SB 179 – This is actually really interesting, but it’s going to take a lot of time, money, and planning, which means it’s going to have trouble getting passed without significant lobbying. It was introduced in a previous session and died in committee, so it’s paddling upstream already. Essentially, the bill would create a registry for mental health treatment facilities. The registry would…
- Include contact information and descriptive details for participating psychiatric facilities throughout the state. This information would also apply to residential crisis stabilization units;
- Provide real-time information regarding the number of beds available at each facility; the type of patient who may be admitted; and level of security; and
- Identify appropriate facilities for detention and treatment of individuals who meet the criteria for temporary detention.
22 other states and the District of Columbia already have directories like this. In January 2016, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on this issue and found beds in hospital psychiatric units in Pennsylvania regularly sit empty due to a lack of direct communication between providers seeking care for these patients and facilities with available services for them. A registry like this, if used properly and supported by the necessary parties, could lower the burden on ER facilities. Considering how many kids and birth parents involved in the child welfare system go to the ER or need immediate mental health treatment, I think this bill is important to our clients; this registry could improve the quality of those services for them as well as for everyone else in the state.
Nothing specific that I saw.
S. 534 – “A bill to prevent the sexual abuse of minors and amateur athletes by requiring the prompt reporting of sexual abuse to law enforcement authorities, and for other purposes….The federal budget process occurs in two stages: appropriations and authorizations. This is an authorization bill, which directs how federal funds should or should not be used. (It does not set overall spending limits, however, which are the subject of appropriations bills.) Authorizations are typically made for single fiscal years (October 1 through September 30 of the next year) but are often renewed in subsequent law.” This passed in the Senate on Tuesday.
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