Wednesday, February 06, 2008

What will it take, Virginia?

British statesmen William E. Gladstone famously observed that “justice delayed is justice denied.” Senate Bill 177 offered Virginians the only meaningful hope for true mental health law reform this year.

Now, Senate Bill 177 has been referred to a subcommittee for further study until next session. When it comes to mental health reform in Virginia, special commissions, blue ribbon panels, and investigating subcommittees abound. Everywhere you look, you can still find some group of experts studying about how to change Virginia’s mental health laws.

However, the time for studying laws has ended, and the time for making real change is here. Some people may hail the small incremental changes in Virginia’s commitment standards that will be made this year as major reform. Don’t be fooled.

If experiencing the worst shooting tragedy in American history is not enough to motivate true reform, then what will it take Virginia?

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