Arizona’s 2022 Legislative Summary for Individuals and Families Living with Serious Mental Illness (SMI).

P82 Project Restoration

Here is our compilation of significant legislation pertaining to people affected by serious mental illness in Arizona that has been signed into law by Governor Doug Ducey to date. To learn more about each law, click on the bill number and you will be redirected to the website. If you have information about other bills that we should be aware of, please email Deborah Geesling at [email protected]

SB1114 Prime Sponsor: Senator Nancy Barto.

This law protects the confidentiality of individuals receiving court-ordered treatment (COT). Modifies application requirements for emergency admissions for court-ordered evaluation. It adds severe mental disorder that “significantly impairs judgement, reason, behavior or capacity to recognize reality” as a new criterion to meet the definition of “persistent or acute disability.” Outlines circumstances in which courts have concurrent jurisdiction over a patient subject to court-ordered treatment. 

SB1210 Prime Sponsor: Senator Nancy Barto.

Allows the court, an admitting officer, mental health treatment agency or evaluation agency to authorize apprehension and transportation of a proposed patient to an evaluation agency by an authorized transporter. Establishes the Study Committee on Alternative Behavioral Health Transportation (Committee) and outlines Committee membership, duties and requirements. 

This law will allow for the transport of SMI in a more humane, less traumatizing and potentially less expensive way. It will allow Law Enforcement to focus on their primary job of fighting crime,  and not transporting individuals with SMI when it is not necessary.

SB1310 Prime Sponsor: Senator Nancy Barto.

Establishes procedures regarding the commitment, detainment, conditional release and discharge of a defendant deemed incompetent, non-restorable and dangerous. Outlines requirements for the treatment of a committed defendant. It requires the court to admit non-competent non restorables with a dangerous designation into a secure residential. 

SB1392 Prime Sponsor: Senator Nancy Barto.

Removes red tape when patients need a higher level of care at the State Hospital. Allows the medical director of the local mental health treatment agency assigned to supervise and administer a patient’s treatment program to file a motion requesting the court to amend the treatment order to place the patient at the Arizona State Hospital (ASH). It gives the court clear discretion and direction regarding its authority to order a patient into the state hospital. 

SB1444 Prime Sponsor: Senator Karen Fann

Prohibits administration and employees of the Arizona State Hospital (ASH) from retaliating against a patient due to family participation in Arizona State Hospital Independent Oversight Committee (ASH-IOC) meetings and requires the ASH Superintendent and Chief Medical Officer to attend and participate in meetings. Directs ASH administration to develop and implement an innovative clinical improvement and human resources development plan. Modifies membership and duties of the Joint Legislative Psychiatric Hospital Review Council (Council).

SB1651 Prime Sponsor: Senator Nancy Barto.

Requires the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) to annually report outlined information relating to individuals living with a serious mental illness.

We want to thank Senators Nancy Barto and Karen Fann for their attention and dedication on behalf of this vulnerable population! We also appreciate Senator Gowan’s efforts to establish a new State Hospital Governing Board that would have transferred oversight, authorities and responsibilities relating to the Arizona State Hospital (ASH) from the Department of Health Services (DHS) to the Board. Unfortunately, SB1716 did not make it out of the final committee this year, though it did pass in the Senate. Maybe next year? 

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