Oregon counties came out of the legislative session in relatively good shape on the health and human services fronts: a public health modernization bill with which we are happy, a public health budget that saw some potential cuts restored, and an additional $28 million for mental health services.

 And the session has ended just in time for us to begin planning for 2016. Some of the work that lies ahead in the very near future includes:

  • Working closely with legislators and OHA as they examine the mental health system in the state – both OHA’s behavioral health mapping project, and the statewide mental health conversation(s) that four legislators in particular (Senators Alan Bates, D-Medford, Sara Gelser, D-Corvallis and Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, D-Beaverton as well as Representative Mitch Greenlick, D-Portland) are committed to pursuing; and
  • Working with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and Coalition of Local Health Officials (CLHO) on the initial assessments and implementation of public health modernization.
It is not too soon to start and we will be active over the summer and fall months working on these important issues.
AOC Policy Manager Stacy Michaelson deals with health and human services issues.