Public Comments for 02/17/2021 Appropriations - Health and Human Resources Subcommittee
SB1302 - Crisis Call Center Fund; created, collection of 988 charges.
Last Name: Harish Organization: Inseparable Locality: Arlington

RE: SB 1302, Crisis Call Center Fund Dear Chair Sickles and Members of the Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee: I am writing on behalf of Inseparable, a growing coalition of people from across the country who share a common goal to fundamentally improve mental healthcare policy to heal ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities. This year, as the recovery from the COVID pandemic begins, America cannot afford to let mental health care fall further behind. Because of the dramatic increase in mental health crises, it has never been more important to invest in mental health and addiction care policy and services. We applaud Senator McPike for introducing SB1302. The success of the new mental health emergency hotline (988) is dependent on a timely and well-resourced nationwide rollout. Key to this is securing expanded and sustainable funds for not only crisis centers, but also for the mental health workforce that will deal with expected increase in demand and provide follow-on services. Like other mental health advocacy groups in the state and nationally, we are concerned that the current $0.12 fee in the bill is not sufficient to cover vital costs. We ask you to please urgently revisit the financial costs that will be generated by the establishment of the hotline and revise the fee amount on the bill. While we appreciate that there are plans to make increases in the future, Virginians are suffering today and need adequate support now. Sincerely, Krithika Harish Inseparable.us

Last Name: Harkey Organization: NAMI Virginia Locality: Hanover

February 11, 2021 Delegate Mark D. Sickles, Chair HWI Committee Virginia General Assembly RE: SB 1302, Crisis Call Center Fund Dear Chair Sickles and Members of the Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee: NAMI Virginia is part of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Our mission is to promote recovery and improve the quality of life of Virginians with mental illness through support, education and advocacy. We would like to express our gratitude to Senator McPike for introducing SB 1302, the Crisis Call Center Fund, and to the Committee for hearing this bill today. NAMI supports the vision outlined in the bill, but we believe the bill should be strengthened by small changes, which we believe are critical to meeting the needs of Virginians with serious mental illness. NAMI’s members frequently come to us in need of help and support after enduring life-shattering circumstances. Too often, those circumstances include law enforcement. I’d like to share two brief examples to highlight the pain of inadequate investment in a mental health crisis service system. Recently, a Virginia man reached out to NAMI, distraught. His sibling had been saying things that didn’t make sense and was increasingly paranoid and lashing out, sensing threats where none existed. After an altercation with his partner, who called 911, police came and arrested the man, who was experiencing psychosis and had a family history of serious mental illness. With his family’s advocacy, this man was eventually given a mental health examination. The man and his family were traumatized by the police intervention and the daunting and stigmatizing challenges of navigating the criminal justice system. If they had been able to call 988 and receive a mobile crisis team response instead of police, there would have been no arrest, no criminal record and legal fees, and far less trauma for this Virginia family. Instead, the family’s sole focus could have been on helping this man get the care that he needed – not navigating the criminal justice system. In another instance, a person with bipolar disorder became manic and confused and tried to leave the state. When the family called for help, police arrested their child and held him in jail. Desperate, the family spent heartbreaking hours and significant resources trying to obtain not only legal help, but mental health treatment for their beloved child. Despite their resources, they were unable to navigate an incomprehensible system that criminalizes people with serious mental illness. There are countless families in Virginia whose lives have been turned upside down because of the lack of a sufficient behavioral health crisis system in Virginia. While we appreciate that there are plans to gradually improve this, the slow pace of investment does not do justice to the lives of Virginians who are suffering today and who deserve an investment of more than $0.12 a month. We respectfully request that you reconsider the level of E-911 fee for the Crisis Call Center Fund, clarify that it can be used to support mobile crisis teams, and further clarify that the annual report should include not only recommendations on crisis system needs, but also a recommendation on fee levels needed in the future to support the level of mobile response needed for the complex and acute mental health needs in our communities throughout Virginia. Respectfully, Kathy Harkey, MAPP, BSP, BSMDS Executive Director

