Brief Federal Update: Senate proposed Block Grant Increases

December 7, 2020

There is no agreement (yet) on either a short-term or long-term spending package, yet.  This could indicate the need for a one-week extension of the current stop-gap measure).

Both houses have included expansion of the Block Grants in their spending bills that must be passed by Dec 11 to avoid gov’t shutdown.  If the pandemic package is tied to that spending plan, the overall increase COULD be somewhat significant, because the pandemic relief bill has some important pieces too, to include:

-$10 billion for Broadband

-$5 billion for Opioid Treatment

-$35 billion in new Provider Relief funding

A bit on what’s in the Senate FY2021 bill:

Mental Health – $4 billion, a $194 million increase    As a critical part of both combating opioid abuse and ensuring safety in our schools and communities, the bill prioritizes mental health programs.

Fighting Opioid & Stimulant Abuse – $3.9 billion, an $88 million increase.    Funds are targeted toward improving treatment and prevention efforts; finding alternative pain medications; health workforce needs, especially in our rural communities; and behavioral health. Funding to address opioids has increased by $3.6 billion, since Republicans took over the Senate in FY16. New flexibility is provided to NIH and CDC accounts to combat the increasing level of stimulant use