Advocacy Alert: January 2021 Legislative News Round Up

February 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.


WA | Behavioral Health Sales Tax Passes Pierce County Council
Shared 1/3/2021
The council has approved a 0.1 percent sales tax to fund “behavioral health and therapeutic court services.”

VA | Virginia Doctors, Nurses Share ‘Unrelenting Mental Toll’ of COVID-19
Shared 1/9/2021
About a dozen frontline workers across the Commonwealth opened up to Sen. Tim Kaine (D – Virginia) during a virtual discussion.

MT | Missoula Veteran, Health Care Advocates Challenge $1B Cut to Human Services Budget
Shared 1/11/2021
Using the 2019 budget as a starting point would mean nearly $1 billion less for the agency than what is being proposed by Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte.

A Mental and Behavioral Health Roadmap for Policymakers
Shared 1/12/2021
CLASP developed a set of principles to reframe and reimagine how we look at mental and behavioral health, providing a platform for policymakers to craft effective and equitable mental and behavioral health policies.

IL | Crowe Votes to Support Healthcare Providers in Fight Against Opioid Epidemic
Shared 1/13/2021
To empower healthcare providers to prevent opioid abuse, state Sen. Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) voted on a measure to give every medication prescriber, including e-prescribers, access to the same database.

Attorneys General Seek Information from USFDA on How it is Addressing Opioid Crisis
Shared 1/15/2021
Forty-eight attorneys general, led by West Virginia and New Mexico, have joined in a coalition seeking information by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to combat the opioid crisis on what it is doing to help combat the opioid crisis.

Despite Advances, Behavioral Health Legislation Still Lags Behind
Shared 1/21/2021
Researchers cite that more structured legislation surrounding mental and behavioral health systems is needed.

PA | Pennsylvania State Representative with Autism Sparking Change
Shared 1/21/2021
A newly elected Pennsylvania state representative is one of only a handful of openly autistic politicians in the country, and she’s ready to go to work for her community.

What’s Next for Drug Treatment Bill in Congress?
Shared 1/23/2021
As the 117th Congress move in, questions linger about whether the addiction treatment bill will move forward.

Appropriations Act Requires Employer Actions to Ensure Mental Health Parity
Shared 1/24/2021
Plans must document that mental health and medical coverage limits apply equally.

DE | First $700,000 in Opioid Impact Fee Funding Allocated for Treatment of Substance Use Disorder
Shared 1/24/2021
Revenue from a new opioid impact fee created by the Delaware General Assembly in 2019 will be used to prevent overdose deaths and provide new services to those seeking treatment for their substance use disorder, the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) and Sen. Stephanie Hansen announced.

UT | ‘Overdose Prevention Site’ Bill Looking for Second Round with Lawmakers
Shared 1/27/2021
House Bill 146 creates an “overdose prevention site,” a place for people with substance use disorder to be monitored while actively using opioid drugs.

Biden Moving to Nix Trump Plan on Opioid-Treatment Prescriptions
Shared 1/28/2021
The plan had been hailed by many physicians as loosening requirements they said slowed their response to the opioid crisis. But legal experts said HHS lacked authority to issue the guidelines.

NJ | Greenwald Introduces Legislative Package to Improve Access to Mental Health Care in New Jersey
Shared 1/28/2021
With the pandemic and ongoing social unrest exacerbating the mental health challenges many New Jersey residents already face, Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald has introduced a legislative package to improve access to mental health care throughout the state.

New Bill Tags $50 Million in Telehealth Grants for Mental Health Providers
Shared 1/29/2021
Senator Catherine Cortez Masto has introduced a bill that would set aside $50 million in SAMHSA grants to help behavioral health and substance abuse care providers expand or launch telehealth services focused on peer support.

The Biden Administration and Drug Policy: Expectation Versus Reality
Shared 1/30/2021
As President Joe Biden replaces President Trump, advocates are balancing hope with more realistic expectations about how much progress the new administration is willing to make over the next four years.

ND | Bill Limiting Opioid Prescriptions for Hurt Workers Passes North Dakota House
Shared 1/30/2021
The bill would limit the opioids prescribed to workers through North Dakota Workforce Safety and Insurance to 90 “morphine milligram equivalents” per day.

Questions? Concerns?

As always, we want your input.

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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