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New York mental health and disability advocates are crediting strong advocacy efforts and legislative support with helping to restore funding for a number of budget priorities, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI) funding and community day treatment programs and keeping mental health medications out of the state's Medicaid preferred drug program. and preserving the implementation date of the state's SHU (special housing units) law.
In December, Gov. David Paterson unveiled his executive budget for fiscal 2009-2010, which began April 1, with a goal to close a $15.4 billion budget gap. Advocates were concerned about a number of proposed cuts which they said would have adversely impacted the mental health community. The New York Assembly last week voted to reject many of the proposed cuts. The state Senate is expected to follow suit, advocates said.
The budget proposed cutting funding for the SHU bill by 50 percent and delaying the implementation of the SHU law to 2014 from 2011.The SHU law bans the solitary …