House Democrats in Olympia recently passed a record $65 billion supplemental operating budget.
As part of future planning, the closure of the Naselle Youth Camp was being considered.
During House floor debate on the spending plan, Rep. Jim Walsh offered an amendment that would keep the doors open to the facility that provides educational and treatment options for young men.
Naselle Youth Camp in Naselle is a medium-security facility, that is not fenced, providing educational and treatment services for males.
Educational options include a high school diploma and General Equivalency Diploma (GED).
Naselle, in collaboration with the Department of Natural Resources, offers a forestry work program and, in collaboration with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, an aquaculture program.
The 19th District lawmaker said that adoption of his amendment into the 2022 supplemental operating budget was a win for Naselle, Pacific County, Southwest Washington, and all of Washington state because it keeps the Naselle Youth Camp open and doing good work.
“The Naselle Youth Camp does real rehabilitation work for at-risk kids. It provides structure and discipline to young people who need it. Who are on the edge, who might go down a destructive path but can still choose better. The camp experience helps them make those better choices.
“Over the past few years, we’ve had to fight hard – repeatedly – to save the Naselle Youth Camp from the budget writers’ knives. That shouldn’t be. Washington doesn’t need to get rid of the Naselle Youth Camp. It needs to replicate the camp’s success! It needs to give more at-risk kids the structure and discipline they need to see better, choose better and do better.”
The 2022 session is scheduled to conclude on March 10.