Find Bill
Find Your Legislator
Legislative Deadlines
Nov. 23, 2017
RSS Feed Permanent URL -A +A

Minutes for HB2240 - Committee on Judiciary

Short Title

Enacting the crisis intervention act.

Minutes Content for Wed, Mar 22, 2017

Jason Thompson provided a brief on the bill saying that the bill enacts the crisis intervention act concerning individuals with a  mental illness, a substance abuse problem, or a co-occurring condition. Mr. Thompson then went on to describe the sections and the topics therein.

Chairman Wilborn then directed the Committee to the next order of business.

Proponents:

Dr. John Whipple gave his support (Attachment 1) for the bill saying that this is needed to fill gaps in the current procedures.  He explained that many people are falling through the cracks and shared how the bill provides officers, professionals, and families an efficient means of accessing care for individuals in emotional and interpersonal crisis.  In addition, Dr. Whipple pointed out that this bill establishes Crisis Intervention Centers, emphasizes the need for human, non-traumatizing services, and extends emergency involuntary detention within the centers for up to 72 hours. He reiterated that this bill creates centers that minimize trauma and allow individuals to seek help outside of an emergency room setting, therefore leading to better quality assurances regarding the nature of care delivered, the standards required in each setting, and the means to assess future treatment needs.

Bill Rein shared his support (Attachment 2) for HB 2240 saying that he served on the sub-committee with the Judaical Council about this legislation and that this bill is what they have agreed on. He went on to say that the centers proposed by this bill are community centers staffed by mental health professionals 24 hours a day for individuals in crisis, thereby keeping these individuals from going to jail or hospitals. Mr. Rein went on to explain the history of mental health reform and he reiterated that treating mental health has never had an intermediate tool between outpatient services and inpatient services of a state hospital, and this bill gives that opportunity. He also explained that keeping individuals suffering with mental health issues out of court and out of the state hospital is extremely important, and that this bill helps to keep them from experiencing more trauma. He concluded by explaining the benefits for the different agencies involved, and continued that there would be fewer admissions to the state hospitals with the 72 hour hold in order to stabilize individuals.

Colin Thomasset gave his support (Attachment 3) of the bill saying that having this type of crisis intervention option available in our communities can lead to positive outcomes not only for patients, but also for families and community partners.  He continued saying that it is important to be able to avoid an involuntary commitment.

Mike Burgess also testified in support (Attachment 4) for HB 2240 saying that there are a lot of things that are good about this bill.  He did express that he would like to see the change to the reporting  requirements of the bill making sure that abuse is not happening to hold individuals longer than needed.

Chairman then pointed to the written proponent testimony submitted by Rick Cagan (Attachment 5), Susan Lewis (Attachment 6), Christy Molzen (Attachment 7), Chad Austin (Attachment 8), and Ed Klumpp (Attachment 9).

The Chairman then opened the hearing up for questions and discussion.  Topics discussed included: previous legislation, changes that happened concerning mental health and arresting on minor offenses, the number of patients that will be affected by this type of legislation, what other states have this type of legislation, the difference between the centers proposed by this bill and facilities like the Rainbow mental health facility in Kansas City, KS, adding licensed social workers, the amendment offered by Mr. Burgess concerning collection of data, what happens after the 72 hour release, and the areas in Kansas that have the ability to have these centers.

Seeing no further questions, Chairman Wilborn directed the Committee to the next order of business.

Opponents:

Sky Westerlund shared opposition (Attachment 10) to HB 2240 saying that the opposition comes as the current bill excludes licensed social workers. She explained that her opposition to the bill would change to favorable if the language would be changed as shared in her testimony.

Nick Reinecker shared his opposition (Attachment 11) to the bill saying that this legislation is already seen in the Care and Treatment Act.  In addition, he expressed concern for Second Amendment rights, and other issues including no proposed language for the application to submit an individual for review, and questions about impeding an individual's civil rights.

Seeing no further conferees or questions, the Chairman closed the hearing.