May 10, 2018

One hundred and twenty days after they began, state lawmakers wrapped up their annual session last night. What do we have to show for it?

When it comes to mental health care, quite a bit.

We championed more than a dozen bills, almost all of which are now on their way to the governor’s desk. Among our top priorities: helping Coloradans navigate the insurance system (HB 1357); secure treatment and housing in the wake of a mental health crisis (SB 270); receive residential or inpatient care for substance use disorders (HB 1136); and obtain mental health services for their children without giving up custody (HB 1094).

We’re grateful to the witnesses who testified in support of these bills and to the legislators who voted yes. (We’ll release a legislative scorecard next week.)

One that got away: a “red flag” bill (HB 1436), which would have allowed courts to order the removal of firearms from the homes of individuals who pose a significant danger to themselves or others. Such laws have won approval in nine states, survived constitutional scrutiny, and succeeded in reducing suicide rates. We’ll bring this proposal back—and redouble our efforts to pass it.

We have far more work to do. We won’t declare victory until all Coloradans get the care they need.

-Andrew Romanoff