Kansas Mental
Health Coalition

Legislature Passes Budget and Reverses Trend

May 03, 2018 9:58 PM | Amy Campbell (Administrator)

The 2018 Legislature is taking a step toward reversing the erosion of the Kansas mental health system and social services in general. 

It took 12 rounds of negotiations over three days, but the House/Senate conference committee wrapped up budget negotiations around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night.  All in all, it was the most courteous and respectful budget negotiations we have seen in a longtime  The bill was ready for floor debate by 5 p.m. on Thursday (today).

The House passed the Budget Conference Committee Report on SB 109 with a vote of 98-23 at 5:30 p.m. after 30 minutes of discussion.  The Senate passed the budget CCR 26-14 at 8:26 p.m.  There is a tax conference committee report that may or may not prevent the Legislature from wrapping things up – but it looks like the Legislature may get out late tonight.

The final budget compromise spends less than the House had proposed but more than the Senate version.  You can see the specific details at this link - here are some of the items included in the legislation:

  • Funding to begin a Medicaid supported housing program ($4.8 m AF/$2.2 m SGF),
  • Funding for new / recreated Medicaid “health homes” model program ($2.5 million SGF),
  • Line item funding for crisis stabilization centers for RSI, Valeo, ComCare and new services in Salina,
  • Stops a $1 million sweep from the problem gambling and addictions fund to the state general fund and redirects that money to supplement substance use treatment block grant services in FY 18,
  • $6 million funding for three juvenile community crisis centers in response to recommendations from the Judicial Council, to address gaps from juvenile justice reform and the child welfare system (from the Evidence Based Juvenile Programs Account of the State General Fund),
  • Directs the proceeds from selling Rainbow building to RSI debt and emergency housing and assistance through RSI, Valeo and ComCare Community Crisis Centers,
  • Requires KanCare to implement a no less than 60-day initial authorization policy for inpatient treatment in psychiatric residential treatment facilities,
  • Add $425,200 including $152,600 SGF to administratively implement a Medicaid reinstatement policy for individuals being released from corrections facilities, state hospitals, or other institutional placements as detailed in SB 195 for FY 19,
  • Add $350,000 SGF for Medicaid tobacco cessation policy changes for FY 19,
  • Funds for mental health first aid training,
  • Reinstates the mental health task force with additional members and directs the group to provide recommendations regarding state hospitals and regionalization, as well as other topics,
  • Adds line item funding for clubhouse programs ($500,000),
  • Directs KDHE to address concerns with the federal Medicaid institutions for mental disease (IMD) exclusion, behavioral health access, and telehealth options in FY 18,
  • Includes language to postpone KanCare 2.0 policy changes – new language similar to SB 300 – and requires legislative approval of Medicaid policy changes (KanCare funding lapsed if this provision is violated),
  • Add $9.6 million, including $4.8 million from the State General Fund, to provide Administrative Case Management services for individuals on the Physical Disability (PD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and Frail Elderly (FE) Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waivers for FY 2019. This amount includes $4.4 million, including $2.2 million from the State General Fund, for individuals on the PD waiver; $589,462, including $294,731 from the State General Fund, for individuals on the TBI waiver; and $4.5 million, including $2.3 million from the State General Fund, for individuals on the FE waiver for FY 19,
  • Adds supplemental funding to Osawatomie and Larned State Hospitals to make up for increased costs and reduced federal revenues, and
  • Adds new money and state employee positions for expansion of the sexual predator treatment program.

Other funding items include:

  • Enhanced funds for various child welfare services,
  • Enhanced Medicaid reimbursement for nursing facilities and hospitals,
  • Adds $200,000 for meals for the senior nutrition program,
  • Additional funds for Parents as Teachers and Tiny K programs,
  • TANF funds for foster children to participate in Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA, and municipal parks and recreation programs for FY 19, 
  • Adds $300,000 TANF funds for Communities in Schools - case management services to at risk students,
  • Adds funds to increase payments for foster care kinship placements,
  • Adds $1 million TANF fund for the Kidzlit program for FY 19 – reading skills and social development skills, and
  • State employee wage increases - the amount depends on whether or not they received a raise in 2017 and the value of those raises.     

And here is a timely new section:

  • Add language restricting any agency from expending funds to create, enter into, or enforce any non-disclosure agreement in regards to claims from sexual harassment for FY 19.
  • Add language restricting any agency from expending funds to settle sexual harassment claims against a state officer for FY 19.

It is another late night at the Legislature, but happily, this could be the last for a while.  Some are predicting they will have to come back for a special session when the Supreme Court rules that the K-12 Funding Legislation is insufficient, but that is yet to be seen.

Tomorrow, May 4, is the scheduled Sine Die – last official day of the 2018 Legislative Session  They will not need to work on Friday If they are able to address the few remaining conference committee reports tonight.  Some of the still outstanding issues include:

  • CCR relating to faith based adoption agencies and their religious freedom to not serve same sex couples,
  • Potential effort to pull up another bill relating to guns, concealed carry and reciprocal licenses, and
  • The tax compromise conference committee report that decouples Kansas income tax policies from the Trump Tax Plan, along with a number of other tax items.  (This is being touted as returning money to the taxpayers that would have increased Kansas revenues as a result of the federal tax plan.)

Meanwhile, we have another storm rolling through Topeka, so it isn’t a bad idea to be spending the evening in the State Capitol made of solid stone.  

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Kansas Lottery Vending Machines

Today, the 2018 Legislature passed Conference Committee Report on HB 2194 - a gut and go maneuver to pass the Lottery Vending Machine legislation that was passed in 2017 but vetoed by Governor Brownback.  Once implemented, Lottery vending machines will be the designated funding source for clubhouse programs and crisis services.  These expenditures are capped, and replace the state general fund allocations in CCR on SB 109.  Read the CCR Brief here.

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

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