Committee Approves Mental Health Bills

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

The Legislature's budget committee has passed seven bipartisan proposals designed to improve mental health services in Wisconsin.

The measures have all passed the Assembly unanimously. Action by the Joint Finance Committee on Wednesday was needed before the Senate takes them up, perhaps as early as next week.

The bills grew out of recommendations from a mental health task force formed by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos in reaction to mass shootings in Wisconsin and nationwide.

The proposals approved would increase services for people with mental illness. That includes creating "crisis teams" in rural areas with few mental health services and providing $1.5 million in tax-deductible grants to encourage psychiatrists and primary care physicians to practice in underserved areas.

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