In Congress Archive

In Congress Archive > 111th Congress

Achievement Through Prevention Act (S. 3733)

  • Sponsors: Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Richard Burr (R-NC), and Al Franken (D-MN)
  • Summary: The legislation would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) to allow state and local education agencies and schools to increase implementation of school-wide positive behavioral intervention and supports (PBIS) and early intervening services (EIS). The goal would be to improve student academic achievement, reduce over-identification of individuals with disabilities, reduce disciplinary problems in schools, and improve coordination with similar activities and services provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The legislation would improve coordination between special educators and general educators by effectively aligning the two laws, IDEA and ESEA, to enhance academic and behavioral outcomes for all students.
  • Thomas:  Senate
  • Committee: Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
  • Supporting Documents: Coalition Support Letter, Bennet Press Release, Section-by-Section Bill Summary

Positive Behavior for Safe and Effective Schools Act (H.R. 2597)

  • Sponsor: Representative Phil Hare (D-IL)
  • Summary: The legislation encourages the use of school-wide positive behavior support (PBS) to help improve school climate and foster students’ academic and social success. It does by amending the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), including providing flexibility to use Title I funds so state agencies may provide technical assistance and support implementation of PBS and offering instructional leadership skills to help teachers administer PBS and enhance their understanding of the social and emotional learning of children in Title II.
  • Thomas: House
  • Committee: House Education and Labor
  • Supporting Documents: Way to Go, Policy Reporter, ESEA Comments

Recidivism Reduction Act (H.R. 2829)

  • Sponsors: Representatives Andre Carson (D-IN), Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) and Pete Stark (D-CA)
  • Summary: The legislation would provide timely restoration of federal disability benefits (SSI, SSDI and Medicaid) to eligible individuals upon release from incarceration. Its goal is to ease offenders’ transition back into society, especially for those who have mentally illnesses. Prompt access to disability and medical benefits upon release is essential for access to needed treatment, housing and other critical services and support that can help avoid the cycle of recidivism.
  • Thomas: House
  • Committee(s): House Energy and Commerce & Ways and Means
  • Supporting Documents: Policy Reporter, Lifelines

Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act (S. 2860) & Keeping Students Safe Act (H.R. 4247)

  • Sponsor(s): Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT). Representatives George Miller (D-CA) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)
  • Summary: The legislation would protect students from the harmful practices of restraint and seclusion by prohibiting its use unless the student’s behavior poses an immediate danger of physical injury and less restrictive interventions would be ineffective. Among other notable safeguards, the legislation also requires appropriate training for school personnel, notification to parents after restraint and seclusion is used and encourages the adoption of school-wide Positive Behavior Support (PBS), as an alternative approach to address students’ challenging behavior.
  • Thomas: Senate & House
  • Committee: Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions; House Education and Labor
  • Supporting Documents: Policy ReporterPress Release

Medicaid Services Restoration Act (S. 1217/H.R. 4787)

  • Sponsor(s): Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), March Begich (D-AK) and Blanche Lincoln (D-AR). Representative Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
  • Summary: The legislation makes meaningful changes to the Medicaid program, including clarifying and protecting vital services for children and adult beneficiaries. Among the provisions, the legislation would create a new service category to finance therapeutic foster care for children with serious mental and emotional disturbances and allow states to use bundled rates to pay for services through the rehabilitation option and permit efficient and reasonable payment methodologies under the case management and targeted case management option.
  • Thomas:Senate & House
  • Committee(s): Senate Finance & House Energy and Commerce
  • Supporting Documents: Policy Reporter, Child Welfare League Summary

Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2009 (S. 678/H.R. 6029)

  • Sponsors: Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Arlen Specter (D-PA), Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Richard Durbin (D-IL). Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN).
  • Summary: The legislation reauthorizes the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA)- the major source of federal funding to improve states' juvenile justice systems providing critical protections to youth in the juvenile justice system, including a requirement that states maintain core protections for youth, such as prohibiting detention of juveniles in adult jails and lock-ups, under certain circumstances. The legislation includes a range of new provisions, such grants for states to train juvenile justice professionals in assessment and diversion, as well as provisions to reward states that implement effective, evidence-based rehabilitation programs and services that increase the likelihood of successful reintegration.
  • Thomas: Senate, House
  • Committee: Senate Judiciary, House Education and Labor, House Judiciary
  • Supporting Documents: Mental Health and Substance Abuse Needs Fact Sheet,MHLG Letter to Senators, Policy Reporter,

Mental Health in Schools Act (H.R. 2531)

