New legislation (SF2288
sec.2) has been signed by the governor.
If followed, it
will change the way Mental Health Block Grant monies are distributed
- Currently, approximately 50% of the Mental Health Block
Grant is distributed to Community Mental Health Centers
(CMHC's) on a population basis. While the intent is
to use these monies to fill gaps in the current system through
innovative programs, in reality, many CMHC's simply incorporate
the funds into their ever-dwindling budgets.
- The legislation changes this in two ways:
requires that 70% (rather than 50%) of the block grant
be distributed to CMHC's
requires that these moneys be used for one of two things,
This raises several
key questions regarding evidence-based practices that will
have to be addressed such as:
- What constitutes evidence based practice?
- Who gets to decide?
- How will CMHC's demonstrate that the monies are actually
going towards these practices?
may arise as to the legality of this legislation, as the distribution
of the block grant is supposed to be determined by the Mental
Health Planning Council, and this legislation may limit their