SACRAMENTO — State lawmakers have sent the governor an extension of a law that allows courts to force people with mental illness into treatment.

AB1569 extends Laura's Law, which is set to expire next year, until 2017. The decade-old law allows courts to mandate treatment for people with severe mental illness and a history of violence.

Democratic Assemblyman Michael Allen of Santa Rosa said he sponsored the extension because Laura's Law is a necessary tool. Fellow Democratic Assemblyman Wes Chesbro argued that the state should instead fully fund voluntary mental health programs.

The extension passed the Assembly 61-3 Wednesday.

The law is named for teenager Laura Wilcox, who was shot to death in Nevada City by a man with untreated schizophrenia. Counties decide individually whether to implement it.

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