Kansas Mental
Health Coalition

The Kansas Mental Health Coalition is working to improve mental health in Kansas

The Kansas Mental Health Coalition (KMHC) is a collaborative organization of numerous non-profit organizations, agencies and individuals representing consumers, families, and providers dedicated to improving the lives of Kansans with mental illness.  Read more.

MEMBERSHIP RENEWALS are due now.  Please Click Here to Join or Renew.  Community Mental Health Centers do not need to act, your membership renewal is handled by the Association of Community Mental Health Centers of Kansas.  Thank you for your support!

Legislature Poised to Address Budget and Revenues

House Appropriations Apr 23-24, Senate Ways and Means Apr 28

The Consensus Revenue Estimating Group met April 20 and the report contained more bad news – forecasting $98.2 million reduced revenues for FY 16 and $100.8 million reduced revenues for FY 17.  The current fiscal year estimates reduced revenues of $87.5 million – and increased adjustments of $244.5 million, mostly from the passage of the rescission bill in February.  It is not clear where the $157 million difference will leave the overall budget for FY 15 – ending June 30.  But the mega-budget bill will require further adjustments unless significant tax policy bills are moved forward.

Even with the Governor’s Allotments last Fall, the rescission bill H Sub for SB 4) addressed a $300 million budget shortfall for fiscal year 2015 (ending in June) to prevent the state from defaulting on its financial obligations. The legislation included several transfers, cuts and delays in funding, including $158 million from the State Highway Trust Fund, $7.9 million in delayed payment to the Kansas Employment Retirement System and $7.1 million from the Job Creation Program Fund. The House of Representatives passed the bill by a vote of 88-34. The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 24-13 sending it to the Governor to sign into law on February 16.

Currently, Senate Sub for HB 2135 remains in conference committee – this is the 2015 Legislative Session’s Mega-Budget Bill.  Only the Senate has passed a mega-budget bill this session, which puts the House of Representatives in the uncomfortable position of having to either concur with the version as it emerges from conference, or send it back for more work.  There is no opportunity for floor amendments unless they move forward their own House bill.  The House and Senate Conference Committee ended its negotiations with a tentative agreement, but did not move it to the floor for concurrence – choosing instead to hold it over to the Veto Session.   It is likely that the late session budget adjustments that typically are passed in an Omnibus bill will simply be rolled into Senate Sub for HB 2135.  As it stands, the bill spent about $16 million more than the Governor’s proposed budget – ending up around $141 million below revenue estimates.

The Appropriations Committee will meet this week and Senate Ways and Means will meet next week to cover the discussion of omnibus items.  State Budget Director Shawn Sullivan indicated today that the Governor will be meeting with his staff this week to make recommendations for revenue enhancements.  His policies for increasing tobacco and liquor taxes, as well as some income tax adjustments, have seen no action to date.  Both bills had public hearings during the regular session.

House Appropriations Committee -  Thursday April 23 beginning at 10:00 am and Friday April 24 beginning at 9 am in Room 112-N

Senate Ways and Means Committee  - Tuesday April 28 beginning at 3 pm in Room 548-S

Bill in Conference Committee to Create Medicaid Mental Health Medications Advisory Committee

Senate Sub for HB 2149 is currently in conference and expected to pass.  HB 2149 was originally a bill to provide for Medicaid coverage of donor breast milk.  The Senate added the provisions of SB 181 and a new plan for instituting management of mental health medications in Medicaid through a specialized advisory committee.  The bill amends the procedures regarding restrictions of patients’ access to any new prescription-only drug under the Kansas Medicaid Program and would establish meeting requirements for the Medicaid Drug Utilization Review Board (Board). 

Further, the bill would allow prior authorization or other restrictions on medications used to treat mental illness to be imposed on Medicaid recipients for medications subject to guidelines developed by the Board in accordance with provisions of the bill; establish instances not to be construed as restrictions; provide for the development of guidelines; establish requirements for Board review of medications used to treat mental illness available for use before and after July 1, 2015; and create a Mental Health Medication Advisory Committee (Committee), outlining Committee membership and appointments, meeting frequency, and member compensation.   

Advocates view the new provisions as a better option than SB 123 - which would have simply deleted the statutory exemption from Medicaid management for MH drugs.  SB 123 was defeated by the Senate.   Read more about this issue.


Upcoming events

24 Jun 2015 9:00 AM • Valeo Behavioral Health Center, 330 SW Oakley, Topeka, KS
JOIN THE GRASSROOTS ADVOCACY NETWORK: KANSAS VOICES FOR MENTAL HEALTH
Join other Kansans who are dedicated to educating others about Kansas mental health issues.   Kansas needs you!  Advocates weigh in on important legislation and budget issues through e-mail, meetings and phone calls.  

CONSIDER JOINING KMHC

Membership in the Kansas Mental Health Coalition is open to anyone who is interested in collaborating with others toward our common goals.

Please check out our membership information and select a member category to join.  Fill out the information sheet and send dues to Kansas Mental Health Coalition, P.O. Box 4744, Topeka, KS  66604.

 

(c) Kansas Mental Health Coalition, P.O. Box 4103, Topeka, KS  66604-0103         785-969-1617

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