Advocacy E-News February 18, 2016

February 18, 2016



On Tuesday, February 16th Governor Christy presented his proposed budget for state fiscal year 2017 which begins on July 1st. He projected a $34.8 billion dollar budget, $1 billion more than the current year’s spending plan.

Speaking about healthcare the governor stated “we’re making an historic investment of more than $100 million in state and federal funds to extend access to care for mental health and substance abuse. By providing more competitive reimbursement rates for services and providers, we have a chance to dramatically increase access to treatment. This is the first significant Behavioral Health rate increase in more than a decade, and it’s going to make a big difference by improving critical services, getting more people into treatment earlier.”

As presented in the Budget in Brief the Governor’s budget proposes the following items of interest to NAMI members.

– A combined State and federal investment in fiscal 2017 will increase mental health and substance use disorder rates paid to providers by more than $127 million.
– $7.5 million increase in FY’17 in funding to support the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services’ Olmstead initiatives.
– The Governor is also increasing his support to those being treated in the state psychiatric hospitals by providing $3.5 million in State funding for new staff.
– The 2017 budget provides $42 million in combined State and dedicated funding for the State Rental Assistance Program.
– $14 million in combined State and federal funding for homelessness prevention and emergency shelters.
– The fiscal 2017 budget also includes $3 million in new funding for three regional Accountable Care Organizations which are working to identify high-cost patients and coordinate their treatment for physical and behavioral health
– The budget provides an additional $1.7 million in funding to expand the Recovery Coach program into six more counties. The program reaches and connects drug overdose survivors with treatment, counseling and support services in the immediate aftermath of their overdose.
– $650, 000 to expand the Drug Court Program into the final three vicinages.
– $2 million to re-open Mid-State Correctional Facility in 2017 as a substance use disorder treatment program for inmates.
– The Children’s System of Care (CSOC) will see an increase of nearly $29 million explained as a grant trend.

NAMI New Jersey will be publishing additional information on the state FY 2017 Budget as additional information becomes available and as the budget process progresses through June.