December 22, 2022

Cortez Masto: Bipartisan Government Funding Bill Includes Vital Support for Mental Health Care, Law Enforcement, and Affordable Housing

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) voted to pass the bipartisan Fiscal Year 2023 omnibus funding package. This bill now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives and then to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.

The package makes historic investments in mental health, including through legislation Senator Cortez Masto championed to expand mobile crisis services and virtual peer support services for Nevadans navigating mental health crises. The package includes robust funding for local law enforcement and the highest level of funding under the Violence Against Women Act in history. Cortez Masto also passed her bills to extend telehealth services for Nevada seniors and families, provide stable funding for ambulance services, increase investment in affordable housing, and create a new grant program to preserve and revitalize manufactured home communities.

The omnibus package also includes the Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act, legislation Senator Cortez Masto cosponsored to help modernize our electoral count system and prevent attacks on our democracy.

“The support I’m delivering in this omnibus will help hardworking Nevadans across the state,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “This legislation includes critical funding for Nevada’s law enforcement officers, bolsters support for affordable housing, and implements key provisions of my legislation to expand behavioral health crisis services for those in need.”

The omnibus funding package incorporates portions of Senator Cortez Masto’s Behavioral Health Crisis Services Expansion Act to help incentivize and support crisis support services, including those that Nevada has already begun to develop. Specifically, the omnibus will provide increased Medicare payment rates for mental health services delivered by mobile units and provide support for states designing and implementing crisis response services in Medicaid. The omnibus contains provisions based on Senator Cortez Masto’s PEERS Act to ensure that peer support specialist services are covered by Medicare and to help providers understand how to bill for those services. Cortez Masto’s Virtual Peer Support Act is also part of the final omnibus bill to help boost the capacity of peer behavioral health support programs by providing grant funding to support their work, including transitioning to an online setting. 

The package contains text from Senator Cortez Masto’s Manufactured Housing Community Improvement Grant Program Act, which will establish an entirely new federal pilot program to preserve and revitalize eligible manufactured housing communities. Funding for this pilot is set at $225 million – a first-of-its-kind effort to help tackle America’s housing crisis.

Senator Cortez Masto ensured the package once again fully funds the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) program, which is the leading source of criminal justice funding for local police. She also championed increased funding for the Violence Against Women Actwhich this omnibus will fund at the highest funding level ever.

The bipartisan omnibus funding bill also increases funding to the Pell Grant program, allocates billions to combat the epidemic of opioid abuse, invests in programs that will help create more affordable housing across the U.S, and supports community development projects across Nevada. It includes extensions of Senator Cortez Masto’s bipartisan bills to extend Medicare enrollees’ access to telehealth services and to expand access to telehealth services for Americans on high-deductible health plans. It also includes her legislation to preserve and revitalize manufactured home communities across the U.S. and her bipartisan bill to provide survivors of domestic violence with the opportunity to withdraw money from their retirement plans in an emergency. Other priorities Senator Cortez Masto helped secure in this package include the bipartisan Visit America Act to support the travel and tourism industry and resources to increase the outreach and transparency of federal broadband programs through the implementation of Cortez Masto’s bipartisan ACCESS BROADBAND Act. Also in the package is the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which will help ensure employers provide reasonable accommodation to pregnant employees.