Advocacy Alert: May 2023 Legislative News Round Up

June 1, 2023

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 NBHAP 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.

GOP revolts against bill to study cannabis to help veterans with pain and PTSD
Shared 5/1/2023
A group of Senate Republicans Wednesday unexpectedly rejected efforts to advance a bipartisan bill that would direct the Veterans Affairs Department to carry out studies and clinical trials on the use of cannabis to treat veterans' chronic pain and PTSD.

DC | Washington, D.C. Moves Closer To Elimination Of Problem Gambling Funding
Shared 5/3/2023
The District recently drew criticism for failing to use previous problem gambling funding.

UT | Policy experts assess the path toward improving Utah’s mental health system, discuss soon-to-be-released BH Master Plan
Shared 5/4/2023
A panel of experts led a discussion on the gaps, challenges, and pathways forward for Utah’s mental healthcare system during the 2023 Utah State of Reform Health Policy Conference on April 26th.

Governors Lead The Way On Behavioral Health Workforce Needs
Shared 5/5/2023
New research from the National Council for Mental Wellbeing shows that 83% of the behavioral health workforce believes providers will not be able to meet the demand for mental health or substance use treatment and care.

IN | Big bills boosting mental, public health advance
Shared 5/8/2023
Legislators sought to bolster mental health and public health infrastructure while chipping away at the state’s persistently high health care costs.

WA | Final state budget agreement boosts funding for students, workers, behavioral health, housing, climate action
Shared 5/10/2023
Budget leaders in the Washington State Legislature announced an agreement on a $69.3 billion, two-year budget to fund critical state services, including behavioral health, public schools, affordable housing, and a historic investment to address the climate crisis.

ID | Idaho County Commissioners: Work continues on new jail; mental health help discussed
Shared 5/11/2023
The National Center for Public Lands Counties, the new jail, solid waste fees for tax-exempt properties, EPIC Psychological Services and Hillcrest Cemetery were included in topics discussed during the May 9 Idaho County Commissioners (ICC) meeting.

MN | Parity laws haven't solved access to mental health care in Minnesota
Shared 5/12/2023
Patient advocates hope new powers for health insurance regulators will usher in change, but the parity standard has its limits and is difficult to enforce.

DE | Delaware lawmakers announce package of mental and behavioral health bills
Shared 5/12/2023
Lawmakers announced several mental health care initiatives Monday with the introduction of the 2023 Delaware Behavioral Health Package. (Paywalled)

DEA Announces Extension of Telemedicine Flexibilities, Despite PHE Ending
Shared 5/17/2023
Just one day before the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency was set to expire, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) issued the “Temporary Extension of COVID-19 Telemedicine Flexibilities for Prescription of Controlled Medications” to temporarily extend telemedicine flexibilities.

TX | Texas schools say it’s time to stop tying mental health funding to school safety money
Shared 5/18/2023
School officials are urging lawmakers to create a dedicated funding stream for mental health assistance in schools.

CO | Opinion: Rep. Amabile: 4 things the Behavioral Health Administration can do to improve Colorado’s mental health
Shared 5/22/2023
We have let 2 years go by with meager progress, but a leadership change is a reason to hope we can get proactive care to people.

MI | Advocates hope Michigan legislators will do more for mental health
Shared 5/30/2023
Advocates supporting more action for Michiganders living with mental health issues rallied at the Capitol Wednesday.

PA | State House committee OKs $100M for PA mental health needs
Shared 5/31/2023
The state House Human Services Committee unanimously approved legislation today that would allocate $100 million in federal funding to address Pennsylvania’s mental health needs, according to the bill’s author state Rep. Mike Schlossberg.

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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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