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County Commission votes on GRT increases for the voter approved Crisis Triage Center: Please let your voice be heard on June 27th!

Last night the county commission voted to delay deciding two GRT increases, one that includes support for behavioral health and operational funds for the voter-approved Crisis Triage Center. Behavioral health includes substance use disorder and mental illness.

Former Commissioner Chavez, a detention facility official, and I spoke in favor of the behavioral health increase. A few public safety officers spoke in favor of that part of the increase that would hire additional public safety professionals. Three people spoke against the increase. They argued the county should meet its needs through efficiency instead of tax increases. They also questioned whether the County would spend the money as intended. There was also concern about not meeting with the City first, and confusion as to whether the non-behavioral health GRT increase would be subject to a voter referendum.

When the County summarized the 1/8th percent GRT increase (including behavioral health), they said $1.5 million of the $4.6 million increase would be allocated to operating the Crisis Triage Center.

In my opinion, these funds for behavioral health were delayed until the June 27th BCC meeting because members of the behavioral health community and families affected by behavioral illnesses did not come forward and speak in support of the increase.  If behavioral health advocates don’t come forward at the June 27th public hearing, we won’t have a County Crisis Triage Center and County elected officials will receive a clear message that Santa Fe doesn’t have urgent, unmet behavioral health needs.

Please let your voice be heard on June 27th.

Tom

505- 412-0860

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