Kinsey 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline bill passes House

HARRISBURG, June 14 – Today, legislation (H.B. 1305) introduced by state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., passed in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and will head to the state Senate for future consideration.

Kinsey said the bill would establish sustainable funding for Pennsylvania’s 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline in line with Gov. Josh Shapiro’s budget proposal. The lifeline was launched in July of 2022 and allows anyone in the U.S. to call, chat or text 988 to receive support and resources during a suicide, mental health or substance use crisis.

The proposed legislation would be similar to how communities fund 911 by creating a monthly fee on all wireless devices to ensure these emergency services will not experience any funding gaps.

“With the ongoing mental health crisis affecting Pennsylvanians across the commonwealth, it’s crucial we ensure such a critical resource in 988 is funded sustainably so they can be reliable to help folks suffering with their mental health,” Kinsey said. “Today, we took a step toward strengthening and solidifying this lifeline that can help so many. I now urge my colleagues in the Senate to get this bill to the governor’s desk so it can be signed into law.”