Mental Health Task Force Bill Passes First Test

(April 23) – A bill to bolster the state’s mental health system passed its first legislative committee today. The vote in the Health, Insurance and Environment Committee was 6-5, following party lines.

HB13-1306, sponsored by Rep. Beth McCann (D-Denver), authorizes a task force to study issues surrounding the purchase and possession of firearms by those whose serious mental health issues, including severe substance abuse, make them potentially dangerous to themselves or others.

The bill, which was drafted with input from GOP representatives, makes no statutory change, though the task force could recommend such changes when it reports back to the legislature on or before Jan. 15, 2015.

“I look forward to a robust discussion with stakeholders who have many points of view about appropriate next steps,” Rep. McCann said. “But I must say I am disappointed that after revising the bill to incorporate all of the suggestions from Republican leadership, none of the Republicans on the committee voted for it.”

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