Maybe Clark County Public Health Officer Dr. Alan Melnick needs to advocate for public health in a cuter way? If only he could fit orcas into his advocacy.
From 2003 to 2018, Clark County Public Health’s biennial revenue has dropped by close to $7 million, while the county’s population has risen by about 80,000 people. State foundational support has mostly flatlined at around $3.5 million over the last decade, and total funding from the state, which can include grants and other funding streams, has fallen by more than $3 million.
Local revenue to Public Health has increased by more than $3 million during that time period.
Gov. Jay Inslee’s 2019-2021 budget allotted up to $22 million to public health foundational services across the state, but the actual dollars will fall short of that pledge, Melnick said. There are new bills this session that could help increase funding, but if those bills don’t pass, health agencies across the state will have to cope with another decrease.
“We’ve been dealing with declining funding and revenue streams for many years,” Melnick said.