Last Name: Young Organization: Twin County 911 Regional Commission Locality: Carroll

Although I am supportive of the National 9-8-8 Crisis Line, I am very concerned about linking the 9-1-1 and 9-8-8 funding. By linking the two, the National VDOT 9-1-1 Coordinator and FCC have ruled that Virginia would be considered as diverting 9-1-1 funds. Additionally, the 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) are not adequately funded. Currently the 9-1-1 Wireless Distribution, offsets an average of 12% of a PSAP's operating costs, and this is before the increases from moving to Next Generation Technology. I urge you to de-couple this Bill from 9-1-1. There will be significant value if 9-8-8 has a separate funding stream and separate visibility on carriers bills. Additionally, line 289 and 290 of the Senate Substitute Bill assigns in-house building repeaters as the number 2 priority. Although again while this important, it is restrictive and not the number 2 priority for 911 PSAPs. This should be removed, or at a minimum changed to "investments to improve location accuracy". I would like to speak, but I am receiving a message that requests to speak are closed. I have also reached out to Senator McPike, but have not been successful in getting a return call. I know others have submitted written comments on the Bill as well.

Last Name: Harkey Organization: National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Virginia Locality: Hanover

Delegate Mark D. Sickles, Chair Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee RE: SB 1302, Crisis Call Center Fund Dear Chair Sickles and Members of the Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee: NAMI Virginia is part of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Our mission is to promote recovery and improve the quality of life of Virginians with mental illness through support, education and advocacy. We would like to express our gratitude to Senator McPike for introducing SB 1302, the Crisis Call Center Fund, and to the Committee for hearing this bill today. NAMI supports the vision outlined in the bill, but we believe the bill should be strengthened by small changes, which we believe are critical to meeting the needs of Virginians with serious mental illness. NAMI’s members frequently come to us in need of help and support after enduring life-shattering circumstances. Too often, those circumstances include law enforcement. I’d like to share two brief examples to highlight the pain of inadequate investment in a mental health crisis service system. Recently, a Virginia man reached out to NAMI, distraught. His sibling had been saying things that didn’t make sense and was increasingly paranoid and lashing out, sensing threats where none existed. After an altercation with his partner, who called 911, police came and arrested the man, who was experiencing psychosis and had a family history of serious mental illness. With his family’s advocacy, this man was eventually given a mental health examination. The man and his family were traumatized by the police intervention and the daunting and stigmatizing challenges of navigating the criminal justice system. If they had been able to call 988 and receive a mobile crisis team response instead of police, there would have been no arrest, no criminal record and legal fees, and far less trauma for this Virginia family. Instead, the family’s sole focus could have been on helping this man get the care that he needed–not navigating the criminal justice system. In another instance, a person with bipolar disorder became manic and confused and tried to leave the state. When the family called for help, police arrested their child and held him in jail. Desperate, the family spent heartbreaking hours and significant resources trying to obtain not only legal help, but mental health treatment for their beloved child. Despite their resources, they were unable to navigate an incomprehensible system that criminalizes people with serious mental illness. There are countless families in Virginia whose lives have been turned upside down because of the lack of a sufficient behavioral health crisis system in Virginia. While we appreciate that there are plans to gradually improve this, the slow pace of investment does not do justice to the lives of Virginians who are suffering today and who deserve an investment of more than $0.12 a month. We respectfully request that you reconsider the level of E-911 fees for the Crisis Call Center Fund, clarify that it can be used to support mobile crisis teams, and further clarify that the annual report should include not only recommendations on crisis system needs, but also a recommendation on fee levels needed in the future to support the level of mobile response needed for the complex, acute mental health needs in our Virginia communities. Respectfully yours, Kathy Harkey, MAPP, BSP, BSMDS Executive Director

Last Name: Davis Organization: Tazewell County Sheriff's Office - Communications Division / (9-1-1) Locality: TAZEWELL

