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Wis. lawmakers taking up mental health bills

Published On: Jan 08 2014 06:39:57 AM CST
Updated On: Jan 08 2014 06:39:00 AM CST
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -

Seven bipartisan proposals designed to improve mental health services in Wisconsin are scheduled to be approved by the Legislature's budget committee.

The measures have all passed the Assembly unanimously. Action by the Joint Finance Committee on Wednesday is needed before the Senate takes them up, perhaps as early as next week.

The bills grew out of recommendations from a mental health task force formed by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos in reaction to mass shootings both in Wisconsin and nationwide.

The proposals up for a vote would increase services for people with mental illness, including $250,000 to train law enforcement officials, $1.5 million in tax-deductible grants to encourage psychiatrists and primary care physicians to practice in underserved areas and creating "crisis teams" in rural areas with few mental health services.

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