Milwaukee County Mental Health Board’s Budget Woes

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When the Milwaukee County Mental Health Board was formed by state legislation in 2014, it was spun as a way to put appointed behavioral health professionals in charge of the county’s mental health and substance abuse services as the county moved to a community-based system.

But those professionals and the public seem to have limited impact on Milwaukee County’s Behavioral Health Division’s (BHD) budget.

In its first budget cycle, for the 2015 budget, the board wasn’t allowed to offer any amendments to the budget crafted by the Chris Abele administration.

In the board’s second budget cycle, just two amendments were offered up for the 2016 budget. The board ultimately rejected money set aside for a staff member to provide them with independent information by a single vote. Another amendment to fund round-the-clock crisis centers on the North Side and South Side passed. But Abele partially vetoed that amendment so that the services would be provided on the North Side only.

Now, the board is working its way through the 2017 budget. But board members—and interested members of the community—say they are still grappling with the process.

Read more at the Shepherd Express

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