Advocacy Alert: March 2023 Legislative News Round Up
April 6, 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.
GA | Georgia lawmakers introduce a measure to help mental health care providers
The bill would expand a loan forgiveness program for workers.
VA | New poll shows Virginia voters strongly support Youngkin’s proposed funding for behavioral health
The poll, which came from Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy, revealed 83 percent of respondents support the investment of $230 million in new funding to strengthen Virginia’s behavioral health care system.
LA | LDH’s Office of Behavioral Health introduces new initiatives serving children and adolescents
The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) is introducing five new and additional initiatives focused on the behavioral health of children and adolescents and their families.
TX | $1 million in federal funding for mental health training to benefit Travis County residents
The program will be in partnership with Texas State University, who will help lead the training of a new tool practitioners can use.
OR | An overdose-reversal drug could become far more accessible in Oregon
Lawmakers in the Oregon House have overwhelmingly approved a bill to more widely distribute the life-saving medication that reverses overdoses from fentanyl and other opioids.
CT | Bill to Reduce the Role of School Resource Officers in Public Schools Gains Support, Sparks Concern
A bill aiming to replace the duties of school resources officers, many who are armed police, with staff trained in behavioral health was met with enthusiastic support at a public hearing on Wednesday, even as school counselors and social workers questioned whether taking on a more disciplinary role would undermine their trust with students.
NC | Gov. Roy Cooper’s $32.9 billion budget proposal bolsters health care, services for children and seniors
Agreed-upon Medicaid expansion is part of the plan, but legislative leaders calls budget ‘irresponsible, unserious, unrealistic.’
HI | Hawaii Senate Committee on Ways and Means passes four behavioral health bills
The Hawaii Senate Committee on Ways and Means passed four bills that aim to support behavioral healthcare on Tuesday.
IN | Black faith leaders call for fully funded mental health crisis response system
More than 800 Hoosiers and Black faith leaders are urging state lawmakers to “re-imagine public safety” by fully funding a mental health crisis response system in Indiana.
AR | Arkansas LEARNS’ potential impact on student mental health training
After much fanfare, Senate Bill 294 was filed in the state legislature last week. Also known as the Arkansas LEARNS Act, this bill will enact sweeping changes to the educational system in Arkansas.
MD | Bills aiming to improve health care equity, access advance in General Assembly
Bills aiming to get more Marylanders health coverage, improve access to behavioral health services and expand Medicaid coverage for gender-affirming health care have made strides in the General Assembly this legislative session.
VT | Vermont regulators give UVM Health Network ‘flexibility’ on $18M mental health spending plan
Vermont’s mental health care system was under the microscope again Wednesday as state regulators unanimously voted to give the UVM Health Network greater flexibility on how it spends funds originally earmarked for adult inpatient psychiatric care.
NV | Bill to beef up childrens’ behavioral health services watered down
Legislation designed to save the state money by providing front-end behavioral health care and reinvesting the savings in services for children is being watered down because of a lack of funding, according to Assemblywoman Sarah Peters, a Democrat from Northern Nevada and chair of the Assembly Committee on Health and Human Services.
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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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