Thursday, March 23, 2017

Hood brings in the cash

Attorney General Jim Hood issued the following statement:

Attorney General Delivers an Additional $34 Million to the State Treasury

Urges Legislatures to Reopen the Men's Drug Rehab Unit at Whitfield

JACKSON— Attorney General Jim Hood announced that an additional $ 34,441,643.60 recovered by his office was delivered to the state Treasury today, and he urged the Mississippi Legislature to appropriate about $7 million to the Department of Mental Health. This includes $1,985,461 for the reopening of the Chemical Dependency Unit for men at the Mississippi State Hospital at Whitfield. This would reopen 25 beds which served 336 male patients in FY16, but were closed last year due to budget cuts. The other $5,350,400 would go to fund the state’s Intellectual Disabilities/Developmental Disabilities (ID/DD) Home and Community Based Waiver program.

After an $8.3 million cut to its FY2017 budget, the Department of Mental Health closed two Chemical Dependency Units for men at the Mississippi State Hospital and East Mississippi Hospital. Since then, mid-year budget cuts totaling $3.5 million have further restricted the department’s finances. The women’s unit at Whitfield remains open.

“Many counties have relied on the men's drug and alcohol facility at Whitfield to treat those committed by court order to stay at Whitfield until they are released. I have received pleas from lawyers for and family members of men committed for drug and alcohol treatment to see if we can reopen the Whitfield unit. These lawyers and family members expressed concern that patients can walk away from local facilities, whereas they were housed in a secure environment on the Whitfield campus. It is amazing to me what a high level of substance abuse treatment the folks provide at Whitfield with little funding. I respectfully request that the Legislature merely appropriate $2 million of the $34 million check I sent them today to reopen the state-run chemical dependency unit for men at Whitfield."

A mother who is a nurse, wrote me about her struggle to help her 22-year-old son who is a drug addict. She states in her letter, “He was admitted to a community chemical dependency unit. He stayed 7 days. He was allowed to walk out after a familiar person was there as a speaker and he spiraled into mental breakdown and walked away.” She continued, “He needs to be in a facility on lockdown. The community CDU's provided are for milder cases and willing participants. There is a need for Mississippi State Hospital Chemical Dependency unit for those unwilling participants. At the present, there is no place to help these guys. My son will end up in a correctional facility without the necessary medical help to become and stay sober.” She concluded by saying, “It is wrong to jail these individuals for their addiction causing behavior without addressing the addiction itself.”

An attorney who works with those seeking help with drug addiction wrote: “The closure of the State Hospital as a treatment option for males is a true tragedy.” He continued, “For the last several years, I have sought commitment to the State Hospital for many people charged with crimes. It is working! Rather than jailing these people, I have placed them where they need to be - a treatment center. Now, Whitfield is closed to treat males in this group. Local mental health centers don't work because a person so committed can just leave - which they do. In 2015, 847 males were committed to Whitfield - now zero.”

Attorney General Hood stated, "If some Legislators do not care about the families of those addicted to drugs, then they should at least be concerned that the cost to taxpayers of doing nothing is more than the cost of treatment. Many of these patients wind up in county jails with counties having to pay the cost of warehousing them.”

“I also respectfully request that the Legislature appropriate $5,350,400 to the Department of Mental Health to continue to support the 2,515 people who are able to remain in their homes and communities because of the ID/DD Home and Community Based Waiver,” Attorney General Hood said.

The ID/DD Home and Community Based Waiver program is a Medicaid funded program that allows reimbursement to providers when serving qualified individuals in need of support and treatment in the community.

“The Legislature has been funding this program for several years,” Attorney General Hood said. “Without this funding, services to many enrollees would be reduced, the number of enrollees would be reduced, or a combination of both. This funding will also assist us in defending the state in pending litigation.”

In the last year, Attorney General Hood has delivered two checks totaling $100,158,623.58 in addition to this $34.4 million dollar check today. His office delivered a check in the amount of $66,207,318.37 on Feb. 17, 2016, and a second check for $33,951,305.21 on Oct. 7, 2016. “This amount is enough to cover the cost of the Attorney General’s Office for four years,” Attorney General Hood said. During his tenure, Attorney General Hood has recovered more than $3.3 billion from out of state corporations that have violated Mississippi law.

