Senate File 2288

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 as follows:

  • 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:

    1)  It requires that 70% (rather than 50%) of the block grant be distributed to CMHC's

    2)  It requires that these moneys be used for one of two things, either:

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?
  • etc. 

Additionally, questions 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 input.