Kansas Mental
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  • April 03, 2022 7:23 PM | Anonymous

    The Kansas Legislature left Topeka for First Adjournment without passing the 988 Crisis Hotline Legislation. House Substitute for SB 19 - the LIVES Act - is now in the hands of a six member conference committee on health care legislation.  It must be passed by the end of the Veto Session that begins April 25 in order to become law.

    The House of Representatives passed the bill March 21 on a vote of 114-8.  Unfortunately, regular committees in the Senate were no longer meeting, as the Legislature entered full time floor debates to move as much legislation as possible prior to the Drop Dead Day April 1.  The House had worked on the bill for nearly two years, while only senators on Ways and Means, Kancare Oversight and Mental Health Modernization and Reform had received reports on the legislation.  It is not unusual for one chamber to insert legislation into a bill from the other chamber in order to expedite the process, but 988 is significant legislation and advocates feared the Senate might balk.  The stalemate lasted more than a week.

    Finally, on Friday, April 1, the conference committee on House Sub for SB 19 met and came to a tentative agreement regarding amendments to the bill.  The conferees agreed to add language to clarify crisis and short-term services to be covered for uninsured Kansans, restrict services to out-of-state persons, and reduce the number of people on the 988 Advisory Council.  The Supplemental Note provides details of the legislation and action by the House Health and Human Services Committee and the House Energy, Utilities and Environment Committee.  The Supplemental Note does not include amendments proposed by the conference committee.  

    Background:  he National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2020 (S. 2661) creates 988, a 3-digit mental health crisis line. 988 will be a crucial tool to link people with trained staff who can provide on-the-phone assistance or refer to  crisis response, reducing the burden on local law enforcement, emergency rooms, jails and state hospitals. However, the federal legislation is not funded – recommending a state-enacted fee on phone services.  

    The phone fee has been a major hang-up for HB 2281.  Ultimately, the bill was passed by the House Health and Human Services Committee after a lot of negotiation with phone companies to reduce the monthly phone fee from 50 cents to 20 cents.  Then, the bill was referred to the House Energy Utilities and Environment Committee, where the fee was pulled out, recommending funding from the state general fund and moving it into House Substitute for SB 19.  The legislation must still pass the full House of Representatives before it can be addressed by the Senate.

    Converting and expanding our current National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to a fully functional front door to behavioral health crisis response in Kansas resolves a glaring gap in the continuum of care. Families need somewhere to call when a crisis occurs for themselves or their loved ones – a link to a live voice to deescalate the situation or link to appropriate interventions and resources.

    KDADS has fulfilled the federal planning requirements and phone services will start directing 988 calls July 16, 2022.  The Legislature must act to assure the hotline is operational and the necessary trained response services are in place with funding.


  • March 17, 2022 3:55 PM | Anonymous

    The National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2020 (S. 2661) creates 988, a 3-digit mental health crisis line. 988 will be a crucial tool to link people with trained staff who can provide on-the-phone assistance or refer to  crisis response, reducing the burden on local law enforcement, emergency rooms, jails and state hospitals. However, the federal legislation is not funded – recommending a state-enacted fee on phone services.  

    The phone fee has been a major hang-up for HB 2281.  Ultimately, the bill was passed by the House Health and Human Services Committee after a lot of negotiation with phone companies to reduce the monthly phone fee from 50 cents to 20 cents.  Then, the bill was referred to the House Energy Utilities and Environment Committee, where the fee was pulled out, recommending funding from the state general fund and moving it into House Substitute for SB 19.  The legislation must still pass the full House of Representatives before it can be addressed by the Senate.

    Converting and expanding our current National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to a fully functional front door to behavioral health crisis response in Kansas resolves a glaring gap in the continuum of care. Families need somewhere to call when a crisis occurs for themselves or their loved ones – a link to a live voice to deescalate the situation or link to appropriate interventions and resources.

    KDADS has fulfilled the federal planning requirements and phone services will start directing 988 calls July 16, 2022.  The Legislature must act to assure the hotline is operational and the necessary trained response services are in place with funding.


  • February 11, 2022 4:30 PM | Anonymous

    Hearings Next Week

    988 CRISIS LINE - House Bill 2281 - Hearing for HB 2281 in House Health and Human Services Committee Tuesday, February 15.   To submit written testimony or to speak before the committee, contact Ryan Reza, NAMI Kansas, at this link to provide your information by Sunday February 13.  We will have to turn in testimony by 10:00 a.m. Monday.

