Legislative Update: Mental Health

Your voices were heard with our letter writing campaign! Thank you for participating! Here is an update on the legislation mentioned in our mail pieces.

We urged a “NO” vote for:
SB1373 – Group homes; written notice prior to issuance of license – This bill was originally passed by the Senate Local Government committee but then was reconsidered and was left in the committee with no further action, effectively killing the bill.

We urged a “YES” vote for:
SB1020 – Registration of peer recovery specialists and qualified mental health professionals by the Board of Counseling – This bill passed both the House and Senate and has been sent to Governor McAuliffe for action by March 27, 2017. If he signs it, it will be come law on July 1, 2017.

SB933 – Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) training; jail officers; mental health first aid – This bill was incorporated into SB940 below.

SB940 – Mental health screening of prisoners at local correctional facilities – This bill passed the Senate 40-0 and was sent to the House. The House Courts of Justice Committee reported the bill and referred it to Appropriations unanimously. It was then killed by the Public Safety subcommittee of the House Appropriations committee and no further action was taken. This means that the bill was not funded in the budget.

Thank you for all of your phone calls, emails, and postcards on behalf on a few key bills that will/would have helped reform our mental health policies. Though the General Assembly failed to pass some of our bills, we are encouraged by your advocacy about our mental health policies and initiatives! Stay tuned for the next steps!

If you are interested in working with the Mental Health Reform Organizers, please contact Simone at SSibley@newvirginiamajority.org



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