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Government & Politics

Senate Budget Doesn't Restore Funds for Mental Health Programs

photo of Ohio Senate
Advocates hoped for $36 million for different programs.

The Senate budget that was passed unanimously this week does not include $36 million that mental health and suicide prevention advocates were hoping would be restored. The money would have been split between treatment and prevention for kids and anti-stigma multimedia campaigns.

Republican Senate Finance Chair Matt Dolan said Senators believe in the cause that Gov. Mike DeWine’s budget funded with that money, but instead put it into existing programs on prevention and mental health and into help for multisystem youth.

“I presume the Governor is going to want at least a portion of that $36 million back," he said. "But I think when he sees where we spent it, hopefully that will give him pause to say, well, that’s a worthwhile endeavor as well.”

Dolan said DeWine’s $550 million for counseling, mental health and other wraparound services in low-income schools will help, too. But he said they are concerned about how that half a billion dollars will be administered, so the Senate diverted $125 million the House added to that into vouchers and aid to fast-growing districts.