NH state senate finance committee heatedly debates mental health funding
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire Senate committee is backing a plan to improve services for children with severe emotional disturbances by using money others want to spend on similar programs for adults.
Republican Gov. Chris Sununu's proposed budget includes $3 million per year to enhance Assertive Community Treatment programs, which are team-based approaches to providing comprehensive treatment to adults with severe mental illness.
The Senate Finance Committee on Friday recommended reducing that amount to $1.5 million and using the other $1.5 million to establish a Medicaid program specifically to provide home- and community-based behavioral health services for children.
Democrats on the committee objected to the reduction. They argued unsuccessfully that not only should the adult ACT teams get the full $3 million, but that the state should spend $490,000 to create an ACT team for children.