The Legislature should amend state law to require counties to enter into agreements with SELPAs to allow SELPAs and their LEAs to access EPSDT funding through the county mental health plans by providing EPSDT mental health services. If individual counties can demonstrate good reason why this type of arrangement is not possible or beneficial, the amended law should allow the counties to opt out of the collaboration by seeking a time-limited waiver from Health Care Services. The Legislature should require Health Care Services to make a final determination as to whether counties will be allowed to opt out of the required collaboration. The Legislature should require counties seeking a waiver to specify what barriers exist to working with SELPAs and their LEAs and how the county is attempting to remove those barriers.
Senate Bill 1113 would have specifically authorized a county, or a qualified provider operating as part of the county mental health plan network, and a local educational agency (LEA) to enter into a partnership that includes, among other things, an agreement to provide mental health services to specified pupils. The bill would also have created the County and Local Educational Agency Partnership Fund in the State Treasury that would be available upon appropriation by the Legislature to the Department of Education (Education) for the purpose of funding these partnerships, and would have required Education to fund these partnerships through a competitive grant program. This bill was vetoed by the Governor.