This week, the Senate Appropriations Committee released funding levels for its remaining nine bills, including Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS-Ed). Included in the funding levels are critical funding increases for mental and behavioral health services and to combat substance misuse.
o $3.1 billion increase for SAMSHA (51 percent more than last FY)
o $825 million increase to more than double the Mental Health Block Grant program funding;
o $183.8 million for suicide prevention programs within SAMHSA, double that of last fiscal year, including funding to prepare for the launch of a three digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline; and
o Significant new resources for substance abuse, including
o $1.15 billion more for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) Block Grant (62 percent more than last FY);
o $500 million increase for State Opioid Response (SOR) Grants (33 percent more than last FY); and
o A 14 percent increase for Anti-Opioid and Substance Abuse Grants at the Department of Justice.
Also included in the funding levels is an 84 percent increase from last fiscal year for programs to strengthen police community relations, including grants for training, de-escalation, implicit bias, and crisis intervention. In total, $129.5 million more than last year is included for FY22, for a total of $283 million in funding. Additionally included are significant increases to reduce homelessness, improve housing conditions, and increase affordability.
o A historic 30 percent increase in the Public Housing Capital Fund to improve living conditions and address capital improvements;
o An 8.6 percent increase in Homeless Assistance Grants, including $2.75 billion for renewal of 6,500 Continuum of Care programs that serve over 750,000 people, and $290 million for Emergency Solutions Grants, which support over 350,000 people in emergency shelters each year; and
o A seven percent increase for the HOME program that will be used to create over 18,000 new affordable housing units, and assist over 13,000 households with Tenant-Based Rental Assistance.