Advocacy Alert: April 2022 Legislative News Round Up

May 5, 2022

For those of you who follow us on social media know, we post news stories on a daily basis that are connected to the behavioral health and addiction treatment industry.

Many of these are news stories regarding legislation, so once a month we send out a 'news roundup' of related news stories we've posted. Unless otherwise stated, BHAP has no official stance on any of these stories: the intention is to share so that we're all better informed as to what's happening in the legislative world.

A reminder that BHAP members get access to a monthly call with our advocate in Washington, DC, to find out what is going on and ask any questions you may have. Feel free to contact us for more information on that.


Senate Finance Committee Holds Hearing On Behavioral Health
Shared 4/1/2022
The Senate Finance Committee holds a hearing entitled, "Behavioral Health Care When Americans Need It: Ensuring Parity and Care Integration."

A New Mental Health Hotline Is Coming. We Need to Do Right by It.
Shared 4/2/2022
The national 988 service can be a big improvement over the current system. But it will need adequate call center staffing and more care providers across the country, along with a strong communications rollout.

IL | How Governor Pritzker Plans to Tackle Illinois' Opioid Crisis
Shared 4/2/2022
Nearly 3,000 Illinois residents died of an opioid overdose in 2020.

CT | Connecticut Bills Call for New Mental Health Treatment Techniques
Shared 4/3/2022
Using psychedelics to treat mental health disorders is the focus of a bill that passed out of the Public Health Committee, Senate Democrats said.

OR | Regional Leader for the Federal Health and Human Services Agency Meets with Oregon Officials
Shared 4/4/2022
A top federal health and human services official is visiting Oregon for the first time on Thursday and Friday, checking on the state's response to the pandemic, behavioral health care and workforce shortages in hospitals and clinics.

CA | California Law Enforcement Turns to Mental Health Clinicians on Toughest 911 Calls
Shared 4/4/2022
New programs pairing law enforcement officers with behavioral health clinicians as patrol teams have popped up throughout California, including in San Mateo County, Pleasanton, Palo Alto, Santa Maria, Sacramento County, Humboldt County and Modesto.

MI | How Health Centers Help Student Mental Health in Michigan
Shared 4/5/2022
As advocates push for a major funding increase, the outcome of this year's budget negotiations could shape Michigan's system for supporting student mental health for years to come -- even after federal COVID funds run out.

The Opioid Crisis in Tribal Communities
Shared 4/6/2022
The Subcommittee Oversight & Investigations held a virtual, fully remote oversight hearing on the opioid crisis in tribal communities.

NC | North Carolina Advocates Hope to Reduce the Number of Children in Crisis Who End up in Limbo
Shared 4/7/2022
Stakeholders in foster care, behavioral health care and child welfare systems develop a $60.1 million proposal to provide better care.

WI | Listening Sessions Held on Opioid Epidemic in Wisconsin
Shared 4/8/2022
State officials have come up with a list of recommendations on how to respond to the opioid epidemic in Wisconsin after holding a series of listening sessions and hearing from those who have struggled with addiction.

Native Tribes Demand Congress Provide 'All the Resources Necessary' to Combat Opioid Crisis
Shared 4/9/2022
In the wake of a landmark settlement deal with the nation's largest drugmakers and distributors, Native American leaders told lawmakers Tuesday that the federal government must also fulfill its commitments to helping tribes fight the opioid epidemic.

VA | Virginia's New Behavioral Health Director Orders Strategic Plan for Struggling State Agency
Shared 4/11/2022
Years of underfunding and a heavy workload have strained the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

GA | Georgia Governor Signs Sweeping Mental Health Bill into Law
Shared 4/11/2022
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Monday signed into law a bill aimed at bolstering the state's dismal mental health care system by pressuring private insurers to improve coverage for mental health conditions.

AK | Division of DHSS Gives Alaska Rare Opportunity in Health Care Reform
Shared 4/12/2022
The upcoming split in Alaska's Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) could provide an opportunity for the state to become a leader in health care reform.

A Bill to Allow Recruits with Previous Mental Health Treatment is on the Way
Shared 4/13/2022
In the vast majority of cases, young Americans hoping to join the military are barred from signing up if they've previously been treated for anxiety, depression or other mental health struggles. But there is some interest in changing that.

WV | Governor Justice Signs Senate Bill 181, Creating West Virginia 988 Mental Health Crisis System
Shared 4/13/2022
The bill originated in response to the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2020, which designated the three-digit phone number 988 as the universal number for the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Hotline System.

NM | Supreme Court Creates Statewide Judicial Commission On Mental Health
Shared 4/14/2022
The New Mexico Commission on Mental Health and Competency will include representatives of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government, tribal governments, advocates for behavioral health services and housing, those with a life experience in mental health issues, and criminal justice system partners – law enforcement, prosecutors and defense counsel.

Bipartisan Bill Aims to Create Incentives for Mental Health Providers to Adopt Electronic Records
Shared 4/15/2022
The bipartisan bill introduced by Reps. Doris Matsui, D-California, and Markwayne Mullin, R-Oklahoma, aims to give targeted funding to providers and community mental health centers aimed at adopting health IT systems.

WA | Homelessness, Behavioral Health Take Precedence in 'Historic' Spending Plan
Shared 4/16/2022
The Washington Legislature is using one of the largest infusions of federal money in state history to invest in a wide spectrum of attempts to reduce homelessness.

McKinsey Consulted on Opioids for the FDA -- and Also with Opioid Makers, Report Claims
Shared 4/17/2022
More than 20 employees from consulting firm McKinsey worked for the U.S. government on issues related to the opioid epidemic while also doing the same type of consulting for major opioid makers like Purdue Pharma, according to a new congressional report.

SC | South Carolina Department of Mental Health Opposing Bill They Foresee Impeding Services
Shared 4/21/2022
The department of mental health has 16 community-based outpatient mental health centers, with its clinics serving all 46 counties in the state.

ID | Gov. Brad Little Highlights Idaho's New Behavioral Health Resources
Shared 4/22/2022
During the recently-concluded legislative session, Idaho lawmakers approved all of Little's 'Leading Idaho' proposals for increased behavioral health resources.

Biden Administration Seeks to Expand Access to Treatment Amid Opioid Epidemic
Shared 4/25/2022
The 2022 National Drug Control Strategy calls for greater access to drug test strips, syringe services programs and naloxone.

DC | D.C. Schools Ramped Up Mental Health Resources During the Pandemic
Shared 4/26/2022
Mayor Bowser's recently-announced budget includes $3.8 million for additional student supports through school-based mental health programs.

MS | As Fentanyl Deaths Spike in Mississippi, New Law Imposes Harsher Penalties on Dealers
Shared 4/27/2022
The version of the bill that passed specifically targets the sale of fentanyl.

CO | Bills Seek to Help Colorado Mental Health Providers
Shared 4/27/2022
Two bills with bipartisan support would help therapists in private practice who are fed up with the convoluted Medicaid payment system.

CT | House Passes Bill Expanding Access to Children's Mental Health Services
Shared 4/29/2022
The Connecticut House of Representatives unanimously passed one of three major pieces of legislation that would improve access to mental health services for children, teens and young adults, with several members saying the proposal would save lives.

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A reminder that BHAP members get regular access to our advocate in Washington, DC. If you have any questions about BHAP's advocacy efforts, please contact us.


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