Kentucky Senate overrides Gov. Bevin’s veto of ‘Tim’s Law’

WDRB 41 Louisville News

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) — As Gov. Matt Bevin signed a pair of foster care bills into law Wednesday, some at the Capitol were focusing on one he did not approve.

Senate Bill 91, or “Tim’s Law,” would have allowed judges to order outpatient mental health treatment for the severely mentally ill.

“I think it’s a dangerous precedent when we authorize the government to lock people up who have violated no laws, who have not been deemed a threat to anyone,” Gov. Bevin said.

Outside the Senate chamber, mental health advocates called on lawmakers to override the veto. Among them was Faye Morton. Tim’s Law is named for her son, who was mentally ill and died in his 50s of self-neglect.

She understands Gov. Bevin’s concern.

“When the person is so seriously ill that they don’t realize they’re ill, it’s neglect not to provide them with the treatment that would help them,” she said.

The bill’s sponsor, Louisville Sen. Julie Raque Adams, pushed her colleagues to override the governor.

“If you look at the language in the bill, it very narrowly defines a population that has been involuntarily committed twice within the last 12 months,” Adams said. “So it’s not as if we’re randomly selecting people who may or may not have a mental illness.”

The Senate agreed, voting 35-1 to override the governor’s veto. The House is expected to follow suit.


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