Advocacy Updates - ADAMH Board of Franklin County

Advocacy Updates

April 2024

2024 Governor DeWine State of the State Recap

Gov. Mike DeWine recently gave his annual State of the State Address with the majority of his remarks focused on the accomplishments and new initiatives aimed at helping Ohio’s children. Some of the priorities mentioned include:

  • School-Based Health Clinics: Called on the Ohio Departments of Health and Education and Workforce to work together to provide technical assistance to any school district that wants to create their own school-based health clinic.
  • Crisis Services: Seeks to expand Mobile Response Stabilization Services to all 88 counties
  • Delta-8 and Marijuana: Called on the legislature to restrict the sale of intoxicating hemp, also known as Delta-8 products, as well as passing legislation to make clear marijuana cannot be smoked in public places, especially places where smoking marijuana would interfere with youth.
  • Tobacco: Gov. DeWine called on the Biden administration to enact proposed rules that would ban the sale of flavored tobacco and e-liquid products.

Marijuana Legalization Update

The Ohio Division of Cannabis Control continues to prepare for implementation of the recreational sale of marijuana in Ohio through the rule-making process. At this time, the legislature has yet to reach a consensus on legislative proposals to further make changes to the language in Issue 2 passed by voters last November.

Some provisions that we are following closely:

  • Timeline of Sales Commencing: Recreational marijuana sales may begin as early as this summer as the state is tentatively planning to approve rules in May that would allow already established medical marijuana dispensaries to obtain a dual license.
  • Advertising Limits and Packaging: It is expected that there will be additional rules and regulations introduced to help keep marijuana products away from youth.

January 2024

State Capital Budget Update: New Funding Available

The Ohio General Assembly is set to pass the state capital budget in 2024. However, this year, for the first time ever, there are two pots of funding to apply for: traditional community projects and the One-Time Strategic Community Investments Fund (OTSCIF) - a $700 million pot of funding that was set aside by the most recent state operating budget.

While the House is starting its capital budget process this month, the Senate is not set to begin its process until April. Because of this, there is still time for organizations to submit projects to be considered for state funding in the Senate. Please see the attached Senate Capital Budget/OTSCIF Application Form due to Senate offices by April 8.

If you have a project that you would like to be considered for this funding, please reach out to me at ADAMH would be happy to host an information session or meet with you 1-1 to share more about this process and how to best position yourself to receive funding for your project.

December 2023

Adult Use Marijuana Update

Legislative leaders continue to negotiate and finalize the changes they would like to see from what was passed by voters in Issue 2. These negotiations will continue into the start of 2024. However, last week, the Ohio Senate passed Substitute House Bill 86 that contains their proposed changes to the adult-use marijuana program.

Some highlights of the bill include:

  • Home grown acceptable, but cuts the number of household plants allowed to six
  • Would allow adults 21+ to purchase adult-use marijuana at currently licensed medical dispensaries while the Department of Commerce completes rule-making process
  • Allows for the expungement of criminal records of individuals who have been convicted of possession up to 2.5 ounces
  • Would ban smoking or vaping of marijuana in public places, permitted only in private residence
  • Tax Revenue Changes
    • Increases excise tax to 15%
    • Revenue distribution
      • 28%, up to $80M per year, to fund the construction and renovation of county jails
      • 16%, up to $45M per year, to fund peace officer training. Would increase to 19% after first five years
      • 14%, up to $40M per year, to fund law enforcement continuing education costs
      • 9%, up to $25M per year, to OhioMHAS to fund substance use treatment, prevention, and education programs. Would increase to 11% after first five years
      • 9%, up to $25M per year, for OhioMHAS to fund and administer the 988 suicide prevention hotline
      • 5%, up to $15M per year, for a five-year program which the Attorney General reimburses certain costs associated with expungement for marijuana possession
      • 5%, up to $15 million per year, to fund local drug task forces
  • Advertising/Marketing Restrictions
    • Packaging cannot use any graphic, picture, or drawing that bears any resemblance to a cartoon character or any fictional character whose target audience is children
    • Ban products shaped like bears, cartoons or fruit. Advertisements could not be marketed to those under 21 years old.

For more information on the different legislative proposals as compared to Issue 2, click here.

