Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Fiscal Year 2014 Budget – Mental Health and Disability Services

In case you missed it, today marks the third day of debate on the House Ways & Means Fiscal Year 2014 Budget.

As you may have heard, the House of Representatives recently unveiled their $33.8 billion state budget proposal. While the budget presented to the Legislature includes significantly less spending then Governor Patrick’s budget proposal, the House’s plan relies too heavily on revenue found in the recently passed transportation finance bill, and House Republicans will continue to oppose this fiscally irresponsible approach.

This evening's debate began with amendments relative to mental health and disability services. Below, you will find the amendments offered by House Republicans, along with a brief description of the amendment.

Mental Health and Disability Services

Amendment 658 - Relative to Taunton State Hospital (O'Connell, Shaunna) Changes the inside language of the Department of Mental Health’s (DMH) Inpatient Facilities and Community Based Mental Health Services’ account (5095-0015) to require DMH to maintain 705 continuing care inpatient beds in FY14, rather than the 626 specified in the HWM FY14 budget, 45 of which shall be in the Cain building of the Taunton State Hospital. Requires an additional 79 beds to remain open at Taunton and further prescribes the beds use. Requires DMH to keep these beds open until at least June 30, 2014 and requires future funding decision to be based on report provided by the advisory committee established in the FY13 GAA.

Amendment 719 - Head Injury Services (Beaton, Matthew) Increases the total appropriation for the Head Injured Services account (4120-6000) by $1.18M.

Amendment 739 - Comprehensive DDS Study (Beaton, Matthew) Earmarks $100K within the Department of Developmental Services’ (DDS) State Facilities for the Developmentally Disabled account (5930-1000) to fund a study of the intellectually disabled services provided by all public and private facilities overseen by DDS. ADDS a new outside section establishing a 21-member advisory committee to undertake this study with the assistance of an independent consultant. Requires the committee to report to the Legislature by December 31, 2014.