A bill to allow the Kansas lottery to sell tickets through vending machines appears destined for the governor’s desk, and mental health advocates are excited. Any increase in lottery proceeds – up to a maximum of $8 million a year – would go to mental health services. A quarter of the extra lottery money would go to mental health clubhouses – day centers for patients in recovery. The rest would go to crisis centers. Bill Persinger, CEO of Valeo Behavioral Health Care in Topeka, says it would help them hire more staff and handle patients with serious conditions.
Crisis centers also could use any extra money to offset the cost of treating uninsured patients. The lottery bill could be sent to Governor Sam Brownback next week, as soon as the House concurs on some Senate amendments.