Senators debated four bills on Monday that supporters say will greatly help the mentally ill in Utah. No votes were taken on the measures.
SB55, SB56, SB57 and SB58 provide for 50 more mental-health beds, either at the State Hospital or in the community, fund more treatment for severely emotionally ill children, outline who is responsible for and pays for mentally ill criminals and gives state mental-health managers flexibility in dealing with mentally ill criminals.SB55 would appropriate $1 million more for treatment of the mentally ill, providing 50 new beds in community treatment. The money isn't in Gov. Norm Bangerter's budget and several senators said the measure more properly should be considered in the appropriations process, not through legislation.