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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