This week, SB 229, which I am sponsoring this session, was third read and passed in the Senate and now moves on to the House for consideration. The bill modifies provisions regarding employment in the Mental Health industry, which brought the need for this bill to my attention.
Currently, the Mental Health Employment Disqualification Registry keeps a list of individuals restricted from working in direct care positions if they were convicted of certain criminal offenses such as abuse, neglect and/or misuse of funds. This would include any public or private facility of residential care, day programs, or other specialized mental health services. In addition, current employees could be discharged if they are found to be in violation of the provisions of this legislation.
The new legislation includes drug-, stealing- and alcohol-related offenses, as well as crimes of supporting terrorism and aiding in the escape of a prisoner to the list of disqualifying offenses. We must protect our most vulnerable citizens by not placing their care in the hands of someone who may have the propensity to harm them.
Always feel free to contact me throughout the year with any comments, questions, or issues by calling my office at (573) 751-5713 or by visiting my website at www.senate.mo.gov/brown.
Thank you for reading this and for your participation in state government.