Florida Leads on Health and Human Services

Governor DeSantis hopes that all Floridians are able to lead long, healthy and productive lives and understands the importance of helping those in need, including our most vulnerable who are unable to help themselves. This past year we have seen how the impacts of COVID-19 have altered the lives of our residents and their family members. We have seen individuals and families struggle daily with the impacts of the pandemic on employment and the health and welfare of their loved ones. The Governor’s Fiscal Year 2021-22 recommended budget supports Florida’s epidemiological infrastructure and promotes strategies to reduce minority morbidity and mortality.

The budget supports an increase in child welfare funding to protect those who are unable to protect themselves. The Governor’s budget also provides funding for mental health and includes additional funding to help fight the opioid epidemic and to assist our veterans through employment opportunities and community outreach programs. Additionally, the budget provides funding to individuals with disabilities who have the greatest need. The Governor’s recommended budget will continue to make significant investments in improving the lives and prioritizing the wellness and safety of all Floridians.

Improving Health Outcomes

The Governor recommends $9 million in funding to support the Office of Minority Health and Health Equity to develop strategies to reduce health disparities and advance health equity. More than $2.8 million in funding is provided to support additional Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) for medication administration to reduce the spread of HIV in the state.

Child Welfare

The Governor’s budget includes $32.9 million to provide funding for services to children and families who receive services through Florida’s child welfare system. The budget invests $11.9 million for maintenance adoption subsides to support post-adoption services for children who are adopted from foster care. Governor DeSantis understands the impact adoption can have on children’s lives because every child deserves to be happy and healthy in a loving and caring environment.

The recommended budget includes $20.9 million to support foster care parents who serve as caregivers for children who have been removed from their home, early intervention services for substance affected infants and evidence–based practices statewide for mental health, substance abuse and in-home parenting program to comply with the Family First Prevention Services Act.

Opioid Epidemic

Governor DeSantis is committed to continuing the fight against the national opioid epidemic by working with local partners and families affected by this crisis to ensure the needs of individuals during these difficult times are met. His Fiscal Year 2021-22 recommended budget recommends $178 million in total funding to fight the opioid epidemic in Florida and includes $119.9 million in funding from the State Opioid Response Grant to address the opioid crisis by providing evidence-based prevention, medication-assisted treatment and recovery. Additionally, the budget maintains $19.6 million in federal funding to the Department of Health from the Overdose Data to Action grant to enhance drug overdose surveillance and prevention strategies to reduce overdoses.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse

The Governor’s budget provides $53.9 million in funding to provide community based behavioral health services for adults with severe and persistent mental illness and children with emotional disturbances. This funding will also be used to improve the safety of residents and staff at state mental health treatment facilities.

Seniors

The Governor’s budget maintains funding for the Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative waitlist, the Community Care for the Elderly Program and the Home Care for Elderly Program. These programs will continue to provide support for activities of daily living, medical assistance and caregiver support to keep seniors in their homes.

Veterans

The Governor’s budget provides $1.3 million to assist approximately 500 veterans in mentoring, training and networking throughout the state of Florida. The budget provides $22.6 million to support capital improvements, equipment updates, and medical costs for nursing home residents and staffing needs for the two new Veterans’ Nursing Homes including Ardie R. Copas and Lake Baldwin State Veterans Nursing Homes. Additionally, the Governor includes $2.4 million to support the women’s veterans program, assisting women veterans by informing them of health care eligibility, a veterans suicide prevention campaign and other services, counseling and assistance for veterans to help them obtain the resources they need.

Person with Disabilities

The Governor’s Fiscal Year 2021-22 recommended budget provides $36.6 million in funding for a new level of reimbursement for Intermediate Care Facilities to serve individuals with intellectual disabilities who have severe maladaptive behavioral needs who have been classified on the Global Behavioral Service Need Matrix levels four through six (4-6). The budget invests $15 million in funding to allow an additional 306 individuals in crisis to be served through the Agency for Persons with Disabilities waiver program.