In previous weeks, we’ve let you know about attempts to balance the budget by taking away
the foundations of Minnesota’s mental health system. The more we understand about these
proposals, the worse they look. These are services that matter a great deal to the people who
receive them and are overall budget savers for the state. Traditionally, every bill that will alter
spending has a fiscal note attached to it. The policy change is proposed by a legislator, but
evaluated by experts in the state agencies who are best able to predict the overall financial
impact of the bill. To our knowledge, the bills moving forward were not scored. We believe
they oversell the savings by ignoring greater future costs.
So how expensive will these cuts be? Unless we inform legislators and our fellow voters and
change their minds, they might be very costly. As you’ll see below, Minnesota has had great
success with controlling costs in the past and we’re risking those gains with every local and
preventive service we eliminate.
It’s an old saying, but an ounce of preventive, community based mental health service is
worth a pound of emergency services and hospitalizations.
This week, we want to get this very simple message out to an even greater audience.
Please visit our 2011 session page to see more information and how you can help.