The National Council For Community Behavioral Healthcare, in its July 13, 2007 PUBLIC POLICY UPDATE issue, reports that "the House and Senate continued work this week on the FY 2008 spending bills. This week, the full House Appropriations Committee approved the Human Services [HHS], Education, and Related Agencies Fy 2008 spending bill, while the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development [HUD] approved its draft spending bill. The full House Appropriations Committee was scheduled to meet Thursday to consider the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies spending bill."
Commerce-Justice-State Scheduled to Be Considered by Full House Committee Thursday.
"Thursday, the full House Appropriations Committee was scheduled to mark up the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies spending bill. "The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, which marked up the bill on June 11, included $10 million for the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act [MIOTCRA] grant program, doubling funding for this important jail diversion program. In the past two years, Congress has funded the program at $5 million per year, far below the authorized amount of $50 million. The National Council has lobbied actively for MIOTCRA to be funded at the authorized level of $50 million and continues to advocate for increased funding for this important program.
On June 26, The Senate Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee approved its FY 2008 spending bill, also including $10 million for MIOTCRA.
Transportation-Hud Bill Passed by Senate Subcommittee
On Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development [HUD] approved its draft FY 2008 spending bill by voice vote." The bill, which contains about $50 billion in discretionary spending, " provides $236.6 million for the section 811 program, HUD’s sole program providing supportive housing for non-elderly low-income people with mental illness and other disabilities. This is $111.6 million above President Bush’s FY 2008 request and level with FY 2007 funding. The bill funds section 8's tenant-based vouchers at 16.3 billion, $410 million over FY 2007 levels and $330 million over the President’s request. $6.5 billion is allocated to fund section 8's project-based vouchers, $503 million over FY 2007 levels and $667 million above the President’s request.
Representative David Obey [D-WI], chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has said he wants to have the transportation-HUD bill on the senate floor for consideration by the week of July 23.
Labor-HHS Bill Passed by Full House Committee
On Wednesday, the full House Appropriations Committee approved the FY 2008 Human Services [HHS], Education, and Related Agencies FY 2008 spending bill by voice vote. The bill which has a $151.5 billion discretionary spending allocation, $10.6 billion more than President Bush’s request, increases or maintains funding for a variety of key mental health and addictions treatment programs:"
1.The Center for Mental Health Services [CMHS] Block Grant would be funded at $441.3 million, an increase of $13 million over FY 2007;
2.The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment [CSAT} would be funded at $399.3 million, $47.2 million more than the President’s budget request and about $330,000 over FY 2007;
3. Funding for the National Institutes of Health [NIH] is set at $29.6 billion, $750 million more than FY 2007 levels and $1 billion more than the President’s request.
The full Senate Appropriations Committee approved its Labor, HHS, Education, and Related Agencies spending bill on June 21.