Advocacy Alert: October 2019 Legislative News Round Up

November 4, 2019


For those of you who follow us on social media know, we post regularly news stories that are connected to the behavioral health and addiction treatment industry. Many of these are news stories regarding legislation, and 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.

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.

Judge Rules Planned Supervised Injection Site Does Not Violate Federal Drug Laws
A judge has ruled that a Philadelphia nonprofit group’s plan to open the first site in the U.S. where people can use illegal opioids under medical supervision does not violate federal drug laws, delivering a major setback to Justice Department lawyers who launched a legal challenge to block the facility. shared 10/4/19

WA | Round Two in Snohomish Prosecutor’s Fight to Reverse Lax Drug Law
When Cornell took office this January, he heard from law enforcement officers encountering more and more criminals intentionally carrying under two grams knowing they could get away it and that didn’t sit well with him so he started pushing to reverse the policy. shared 10/15/19

CO | Ballot Measure 4A: Mill Levy Override Seeks to Convert Kindergarten Funds to Teacher Pay, Student Mental Health
Summit School District has placed Measure 4A on the 2019 coordinated election ballot, seeking to retain a tax originally intended to fund full-day kindergarten in the district by redirecting the funds to teacher and staff pay as well as behavioral health counseling. shared 10/18/19

PA | Auditor General: Save Lives Fast by Legalizing Fentanyl Test Strips
The General Assembly should legalize fentanyl test strips, which allow drug users to determine whether the deadly narcotic is present in substances, state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said upon unveiling a report. shared 10/19/19

Travel Assistance, Patient Financial Responsibility, and Good Intentions
In many providers’ minds, financial barriers should not prevent a patient from obtaining what is essentially life-saving treatment in a community known for its robust treatment community. shared 10/21/19

MA | Baker Bill Demands More Money For Primary Care And Behavioral Health
Gov. Charlie Baker is igniting another round of health care debates in Massachusetts with a bill that would require all providers and insurers to boost spending in primary care and behavioral health, penalize excessive drug price increases and limit surprise emergency billing. shared 10/21/19

MI | Michigan House Passes Bill To Preserve Mental Health Counselors Ability to Practice
The state House unanimously voted 108-0 to approve House Bill 4325 which would allow licensed professional counselors to continue to practice clinical techniques, including diagnosis, psychotherapy and development of treatment plans to address behavioral issues. shared 10/25/19

Senator Moran and Colleagues Introduce Bill for 3 Digit Suicide Hotline
U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) joined U.S. Senators Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) – to introduce the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, bipartisan legislation to designate a three-digit phone number for a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline and ensure states have the flexibility to strengthen local crisis call centers. shared 10/29/19



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