Topeka A state cut in social services will mean less money for the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, officials said Tuesday.
David Johnson, chief executive officer of Bert Nash, said the reduction in funds means employees at the mental health center will receive no pay raise this year.
And Johnson said he is planning for even deeper cuts.
State budget revenues have fallen below expectations, producing an approximate shortfall of $140 million in the current fiscal year, and possibly a $1 billion deficit next year. Last week, the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services cut grants to the state’s 27 community mental health centers by $1.8 million.
That means a reduction to Bert Nash of about $70,000 that takes effect in January. Johnson said he thought the state would cut another $265,000 in the next fiscal year, which starts July 1.
Meanwhile, he said, the economic recession also is causing more people to seek assistance. “We operate on a reverse supply-demand curve. The same forces that take more resources away from us cause more people to need our services,” he said. The center serves approximately 7,500 to 8,500 people annually.
Johnson said he hoped incoming President Barack Obama and Congress would approve a stimulus package for states that increased the federal share of Medicaid funding. Without some help, he said, “Our safety net role is being challenged right now.”