KCUR News
5:23 pm
Fri June 11, 2010

State Mental Health Programs Brace For More Cuts

Jefferson City, MO – Mental Health officials in Missouri are awaiting word if Governor Jay Nixon will cut their budget even more than lawmakers did this year.

Of the $484 million lawmakers cut from the state budget in April, nearly $26 million came from the Department of Mental Health, which oversees programs dealing with psychiatric health, drug and alcohol abuse, and Medicaid patients.

"We have been in discussions with the governor's Budget Office...we do know they are looking at a $350 million gap that they need to close, so we would expect the Department of Mental Health will participate in closing that gap," says Jan Heckemeyer, the agency's Deputy Director for Administration.

Heckemeyer says, though, that none of their Medicaid-eligible programs have been cut, and she doesn't expect them to be when Governor Nixon signs the state budget into law later this month.

During a stop in Kansas City this morning, Nixon said he'll have the new state budget ready in the next seven to ten days.