State committee approves mental health bills

By Amie Winters

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – 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.


(WQOW) - To see the seven proposals that were approved by the Joint Finance Committee, click on the links below:

Assembly Bill 450 - Relating to grants for crisis intervention team training.

Assembly Bill 452 - Relating to child psychiatry consultation program.

Assembly Bill 454 - Relating to creation of a primary care and psychiatry shortage grant program, exempting from taxation amounts received from such a grant program, and granting rule-making authority.

Assembly Bill 455 - Relating to grants to counties to contract for peer-run respite centers.

Assembly Bill 457 - Relating to providing grants to counties that offer treatment and diversion programs to people with mental illnesses.

Assembly Bill 459 - Relating to individual placement and support program for employment of individuals experiencing mental illness.

Assembly Bill 460 - Relating to grants to mental health mobile crisis units.