Posted by Anna Hasselblad on Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Sacramento – Governor Jerry Brown has signed AB 847 by Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin, which has the potential to provide additional funding in the range of $1 billion to support community mental health and alcohol and drug services with no additional cost to the state or to counties. The bill included an urgency clause which makes it effective immediately.
By utilizing a small portion of additional 2015-16 Proposition 63 state administration funds that became newly available in the state budget, AB 847 makes it possible for the Department of Health Care Services to participate in the federal Certified Community Behavioral Health Center program which offers significantly enhanced federal funds for outpatient mental health and substance use disorder services. If California is selected as a participating state, enhanced federal matching funds, nearly double the regular funding can be received with no additional cost to the state or to counties.
The state is on the cusp of revolutionary improvements to the way we provide mental health care and how we address disparities for the most vulnerable among us. This is especially important considering that California has the highest number of Medicaid enrollees in the country – more than double the next largest state. If California is selected as one of the 24 demonstration grantees, this program and associated funding has the potential to reach millions of people struggling with a mental health issue or substance use disorder in a community setting. The signing into law of AB 847 allows us move forward together, thereby strengthening the fabric of our safety-net and our community.