Secretaries Ted Dallas, Karen Murphy, Teresa Osborne, and Jennifer Smith have issued a clear and compelling letter to the Chairs of the PA House and Senate Appropriations Committee about how PA House Bill 218 will have a devastating impact on vulnerable Pennsylvanians if passed as is. The PA House has passed the bill and it now goes to the PA Senate. Read the full letter here.

MHAPA joins the Secretaries in their opposition to specific provisions, including:

$9 million in cuts to mental health and substance use disorder funding. As detailed in the letter, these cuts would mean that more Pennsylvanians would be institutionalized instead of served in the community and that over 1,200 Pennsylvanians would not be able to access treatment for a substance use disorder. Specifically, the House budget includes a reduction of $5 million in community mental health county allocations. This cut will jeopardize available funding to serve individuals leaving state hospitals to live in the community, which could impact the funding necessary for the closure of the Norristown civil unit, with related impact on the ACLU forensic lawsuit. In addition, there is a reduction of $4 million to county behavioral health funding, which would eliminate the amount that was included for treatment costs for 1,200 non-Medical Assistance eligible clients who are newly able to receive the substance use disorder treatment through the Centers of Excellence. At a time when the Commonwealth is experiencing an unprecedented opioid epidemic, this is a dangerous step backward.

Join us in speaking out against House Bill 218! Let your state senators know how these cuts will affect people you love or serve. Contact them today!