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Contact your State Representative and ask them to support the DMH Rental Subsidy Program in the FY21 budget!

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Legislative & Budget Advocacy

To read MAMH's legislative priorities, refer to our MAMH's 2020 Legislative Agenda.

For more information on how the budget process works, check out our Massachusetts State Budget Process Summary.

Budget Priorities

Line item Description Budget priority

Department of Mental Health Rental Subsidy Program

DMH Rental Subsidy Program provides DMH clients with clinical, social, and tenancy support services through community providers.

We are requesting a $3 million increase over the Governor's proposal (funding DHCD line item 7004-9033 at $10.548 million for FY21). This increase will reverse the $2 million shortfall, which will preserve housing for 160 individuals, plus provide an additional $1 million to house an additional 80 individuals.

Elder Mental Health Outreach Team (EMHOT)

EMHOTs support older adults who are experiencing acute mental health crisis.

We are requesting $1 million for the EMHOT programs, a $200,000 increase from last year. This increase will provide greater support to older adults in the isolation from the pandemic and divert excess funding from unnecessary nursing home admission.

Legislative Priorities

Legislation Description More information

H.910 & S.588, An Act Relative to Mental Health Parity Implementation

Insurance coverage for behavioral health conditions must be the same as coverage for physical health conditions.

Testimony in support

H.909 & S.590, An Act to Require Health Care Coverage for the Emergency Psychiatric Services

Access to emergency psychiatric services should not be dependent upon one’s health insurance carrier.

Testimony in support

(NOW LAW) H.913 & S.610, An Act Increasing Consumer Transparency about Insurance Provider Networks

Health insurers' provider directories are often inaccurate and out-of-date, complicating the already difficult process of accessing behavioral health care

Testimony in support

Ghost Networks fact sheet

H.482 & S.244, An Act Relative to Mental Health Education

Addressing the behavioral health needs of students is one of the greatest challenges within schools.

Testimony in support

School Mental Health Education fact sheet

Mental Health Education

H.401 & S.264, An Act Supporting Healthy Development Among Preschoolers

A young child who is suspended or expelled is 10 times more likely to drop out of school, experience academic failure, and face incarceration.

Testimony in support

H.172 & S.64, An Act Relative to Supported Decision-Making Agreements for Certain Adults with Disabilities

Supported decision-making allows individuals to make their own decisions with assistance from people they trust and is critical to helping people retain their legal rights and dignity.

Adult Guardianship & Conservatorship, Rogers Orders and Their Alternatives

MAMH President and CEO Danna Mauch speaks in a press conference announcing the Senate's passage of the “Mental Health ABC Act” on February 13, 2020.

Students Angela Wallace and Lucas Johnson testifying in support of school mental health education on July 9, 2019.

Legislation MAMH Endorses

  • H.4916, Putting Patients First: Reliable surveys and emerging evidence inform us of a growing need for mental health services among people with pre-existing conditions and those with new conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. H.4888 will help ensure that individuals will continue to have access to tele-behavioral health beyond the COVID-19 State of Emergency.
  • S.2796, Putting Patients First: This bill requires health plans to continue covering telehealth (both audio-only and video) for mental health and substance use services after the COVID-19 State of Emergency is lifted.
  • S.2546, Mental Health ABC Act: This now law includes provisions to enforce mental health parity laws, require commercial coverage of Emergency Services Programs (ESPs), require coverage for mental health and physical health services when they are delivered on the same day, and create a workforce pipeline to encourage and support individuals from diverse backgrounds to pursue careers in mental health (press statement).
  • Healthcare Reform 2.0 Bill: Governor Charlie Baker's health reform bill prioritizes behavioral health and primary care, requiring insurers, hospitals, and physician groups to increase spending in these areas by 30% by 2023 (testimony).