Miller Introduces Bill To Equalize County Mental Health Funding
Wednesday Feb 08, 2017 7:54am
By: Mike Stiles
(LANSING) – Legislation has been introduced that would more equally designate funds for county mental health services across Michigan.
State Representative Aaron Miller of Sturgis presented House Bill 4091, which would change the way money is distributed to Community Mental Health Service Programs, based on criteria such as demographics, county unemployment rates and poverty rates.
Miller says the issue was brought to his attention by a family in Sturgis who were told the last Community Mental Health facility could not treat their adult daughter because it didn't have the funding. The family was told they could move to a different part of Michigan where more funding was available, but that was not an option.
According to Miller, there is a serious funding shortfall for some counties that did not fall into the top tier of the formula established in the 1960's. St. Joseph and Cass Counties are receiving less money per person than other CMH authorities in Michigan.
The current formula flies in the face of fairness according to Miller. Counties on the short end of the funding formula are not able to sufficiently provide vital services to residents.
House Bill 4091 has been referred to the House Appropriations Committee.