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By Angela Brand

The California State Legislature completed their session on August 31. Here’s our update on the bills relevant to our work to improve mental health services for individuals, families, and our communities.

Bills Moving to the Governor’s Office for Signature That Need Community Support

We still need to support for:

AB 3242 (Irwin) Mental health: involuntary commitment. NAMI California co-sponsored this bill with the California Hospital Association, which aims to make mental health assessments and treatment quicker and more accessible through telehealth and other remote technology. TAKE ACTION: Sign our letter to the Governor in support of AB 3242.

SB 803 (Beall) Mental health services: peer support specialist certification has passed a vote on the Assembly Floor and is headed to the Governor’s office for his signature. The governor’s signature will be more difficult, as the bill has been vetoed the last four years in a row. TAKE ACTION: Sign our letter to the Governor in support of SB 803.

Bills Moving to the Governor’s Office for Signature

SB 855 (Wiener) Health coverage: mental health or substance use disorders

AB 1976 (Eggman) Mental health services: assisted outpatient treatment

AB 2112 (Ramos) Suicide prevention

AB 2377 (Chiu) Adult residential facilities: closures and resident transfers

Bills That Failed to Pass Through Committee

SB 665 (Umberg) Mental Health Services Fund: county jails, which NAMI-CA opposed, was held on the Assembly Appropriations suspense file last week. The bill will not move forward. THANK YOU to everyone who wrote letters and called your representatives to help us oppose this bill!

SB 1259 (Hurtado) Licensed adult residential facilities and residential care facilities for the elderly: SSI/SSP recipients: report, was unfortunately held on the Assembly Appropriations suspense file. It will not move forward in the process.

AB 2576 (Gloria) Mental Health bill failed to be heard in the Senate Health Committee and will not move forward. This bill would have required unspent MHSA funds be reallocated to focus on three particular areas for people living with mental illness: individuals experiencing homelessness, individuals involved in the criminal justice system, and early intervention services for youth. NAMI California voiced concerns that this bill could potentially diminish the voices of individuals living with a serious mental illness and their family members in decision making about MHSA services and set a harmful precedent.