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October 21, 2008

NAMI Statehouse Spotlight: October 2008

Results of the State Legislation Survey 2008

As the election season concludes, we will soon move into a new legislative session. Many NAMI state organizations and their coalition partners are setting their policy goals and agenda for the coming year. This edition of Statehouse Spotlight is designed to give some ideas for proactive legislation to improve state mental health systems. It consists of two parts:

1) a list of NAMI National resources on state laws in important areas
2) the results of a survey to state organizations and large affiliates regarding their significant legislative achievements.

In the Spring and Summer of 2008, NAMI National sent a survey to the executive directors of our state organizations and large affiliates asking them to provide information regarding important legislation that passed in the last 5 years. A total of 24 individuals responded to our survey. We are deeply grateful for the busy NAMI state and local executives who took time to share this information with their colleagues.

The bills and their descriptions are grouped by category, so some bills may be listed more than once. The bills are listed alphabetically by topic and not in order of importance. We did not include parity laws because there were many submissions on this issue and they are all included in NAMI National’s resources on parity.

NAMI National Resoucres on State Laws:

NAMI National has compiled state laws in specific areas on its website. Please refer to the following web pages for additional ideas for state statutes:

  • Parity laws: A list of all state parity laws and an analysis of the statutes can be found by clicking here
  • Crisis Intervention Training for Police Officers: Currently, there are no state laws mandating CIT, but several states have passed laws to significantly support CIT. Read about that here.
  • Children’s Issues: A list and description of state laws enacting reforms in children’s mental health systems are available at this link.

RESPONSE TO THE NAMI STATE LEADERS’ SURVEY:

Access to Medications:

Legislation: Prior Authorization Exclusion, H3620 – Sec 8.27 (2008)
State: South Carolina
Summary: Establishes that the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services must provide coverage for medications to treat major depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder without prior authorization of prescriptions.
Read more here

Advanced Directives

Legislation: Advanced Directives for Mental Health Care Act , A3833 (2005)
State: New Jersey
Summary: This bill allows an individual to appoint a surrogate mental healthcare decision maker and/or provide instructions for mental healthcare in the event that a consumer is unable to make decisions due to mental illness.
Read more here

Appropriations

Legislation: Kentucky State Budget FY09, HB406 (2008)
State: Kentucky
Summary: Authorizes the replacement of a 185-year-old hospital with a $129 million state-of-the-art psychiatric treatment facility to be completed by late 2010. The design of this building included significant input from consumer and family focus groups.
Read More Here (Found on page 279 of text.)

Legislation: Special Needs Housing Trust Fund Act, A4143 (2004)
State: New Jersey
Summary: Establishes a $100 million Special Housing Trust Fund to finance special needs housing though bond proceeds issued by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA). The fund will provide additional resources to continue efforts to create permanent supportive housing and community residences as alternatives to institutionalization or homelessness for those who would benefit from these programs, including people with serious mental illnesses.
Read More Here

Legislation: Mental Health/Substance Abuse Appropriations, SF76 (2007)
State: Wyoming
Summary: This bill, passed in a non-budget session, increased state spending on mental health and substance abuse by $18 million. Some of the major programs funded include: The Crisis Stabilization Project in Cheyenne (giving consumers in crisis a place to go for 1-15 days of treatment/respite), improvement of treatment facilities, salary increases for mental healthcare service providers, community-based services and housing, consumer services tailored to children and older Americans, equipment enhancement (e.g. tele-psychiatry equipment), and special outreach to provide necessary and appropriate services to the Native American community.
Read More Here

Legislation: Crisis Intervention Training (CIT), Budget Bill HB2010 (section 10.210) (2008)
State: Missouri
Summary: Appropriates approximately $266,000 to fund Crisis Intervention Training for police officer and training for judges.
Read More Here

Legislation: Assertive Community Treatment, Budget Bill (2007)
State: Missouri
Summary: This bill provides $1.8 million in funding for Assertive Community Treatment Teams to serve individuals with serious mental illnesses who need intensive treatment and support. The appropriation is part of community services, so see press release for details.

