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News & Press: NASW-Michigan News

Governor Whitmer Responds to NASW Michigan regarding Section 298

Thursday, October 3, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Algeria Wilson
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NASW Michigan along with various other mental health organizations urged members to ask Governor Whitmer to Veto FY 20 Section 298 Language and demand a rewrite. That Language was vetoed from the final bill. However, below you will find Governor Whitmer's letter urging mental health advocates to reach out to their legislators.



"Thank you for taking the time to contact me and share your concerns regarding Section 298 of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Budget. I am grateful for your efforts to reach me, and the opportunity to respond.

As you may have heard, I was forced to veto a number of line items in the departmental budgets to protect Michiganders' public health and safety, access to health care and classroom spending for our children. The budgets the Legislature sent to me three days before the new fiscal year were empty of real solutions.

One of the items I vetoed was section 298. I believe in the integration of physical and behavioral health and coordinating care to treat the whole person. However, we must come up with a system that works for the health care system, patients, and families.

I remain committed to improving the health and quality of life for every Michigander. One of my top priorities is protecting and expanding access to quality, affordable health care. This is not a problem we can tackle with a one-size-fits all approach. Mental health care needs to be adaptive, innovative, and driven by common sense.

Tackling the complexities of access to mental health care and creating a system that works for everyone are high priorities for my administration. As we moved through this budget process, I made it clear that I was committed to working with everyone who wants to accomplish those goals. With my veto, I am giving the legislature the chance to come back to the table and work with myself and MDHHS to find a solution that will protect the people of our state. I urge you to reach out to your legislators to make your concerns heard as they reconsider these items. Please know that your thoughts and suggestions are being applied in deliberations of both short and long-term goals for our mental health system.

Again, thank you for taking the time to write. On January 1, 2019, I took an oath to serve the state of Michigan, and I am committed to building bridges from state government to real Michiganders. Please do not hesitate to contact my office at (517) 335-7858, should you have any additional questions or concerns."


Gretchen Whitmer
Governor of Michigan
(517) 335-7858



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