President Obama this week submitted his Fiscal Year 2012 budget proposal to Congress. Among the President’s requests for SAMHSA’s 2012 budget :
- Mental Health Block Grant: $434.7 million ($13.9 million increase from FY 2011)
- Substance Abuse Block Grant: $1.494 billion ($39.6 million increase from FY 2011)
- Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration: $34 million ($1 million decrease from FY 2011)
- Children’s MH Services: $121.3 million (level funded from 2011)
- PATH Homeless Grant: $65 million (level funded from 2011)
The SAMHSA budget has undergone a significant restructuring and a shifting of established programs into new line items in the agency budget. For example, the Programs of National and Regional Significance in each Center at SAMHSA have been shifted under the umbrella of a new Innovations and Emerging Issues section of each Center’s budget. Additionally, three new programs will have been established to provide substance abuse and mental health prevention grants to the states, tribes and territories. Overall, SAMHSA’s proposed budget is $3.387 billion, a $44 million decrease from FY 2010.
In a normal budget year, Congress would spend the next several months debating, modifying, and enacting the 2012 budget with the intent of completing the process before Oct. 1, 2011, the date when FY 2012 begins. However, Congress is currently wrapped up in an ongoing debate over the FY 2011 budget, which the previous Congress failed to enact before adjourning at the end of last year. Current debates over spending reductions are likely to be repeated once the 2011 budget is enacted and Congress turns its attention to 2012.