Advocacy Alert: July 2021 Legislative News Round Up
August 2, 2021
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.
As Demand for Mental Health Care Spikes, Parity with Physical Care Remains Elusive
According to a law that’s been on the books since 2009, if a health insurance company provides coverage for mental or behavioral health, those benefits are supposed to be at parity with benefits for physical health. But many mental health care providers, patients and the federal government say we aren’t quite there.
OR | Oregon Legislature Passed Many New Investments in Behavioral Health
Among the many health-related bills that passed, Rep. Rob Nosse said this session featured significant new investments to support the behavioral and mental health of Oregonians.
OH | Ohio Allocates $2.2 Billion for Businesses and Children’s Mental Health
Governor Mike DeWine has signed legislation directing about $2.2 billion to help Ohio’s children and businesses.
NJ | Murphy Signs 6-Bill Legislation Package Addressing Opioid Crisis
The opioid crisis in New Jersey — yes, it’s still having a severe impact in the state — is one issue where Gov. Phil Murphy has found common ground with his predecessor, Gov. Chris Christie, who was one of the first political leaders in the country to bring attention to the issue.
RI | Rhode Island Approves Supervised Drug Consumption Centers
An idea that would have once been unthinkable in the Rhode Island General Assembly found broad support in the final week of the legislative session: giving users a safe, supervised place to take their drugs.
MN | Senate Approves Health & Human Services Budget that Supports Mental Health
The Minnesota Senate approved a comprehensive new health and human services budget to fund crucial health care and social service programs throughout Minnesota.
WI | State and County Officials Discuss Battling Opioid Epidemic
Governor Tony Ever recently signed legislation paving the way for much needed funding to communities battling the opioid epidemic.
Biden Nominates Drug Czar to Combat Growing Opioid Crisis
West Virginia’s former health commissioner has been chosen to handle federal drug policy during an escalating opioid epidemic.
DE | Mental Health Advocates Discuss Future of Student Support Systems
Delaware education and mental health advocates gathered to discuss expanding access to mental health services for students in the First State.
ID | Idaho Marijuana Activists Revise Legalization Ballot Initiative Following Attorney General Review
Idaho marijuana activists have submitted revised text for a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in the state following a review by the state attorney general.
CMS Seeks Health Equity, Telehealth in Physician Fee Schedule Rule
The proposed rule for the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule would also implement a $33.58 conversion factor next year, a decrease of over $1 compared to 2021.
IA | Mental Health Groups Say They Were Unaware Of New $20 Million Program
Iowa mental health, psychology and counseling groups said they were not consulted in the development of a $20 million school mental health partnership between the University of Iowa and the state.
WY | Sweeping Redesign of State’s Mental-Health-Services Policy Underway
Wyoming is redesigning how it provides behavioral health services, and while most of the details are still to be determined, it seems clear fewer people will qualify for state-funded treatment.
RI | Former Rhode Island State Senator Opens Up About his Own Addiction in Congressional Hearing
Former state Senator Tom Coderre and state health director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott testified about overdoses before the U.S. Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control.
Some State Officials Say Landmark Opioid Settlement Doesn’t Do Enough To Help
A $26-billion settlement has been reached for companies involved in the prescription opioid epidemic. But what happens next?
CO | After Major Legislative Wins, Mental Health Colorado Scores Lawmakers
Mental Health Colorado celebrated scoring about $132 million for new programs in the legislative session that ended last month.
IL | Bush, Hunter Applaud $13 Million to Fight Opioid Crisis
Longstanding champions of the fight against the ongoing opioid epidemic, State Senators Melinda Bush and Mattie Hunter applaud the Illinois Department of Human Services’ $14 million investment to expand access to lifesaving overdose medication.
OR | Oregon Will Use Medicaid Funding For Mental Health Emergency Response
The bill allocates $10 million dollars of federal funding to be distributed across the state for crisis intervention centers.
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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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