    You can also reach out to the House Health and Human Services Committee members directly by email to express your support for HB 2281. Link to Committee List  A short email with Support 998 Crisis Legislation in the subject line is very helpful!  Sample Email.

    BUDGET HEARINGS:  KMHC supports the behavioral health enhancements in the Governor’s Budget.  Other top issues include advocating for continued support for the Certified Community Behavioral Health Center system, creating community Crisis Intervention Centers, funding 988, and ending the moratorium on voluntary admissions at the state hospitals – expanding access to community based services and Medicaid Expansion.  The following committees hear public testimony then make recommendations to the House Appropriations Committee or Senate Ways and Means Committee to develop the overall budget.

    To submit written testimony or to speak before the committee, contact the committee assistant at least 48 hours before the hearing and expect to turn in your testimony 24 hours before the hearing.  Some committees require only an electronic copy of your testimony, others will ask you to deliver paper copies too.  Remember, if you can't get testimony submitted, you can email the committee members directly. 

    When testifying for agency budgets, it is important to review the Governors Budget Report to see what is recommended for the agencies.  See Governors Budget Report and Directors Budget Presentation.  See page 20 of the directors presentation for behavioral health (see below), also page 22 for Medicaid Expansion.  

    ________________________________

    House Social Services Budget Committee  web page link with members – HSSBC - meets daily at 3:30 p.m. 152-S – Contact Francisca.Hernandez@house.ks.gov   or at 785-296-7660.  The committee assistant needs to know if you will testify in person or by Webex 48 hours before the hearing.  Email a pdf of your testimony by 1:00 p.m. the day before the hearing.

    Dept. of Children and Families -  Budget Overview February 14, Public Hearing February 15, Recommendations February 16 

    Kansas Dept. for Aging and Disability Services - Budget Overview February 16, Public Hearing February 17, Recommendations February 21 

    __________________________________

    Senate Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Services – time and location vary - web page link  with members

    Contact Donna.Fulkerson@senate.ks.gov or 785-296-7399.  The committee assistance needs to know if you will testify in person or by Webex 48 hours before the hearing.  Email a pdf of the testimony 24 hours before the hearing.   

    Dept. for Children and Families -  Overview and Public Testimony February 17.  12 noon Room 548-S

    Kansas Dept. for Aging and Disability Services -  Overview and Public Testimony February 18.   10:30 a.m. Room 548-S

    ____________________________________________________________

    All hearings are live-streamed on the YouTube Kansas Legislature Channel.


  • February 07, 2022 9:33 AM | Anonymous

    This is a busy time for behavioral health! 

    BUDGET HEARINGS:  KMHC supports the behavioral health enhancements in the Governor’s Budget.  Other top issues include advocating for continued support for the Certified Community Behavioral Health Center system, creating community Crisis Intervention Centers, funding 988, and ending the moratorium on voluntary admissions at the state hospitals – expanding access to community based services and Medicaid Expansion.  The following committees hear public testimony then make recommendations to the House Appropriations Committee or Senate Ways and Means Committee to develop the overall budget.

    To submit written testimony or to speak before the committee, contact the committee assistant at least 48 hours before the hearing and expect to turn in your testimony 24 hours before the hearing.  Some committees require only an electronic copy of your testimony, others will ask you to deliver paper copies too.  Remember, if you can't get testimony submitted, you can email the committee members directly. 

    When testifying for agency budgets, it is important to review the Governors Budget Report to see what is recommended for the agencies.  See Governors Budget Report and Directors Budget Presentation.  See page 20 of the directors presentation for behavioral health (see below), also page 22 for Medicaid Expansion.  

    ________________________________

    House Social Services Budget Committee  web page link with members – HSSBC - meets daily at 3:30 p.m. 152-S – Contact Francisca.Hernandez@house.ks.gov   or at 785-296-7660.  The committee assistant needs to know if you will testify in person or by Webex 48 hours before the hearing.  Email a pdf of your testimony by 1:00 p.m. the day before the hearing.

