Cortez Masto: Bipartisan state funding bill includes vital support for mental health care, law enforcement and affordable housing

December 22, 2022

Washington – U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) voted to pass the bipartisan funding package for fiscal year 2023. That bill now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives and then to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law as law.

The package makes historic investments in mental health, including through legislation Senator Cortez Masto championed to expand mobile crisis services and virtual peer support services for Nevadans dealing with mental health crises. The package includes stable funding for local law enforcement and the highest level of funding under Violence Against Women Act in history. Cortez Masto also passed his bills to expand telehealth services for seniors and families in Nevada, ensure stable funding for ambulance services, increase investment in affordable housing and create a new grant program to preserve and revitalize manufactured home communities.

The omnibus package also includes Election Counting Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act, legislation Senator Cortez Masto has sponsored to help modernize our election counting system and prevent attacks on our democracy.

“The support I am providing in this omnibus will help hard-working Nevadans across the state.” said Sen. Cortez Masto. “This legislation includes critical funding for Nevada law enforcement officers, strengthens support for affordable housing, and implements key provisions of my legislation to expand behavioral health crisis services for those in need.”

The omnibus funding package includes parts of Sen. Cortez Masto’s Behavioral Health Crisis Services Expansion Act to help stimulate and support crisis support services, including those Nevada has already begun to develop. Specifically, the omnibus will provide increased Medicare payment rates for mental health services provided by mobile units and provide support to states that design and implement Medicaid crisis response services. The omnibus contains provisions based on those of Senator Cortez Masto PEERS act to ensure peer support specialist services are covered by Medicare and to help providers understand how to bill for these services. To Cortez Masto Virtual Peer Support Act is also part of the final omnibus bill to help increase the capacity of peer behavioral health support programs by providing grant funding to support their work, including moving to an online environment.

The package contains text from Senator Cortez Masto Industrial Housing Improvement Grant Program Act, which will create an entirely new federal pilot program to preserve and revitalize eligible manufactured housing communities. Funding for this pilot project is set at $225 million—a first-of-its-kind effort to address America’s housing crisis.

Senator Cortez Masto ensured that the package fully re-funds the Byrne Justice Assistance Program (Byrne JAG), which is the leading source of criminal justice funding for local police. She also advocated for increased funding for Violence Against Women Act, which this omnibus will fund at the highest level of funding to date.

The bipartisan omnibus funding bill also increases funding for the Pell Grant program, allocates billions to combat the opioid abuse epidemic, invests in programs that will help create more affordable housing across the U.S. and supports community development projects in Nevada . It includes extending Senator Cortez Masto’s bipartisan bills to expand Medicare enrollees’ access to telehealth services and to expand access to telehealth services for Americans with high-deductible health plans. It also includes her legislation to preserve and revitalize manufactured home communities in the U.S. and her bipartisan bill to allow survivors of domestic violence to make emergency withdrawals from their retirement plans. Other priorities that Senator Cortez Masto helped secure in this package include bipartisanship Visit America Act to support the travel and tourism industry and resources to increase the reach and transparency of federal broadband programs through the implementation of Cortez Masto’s bipartisan program BROADBAND ACCESS Act. It’s also in the package Fairness to Pregnant Workers Act, which will help ensure that employers provide reasonable accommodation for pregnant employees.

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