May 26, 2004

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, I have today vetoed House Bill 943 - Maryland Medical Assistance Program - Carve-Out of Specialty Mental Health Services.

This bill prohibits the Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene from ending the exclusion of specialty mental health services, from the program requiring Medical Assistance Program recipients, to enroll in managed care organizations without specified approval. It prohibits the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene from contracting with a behavioral managed care organization to provide specialty mental health services without specified approval.

Senate Bill 756, which was passed by the General Assembly and signed by me on May 11, 2004, accomplishes the same purpose. Therefore, it is not necessary for me to sign House Bill 943.

Very truly yours,
Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr.