SACRAMENTO- Assemblywoman Marie Waldron’s (R-Escondido) bill, Assembly Bill 59, which would extend “Laura’s Law” to help the mentally ill in California, passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee today on a bipartisan vote. See press release HERE
“I am pleased that my bill to continue programs that provide stability for Californians with mental illnesses passed the Judiciary Committee today,” said Waldron. “’Laura’s Law’ has helped many Californians to get care for family members with severe mental illnesses who are incapable of seeking help on their own and present a threat to themselves or others.”
“Laura’s Law” provides authorization for court-ordered assisted outpatient treatment of individuals who are mentally ill. Thus far, 12 counties in California have implemented “Laura’s Law,” including Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, Kern, San Francisco, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Nevada, Yolo, Placer, Mendocino and El Dorado.
The involuntary assisted outpatient mental health treatment program statutes are currently set to expire on January 1, 2017. AB 59 would keep the program running for another five years, to 2022. Without AB 59, there likely would not be any assisted outpatient mental health programs for the mentally ill in California.
Involuntary assisted outpatient treatment is an evidence-based, well-studied method of treatment, which has been effective in stabilizing individuals with mental illness. By providing care for these individuals, they are more likely to attain stable housing, exercise medication adherence and build social skills, which can significantly reduce violence, hospitalizations, arrests and incarcerations.
AB 59 will next be considered by the Assembly Appropriations Committee for its fiscal impact to the state.
Assemblymember Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, represents the 75th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Hidden Meadows, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center, and Vista.