Bill Draft


Cosponsorship Memo


Sen. Howard Marklein, Rep. Clint Moses, Sen. Jesse James and Rep. Rob Summerfield Circulate Crisis Urgent Care and Observation Centers Legislation for Mental Health Services

Collaborative effort will create framework for new, 24/7 regional mental health facilities

MADISON— State Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green), Representative Clint Moses (R-Menomonie), Senator Jesse James (R-Altoona) and Representative Rob Summerfield (R-Bloomer) circulated legislation to create the framework for Crisis Urgent Care and Observation Centers for individuals experiencing a severe mental health crisis. The bill was crafted with input from stakeholders across the mental health care continuum, including the Department of Health Services (DHS).
The Crisis Urgent Care and Observation Centers bill will create the framework for DHS to issue certifications for new, 24/7 regional mental health facilities. The legislation will continue Wisconsin’s implementation of the “Crisis Now” model for mental health care, which is built on a nationwide best practices model.
The facilities will be designed to be a “one-stop shop” for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis and will accept both voluntary and involuntary individuals for short-term stays (5 days or less). Individuals can be dropped off by a friend, family member, EMS, or law enforcement. There will not be a medical clearance requirement prior to admission, which will allow law enforcement to leave the facility upon drop-off.

“I have heard countless stories about individuals experiencing a severe mental health crisis who spend hours in the back of a squad car and driven many hours across the state to the Winnebago Mental Health Institute. This is a traumatic experience for the individual experiencing the mental health crisis and places a heavy burden on law enforcement,” Marklein said. “This legislation will allow these individuals a chance to receive appropriate treatment and recover in a space closer to home, while allowing law enforcement to return to serving their communities.”

“Long before I took office, I was aware of the major challenges individuals faced with a mental health crisis in my area,” Moses said. “The Crisis Now model is long overdue and will be a vital lifesaver.”

“As a state, Wisconsin can do better. I think this is the first step of many to help address the mental health crisis we are experiencing. If these facilities help us navigate away from the hours it takes to transport individuals to Winnebago, it will be a win-win for law enforcement and patients across our state,” James said. “As a cop, I have spent hours on mental health commitments. We need these new facilities to ease the burden on law enforcement and to help keep patients closer to home.”

“Knowing that this is a major concern in our area, I think this is a good step to help families, law enforcement, and everyone involved in these situations,” Summerfield said.
The 2023-2025 state budget set aside $10 million for DHS to implement a grant program to support these facilities.
This bill was crafted with input from the Badger State Sheriffs’ Association, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the Wisconsin Counties Association, the Wisconsin Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Association and DHS.