Tue Dec 18, 2012, 08:06 AM
xchrom (108,903 posts)
in wake of tragedy, Virginia gov. proposes slashing funding for mental health services
In the wake of the tragic shooting in an elementary school in Newtown, CT, Americans are engaged in a renewed discussion about how to prevent future mass shootings. But while some lawmakers are working toward legislative solutions to prevent gun violence, Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) is proposing a new budget that could undermine that goal.
McDonnell is proposing a mix of spending increases and cuts to Virginia’s two-year budget that would slash nearly $60 million to state agencies — and, as the Washington Post reports, some of those cuts come from sources many Americans might prefer to be well-funded. Even though the events in Newtown have put mental illness back in the national spotlight, McDonnell seeks to cut $1.5 million from Virginia’s mental health facilities, and looks to save an additional $7 million by closing a juvenile correction facility in the state.
Mental health services remain largely underfunded across the country, as many states like Virginia seek to tighten their budgets to compensate for the rising costs of health care. Only about 7 percent of Americans currently receive some type of mental health treatment, potentially because they can be difficult to afford — mental illness tends to disproportionately impact low-income Americans, but treatment carries high out-of-pocket costs.
6 replies, 814 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
in wake of tragedy, Virginia gov. proposes slashing funding for mental health services (Original post)
Response to xchrom (Original post)
Tue Dec 18, 2012, 05:35 PM
ricandersen (5 posts)
5. Read more fully before you post (and comment)
The Nation of Change article links a Washington Post article as its only source. The Washington Post article says, "But McDonnell, whose amendments include money for teacher raises and expanded mental health programs, said that transportation is a core function of government." A quick google search of "McDonnell" and "mental health funding" turns up a number of other newspaper articles, all that support what the Washington Post states.
There are many things that might be objectionable in the budget McDonnell submitted. But his budget does increase funding for mental health services.
Response to ricandersen (Reply #5)
Wed Dec 19, 2012, 05:56 AM
xchrom (108,903 posts)
6. state dems disagree with you. from the wapo article.
Democrats characterized that as a raid on the general fund in the last session, saying the money should be preserved for education, health care and other “core” functions of government. On Monday, Sen. Janet D. Howell (D-Fairfax) said that her position is unchanged.
“The Senate Democrats have been consistently opposed to that,” she said. “We need to look at all the options and make sure the public understands what would be lost if we were to do that in terms of teachers’ salaries, in terms of public safety, in terms of mental health programs.”