Happy New Year!

We are reaching out to ask for your help to restore funding and representation for people living with brain injury in Washington State.

The Problem: DSHS Defunded Brain Injury Support Groups As some of you know, when COVID-19 hit in early 2020, Washington DSHS defunded support groups and other successful programs for people living with brain injury in our state.

The funds that DSHS cut were NOT taxpayer dollars. They came from the 2007 TBI Act (aka Tommy Manning Act) that dedicates $5 of each traffic ticket to the Washington State TBI fund.

A Governor’s TBI Council with representatives from the brain injury community (veterans, people living with brain injury, family members, tribes, professionals, etc) was established to oversee the allocation of the funds. I was honored to serve on the council in its early years. Now many of these seats sit empty and other seats are overwhelmingly filled with DSHS employees.

A dedicated group of people have been working hard with legislators to correct this situation and restore funding to brain injury support groups and representation and transparency to the TBI Council.

Good News for the New Year! State Representative Jessica Bateman is presenting Bill HB 2248 on Friday, 19 January 2024, to the Washington State Legislature. The bill includes simple, critical updates to the 2007 TBI Act to ensure support for individuals with brain injury and their families.

For this bill to succeed we need your voice. Our elected officials must understand how many people rely on peer support and care deep the need for this bill is. The Legislature will be hearing the bill on Friday, 19 January 2024, so all of us must act now!

It’s Easy to Comment This is very easy to do and can be done in about five minutes.

First Click here: Brain Injury Community Alliance (BICA) and follow the three steps to support HB 2248 and send a letter to your representatives.

There are many ways to share this message; tell your friends, neighbors, colleagues, and family. Post on your social media to share how important this is to you and encourage others to show their support.

Example of a Short Comment You can Send:

“Over the past few years, Washington DSHS has gutted successful programs for those with brain injury in our state by reallocating budgets, defunding community support groups, and creating a difficult, even hostile, environment for people already dealing with challenging disabilities.

House Bill 2248 includes simple, yet vital, updates to existing Washington laws that help individuals, caregivers, and families dealing with brain injuries.

In this brief legislative session, I urge you to support this desperately needed Bill 2248. Your Name”

BEST has always supported our community. Today we are asking you to support our community, too.