Rep. Tranel’s Mental Health Bills Pass Assembly
Assembly passes mental health package to help expand access in Wisconsin
Madison – Issues of mental illness have been overlooked for many years; however the Speaker of the State Assembly created a bi-partisan legislative task force to find ways to help. The Speaker’s Task Force Committee listened to more than 70 mental health experts during nine months of hearings throughout the state. The results of the task force were summarized and converted into legislation. Rep. Travis Tranel (R-Cuba City) co-authored two mental health bills that were included in the thirteen bill package which passed the Assembly today.
Assembly Bill 450 creates a grant program through the Department of Health Services to fund mental health Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training for law enforcement agencies and correctional officers.
“This is a good bill that provides local law enforcement and correctional institutions the ability to apply for funds to help train their officers to be more effective when confronting incidents where mental illness may be a factor,” said Tranel.
CIT training teaches officers to recognize the symptoms of mental illness and how to use non-violent de-escalation techniques to reduce the possibility for harm to the individual, the officer, or the community. AB 450 passed the Assembly with a bi-partisan vote of 94 to 0.
Assembly Bill 459 provides funding to expand the use of Individualized Placement & Support (IPS) programs throughout Wisconsin. The bill requires the Department of Health Services (DHS) to create five regional IPS centers for the employment of individuals with mental illness and will ensure that each county in the state is served by one of these centers.
“Counties in my district will benefit from this legislation and from an increase in resources to help citizens with mental health challenges find employment opportunities,” said Tranel. “This legislation helps people in rural communities across Wisconsin.”
Currently, nine counties in Wisconsin have IPS sites. AB 459 passed the Assembly with a bi-partisan vote of 94 to 0.
“Addressing mental health issues in Wisconsin is a top priority for the Assembly this session,” said Tranel. It’s important that rural areas of the state have access to mental health care professionals and services. My hope is that the bills passed today will have a positive impact on Wisconsin families.”