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Polis signs bills on substance abuse and mental, behavioral health

The governor signed a package of four bills aimed at bolstering mental and behavioral health services and responding to substance abuse.

COLORADO, USA — Gov. Jared Polis on Tuesday signed into law a package of four bills aimed at bolstering mental and behavioral health services and responding to substance abuse.

The largest of the three mental and behavioral health bills in terms of fiscal impact and legislative scale is  Senate Bill 137 from Sens. Brittany Pettersen, D-Lakewood, and Faith Winter, D-Westminster, and Reps. Dafna Michaelson Jenet, D-Commerce City, and Chris Kennedy, D-Lakewood.

The $114 million bill uses federal stimulus funds to cover a lot of ground, including addiction services and crisis response. It also has a strong lean toward helping young people, including $2.5 million for elementary school programs and $5 million for specialized, high-quality youth residential help and therapeutic foster care.

“This is the bill that, as a value statement from the state legislature, says, 'We believe that behavioral health is one of the greatest needs in Colorado and we want to use the one-time funds that we have through the American Rescue Act in a thoughtful way to transform behavioral health,” Polis said at a signing ceremony at Boettcher Mansion.

Pettersen, meanwhile, pledged more substantive work on behavioral health was still to come.

Read the full article at Colorado Politics

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