Money, Money, Money
Legislative Budget Update
The Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee and the House Appropriations Committee voted on their versions of the budget Sunday night. Each version of the budget must be examined and voted on by the other chamber and then conferees must be appointed to work out the differences in the final document. This blog will take a look at the Governor’s proposed budget, the House budget and the Senate budget.
Each budget contained earmarks for alternative transportation and alternative custody for those experiencing a temporary detention order. All three budget proposals contain $20 million for hospital-based psychiatric emergency alternatives. Each budget also contains $1 million for the off-duty officer program to help with monitoring and transporting temporary detention order patients. All three budgets include $58,345,204 for increased funding for comprehensive crisis services system. Each budget includes one-time funding for mobile crisis units totaling $20 million.
Vocal Virginia supported a budget amendment that would have given the Community Services Boards over $162 million for workforce development. The House funded this measure at $36,535,694 and the Senate invested $50 million in the Community Services Boards. Both the Senate and the House included $8.4 million for children’s behavioral health services. The three budgets each include $1 million to add psychiatric residencies through graduate medical programs. $20 million was included in all three budgets for Medicaid eligibility redetermination unwinding. The Senate bill includes a number of rate increases for various Medicaid services, which are not included in the House bill. Vocal Virginia also supported a budget amendment that would have funded a Medicaid High Needs supports rate study. This program provides employment and housing supports for those Medicaid recipients who may need additional help. Unfortunately, this amendment was not included in the budget. Vocal Virginia is a proponent of permanent supportive housing. The Governor included $8 million for serious mental illness housing. The Senate bill includes $50 million for permanent supportive housing.
Vocal Virginia will continue to monitor the budget to ensure mental health remains a priority for law makers. If you would like additional information about the budget, please click here.