LANSING — State Representative Brian Banks (D-Detroit) announced today that a number of important programs and services offered to families and children through the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) should see their funding increase in the 2016-2017 budget. Banks is a member of the House Appropriations Health and Human Services Subcommittee.
“At $24.7 billion, the Department of Health and Human Services is Michigan’s largest budget; however, it can also be considered our tightest budget,” said Banks. “That is why I am very pleased that we could still increase funding for some very important programs including indigent burial costs, the Healthy Kids Dental program and a new unit at the Center for Forensic Psychiatry.”
The programs seeing increases, staying at current funding levels or being retained instead of cut entirely include:
- Indigent burial funded at $75,000. This includes an increase from $720 for an adult burial to $725 per adult with services, $490 without services and $170 for infants.
- A $100 placeholder for the Pathways to Potential program.
- An additional general fund increase of $1.7 million for Community Mental Health Non-Medicaid Services.
- $15.1 million to the city of Flint residents who were exposed to lead contamination.
- Implementation of the planned Pace Program Expansion.
- An overall 5 percent increase ($836,000) to Senior Community Services, which will also maintain full funding of Meals on Wheels.
- A $100 placeholder for the guardianship rate increase.
- $112.7 million for special drugs and supporting persons receiving Hepatitis-C treatments.
- Adding $25.6 million to the Healthy Kids Dental program to fully expand the program into Wayne County.
- Adding $3.3 million to the appropriation for the University of Detroit Dental Clinic.
The budget also requires DHHS to do an appraisal for replacement of the Hawthorn Center Facility in Northville that provides inpatient psychiatric services to children and adolescents. It also maintains a -public-private partnership to encourage offering residents non-emergency medical transportation to and from doctor appointments. The governor recommended cutting this program, but the House continues it.
“What we offer here is our attempt to move toward public service along with transparency and accountability,” said Banks. “We hope our colleagues and successive legislatures will follow our lead in continuing this trend. I will continue to work hard to win my House colleagues’ support for this budget when we consider it on the House floor, and to win support for these programs in the Senate.”