  • Sponsor: Representative Grace Napolitano (D-CA)
  • Summary: The legislation increases funding for the Safe Schools- Healthy Students program to enable states to expand school-based mental health services for children in grades kindergarten through 12. It allows for a flexible, state-based approach to creating a comprehensive mental health school-program and promotes formal collaboration between families, schools, welfare agencies, and substance abuse and mental health service systems. It also encourages schools to implement positive behavior supports into their school curriculum.
  • Thomas: House
  • Committee: House Energy and Commerce
  • Supporting Documents: IOM Report, Press Release

Mental Health on Campus Improvement Act (S. 682/H.R. 1704)

  • Sponsors: Representative Janice Schakowsky (D- IL) and Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL)
  • Summary: The legislation would assist colleges and universities in successfully attending to the growing mental health needs on campus communities. The legislation would establish grants to eligible colleges and universities to foster a comprehensive approach to campus behavioral health issues, including developing and disseminating best practices and expanding campus mental health services and mental health training.
  • Thomas: Senate, House
  • Committee: Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions & House Energy and Commerce
  • Supporting Documents: Campus Mental Health Guide, Model Campus MH Policy

 Healthy Transitions Act (H.R 2691)

  • Sponsors: Representatives Pete Stark (D-CA), Mary Bono-Mack (R-CA and Dave Camp (R-MI)
  • Summary: The legislation keep youth with mental health conditions from falling through the cracks as they transition into adulthood. It does so by establishing grants to help states develop and execute coordinated plans to give adolescents and young adults with a serious mental health disorders the tools they need to make a healthy transition to adulthood. The bill would also establish a committee of federal partners to coordinate the multitude of federal programs that assist adolescents and young adults with mental illnesses.
  • Thomas: House
  • Committee: House Energy and Commerce
  • Supporting Documents: Moving On, Policy Reporter

Health Information Technology Extension for Behavioral Health Services Act (S. 3709/H.R. 5040)

  • Sponsors: Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). Representatives Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) and Timothy Murphy (R-PA).
  • Summary: The legislation would extend the meaningful use incentives established through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to mental health and substance use providers and facilities excluded from the law, including community mental health centers, clinical psychologists and psychiatric hospitals. The ARRA provided $20 billion in incentives and grants to health care providers and hospitals to establish interoperable electronic health record systems throughout the nation. The goal of widespread adoption of health information technology is to help save lives through improved coordination of care.
  • Thomas: Senate, House
  • Committee(s): House Energy and Commerce & Ways and Means
  • Supporting Documents: MHLG Letter to Sen. WhitehouseMHLG Letter to Reps. Kennedy & Murphy, MHLG Letter to Waxman & Barton

Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools Act (H.R. 5628)

  • Sponsor: Representative Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY)
  • Summary: The legislation prohibits the Secretary of Education from providing funding to any educational agency or institution that allows school personnel to inflict corporal punishment upon a student to punish or modify behavior. It also requires each state to periodically submit a plan to the Secretary that describes how the state eliminates the use of corporal punishment in schools and the communication tools it utilizes concerning parents and personnel for this purpose. Additionally, the Secretary is authorized to award grants and subgrants to improve school climate and culture via positive behavior supports. A variety of assessments and monitoring provisions are also authorized.
  • Thomas: House
  • Committee: House Education and Labor

Community Mental Health and Addiction Safety Net Equity Act of 2010 (H.R. 5989)

  • Sponsor: Representative Doris Matsui (D-CA)
  • Summary: The legislation would amend the Public Health Service Act to replace community mental health centers with federally qualified behavioral health centers which treat substance abuse in addition to mental illness and other conditions. It also extends Medicaid to federally qualified behavioral health center services. It directs the Institute of Medicine to evaluate and report to Congress on the paperwork burden of such facilities and the compensation structure of professionals and paraprofessionals employed by qualified behavior health centers in comparison to relevant other providers and private sector health employers.
  • Thomas: House
  • Committee: House Energy and Commerce

SAMHSA Modernization Act of 2010 (H.R. 5466)

  • Sponsor: Representatives Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) and Gene Green (D-TX)
  • Summary: The legislation reauthorizes the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The activities of SAMHSA are expanded to include the provision of grants to integrate mental health and substance abuse into primary care settings, as well as to address the mental health needs of older adults and to establish programs to recruit and retain qualified mental health and substance abuse professionals. Among other provisions, it establishes the Task Force on Behavioral and Mental Health in Medication Education and the Council on Integration of Health Care Education.
  • Thomas: House
  • Committee: House Energy and Commerce

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