Advocacy Alert: February 2023 Legislative News Round Up
March 2, 2023
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 update 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.
PR | Omnibus Package Delivered AAFP Advocacy Wins for Primary Care
The omnibus extends Puerto Rico’s 76% Medicaid federal medical assistance percentage through 2027 and permanently extends the 84% FMAP for American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
UT | Utah House committee advances bill addressing long-term mental health services for adults
The House Health and Human Services Standing Committee unanimously passed House Bill 248 on Wednesday. The bill now advances to the House floor for consideration.
HI | Hawaii lawmakers to focus on workforce needs, behavioral health, and Medicaid reimbursement rates during this year’s session
Addressing healthcare workforce shortages, behavioral health needs, and increasing Medicaid reimbursement rates will be top priorities for Hawaii lawmakers as they work through the legislative session, which began on Jan. 18th.
IN | Indiana's lieutenant governor testifies before committee in support of bill to expand mental health services
Suzanne Crouch detailed how mental health challenges have personally affected her and her family.
Biden's speech comes with opioid epidemic having become a deadly public health crisis
As President Biden gives his State of the Union address, his administration is struggling to stem a devastating wave of fentanyl deaths. Here's how the opioid crisis has evolved in deadly ways.
WI | Year of mental health finds Wisconsin farmers at the forefront of conversation
Gov. Tony Evers has declared 2023 the year of mental health. Farmers and rural communities were the main topics during Gov. Evers’ visit to Marshfield.
State of the Union: Biden Administration Touts Further Behavioral Health Investments, Parity Enforcement
The Biden administration’s behavioral health agenda going forward prioritizes expanding the capacity of the American behavioral health care system, providing youth mental health services, and cracking down on international and domestic fentanyl trafficking.
KS | Kansas House passes legislation to clarify language in juvenile justice system
The House voted 123-0 to pass House Bill 2033, which would change the criteria for admitting young offenders to juvenile crisis intervention centers and better define standards for behavioral health crises.
NH | New Hampshire lawmakers consider mental health days for students
A woman whose teenage son died by suicide in 2017 urged New Hampshire lawmakers Tuesday to pass legislation allowing kindergarten through 12th-grade students excused absences from school to deal with mental and behavioral health issues.
Biden promise to crack down on fentanyl trafficking divides experts
Measures to combat overdose crisis include stiffer penalties but some worry it may signal a turn away from harm reduction.
Governors find common cause in fighting addiction
A bipartisan panel of governors from Maryland, New Hampshire, New Mexico and North Dakota said they agreed on elements of each other’s ideas to address addiction and the fentanyl crisis.
AR | Rural hospital bill easily clears Arkansas Senate, on its way to governor
The bill would allow hospitals to apply for the Rural Emergency Hospital designation that could bring in additional federal dollars and reduce costs.
ID | Pandemic fallout, workforce issues take stage in Idaho Health and Welfare budget hearing
Idaho legislators questioned need for spending requests.
MD | Maryland lawmakers may spend $12M to improve mental health crisis hotline, if bill moves forward
The Maryland state Senate is likely to take up a bill that will fund the 988 suicide and crisis prevention hotline by $12 million in 2025.
Democrats, GOP agree fentanyl is a national crisis, but differ on how to address it
It’s clear that both Democrats and Republicans agree that America’s opioid epidemic, including the explosion of overdose deaths attributed to fentanyl, is a national crisis.
WY | Suicide Prevention Hotline Bill advances
House Bill 65, originally sponsored by the Joint Revenue Committee, declares establishing a 988 phone system in which people and youth specifically can call or text and get immediate help from a certified behavior specialist.
Panel urges FDA to move opioid antidote Narcan over the counter
U.S. health advisers say the overdose-reversal drug naloxone should be made available over the counter.
Decriminalizing hard drugs in B.C. will help reduce the stigma of substance abuse
Substance use disorder is a chronic but treatable medical condition.
OH | Mental health targeted in Gov. Mike DeWine's budget proposal
DeWine has been focused on mental health issues for some time and last year launched the 'Beat the Stigma' campaign, which WKYC was involved with.
Bipartisan Bill Would Give People With Lived Mental Health Experience More Voice
Consumers often feel policy and budgeting decisions don’t sufficiently represent their perspectives.
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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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