Question: The proposed budget provided for 3 Emergency Therapist position to address an increase in emergency mental health calls. Can you provide call volume for recent years, and previous staffing levels? What is the nature of the reserve funds being utilized to fund these positions? What is the remaining balance?
Response: The chart below provides call volumes for recent years and previous staffing levels:
|FY 2014||FY 2015|
The State Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services allows local Community Services Boards to place unspent State funds accumulated from prior fiscal years in a separate reserve or contingency fund. The reserve funds can only be utilized for mental health, developmental, and substance abuse services. The reserve funds should be used for one-time, non-recurring expenditures and not for supporting ongoing obligations. However, the State does allow for funds to be used to temporarily absorb budget shortfalls and unanticipated shortfalls such as ones due to program increases. DCHS used funding from the reserve to support the over hire positions in emergency services this fiscal year and will use some of the reserve to continue funding these positions in FY 2017, while finding a more permanent funding solution. The combination of 9 years of budget reductions and unanticipated program increases allows the use of the funds. Excluding the funding for the over hires this year the reserve balance is $1.5 million.