Voices’ Blog

General Assembly Update 2-21-12

Posted:  -  By: Voices for VA's Kids

Budget Update

The House and Senate money committees passed their amendments to Governor McDonnell’s budget this past Sunday, February 19. We are pleased that both the House and Senate included some funding for children’s mental health initiatives despite very tight budget circumstances, though certainly the amount for crisis response services is much less than we had hoped. Here is what they did:

The House included $500,000 GF a year ($1 mil total for the biennium) for crisis services. This is essentially the Governor’s executive amendment. The House did not provide funding for child psychiatry.

The Senate included $896,825 GF the first year and $ 1,333,333 GF the second year ($2,230,158 GF total for the biennium) for child psychiatry demonstration projects. The Senate did not fund crisis services.

We will have a more detailed report about all budget amendments related to kids shortly. If you’d like to read the Health and Human Resources Subcommittees’ reports, click here for the Senate and click here for the House.

Once the full House and Senate each pass their own budget and reject the other chamber’s budget, a conference committee will be named to work out the differences. We will keep you updated on the budget and opportunities for advocating with the budget conferees. Since the amendments are different in each budget, it will be very important that we communicate with the conferees how important it is to provide funding for children’s mental health services.

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