I am the Director of Tazewell County PSAP. My understanding of Bill SB1302 is to provide a 9-8-8 Crisis Call Center and establish a staff administered by the Department of Behavioral Health and Development Services providing a Hotline Center for the purposes of participating in the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and to provide consistency with federal guidelines. I'm in support of the 9-8-8 Crisis Line but opposed to this Bill for the following reasons: 1) Separate Bill introduced for the 9-8-8 line; Separating it out of Public Safety Answering Point funds. It should be separate and distinct from the current 9-1-1 legislation 2) The 9-1-1 PSAP Community consistently faces financial challenges and is conducting a cost study to determine the current adequacy of our current 9-1-1 surges to ease the costly increases to the NextGen voice and ever changing data technologies. Technology and costs for NG-911 are increasing our operating costs by leaps and bounds and a increase to what we receive from the wireless E-911 and the prepaid E-911 should be for providing our current expected services to maintain the quality of life for every citizen in State and locally. 3) E911 is in the middle of a huge migration now to Next Generation 9-1-1, which is mandated. PSAP's cannot just not migrate because of lack of funding. This Bill would limit the amount of funding PSAP's would be allotted, when we need these funds more now than ever. Technology is great and the 9-1-1 community is constantly growing and changing and the future is here we need to increase PSAP's funding and not share with another Department. 3) 9-1-1 funds (taxes) are collected to be used for 9-1-1 services / needs. Using these funds for other projects / needs for other Departments could lead a continued problem for the PSAP Community, it could lead to having funds continually diverted to non-9-1-1 needs or projects. I appreciate you time, consideration and efforts on this project, but please consider re-evaluating this SB1302 and designating a separate Bill for the needed funding to the 9-8-8 Crisis Call Center. Thank you.

Last Name: Goller Organization: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Locality: Midlothian, VA

House Committee on Health, Welfare, and Institutions, The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the nation's largest organization dedicated to saving lives and restoring hope to those impacted by suicide, appreciates your consideration and thanks Senator McPike for championing the 988 policy and for introducing legislation to support crisis services for callers in need. When 988, the national mental health and suicide prevention crisis hotline number designated by the U.S. Congress, is made nationally available in July 2022 it is crucial that Virginia's local crisis call centers and state crisis capacity is effectively equipped to respond to individuals calling for help. AFSP applauds Senator McPike's effort to increase funding for Virginia's crisis response services, but we acknowledge the body of concerns regarding implementation of SB1302. Implementing service fees on wireless, wireline, and VoIP bills to support 988 would be invaluable. Providing stable funding for 988 centers just as we do for 911 centers is essential for ensuring that calls to 988 are answered quickly and effectively. But, input from professional organizations and policy experts regarding the proposed expanding of Virginia's 911 fee to support 988 has raised notable concerns. We hope that the fees collected to support 988 will not constitute diversion from the dedicated purpose of 911 fees or create jurisdictional challenges between 988 call centers and 911 PSAPs. Collaboration between 911 and 988 as parallel, but independent, response lines will be important, and the points raised by 911 stakeholders should be heeded. Fees collected in support of 988 should receive appropriate guardrails to prevent diversion, similar to 911. AFSP supports regular assessment and oversight of the collection and use of 988 fees to ensure that callers are responded to quickly, that robust services are provided, that at-risk communities are provided specialized services, that data can be used effectively, and that 988 can coordinate effectively with the continuum or crisis and emergency response. AFSP further reciprocates the support of mental health and suicide prevention experts for increased investment in 988 crisis services. Just as 911 PSAPs need robust, dedicated funding to ensure our calls are answered and responded to effectively, so too do 988 crisis call centers need to be prepared to respond to the demand for crisis services. We hope that 988 fees will be in parity with 911 fees, to ensure these parallel systems are both resourced sufficiently so any Virginian, regardless of their crisis or emergency, receives effective responses. We recognize and appreciate the perspectives of numerous stakeholders on the historic implementation of 988. And we applaud Senator McPike's efforts to bring Virginia's crisis response system into the 21st century. AFSP believes that the provision of robust 988 service fees can fortify Virginia's local crisis capacity before July 2022. We encourage the Committee to consider the concerns regarding the diversion of 911 fees and the administrative and funding needs of local crisis call centers responding to individuals in need. Thank you.

