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Due to underfunding by the state and federal government of Michigan’s community mental health system—behavioral health services for low-income individuals and those with severe and persistent mental illnesses, emotional disturbances, and developmental disabilities—the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners has asked Washtenaw County Community Mental Health for a deficit-reduction plan to address the 2020 budget shortfall (the fiscal year begins on October 1), which is currently projected at approximately $10 million.
Washtenaw County Community Mental Health and the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners have been working on a deficit reduction plan that will protect client services, including traditional WCCMH services and the new and planned services made possible by the county’s Public Safety and Mental Health Millage. The millage revenue cannot be used to supplant medically necessary and mandated Medicaid services. However, millage funds can be used to support some portion of the work CMH is doing to plan, manage, evaluate, and report on millage investments and millage-funded initiatives. The County Commissioners will vote on the CMH budget proposal in early September.
The Whitmer Administration is trying to get a supplemental appropriation for state mental health services, and Washtenaw County is one of many counties involved in litigation with the state over mental health funding.