Addiction treatment passes House

The House passed a bill on Friday that is vital to keeping open a program at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo.

Funding for the Circle Program is contingent upon passage of HB1043.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Tom Massey, R-Poncha Springs, addresses how Colorado enforces medical marijuana laws, but carries a provision to transfer $1 million to Circle from community treatment centers with patients who suffer from mental illness and addiction. Circle treats the same population and has a high rate of success.

“It’s really rewarding to know that I was able to make a difference in keeping funding for this vitally important program,”said House Minority Leader Sal Pace, D-Pueblo.

Pace was the architect of the funding structure that for the past year has funneled money to the community treatment programs, where he said the kitty was spread too thin to achieve its intended impact.

Gov. John Hickenlooper recommended closing Circle as part of his proposed budget-balancing package for fiscal year 2011-12. But the Joint Budget Committee agreed to fund the program as long as the bill diverting money to it passes.

Next, a Senate committee will hear the bill. Pace said it is unlikely to encounter as much resistance in the Senate as it did in the House.

via : Chieftain

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