Last Name: Milligan Organization: Bristol VA Police Department Locality: Bristol, VA

Senate Bill 1302 proposes and increase in Wireless 9-1-1 surcharge to fund the National 9-8-8 Mental Health Crisis Line here in Virginia. This puts an increase for Next Generation 9-1-1 Sustainable Funding at risk. Please consider this: (1) Propose a separate bill be introduced to fund the 9-8-8 line. It can still utilize Wireless Surcharge. However it should be separate and distinct from the current 9-1-1 legislation. (2) If it continues under this Bill, then increase the surcharge to also address cost increases related to Next Generation 9-1-1 and the emerging technologies in voice and data. Additionally, there is an addition in Item D to make “Inhouse repeaters” the 9-1-1 grant funds second highest priority. This would be devastating to smaller PSAP’s. I would like to propose this be removed or modified to “improvements in location identification accuracy”.

Last Name: Flournoy Organization: ESVA 9-1-1 Commission (Accomack and Northampton Counties) Locality: Exmore, Virginia

My understanding of the bill is the following - 1. Creates a Crisis Call Center Fund (for 9-8-8), 2. Increases the wireless E-911 surcharge from .75 to .94 and increases the prepaid wireless E-911 charge from .50 to .63; some of the additional revenue to the Crisis Call Center and some to PSAP’s (9-1-1 Centers), 3. Expectations with the Marcus Alert System. ---- Some of the revenue attributed to the increase in the tax-rate would be distributed to the Crisis Call Center Fund (to establish and administer the call center) and the remainder of the additional revenue would be distributed to 9-1-1 Centers. Under the bill, .12 of the total monthly wireless 9-1-1 surcharge of .94 would be allocated for the Crisis Call Center Fund and .08 of the total surcharges on prepaid wireless devices (.63) would be allocated to the Crisis Call Center Fund. While this increase in the 9-1-1 taxes should result in additional revenue for 9-1-1 Centers, there are other considerations/concerns: 1. If approved, funds collected for 9-1-1 (and expected to be used for 9-1-1 services in the state) would be used for non-9-1-1 purposes (9-8-8 and the Crisis Call Center Fund). This is against the principle of why the 9-1-1 tax was created and a bigger-issue is the state most likely would be added to the FCC list of states that divert 9-1-1 fees for non-9-1-1 costs (from the NET911 Act from 2008). States on this list are subjects to consequences, such as withholding federal funding and how impacts to participating in aspects of FirstNet. Overall, is not a list a state wants to be on. 2. Our state in in the middle of a major 9-1-1 ecosystem transition (Next Generation 911), with costs incurred and expected to be incurred higher than what 9-1-1 Centers have previously experienced. The expectation would be to assure the necessary funds are provided to 9-1-1 Center’s before any consideration to use 9-1-1 funds collected elsewhere. 3. 9-1-1 funds (taxes) are collected to be used for 9-1-1 services/needs; using these funds for other projects/needs overall could lead to a slippery--slope in our state where these funds continue to be used (diverted) for non 9-1-1 needs/projects. The ESVA 9-1-1 Commission overall supports legislative changes to properly respond to individuals with mental health incidents or during a mental health crisis, however overall does not support the use of taxes/fees collected for 9-1-1 in our state not being used directly to support 9-1-1 services throughout our state, as is included in SB1302.

Last Name: Kuhns Organization: Surry County Emergency Communications Locality: Surry

The idea for a Mental Health hotline using E911 funding is not ideal. As a 911 center, we will still be responsible for taking those mental health calls even though there would be a designated hotline for this. E911 is in the middle of huge migration to Next Generation 911, which is mandated. PSAPs can not just not migrate because of lack of funding. This bill would limit the amount of funding PSAPs would be allotted, when we need these funds more than ever. The transition to Next Generation 911 is a very expensive transition, and E911 will need every bit of funding it can get to make this successful.

