Monday, October 19, 2009

We Have A Budget!

After 101 days of budget impasse, the House Appropriations bill was passed by the Senate and signed by Gov. Rendell on Friday, Oct. 9.

"The budget is a good one. It's a realistic one," said Gov. Rendell. He apologized for what he called an "unconscionable delay" in delivering a finished spending plan.

Mental Health Funding
The state budget total for mental health services in the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) is $728.730 million, down from the Governor's request of $730.58 million.

The line item funds both the community mental health programs and the state-operated psychiatric hospitals. The budget includes a two percent across-the-board reduction to the county allocation, about $3.055 million. This amount is expected to be absorbed within OMHSAS administrative costs and through reduction in the state hospital appropriations.

There is an increase of $1.5 million to support post-closure programs related to the Mayview State Hospital closing.

NAMI Southwestern Pennsylvania, particularly our Director of Education & Community Relations Sharon Miller, took a leadership role in advocating for the end of the budget impasse. We would like to thank everyone who tirelessly contacted Gov. Rendell and legislative leaders to urge for the passage of a state budget protecting essential services and supports for people with mental illness.

This post was excerpted from an email alert from Sharon Miller. Click here for a full report.