Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 130068
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File Number: 130068 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-60-13 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: FUNDING FOR MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMS Introduced: 1/10/2013
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 1/23/2013
Agenda Date: 1/23/2013 Agenda Item Number: 11A21
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE DURING THE 2013 SESSION TO INCREASE FUNDING FOR MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMS
Indexes: MENTAL HEALTH
  PROGRAM
Sponsors: Barbara J. Jordan, Prime Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
  Dennis C. Moss, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 1/23/2013 11A21 Adopted P

County Attorney 1/10/2013 Assigned Jess M. McCarty 1/10/2013

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE DURING THE 2013 SESSION TO INCREASE FUNDING FOR MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMS

BODY
WHEREAS, on December 14, 2012, 20-year old Adam Lanza entered the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, shot and killed 26 innocent people, 20 of whom were elementary school-age children; and
WHEREAS, the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was the second-deadliest[update] school shooting in U.S. history, after the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre; and
WHEREAS, Lanza, who also took his own life, had had a history of mental problems; and
WHEREAS, on Christmas night in Orlando, Florida, Jerry Tyson fatally stabbed Steven Lang with a butcher knife, when Lang, who was in a wheelchair, refused to hand over his pocket change to Tyson; and
WHEREAS, Tyson had a history of mental illness spanning 20 years; and
WHEREAS, the shootings at Sandy Hook, as well as incidents such as the stabbing in Orlando, are leading to a renewed focus on mental health as one means of preventing tragedies of this nature from happening in the future; and
WHEREAS, mental health advocates are urging lawmakers to commit more dollars to behavioral health services, stressing the need for additional counselors, mental health beds and school psychologists; and
WHEREAS, mental health providers typically experience a greater demand for mental health services during tough economic times; and
WHEREAS, the current economic downturn has been no exception to this trend, but most states nonetheless have substantially cut funding for mental health programs as one way to balance state budgets as revenues have declined; and
WHEREAS, the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors Research Institute estimates that states have cut at least $4.35 billion in funding for mental health programs from fiscal year 2009 through 2012; and
WHEREAS, the Florida Legislature has cut tens of millions of dollars from mental health programs in the last several years, cutting $12 million in mental health funding for the current year alone; and
WHEREAS, Florida currently ranks 48th among the 50 states in per capita funding for mental health, spending less than a third of the national average; and
WHEREAS, Texas and Idaho are the only states that spend less per capita on mental health services than Florida, according to the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors Research Institute; and
WHEREAS, Florida allocates only about one-third of the resources as the average state in the nation to work with people with severe and persistent mental illness; and
WHEREAS, Florida currently allocates only about $39 per person to mental health programs, compared with the national average of $120.56 per person; and
WHEREAS, the state that spends the most on mental health programs is Maine, which spends $346 per person on mental health, almost ten times what Florida spends; and
WHEREAS, the National Alliance for Mental Illness gave Florida a grade of ''D'' in 2009, and this grade was before tens of millions more dollars were cut from mental health programs in Florida from fiscal years 2010 to 2012; and
WHEREAS, as the shooting at Sandy Hook and incidents like the stabbing in Orlando show, serious gaps in mental health care pose a threat to public safety; and
WHEREAS, the Florida Legislature should increase funding for mental health programs during the 2013 session,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Urges the Florida Legislature during the 2013 Session to increase funding for mental health programs.
Section 2. Directs the Clerk of the Board to send a certified copy of this resolution to the Governor, Senate President, House Speaker and the Chair and Members of the Miami-Dade State Legislative Delegation.
Section 3. Directs the County’s state lobbyists to advocate for the increased appropriations set forth in Section 1 above, and authorizes and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to amend the 2013 State Legislative Package to include this item.



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