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Laura's Law Adoption Closer To Being In S.f. Voters' Hands

By Expert Author: jareldaren

Immediately after years of hand-wringing and debate amongst San Francisco officials over whether or not to adopt Laura's Law to compel mentally ill persons into remedy, Supervisor Mark Farrell on Tuesday will propose letting voters make a decision.

Farrell has the help of three other supervisors, enough to qualify Laura's Law for a ballot measure in the November election. If he can get an added two supervisors to sign on, he will drop the ballot measure and pass the law through the regular legislative approach.

"I'd a great deal rather pass it at the Board of Supervisors, but at the same time Laura's Law has stalled in the previous and I believe it is crucial sufficient to bring it to the voters if the Board of Supervisors won't do it," Farrell said.

Laura's Law was adopted at the state level in 2002, the year following Laura Wilcox, a college student, was shot dead by a psychiatric patient at a Nevada County clinic. Beneath the law, a family members member, roommate, mental well being provider or police or probation officer may possibly, beneath specific circumstances, petition the courts to compel a mentally ill particular person into outpatient therapy.

A poll performed in February by EMC Analysis of city voters likely to participate in November's election located that assistance for Laura's Law was robust across the political spectrum and that 77 percent of respondents would vote for it.

"As soon as folks hear the stories, have an understanding of how the present system fails and pierce via the myths of what Laura's Law is or is not, I think this is a no-brainer," Farrell stated.
Chances of passage superior

The odds of the law being adopted in San Francisco appear superior than ever, with Mayor Ed Lee, District Lawyer George Gascón, City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Public Overall health Department chief Barbara Garcia all on board with Farrell's strategy. He also has the votes of Supervisors London Breed, Katy Tang and Scott Wiener.

Progressive supervisors, homeless advocates and some mental health groups are likely to fight against the adoption of Laura's Law on the grounds that folks should not be forced into healthcare care against their will.

Efforts to pass Laura's Law beneath former Mayor Gavin Newsom failed, in part for the reason that former Public Health director Mitch Katz was adamantly opposed to the law. The law does not permit for compelled medication, which Katz mentioned created it too weak to be productive.

But supporters say they think there is ultimately the political will to get the law passed.

Lee stated he will talk to every single supervisor individually in hopes of passing Laura's Law at the board rather than at the ballot box. He mentioned the fact that the city's homeless population hasn't budged in years regardless of a big effort is an indication new tools require to be attempted.

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