Last Name: Laney Organization: Wise County Sheriff's Office Locality: Wise County

In Support of 9-8-8 Crisis Line but opposed to this Bill for the following reasons: 1) Risk of Virginia being placed on the 9-1-1 Diversion List. It is my understanding 9-8-8- would be a diversion based on their review of language in the The New and Emerging 9-1-1 Technologies Act of 2008 (NET 911 Act). Repercussions include Virginia becoming ineligible for grant funding and ineligible to participate on National Committees. 2) The 9-1-1 Community consistently faces financial challenges and is conducting a cost study to determine the adequacy of the current 9-1-1 surcharge for funding increased costs related to the NextGen911 voice and data technologies. 3) Lastly, in line 289 and 290, the Bill proposes a change in priority to include a specific technology "in-building repeaters". I understand this is an important need, in our jurisdiction remote repeaters on public lands is as great a need as in-building repeaters. In either case, I would argue repeaters is not the second highest priority for 9-1-1 but rather training. At a minimum the language should be changed from 'in-house repeater" to 'location identification improvements'. Mu preference would be that prioritization remain with the 9-1-1 Services Board and the 9-1-1 Grant Committee. Thank you for your consideration.

Last Name: BARKER Organization: City of Galax and Twin County E-911 Locality: GALAX

While there is agreement that mental health services should be addressed by the state, including that funding within E-911 funding is diverting needed additional funds from PSAP's. Local E-911 agencies and PSAP's are under a financial crunch to upgrade to NG-911 over the next few years and are seeing technology and operating costs exceeding funds from the state and local approved taxing methods. When you consider the additional costs we now incur locally with additional mental health mandates, we are seeing local budgets stressed. E-911 is at its core a service as important for life saving measures as any other provided or mandated by the state and citizens. I would ask that you consider providing funding in full for PSAP's through the increase in E-911 fees and provide an additional fee for the mental health services.

Last Name: Young Organization: Twin County 911 Regional Commission (Galax, Grayson, Carroll) Locality: Carroll County

Although supportive of a 9-8-8 Crisis Line, I am opposed to this Bill for the following reasons: 1) Risk of Virginia being placed an the 9-1-1 Diversion List. In discussions with Laurie Flaherty, VDOT National 9-1-1 Coordinator, the FCC lawyers, VDOT lawyers are advising 9-8-8- would be a diversion based on their review of language in the The New and Emerging 9-1-1 Technologies Act of 2008 (NET 911 Act). Repercussions include Virginia becoming ineligible for grant funding but more importantly becoming ineligible to participate on National Committees. 2) The 9-1-1 Community is already facing financial challenges and are conducting a cost study to determine the adequacy of the current 9-1-1 surcharge for funding increased costs related to the Next Generation voice and data technologies. 3) Finally, in line 289 and 290, the Bill proposes a change in priority to include a specific technology "in-building repeaters". Again although an important need, in our jurisdiction remote repeaters on public lands is as great a need as in-building repeaters. In either case, I would argue repeaters is not the second highest priority for 9-1-1. Currently training takes that coveted spot. I would that at a minimum the language be changed from 'in-house repeater" to 'location identification improvements". Although my preference would be that prioritization remain with the 9-1-1 Services Board and the 9-1-1 Grant Committee. Thank you for your consideration.

Last Name: Hall Locality: Washington County

I am the Communications Manager for the Washington County PSAP. I think the funding for the Crisis call Center and the PSAP 911 portion should not be co mingled. The PASP Community 911 legislation and this National 988 Mental Health Crisis should be separate and distinct. We as PSAP's are constantly striving to improve the overall voice and data technologies that serve the areas we are in. At this time we are in the process of the Next Generation 911 migration and with this comes additional costs. We currently need all available funding that the wireless surcharges provide our centers and with the co mingling this would drastically reduce the funding for the PSAP and could be detrimental to those smaller PSAPs as well as others. While supporting the Crisis line is not the issue, it should have its own legislation thus not sharing the proposed funding. An additional increase should be designated for the Crisis Line funding, not taking the funding from the PSAP's.

