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Mental health support a bright spot during a disappointing year at the Minnesota Legislature

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The 2022 Regular Legislative Session concluded on May 23, having accomplished relatively little. The omnibus bills for health and human services, housing, K-12 education, higher education and bonding, all failed to pass into law. Many of Wilder’s policy priorities were housed in these omnibus bills and were not enacted. This is a disappointing outcome considering the state has a historic budget surplus that could be used to support Minnesotans of all ages.

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Mental health legislation will expand access to mental health care in Minnesota

Thankfully, recognizing both the risk of omnibus deadlocks and a unique opportunity to work with a retiring and passionate mental health advocate in the Senate, our policy team worked in coalition with several advocates to help secure the passage of a mental health bill package.

The $92.7 million mental health package includes:

  • Nearly $10 million to help quicken response times for mobile crisis mental health services that cover all 87 counties.
  • Funding for school-linked and shelter-linked mental health programs that increase accessibility to important mental health services and remove barriers to education and mental well-being.
  • Creation and codification of Children’s Crisis Stabilization Services, previously stabilization services were only available for adults and are a critical part of the mental health service continuum.
  • Expansion of Intensive Treatment Services in Foster Care settings.
  • MA (Medicaid) reimbursement rate modification for managed care mental health services

This legislation included mental health workforce investments that include:

  • Appropriations for mental health student loan forgiveness
  • Supervision grants to cover the costs associated with mental health practitioners finding supervision, which is a requirement for those seeking licensure
  • Mental health education grants for future mental health practitioners.

The package also includes funding and policy language regarding:

  • Competency restoration: A matter of criminal justice reform, ensuring the process by which those charged with a crime and found incompetent to stand trial receive services to help them navigate and understand the court system.
  • Adult Mental Health Initiative Grants: These grants will pave the way for innovation in diagnosis, treatment, and overall care.

Ask your legislators to return to serve our communities during historic opportunity and need

These victories are significant and will tangibly and positively impact Minnesotan’s lives, both in our direct communities and across the state. However, the legislature did not rise to the occasion and meet the challenges that our communities are facing. Calls for a special session are well justified. Our policy team encourages community members to find their legislators here, and ask them to return to work to serve our communities in this moment of historic opportunity and need.

The policy team will continue monitoring the Legislature as we simultaneously work to implement new trainings for community members and operationalize our strategic plans. For a more in-depth look at how the policy team approached the 2022 session and how we plan to move forward, please consider watching the recorded event that we held in partnership with St. Paul Promise Neighborhood.

As always, please contact Adrián Rafael Magaña with any questions, comments, ideas, or concerns.  Your voice and perspectives are invaluable. I will leave you all with a quote by author Margaret J. Wheatley reflecting this truth.

"There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about."

Public Policy at Wilder

Wilder engages in public decision-making on issues directly related to our mission and policy agenda. This and our legislative recaps provide a high-level overview of the 2022 legislative session. Visit our Public Policy page to look back at 2022.

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