The January 2024 Legislature has Convened for a Short Session

The 2024 legislative session started on Monday, January 8th, and is a short 60-day session scheduled to end on March 7th, 2024. This short session, occurring every even-numbered year, focuses on supplemental budgets, allowing adjustments to funds allocated in the 2023-2025 operating, capital, and transportation budgets. Both legislation introduced in 2023, and new bills will be considered.


Here are LeadingAge Washington’s key legislative priorities for this session:


Budget Priorities:

  1. Assisted Living Facility Rate Methodology: Increase the assisted living labor component from 79 to 95 percent. ($50,015,000; $23,185,000 GF-S)
  2. Assisted Living Specialized Dementia Care Rates: Raise the SDC add-on from $43.48 to $60 per day per client. ($6,972,000; $3,256,000 GF-State)
  3. Skilled Nursing Facilities – Transitioning from RUGs to PDPM: Provide funding to mitigate the overall impact on facilities and provider rates when transitioning to PDPM by introducing a “hold harmless” concept. The PDPM adjustment would occur following rebasing based on 2022 cost data and the application of an inflation factor allowing for “normal” rate adjustments. The guardrails will cap PDPM gains or losses to some level based on the funding that will be appropriated.
  4. Adult Day: Funding to provide a 30 percent rate increase for both adult day health and day care. $1,924,000 ($962,000 GF-S)
  5. Housing Plus Services: Provide funding for DSHS to convene a multi-agency workgroup tasked with studying the feasibility of a statewide housing plus services model. The workgroup will develop comprehensive recommendations, including potential funding sources and the identification of implementation barriers.

Policy Focus:

  • Skilled Nursing Facilities – Transitioning from RUGs to PDPM: In addition to the funding mentioned above, statutory changes are necessary to implement the transition. SB 5802, “Providing flexibility in the calculation of nursing rates,” has been introduced. This legislation will remove all references to RUGS from the nursing home payment statute and give the department the needed flexibility to develop and implement a new PDPM system. This flexibility, combined with the proposed guardrail measures’ funding, will allow for a comprehensive stakeholder process over the next year to analyze data and determine the best system to support the care of residents in the skilled nursing facility setting. These stakeholder discussions will encompass which PDPM components should be utilized, how they should be weighted, and what additional add-ons may be necessary to ensure that we adequately account for the resources needed to care for long-term Medicaid residents, with a particular focus on addressing behaviors.
  • Appeal rights for residents in assisted living: Prioritizing an appeal rights process that is tailored to the unique characteristics of home and community-based settings (HCBS), considering variations in residents, clinical abilities, and staffing.


For a complete list of bills we are monitoring this session, please visit our bill tracking page.


Your ongoing support and engagement are vital, and you can always find ways to get involved in our Action Center. We will keep you updated on developments throughout the session.