SB1321 - Confirmatory adoption; expands the stepparent adoption provisions.
Last Name: Quinn Organization: Adoption & Surrogacy Law Center at Locke & Quinn Locality: City of Richmond

On behalf of the Virginia adoption community - passing this bill is greatly needed. As an adoption practitioner 32+ years, past- president, long-time Fellow and Board of Trustee of the Academy of Adoption & Assisted Reproduction Attorneys & co-author of the VA CLE Adoption Book - we need this law passed to support the legal stability of children in VA. There are so many situations I encounter on a monthly and even weekly basis - a mom co-parenting with an opioid addicted daughter and a deceased biological father, two foster parents not married and not in a romantic relationship co-parenting a child in need of a forever home with both of those parents, a former ex-boyfriend who helped co-parent for ten or more years with the ex-girlfriend still wanting him to be a recognized parent and a deceased biological father. There are so many more examples where kids just need both de facto - that is, in fact, parents made their legal parents but cannot do so under current VA law that requires they be a married couple. That is not the current reality for many children today. We need to bring Va law in line with the current reality of today’s kids and how they are being co-parented in many non-traditional ways - especially with the opioid crisis. This law is very much needed to protect today’s children. Those of us in the trenches can see this most clearly. Thank you.

Last Name: Butler Locality: Fredericksburg

When two loving parents raise a child they take on a moral and legal responsibility, but unfortunately our current legal system doesn't recognize a second parent and grant them the legal rights they deserve after accepting responsibility of raising the child because they are not of a different sex/gender than the legal parent. This needs to cease for the child's protection and for our community. We need not only to accept everyone to respect them for the roles they fill and give them the legal support they may need! Dani Butler 5800 Up A Way Drive Fredericksburg, VA 22407

Last Name: Fox Locality: Gloucester

I am writing in support of SB1321, in favor of allowing confirmatory adoption in Virginia. I am not personally impacted by this bill, but many in my community are. Children need the security that legally recognized parents can provide, and their lives are made more difficult when barriers exist that keep their parents from advocating on their behalf. I know this all too well, because I know what these barriers have meant for my own children at a different time and place. My young children had very good relations with both me and my spouse prior to, during, and after our divorce. However, a new magistrate who claimed she was "ordained by God to save the children" separated me from my children for the stated reason that I had advocated for marriage equality. She did this by declaring that she would not respect or enforce our shared parenting agreement and threatening to hold me in contempt if I complained, resulting in my ex refusing joint custody/visitation thereafter. I did not see my children again until they were adults. Even though I was a legal parent with full parental rights, these rights were not observed or respected in matters of education, healthcare, mental health, or faith. Eventually I was locked out of all communication and could obtain no further information about my children. I have since reconnected with both of my children as adults. Both suffered extreme psychological abuse, mental anguish and emotional harm because of our loss of contact. I was unavailable to protect them. Precious educational opportunities were also squandered (a full scholarship to a prestigious private school, admission privileges to my prestigious undergraduate university and financial aid at universities where I taught) because of my being blocked from advocating for them. They even suffered needless financial losses because of my inability to manage their educational accounts at particularly critical times. Children need security, and they need their parents, whether they are straight, gay, purple, or polka-dotted. Please give Virginia families the tools they need to ensure continuity of parenting so that that their children do not suffer as mine did. Please support SB1321.

Last Name: Jenkot Organization: Lynnhaven Colony Congregation Locality: Virginia Beach

This Bill is about equal rights!!! Different-sex couples are not forced to marry for both parents to have legal rights and responsibilities over their children, and same-sex couples shouldn’t be either. This bill simply extends the legal rights and responsibilities of parenthood to unmarried same-sex couples as well. Thank you for your work and dedication to represent all people in equality.

