January 22, 2014 Legislative Highlights

The Senate subcommittee on mental health met this morning and rolled several bills into one “omnibus” mental health bill, to be carried by Senator Deeds under the number SB 260.  The revised bill extends the emergency custody order from 4 to 24 hours, eliminates the requirement that an actual facility of detention be named in the Temporary Detention Order, and asks the Governor’s task force on mental health to consider alternatives to transportation for someone under an ECO or TDO.  Law enforcement and some mental health advocates began to express concerns, but the time for the subcommittee to consider the bills ran out. The bill was reported to full committee, on a vote of 3-2 with one abstention.  The subcommittee chair stated that additional public comment would be received at the full committee meeting on Thursday morning, beginning at 8:30.

The House Courts of Justice subcommittee on mental health will meet Friday afternoon, one half hour after adjournment of the full house.  The full House usually tries to adjourn early on Fridays, so expect this meeting to begin in the late morning or early afternoon.

If you know of proposed legislation, a budget proposal or other issue that you think we should know about, please let us know.  Contact us at info@dLCV.org or at 1-800-552-3962. The disAbility Law Center of Virginia is a private nonprofit organization, dedicated to advancing the rights of people with disabilities in Virginia.  The dLCV may educate policymakers about the impact of proposed legislation.