The majority of the $34.4 million delivered to the Treasury today is from the multistate settlement with Moody’s Corporation, Investors Service and Analytics, Inc. Attorney General Hood and Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen led the investigation and litigation in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Justice which culminated in a nearly $864 million settlement for 21 states, the District of Columbia and the federal government in January.


Anonymous said...

Jim Hood won't win in 2019.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely true that we need a CDU for both male and females in our state hospital. It was a good program and should not have been cut. I can think of many other ways to cut budgets than this.

I Stand With General Hood.. said...

His request sounds reasonable to me. I'm certainly not a democrat and won't jump up and down pissing and moaning about who might run for governor and why Hood might be grand-standing. Point is, he is correct.

We do, in this state, need the defunded services. Not all of us can sit in the governor's mansion and have somebody control our liquor intake or counsel with us regarding our various addictions.

Anonymous said...

I'm votin' fer Hood cuz thar's nuthin more nostalgic than a White Mississippi Democrat.

Anonymous said...

Feel, Feelip, and Tater will probably want to donate the money to build a wall.

Anonymous said...

9:30 don't look now, but we've all already donated money for the wall and will continue until we get it up. Much like YOU will continue until you can get it up.

Anonymous said...

dicTATEr isn't bringing in money to the state like Hood does. 2019 can't come soon enough.

Anonymous said...

so the legislature feels the CDU at whitfield should only be open for women. i guess they never heard of the equal protection clause of the united states constitution. proving yet again, most legislators would not know the constitution from a constellation.

Anonymous said...

Tate, Gunn and Fill have ruined this state, and I am a Republican. Though I will continue to vote Republican in national elections, I am changing to a Democrat in local elections.

Anonymous said...

@8:39 AM you keep posting the same comment over and over and over again. You're friggin' anonymous, we don't register by political party in Mississippi, nobody gives a damn what you are, were or how you plan to vote going forward. Give it a rest.

Anonymous said...

I'd be curious to know how many of the state's top business' taxes paid per year have to be added together before they equal an amount that Hood brings into the state per year.

Anonymous said...

The legislature, Tate, Philip, or Phil did not close the CDU at Whitfield. That was done by the highly over funded Department of Mental Health.

DMH closed this unit because it is something they did that can get plenty of big ass tears and it's something Hood can jump on the bandwagon about.

Legislature cut the overall budget of DMH. There was plenty of fat in the budget that needed to be trimmed but instead of taking that route they closed this init.

Commentators on this site love to bash the Dept of Education for its waste but don't recognize that the same situation exists in most other agencies including DMH. Hood needs to leave the appropriating up to the legislative branch -of which he is no part.

Anonymous said...

"... These lawyers and family members expressed concern that patients can walk away from local facilities, whereas they were housed in a secure environment on the Whitfield campus..."

Wow...remember the Oxford House debate and the very same arguments were made that the residents have no supervision and can just walk away. I guess it was ok to put Oxford House locations in our neighborhoods, as long as a CDU was available for the really really really addicted.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad Hood, whatever his motivations, is getting money for Mississippi and protecting our citizens from fraud, crooks , etc.
I think he's as entitled to an opinion on how our legislature or DMH spends money just as the rest of us are.
I think making every f'ing thing that happens in society a partisan issue is destroying this country! Can we please try to limit our criticisms of any politicians to their actual actions and not keep this gossipy, personality, partisan BS going?
Every damn politician ought to be putting his community, his State and our Nation ahead of his party! You die hard party members who support the party no matter how stupid their policy position or action are just enabling our demise!
Here's your hint: Obamacare was flawed ( and opting out didn't help). The GOP had 8 f'ing years to come up with a plan. The Dems had 4 years of control to fix the flaws. If really smart high school students had that damn long to study health care and come up with a plan, it'd be detailed and they could tell you what it would cost and how it would work! They'd have actually read every word of ACA and which parts were not working.
This is absolutely crazy , emotional, unreasonable crap y'all are engaged in and you are naïve if you think that either party walks on water or is driven by some higher philosophical purpose!

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely crazy , emotional, unreasonable crap y'all are engaged in and you are naïve ...

So said JJ's deranged commenter.

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

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This is definitely a Beaver production.

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