Counties Seek Expansion of Grant Program to Boost Capital Projects for Behavioral Health

On Wednesday, Michael Sanderson and Natasha Mehu testified in front of the Budget and Taxation Committee in support of SB 164 Maryland Department of Health – Capital and Grant Programs – State Grants.

This bill would boost a grant program that helps counties fund capital projects for behavioral health and developmental disability facilities.

From the MACo Testimony:

Counties have a duty to protect and promote the health and well-being of their communities. To advance those goals, they offer a range of public health services through their local health departments or community organization partnerships. Accordingly, they have an interest in ensuring their residents have adequate access to addiction, mental health, and developmental disability programs in high quality facilities.

SB 164 supports county efforts to provide access to these resources by increasing the portion of state capital grant funds that may be awarded to counties for the construction, acquisition, renovation, and equipping of addiction, mental health, and developmental disability facilities. The bill raises the state grant cap from 50% to 75% of the eligible cost and raises the cap for poverty area funding from 75% to 90% of the eligible cost remaining after the federal grant has been applied. Eligible local capital projects would benefit from stronger state funding.

For more on 2019 MACo legislation, visit the Legislative Database.