State of the Commonwealth

January 12, 2012

On the evening of the first day of the General Assembly Session, the Governor is invited to give his State of the Commonwealth Address.  In his address this evening, he emphasized private-sector job creation, reforming the state’s pension system to make it sustainable, accountability and innovation in the K-12 education system, completing higher education reform, transportation, and a fiscally responsible, structurally balanced budget.  The following is his comment on behavioral health and developmental services: We will continue our recent work to dramatically improve mental health funding. Last year we invested $60 million in new funds to strengthen community care capacity. I have already authorized 60 new home and community based waiver slots, specifically for individuals ready to transition from institutions back to the community. Now, in this new budget, I am asking you to put another $30 million into mental health. We must transition more individuals from institutions to community based care. It’s the right thing to do. Medicaid spending has increased by 1600 percent over the last 29 years. During the 2011 session, substantial ways to improve the quality, cost effectiveness, and program integrity of the Medicaid program were enacted.  We are now moving forward with the statewide adoption of care coordination.  This will allow state government to better manage Medicaid expenditures, while ensuring Virginians receive the high quality health care they need.