State Bill Would Improve Care for Mentally Ill Homeless
State Assemblymembers Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) and Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) introduced legislation Wednesday to change the criteria by which local governments are able to provide critical medical care to homeless individuals who are mentally ill.
AB 1971’s introduction comes a day after the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to approve such legislation.
“It is inhumane to be a bystander when we have the power to do something to save lives in this vulnerable population,” Santiago said. “We need to ensure there is proper medical care for homeless individuals with mental illness who are suffering on the streets with serious physical ailments.”
The legislation will serve as a placeholder for language requested by the Supervisors Tuesday to change the definition of “grave disability” to consider urgently needed medical treatment as a basic human need when assessing an individual’s need for conservatorship.