November 2023

Election Day Recap

State Issues

  • Issue 1 – Abortion Rights – PASSED
    • Goes into effect on December 7 (30 days after passage)
  • Issue 2 – Recreational Marijuana – PASSED
    • Goes into effect on December 7 (30 days after passage)

Local Issues/Levies

  • Issue 10 – Canal Winchester Local School District – Levy (Substitute) - PASSED
    • 10.2 mills, $357 for each $100,000 of the county auditor’s appraised value, 5 years, commencing in 2024
  • Issue 11 – Columbus City School District – Levy (Additional) – PASSED
    • Operating expenses (3 mills) and Permanent Improvements (4.7 mills)
    • 7.7 mills, $269.50 for each $100,000 of the county auditor’s appraised value; continuing period of time; commencing 2024
  • Issue 12 – Dublin City School District – Levy (Additional) - PASSED
    • Bond – Facility construction
      • $145,000,000; 1.99 mills; $70 for each $100,000 of the county auditor’s appraised value; 30 yeas
    • Levy – Current operating expenses
      • 7.9 mills; $277 for each $100,000 of the county auditor’s appraised value; continuing period of time; commencing 2023
  • Issue 14 – Groveport Madison Local School District – Levy (Renewal) - PASSED
    • 6.68 mills, $170 for each $100,000 of the county auditor’s appraised value; continuing period of time; commencing 2024
  • Issue 16 – Columbus Metropolitan Library – Levy (Additional) - PASSED
    • 1.5 mills; $53 for each $100,000 of the county auditor’s appraised value; continuing period of time; commencing 2023

Issue 2 - Recreation Marijuana

Following the passage of Issue 2, the measure will allow the adult-use sale, purchase and possession of cannabis for Ohioans who are 21 and older. Going into effect on Dec. 7, it will permit adults to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, up to 15 grams of marijuana concentrate and grow up to six plants at home. However, recreational marijuana will not be immediately available to purchase in dispensaries, as the first sales cannot occur until the newly established Division of Cannabis Control completes the rulemaking and licensing processes. The division has nine months to outline the criteria for certifying facilities.

Governor Mike DeWine and legislative leaders have indicated that they intend to make changes to the approved ballot measure language. Specifically, DeWine said he had several goals for changes to Issue 2:

  • Protect children from marijuana advertising and edibles
  • Ensure the state does not see an increase in cases of impaired driving
  • Protect the public from exposure to marijuana smoke

We will be monitoring this issue closely and will be sure to keep ADAMH providers updated on the proposed changes.

October 2023

DEA Extends Certain Pandemic Era Flexibilities Through 2024

On Oct. 6, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) announced that they would once again extend pandemic era rules for prescribing controlled substances via telemedicine. The temporary rule would extend these telemedicine flexibilities for prescribing controlled substances until the end of 2024. The extension allows patients to be prescribed controlled substances via telehealth without the requirement of first seeing a provider in-person.

September 2023

Comments Requested for Rule to Strengthen Federal Mental Health and Addiction Parity Law

In July, the Biden Administration proposed new rules to advance insurance parity — the basic idea that mental health condition and substance use disorder care are covered at the same level of care for physical health conditions. The proposed rule requires health insurers to determine how their practices affect access to mental healthcare and will make it easier to stop insurers from discriminating.

Please consider submitting a comment on the importance of ensuring equal treatment of mental health and substance use disorder care by insurance plans. Read more about the proposed rule and submit comments electronically by Oct. 2.

Reach out to Monica Cerrezuela if you have questions or need help drafting a letter from your organization.

August 2023

Great Minds Fellowship Information Released

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Ohio Department of Higher Education have released information on the Great Minds Fellowship, a behavioral health workforce recruitment and retention initiative.

Beginning in fall 2023, Great Minds Fellows at participating colleges and universities will be eligible for up to $10,000 during their undergraduate and graduate studies to assist with the costs of obtaining their degrees or certificates, paid internships at one of Ohio’s Community Behavioral Health Centers (CBHC), and the costs of required license and certification preparation and exams.

CBHCs are also eligible to receive state funds for internship site support, as well as post-graduate recruitment and retention of Great Minds Fellows. For more information on the Great Minds Fellowship, including accessing guidance documents for CBHCs, visit the Department of Education's website.

July 2023

State Budget Signed

Last week, Gov. Mike DeWine signed into law the state operating budget for fiscal years 2024-2025. ADAMH is pleased that behavioral health funding and policy priorities remained in the final bill, including:

  • 10% increase in Medicaid Reimbursement Rates for community behavioral health services
  • $46.5 million across the biennium to support the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
  • $8 million increase in Residential State Supplement funding each fiscal year
  • $15 million increase in Hospital Services funding each fiscal year, resulting in an increase of psychiatric bed capacity
  • Additional funding to the Continuum of Care line item, which ensures ADAMH Boards do not receive a cut
  • $50 million in FY24 ARPA funding towards Pediatric Behavioral Health
  • Overall increase in funding for Prevention & Wellness and Criminal Justice line items

The final budget bill is a strong step forward in helping to address some of our community’s most pressing needs – including workforce, crisis services, housing supports and prevention programs. Over the coming weeks and months, we will continue to monitor the implementation and distribution of funds allocated in the state budget.

