabilities:

The ICF/ID facilities are offered as an option to Medicaid recipients that meet the ICF/ID level of care criteria. In addition to meeting the level of care criteria, to be eligible for an ICF/ID, an individual's need for active treatment in an ICF/ID must arise from an intellectual disability. Federal law requires that ICF/ID services be provided to individuals needing and receiving active treatment services. Active treatment is a continuous, aggressive, and consistently implemented program of specialized and generic treatment, and health or related services directed toward helping the client function with as much self-determination and independence as possible. Active treatment does not include services to maintain generally independent clients who are able to function with little supervision or in the absence of a continuous active treatment program.

Nursing facilities provide 24-hour nursing care to aging individuals and individuals with developmental disabilities.

Supported Living Services.

Some clients of the DDA receive supported living services. These supported living services are provided to clients in the client's own home. Clients in group homes receive the same services as supported living but live in a facility that is licensed as an assisted living facility or adult family home. The DDA contracts with supported living providers for this service and may include support with engagement in community activities, self-advocacy, building relationships, finances, shopping, menu planning and cooking, medication management, medical appointments, personal hygiene, and daily living activities.

2019 Ruckelshaus Report.

The 2019-21 Operating Budget required that DSHS contract with the William D. Ruckelshaus Center or other neutral third party to continue the facilitation of meetings and discussions about how to support appropriate levels of care for RHC clients based on the clients' needs and ages.

The William D. Ruckelshaus Center is a joint effort of Washington State University (WSU) and the University of Washington (UW), created to foster collaborative public policy in the state of Washington and Pacific Northwest. It is hosted and administered at a WSU Extension and hosted at UW by the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance in Seattle. The Ruckelshaus Center was contracted to facilitate meetings and discussions and a report based on these meetings was completed in December 2019 (2019 Ruckelshaus report).

The 2019 Ruckelshaus report included the following recommendations regarding community residential services:

The 2019 Ruckelshaus report included the following recommendations regarding cross-system coordination:

The 2019 Ruckelshaus report included the following recommendations regarding state-operated nursing facilities:

The 2019 Ruckelshaus report included the following recommendations regarding redesigning state-operated Intermediate Care Facilities (ICFs) to function as short-term crisis stabilization and intervention facilities:

Summary of Bill:

DDA Report.

The DDA must develop a plan to implement the 2019 report from the William D. Ruckelshaus Center regarding RHC clients. The DDA must collaborate with the Office of Financial Management to create a financing plan to include as part of the recommendations.

A preliminary implementation plan must be included within a report to the Governor and the Legislature no later than November 1, 2020. A final implementation plan and report must be provided to the Governor and Legislature no later than September 1, 2021. The final plan and report must describe the implementation plan, timeline, any recommended statutory changes, and a financing plan and expected fiscal impacts of operationalizing the recommendations.

Joint Executive and Legislative Task Force.

A joint executive and legislative task force (Task Force) is created to oversee the development of, and to approve, the preliminary and final reports prior to submission. The members of the Task Force must include:

The Governor must convene and chair the Task Force. The DSHS must staff the Task Force. The Task Force must periodically meet with, provide updates to, and solicit feedback from stakeholders. The stakeholders must include but are not limited to:

The preliminary and final reports must advance the recommendations of the 2019 Ruckelshaus report to design and implement a modern, community-focused, person-centered, and individualized service delivery system for individuals who reside in RHCs, with an emphasis on investments in community residential service options, including services and options for those with complex behavioral needs.

In developing the implementation plan, the Task Force must review and consider the recommendations from the 2019 Ruckelshaus report.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.