A Letter from the President
2017 Indiana General Assembly Adjourns Sine Die!
The Indiana General Assembly adjourned Sine Die with a new Budget and numerous bills dealing with mental health and addiction issues, many of which are the result of MHAI Public Policy priorities and advocacy. HEA 1001, the 2017 Budget, continues to fund the Recovery Works program, a signature MHAI program passed in the preceding biennial budget session. Recovery Works provides treatment in lieu of incarceration for individuals involved in the criminal justice system and the 2017-2018 Budget Bill funds the program at $40M, a $10M increase over the $30M in the last biennium. Recovery Works is limited to individuals with behavioral health care needs who have committed a felony and HEA 1006 creates a study to consider expanding the program to include appropriate misdemeanants in that early intervention will lead to lower costs and better outcomes.
MHAI has taken a leadership role in a number of bills that would create a systemic, comprehensive, and integrated approach to behavioral health treatment, regardless of the setting or service system silo. These bills would insure that services are provided utilizing all the tools in the tool box, including therapy, detoxification, all forms of Medication Assisted Treatment, recovery supports and residential services. MHAI was instrumental in the passage of the priority bills below: