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.
Press Democrat Poll
What type of warning did you receive about last October’s fires? (Multiple responses allowed)
Official alert on my landline: 5 percent
Official alert on my cellphone: 17 percent
Neighbor warned me: 14 percent
Family member or friend warned me: 28 percent
Police or fire came to my home to warn me: 5 percent
None: 43 percent
Don’t know: 1 percent
In the future, how would you like to be notified about a fire or other impending disaster?
Phone call: 31 percent
Text message: 30 percent
Email: 1 percent
Air raid siren: 28 percent
Other (specify): 7 percent
Don’t know: 3 percent
Do you think Sonoma County is more prepared today to warn you about fires or disasters than it was last year?
Yes: 54 percent
No: 31 percent
Don’t know: 15 percent
SOURCE: The Press Democrat Poll/David Binder Research
Read all of the PD's fire coverage here