Jordan LaPier
(202) 495-3320

There Are Going to Be Layoffs.’ State and Local Governments Brace for Cuts as Budget Crisis Looms

April 23, 2020

Washington state has deemed Mike Yestramski’s job at Western State Hospital to be essential, so the 39-year-old social worker is still showing up for his shifts. Coronavirus has changed most things at the state-run mental health facility near Tacoma, he says. Patients’ trips to the gym aren’t happening, nor are the basketball games or group therapy sessions. Visitors for patients are discouraged. Then there’s the growing anxiety among the staff about what is happening in Olympia, the state capitol, where the Governor has already trimmed close to a half-billion dollars in new spending.