Advocacy Alert: August 2021 Legislative News Round Up

September 1, 2021

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.



FL | Q&A: Erica Floyd-Thomas on Suicide Prevention and Behavioral Health in Florida
Shared 8/2/2021
Erica Floyd-Thomas is the assistant secretary for substance abuse and mental health at the Florida Department of Children and Families.

MD | Governor Hogan Announces $6 Million in Grants to Address Heroin and Opioid Crisis
Shared 8/5/2021
More than $12.5 million has been awarded through the MCIN program.

CT | Connecticut Will Use $300M in Settlement Funds on Opioid Crisis
Shared 8/6/2021
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong reiterated this week the state's plan to use its approximately $300 million share of a national settlement of opioid crisis-related claims to tackle the epidemic.

Cassidy Applauds Bipartisan Legislation that Promotes Mental Health in Health Care Workers
Shared 8/9/2021
On Friday, Aug. 6, United States Senators Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Tim Kaine of Virginia applauded the Senate passage of the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, which aims to prevent burnout, suicide, mental and behavioral health issues in health care workers.

AL | New Safety Guidelines in the Works for Sober Living Homes
Shared 8/9/2021
In July, the Alabama Alliance for Recovery Residences, or AARR, a non-profit, became certified as an affiliate of the National Alliance of Recovery Residences, or NARR.

Federal Legislation Would Require States to Fund Addiction Recovery Programs
Shared 8/13/2021
U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Henrico, has introduced a bipartisan bill that would create permanent federal funding for addiction recovery programs.

WY | Behavioral Health Plan Update Moves to Next Step
Shared 8/14/2021
The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) is moving forward with proposals to update the state's behavioral health system.

AK | Murkowski Commends SAMHSA Grants to Alaska Native Communities
Shared 8/15/2021
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) commends the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for providing 29 Tribal Behavioral Health Grants for $7 million to Tribal communities, including six grants to Alaska.

ID | Advocates and Government Officials Discuss Idaho's Behavioral Health Strategy In Twin Falls
Shared 8/15/2021
Several crisis and recovery organizations in south central Idaho hosted a forum last week focused on Idaho's new behavioral health plan.

Mental Health Clinics Angle for a Spot in Biden Budget Bill
Shared 8/17/2021
An innovative program to help people with mental health and substance abuse problems is being primed for a major expansion as the COVID-19 pandemic deepens struggles with drug use, depression and anxiety for many Americans.

UHC Will Pay Penalty on Mental, Behavioral Reimbursement Parity
Shared 8/18/2021
UnitedHealthcare will pay $15.6 million in penalties and payments to beneficiaries and it will correct its policies that restricted mental and behavioral reimbursement parity.

Marijuana Legalization Rundown: New Legislation Across Several States
Shared 8/19/2021
There has been a recent flurry of movement – both in the courts and in state legislatures – on the marijuana law front across several states.

KS | KDADS Reaches Settlement for State-Funded Nursing Homes for Mental Illness
Shared 8/19/2021
The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services says it reached a pre-litigation agreement with the Disability Rights Center of Kansas.

MS | Mississippi Lawmakers 'Very Close' To Deal On Medical Marijuana Bill, Negotiators Say
Shared 8/20/2021
A draft bill to legalize medical cannabis in Mississippi could be taken up a special session in the legislature this month.

NY | NYC Launches First Ever Comprehensive Website And Public Education Campaign To Connect New Yorkers To Mental Health
Shared 8/23/2021
Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray unveiled a new comprehensive website and public education campaign to help New Yorkers navigate all the mental health resources available to them.

Teens Are Advocating for Mental Health Days Off School
Shared 8/24/2021
Faced with high stress levels among adolescents and a mental health crisis that includes worsening suicide rates, some states are now allowing students to declare a mental health day.

KY | Kentucky Leaders, Recovery Community Discuss Addiction Crisis
Shared 8/24/2021
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, R, and members of the treatment and recovery community met to discuss Kentucky's substance use disorder crisis.

COVID Sets Stage for Biden to Tackle Addiction Treatment Access
Shared 8/25/2021
Bilingual addiction specialists, methadone treatment vans for underserved areas, and research into race's role in drug policy are among team Biden's plans for getting a grip on America's addiction crisis.

IL | New Illinois Laws will Require Insurance Coverage for Mental Health Disorders, Expand Access to Mental Healthcare
Shared 8/26/2021
Illinois has taken another step in expanding access to mental healthcare.

TN | State Expands Mental Health Services for Youth to Montgomery County
Shared 8/27/2021
The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services is bringing OnTrack TN, Tennessee's First Episode Psychosis Initiative to Montgomery, Anderson and Rutherford counties, according to a news release.

MD | Hundreds of Maryland Behavioral Health Patients Getting Free Smartphones or Tablets
Shared 8/29/2021
Maryland's Department of Health is launching a one-year pilot program aimed at supplying 375 behavioral health patients free WiFi equipped smartphones and tablets, to allow virtual visits with healthcare providers.

A Proclamation on Overdose Awareness Week, 2021
Shared 8/31/2021
In recent years, we have seen synthetic opioids, such as illicitly manufactured fentanyl, drive many overdose deaths with cocaine- and methamphetamine-related deaths also increasing at alarming rates.

Questions? Concerns?

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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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