Washington State
House of Representatives
Office of Program Research
Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee
HB 1314
Brief Description: Concerning veteran diversion from involuntary commitment.
Sponsors: Representatives Young, Lovick, Dufault, Hackney, Bateman, Rule, Lekanoff, Pollet and Callan.
Brief Summary of Bill
  • Requires a facility to inquire about a person's veteran's status after arrival in a behavioral health facility and coordinate with Veteran's Health Administration facilities if the person is a veteran or eligible for veteran's services.
Hearing Date: 2/2/21
Staff: Ingrid Lewis (786-7289).

Under the Involuntary Treatment Act, a person may be committed by a court for involuntary treatment if he or she, due to a behavioral health disorder, poses a likelihood of serious harm or is gravely disabled and will not consent to voluntary treatment. 
Designated crisis responders (DCR) are responsible for investigating and determining whether a person may be in need of involuntary treatment.  A person may be detained by a DCR for up to 120 hours without a court order under emergency circumstances when the DCR receives information that a person presents an imminent likelihood of serious harm or is in imminent danger because of being gravely disabled.  Additionally, a law enforcement officer may take a person meeting the emergency detention standard into custody and immediately deliver him or her to a crisis stabilization unit, evaluation and treatment facility, emergency department, triage facility, secure withdrawal management and stabilization facility, or approved substance use disorder treatment program.  When a person is taken to a facility on an emergent detention, he or she may be held in the facility for up to 12 hours for a DCR investigation, provided that they must be examined by a mental health professional or chemical dependency professional within three hours of arrival, not counting time periods prior to medical clearance.

Summary of Bill:

As soon as reasonably possible, and provided that there are not emergent medical needs, a facility receiving a person with mental health or substance use disorder needs must inquire into the person's veteran status or eligibility for veteran's benefits.  If the person has been identified as a veteran or a person eligible for veteran's services, the facility must report the admission to the federal Veteran's Health Administration (VHA) system.  The facility must request a transfer to a VHA facility for treatment, and if approved, release the person to the accepting VHA facility upon medical clearance.

Appropriation: None.
Fiscal Note: Preliminary fiscal note available.
Effective Date: This bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed, except for section 2, relating to behavioral health integration, which takes effect July 1, 2026.