Monday, March 19, 2007

Gov. Richardson: Demand NM legislators get it right

Statement from TAC Executive Director Mary Zdanowicz:

New Mexico is again on the verge of denying critical treatment to the sickest people with severe mental illnesses, discriminating against them because they are too ill to ask for help.

Gov. Bill Richardson has publicly supported mandated community treatment legislation since Rep. Joni Marie Gutierrez first introduced it in 2006. Despite passing the House this year, the bill stalled in a Senate committee, a victim of political infighting and the work of one of Gov. Richardson’s own cabinet members, Secretary of Human Services Pam Hyde, who refused to rise in support of the measure despite her Governor’s position.

We urge Gov. Richardson to right this wrong, following up his supportive words with real action. He should add to his list of expectations for legislators that they exhibit true concern for people with debilitating brain diseases and the inability to choose treatment. Other bills to be addressed in a special session purport to protect the rights of New Mexico families and prevent them from violent harm – these criteria are also the case with the mandated community treatment legislation.


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