    Larned State Hospital and Osawatomie State Hospital Budget Overview  February 10, Public Hearing - February 10, Recommendations February 21

    KDHE/Medicaid/Public Health – Overview February 7, Hearing February 8, Recommendations February 9

    Dept. of Children and Families -  Budget Overview February 14, Public Hearing February 15, Recommendations February 16 

    KDADS Budget Overview February 16, Public Hearing February 17, Recommendations February 21 

    __________________________________

    Senate Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Services – time and location vary - web page link  with members

    Contact Donna.Fulkerson@senate.ks.gov or 785-296-7399.  The committee assistance needs to know if you will testify in person or by Webex 48 hours before the hearing.  Email a pdf of the testimony 24 hours before the hearing.   

    Larned State Hospital and Osawatomie State Hospital – Public Hearing Wednesday February 9 - 12 noon Room 548-S.  Deliberations Thursday February 10 - 10:30 a.m. Room 548-S.

    KDADS and DCF – beginning February 16 or 17.  TBA.


  • January 19, 2022 8:19 AM | Anonymous


  • January 12, 2022 9:28 AM | Anonymous

    Members of the public can stream audio and some video from www.kslegislature.org.   Click “Audio/Video” in the upper right corner of the site.  Select “Statehouse Live and Archive” or “House, Senate and Committee Video”.  Meetings are available to listen or view later as well.  Sometimes one of these options works better than the other.  There are also times when there doesn’t seem to be any audio at all – a hitch that is due to committee room equipment.   The 2021 Legislature did appropriate funds to improve statehouse technology equipment, so we hope these functions will be more reliable this session.  

  • January 12, 2022 9:27 AM | Anonymous

    The Kansas Legislature will host a joint meeting of the House Appropriations and Senate Ways and Means Committees today at 10:00 a.m. to hear the Governor’s Budget Report and review current state budget numbers.  Listen to the committee at http://sg001-harmony.sliq.net/00287/Harmony/en/PowerBrowser/PowerBrowserV2/20220112/-1/13872 or view at the Kansas Legislature channel on YouTube.  The 2022 Legislative Session opened Monday afternoon and featured the Governor’s State of the State speech last night, along with a State of the Judiciary presentation by Chief Justice Marla Luckert yesterday afternoon.  The Governor is proposing the elimination of the food sales tax and an income tax refund to all Kansas taxpayers of $250 per individual.  Kelly says the Kansas economy is strong – with revenue estimates consistently increasing. 

    Budget estimates predict the highest ending balance the state has ever seen, mostly due to several rounds of federal pandemic relief funding and increased federal match for Medicaid, and Kelly is arguing that Kansans should benefit directly.  At this point, Republican leaders are arguing that the federal aid will end and create a revenue cliff – so, a graduated approach may be better.  There was also talk about reducing the sales tax rate for other kinds of purchases beyond groceries and using surplus funds to pay down KPERS debt.  They do not support sending tax refunds to every Kansan – a proposal that they say is all about the Governor’s re-election campaign. 

    Governor Kelly used her State of the State speech to promote her priorities and to criticize the Legislature’s refusal to pass Medicaid Expansion.  


  • May 11, 2021 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services items included in CCR SB 159:

    ○ Adding $2.7 million, including $1.2 million SGF, for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) funding, and 10.0 FTE positions for CCBHC certification for FY 2022;

    ○ Adding $5.6 million, including $2.0 million SGF, for the Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Technology Assisted (TA) waiver for FY 2022;

    ○ Adding $3.0 million, all SGF, for costs associated with the 988 Crisis Hotline, and adding language to lapse SGF funds associated with the 988 Crisis Hotline implementation, if federal funds are available for this purpose in FY 2022; and

    ○ Adding $9.6 million, including $4.3 million SGF, and adding language raising the Protected Income Level for HCBS Waivers and the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) from 150.0 percent to 300.0 percent of federal supplemental security income for FY 2022.


  • May 08, 2021 1:32 AM | Anonymous

    Veto Session Almost Over

    The Legislature is grinding its way toward adjourning the veto session in the wee hours of Saturday morning.  However, the omnibus budget was approved earlier this evening with the House passing CCR SB 159 98-21 and the Senate voting 26-12.  The debate on the budget legislation was remarkably brief, considering that the House and Senate crafted their negotiating positions through committee action alone – bypassing the process of passing bills through the full chambers prior to conference committee.  The Ways and Means / Appropriations conference committee hit the ground running at 9 am Thursday morning, meeting 9 times until reaching an agreement around 11:15 p.m.  Legislative staff worked most of the night to have the conference committee report ready for final chamber votes today.

