Dane County Board (copy)

The Dane County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution Thursday outlining a process, including opportunity for public input, for distributing behavioral and mental health funding identified in the 2020 budget. 

Supervisors did not move to consider overriding Executive Joe Parisi’s partial veto of language that was included in a budget amendment adopted by the board surrounding this process. 

"The County Board is committed to inclusive engagement to inform the allocation of this new funding," the resolution states. 

When Parisi signed the 2020 budget, he vetoed language that created a process to develop criteria for the distribution of money from a newly created initiative, the C.J. Tubbs Fund for Hope, Healing and Recovery, in addition to $500,000 for neighborhood centers that provide mental and behavioral health services.

The language was included in the Board of Supervisors amendment, which also added $1 million to the $500,000 that Parisi allocated for the fund.

Parisi vetoed the language on advice from Corporation Counsel that said the Department of Administration has authority over “all aspects of the RFP process,” according to a 2017 memo. An RFP, or request for proposals, process is a competitive method in which proposals are weighed against others.

Previously, Board Chair Sharon Corrigan said supervisors felt that the lack of a public input process in dividing up $2 million was problematic and that the executive’s veto “reduces the authority of the County Board."

The resolution adopted Thursday authorizes the chair of the Health & Human Needs Committee to appoint a subcommittee that will receive a presentation from the Department of Human Services on identified gaps in services and hold a public hearing by Jan. 17, 2020.

“I think the board is really pleased to have the opportunity to have community input,” Corrigan said.

It also says that the Department of Human Services shall develop criteria for the distribution of funds from the community center allocation as well as the C.J. Tubbs Fund in consultation with the Tubbs family and with input from the subcommittee.

The subcommittee will be comprised of one county board member who serves on the Health & Human Needs Committee, one board member from the Public Protection & Judiciary Committee, a representative or designee of the C.J. Tubbs family, two individuals from the community who have lived experience and a former or current service provider who is not working for a provider who will apply for the funds.

Additionally, the resolution calls for the Department of Human Services to issue the competitive requests for proposals for the service contracts as soon as possible after receiving public input.

Finally, the resolution acknowledges that the funding allocation does not reduce other contract approval authority of the Health & Human Needs Committee or the county board.

Supervisor Jamie Kuhn, District 16, highlighted the importance of working together, especially on matters relating to mental and behavioral health.

“The issues we are talking about are serious,” Kuhn said. “They are about our constituents and collaboration starts from the beginning, and it works all the way through the process.”