June 2023

State Budget Update

Last week, the Ohio Senate passed its version of the budget. From a health and human services standpoint, the Senate made deep cuts to many social safety net programs, but was favorable toward many behavioral health budget priorities:

  • Increase the Continuum of Care funding - Senate removed earmarks and added additional funding to ensure ADAMH boards would not receive any funding cuts
  • Restore investment in Residential State Supplement funding - Senate added an additional $8 million in each fiscal year to return to Gov. DeWine’s proposed funding amount
  • Maintain 988 Suicide and Crisis Response funding - Senate maintained the $46.5 million across the biennium for 988
  • Restore the Hospital Services funding to the as-introduced amount - Senate added an additional $15 million in each fiscal year, as compared to House version
  • Restore the Criminal Justice Services funding to the as-introduced amount - Senate added an additional $9 million in FY24, as compared to House version
  • Restore Prevention and Wellness funding to the as-introduced amount - Senate maintained House funding levels which reduces line item by $6.8 million each fiscal year, as compared to Governor DeWine’s proposed funding amount
  • Support an additional 6.5% increase in Medicaid Reimbursement Rates to get to a 20% - Senate maintained House funding levels, which equals a 13.5% increase for community behavioral health reimbursement rates

The state budget bill is not final and is subject to changes over the next two weeks during Conference Committee. ADAMH will be reaching out to legislators to encourage them to keep many of the positive changes included in the Senate-version of the budget.

May 2023

State Budget Update

House Bill 33 has officially made its way over to the Senate and budget hearings continue to take place in Senate committees. The House passed version of the budget made significant funding cuts to the OhioMHAS budget. ADAMH is advocating to senators for the following requests:

  • Increase funding in the Continuum of Care line (ALI 336-421) so that there is enough funding available, outside of set asides and earmarks, to ensure that ADAMH Boards receive a base allocation of at least $71,989,846 in each year of the biennium. This would represent flat funding for the ADAMH Board allocations, which have not been increased for several years.
  • Support an additional $143 million investment in Medicaid community behavioral health services to stabilize and strengthen the behavioral health workforce.
  • Restore the Hospital Services line (ALI 336-412) to the as-introduced amount to ensure continuation of state hospital operations at current capacity levels and allow for planned expansion of necessary bed capacity in the amount of 80 new beds.
  • Restore the Criminal Justice Services line (ALI 336-422) to the as-introduced amount to ensure that local services, including services in local jails, are able to continue. The increased investment will also allow for enhancing forensic services.
  • Restore the investment in the Residential State Supplement line (ALI 336-510). Returning to the as introduced amount would ensure that adult care facilities (ACFs) are able to continue operations to provide housing for individuals with mental illness.
  • Restore the Prevention and Wellness line (ALI 336-406) to the as-introduced amount in order to maintain and expand prevention activities, with a specific focus on suicide prevention.

Ohio Senate Delegation - Central Ohio

Franklin County

Outside Franklin County

  • Senator Andrew Brenner (R-19) *
    • Represents Delaware, Knox, Holmes, and Coshocton Counties
    • Sits on Senate Finance Committee
  • Senator Bill Reineke (R-26)
    • Represents Union, Marion, Morrow, Wyandot, Crawford, Seneca and Sandusky Counties
    • Sits on Senate Finance Committee
  • Senator Stephanie Kunze (R-16)
    • Represents Madison and Pickaway Counties and a portion of Franklin County
  • Senator Tim Schaffer (R-20)
    • Represents Fairfield and Licking Counties and portion of Perry County
    • Sits on Senate Insurance Committee

April 2023

State Budget Advocacy: Join Our Efforts

ADAMH is advocating for a number of items in the proposed State of Ohio FY 2024-2025 Operating Budget that present tremendous opportunity to support our work in the behavioral health field.

  • 988: Maintain the 988 funding of $46.5 million across the biennium to fully support the 988 call, text and chat capabilities across the state.
  • Workforce: Support amendment HC0294 to increase Medicaid rates for community behavioral health services by an additional 10 percent, for a total of a 20 percent increase, to stabilize and strengthen the behavioral health workforce.
  • Housing supports: Maintain the increased investments in Residential State Supplement to support the expansion of recovery housing and supports services.
  • Youth mental health: Maintain the Student Wellness and Success Fund spending requirements to ensure 50 percent of funds are used towards physical and mental health services of students.

