Legislative News

  • Wednesday, February 20, 2019 2:02 PM | Kendall Iturrioz (Administrator)

    The following bill has been introduced into the 116th U.S. Congress in both the House and the Senate and needs the support of our Florida members of Congress:

    H.R. 945/S. 286 Mental Health Access Improvement Act of 2019

    Why this bill is important*:
    Medicare does not include licensed professional counselors in its coverage. Medicare beneficiaries are often at higher risk for mental health problems, such as depression and opioid addiction, yet older Americans are the least likely to receive mental health services. Only 1 in 5 older Americans receive needed mental health care, according to NAMI.
    Medicaid recipients can see an LPC and Medicaid will cover them-until they reach 65. Many individuals with private health insurance have mental health coverage but, once they retire, find that they can no longer afford to see an LPC. The passage of this legislation will enable Medicare to help the 4 out 5 seniors currently not receiving much-needed mental health care.

    As of 2/19/19, no Florida members of Congress have expressed their support of House Bill H.R. 945 or Senate Bill S. 286 by co-sponsoring this legislation. Please contact your House Representative and Senators Rubio and Scott and urge them to co-sponsor this legislation.

    If you are a current ACA member, you can click the link below to log in and send your message to your Florida Representative and our Florida Senators via ACA legislative action initiative:


    Or contact your Representative and Senators directly. You can identify your members of Congress and access e-mail, phone number, and mailing address information here:


    *summary text on H.R. 945/S. 286 resourced from ACA legislative alert 2/15/19.

  • Wednesday, February 20, 2019 2:00 PM | Kendall Iturrioz (Administrator)



    The following bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on 2/8/19 and needs the support of Florida Representatives:

    H.R. 1109, the Mental Health Services for Students Act, to fund on-site mental health services for youth in schools nationwide.

    Once passed, the Mental Health Services for Students Act would*: 
    • Provide access to more comprehensive on-site mental health care services for students and their communities by revising, increasing funding for, and expanding the scope of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Project AWARE Grants for State Educational Agencies which promote youth mental health awareness among schools and communities and improved connections to services for school-age youth.

    • Allow teachers to concentrate on teaching by providing comprehensive, culturally and linguistically appropriate services to support students in need of mental health care and those at-risk for behavioral mental health disorders. 

    • Promote positive mental health education and support for parents, siblings, and other family members of children with mental health disorders, as well as concerned members of the community. 
    • Create a total of $200 million in grant funding as well as educate the entire school community on the warning signs and symptoms of mental illness to help identify and treat mental health issues before they escalate.

    The following Florida Representatives have already co-sponsored this bill as of 2/19/19:

                Rep. Wilson, Frederica S. [D-FL-24]*

                Rep. Soto, Darren [D-FL-9]*

                Rep. Murphy, Stephanie N. [D-FL-7]*

                Rep. Castor, Kathy [D-FL-14]*

                Rep. Demings, Val Butler [D-FL-10]

    Representatives Wilson, Soto, Murphy, and Castor were original co-sponsors of the bill.

    If your Representative is already a co-sponsor, consider sending a thank you to them. You can access their contact information by clicking the Representative’s link above.

    If you are not sure of your Congressional District or who your Representative is, find your representative here: https://whoismyrepresentative.com/

    If your Representative has not yet co-sponsored this bill, you can contact them and request they co-sponsor H.R. 1109 as follows:

    For current ACA members: Click the link below to log in and send your message:

    Contact your Representative directly and request that they co-sponsor H.R. 1109. You can identify your member of Congress and access e-mail, phone number, and mailing address information here:


    *summary text on H.R. 1109 resourced from ACA legislative alert 2/15/19.

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