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Mayor Gloria: We Will Continue to Press State Conservatorship, Mental Health Reforms

TWO KEY STATE PROPOSALS ON CONSERVATORSHIP NOT MOVING FORWARD; MAYOR COMMITS TO PURSUING NEXT YEAR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, Sept. 2, 2022

CONTACT:
MayorPress@sandiego.gov

 

SAN DIEGO – Mayor Todd Gloria released the following statement on conservatorship reform efforts in the state legislature at the end of session. Two key conservatorship-reform bills in Sen. Susan Eggman’s eight-bill reform package did not pass, and the Mayor vowed to help pass those measures in next year’s legislative session.
 
“We simply must do better as a state in ensuring that people with the most serious mental illnesses can get the treatment they need and deserve – and conservatorship reform must be part of that conversation.
 
“While I’m pleased to see CARE Court secure the Legislature’s approval – along several other bills addressing mental health that I and other Mayors across the state co-sponsored this year – I am disappointed that two bills that would have modernized California’s approach to conservatorship did not pass. I thank Sen. Susan Eggman for her continued leadership on behavioral health issues and for authoring this legislation.
 
“Make no mistake, I am undeterred in our pursuit for meaningful mental health and conservatorship reform. I will work with Senator Eggman and other partners to reintroduce these bills next year and get these long-overdue reforms done.”
 
Background:
Mayor Gloria announced his intent to pursue conservatorship reform during his state of the City on January 12, 2021. Since then, he and the Mayors of the California’s 13 largest cities co-sponsored an eight-bill package of mental health reforms being carried by Senator Susan Eggman, which included SB 1416 and SB 965 to reform California’s conservatorship laws. The bill package included a comprehensive approach toward modernizing our behavioral health system of care, focusing on process improvements to drive better outcomes, greater accountability in data sharing and planning to build out enough bed capacity to serve regional needs.
 
This year, Mayor Gloria also joined Governor Gavin Newsom to announce his CARE Court proposal and worked to ensure passage of that legislation throughout the legislative session. SB 1338, the CARE Act authored by Senators Tom Umberg and Susan Eggman, will create a voluntary alternative to conservatorship to guarantee services to eligible participants with high mental health needs. It was approved by the legislature on August 31, 2021 and now goes to the Governor for his signature. San Diego County is one of seven counties that will implement the bill by October 1, 2023, following the development of guidelines by the Department of Health Care Services to implement the policy.
 
The following bills in Senator Eggman’s behavioral health package were approved by the legislature and are awaiting action by the Governor:

  • SB 1238 – Requires local planning and accountability for adequate behavioral health facilities
  • SB 1035 – Enhances access to medication for clients enrolled in Assisted Outpatient Treatment
  • SB 929 – Requires local collection and reporting of data and trends for people undergoing mental health crises
  • SB 1227 – Reforms to allow for additional short-term involuntary holds as needed to avoid conservatorship

 
The following bills in Senator Eggman’s behavioral health package did not pass this year:

  • SB 1416 – Would have expanded the definition of gravely disabled to include ability to care for one’s basic medical needs
  • SB 965 – Would have allowed medical history to be considered in conservatorship hearings
  • SB 1154 – Would have required a real time database of available behavioral health beds
  • SB 970 – Reforms Mental Health Services Act funding to improve outcomes

 

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