Dane County DCHS 2019 Budget Request

Earlier this month, the Dane County Department of Human Services released their 2019 budget request. NAMI Dane County submitted written testimony to the County Board of Supervisors, as well as testified at the public hearing on September 12th. Highlights of our testimony are provided below or you may read the full letter here.

  1. Cautioned the County on combining mental health and substance use funding into one category as the County has an obligation to make sure public mental health resources are available whether or not an individual with serious mental illness has a co-occurring substance use disorder. The concern is that in light of the growing opioid epidemic, mental health funding previously allocated may be diverted towards those initiatives.

  2. Requested DCHS year end surplus previously allocated to fund deficits in the transportation budget be sent back to DCHS for the purposes of funding a Cost of Living (COLA) increase for purchase of service providers.

  3. Requested the County match it’s prior year allocation of $100,000 to Porchlight’s Safe Haven program. Currently, the request includes $75,000.

  4. Requested $20,000 for NAMI Dane County’s Crisis Intervention Team/Partner training for law enforcement, corrections, dispatchers, and other first responders be added back into the budget.

  5. Cited concerns over the closing of Kajsiab House and urged the County to explore providing matching funds in partnership with United Way and the City totaling $150,000 between the three. This money would be available through December 31, 2018 to ensure adequate transition planning occurs for current clients so that there is no gap in services.