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Democrats call for reform of mental health system

Missouri State Capitol.
Missouri State Capitol.

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO. – House Democrats are calling for various reforms to be made to Missouri's mental health system.

They include a bill that would require a uniform fire safety code for all types of residential care facilities in the state, in the aftermath of the fire last November that killed 11 people at the Anderson Guest House.

House Minority Leader Jeff Harris says the new standards would apply to both public and privately-run homes:

"Instead of offering specific ideas like mandating a sprinkler or mandating a particular type of safety procedure, we want to empower those who are experts in the field, the State Fire Marshal, to adopt a code, adopt standards that he sees fit," Harris said.

Another bill, sponsored by fellow Democrat Gina Walsh of St. Louis County, would require uniform standards and rules for both private and public mental health facilities.

And a third bill, sponsored by Representative Jeanette Mott-Oxford, would require professional standards for caseload levels of mental health caseworkers in Missouri.