News Release


For More Information:

William R. Steinhaus
Dutchess County Executive
(845) 486-2000

For Immediate Release

October 27, 2000


Steinhaus Proposes Year 2001 Executive Budget Embracing New and Enhanced Human Service Initiatives:  Impact of Kendra’s Law

 Poughkeepsie -- Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus will submit a Year 2001 Executive Budget to the Legislature which includes a broad array of services for the people of Dutchess County in the areas of health, mental health, and social services. The Year 2001 Steinhaus Executive Budget will propose no new property taxes -- his sixth budget in nine years with no property tax increase.

County Executive Steinhaus said, "As we in Dutchess County strengthen our focus on making a difference in the lives of families, we continue to work with others to develop creative and cost effective ways to deliver the myriad of mandated services required by the state and federal governments. Through the use of collaborations and long range planning, our human service professionals are also expert at tailoring flexible grant dollars to areas and populations in need --locally identified and locally delivered -- to ensure the future good health and productivity of our entire community and all our residents."

The Year 2001 Executive Budget reflects the costs of a major initiative from New York State as a result of Kendra’s Law, legislation designed to protect the public and individuals living with mental illness by ensuring that seriously mentally ill outpatients are safely and effectively treated. According to state officials the legislation is intended to build on New York’s community-based treatment system and is named in memory of Kendra Webdale who was killed after being pushed into the path of a New York City subway train by a mentally ill person who had a history of non-compliance with treatment. More....

Under Kendra’s Law, the State is instituting a statewide grant program totaling $125 million dollars (half for New York City; half for the remainder of the state) for counties to enable them to provide mentally ill persons with the intensive case management services and medications they need. Dutchess County will provide approximately $1.3 million dollars of services to implement the case management program it must provide under Kendra’s Law. These dollars are 100% reimbursable from New York State.

By law, the program is mandated to be under direct county supervision which will require new staff resources and administrative expenses. However, the direct services will be provided through a contract between the county and a local not-for-profit provider of services to the mentally ill.

According to Dr. Kenneth M. Glatt, Ph.D., Dutchess County Commissioner of Mental Hygiene, "The 2001 budget for mental health services reflects the most significant single year infusion of new state funding in over two decades. With these additional funds, we will be able to provide seriously mentally ill adults and emotionally disturbed children living in our County with expanded intensive and supportive case management services which will improve the quality of their lives and mitigate against unnecessary relapse."

The Dutchess County Department of Mental Hygiene is responsible by law for the planning and oversight of comprehensive community based prevention, treatment and rehabilitative services for people who are developmentally disabled, chemically dependent or mentally ill. Today through good management and system planning the department will have 111 fewer positions in 2001 than in 1992. It has transferred its mental health and chemical dependency outpatient clinic programs, thereby reducing the role of Dutchess County as a direct provider of services while strengthening the integrity and quality of available programs it oversees.


2000 Press Releases