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S.F. No. 141 - Establishing a Grant Program to Fund Comprehensive Behavioral Health Diversion (Delete-Everything Amendment A-4)
Author: Senator Barb Goodwin
Prepared By: Joan White, Senate Counsel (651/296-3814)
Date: March 20, 2015


Section 1 (246.4685, subd. 1) requires the Commissioner of Human Services to provide grants to counties or groups of counties to establish mental health centers for individuals who have a mental illness or a co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse disorder, who are under arrest or subject to arrest. At least 50 percent of the funds must be awarded to counties in greater Minnesota with a high rate of poverty and limited mental health services. The commissioner may award grants up to $2,000,000 for a county or group of counties. 

Subdivision 2 provides the eligibility criteria for the grants.  To be eligible, a county or group of counties must demonstrate that they will connect with and build on existing resources, and preference must be given to counties with existing facilities that can be modified to accommodate the requirements under this section.  The center must include the 18 components listed in this subdivision. 

Subdivision 3 allows mental health services to be provided by an advanced practice registered nurse, physician's assistant, or mental health professional when a physician is unable to provide services in a timely manner.

Subdivision 4 encourages grant recipients to include local partners in the private and nonprofit sectors in planning and establishing the center.

Subdivision 5 specifies what must be included in the grant application. 

Subdivision 6 requires a center to maintain data related to the extent to which it reduces incarceration rates in the center’s county or counties for individuals with mental illness.  The center must report the outcomes to the commissioner.  This section requires the commissioner to report on results every two years, beginning February 1, 2017.

Subdivision 7 encourages the Commissioner of Human Services to work with the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, the Department of Corrections, and the Department of Health to provide technical assistance to counties to prevent the incarceration of individuals with mental illness. The Commissioners of Human Services and Health must determine the most appropriate model for licensure of the proposed services, and determine which agency will regulate the services of the center.  The Commissioner of Minnesota Housing Finance Agency shall work with centers to provide short-term and long-term housing for individuals served by the centers, within the limits of existing appropriations available for low-income housing or homelessness. 

Section 2 (628.70) allows a peace officer to refer a person with mental illness or a co-occurring condition for whom probable cause exists to arrest or charge with a misdemeanor to a crisis center established under section 1 on the condition that the person is not charged if the person satisfactorily completes the program at the crisis center. A court or prosecutor may refer a person to a crisis center. A prosecutor may, however, charge a person referred to a crisis center with a crime when the prosecutor determines that doing so is appropriate and in the interest of justice. 

Section 3, paragraph (a) appropriates $3,000,000 for the biennium for the grant program under section 1. At least one center must be in greater Minnesota.  

Paragraph (b) Appropriates $200,000 for crisis intervention team training.

Paragraph (c) Appropriates $200,000 for mobile crisis teams.

Paragraph (d) Is a blank appropriation to the Commissioner of Human Services for administrative costs.

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