Statement from Gian Carl Casa, President & CEO of CT Community Nonprofit Alliance, on the biennial budget approved on Wednesday:

“The biennial budget approved yesterday includes significant funding increases for programs that serve some of the most vulnerable citizens for people with disabilities and other human service programs and begins to address more than a decade of underfunding, for which we are very grateful.

“However, the budget does not appear to include any increase whatsoever for Medicaid-funded mental health and substance abuse treatment programs.  It is vitally important that legislative leadership and the Governor address this inequity in legislation that will implement the budget.

“The pandemic has heightened trauma and exacerbated mental health issues, and the opioid epidemic continues to take lives. This is the worst time to leave programs that treat mental health and substance abuse out of an historic funding increase that has been given to so many other community nonprofits.”