March Advocacy Alert:
Progress for Behavioral Health in the 2018 Legislative Session
There is less than a month left in the 2018 General Assembly Session (not that we are counting)! Things are starting to move quickly and we wanted to update you on our progress to advance BHSB's policy priorities and share some of the good news from this year's session. 
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Events

When: March 19
10:30 - 11:45
Where:
Anne Arundel Medical Center,
Doordan Institute,
Belcher Pavilion,
200 Medical Pkwy,
Annapolis, MD
21401


When: April 3
9:00 - 12:00
Where:Episcopal Dioscese of Maryland,
4 East University Parkway, 
Baltimore, MD
21218

When:
April 30 & May 1
9:00 - 4:00
Where:
BHSB,
100 S. Charles st,
Tower II, 8th floor,
Baltimore, MD
21201

When: April 19
8:00 - 5:00
Where: Baltimore Convention Center,
1 W. Pratt st,
Baltimore, MD
21201

When: April 27
9:00 - 2:30
Where: 2640 Saint Paul st,
Baltimore, MD
21217

When:  April 27
10:00 - 12:00
Where:
BCRI
5124 Greenwich Ave, 
Baltimore, MD
21229

  • Fight to Keep the Door Open-FY 2019 Budget
Keep The Door Open Rally February 22, 2018

Last week the Senate Budget committee voted to " Keep the Door Open " for vulnerable Marylanders by restoring the Governor's cut to the 3.5 percent reimbursement rate increase for community-based behavioral health services included in the FY19 Budget Reconciliation Act (BRFA).
  • Strengthen and Expand Crisis Services
BHSB supported HB 1092/SB 703, Behavioral Health Crisis Response Grant Program, which will provide new funds to local jurisdictions to establish and expand behavioral health crisis response services. The bill requires $2 million in new grant funding starting in FY 2020 with incremental increases to $10 million through FY 2024.  The Senate Finance Committee passed the bill unanimously and we feel confident that the House Health and Government Operations (HGO) Committee will also pass this bill out of committee, moving it to the full General Assembly for consideration. 
  • Ensure Medicaid Covers Peer Support Services 
BHSB supported HB 772/ SB 765, Clinical Services Provided by Certified Peer Recovery Specialists, which would require Maryland Medicaid to reimburse for services provided by certified peer recovery specialists. Senate Finance and HGO Committees held hearings and BHSB is hearing positive feedback and support for this bill. We are hopeful that the bill will pass out of committee by Monday, March 19.
  • Expand Prevention and Early Intervention Efforts

Delegate Brooke Lierman and advocates for HB 432 after the hearing

BHSB supported HB 432, Maryland Violence Intervention and Prevention Program Fund, to advance our efforts to address the impact of violence and toxic stress on the overall health and wellness of our city.  This bill would provide resources to local governments to implement evidence-based or evidence-informed health programs focused on violence prevention. This legislation could provide an opportunity for BHSB to expand SELF (Safety, Emotions, Loss, and Future) Community Conversations Framework in communities in Baltimore. 
For more information about BHSB's policy priorities or the legislative session, contact Stacey Jefferson, Policy Manager, at Stacey.jefferson@bhsbaltimore.org.