Some mental-health officials oppose commitment bill

The Seattle TimesFebruary 4, 2014 

When Doug and Nancy Reuter started lobbying for a bill to help parents get their mentally ill children involuntarily committed, they expected opposition from civil libertarians and spending-weary conservatives.

They didn’t foresee heavy resistance from some parts of the mental-health community itself.

The Reuters, parents of a 28-year-old man fatally shot by police on the balcony of his Capitol Hill condo last summer, received a long-awaited audience in Olympia on Monday, testifying at hearings on their bill in both the state House and Senate.

The proposal, numbered 2725 in the House and 6513 in the Senate, would create a new appeal process for when county officials decline to order an involuntary commitment. In those situations, immediate family members could ask a Superior Court judge about the case.

It’s a scaled-back version of an idea the Reuters have been pushing for weeks.

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