    Highlights of the Omnibus Budget   Full summary link

    Human Services - Adding $31.1 million, including $20.6 million SGF, for the Human Services function and adopting GBA No. 3, Item 1, to delete $268.8 million, including $141.6 million SGF, to implement the Spring 2021 Consensus Caseloads. Other Major Adjustments include:

    ● Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services:

    ○ Adding $2.7 million, including $1.2 million SGF, for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) funding, and 10.0 FTE positions for CCBHC certification for FY 2022;

    ○ Adding $5.6 million, including $2.0 million SGF, for the Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Technology Assisted (TA) waiver for FY 2022;

    ○ Adding $3.0 million, all SGF, for costs associated with the 988 Crisis Hotline, and adding language to lapse SGF funds associated with the 988 Crisis Hotline implementation, if federal funds are available for this purpose in FY 2022; and

    ○ Adding $9.6 million, including $4.3 million SGF, and adding language raising the Protected Income Level for HCBS Waivers and the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) from 150.0 percent to 300.0 percent of federal supplemental security income for FY 2022.

    ● Department of Labor - Adding $9.6 million, all SGF, to update the unemployment insurance benefit system and adding language requiring the agency use up to $250,000 to conduct an outside audit in compliance with Senate Sub. for Sub. For HB 2196 for FY 2022. This includes language requiring the use of federal funds if determined allowable;

    Key to the final agreement was adding $53 million to higher education appropriations in order to meet enough of the federal “maintenance of effort” requirements to assure Kansas’ eligibility for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. 

    State employees did not get the 2.5% pay increase recommended by the House, but there are salary increases for the Judiciary branch that many say are long overdue.

    There were a number of last minute provisos added to the bill relating to topics like limiting contact tracing for purposes of individual privacy and prohibiting vaccine passports, the impacts of which will be unknown for now.

    There were also a couple of items added into the omnibus budget that had been line item vetoed by the Governor – including an agreed to change in the way that federal coronavirus aid is approved for State expenditures.

    These budget items are in addition to those passed in the mega-budget bill – Sub for HB 2007 prior to first adjournment the first week of April.

    The Legislature is still debating a couple of conference committees, but likely to adjourn in an hour or two. 

    Status of the State General Fund

    The HB 2007 approved budget resulted in an ending balance of $648.5 million in FY 2021 and $10.2 million in FY 2022. Change in economic conditions and federal stimulus have substantially changed that outlook in addition to legislative adjustments.

    Major Adjustments include:

    ● Revised consensus revenue estimates adding $319.8 million in FY 2021 and $41.2 million in FY 2022;

    ● The passage of SB 50, SB 47, and HB 2143 reducing estimated revenue by $108.5 million in FY 2022;

    ● Spring Human Services Caseloads reducing SGF expenditures by $189.5 million in FY 2021 and $141.6 million in FY 2022; and

    ● SB 159 adding $4.4 million in FY 2021 and $70.5 million for FY 2022 in expenditures above the Governor's recommendation as adjusted for GBA No. 3 and No. 4. The effect of these various adjustments results in a projected ending balance of $1.1 billion in FY 2021 and $542.1 million in FY 2022.


  • April 26, 2021 6:33 PM | Anonymous

    Sub for HB 2007 - the mega-budget bill for the 2021 session - was passed by the Legislature prior to First Adjournment and the Governor signed it with some line item vetoes on Monday, April 26.  Attached is a spreadsheet of the negotiated items from the conference committee on HB 2007.Senate Ways and Means returned Monday to review the new consensus revenue and expenditure estimates, and began to craft their Omnibus bill over a day and a half.  House Appropriations worked through its 49 page omnibus list in about 9 hours on Tuesday.  Here is the list of omnibus items being considered by the budget committees.  Two of the key items for the Coalition are the first year funding for the Certified Community Behavioral Health Centers program and startup funds for a 988 crisis system.  The 988 crisis line will be live July 2022 according to the federal legislation.  Will Kansas be ready?


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