Inslee Responds to Bryant’s Call for Report Release

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jason Roe (202) 374-2424

Inslee Responds to Bryant’s Call for Report Release
Bryant Renews Call for Debate on Homelessness, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health

(Seattle, Wash.) – Responding to Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Bryant’s call to release reports the Inslee Administration has kept hidden from the public, the media, and the special oversight committee of state mental hospitals, the Inslee Administration finally released the federal government’s report on the state’s largest psychiatric facility.

The report revealed a “culture of helplessness” among staff and patents.  The report cited staff seeing limited success and having little belief in positive change, patients feeling neglected, and increased tensions over lax security.

The report confirmed one of the many problems Bryant drew attention to in his press conference on September 21: The Inslee Administration’s over-reliance on on-call personnel and overtime. Bryant called upon Inslee to: 

  • Submit a complete report to SCQISH on how many people are "employed" on-call, how many dollars are spent over last four years on on-call personnel
  • Disclose how many dollars have been spent for overtime, and how many people received overtime
  • Disclose how many administrative positions are there by year and administrative payroll cost by year

Bryant said he would embrace the bipartisan reforms that Governor Inslee vetoed which would have provided for regional capacity for patients ready to be discharged from Western State.  This report recommends an approach similar to the one Bryant and legislators have been recommending.

Bryant reiterated his challenge to Governor Inslee to have a debate focused exclusively on mental health, drug addiction, and homelessness, an invitation Bryant issued on August 22nd, before it was even disclosed that the report existed.

“Jay Inslee is the chief executive of the state,” said Bryant.  “He has a responsibility for transparency and he certainly owes the public an explanation about what he’s doing to address the failures in mental health, drug addiction, and homelessness, and what he’d do in a second term that he’s failed to do in his first.”

According to Bryant, “After reading this report it appears there was a culture of helplessness for those experiencing the mismanagement from the inside, and from the outside looking in there appears to be a culture of haplessness.  Jay Inslee can try to blame this on the recession or on his predecessor, but the legislature has given him the funds he requested and passed reforms to help rebuild our hospital and regional capacity.  Jay Inslee took the money, vetoed the reforms, blamed someone else and then said the solution was still more money. The real solution is getting a governor who has some ability to govern.”

Bryant called upon Governor Inslee to meet him before October 19 for a debate dedicated solely to homelessness, mental health and Western State hospital.


Matthew Donnellan