(NAP) The Assembly Human Resources Committee Monday introduced a bill that would pump nearly $18 million into mental health services over the next two years.
AB175 calls for $8.17 million the first year and $9.71 million the second. Committee Chairwoman Sheila Leslie, D-Reno, said about $1.74 million would double the number of community residential placements for adult mental health clients to a total of 180 over the two-year span.
A total of $10 million would be used to purchase acute psychiatric crisis placements for clients. The legislation is trying to find a solution to large numbers of mental health patients now crowding emergency rooms in both southern and northern Nevada.
The bill makes separate appropriations to support mental health courts in both the north and south -- a total of $1.9 million in Clark County and $1.2 million in Washoe County. It also contains $200,000 to support a mental health court in Carson City.
Finally, the bill contains $1.8 million to support a community triage center designed to relieve the pressure on Southern Nevada emergency rooms.
Leslie said the legislation will be heard by the committee March 21.
Firemen's benefits bill clears committee
(NAP) The Senate Finance Committee voted Monday to support passage of a bill giving local governments the ability to increase their contribution toward volunteer firemen's retirement benefits.
Sen. Mike McGinness, R-Fallon, said volunteer firemen don't receive a wage but, for purposes of retirement contributions, they are assumed to receive a wage of up to $750 a month. Using that figure, the public body is required to pay the employee's share of retirement contributions while the volunteer is responsible for his or her own share.
McGinness said the purpose of the bill is to increase that maximum to $2,000 per month. But local governments that can't afford contributions at that level can set a lower amount.
The vote to recommend passage of the bill was unanimous.