Advocacy Alert: June 2021 Legislative News Round Up

July 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.



NY | New York Lawmakers Seek to Boost Substance Abuse Programs
Shared 6/3/2021
State lawmakers approved a package of four bills meant to combat substance abuse issues in New York, providing a better path for funding and boosting research efforts.

FL | Mental Health Groups Praise Gov. DeSantis for Funding Behavioral Health
Shared 6/4/2021
Included in the $101.5 billion state budget is $2.5 billion for mental health and substance abuse prevention.

RI | Senate Bill Would Strengthen Recovery Services for Mental Health, Substance-Use Disorder
Shared 6/5/2021
The bill would require insurers and health plans to cover the costs of treatments and services and prohibit them from requiring preauthorization before help could begin.

PA | Pennsylvania Lawmakers' Push to Improve Mental Health Would Give Insurance Companies Access to Private Prescription Records
Shared 6/9/2021
A bipartisan group of lawmakers in Harrisburg — in a quest to improve care for those with mental health and drug abuse problems — has unveiled proposed legislation that would give insurance companies "targeted" access to the so-called Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

NJ | New Jersey Continues Enhancing Addiction Treatment Efforts by Joining Treatment Resource Project
Shared 6/10/2021
New Jersey Human Services Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman announced that New Jersey will be enhancing access to information about its addiction treatment options by joining a project that gives consumers an online reference guide to help those with a substance use disorder find the help they need.

Maloney Presses for Action on Bill Focused on Accountability in Opioid Crisis
Shared 6/11/2021
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) pressed lawmakers to approve legislation that is meant to prevent the Sackler family from avoiding lawsuits related to the opioid crisis.

HI | Video and Highlights for "5 Slides: Raising Awareness of Mental Health Solutions"
Shared 6/11/2021
In this conversation, Dr. Josh Green, lieutenant governor for the State of Hawaii, Kumi MacDonald, executive director for National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) Hawaii, and Katy Akimoto, SVP of Health Management at Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA) discussed the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and Hawaii’s response to people suffering from mental health challenges.

WI | Wisconsin Adolescent Mental Health Professionals Call For More Funding To Meet Increasing Needs
Shared 6/11/2021
At Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, mental health professionals saw an 80% increase in referrals for outpatient mental health treatment from December 2019 to December 2020.

IL | Passage of HB0449 Sparks Conversation about Addiction, Mental Illness
Shared 6/13/2021
Intended to break the cycle of institutionalization, Illinois House Bill 0449 will provide housing to individuals with mental illness and substance abuse disorders, with the requirement that they meet with a mental health professional, if signed.

MD | New Maryland Law Will Expand Adolescents' Access to Mental Health Care
Shared 6/14/2021
Following contentious debate during the 2021 legislative session, Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) has allowed a bill to let minors as young as 12-years-old to seek mental and emotional health care without their parent or guardians’ consent to become law.

Partisan Politics and the Opioid Epidemic: A Social Media Analysis
Shared 6/16/2021
In a study recently published in the "Journal of General Internal Medicine", Daniel C. Stokes and Anish K. Agarwal sought to understand how partisanship might affect legislative progress on this seemingly bipartisan issue by analyzing the content of state legislators' opioid-related social media posts over time.

CA | California Healthcare: Which Bills Advance, Which Are Dead
Shared 6/16/2021
June 5, 2021, was the deadline for the California Legislature to pass bills introduced in their house of origin. Accordingly, during the week of June 7th, the Senate and Assembly resumed policy committee hearings, reviewing measures from the opposite house.

Democrats in Congress Introduce Decriminalization Bill for all Drugs, Not just Weed
Shared 6/17/2021
The Drug Policy Reform Act would focus on health-centered approaches rather than arrests.

VA | Involuntary Commitment Bills Aim to Reform Virginia's Behavioral Health Processes
Shared 6/19/2021
Members of the Joint Subcommittee to Study Mental Health Services in the Commonwealth in the 21st Century weighed in on bills concerning involuntary commitment into state hospitals.

AMA Advocates for Prisoners' Access to Addiction Treatment
Shared 6/20/2021
The AMA House of Delegates recently updated a policy that seeks to increase access to evidence-based drug addiction treatment among "justice-involved individuals," a press release said.

CT | Connecticut's New Online Gaming, Sports Betting Bill could Increase Gambling Addiction. Is the State Ready?
Shared 6/21/2021
After decades of gambling in Connecticut being limited to the state’s lottery and its two casinos, some advocates worry the impending legalization of sports betting and online gaming will lead to a corresponding increase in gambling addiction.

FDA's Budget: Advancing the Goal of Ending the Opioid Crisis
Shared 6/22/2021
The opioid crisis in particular has remained an urgent public health priority for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, particularly as the crisis has continued to expand, devastating families and communities across the nation.

How Former U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy's Own Experience With Addiction Led Him To Become One Of Our Nation's Most Ardent Mental Healthcare Champions
Shared 6/23/2021
His first real bout with confronting his mental health publicly came in the 1980s when he was running for a seat in his state legislature.

MT | Peer Support Specialists join Board of Behavioral Health with Bill Signing
Shared 6/23/2021
Governor Greg Gianforte recently hosted a ceremonial bill signing of House Bill 276, which adds Peer Support Specialists to the Montana Board of Behavioral Health.

NH | Governor Announces $100 Million in Investments to Aid Mental Health Services
Shared 6/24/2021
Sununu calls effort the most 'transformative' step state has taken to address mental health.

Key Democrats Slam FDA for Failing to Crack Down on Juul and Other e-cigarette Makers
Shared 6/25/2021
The hearing comes as the FDA begins deciding in earnest which e-cigarette manufacturers can stay on the market, as part of a congressionally mandated process.

NV | Senate Bill 249 Becomes Law to Give Nevada Students Mental Health Days
Shared 6/25/2021
A Senate bill signed into law by Gov. Steve Sisolak is paving the way to address student mental health head-on and try to save lives in the process.

PA | Pennsylvania House Advances Bill to Help Children Of Opioid-addicted Parents
Shared 6/29/2021
Congressman Clint Owlet recently sponsored a law to help these children, which the Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously approved.

Biden Administration Eases Rules for Mobile Vans for Substance Use Treatment
Shared 6/30/2021
Aim is to increase treatment access in rural areas, underserved communities.

CO | Polis Signs Bills on Substance Abuse and Mental, Behavioral Health
Shared 6/30/2021
Gov. Jared Polis on Monday signed into law a package of four bills aimed at bolstering mental and behavioral health services and responding to substance abuse.

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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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