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Our FY23 budget priorities focus on addressing the increased demand for safe housing, behavioral health care, and related social services stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both the House and Senate have passed their versions of the FY23 state budget. A Conference Committee has been appointed to reconcile the differences between the two versions.

Read our letter to conferees here.

For more information on how the budget process works, check out our Massachusetts State Budget Process summary. Note that the FY22 Supplemental Budget is an exception to the usual budget process.

Housing

Line Item Budget Priority

DMH 5046-2000 Statewide Homelessness Support Services

MAMH requests a $2.5M increase over H2 and the House Budget, H4701, for the Safe Haven program, for a total of $27.116M for this line item in FY23.

DHCD 7004-0104 Home and Healthy for Good

MAMH requests a $2.5M increase over H2 for the Home and Healthy for Good permanent supportive housing program, for a total of $6.38M for this line item for FY23. H4701 includes this funding.

Trial Court 0339-1011 Community-based Re-entry Programs

MAMH requests a $1.61M increase over H2 for community-based residential reentry programs, for a total of $11.25M for this line item in FY23. H4701 includes this funding

Children and Youth

Line Item Budget Priority

DMH 5042-5000 Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

MAMH requests a $450K increase over the FY22 GAA for the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project (MCPAP), bringing the total funding for MCPAP to $4.325M for FY23 to create a MCPAP for Foster Care.

DCF 4800-0200 DCF Family Resource Centers

MAMH requests a $1.9M increase over H2 and the House Budget, H4701, for the Mental Health Advocacy Program for Kids (MHAP for Kids) FY23.

OCA 0930-0100 Office of the Child Advocate

MAMH requests a $2.5M increase over the FY22 GAA for the operation of a state center on child wellness and trauma, bringing the total funding for the state center on child wellness and trauma to $3.5M for FY23. H2 does not include funding for this center; H4701 includes this funding in a new line item, OCA 0930-0101.

Older Adults

Line Item Budget Priority

EOEA 9110-1604 Supportive Senior Housing Program

MAMH requests a $1.55M increase over H2 for Elder Supportive Housing Programs, for a total of $7.936M for this line item in FY23. The House Budget, H4701, includes this funding.

EOEA 9110-1640 Geriatric Mental Health Services Programs

MAMH requests a $1.3M increase over H2 for Elder Mental Health Outreach Teams (EMHOTs), for a total of $2.5M for this line item in FY23. H4701 includes this funding.

Expanding Access

Line Item Budget Priority

EOHHS 4000-0300 EOHHS and MassHealth Operations

MAMH requests level funding with the FY22 GAA to support data maintenance staff for Network of Care Massachusetts, bringing the total funding for Network of Care Massachusetts to $550K for FY23. The House Budget, H4701, includes this funding.

EOHHS 1599-6903 Chapter 257 and Human Service Reserve

MAMH requests a $351.6M increase over H2 and H4701 to ensure behavioral health workforce compensation is competitive now and sustainable in the long-term, for a total of $581.6M for this line item in FY23.

DPH 4512-0200 Bureau of Substance Abuse Services

MAMH requests a $37M increase over H2 (and a $23M increase over H4701) for a range of substance use treatment, housing, and workforce development services, for a total of $211.659M for this line item in FY23.

Crisis Services and Emergency Department Diversion

Line Item Budget Priority

EOHHS 4000-0052 Inpatient Behavioral Health Beds

MAMH requests $10M for this line item to support intensive community-based services to address the Emergency Department (ED) boarding crisis. The line item was created in the FY21 GAA with $10M and now needs additional funding.

Behavioral Health Trust Fund and Payor Surcharge

H2 Outside Section Budget Priority

21 and 59

Creates a trust fund to collect outside sources of funding and payor surcharges to support a statewide, payor-agnostic community behavioral health crisis care system available to all residents without regard to insurance, including the Behavioral Health Help Line. H4701 did not include these outside sections.

Section 35 and Access to Addiction Services

H4701 Amendment Budget Priority

332

Ensures that men civilly committed for alcohol or substance use treatment receive care in health care, and not correctional, facilities by eliminating the appropriations for the DOC Massachusetts Alcohol and Substance Abuse Center (MASAC) and the Hampden County Sheriff Department’s programs. H4701 did not include this amendment.

333

Prohibits the current practice of operating Section 35 (s. 35) programs in correctional facilities and requires EOHHS to establish s. 35 programs in the Department of Public Health or Department of Mental Health facilities. H4701 did not include this amendment.

The FY22 Supplemental Budget

In mid-February, the Administration filed a supplemental budget proposal to support the Commonwealth's ongoing response to COVID-19 and invest in areas with immediate need.

MAMH led advocacy efforts to secure a $4 million increase for the Department of Mental Health (DMH) Rental Subsidy Program. This is the largest increase the program has experienced in one year and will help an additional 284 individuals with serious behavioral health conditions secure affordable, supportive housing. MAMH also successfully advocated for $10 million to support implementation of the 988 behavioral health crisis line, which will launch on July 16, 2022. More details from the FY22 supplemental budget:

$5 million for housing repairs and additional housing vouchers

[DMH line item 5046-0000] $4 million of these funds will support the DMH Rental Assistance Program, a program of DMH and the Department of Housing and Community Development, which provides rental assistance, as well as clinical and tenancy supportive services. $1 million of these funds will support DMH housing repairs. MAMH led advocacy efforts with 17 other community partners to help secure this historic funding increase. We are especially appreciative to our champions, Rep. Garballey and Sen. Eldridge, for their leadership on this issue.



$10 million to support the implementation of the new 988 emergency call line

[Department of Public Health (DPH) line item 4513-1026] In July 2022, a new 988 crisis line will go live nationwide. Like all states, Massachusetts must be prepared to field calls from people with behavioral health emergencies and concerns and provide compassionate, informed responses and referrals to services. These funds are part of a larger statewide implementation process that will involve coordination among the federal government and its contracted providers, EOHHS, EOPS, DPH, DMH, and the upcoming Roadmap for Behavioral Health Reform. MAMH led advocacy efforts to secure additional 988 funding in the amount of $10 million for this timely and critical purpose.

$55 million for rate enhancements to human service providers

[A & F line item 1599-6903, Chapter 257 and Human Service Reserve] This amount supplements $346 million of federal funds, for a total of $401 million. This funding is essential given the difficulty of attracting and retaining human service workers at this time across all behavioral health services.

$10 million to support services for immigrants and refugees

[EOHHS 4003-0100] These funds would support services, including behavioral health services, through the Office of Immigrants and Refugees.

Extension of the COVID-19 state of emergency eviction protections established in Chapter 257 of the Acts of 2020

This emergency eviction provision, which provided Massachusetts tenants with protection against eviction from housing, was scheduled to expire on April 1, 2022. These protections against eviction would be extended until March 31, 2023.

The FY22 State Budget

MAMH analyzed the Massachusetts State Budget for fiscal year 2022 (also known as the FY22 General Appropriations Act or FY22 GAA) and its impact on individuals with behavioral health conditions and their families.

Interested in finding out more? Take a look at how the state budget process works in Massachusetts or get involved. MAMH's legislative priorities offer an overview of some areas where change is still needed. Contact your state representative, senator, and others to advocate for behavioral health legislation today.

Learn more about legislation to expand access to behavioral health care, decriminalize mental health, and promote wellness.

TAKE ACTION!