June 30, 2022
New Jersey’s Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and General Assembly Budget Committee voted yesterday on a $50.6 billion FY2023 budget bill, a record high and well above Governor Murphy’s proposed $48.9 billion budget. Floor votes in both houses were to take place on June 29th and the budget must be passed and signed by the Governor by midnight on June 30th to avoid a state shutdown.
NJAMHAA Advocacy Wins
Working with our Diverse Faces campaign that highlighted all the vulnerable populations our members serve, NJAMHAA saw a number of significant advocacy wins in the Governor’s proposed budget, all of which remain in the State Legislature’s bill, including:
- $39 million ($27 million state funds/$12 million federal funds) to increase behavioral health wages
- $4.6 million ($1.7 million state funds/$2.9 million federal funds) for rate parity between pediatric and adult outpatient services, including psychiatric evaluation, outpatient therapy, and partial care rates
- A $1 million increase to be distributed to the initial Early Intervention Support Services (EISS) programs, a continuance of the Legislature’s FY2022 add on
- A $5 million increase to Office of School Linked Services (OSLS) programs, including School Based Youth Services Programs (SBYSPs), continued from the Legislature’s FY2022 add on, now as part of the base. (Another recent advocacy win resulted in SBYSPs being able to carryover unspent funds from the FY2022 increase into their FY2023 budgets.)
NJAMHAA’s Diverse Faces campaign led to many more successes in the Legislature’s budget bill including:
- $1.5 million for a grant program for Screening Centers to expand their mobile outreach/satellite services. The grant program, signed into law in January 2020, and this funding, were direct results of NJAMHAA requests and advocacy.
- $16 million for mobile crisis teams, which has also been on NJAMHAA’s budget priority agenda when meeting with legislators.
- A $1 million increase to Office of School Linked Services (OSLS), over and above the $5 million increase the Governor retained from FY2022, for a total of $27.56 million.
- $1 million for Bilingual Mental Health Professional Residencies.
- $5.62 million to add 10 more mental health residencies and four child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship positions.
- A $3 million increase to Charity Care Subsidy Fund Payments, bringing the total funding for Charity Care to $342 million, representing a total increase of $23 million over FY2022.
The budget also includes several notable legislative add-ons and direct funding for several NJAMHAA members, and maintains a number of provisions from Gov. Murphy's proposed budget.
NJAMHAA Advocacy Also Succeeding with Legislation
In addition to the many significant budget successes achieved in the Governor’s proposed budget and the Legislature’s budget bill, NJAMHAA advocacy is seeing success elsewhere as progress on several priorities is realized in legislation that is moving through the Legislature.
One such piece of legislation reflects a request NJAMHAA has made repeatedly since the impact of the workforce shortage first became evident well over a year ago. That bill is S2872/A4399, which establishes a Behavioral Healthcare Provider Loan Redemption Program within the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority and appropriates $5 million.
Click here for more details on the budget and other legislation on which NJAMHAA's advocacy is having a signifcant impact.