Please take a moment to send this email below to your elected officials. Restoring cuts isn't enough. We need investments. And with the new Federal Block Grant increases and state aid, we can do both. But we need the legislature to weigh in.
Subject: "Legislature Must Weigh in on New Federal Block Grant Spending"
In the last stimulus package in December 2020, the U.S. Congress added over $6 billion in new funding available in State Mental Health and Substance Use Block Grants. Based on previous block grants, the Executive Budget estimates that at least $150 million will come to New York and gave the state total control over how to spend the funds. Now, with the new American Rescue Package signed by President Biden, it is expected that this $150 million will at least double! We believe that over 25% of this funding should go toward programs serving children and families who have struggled immensely during this crisis and will need support as part of our state's recovery.
The Legislature cannot leave this solely up to the Executive. We urge them to weigh in on how this funding should be allocated by either:
- Forming an Advisory Panel to determine the appropriate purposes of this funding; or
- Developing a resolution that itemizes their preferences for the funding, including that a fair share go to children and family services.
Establish an Advisory Board to make recommendations by June 1, 2021 to the Legislature about distribution of received and anticipated federal block grant funds. Monies from the fund will be available for purposes, including but not limited to, children and family mental health services necessary to respond the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Legislature will pass a resolution identifying the purposes prior to June 10, 2021.