UPDATE: Assembly Task Force to Examine Mental Health

UPDATED Wednesday, February 6, 2013 --- 2:15 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A state Assembly task force called together by Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos will examine mental health issues in Wisconsin and make recommendations by the end of May.

Vos announced the task force on Wednesday and its first meeting will be Feb. 27.

News of the task force's creation comes after Republican Gov. Scott Walker said he was going to add nearly $29 million for mental health services statewide in his budget. Vos says he is open to Walker's proposal and he hopes the task force will work in concert with the governor.

Task force co-chairwoman Democratic Rep. Sandy Pasch says she supports Walker's proposal but hopes he also expands Medicaid coverage which also assists those with mental illnesses.

The task force is chaired by Republican Rep. Erik Severson.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


Posted Wednesday, February 6, 2013 --- 10:56 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Scott Walker says he will propose increasing funding for mental health services across Wisconsin by $30 million.

Walker told the annual meeting of the Wisconsin Counties Association on Wednesday that he's been looking into the state's mental health needs, but the effort took on added urgency following mass shootings in the state and across the country.

Walker will propose the funding in his two-year state budget to be introduced on Feb. 20.

He says the money will go into expanding services statewide that currently are only offered in some counties. That includes coordinated mental health care for juveniles, comprehensive care designed to reduce hospitalizations, and adding inpatient treatment units at the Mendota Mental Health Institute.

Walker says he feels mental health is an area that's often overlooked.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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