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House approves Rep. Whiteford’s Health and Human Services budget plan
RELEASE|May 5, 2022

State Rep. Mary Whiteford, vice chair of the House Appropriations Committee, gained approval from the full House on the Department of Health and Human Services budget proposal she spearheaded as chair of the DHHS Subcommittee.

The DHHS budget represents almost 50 percent of the entire state budget. The funding helps families and individuals meet financial, medical and social service needs. The department was created through the merger of the Community Health and Human Services departments in 2015.

In addition to state funding, Whiteford’s plan dedicates $260 million in federal funding to critical health issues facing Michigan’s most vulnerable residents. Whiteford, a registered nurse, said she worked carefully to use the state’s federal COVID dollars wisely to create positive change in the areas with the most need.

“A truly thoughtful, bipartisan effort was involved in the development of this budget plan,” Whiteford said as she addressed her colleagues on the House floor. “The people of our state will benefit from this plan not only in the coming fiscal year, but for years to come.”

The lawmaker said the budget’s investment in mental and behavioral health care has been five years in the making and is “the most comprehensive plan” the state has ever had.

“We’re investing a total of $331,750,000 into mental health care,” Whiteford said. “This includes support for first responders, Community Mental Health, school-based care, crisis stabilization units, foster care, helping kids with autism, and so much more. It’s truly the most comprehensive investment in behavioral health that the state has ever seen.”

Other priorities in the budget include support for survivors of human trafficking, money to combat and prevent abuse, neglect and exploitation of children and vulnerable adults, substance abuse services, senior services, nutrition programs, and bolster funding for existing public health programs while continuing to fund Medicaid.

The plan now moves to the state Senate for consideration. 

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