MHAMD Legislative Briefing

The 2021 Legislative Briefing is a week from today! If you haven’t already, please register and join us on Monday, February 22. The event this year is entirely virtual and free to all.

Attendees will hear directly from legislators and policymakers about important behavioral health bills and initiatives covering a range of topics. Issues covered will include funding for mental health and substance use services, health equity, telehealth, overdose and suicide prevention, and crisis response services.

We will also celebrate our 2021 Champions of Today, honoring individuals whose leadership has had a lasting and profound impact on Maryland’s behavioral health system and the people it serves. This year’s honorees include consumer champion Mike Finkle, child advocate Larry Epp, and Senator Malcolm Augustine.

Register now and join us on February 22 for what is sure to be an exciting event!

Status Updates
  • Blueprint for Maryland’s Future – A priority for MHAMD and the Maryland Behavioral Health Coalition, this landmark public education reform bill passed in 2020 but was vetoed by the Governor. Last week, the House of Delegates and the Maryland Senate each voted to override that veto, officially enacting a range of new education funding and policy reforms.
    The bill provisions include millions in new funding and a comprehensive set of strategies to enhance school-based behavioral health services, which have been shown to improve student health and education outcomes.
  • RELIEF Act – The Maryland General Assembly voted overwhelmingly last week to pass emergency legislation introduced by Governor Hogan to provide stimulus payments, tax relief and benefit increases for Maryland families and businesses that have been hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic. As amended by the legislature, the measure includes $20 million in additional funding for behavioral health crisis services.

Hearings This Week

Here are some of the bill and budget hearings MHAMD is focused on this week. Our complete bill list is attached.

Health Regulatory Commissions Budget | MHAMD will provide testimony supporting full funding for the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC).

SB 646 | MHAMD supports this bill allowing Alcohol and Drug Trainee (ADT) counselors to continue providing counseling via telehealth.

HB 903 | MHAMD supports this bill establishing a task force to study and make recommendations to improve the Maryland Public Guardianship Program.

Further information about the material above is available on the
Maryland General Assembly website.

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