WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congressman Paul D. Tonko announced today that $170,566,276 in funding from the American Rescue Plan—COVID legislation backed by Tonko— has been awarded to New York State to support mental health and addiction services. Funding will be administered by the New York State Department of Health and the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) and is part of the $3 billion set aside in the American Rescue Plan to support mental health and substance use programs.
In response to the growing mental health and addiction challenges exacerbated by the COVID pandemic, Tonko led the push for this emergency funding in the House and has been the lead advocate for years on funding for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant.
“Our nation’s recovery from this COVID pandemic will be impossible without addressing its devastating impact on mental health and the disease of addiction,” Congressman Tonko said. “For years, I have championed legislation that speaks to these crises and delivers the resources our communities need. This vital funding provides timely and urgent support that tackle gaps in access to treatment and ensure that those struggling are not left behind. I will continue to push for these federal dollars that drive our COVID recovery and provide hope and a path forward for millions of Americans.”
- $80,040,583 will go to the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant (MHBG) Program for New York.
- $90,525,693 will go to the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant Program (SABG) for New York.
Tonko has long advocated for strengthened mental health and addiction treatment services, an effort that has continued through the pandemic. Earlier this year, he introduced the COVID-19 Mental Health Research Act, legislation that would fund research to study the effects the COVID-19 pandemic has on the mental health of Americans, with an emphasis on its impact on children and health care providers.
He led the House introduction of the Medicaid Reentry Act, legislation he authored to empower states to restore access to addiction treatment through Medicaid for incarcerated individuals up to 30 days before their release. His work to expand addiction treatment also includes the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act that eliminates a bureaucratic hurdle—known as the “x-waiver”—blocking health professionals from prescribing the safe, proven treatment buprenorphine to their patients.