Remember the hearing on LPS in December? Assemblyman Wood, Chairman of the Assembly Health Committee, and Assemblyman Stone, Chairman of the Assembly Judiciary Committee followed up this week with the following message about planned legislation:
“As someone who either participated in the Assembly Health and Judiciary’s December 15, 2021, hearing on the Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) Act or has subsequently expressed interest in the hearing and future actions, we wanted to share with you, on behalf of Assemblymembers Wood and Stone, an advance copy of the LPS bill they are co-authoring. The bill will be introduced later this week.
This bill addresses two key weakness in the current law that became apparent at our hearing and that Assemblymembers Wood and Stone believe must be addressed as soon as possible. The first issue clarifies exactly when a 5150 hold begins and delineates the subsequent process to be followed to ensure individuals receive due process even when subsequent 5150 holds may be required. The second part of the bill is aimed at rectifying the significant lack of information and data on the efficacy of the LPS Act in treating those with mental illness across the state. The lack of comprehensive data makes it difficult to determine the efficacy of the program and to decide what changes are necessary to best support, serve, and treat those suffering from mental illness. Without the appropriate data and data analysis it is impossible to gauge what the appropriate next steps are. This bill will require both data collection AND data analysis.
We wanted to provide you with an advance copy of the bill but we are already anticipating there will be further amendments to the bill. We would like to invite you to engage in a stakeholder process we will be initiating around the bill. At some point in the very near future we will be holding a meeting to discuss both the 5150 process outlined and the data collection piece. It may also be necessary to create a work group around the data collection piece as we work to determine specifically which data should be collected.
The Members are interested in this being an open, collaborative process and to not only hearing everyone’s concerns but for everyone to hear everyone else’s concerns, thus the stakeholder process. We know this bill is only one of several LPS bills that may be introduced during this legislative session and we know that it is not a panacea addressing all the needed reforms to California’s mental health system or even the LPS Act; but the members are committed to these first steps. If you, or the organization you represented at the hearing, are interested in participating in a workgroup around this bill, please let (us) know by Febuary 25. Our contact information is below.
Last week, we listed the numerous conservatorship and LPS reforms being considered by Senator Eggman. On top of these, you can expect possibly dozens of other proposals being introduced by today’s deadline for new bills. Count on some interesting discussions ahead in 2022. CSAP will be involved with all the authors on all the various bills.