Legislation that would reauthorize several important federal funding sources to address substance use disorder has passed the House of Representatives as a component of a larger bill that addresses a number of mental health funding and policy issues. VACo has endorsed the Summer Barrow Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Act, introduced by Representative Abigail Spanberger, in keeping with VACo’s legislative position in favor of a comprehensive approach to substance use disorders and in recognition of the significant impact of this major public health and safety issue on county governments. This legislation has been incorporated into HR 7666, the Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022, which was introduced by Representative Frank Pallone. HR 7666 passed the House by a large margin (402-20) on June 22.
Major provisions of the Summer Barrow Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Act include:
- Reauthorization of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Treatment Programs of Regional and National Significance program at $521 million per year for the next five fiscal years and reauthorization of the SAMHSA Substance Use Disorder Prevention Programs of Regional and National Significance at $218 million per year for the next five fiscal years. These grants fund a variety of capacity building, training and technical assistance activities at the state, local , Tribal, or nonprofit levels.
- Reauthorization of SAMHSA’s Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness Program ($64.6 million per year for the next five fiscal years), which supports services for people with serious mental illness, including those with co-occurring substance use disorders, who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless.
Reauthorization of certain programs to reduce underage drinking ($23 million per year for the next five fiscal years).
- Reauthorization of Emergency Department Alternatives to Opioids Demonstration Grants ($10 million each year for the next five fiscal years).
- Reauthorization of the SAMHSA Jail Diversion Program and Grants ($14 million per year for the next five fiscal years).
Major provisions in the Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act include:
- Reauthorization of the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (renamed the Substance Use Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Services Block Grant) at $1.91 billion per year for the next five fiscal years.
- Reauthorization of the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant (which supports community mental health services for adults with serious mental illness and children with serious emotional disturbance and the collection of performance and outcome data, with a required 5 percent set-aside for crisis care services) at $857.6 million annually for fiscal years 2023 through 2027.
- Establishment of a task force to coordinate and inform a national strategy to improve federal and state responses to maternal mental health needs.
- Authorization of $10 million annually for the next five fiscal years for a pilot program for states, localities, territories, Tribes, and Tribal organizations to establish new or enhance existing mobile crisis response teams.
- Direction to convene an interagency working group to increase collaboration among federal agencies in promoting availability of housing, including recovery housing, for individuals experiencing homelessness, mental illness, or substance use disorder.
- Elimination of the ability of nonfederal governmental self-funded insurance plans to opt out of mental health parity requirements.