May 26, 2005

The Honorable Michael E. Busch
Speaker of the House
State House
Annapolis, MD 21401

Dear Mr. Speaker:

In accordance with Article II, Section 17 of the Maryland Constitution, today I have vetoed House Bill 796 - Joint Committee on Access to Mental Health Services - Establishment, Membership, and Duties.

This bill establishes the Joint Committee on Access to Mental Health Services. Specifically, House Bill 796 provides for the membership, tenure, and chairs of the Committee, requires the Committee to monitor access to public mental health services for eligible individuals and medically necessary mental health services for individuals covered by private insurance, and requires the Committee to submit an annual report to the Governor and the General Assembly regarding systemic barriers to access and recommendations to mitigate these barriers. Senate Bill 544, which was passed by the General Assembly and signed by me, accomplishes the same purpose. Therefore, it is not necessary for me to sign House Bill 796.

Very truly yours,
Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr.