Bill To Watch in the Colorado Legislature

9:07 AM, Mar 3, 2014   |    comments
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DENVER (AP) - This week's Bill To Watch in the Colorado Legislature.

THE BILL: House Bill 1271, expanding the duty of mental health providers to report threats. 

WHAT IT DOES: The bill expands the duty, and immunity, of mental health organizations and professionals to report threats of violence against people and places. Current law provides civil immunity for health professionals who have a duty to warn only about threats to specific people. 

WHO WANTS IT? Democratic Rep. Jovan Melton of Aurora, where the 2012 movie theater mass shooting happened, is bringing the bill forward. After the shooting, Melton said officials found that the therapist treating James Holmes, the shooting suspect, may not have been able to say anything about a threat to the theater, if Holmes had expressed his intent. 

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST? Legislative analysts say the bill won't require any additional funding from the state. 

WHERE IT STANDS: The bill unanimously passed the House Health, Insurance, and Environment Committee. The entire House will now debate and vote on it. 

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: "We're just expanding it beyond specific people to include specific locations as well. So if a threat is made towards a school or a theater, we can alert the person responsible for that theater, the manager, as well as the law enforcement to be on alert." - Rep. Melton. 


(Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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