Children

Legislation: The ArkansasSystem of Care for Behavioral Health Care Services for Children and Youth Act, HB2358 / A1593 (2007)
State: Arkansas
Summary: This bill works to improve and streamline the effectiveness of state mental health services for children, adolescents and their families. It establishes a Children’s Behavioral Health Care Commission and allocates some resources to providing better advocacy, care and coordination. It also requires revision of Medicaid rules relating to service definitions, certification of providers, and standardized screening and assessment processes.
Read More Here

Legislation: Child Care and Welfare Policy Bill, chapter 361 (2008)
State: Minnesota
Summary: This bill clarifies that families are not forced to surrender custody when a child must leave home for treatment when the family is unable to pay for treatment costs.
Read More Here

Legislation: Children’s Mental Health, LB542 (2007)
State: Nebraska
Summary: This bill creates a Children’s Behavioral Health Task Force to improve services for children and addresses the mental health needs of children in the juvenile justice system.
Read More Here

Legislation: Juvenile Justice Mental Health Process, HB1016 (2008)
State: Colorado
Summary: This bill provides that a guardian, prosecutor or probation officer can advise the court if they believe that a juvenile would benefit from a mental health screening and the court must order screening unless they already have sufficient evidence to indicate that the child requires mental health services. If the screening indicates that mental health services may be needed, the court can order an assessment.
Read More Here

Legislation: Offenders Apply for Public Benefits, HB1046 (2008)
State: Colorado
Summary: Section One of this bill provides that 120 days prior to release, the guardian of a juvenile who is receiving medical services in a facility must be provided with the information and paperwork necessary to access medical assistance immediately upon release. Section 2 of this bill specifies the same requirements for adults.
Read More Here

Emergency Evaluations

Legislation: Emergency Evaluations – Standards and Content, HB668/SB273 (2003)
State: Maryland
Summary: Modifies certain standards that qualify an individual to receive an emergency evaluation, including eliminating the term “imminent danger” from the requirements if the consumer is a danger to themselves or others. Multiple professionals or a court-approved individual may complete these evaluations.
Read More Here

Family

Legislation: Flexible Leave Act, HB40/SB344 (2008)
State: Maryland
Summary: Allows individuals to take accrued time off to care for children, parents and spouses with health conditions, including mental illness.
Read More Here

Legislation: Family Involvement Act, SB1489/HB1426 (2007)
State: Tennessee
Summary: Provides for inpatient provisions mandating that information releases must be offered to consumers at admittance and regular intervals during treatment to facilitate family involvement in treatment and recovery. Also directs the TN Department of Mental Health to educate mental health providers about accepting consumer related information from the family, regardless of the informational release status.
Read More Here

Legislation: Family Involvement Act, SB3317/HB3382 (2008)
State: Tennessee
Summary: Provides for outpatient provisions mandating that information releases must be offered to consumers upon entry, periodically during treatment and upon discharge to facilitate family involvement in treatment and recovery.
Read More Here

Housing

Legislation: Special Needs Housing Trust Fund Act, A4143 (2004)
State: New Jersey
Summary: Establishes a $100 million Special Housing Trust Fund to finance special needs housing though bond proceeds issued by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA). The fund will provide additional resources to continue efforts to create permanent supportive housing and community residences as alternatives to institutionalization or homelessness for those who would benefit from these programs, including people with serious mental illnesses.
Read More Here

Legislation: Lien Law, A779 (2004)
State: New Jersey
Summary: Eliminates existing liens for individuals who have been hospitalized at a state or county psychiatric facility, and prevents the accumulation of future liens by determining treatment costs on a sliding scale of payment capabilities.
Read More Here

Incarceration/Criminal Justice

Legislation: Incarcerated Individuals with Mental Illness, HB281/SB791 (2007)
State: Maryland
Summary: This bill mandates that incarcerated individuals with mental illness must receive the appropriate evaluation as well as 30 days medication upon discharge. In addition, this bill promotes the establishment of an electronic medical record sharing initiative to streamline access to mental health services for incarcerated consumers.
Read More Here

Legislation: Special Housing Units (2008)
State: New York
Summary: Provides that inmates with serious mental illness be placed in on-site mental health treatment facilities rather than solitary confinement or special housing units.
Read More Here

Legislation: Offenders Apply for Public Benefits, HB1046 (2008)
State: Colorado
Summary: Section One of this bill provides that 120 days prior to release, the guardian of a juvenile who is receiving medical services in a facility must be provided with the information and paperwork necessary to access medical assistance immediately upon release. Section 2 of this bill specifies the same requirements for adults.
Read More Here

Legislation: Jail Inmate Application Assistance, SB07 (2008)
State: Colorado
Summary: Through grants for a new demonstration project, this bill encourages relationships between healthcare, housing and employment institutions, including community mental health centers, to collaborate in assisting persons being released from jail so that individuals are less likely to reenter the criminal justice system. It also provides for training of state personnel to assist inmates in applying for public benefits.
Read More Here

Legislation: Crisis Intervention Training (CIT), Budget Bill HB2010 (section 10.210) (2008)
State: Missouri
Summary: Appropriates approximately $266,000 to fund Crisis Intervention Training for police officer and training for judges.
Read More Here

Medicaid

Legislation: System of Care (or “The Act”), HB2358 / A1593 (2007)
State: Arkansas
Summary: This bill works towards improving/streamlining the effectiveness of state mental health services for children, adolescents and their families – encouraging family-driven, child-centered practices. The bill also requires the state agency to review and revise its Medicaid practices to facilitate screening and service delivery for children.
Read More Here

Legislation: Medicaid Buy-In for Workers with Disabilities, SB 4 (2008)
State: Ohio
Summary: Allows individuals with disabilities, including mental illness, the opportunity to buy into Medicaid coverage at a reasonable cost whether working full or part time.
Read More Here (section 5111.70).

