Monday, August 2, 2010

Congress moves forward on FY 2011 spending bills for mental illness research and services

Fiscal Year 2011 Spending Bills Move Forward on Mental Illness Research and Services, Housing and Veterans Programs

Justice Department Programs

A separate bill funding programs at the Justice Department for FY 2011 includes a number of federal discretionary programs to help communities address the challenges posed by “criminalization” of untreated mental illness. These are competitive grant programs for eligible jurisdictions that include mental health courts and other jail diversion and court-base treatment programs. For FY 2011, the Senate Commerce-Justice Appropriations bill (S 3636) allocates $11 million for Mental Health Courts and $11 million for programs under MIOTCRA (the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act), $1 million less than the FY 2010 amount.

Funding for Housing and Homelessness Programs

Funding for housing and homelessness programs for FY 2011 is included in the Transportation-HUD Appropriations bill (HR 5850 & S 3644). The T-HUD bill passed the House on July 29, 2010 and was reported by the Senate Appropriations Committee on July 23. Both bills include critical investments in affordable housing programs that serve low-income adults living with serious mental illness. As with the other bills covering domestic discretionary federal spending, the T-HUD bill is unlikely to reach the President’s desk before December.

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