Legislative Policy Updates
Mental Health Parity Legislation
House Bills 6137, 6138 and 6139, bipartisan legislation introduced in the House on Tuesday, May 24 would ensure the state of Michigan is enforcing compliance with the federal mental health parity laws. Under federal law, insurers are required to ensure that coverage of mental health and substance use disorder services is treated the same as physical health benefits i.e. mental health benefits cannot be subject to more restrictions.
The legislation saw a hearing in the House Health Policy Committee on Thursday, June 16. No vote was taken. The Arc Supports.
Student Mental Health Apprenticeship Retention and Training (SMART)
On Thursday, June 9, House Bill 6020 – legislation, introduced by Representative Bronna Kahle (R-Adrian) that would establish a student mental health apprenticeship retention and training (SMART) internship grant program to be administered by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) – passed out of the House by a vote of 93-12.
It heads to the Senate for further consideration. A Senate companion is also under consideration in the House. The Arc Supports
Mental Health Transportation
On Thursday, June 16, the House Health Policy Committee voted out a pair of Senate and House bills that would create standards and licensing requirements for county-level mental health transportation services that could be furnished by private entities. The bills – Senate Bill 101 and House Bill 4414 – were introduced by the Senate and House legislators from the Upper Peninsula, Senator Ed McBroom and Representative Beau LaFave, respectively. They head to the full Senate for further consideration.
Paraprofessionals to Teacher Grant Program Legislation
On Wednesday, June 15, House Bills 6230 and 6231 were introduced by Representative Felicia Brabec and Representative Ranjeev Puri, respectively. The bipartisan bills would, among other things, establish a fund for a financial aid program for certain individuals working as educational paraprofessionals in K-12 education programs who seek postsecondary degrees in teaching-related fields.
The package was referred to the House Committee on Workforce, Trades and Talent.
State Budget Updates
Michigan Senate Approves Behavioral Health Supplemental
Although it wasn’t on the formal agenda for consideration, on Wednesday, June 15, the Michigan Senate passed Senate Bill 714 (S-2) out of the chamber by a vote of 36 to 1. The measure would provide $565.5 million Gross ($17.5 million General Fund/General Purpose (GF/GP)) for the current fiscal year directed largely at various aspects of the behavioral health system. $548.7 million would be sourced from funding Michigan has received through the federal American Rescue Plan Act.
A summary can be found here. Highlights include:
$16 million to expand behavioral health homes in regions 6 & 7 and opioid health homes in regions 6, 7 and 10
$10 million for jail diversion fund, administered by the Mental Health Diversion Council
$3.5 million for the Adverse Childhood Experiences Awareness Program under the Michigan ACE initiative
$10 million for community substance use disorder grants
$2.5 million for a direct care worker supervisor training program for frontline supervisors in adult foster care, homes for the aged, assisted living, independent living, and other community-based settings
$5 million for Hawthorn Center expansion
$10 million for mental health block grant
$5 million for Families Against Narcotics
$1.4 million for Cherry Health Opioid Use Disorder Program
$100 million for infrastructure grants for pediatric inpatient services
$50 million for community mental health services integration readiness
$10 million for MDHSS integration readiness
$35 million for the expansion of mental health services
$25 million for a clinical integration fund
$25 million for crisis stabilization units
$25 million for behavioral health providers in the Michigan loan repayment program
$25 million for psychiatric residential treatment facilities
$30 million for the Labor and Economic Opportunity to expand the Michigan apprenticeship program to support apprenticeships for direct support professionals in medical fields.
As introduced, funding in SB 714 was tie-barred to Senate Bills 597 and 598 -- legislation spearheaded by Senate Republican leadership that would shift the responsibility and financial management of all public behavioral health services to Medicaid health plans operating as specialty integrated plans – newly-created entities established under the bill. Under the S-2 that passed today, some but not all of the funding, including $15 million for Medicaid mental health services would be contingent on passage of Senate Bill 597 & 598. Other items contingent on passage of SB 597 and 598 include funding for the Clinical Integration fund, CMHSP Integration Readiness, MDHHS Integration Readiness, Integrated Care Center in Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network, and the Jail Diversion Fund.
Senate Bill 714 moves over to the Michigan House of Representatives for further consideration.
The Michigan House and Senate are expected to be in session through the end of June to finalize budget negotiations; however, the precise date of adjournment before summer break remains unknown.
Michigan Department of Office of Special Education (MDE OSE) Releases IEP Guidance
On Friday, June 10, the MDE OSE released guidance to support the development of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) based on the unique needs of the student. Guidance can be found here.