Want to help advocate for these budget items? There are several ways you can get involved. View key budget advocacy opportunities. Access a sample state budget advocacy letter.

Legislative Day

On March 29, the ADAMH Board of Franklin County participated in a joint legislative day hosted by the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities, NAMI Ohio and the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation. ADAMH, along with representatives from NAMI Franklin County and the Franklin County Suicide Prevention Coalition, met with a total of nine Franklin County legislative offices.

March 2023

State Budget Update

The House continues to hold committee hearings on the state budget bill. We will keep you updated as it continues to move through the legislative process.

Medicaid Unwinding

As a reminder, the State of Ohio has returned to resuming routine Medicaid eligibility operations. It is critical that Medicaid members take the necessary steps to update their contact information, respond to requests for information (including renewal packets), or transition to other coverage if they are no longer eligible for Medicaid.

For additional resources about the Medicaid Unwinding process, please check out the Ohio Department of Medicaid’s Communications Partner Packet.

Ohio Chemical Dependency Board: Changes Coming to Grace Periods

Beginning April 6, the grace period to reinstate an inactive/lapsed certificate or license with the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals (CDP) Board, with a late fee, will move to one year from its expiration date. This grace period begins once a credential expires and only applies to those certificate/licenses which are renewable.

If you currently have a certificate/license with an expiration date of April 5, 2022, or earlier in inactive/lapsed status and you do not renew by April 5, 2023, your certificate/license will move to inactive, expired statue. Questions? Please call the CDP Board at 614.387.1110 or email

Ohio Launches Data Dashboards to Report Overdoses and Substance Use

The State of Ohio is making behavioral health data from multiple agencies accessible in a single location for the first time. This dashboard provides a county and state-level picture of long-term trends in opioid use disorder, overdoses, and treatment. Franklin County data is included as part of the dashboard. View the Data Dashboard.

February 2023

Medicaid Unwinding Process Underway

The Ohio Department of Medicaid has begun the Medicaid Unwind process as of Feb. 1. As every Medicaid client will need to go through the process of redetermination, it is critical that Medicaid members ensure that their contact information is up to date and that they respond to requests for information and their renewal packets that will be mailed to them.

How to Update Contact Information

  • Phone: 1-844-640-6446. Help is available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Online: Members with an existing Ohio Benefits Self-Service Portal (SSP) account can report changes online After logging in, they should click the “Access my Benefits” tile, then click “Report a Change to my Case” from the dropdown and follow the prompts.
  • Contacting their County JFS: Ohio Medicaid members can find their CDJFS by selecting their county from the dropdown at

For more information about Ohio’s Medicaid Unwind Process, check out the Ohio Department of Medicaid’s Communications Partner Packet. It includes information and graphics that you can socialize with your networks.

State Budget Process Underway

The House Finance Committee has begun hearings on the State Fiscal Year 2024-2025 Operating Budget. Directors from the Departments of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Medicaid, Aging, and Developmental Disabilities testified as a panel on Feb. 8 about their respective budget proposals. Highlights of their proposals include:

  • Increased Medicaid reimbursement rates for community behavioral health services
  • Funding to support 988 for the next two years
  • Enhancing forensic center capacity for court-ordered evaluations and monitoring
  • Creation of the State of Ohio Action for Resiliency Network (SOAR), which is charged with leading groundbreaking research to better understand risk factors, prevention efforts, and treatment practices for mental illness and addiction

Budget Resources and Links

January 2023

Get to Know Your Franklin County Statehouse Delegation

The members of the 135th Ohio General Assembly were officially sworn into office on Jan. 3. While there are many familiar faces, we have a few new members who were elected in 2022 to represent Franklin County.

Review Timeline for Ohio's Stage Budget Process

As Gov. DeWine is expected to introduce his proposed state budget at the end of January, it’s important to know the timeline as the budget process unfolds.

  • By Jan. 31: Governor Releases the Executive Budget
  • February - April: Budget Deliberated in House of Representatives
  • April - June: Budget Deliberated in Senate
  • June: Conference Committee Meets to Reconcile Differences
  • By June 30: Governor Signs Budget Bill

Keep a look out for more information about the state budget in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out The Center for Community Solutions Ohio Budget Process 2024-2025: Primer and Timeline for more information about the state budget process.

Lame Duck Update

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