Crossed from RTB @ Under The Dome
A legislative office created to examine the benefit of public programs was ready to give its report Thursday on the state's mental health services.
Anyone could tell from the title "Compromised controls and lack of focus hampered implementation of enhanced mental health services" it wasn't full of compliments, Lynn Bonner reports.
The report got cut from the agenda about a week before the Joint Oversight Program Evaluation Committee met.
A News & Observer investigation this year found that the state has wasted at least $400 million on a service one on of the enhanced programs, called community support. The federal government is holding on to $175 million in payments to the state because of suspected abuses in the program.
A chairman of the committee, Sen. Fletcher Hartsell of Concord, said the report was taken off the agenda because the committee didn't have time to talk about it. The mental health report was the only item removed from the revised agenda distributed in advance of the meeting.
Hartsell said the committee would get the mental health report back on its agenda. "End of session, probably," he said.
So, the state wasted upwards of $400,000,000.00, thus keeping us from receiving $175,000,000.00, bringing the grand total to $575,000,000.00, and my State Senator doesn't think he'll have time to discuss it? Does anybody know if there's access to a copy of this "agenda" to see just what it is that's taking up so much time in the Senate? As often discussed here on BlueNC, the ongoing Mental Health crisis in our state needs to be addressed NOW. For too long, things went mismanaged with the CITIZENS taking the loss.
Hartsell's challenger this fall, Jim Johnson, isn't the most progressive individual in the world, but it's about time we start electing officials that represent North Carolinians with the interest of North Carolinians in mind. The crisis and downfall of our mental health system needs attention by all lawmakers, and it needs attention now.
Updated with contact information:
Sen. Fletcher L. Hartsell, Jr. (Co-Chair)
Phone: (919) 733-7223
Sen. Daniel Gray Clodfelter (Co-Chair)
Phone: (919) 715-8331
Rep. James Walker Crawford, Jr. (Co-Chair)
Rep. Drew Paschal Saunders (Co-Chair)
Sen. Charles Woodrow Albertson
Sen. Linda Dew Garrou
Sen. Malcolm Graham
Sen. Samuel Clark Jenkins
Sen. Martin L. Nesbitt, Jr.
Sen. Robert Miller Pittenger
Sen. Richard Yates Stevens
Rep. Linda D. Coleman
Rep. Daniel Bruce Goforth
Rep. Lindsey Hugh Holliman
Rep. Carolyn Hewitt Justice
Rep. James H. Langdon, Jr.
Rep. David R. Lewis
Rep. Paul Luebke
Regardless of Party affiliation, (and there are a lot of D's involved, sadly) let's contact those on the committee and let them know that the citizens of North Carolina want this issue addressed ASAP.