Legislation: Medicaid Buy-In for Disabled Persons, HB 1072 (2008)
State: Colorado
Summary: This bill provides support for the full-time employment of persons with disabilities through a Medicaid buy-in program that will enable an individual to purchase Medicaid coverage and benefits while maintaining employment.
Read More Here

Legislation: Telemedicine Medicaid For Mental Health, SB68 (2008)
State: Colorado
Summary: This bill provides that Medicaid must cover mental healthcare that is administered via telemedicine.
Read More Here

Public Health

Legislation: Citizens Health Initiative – Health Information Technology Strategic Plan, Executive Order 2008-06 (2008)
State: New Hampshire
Summary: This executive order amends the tasks of NH Citizens Health Initiative, established in 2005, to include creating a method to electronically share medical records between providers and facilities without jeopardizing confidentiality/security.
Read More Here

Legislation: Postpartum Depression Education, A1325 (2006)
State: New Jersey
Summary: Requires that the health care professional providing prenatal care must educate women and families on postpartum depression, as well as screen for postpartum depression after a child’s birth.
Read More Here

Legislation: Smoking Ban, A2308 (2008)
State: New Jersey
Summary: Permits a ban on smoking on the grounds of state psychiatric hospitals and other human services facilities if smoking cessation programs are offered.
Read More Here

Schools

Legislation: Self-Mutilation – Awareness, Training and Distribution of Materials, HB1046 (2007)
State: Maryland
Summary: This bill mandates that the MD education and mental health agencies work together to provide training to school leaders to properly raise the awareness of school personnel regarding self-mutilation. The mental health agency must provide materials and resource information on this topic to the education department.
Read More Here

Legislation: Mental Health Education, SB640 (2008)
State: Virginia
Summary: Adds mental health education and awareness to the curricula in ‘family life’ education. (Family life education curricula include education pertaining to: abstinence, human sexuality/reproduction, avoiding and/or seeking medical attention due to sexual assault, and prevention/effects of STDs.)
Read More Here

Legislation: Instruction in Suicide Prevention, Assembly, No.3931 (2006)
State: New Jersey
Summary: This bill mandates two professional development hours of instruction in suicide prevention for public school faculty, as well as revisions to the health and physical education curriculum to include suicide prevention instruction.
Read More Here

Suicide Prevention

Legislation: Suicide Prevention Council, SB 390 (2008)
State: New Hampshire
Summary: This bill creates a suicide prevention council of diverse members to address the needs of high-risk populations, as well as offers support to New Hampshire’s suicide prevention plan.
Read More Here

Legislation: Instruction in Suicide Prevention, Assembly, No.3931 (2006)
State: New Jersey
Summary: This bill mandates two professional development hours of instruction in suicide prevention for public school faculty, as well as revisions to the health and physical education curriculum to include suicide prevention instruction.
Read More Here

Treatment Facilities and Community Services

Legislation: Kentucky StateBudget FY09, HB406 (2008)
State: Kentucky
Summary: Authorizes the replacement of a 185-year-old hospital with a $129 million state-of-the-art psychiatric treatment facility to be completed by late 2010. The design of this building included significant input from consumer and family focus groups.
Read More Here (Found on page 279 of text)

Legislation: Behavioral Health Reform Act, LB1083 (2004)
State: Nebraska
Summary: This bill provides expansive reform of Nebraskastate-sponsored mental health system, including (but not limited to) the development/promotion of community-based services, closure of regional centers and increased access to treatment.
Read More Here

Veterans

Legislation: Veteran’s Behavioral Health, HB372/SB210 (2008)
State: Maryland
Summary: This bill creates the Maryland Veterans Behavioral Health Advisory Board. It also improves coordination and identification of services and specifies that the state shall provide services to those who qualify under state eligibility requirements until they can access services from the federal Veterans Administration.
Read More Here


Campaign for the Mind of AmericaNAMI Statehouse Spotlight is an electronic newsletter provided free of charge as a public service. With more than 1,100 state and local affiliates, NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots organization dedicated to improving the lives of people with severe mental illnesses. Contributions to support our work can be made online at www.nami.org/donate.

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