March 8, 2012
The House and Senate have now begun negotiations on the budget, despite the fact that the Senate has not yet passed a budget. This makes the process a little different from other years, but the need for advocacy is the same. We believe the best way to ensure the funding has the maximum impact for children is to combine the funding that the House and Seante proposed, and we need all advocates to communicate that to the budget negotiators. They represent the entire state in this process, so you may communicate with them whether they are your legislators or not.
The budget negotiators are as follows:
House: Delegates Putney, Cox, Landes, Jones, Sherwood and Joannou
Senate: Senators Stosch, Norment, Hanger, Watkins, Colgan and Howell
Please email them today! Here’s the message:
– We appreciate that both the House and Senate recommended new funding for children’s mental health services in their committee reports. Additional services are desperately needed throughout the Commonwealth.
– We ask that the final budget include a total of $3.2 million over the biennium for child psychiatry AND community-based crisis response services for children. This is a combination of the House’s proposed $1 million for mobile crisis teams and the Senate’s proposed $2.2 million for child psychiatry demonstration projects.
– We ask that the five health planning regions be given the flexibility to determine the best use of these funds, within the areas of child psychiatry and crisis response, to make the biggest impact for the children in their region.
Please personalize the message according to your experience- as a parent, grandparent, mental health provider, teacher, etc.
Eventually Virginia will have a budget, and we need your help to ensure it contains funding for children’s mental health. Thank you for speaking up!
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