February 08, 2013
Here you’ll find some highlights of how our budget-related legislative agenda issues fared in both the House and Senate budgets so far this session…
Children’s Mental Health
Expanding Crisis Services and Child Psychiatry
Voices’ Campaign for Children’s Mental Health requested $450,000 in additional funding for FY14 for children’s crisis services and child psychiatry, in addition to the Governor’s $1 million amendment for this purpose.
- The House approved this amendment in full. Item 315 #2h
- The Senate approved this amendment in full and added more funding for a total of $1 million. Adding funding for children’s mental health services is a recommendation of the Governor’s School Safety Task Force. Item 315 #2s
Improving the Quality of Medicaid-funded Children’s Mental Health Services
The Senate included a language amendment to require the state Medicaid agency (DMAS) and the state mental health agency (DBHDS) to review intensive in-home services, therapeutic day treatment and mental health support services, including considering practice models, reimbursement rates, and the need for a less intensive level of services. Voices requested this amendment. Item 307 #17s
The House and Senate budgets both included funding for home visiting programs, CHIP and Healthy Families. We prefer the Senate proposals that recognized the need to bring funding for home visiting back to the pre-recession levels of investment.
Part C/Early Intervention
In addition to the funding proposed in the Governor’s budget, the House and Senate both add funding for Part C/Early Intervention. We prefer the Senate proposal that would restore $6 M of the $8.5 M shortfall for services.
- The House proposal for Part C/Early Intervention includes $2.3 M in FY13 and $3.75 M in FY14. Item 315 #1h
- The Senate proposal for Part C/Early Intervention gets closer to closing the shortfall at $3M in FY13 and $6M in FY14. Item 315 #3s
Child Welfare/Foster Care
Provide re-entry supports to foster youth involved in the juvenile justice system
Both the Senate and the House included nearly $120,000 in their respective budgets to fund the Voices-led effort to provide eligibility for Independent Living services to former foster youth being released from the Department of Juvenile Justice between the ages of 18-21, which include educational, employment and housing supports. Voices brought the bills and budget amendments to the patrons.
Extend Medicaid coverage for individuals up to 133% of the federal poverty level under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The House and Senate differed on their approaches to extending Medicaid. The House budget (Item 307 #11h) requires a long list of reforms be completed before extending Medicaid and does not allow extension until July 1, 2014 at the earliest. It would likely take much longer to complete the extensive list of reforms, so in essence, this version delays extension indefinitely. The Senate budget (Item 307 #18s) was amended during debate on the Senate floor yesterday to allow Medicaid extension to take place once Virginia has gotten approval for reforms from the federal government, meaning extension can happen much sooner. The Senate budget also establishes a special trust fund to capture savings from the various reforms and from the extension itself to cover future costs.