Mental Health Providers file suit to get State funding back

    Behavioral health providers in Pennsylvania have filed a lawsuit in federal district court to regain funding lost in the state budget impasse.

    Behavioral health providers in Pennsylvania have filed a lawsuit in federal district court to regain funding lost in the state budget impasse.

    The suit challenges the Rendell administration’s selective veto of some state spending, including money for behavioral health contractors. To keep state government running during the budget stalemate, Rendell approved a stopgap budget last month, while vetoing billions in human services spending.

    Joseph Kelley of Kelley and Murphy, a Philadelphia firm, is the plaintiff’s attorney. He says Rendell’s veto cut off funds for essential services by outside providers while keeping state employees on the payroll.

    Kelley: Foster parents are not receiving their daily stipend of $10-$30 a day to feed and clothe and care for these foster children. While at the same time, certain administrative staff in the governor’s office and many non-essential staff people are performing their regular duties and getting paid!

    Plaintiffs in the case say they hope the lawsuit will result in release of mandated federal and state funds for agencies that provide services like mental health care and drug treatment. The Rendell administration declined comment.

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