The California Assembly passed AB 1971 Wednesday, legislation which amends the state’s definition of “gravely disabled” to include medical treatment as a basic human need for those suffering from a serious mental illness, just as necessary to well-being as food, clothing or shelter.
AB 1971 is sponsored by Los Angeles County, the Steinberg Institute, and the California Psychiatric Association. The bill passed with bipartisan support by a vote of 66-0.
The proposal for the change in state law came by way of a board motion authored by Los Angeles County Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Mark Ridley-Thomas. Through collaboration, AB 1971 was jointly authored by Assemblymembers Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles), Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) and Phillip Chen (R-Brea).