Advance Notice: Briefs

Senate passes bill spending federal COVID funds on mental health, hospitals

By: - June 15, 2022 5:10 pm

Michigan Capitol | Susan J. Demas

The Michigan Senate nearly unanimously approved a bill Wednesday that would make appropriations of $566 million to improve hospital infrastructure and invest in behavioral and mental health across the state. 

Most of the funding in Senate Bill 714, introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake), would come from the state’s COVID-19 relief funding. 

The supplemental spending bill for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 proposes spending $100 million for infrastructure grants for pediatric inpatient services, $50 million for community mental health services integration readiness, $35 million for the expansion of mental health services, $25 million for the clinical integration fund, $25 million for crisis stabilization units, $25 million for Michigan essential health provider loan repayment, $25 million for psychiatric residential treatment facilities and $25.0 million for State psychiatric hospital capital outlay.

The only item in the bill that would be funded through the state’s General Fund would be the $15 million fund shift from local funds to the General Fund for Medicaid mental health services in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

The bill passed with a 36-1 vote, with Sen. Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit) being the lone no vote on the bill. 

Democrats blocked immediate effect on SB 714. Next the bill will go to the House for a vote. 

The new budget year begins Oct. 1, and lawmakers are scrambling to put together an FY 2023 budget proposal to have before the governor by June 30 before breaking for the summer. The state has a more than $5 billion surplus.

Whitmer told the Advance Tuesday that budget negotiations with Republican leaders are ongoing. 

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Allison R. Donahue
Allison R. Donahue

Allison R. Donahue covers education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8. When she is away from her desk, she spends her time going to concerts, comedy shows or getting lost on hikes in different places around the world.