By Jen Curt, CTIPP's Director of Government Affairs
First Draft of Federal Funding Bills Have Been Revealed - Big Wins!
In late June 2022, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee marked up its Fiscal Year 23 (FY23) spending bills. In exciting news, a number of the funding requests that CTIPP and members of the National Trauma Campaign have championed to advance the trauma-informed movement made it into this legislation. Among them:
CTIPP organized more than 170 advocates to urge Congress to invest $1 billion in mental health and trauma-informed resources for schools. This $1 billion was included in the legislation which, if signed into law, will increase the number of school-based mental health professionals and have them prioritize trauma-informed, school-wide transformation.
The legislation triples the funding level for the Interagency Task Force on Trauma-Informed Care. This Task Force identifies, evaluates, and makes recommendations regarding best practices for helping those who have experienced or are at risk of experiencing trauma and ways Federal agencies can improve the federal response to families impacted by trauma.
This draft has passed the House Appropriations Committee and will next receive a vote in the full U.S. House of Representatives. Soon, the Senate will release their drafts of the FY23 spending bill. We will continue to advocate for these important investments in the final deal.
Bipartisan Safer Communities Act Became Law
On June 25, 2022, President Biden signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act into law. This gun safety and mental health legislation includes:
$750 million to help states implement and run crisis intervention programs if they so choose, including red flag programs aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves and others
Closing the boyfriend loophole in domestic violence (DV) law so that anyone who is convicted of a DV crime against someone they have, “a continuous serious relationship of romantic or intimate nature” is barred from buying a gun. However, those convicted of misdemeanor DV crimes can restore their gun rights after five years if they haven’t committed other crimes
Requires more gun sellers to register as Federally Licensed Firearm Dealers, which will increase background checks
Grants to encourage states to conduct more thorough reviews of people ages 18-21 who want to buy a gun
Creates new federal statutes against gun trafficking by making it easier to go after people who are buying guns for individuals who aren’t allowed to purchase weapons
Increase in funding for community-based violence prevention initiatives and school security.
Increase in funding for mental health programs, including:
$240 million for Project AWARE, including $28 million for grants to increase trauma-informed care in schools
Expanding the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHCs) demonstration program nationwide. CCBHCs are specially-designated community-based clinics that provide a comprehensive range of mental health and substance use services
$40 million for the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, a program to improve access to care, treatment, and services for children and adolescents exposed to traumatic events
$120 million to train community members and first responders how to respond appropriately and safely to individuals with mental disorders
NEW CDC ACEs Study?
CTIPP has recently endorsed the bipartisan, bicameral Improving Data Collection for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Act, led by Senator Angus King (I-ME), Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Representative Lucy McBath (D-GA). This bill directs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to build on previous research in the 1998 ACE study with new data that includes a broader definition of ACEs, includes a diverse nationally representative sample of participants, and focuses on the relative strength of particular risk and protective factors, among other directives.
NEW from SAMHSA
SAMHSA’s 9-8-8 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is Live Tomorrow: As of July 16th, people experiencing mental health-related distress can dial 9-8-8 for support. 9-8-8 is a direct connection to compassionate, accessible care and support for anyone experiencing mental health-related distress, whether it’s thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance use crisis, or any kind of emotional distress.
SAMHSA Provides Resources to Survivors of Traumatic Events: Following the devastating mass shootings, the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) promoted the following resources: “Our hearts go out to all experiencing loss and grief from the tragic mass shootings and other forms of community violence from Buffalo, NY to Uvalde, TX and in many other locations across our nation. Please know that SAMHSA stands with you during these troubling times and offers support to help you and your loved ones cope with this trauma, including our Disaster Distress Helpline – call or text 1-800-985-5990 (for Spanish, press “2”) to be connected to a trained counselor 24/7/365.”
SAMHSA Wants to Increase Diversity in Grant Recipients: SAMHSA’s Diversity Inclusion Project Showcase (DIPS) is an initiative that aims to connect a more diverse pool of historically marginalized populations to grant funding opportunities by providing the chance to showcase their goals and populations served, to federal and state leaders, as well as philanthropic partners in a round robin-style of innovation. The DIPS model helps to connect community-based organizations to funders and advocates at all levels, (e.g., federal, philanthropic organizations, stakeholders, and communities).
New Supreme Court Decisions
In late June, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) released a series of new decisions. Among them:
Biden v. Texas – The Court ruled the Biden Administration’s rescission of the Migratory Protection Protocols (MPP) does not violate the law. MPP, or the “Remain in Mexico” policy, was a Trump Administration policy which returned asylum-seekers to Mexico to wait through the duration of their cases pending in the U.S. immigration court system.
Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta – The Court ruled that states possess concurrent jurisdiction with the federal government over crimes committed by non-Indians against Indians in Indian country. This dramatically expands the power of states to prosecute crimes on reservations. (SCOTUS uses the term “Indian” to refer to Native American tribes and its members)
Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization – The Court ruled the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee a right to abortion. This overruled Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern, PA.
New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen – The Court ruled that New York’s law which restricts the open carry of a gun by requiring individuals to prove proper-cause (the need for self-protection) violates the Constitution.
West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – The Court ruled that the EPA does not have the authority to mandate carbon emissions reductions. This could limit the authority of federal agencies across the executive branch.