SB1328 - State-Funded Kinship Guardianship Assistance program; created.
Last Name: Atkinson Organization: Virginia Commission on Youth Locality: Hanover

Only speak if needed. Legislative staff to the Commission on Youth.

Last Name: Gilbreath Organization: Voices for Virginia’s Children Locality: Chesterfield

Voices for Virginia’s children strongly supports this bill.

SB1362 - Employers; reporting outbreaks of COVID-19, effective clause.
No Comments Available
SB1427 - Early Psychosis Intervention and Coordinated Specialty Care Program Advisory Board; established.
Last Name: Getch Organization: PRS, Inc. Locality: Spotsylvania

Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) is a recovery-oriented, evidence-based treatment program that targets young people with first episode psychosis. The coordinated team approach includes case management, psychotherapy, medication management, family education and support, supported employment and education and peer supports based on the individual’s needs and preferences. There are eight such programs across Virginia, four of which are located in Northern Virginia. As CEO of PRS, Inc., one of the four organization’s operating a CSC program in Northern Virginia, I cannot emphasize enough the positive impact these programs have on young adults and their families. Combined, these eight programs are currently treating just over 230 young adults; however, it is estimated that about 1,700 young adults will experience their first episode of psychosis each year. The Advisory Board proposed in this legislation will work with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) to establish fidelity standards for CSC programs and look for resources to enhance existing programs and expand services to underserved areas in the state.

Last Name: Schuplin Locality: Chester

Each year over 1700 young Virginians experience their first episode of psychosis. Many do not receive treatment. During the period in which they are not treated, known as the duration of untreated psychosis (DUP), symptoms worsen and functioning decreases. Coordinated Specialty Care is an evidence based treatment for first episode psychosis. It is proven effective in decreasing symptoms and increasing functioning with outcomes such as decreased hospitalization, improved work and school achievement and enhanced social networks. There are 8 teams in Virginia currently providing treatment to 233 individuals. This does not approach the need. Besides treatment, Coordinated Specialty Care conducts outreach and community education so that new cases of psychosis are identified and engaged in treatment. The Advisory Board in this legislation will work with DBHDS to expand and enhance this essential service. I support SB 1427.

SB1462 - Virginia Digital Equity Pilot Program and Fund; established, report, sunset date.
Last Name: Max Siegel Locality: Chesapeake

Pay for privacy is unconstitutional. This can not pass. Virginia deserves privacy.

Last Name: Atkinson Organization: Virginia Commission on Youth Locality: Hanover

Legislative staff to the Commission on Youth. Available if needed. Background:  Federal KinGAP was established in Virginia in 2018 to facilitate placements with relatives and ensure permanency for children for whom adoption or being returned home are not appropriate permanency options.  The current Federal KinGAP has eligibility requirements imposed by the Federal Government that are too rigid and prevent its wider use. This bill creates a state program to expand its use to assist children in foster care achieve permanency through kinship placements, exiting the foster care system with financial supports. Explanation of SB 1328 costs:  Department of Social Services estimates a combined total of 90 children will be eligible to enter the State-Funded KinGAP in FY 2022 and 100 children will be eligible to enter in FY 2023 and every subsequent year.  Compared to last year’s bill, this year’s SB 1328 reduces costs and creates cost savings by: • Adding the requirement that the child be in the custody of the local department for at least 90 days. This requirement ensures that the program is targeting the correct population. • Including a second enactment clause to target children who have an appropriate relative who is willing to become their caregiver but is unable to complete the foster home approval requirements.  The Department of Social Services anticipates that these children will exit foster care sooner than they had prior to State-Funded KinGAP, thus saving the higher costs of being in foster care.  Funding for this year’s State KinGAP program has also been limited to room and board (maintenance cost), which will result in additional savings.  State-Funded KinGAP’s OCS costs (partially offset by DSS savings) will continue to grow every year until the number of children aging out equals the number entering the program, at which point the program will stabilize. Children will receive on average 10.5 years of State-Funded KinGAP basic maintenance payments.

End of Comments