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Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - 7:13am

New Bills Impact Seniors & Mentally Ill

Updated: 3 years ago.
Gov. Nathan Deal signed bills on Wednesday to establish a mental health division in Georgia's court system, and give seniors more options to age in place. (GPB file photo)

Gov. Nathan Deal signed a measure into law Wednesday that creates a mental health division within the court system. The goal is to divert more people to treatment and not to jail. Also signed by the Governor, legislation that gives senior citizens greater options to stay and age in assisted living homes.

Gov. Deal signed the bills in Milledgeville Wednesday morning.

SB 39 establishs a mental health court division within Georgia’s court system. It allows the court to refer a case in which a defendant suffers from mental illness or developmental disability, or co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse disorder to the mental court division. However, defendants charged with murder, rape, aggravated sodomy, armed robbery, aggravated sexual battery, aggravated child molestation or child molestation are not eligible for entry to the division.

SB 178 for the first time creates a category of ‘assisted-living facility’ that fills a void in the continuum of care in Georgia. The legislation has the support of the Georgia Health Association, AARP, UHS Pruitt and many other key stakeholders in senior care delivery, establishes a new licensure category of long-term care provider for assisted living communities and permits the communities to provide additional services to seniors in a setting of their choice.

Contributors

Contributors: 
Georgia Governor's Office

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