Behavioral health program funded with diminished budget headed to Burgum's desk

By  | 

BISMARCK, ND - It can be hard for families dealing with behavioral health issues.

Some support is coming for families from the legislature, but not nearly as much as many wanted.

From last session to now, lawmakers studied how much it would cost to fully fund mental health services in North Dakota.

They settled on a figure around 28 million dollars. House Bill 1040 provides 350 thousand dollars instead.

It's headed to Governor Doug Burgum's desk.

The bill provides money for a pilot program for early prevention and intervention in schools for kids with behavioral health issues.

It also provides money for peer-to-peer and family-to-family support services.

"It's a pretty picayune little number here, but we want to get it started and we want to have it develop and we're glad to have that seed planted," says Sen. Judy Lee, R-Fargo.

To know that we needed $28 million and we're ending up wit $350,000 is a sour pill to swallow but I will swallow it today," says Sen. Joan Heckaman, D-New Rockford.

Senator Lee says 1000 children with mental health needs will not be covered under this bill, because the legislature couldn't find the money to do it.