HB2248 Didn’t Make It, But HB2384 Could!

A screen shot of three people testifying at a House Committee for Human Services, Youth, and Early Learning. They are sitting at a long desk in front of microphones. There is a young white woman, young white man, and older white woman.

Thank you to everyone who rallied to support House Bill 2248 (Support for Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury).

Many people from the Brain Injury community organized to testify in Olympia. If you haven’t already, you can watch testimony for the bill (starting around minute 55:00 and then in the last 10 minutes). It’s all worth watching and it exemplary of the various reason why funding of community support programs, particularly in-person programs, are so critical to our community.

One of the testimonies you’ll hear in this video astutely speaks to the decline in funding for the traumatic brain injury account that supplies the budget to support programs and solutions for people living with Brain Injury.

Washington has a traumatic brain injury account that gets funded by a fee (currently $5) assessed with handwritten traffic tickets. With the proliferation and proposed expansion of automated camera tickets the fund has seen a dramatic decrease. NOTE: That fee is currently $20 in Colorado in their version of this program.

Supporting the brain injury community requires adequate budget. At present the money collected via RCW 46.63.110 7(c) doesn’t come close to adequate budget for the current needs of the state and the projected needs based on the rate of growth in the Brain Injury community.

As of April 1, 2023, the population of Washington State is currently estimated at 7,951,150[1] and Seattle is currently ranked an the #1 fastest growing in the country. By these metrics there are approximately 66,360 that sustain a TBI in WA state every year and approximately 507,843 (6%) people in Washington state living with permanent brain injury-related disability.

[1] WA State population was reported as 7,951,150 as of April 1, 2023, according to annual estimates that the Office of Financial Management prepared. https://ofm.wa.gov/sites/default/files/public/dataresearch/pop/april1/ofm_april1_press_release.pdf

The proposed operating DSHS budget for Brain Injury was $2.16MM ($4.25/person) in FY2023 and $1.72MM ($3.39/person) FY2024. While we understand that a per-person investment/cost is not the ultimate predictor of the quality of solution implemented, it does provide a benchmark for measuring this in the absence of a more sophisticated benchmark due to general lack of data and transparency.

The good news is that the House Transportation Committee just passed Engrossed Substitute HB 2384 and it’s going to the Senate floor this week. Section 2 (17) of this bill helps funding for the traumatic brain injury account created in RCW 74.31.060 by including the TBI fee to automated camera tickets, not just handwritten tickets:

(17) In addition to the penalty amounts for automated traffic safety camera infractions authorized in subsection (15) of this section, automated traffic safety camera infraction penalties must also include the fee specified in RCW 46.63.110(7)(c) to be deposited in the traumatic brain injury account created in RCW 74.31.060. This fee is waived for registered owners of vehicles granted the penalty reduction specified in subsection (15) of this section.


Essentially this section of the bill addresses how the the proliferation and expansion of automated camera tickets has dramatically decreased funds going into the TBI account as, currently, the fee for the TBI account is only assessed for handwritten tickets. The continued decrease in funds is threatening the budget for traumatic brain injury and making continued support unsustainable in the long term. This decrease in funds has been the primary roadblock in any request or negotiation for reinstating funding for support programs. Section 2 (17) of HB 2384 would apply the fee on all tickets, both handwritten and automated, thus reviving the funds in the TBI Account.

If passed this would be a very positive step in alleviating the very inadequate budget that exists to support brain injury in Washington State.

Please voice your support for HB 2384 by following these easy steps:

  1. Go to the bill comment page https://app.leg.wa.gov/pbc/bill/2384
  2. Fill out your information and click the “Verify District” button
  3. “Support” the bill and add your comment.

You comment can be as simple as “Please support this bill.”

You can also include in your comment that you “Support section 2.17 of this bill that would ensure funding for the traumatic brain injury account for all infractions, both written and automated and would like to ensure that funds from this account go to support in-person support groups.”

What happened to HB2248 (in bullets):

  • The bill was passed out of the House Committee on Human Services, Youth, & Early Learning on January 26, 2024.
  • It was then referred to Appropriations due to the fiscal note submitted by DSHS (as any bill with a fiscal note of more than $50,000 is required to go through Appropriations).
  • The bill never got scheduled for an Appropriations hearing and that was the end of the road for HB2248 for the 2024 Legislative Session.

We knew that the physics of time were not in favor this bill, and many others, due the short session (which happens every even year). While the bill did not get passed into law, we consider this work to be a huge success in setting us up the momentum and support we need to pass better legislation in 2025. And we have everyone who took time to write their representatives to thank for that. It truly made a difference! Thank you!