Advocacy Alert: February 2020 Legislative News Round Up

March 2, 2020


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.

AZ | New Arizona Measure Tackles Suicide, Mental Health
Shared 02/05/20
A measure to improve access to mental healthcare and reduce a rising suicide rate in Arizona was introduced in the state’s legislature.

OR | Oregon Lawmakers Looking For Answers To Mental Health Crisis
Shared 02/05/20
If approved, Oregon would have a total of nearly $80 million of state and federal funds to operate certified behavioral health clinics.

NJ | Bill Seeks to Ensure Sober-Living Residences Are More Than Boarding Houses
Shared 02/06/20
Assembly measure would set up credentialing and compliance standards for recovery residences across the state.

MA | Massachusetts Senate Unveils Mental Health ABC Act: Addressing Barriers to Care
Shared 02/07/20
The Massachusetts Senate unveiled An Act Addressing Barriers to Care for Mental Health, a comprehensive mental health care reform bill.

‘Get Well or Die’: A State Senator Reveals His Addiction Battle
Shared 02/10/20
Peter Harckham’s struggles with substance abuse have shaped his views on opioid addiction and the legalization of marijuana.

MO | Missouri Recovery Network Hosts Advocacy Day at State Capitol
Shared 02/13/20
Braving the forecast of a winter storm in Jefferson City, Mark McDonald and others from across the state gathered at the office building on Madison Street before boarding trolleys and heading to the Capitol to share their thoughts with lawmakers.

MT | Butte Drafting Law Requiring Addiction Recovery Homes to Get Permit Before Opening
Shared 02/14/20
Butte leaders are drafting a new law concerning the use of homes in residential neighborhoods as sober living centers after many residents on Butte’s Westside raised concerns about one opening in their neighborhood last year.

ID | Senate Passes Behavioral Health Resolution
Shared 02/15/20
The Senate has voted unanimously to pass SCR 126, a concurrent resolution in which the Legislature is joining the executive and judicial branches in establishing a new Idaho Behavioral Health Council to develop a statewide strategic plan, returning its recommendations to the Legislature by Oct. 31.

NY | When it Comes to an Individual Living in Recovery, Families Play a Huge Role
Shared 02/17/20
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand visited Addictions Care Center of Albany, to introduce the Family Support Services for Addiction Act.

CA | Dueling Lawsuits Between Malibu Rehab Centers Expose the Shady Side of the Recovery Industry
Shared 02/19/20
As the opioid epidemic rages across America, two of L.A.’s iconic luxury addiction rehab centers have been embroiled in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit revealing the less savory tactics of the treatment industry. (A reminder that we have our Certificate in Addiction Treatment Marketing – C-ATM: a six-course certificate program that educates on how to market your addiction treatment program ethically.)

ND | Comments Sought on North Dakota Plan to Expand Medicaid Coverage
Shared 02/20/20
The North Dakota Department of Human Services is accepting public comments on its draft Medicaid 1915(i) state plan amendment to expand Medicaid coverage for in-home and community-based behavioral health services for children and adults. Comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. March 19.

HI | Hawai’i Lawmakers Announce Plans to Expand Mental Health Treatment
Shared 02/21/20
State lawmakers announced a package of proposals that attempt to do a better job of coping with mental illness and to close loopholes in Hawaii’s firearms laws in the wake of the shooting deaths of two Honolulu police officers on Jan. 19.

WV | West Virginia Senate Passes Mental Health Parity Bill
Shared 02/22/20
The West Virginia Senate voted unanimously to pass a bill which would require the Public Employees Insurance Agency and other health insurance providers to treat mental health benefits the same way they treat medical and surgical benefits.

SD | Lawmakers Seek to Push Pregnant Women to get Drug Treatment
Shared 02/23/20
A South Dakota House committee has approved a bill that aims to encourage pregnant women with drug addictions to get treatment.

UT | ‘Crown Jewel’ Bill Seeking To Build Mental Health Crisis Centers Passes Utah House
Shared 02/24/20
Rep. Steve Eliason, R-Sandy, is calling House bill 32, which just passed the House unanimously, the “crown jewel” of mental health bills this session.

Activism For Behavioral Health | Recovery Radio
Shared 02/25/20
Jackie James is the guest in this installment of Recovery Radio and will explain how, in her new role as Director of Public Relations for Retreat Southern Connecticut, her activism continues in now in the field of behavioral health.

NJ | Bill Would Ensure Mental Health Providers Are Trained in Suicide Prevention
Shared 02/26/20
New Jersey would be the 10th state to require basic suicide prevention training for a wide range of mental health workers under a proposal advancing in Trenton to combat what is now the second-leading cause of death among young residents.

NSC Asks Presidential Candidates to Fight the Opioid Epidemic
Shared 02/27/20
The National Safety Council has asked presidential candidates to utilize the National Plan to Address Opioid Misuse—a recent plan to combat addiction.

ASAM Introduces Advocacy Roadmap to Bolster America’s Addiction Prevention and Treatment Infrastructure
Shared 02/28/20
The document outlines specific policies for strengthening the addiction treatment workforce, standardizing the delivery of individualized addiction treatment, and ensuring equitable access and coverage for comprehensive, high-quality addiction care.

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