This year VOICE and our allies have fought hard to win substantial funding from the state to create and expand mental health Crisis Receiving Centers (CRCs) throughout the Commonwealth, especially in our backyard in Northern VA. We have reached the midway point in the General Assembly. The Senate and House have finalized their respective budgets and are now heading to crossover, where the House will take up the Senate’s budget, and vice versa.
As a result of the collective power that VOICE and our coalition partners have built around CRC funding, you are making a real difference! The House has recommended $83 million towards CRC funding ($13 million above our initial $70 million ask) and the Senate recommended $88 million ($18 million above our initial ask). Last year, the state only allocated $7.5 million total for CRCs, so this is great progress.
Among many other actions VOICE has taken, over the past few weeks, a team of 40 VOICE leaders have conducted 17 small group meetings with General Assembly members to urge support for this funding and several more are scheduled. There is still a long way to go to ensure this funding stays in the final budget, but your work is paying off.